I recently called my mum and bawled my eyes out like an adult baby. A 30-something-year-old baby, wearing a big baby nappy, crying to her mummy, sucking her thumb and sooking up a storm.
It went something like this:
Mum: ‘Hi Al’
Me: ‘Muuuummmm…mummma….mum,’ sob, sob, gasp, sob.
Mum: ‘What’s wrong honey?’
Me: ‘Whaaa… mummmma… it’s hard.’ Sob, sob, boogers, tears. ‘It’s hard and I’m tired and there’s nothing to eat and I hate my internet provider because they’re mean. Mummmammum…’
Mum: ‘Oh. Ok. I will come down. You’re crying like a baby. I can’t understand what you’re saying. How’s my little boy?’
And with that, my mum is driving down from the country over three hours away to be with me. Ok, I admit it, she just wants to be Granny Peanut and hold and squeeze her only grandson and show me how to wipe his nose, but that’s ok.
My husband is a chef. He’s a real hard worker: so am I. He works some nights; so do I. We wing it – every day. We work out who is doing the day care run the night before, and sometimes it changes during the day. The only tricky thing is that, as a chef, you can’t work from home. As a publicist, you can. Sometimes. So, quite often when it comes to the crunch, it is me who has to re-prioritise at a minute’s notice. And that’s ok. BUT! For the past three weeks, my husband has had to work both weekend days and a bucket-load of nights. Normally, that’s fine and totally acceptable. I have a mighty fine friendship circle to play with on the weekend, but I haven’t had a chance for almost four weeks to switch off. And I have to admit, I’ve turned a bit loopy.
I’m buggered, but I don’t have time to be buggered. I’ve been sick, but I haven’t had time to be sick because my son has also been sick. I’ve lost weight, but I haven’t been taking my dog for his regular daily 2-hour walk. It’s simply because I’ve forgotten to eat. The house looks like a derelict brothel, the fridge is empty, the car is almost out of petrol, the sheets need to be changed, the dishwasher smells, there are loads of washing everywhere, there are emails fighting me for my time, there’s deadlines, there’s dog poo in the yard, there’s something in the hallway that I keep stubbing my toe on, there’s unopened mail, I’ve given up putting toilet paper on the roller thing, and the front garden looks like our house has been taken over by squatters. I feel like I have failed.
Earlier this week, I caught the train to work, fell asleep and woke up in Richmond. I wasn’t even wearing a winter coat, simply because I forgot to. Passengers must have thought I had had a big night out on the turps.
So, I called my mum and cried; like a baby… in a the fetal position, surrounded by Duplo and half-written press releases, with A Current Affair blaring in the background.
Mum arrives tomorrow and I can guarantee that within minutes, the house will be sparkling without me noticing her cleaning. There will be a mince dish in the oven, a hot tea in my hand, books for my son, which she will be reading to him on the floor, and some kind of sweet treat or fresh bread from the Beechworth Bakery. Within minutes, everything will be better.
The last three weeks have been slightly hellish – Alfie has cut six teeth like a shark. Surely that’s all of them by now? He goes to sleep (and my God, some nights I can’t wait until he goes to sleep), then wakes up screaming at 2 am. So loud, that even my husband wakes up (yay!). It takes hours to get him back to sleep, then bam! he crashes, my husband crashes, I crash; then our alarms go off and I cry a little inside. When did our 16-month-old turn into a newborn baby again? I’m feral.
Work is like a break. I drink hot tea all day and I’m in control of my situation. However, as soon as I hit that train platform and the loud speaker announces that my train is delayed, I start to crash and turn feral all over again. I get to day care, pick up my little man, hit the old home peak hour between 6 pm and 7 pm: tea, bath, story, bed struggle and cross my fingers and toes that he goes to sleep easily so I can pass out on the couch in front of The Block.
So, I need to know: how do mums, as in our mums, have everything so together considering they are that: mums. Am I the only mum that cries to her mum like a baby about anything from my internet provider service operator being mean to me, to the fact that Channel Ten keeps cutting out? I don’t think I cried to my mum before I became a mum myself? I wonder if my mum cries to her mum about things as pathetic as slugs in the garden? I’m going to ask her when she gets here tomorrow; but, before any questions are asked of my mum, I’m going to take off my leggings that I’m wearing as pants, slide into my freshly washed sheets and take a long sweet nap with a tummy full of bakery treats.