I got home from walking the dogs this morning and did something extraordinary-I baked a cake. Yes. A cake. First thing this morning because I saw a recipe on the net and decided I had the time. The time? Yes the time. As I folded the chocolate chips into the batter it occurred to me what I was doing. I stopped for a moment. Truly stopped and considered what I was doing. Was I on a hormonal high, had I hit my head unwittingly on my walk? Why exactly was I making this cake apart from the reason I could? Was it asked for? No, there was no reason apart from the fact I felt like it. It was easy to do.
Had I considered doing this last year? Hell no it wouldn’t have even entered my mind. Everything last year especially towards the end of last year was an effort. Being a wife, mother and me was an effort. A real effort. Some days I would roll over and go Christ another day really. The mundane it was horrible. I know it was a choice and I did my best but I was tired of being a mother, truly and I say that because I can and its allowed I am human and no one suffered in the making of this story; well maybe a little but I swear it was for its their own good.
Yes I can hear the gasp and no doubt I will lose a few but that’s okay I have learnt to walk the walk and talk the talk. I’m okay if my honesty offends you. Truly. So I will now contradict myself as I feel the need to explain not only because it’s part of the story but because I don’t want you to judge me without knowing the whole story.
Now it’s fairly well known to most of you but for those who don’t know; I have no family here in my sweet country town. I do but I don’t you know. It’s their choice as well as mine. It works for us. I have my parents who fly down as often as they can and I have amazing neighbours who without I would have surely killed my children. They right there represent what family means to me. So husband works away four weeks on and off and I (we) do love it. So I have it good for six months of the year but those other six months were until now hard work especially for the first few years. FIFO or not motherhood is hard work. So apart from my husband and when I asked my neighbour I had no support. No one to fling the kids off too when I need too; I had to find the time somewhere between the stuff. Sometimes I would turn the TV on and run the hill or play hide and seek. I would hide and they wouldn’t seek me for 20 minutes while I sat, drank coffee and read a book in the laundry cupboard by torch light; it’s true. This life was my choice and desperate times called for desperate measures.
I remembered a dear friend saying to me; it’s hard now but it’s worth it in the end give it a couple of years. That was when my youngest was born. I think I grunted at her. How could it get easier? They always needed me. There was always stuff to do never a chance to stop and breathe. Everything was just so damn hard. Now I am well aware I chose to have three babies all deliberately spaced a year apart. It was my choice to live this way. So it was my choice just to suck it up and get on with the job at hand and do the best I could. I have no right to whinge; all of this was my (our) choice but let’s be honest some days as a mother can suck really suck. We can make boats, read books, make play dough from scratch, make puppets out of socks, we can blow bubbles from our own spit, make things go bang and we can watch High Five fifty times over and still it can suck for everyone involved. It can. We work a tough cliental.
I tried for five years but I was getting tired. I wasn’t enough especially towards the end of last year. I take my hat off to all home schoolers really I do. Now to cover all facts of the story and further justification for me saying motherhood can suck. What about day care? I used day care for two years when I was at my most tired for one day a week but because we no longer qualified for subsidies I could not justify the extraordinary money we paid, so I dropped it and things although easier became hard again. Again my decision. I am not complaining, I am explaining there is a difference at least in my head.
Fast forward to today me in my kitchen baking a cake because you know I have the desire and time. I have two kids in school one at kindy. They can do stuff for themselves because of good training I like to think and they do stuff for me including their own washing I’m not boasting just saying it can be done. The house is clean. The washing is done. I’m baking cakes and I am happy and so are the kids. I am not saying they were the problem no they weren’t but it was me doing it all on my own meant it was not fun any more. Being a mum was not cracking up to the romantic notion I had in my head. Nothing was or seemed easy; now it is. It really is that simple. Now they come home from school; we have afternoon tea and eat things I baked for them and I listen to them about their day and they ask about mine. I’m doing this motherhood FIFO gig better than ever; homework and all.
She was right my friend it does get easier. I’m still a full time mum. I’m still a full time fifo wife and I’m still doing everything but its okay. I’m okay with that because in between the stuff I have some time to breathe catch my breath. I can go to the toilet on my own. Wear white from 9am-3pm without fear of getting hand prints around my bum and going to town like that and I can finally stop reading my books by torch light. So all of you who roll over and think great another day of cleaning Weetbix off the wall. It gets easier. Truly it does. Trust me I wouldn’t be off to bake my husband a cake if it didn’t.