When the going gets tough

I've had a rough few days. I haven't been feeling my best physically, things haven't been going to plan with some aspects of our move, and to top it off, our less than one-year-old fridge broke down during the weekend three weeks before our move to Germany, which we've incidentally sold to someone who's waiting to pick it up on our last day in this house.

I won't go into all the details regarding our headache with the warranty and services not being provided, but at the moment, the fridge is still not fixed, and we're into our fourth day of not having a very essential piece of equipment in our home. I don't know if you've ever had to live without a fridge, but let me tell you now, it's stressful. Especially when you have little kids. In the summer months. Not only did we have to throw out all the groceries we just bought on Saturday morning (we tend to do a weekly shop based on a menu we've pre-planned for the week), we've also had to buy bags of ice everyday to keep the little chilly bin we have cold, which is currently stocked with essentials like butter and milk that I keep hoping will last through the next day.

We're also having to buy simple ingredients that won't perish quickly, and this is more challenging than it sounds, especially when we're down to one car and I can't just pop out quickly to the shops with the kids because the milk has gone sour. I'm used to having backup 'snacks' or meal options for the kids from the fridge/freezer, should something I cook not be to their liking, or simply if I'm too tired or there's not enough time. Stuff like nuggets or fish sticks that I can pop into the oven, frozen waffles for breakfast, cheese slices and etc. are a mum's saviour, and now I don't have a backup, which makes meal planning all the more stressful. We've also had to throw out all our sauces, condiments and etc from the fridge and I'm not keen on buying a replacement bottle of everything knowing we're leaving so soon. All in all, it's left me in a pretty stink mood and unfortunately my kids are bearing the brunt of it.

I'm impatient. I yell. I scold. When they're fighting with each other, I yell even more. I'm not smiling or laughing at their silliness, and even as I'm walking around completely aware and feeling guilty at what an awful mum I'm being, even as I hate myself for not being able to be the calm, cool and collected person I want to be in my mind, I can't seem to switch off the sense of frustration and anger and exhaustion I feel.

I've been making lists upon lists, trying to keep my head above water, keep on top of everything, making sure we will have what we need in Malaysia and then in Germany. Thinking about how to occupy the kids on our flight. Packing stuff to send ahead. Sorting stuff to be thrown out or donated. Deciding what to leave for the movers that will only arrive in 3-4 months. Figuring out all the hundreds of tiny details that is making up this monumental journey. And while all this is going on, I'm still waiting for my passport to be sent back from the German embassy with my visa stamp in it. It's been nearly two months. We're supposed to fly out in three weeks. Obviously I can't leave without my passport.

I'm up to my neck in stress and trying to be okay about all of it but I'm not. I'm emotional and angry and snappy and bursting into tears while watching Thomas the Tank Engine for the hundredth time with my boys. I'm unable to switch off. I can't sleep. I'm exhausted during the day. The boys are fighting constantly and I don't have the energy to distract them or the patience to deal with them calmly. And so it gets worse. I get worse. 

And then. THEN. Just when I think I'm at my limit, when I'm about to call it quits and I'm shutting myself in the room to cry, shutting the boys out, they both barge in. Liam climbs on to my lap and says, 'Mummy cry. Mummy sad,' as he tries to wipe my tears. Nolan sees my favorite soft, grey Christmas blanket folded on the floor, unwraps it, and drags it over to me and places it on my lap.

It's okay, mummy. They tell me with their sweaty little hands on my face and on my lap.

Don't cry, mummy. They forgive me even as I can't forgive myself.

We're okay, mummy. They love me, even when I'm not being very lovable.

And I find the strength to go on.



Comments

  1. It's ok to snap and yell. You are human and thankfully little kids forgive and forget a lot. I was recently sick for two months and at the end I was so angry and impatient with everyone, even my daughter. I couldn't believe how crazy I was acting! My poor husband got the worst of it. Those bad times happen to us all, no parent is perfect all the time. Hang in there, things will get better.

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