These days I feel like a single mother, something which I actually resent as I'm not a single mother, nor the boys only parent, yet I am having to do everything on my own. I understand that Jacek has to work, he is the main provider for our household, but when those hours run into unpaid overtime, I would rather he was here helping me with the kids and spending time with them - something they both desperately want, instead of wasting time away doing something that doesn't even bring us extra income.
It's days like these when I become someone I really hate - a shouty mother. I honestly hate raising my voice, but being left alone with two young children day in, day out and being their sole carer, can be enough to drive anyone gaga. I try to keep my cool, be patient, understanding and attentive as best I can, but there are times when that shouter in me just has to come out and it's these times when I feel like a really bad mother.
After I've released the shouter I can feel guilt for hours after, agonising and reflecting on how I should have handled the situation better and not have resorted to shouting to get my point across, but the reality is, I'm human and the vocation of being a mother, whilst bringing a lot of joy and wonderful moments, can also bring a lot of bouts of frustration and "what the hell are you doing?!" moments.
There are days when I just want to stay in bed, days when Tyler chirping "Good morning Mummy, it's morning, get out of bed!" are not even enough for me to want to get up and begin the whole rigmarole that is parenting two young boys by myself again. There are times when I spend far too much time on my phone, not paying attention to the games Tyler's making up and acting out in front of me and I wish I could just put the phone down and join in with his imaginary scenarios - because believe me, he has an absolutely amazing imagination, but honestly, I don't really like playing his games, especially as they always seem to centre around his bloody toy washing machines... That's awful isn't it? What kind of monster doesn't even want to play with her own children?
Another parenting task which I fail on is dinner making... I can't even describe in words how much I hate making dinners, especially as it usually ends up being scraped into the bin and I'm left wondering why I even went to the both. Yet I know they need to be fed healthy, nutritious meals so I have to do it, but honestly, it really feels like, and probably will always feel like, a chore.
These are all the things that make me a bad mother.
It's days like these when I feel like the worst person in the world and am left on a complete downer.
On days like these it doesn't matter that I carried them both for nine months - not drinking, smoking, putting them in harms way, simply because I loved them before I even met them.
It doesn't matter that I get up with them both every morning, greet them with kisses and cuddles, get them fed and ready for the day ahead.
It doesn't matter that I plan days out for them, simply because I want them to have fresh air and some fun outside the house for awhile during the day. It also doesn't matter that these excursions usually end up meaning a drive to a playground half an hour away just because it's Tyler's favourite one.
On days like these it doesn't matter that I go down slides, climb up on things I'm far too big for, run after my eldest with him squealing "Catch me if you can!" in sheer delight, bring him to places which bring out all sorts of social anxiety in me simply because he enjoys being there and pretend to be a whole host of characters with funny voices, to make him and his baby brother laugh, even though I know I sound and look like a complete lunatic.
It doesn't matter that I do make them those dinners I hate doing so much, that we have warm, cosy snuggles on the couch, prolonged bath times purely because they enjoy splashing the bubbles all around the floor and 'washing the windows' (the shower door).
It doesn't matter that I read so many bedtime stories at Tyler's request that my voice is two minutes short of disappearing completely, that I tuck them both in, give them lots of love and happy thoughts that if they go sleep soundly "the fairies will bring them sweet dreams" and that I check on them multiple times during the night so I know they're safe and warm.
It doesn't matter that I do things simply to put a smile on their little faces, that they are my entire world and that I've basically neglected myself completely because I've been so focused on being there for them.
It doesn't matter that I cry over worry about them, especially Tyler at the moment, feeling helpless that I can't do anything to make things better or get the answers we so desperately need so we can make decisions about his future.
Nor does it matter that I give them everything - my time, my love, my money - because lets face it, it all goes on them.
On days when I think I'm a bad mother all these things don't matter, but really, they are the only things that should matter.
Yes I shout and it's awful, it makes me feel like the worst person on Earth. I'm not too keen on playing games, but I'm trying, simply because it makes the boys happy. Dinners will always be a chore for me but I still make them and maybe one day that cook waiting to be released inside me will be a bit more adventurous than the old reliables!
At the end of the day, us mother's are all just doing our best and if it involves raising our voices from time to time, preferring to scroll through Instagram instead of playing another game of washing machines and ordering a takeaway on occasions when dragging yourself to make a dinner that no one will eat, are just too much... then so be it.
All the things that make us good mothers far outweigh the bad and it will be the love and happy memories and experiences that we've created for our children that will stick in their minds forever, not the times that 'shouty mum' came out because nobody could do what they were bloody well told.
On these 'bad mother days' I will read this post and be reminded of all the good things I do for my two boys, because these are the things that truly matter.