Before I became a mum I used to suffer the occasional bad mood. Something trifling like my monthly pay packet being £10 too low – or a few dirty dishes left in the sink – could leave me cold. I would let the grumpiness envelope me like a warm black cloak, enjoying exercising the muscles in my forehead as I scowled for England.
And then I became a mother.
The Mother Rage is a whole new ball game. It takes the black cloak of grumpiness, throws it to the wind and replaces it with a clinging wetsuit, impossible to remove (especially when you have wobbly bits which cling to the unforgiving fabric).
Today I am donning the black mood wetsuit, after waking to find The Mother Rage had me in a vice-like grip.
It’s the wardrobe that collapsed in our bedroom last night, spewing out mountains and mountains of forgotten clothes all over the bed and floor. It’s the constant emails sitting in my inbox. It’s the poo which stubbornly continues to cause my child discomfort every few hours. It’s the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine’s failure to put out the bins. It’s the washing’s refusal to dry. It’s the people I’ve been chasing for articles and meetings for the past week who haven’t got back to me. It’s the top on the medicine bottle which won’t bloody open. And it’s all the other people who are happy and smiling and on top of things, whose shining faces only serve to highlight the sourness of my own. Damn those smiling faces.
The Mother Rage cradles me in her arms and refuses to let me go.
The thing is, I know each and every one of the points which deepen my bad mood are only trivial things. But one trivial thing on top of another, on top of another, with the never-ending cycle of work / baby / messy home will keep The Mother Rage quite content for a good 24 hours.
And the most annoying aspect of The Mother Rage? The one thing which can guarantee to feed it for a further day?
It’s the (self-proclaimed) Northern Love Machine’s fault. It’s the baby’s fault. It’s the stupid medicine bottle’s fault. It’s the wardrobe’s fault. It’s Gmail’s fault.
It’s everyone else’s fault bar my own.
Except it’s not. It’s my own bloody fault for being such a perfectionist and such a rubbish juggler.
And that one point on its own is enough to keep The Mother Rage going a good few hours longer.