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A Letter to my Family(6 Posts)
To my family, for all the times when I’m short tempered I’ll try and explain a little. I never knew how hard this would be. I didn’t realise I was signing up to be housemaid, cook, pot washer, personal shopper, chauffeur, counsellor, locator of anything missing, lender, dog walker, punchbag, nurse as well as mother and wife.
To my daughters, when you were small there were countless times I picked you up when you fell, tried to comfort you when you were ill, held your hair back when you were sick, had sleepless nights by your bed to make sure that you were ok and so that you didn’t feel alone. Made sure that you got the right treatment so that you could walk without needing surgery, attended countless sessions of speech therapy. Dealt with more pain than I would wish on anyone so that you didn’t suffer. Listened to your stories and your worries, hugged you when you seemed to need a hug, held back when it seemed you didn’t. I know I didn’t always get that right.
As you’ve grown our relationships have changed. I’ve cheered you on through the ups and downs and twists and turns of your life. I attended as many sports days, Christmas plays, special assemblies and parents evenings as I possibly could. I’ve laid awake at night listening for you to come home safely, been terrified from afar when you’ve run into trouble and gotten up and dressed and headed out into snowy nights to meet you. I think you know that I would wade through hell fire to protect you and god help anyone that would dare hurt you.
I’ve weathered the sarcastic blows that you’ve landed and sometimes I don’t know if it’s the verbal or the physical blows that have left the greatest hurt.
I’ve tried to grit my teeth and smile through seeing the girl who used to be my shadow recoil in horror at my attempts to give a hug. I can’t pretend that it doesn’t hurt because it hurts me deeply.
I’ve cried a small ocean of tears over the last few years.
The dog is adorable but I wish I’d stuck with my instinct which told me that no matter what you said it would be me that would be picking up the poo from the garden, taking him for walks and cutting short what I wanted to do because he doesn’t have a choice about how long he’s left alone for.
To my husband, when you’re out enjoying your hobbies, meeting your mates in the pub, watching the football and fulfilling everything else you want to do I’m glad it makes you happy. From the 20+ years of lads weekend breaks, the skiing holidays that I’ve given my best to (unsuccessfully) play a full part in to the festivals at the start and end of the summer holidays that have meant we’ve never had a summer holiday together as a family in twenty years. I hope that you’ve enjoyed them. For all the gigs that you’ve been to I’m happy that you got to go.
When you’re out doing what you enjoy I’m often battling a supermarket trolley around the isles, trying to figure out what to make to eat and struggling with the heavy bags. Or I’m doing some other domestic job that I truly hate doing but that needs to be done
To all of you. Right now I think I’ve given just about all that I can give.
Our relationship is not one of mutual respect, it’s one where you take me for granted,
What do I wish for? Whimsical things like the theatre, the opera, the ballet. Things I know that I’m alone in enjoying. But I can dream. Holidays every once in a while that don’t include inches of mud or feet of snow. The occasional moment of not being the one who has to decide what to cook for a determined carnivore and two vegetarians. For someone else to have sorted out the evening meal, for someone to say “we’ll clear up after tea, you cooked it”. For people to pick up after themselves. Walk the dog instead of being glued to your phone, iPad or the telly, if for no other reason do it so it’s one less job for me to do. I’d like occasionally not to feel like I’m being taken for granted…...it’s not a lot to ask really.
I’d like to live in a family where everyone realises that they have to pull their weight for the ship to sail in the right direction. Sometimes that means doing something you don’t want to or finding time to do something so that I don’t constantly have to pick up the slack. Being part of a family sometimes means making sacrifices, I feel that I’ve made more than my fair share. I honestly don’t know that I’m prepared to make many more, I’m truly weary of it.
Goose11 wow very long and articulate letter. I can see no one replied. I can relate. How are you feeling any better. Hope the new year is starting ok. Have you got better habits at home with help. I struggle as well.
A great piece of writing. I would consider booking yourself some time away or going to stay with a friend leaving a print out of this sellotaped to the kettle and a note saying 'taking my holiday entitlement, see you in X days.
I personally would do what you want to do. Everyone else clearly is. If you want to go to the ballet, book tickets. If you don’t want to go to festivals, don’t go to festivals. If you value yourself and what you want to do then other people will value you too. It sounds like you have been waiting for everyone else to realise you have needs too and for them to meet them. You don’t have to wait. You meet your own needs. If you don’t want to walk the dog tell them they walk it or it goes. If you don’t want to cook two vegetarian meals tell them they can cook themselves or eat meat. I hope things get better for you.
Thanks guys......the trials and tribulations of being a wife and mum. Rings true as much today as it did when I wrote it. I’m still here, still battling on. Good days and bad days like many of us have. X
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