The realisation occurred at 3:25pm that I had become The Help. I am here to help, look after, clean, cook and all the rest.
My eldest forgot to take his clarinet to school today and, I assume, because he got a bit tearful about the fact he’d get in trouble they decided to give me a call. 9:30am, only being home 20 minutes after the initial school run, I managing to have breakfast and feed the little one. “Dylan forgot his clarinet, could you bring it in for him?” Obviously, I obliged. But on the way I cussed. “I was contemplating taking the little one to the park… I could have been out!.. I could be busy, why assume I’m ready for every beck and call?” However, today, I was.
There’s been a slow transition towards becoming The Help. I started off as a make-up artist, and whilst it wasn’t every day, the hours were long. I could be gone from 5am- 2am the following morning, so my time wasn’t so disposable. As the ratio of children to adults in the home increased, I decided that I should remain home and be “the mum”. I didn’t realise it would mean my soul belonged to others in return for doing that. Trust me, motherhood looked appealing. It looked like baking and drawing and cartoons! I had fun as a kid, so this is my time to share it with kids all over again. Erm, no. No. My life is making sure Dad doesn’t starve and finds clean clothes out of thin air. My life is making sure the baby doesn’t kill himself by going head first down the stairs. My life is being the bitch who’s constantly saying no and dealing with tantrums from age 0 to (currently) 9 and three quarters.
It’s difficult enough remaining sane, especially when you’re tested outside of the home. Manipulative behavior often begins around friends and grandparents. Tears over having to eat things they normally eat at home. Tears over having to read for 15 minutes before they play computer games. God forbid I be so hard. Then, the outsider’s comments: “Some people think your kids are a bit spoilt”, “You seem to be quite hard on them”, “Why can’t you just let them do what they want?”. Why can’t you kindly mind your business? You’re not raising my children, and hopefully you never will. Sigh.
The constant parenting 24 hours a day hopefully will ensure they don’t turn out to be shit people. I don’t want to be responsible for shit people existing on this earth, thanks. But do the kids get it? When will they realise that I’m not just here to serve? 3:35pm the conversation around the clarinet annoyed me. After explaining that it’s not my responsibility to bring his instrument to school he got upset. I asked why- “Because I have so much to do in the morning and mums are supposed to be there for their children”. Admittedly I was taken aback. I held my chest as if I took a bullet. You little ungrateful little… pause… ok, is this MY fault? Am I an enabler? Have I made it too easy? I thought I was the “strict parent”. the “tough loving one”? I AM NOT HERE TO SERVE. And whilst, yes, I am here for you, I’m not here to be a servant. The phrase “there for you” has been taken to the extreme, kid. Yes, you have stuff to do, but so do I, and as a 9-year-old, your things are your responsibility.
The rant could have ensued for the next hour the way I felt. I saw the rum when we got in and would have happily had a punch, but no. This is no biggy. I ended it with that simple explanation. Perhaps I’ve been too available? Or more than likely the 9-year-old thinks that this house runs on unicorn farts and ready-meals. I just sit around all day painting my nails and watching the Kardashians. He WILL get it, they will get it, because there’s no way I’m doing this for fun. Because it’s not fun. The bad times are bad and I’m always at the end of it. But it’s for a good reason, I simply will not and can not be the mother of shitty adults. Whether they like me or not. I’m the enabler. The bitch, call me mum.
Sareta Fontaine is the founder of Kiki Blah-Blah; a modern lifestyle blog aimed initially at mum’s but has since grown. Since 2016, Sareta has worked on the platform, both designing and creating a space for other bloggers to share their thoughts and feelings, while also sharing hers.