My younger one is in discovery mode. If I pick a cup of tea, he wants to put a spoon in and stir, possibly drop some on him or me, so there goes my tea, my only vice for the day. He is also constantly under the weather and the only thing that satisfies him is my breast.When I pick up my meal, he would like to eat but he can’t so he’ll tug on it and push it away, till he is on my lap and latched on. Not to forget the nights, when he need to be fed through every minute. If I take the laptop, he will come pull it and move it away. He doesn’t want me doing anything but be with him.

And then there is my older one, who is a volcano of energy but stubborn beyond words. It also doesn’t help that he is being bullied at school, and I am a bully at home. Every action involve 5-6 instructions said 5-6 times, over and over again. Unfortunately, there are deadlines all across, 7.30 school time by which he has to have showered, fed and dressed. Then there are two meals in a day. Not to forget classes that he needs to leave for and timetable that needs to be organised. The drill, the yelling, the reminding, the trying to get things to run in an order. 

And there is my little promise to myself, to write everyday. When I sit and my head refuses to weave words, I feel so phoney. When I desperately want to churn words out, and my kid pulls the laptop away, I feel miserable. And when I have passed out in exhaustion next to a sleeping baby, I dream words. But then I have to chose between my sleep and my writing, and even when I choose my sleep, I still wake up exhausted. 

It has never felt so hard. the menial things I do, the so little I accomplish, they have never ever felt so hard. I have a maid who cleans up and an all day nanny but still I am exhausted. Mentally and emotionally. I seem to be at war with myself all the time. 

I wonder if this is how it is supposed to be. An hour of joy, an hour of drudgery. 
My baby and I spend hours laughing and squealing and playing in each others arms. And then for something teeny, he will throw a fit and become a pile of tears. I wonder if it’s from me he learns to be so difficult. Is it me that is raising kids so unhappy and so complicated? Or is it this way that life is? That children are? The questions they just pile on, build up, the pressure, the constant worry, the exhaustion. 

Will I ever be able to tell them how sorry I am for being so incompetent?
How sorry I am that my teat, my smile, my hold, my conversations, my constant involvement, every minute of every hour of every single day – nothing suffices… Nothing.
No matter hard I try, it shows for nothing. I get nothing right. 

I am a tired mother. 
I am worn when I am with them. I am torn when I am without them.
And if it isn’t the kid at home or school, it is the child begging on the street,
It is the barefooted boy selling flowers, it is the boy on my screen separated for safekeeping from his parents in a world of war.
It is the story of another overpowering emotion.
Motherhood, it taps into my every cell, my every emotion, all I feel is dreary exhaustion.
Would you understand when I tell you that my life is no longer mine?
They have laid claim on it.
It is suffocating, it is tiring, it is overwhelming.
And I want to let go, forget and stop feeling.
And if I could leave and disappear, I would. 
In the blink of an eye, I would.

Photo by Josh Willink from Pexels

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