I've been trying, really trying, lately, to be more present. But it kind of just sucks. It's made me realise how far I've fallen, and how easy it is, to just not care. It is much, much easier to not really parent, and just turn on the TV, and leave them to their own devices.
I'm really struggling at the moment, with being Mum.
This afternoon I tried. I did. They woke up from a sleep, and I played and laughed tried, and then, because a little girl said please, we went outside to go and blow bubbles. Only it didn't work. I made one batch of bubble mixture, and we ran outside with our assorted paraphernalia from the second drawer in the kitchen and.... Nada. Bubbles Mummy, Bubbles. The bubble mixture wouldn't make bubbles. We ran inside for more soap, once, twice, three times, and it was just no good. I tried again, made another batch, which was just as useless as the first. Bubbles Mummy, Bubbles.
I decided to give it one more go and even googled for a recipe, although excitement levels were dwindling as quickly as my detergent supply. I made a third batch, but it didn't work, and it just sucked. Biscuits Mummy, Biscuits. I went inside in defeat, handed them biscuits, and switched the TV on, added dish-washing liquid to the shopping list, and I felt.... nothing.
Somedays it's hard to believe that Peppa Pig isn't an adequate substitute.
All of my effort, all of my doing... just feels useless at the moment. I make fancy banana pikelets for breakfast to have nobody eat them, I clean up puzzles to watch them get dumped on the floor two seconds later. I just can't seem to get this right.
It is hard work, learning to stretch a fuse that has been too short for too long. Paying attention to every screech and cry and shout is a choice. It requires discipline, and mindfulness, and effort. Blocking things out, being numb? Is so much easier, in it's way. Being lazy was easy. And coming back, pulling myself (and my children) into line, is a choice, and sometimes it sucks.
Maybe, probably, I am just being too hard on myself. This week hasn't been an easy one so far. With Daddy away and a case of hand, foot and mouth, we are pretty well isolated. Georgie is having a fairly decent 'everything-is-yuck' phase. My good intentions just don't seem to last too long. Like bubbles, they build up big, unreasonable, unattainable and unsustainable.... and then they burst, and all that's left is a great big space.
Tomorrow is another day.