“All you had to do was give him his milk bottle!” hissed the Husband in a state of disbelief when young Archie decided to get up from the comfort of my lap, run across the landing into the main bathroom and barge into his sister’s bath session, Milkies in hand. Then proceeded to lob said bottle against her head and collective screaming ensued immediately.
Yes. All I had to do was give my 18month old son his bottle, for sure, which sounds a fairly manageable undertaking – if you haven’t recently suffered a brain injury.
What was only meant as a throw away line by Andrew (although delivered with a slightly dramatic sigh) stung. A lot.
Am I not even capable of feeding my own child? What kind of mother am I?
It’s not that I don’t WANT to do something (in this case get up, run after the A bomb and pick him up before he can use Milkies as a potentially lethal weapon on his sis), but that I simply can’t, because I fear I will trip, faint or drop him. Or I am just so damned tired. Staying seated in the armchair listening to the scene unfold next door seemed the less stressful option at the time, although I can of course completely understand that that also means offloading that lovely toddler/ preschool screaming duo to my husband. Deal with it. And that’s not fair either.
I’m not lazy and I’m not an idiot. I still understand what needs doing to keep the children fed, bathed, clothed and cuddled. But sometimes I just have to admit to myself that I can’t. Brain fog will stop me from jumping out of an armchair to tend to their screaming, or giving in to reading the 27th story of the day. It makes me feel so useless and I’m wrecked with guilt. I’ll always try, but sometimes I have to admit defeat.
Luckily brain fog goes away after a while, but only if I get a good rest phase in. That means no phone, no lights, no chat, and certainly no parenting. It’s difficult to have to keep explaining the situation in my head, because every time it brings home what a loser mum I then feel, and I quite frankly don’t know what else to say to explain how it feels (I think I’ve described it as a mix of jet lag, overdone it in the gym and a glass of wine too many).
What’s lovely to see though is how kids adopt. Even young Archie seems to sense when mummy needs a rest now, and to experience my daughters (occasional) kindness is heart warming.
So, as my husband has always focused on the more physical activities with the kids anyway, I’ll carry on leaving fun bath times to him 👏🏻