Being a fulltime homemaker, in my opinion, consist of a lot of guilt trips. Taking time off for yourself seems to others like you have lots of time for leisure. And that is an indescribable indulgence to some. The envy of many careerwomen in general. So much so that when I do take the time off for my relaxation, I always feel this tugging need to justify my action. Or else risk looking like a spoilt woman who has lots of free time for self-pampering and not contributing in any way to the world. Yes, I do feel that way.
"Dia apa susah, duduk rumah goyang kaki je..." To this, I say, puihh!
Let me let you in on it...
It's true, there is no need for me to be super intelligent in what I do on a daily basis. Mothering is natural. It's common sense. Anybody can do it. I'm not telling you you can't do it. You probably can do it better than me. But until you're actually doing it, quit making assumptions. Whatever they are.
Here's my confession.
I am constantly tired. Exhausted. I can't remember the last time I actually slept through the night uninterrupted for a solid 6-8 hours. It must've been, at least, years ago. That long. I haven't had a day of rest. I'm not exaggerating. I'll say it again. I haven't had a day of rest. My job is taking care of the family. The family is my job. And I can't break away from them. Not that I want to, but you know what I mean.
When I sleep, I get awaken by cries for milk, cries for a sip of water, cries from having fallen off the bed (yes, it happened a few times) or just cries from bad dreams. Just to name a few. Sometimes my night involves hovering in half-asleep-half-awake state from one room to another checking on my charges, especially on stormy nights or should a sudden power failure happen. Children get spooked up by darkness, but not as badly spooked as when there is no aircond hahaha!
I do have troubles waking up early in the morning, due to fatigue, but most days, sleeping in is not an option. So I had no choice but to drag my cranky self out of bed and get on with life. Mornings are always stressful. Waking up and urging sleepy kids to hurry up and get ready for school can cause my blood pressure to hit the roof. I admit, sometimes, yelling in the morning is inevitable lol! I can't be running upstairs, downstairs, back and forth just to nudge them to speed it up a little, so I guess that's why God blessed us mothers with superior vocal chords. At least, within my family they are. Come to our family gathering and you'll see what I mean. I can holler from the kitchen loud enough for them to come running for breakfast, I tell you that. And that is why, people, I never open my windows before the kids leave for school. Just my way of being considerate to the neighbours. Lol!
The only window of opportunity for me to catch a quick rest/nap is in the afternoon, after the kids are back from school. But even that, 8 out 10 times I get interrupted. Examples of interruptions... kids needing help with homework, somebody's at the door (i.e. courier co.), text messages from other half saying guests are coming in a few hours, kids getting into a squabble that the maid couldn't resolve...and on and on. So I get back up and trudge on.
And then there are the constant vigilance of keeping track of schedules and things around the house. Meal times, tuition times, bedtimes (kids love to delay bedtime, begging for a mere 5-10 more minutes)... Food supplies, stationery supplies, clean clothes to wear, bedsheets to change, towels to wash... What's for breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? What's the plan this weekend? Whose what, when or where?
All these not only tire me physically, they also drain me mentally. Foggy brain and confusion is normal.
And what drains me emotionally? The lack of appreciation, the lack of understanding, the taking for granted that someone is always there to finish up what was started, to clean what mess left behind, to solve what predicaments arose...
I am the custodian of little things that go missing easily... eg. socks, minyak angin, mopiko, vicks, nail clippers... the list goes on.
I am the IT personnel in charge of installing (or re-installing) softwares and apps on new (or old) gadgets. I set up email accounts for the less IT savvy dude who refused to learn to do it himself. A phobia I can't comprehend.
I am also the keeper of everyone's passwords. And by everyone, I mean him. Not because I'm a control freak of a wife, but because I want to save myself the hassle of helping anyone retrieve lost passwords. You know how much of a hassle that is, right? Especially if it's not your account, and you have no concern for it other than the fact that it belongs to a loved one.
I am, obviously the chef too, who, for my own sake, refuse to give in to individual demands of family members for a particular favorite dish but cave in way too often and end up cooking a variety of dishes to suit everyone.
Top that up with the hormonal chaos that comes as you hit mid-40s like perimenopause, made worse with a history of anxiety disorder and depression... and the manifested physical aches and pains from these conditions... Well... all I can say is...
You have no idea.