It feels like life is swaddled in uncertainty at the moment. None of it overwhelming, but all of it a little irritating, like the grains of sand stranded in your shoe after a playground visit.
- We voted last Thursday and we still do not know who will govern our country. And while this outcome is nothing but a reflection of a (healthily) divided electorate, the power vacuum that has resulted frustrates me no end! I applaud Gordon Brown for stepping down in the best interests of the Labour Party and the country in general, but I find the courtship of Nick Clegg from all sides a little nauseating.
- My daughter is taking strain at the moment. When I collect her from school, whether it’s at midday (Tues and Thurs) or at 3pm (Mon, Wed and Fri), I am most often confronted by a little banshee in a floral uniform. While I watch the other children skip happily toward their waiting mothers, I steel myself to deal with the issue of the day. Her post-school moods are horrific, and are often accompanied by very public, feet-stamping tantrums. These are difficult to deal with at the best of times, but never more so than when surrounded by a group of well-groomed Surrey mums, smiling benignly at the incompetent foreigner. Thing is, I know K needs to let off steam after a full day of obedience, structure and concentration. I know this. I know she is a good girl at school, and this takes its toll. I also know she is by far the youngest in her class and therefore slightly less well equipped to deal with the demands of the long school day. So I’m trying to straddle the line between being a safe container for her moods and explosions, and teaching her that her behaviour is simply not acceptable. But how do I do both? How do I contain and discipline at the same time? How do I know when to support and when to admonish? Truth is, I just don’t. And the uncertainty leads to a lack of confidence which leads to stress and frustration, which often lead to bad decisions in those heated moments, which lead to yet more maternal guilt and an inadequately supported child.
- To breed or not to breed. The other area of uncertainty is if/when to have another child. This decision is so personal/unique to each couple, and is agonised over by mommy bloggers the world over so I won’t add my thoughts to a saturated topic, but suffice it to say it is yet another area of frustrating uncertainty. Following from that decision, I need to figure out what to do with my life beyond parenting. (Beyond parenting, I ask myself? Is there life outside of parenting? Can it be only four years since I entered this all-consuming bubble of maternal awe, guilt and emotional exhaustion?). I long ago discarded my desire to train as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. The substantial time commitment and financial burden rendered it infeasible. So, like thousands of other SAHMs the world over, I find myself mulling over small business ideas; products or services I could ideally arrange around school holidays, childhood illnesses etc. And this is no easy task.
- Well, the sun has gone to bed and so must I. Quite why I’m singing Sound of Music songs to myself when I’m still so disappointed about the hugely anti-climactic Julie Andrews concert on Saturday night I do not know… But, do I light the path to slumber with a few pages of Stephenie Meyer’s Breaking Dawn or Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go?