This morning I declared that today was going to be a fabulous day. I felt it in my bones. William slept until 5.30am (with his usual nightly feeds) instead of his usual 3.30am "wake-up & don't go back to bed" ritual and I felt like I had won the lottery. I even texted my sister and mum to share the good news. Yep - today was going to be a good one.
So, when I realised that I needed to do a few jobs in town, I jumped at the chance to get the kids in the car and get out of the house! For all I knew, I had 5 1/2 magical hours of uninterrupted sleep - I could climb mountains today! I needed a few things from the grocery store, a few Easter presents, some new colouring in books for Macie (and maybe me), a little birthday present for her friend and the dreaded trip to Centrelink with two kids in tow (every Mum can relate with me here). We were driving out of the driveway by 8.15am with the kitchen clean, laundry done and 2 happy babies in the back. Imagine me doing power fists in the air - I rock!
Get to town and put the kids in the pram. On our last trip to town William had declared his hatred for the pram so I had been trialling it out at home and managed to convince him that it's not all that bad with two walks around the farm without any dramas. WRONG! Master William decided to scream the town down....literally.
Imagine me walking down the street, one hand on the pram trying to steer, the other arm holding Will - all while trying to do "the smile"....you know that smile that Mums do when we want everyone to think that we have our lives in control but really we just want the ground to swallow us up??
And to make things worse, I didn't have Heath sign the form that I needed to drop into Centrelink. That's right folks....I have to do it all again tomorrow.
While feeding William in the car as Macie watched her DVDs on the portable player, I rang Heath in tears. I was brutally honest and declared I felt like a failure. I couldn't even do a trip to town without drama...and to make it even worse, I didn't even get one job done. Like any good husband, Heath reassured me and told me to come home and try again tomorrow.
Then I get a text message from my beautiful friends - "Coffee at hers, everyone invited". Have I ever told you how much I seriously love unplanned coffee dates...especially when I am in town? It is like she had a premonition that we all needed to fuel up on friendship and support. William finished his bottle and was passed out from his "I hate Town" antics (like any man really) and proceeded to sleep for an hour while we laughed, confided and cried over hot coffee. Who would have thought that this Mummy thing could be the hardest yet most rewarding job in the world?
Can you believe that after a refuel of coffee and friendship, I was able to do the grocery shop with two happy babies? I promise I am not lying when I say that Macie and I even had fun doing the shopping while Will slept in the trolley.
It is so easy to doubt myself as a Mother and declare I am a failure. Even though I have two kids who are happy and healthy.
It is so easy to apologise to Heath when he comes home and the house is a mess. Even though it's messy because I have been playing or cuddling my babies for the afternoon.
It is TOO easy to curse myself for being a complete scatter brain (I sent my brother-in-law a "Happy Fathers Day" card for his birthday!). Even though I am only getting 4 hours sleep a night.
It was that lightbulb moment as I was driving home that I am simply too hard on myself....and I know a lot of mums that are too. We blame the pressures from society to fit the "Perfect Mum" mould but secretly we are the only ones that put the pressure on ourselves. We are all successful, beautiful, loving mothers who love their children unconditionally. Failure shouldn't even be in our vocabulary....
So next time my town trip turns to shit like it did this morning, I know what I will be doing. I will be sending out an "SOS" to my friends - for it's them that pulled me up today, dusted me off, cuddled me warmly....and most importantly, made me feel comfortable enough to be honest with how I was feeling. Being honest is extremely liberating for me.
Never underestimate the power of friendship. It truly is a magical thing.