Friday, 25 March 2011

Just not good enough.

Excuse me while I get a little grumpy and self-pitying.

Seriously. That's a warning.  If you're looking for uplifting, inspiring or happy, click away now.

There's nothing actually wrong at the moment, but at the same time nothing's actually quite right either.

I've worked solidly today, not stopping for lunch, or B, who's here working too and periodically wants distracting for five minutes: reading files, analyzing missing areas, emailing people who might have the information and getting to within half an hour of having to pick up the girls with nothing actually to show for it other than a table covered in pieces of paper which are no longer in their orderly piles and will probably take longer than the available half hour to clear up.

There's nothing wrong, we all have days like that, and it probably will actually turn out to have been quite productive, when these people get back to me, but for the moment, it feels not good enough.

Once I've got the girls I've got some lovely people coming round for kids' tea and adults' drinks.  The thing is, I really like these people.  In a really sad way, I want them to be our friends. We've been trying to arrange a meet up for months and this is the first time it's happened.  Only B arranged it. And he's arranged it for 5 pm on a Friday evening, when I'm tired, the girls are tired and our standard children's supper is eggy bread and baked beans.  And of course I can give the lovely people's children eggy bread and baked beans, but it's hardly impressive is it? It doesn't say: I really like you and I went to lots of effort for you.    It says, Well, that's fine and it'll do, but it's not really good enough.

There's no food in the house either.  It's been cheese sandwiches for lunch all week. Which is fine because B's working in the office while the builders are here, so it's only me, but it still hardly the mybodyisatempleandababygrowingtempleatthat regime that I'm apparently supposed to be following is it?  Plus there's only so inspirational I can be for supper with half a manky swede, two leeks and a bag of pasta...

I'm cross with the builders too. It's their fault. They were brilliant and superb for the first two months, but the pace has slowed and although what they're doing is still of fantastic quality and they're pleasant and smiley and tidy it just feels like things aren't happening as quickly as I'd like them to.  I can't help feeling that some of that's my fault too - they want me to make decisions, which I can't, because samples don't arrive, or B and I suddenly find we really care about the precise shade of floor tile and put off a decision because it's easier than arguing about it, or I find something I like but I can't rid myself of the feeling that if I just spent another ten minutes on the internet I'd find something I liked more, and cheaper  - and I'm just getting to the stage where I want it done.

I don't feel like a good mother at the moment either - I can't get through five minutes without asking the little ones if they need a wee; which is understandable, but doesn't make for fun parenting, and L's driving me mad.  I came down the stairs with a load of washing this morning to find her going up. I said "Downstairs please L, it's time to go to nursery" and, well, and she solemnly kept going up.  And I could have screamed and shouted, but instead I just felt utterly defeated.  If I can't get her to do something as innocent as go downstairs when I want her to, what hope have I got with the big stuff?

I'm a rubbish friend too. We were supposed to be down South this week, seeing people we love. We cancelled, for all sorts of very valid and understandable being utterly exhausted reasons. And I know they understand, but it doesn't stop me feeling bad. As does the 73 unanswered messages on my facebook, and the not quite so many, but just as important ones in my inbox.  Because these people matter to me, and I'm not treating them like they do.

Let's not get on to being a wife either.  Pants with Names made me laugh this week recounting that her son had told her that he wanted to marry someone just like her when he grew up. Only less grumpy.  The problem is I suspect B feels rather the same...

And I just feel rubbish.   My legs need waxing, my toenails need painting, my eyebrows need plucking and all my trousers are falling down.  And the girls don't care, and B doesn't care (is that a good thing or a bad thing, I never know?) but it still adds to the general disgruntledness.

In the grand scheme of things that matter, this blog is pretty low on the list, but I don't feel like I'm doing that well either.  I'm not proud of it at the moment, and given it's another one of my babies, even if not one that needs its bottom wiped, that bothers me too.

And my chair I'm re-covering isn't working, and I'm a year and a bit behind with the photographs, and the bins all need emptying, and I've got to work out what we're going to eat next week so that B can go to Tesco's at the weekend, and it's L's birthday next month and I have no idea what we're going to get her, and can't even begin to think about a party, and I've got a baby coming in two months and I don't know where all our baby stuff is, much less whether its still useable, and I still haven't filled in the paperwork for the person who's going to come and help us when the baby arrives, and I haven't got the washing out that I put in at 7 am this morning and, and, and...

..and, as previously discussed, it's ridiculous and selfish to feel like this when there's so much worse going on in the world. Shut up Harriet. Get over it.

Sorry about that.  Consider it my contribution to Muddling Along's Ranty Friday...


  1. While I cannot relate with the body being a temple-being-a-baby-temple thing, I can fully understand these days. The best thing about them is that they end. I wish you an enormous amount of peace and a sunshine-y morning (literal or not) the next few days. One of my favorite quotes is,
    "This too shall pass."

    While it can be utterly frustrating to hear, I hope you feel better soon. I hope you know you have lots of loyal fans silently cheering you on, including me, from across the ocean.

    Oh and someone I know that you know makes an excellent chocolate-coffee sauce for ice cream and pears! It is sooooooooooooooooo good.


  2. He says the chocolate sauce is your recipe! YOU'RE A GENIUS!

  3. I think with everything you're dealing with at the moment you are perfectly entitled to have a good old moan - but you're not rubbish and you have a husband who is going to Tesco at the weekend so that can't be bad!

    While the kids eat the eggy bread, just ply the adults with alcohol and they'll never notice until they go home that they haven't been fed. Or wave a takeaway menu at them?

    Hope you have a lovely evening and I bet it will turn out fine xx

  4. The thing about friends is they love you anyway, H


  5. Sending you sympathy. I envy the days of my twenties when I had no responsibilities and I was carefree. You've got a lot going on so you're allowed to feel like this. Like you I have an endlessly long half-remembered 'to do' list in my head. And I'm also bad at friendships at the moment, meeting up seems such a hassle when I'm trying to potty train one and the other one gets grumpy without a proper sleep which she will only ever have in her own cot at home and not in a pushchair or car... oh look my own rant is coming up now. I hope you get some rest over the weekend and feel better soon x

  6. Call the eggy bread "gipsy toast", which makes it sound exotic. Tell B it's his job to work out what you're all going to eat next week before he goes to Tesco. Believe me when I say that getting a preschooler to go the right way up/down a staircase on demand is much harder than anything I have to deal with as a mother now - don't underrate the small stuff (and therefore don't worry about the big stuff, because it's actually no bigger than the small stuff, and may even be smaller).

    Hot bath, chocolate, glass of wine (if not off wine for pregnancy reasons - I got to the point where I thought the occasional very small glass did more good than harm).

    Japonica is glistening like coral in my back yard. Literally, and perhaps metaphorically too.

  7. For me it's good to read posts like this because it reminds me that other people have problems too! Mine are very visible so I get sympathy, but actually I need to realise that everyday problems can be just as overwhelming. Thank you x

  8. If you can't have a good moan in type, when can you. I find the physical act of just typing can make me feel better.

    Remember to breath and Friday eggy bread is a great idea, you know those parents are just dying to eat the crust left on the plates.

  9. You're hosting friends while supervising building works, looking after 3 little kids, running the house and your are in your third trimester! You are entitled to a good moan! I hope you had a good night, and get a chance to put your feet up a little (maybe book in that manicure)

  10. First off: an apology (again) to everyone. Sorry. Didn't mean to let that lot out. Was just v cross and grumpy (you probably noticed) and as Mother Hen says, if I can't do it here...

    Actually Friday night was, as predicted, chaos, but also lots and lots of fun. So there you go. I was wrong, and I don't think they hate me....

    Emmy - thank you. You're very sweet! (and I can't take credit for the recipe. It might not be S's, but it's not mine either... one of Nigella's best!)

    Trish - that's pretty much what we did. Alcohol goes a long way to excusing poor cuisine, doesn't it? (and the kids had jelly for pudding so I was forgiven by them too)

    Joss - given that was aimed at you (and Em). Thank you. Trying to work out an evening in London...

    Emily - you, me and maybe every other mother of an under-five (six?, ten? Eighteen). Thank you for reminding me that it's not just me....

    Iota - thank you! Will concentrate on the japonica (and the wine...)

    Looking for Blue Sky - I'm not sure these really count as problems, but they certainly felt overwhelming. Thank you for the lovely comment.

    Mother Hen - You're right! If I can't do it here, I'd have to spend a fortune in therapists' fees... And you're also right on the eggy bread - I had the dad asking me for the recipe! (erm, put bread in egg, fry...)

    Tanya - Thank you. And the manicure's a great idea!

  11. Good on you Harriet for letting it out - I think that actually putting it down on paper (or whatever the virtual equivalent of paper is) helps me let go of some of it

    But seriously lovely you have three children, builders, work and are having people over? Give yourself a break and realise that most people are in exactly the same place

    I agree - a bath and a glass of wine is a good plan. My lovely midwife explained that stress was going to do more harm to the baby than a glass of wine with dinner every night

    Take care & rant away!


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