I’ve been in a bad mood for three consecutive weeks now.
I don’t know what’s going on. I’m just perpetually grumpy. I’ve also, miraculously, gained more wrinkles, and spots. At the same time. SPOTS. I’m nearly 30, for crying out loud. How can I have fine lines around my eyes and acne at the same time?!
Smug sixteen-year-old me was so happy about having smooth, problem-free skin. I hate her.
Also some days I look pregnant. I am not pregnant, I am just … flabby around the middle. My baby is now seventeen months old, so I can no longer blame it on ‘having had a baby five minutes ago’. Also, my hair, which isn’t known for its obedience, has gone completely up the wall. It’s like every single strand can’t decide which way it wants to go and decides to try and point upwards instead.
*MINISCULE PROBLEMS KLAXON*
Anyway, it occurred to me that I am perpetually stressed because I have decided, somewhere along the line, that every single moment of my waking life must be productive. I have forgotten how to just do nothing. I’m constantly doing things, and if I’m not doing things, I am doing things in my brain. (That didn’t come out right). But do you understand what I mean? My mind is just constantly whirring. If I sit still, I feel bad about it. Because I could be exercising! Or meal prepping! Or blogging! Or doing something strategic on social media that I haven’t figured out yet! Or budgeting! Or preparing something fun for my kids to do tomorrow! Or learning about Chartism!
(Side note: Chartism is actually really interesting. Who knew.)
Consequently I am as tense as a wound-up … spring. I feel like I’m going to explode. (My metaphor fell apart slightly). It doesn’t help that my son is going through a stroppy phase and has inexplicable tantrums about absolutely nothing. Also, it doesn’t help that my daughter keeps catching me at the exact wrong moment:
Daughter: (Playing happily with ponies)
Me: (Decides to make important phone call)
Daughter: (Somehow senses I am doing something important) ‘Mummy. Mummy. Mum. Mum. MUM. MUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM.’
Me: *hissing* ‘I’m on the phone! I’ll talk to you in a minute!’
Daughter: ‘But it’s REALLY IMPORTANT.’
Me: ‘It’s also important that I get this appointment, so can you just -‘ (hold music stops) ‘Oh, hi, can I book an appointment to see …’
Daughter: (Increasing volume) ‘So MUMMY. I had a dream about a bumblebee? And the bumblebee got really big and then I just felt like, scared, but then I talked to it and it told me its name and its name was -‘
Me: ‘SHH a minute! Sorry. Have you got any appointments tomorrow?’
Daughter: ‘I can’t remember what the rest of it was now. Can I have an apple?’
Me: ‘Yes, yes, have an apple. Sorry, not you. Have you got any appointments next week?’
Son: (Suddenly appears at my feet with his arms aloft) ‘AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGHHH MUMMEEEEEE.’
Daughter: (Pulls chair across the kitchen making a hideous loud scraping noise)
Son: (Trips over own feet; bursts into tears)
Me: (Cries inside) (Books appointment to see a doctor in 2022)
Also she always wants to do something really creative and fun at precisely the wrong moment. She’ll come up with an excellent idea at 8.23 when we need to leave the house at 8.25 at the absolute latest.
Having said all that, I obviously adore them, and sometimes I look at them and feel like I might explode with adoration for them.
They just drive me a little bit mad. Sometimes.
It’s not really them, though. It’s me. I’ve forgotten how to just sit there and have fun. To not worry. I’ve somehow decided the answer to every single problem is in fact, me, when really I am rarely the answer to any problem (except maybe ‘we need someone that’s really good at hyperbole! Who can we call…?’).
I just need to remember that I am not, in fact, in charge of everything.
And I need to remember to just enjoy myself. And take some time off. To watch stupid videos and laugh. To diffuse a child’s tantrum by doing a ridiculous dance or something.
To do something I enjoy for the sake of it.
Like I’m doing right now.
And, actually, I feel a lot better.