Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Half Term.

Woo hoo! It's Wednesday and I haven't yelled at anyone yet! No meltdowns, door slamming, angry-face pulling, drowning of sorrows - nothing! Not even low-impact nagging.

Granted - it's cost me a small fucking fortune in trips to Legoland, 3D movies and the like, and enough sweets got consumed today to fill a full-sized water-butt but still - don't knock it. Nobody went to bed hating me. Fan-fucking-tastic!

I'm back to work on Friday so if I can just get through tomorrow without any major mishaps I may splash out on a bottle of sparkling wine to celebrate! Plus the liberal use of exclamation marks will continue!!! So there!!

Seriously though, I've had a great relaxing week. I hope the rest of you have too.

And if not? Don't worry. Been there, done that. Nothing lasts for ever, especially not the bad times.

Friday, 22 May 2009

What If I Look Back and Think 'Bollocks'?

Not a great title for a post I know but it does get to the heart of how I'm feeling at the moment.

My life goes by in a predictable blur.

I'm working 4.5 days a week. I leave early in the morning so I don't really see Thing 1 and Thing 2 at all in the morning. Luckily I can leave work and be home by about 5.30. My mother-in-law looks after the children 3 days a week and my husband and I do one afternoon school pick-up each.

I'm lucky - I'm healthy, my children are healthy, I have a roof over my head, food on the table, good friends and family.

But I'm still pissed off most of the time.

I earn a good salary but not as much as I could do because I'm not prepared to put in the hours that a higher-status job would require. And frankly? My career bores me to tears. And yet on the other hand I'm jealous of other women I know with higher status jobs than me and feel inadequate because I'm not achieving.

I am a mostly good mother I think and yet I spend ridiculous amounts of time thinking I'm a dreadful parent. Working full-time is hard and I know I don't put as much time and effort into helping my children with school work etc as other mothers do.

More feelings of inadequacy.

I share my house with my mother-in-law three days a week which DRIVES ME FUCKING NUTS. But she's great grandparent and my children benefit from their close relationship with her. I, on the other hand, do not benefit from her proximity and experience times when I can barely act civilly.

I'm just worried that I will look back at this time, when the children have left home and think 'Why did I live my life like that? What was the point?'

And yet I know I have to work. My husband's job is well paid but insecure. He suffers from depression and has had long periods off sick in the past. Athough he seems much better I worry that depression may strike again and I will be the only breadwinner. Neither of us are going to inherit shedloads of money so I need a pension. We're generally hopeless with money so I need to work to get pay off and keep us out of debt. The credit-crunch has reminded us all that having up-to-date skills and a manageable job is not to be sniffed at.

And yet I wake up every day and think 'Oh Lord, here we go again. Back on the treadmill.'

I try and plan alot of things so that when I'm not at work we (I) have things to look forward to. But am I kidding myself? Will I look back and think I did everything badly? Wonder what it was all for?

I'm constantly amazed at people who make radical changes to their lives and seem to thrive on the uncertainty, the adrenalin. 'That's not me' I think.

I'm scared I guess. Risk averse. It's all fine at the moment so I just keep going. But will I look back and think 'Bollocks'?

I'm worried I will.

Intellectually I know that all it would take is a health scare, a money scare to make me long for this life as it is now. I know I'm beyond lucky, I know. I know all this. If I survive long enough to see my children grow up happy and healthy I will be a lucky, lucky woman. But how do I feel it on a daily basis.

What gets you through the day?

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Time, Hormones and the Bastard Spots

I will be 43 next month. I'm quite happy with this. Life's good now - better than it has been. The last 10 years have contained the best and worst of times. Right now I feel good about where I'm at. Apart from my daily struggle with general parenting failure of course! Still, even that could be worse. I'm getting better and consequently beating myself up less. (Parenting angst - that's a whole post on its own)

However, the one thing about ageing that's really getting me down is the physical aspect - specifically hormones. Right now my body seems to be on a last-ditch effort to get any remaining eggs fertilised before I shrivel up all prune-like and enter the ranks of people who don't need to have sex anymore, evolutionarily-speaking.

So my libido is in overdrive. Which I would probably quite enjoy apart from the non-stop spots appearing all over my face rendering me about as attractive as - well, a spotty middle-aged person. On top of which my boobs, which have always been fairly hard to miss are now enormous. Not as enormous as they were 3 days after giving birth obviously but pretty large just the same. And I've always hated my large boobs.

Still, rampant sex-drive and large boobs I could probably just about cope with and frankly my husband thinks Christmas has arrived early. But the spots, THE SPOTS ARE SO DRIVING ME NUTS! I have two or three ALL THE TIME. Somebody, anybody, please give me some ideas. I've spent a fortune on skincare which is helping a bit but I'm at the end of my tether.

Having spent years off the pill on the grounds that I didn't want to take hormones on a regular basis, I'm now seriously considering discussing the pill or an IUD with my doctor. Would either of those help? The contraceptive aspect is also attractive as I'm well past the point where an accidental pregnancy would be ok. I know fertility declines with age and at 43 I should find it hard to get pregnant, but the way my body is behaving I think a pregnancy is easily possible. Plus my mum had me when she was 42 and my sister had her last child at 42 so as a family we've got form.

Has anyone got any ideas on what to try or experiences to share? Am I shallow caring so much about the spots? How long does this last? HELP!

Monday, 4 May 2009

The Veil

I have long despised the Islamic veil. Often I'm challenged on why it should bother me so much, especially here in a free country, why should it bother me if women choose to wear it?
Well today I read a paragraph which summed up why I loathe it so much:

"I look out of my study at the common and see a wife fully burkaed on a sunny day. She sits still. Her children and husband run around, laughing, playing cricket. She sits still, dead, buried, a ghost. She is complicit in her own degradation, as are countless others. Their acquiescence in a free democracy is a crime against their sisters who have no such choices in Saudi Arabia, Iran, Afghanistan and elsewhere."

From The Independent Monday 4th May by Yasmin Alibhai-Brown.

She is complicit in her own degradation. That's why I hate it. Why I will never be able to explain to my sons why some women are so brainwashed that they think it's ok to cover up, to hide themselves in case it inflames men. That women exist that collude in this ridiculous nonsense.

It makes me angry and I hate it and I won't apologise for the way I feel.

It's your right to wear it and my right to despise you for it.