Monday night mealtime finds a mum in meltdown: Beck Vass shares a rage-filled evening featuring a distracted husband, an origami dolphin and what she is certain are the world's naughtiest children.
I'm tired. My kids were horrendous all weekend and I am shattered with the emotional exhaustion of it. I know what it is. It is an entanglement of them being brats and me not taking enough time to "fill my bucket".
But here we are.
I was so annoyed by it, I barely slept on Sunday night.
I'd also had a fight with my husband (which I mentioned to three friends who all said they'd just had the exact same fight) regarding use of his phone/work computer at home, during which time he does not hear the kids, leaving me to deal with the fallout of kids acting out for attention and any related discipline. Ugh.
I basically went around in a fog for all of Monday.
By Monday evening, I am more tired than I have felt in ages.
Our son, 4, is walking around speaking into a cat figurine like it's a phone. It's a craft toy painted by our daughter and I am waiting for her to start screaming when she sees he has it.
I can't intervene because I have a frying pan with chicken spattering hot oil across the kitchen floor which is getting slippery and making a mess around the gas elements that will take me six years to clean off, a pot of veges boiling for a baby that never stops eating, another frying pan of veges and a tray of potatoes in the oven.
Our baby, 7 months, is on the floor on all fours grizzling, as he has done for much of the last three months, because he wants to crawl but can't, so he is permanently enraged by himself.
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The bath is running and somehow, I have to have them bathed, dried, fed, homework done and ready for bed very soon. Oh, how I want them in bed.
But dishes are mounting up and I am spilling things, creating more work and the kids are making more mess for every second I am stuck at the oven.
Over hissing frying pans, the oven fan and the grizzling baby, our daughter, 6, decides now is the time to ask me, repeatedly, in the whiniest voice you have ever heard, to make her an origami dolphin.
For the last few years, something I cling to for myself is simply my shower at the end of the day.
It is my 5-10 minutes to myself. At the moment, I share some of this time with our baby, and until today, I had not felt any sacrifice.
But, as I got into the shower I almost slipped. Then I saw all the bubbles.
The kids, who my husband had let have a shower with him that morning, had unscrewed the top off my shampoo and conditioner and wasted them.
A much-needed unwind shattered by a tsunami of rage about a dangerous situation (I could have slipped with the baby): the kids once again getting into things I have repeatedly asked them not to, the invasion of my small snippet of privacy, and their interfering with some of my very few personal items – all confirming that despite exhaustive efforts to teaching them otherwise, my children don't listen, are worse behaved than everyone else's children and don't respect anyone or anything, leading to the only possible conclusion: I AM FAILING AS A MOTHER.
I stormed out to rage-message a friend I had vented to earlier and found a Snapchat from another friend, her eyes filled with tears, saying "parenting is so hard sometimes".
Then, I had two simultaneous conversations with her and another friend about the exact same things.
One had been at work. Her three kids were awful in the supermarket on the way home then she endured two hours of them fighting and getting into things they weren't meant to while complaining to her about who did what to each other in whiny voices until she erupted in tears.
My other friend had similar fury about yet another mess her husband made that just never needed to happen and she was still exhausted from a foul mood from her daughter in a weekend similar to mine.
Someone will respond to this saying: "Careful, plenty of people wanted to have kids but can't."
Another will say: "It goes so fast, enjoy them while they are young."
Another will add: "Careful, you'll wish you can go back to these days, wait until they're teenagers."
None of it helpful.
Sometimes, you just need to vent with your friends.