I can’t say for sure; but I think I’m having a Mam-life crisis (the Geordie version of a Mum-life crisis).
It’s similar to the better known mid-life crisis in that it results in some erratic, questionable decision-making and results in the people who know you best barely recognising you.
In a moment I’m going to list the symptoms to alert you to an imminent Mum-life crisis; but be warned; it’s all going to sound a bit ‘me me me’. Which is ironic because I think the Mum-life crisis occurs specifically because life is all about ‘them them them’ and there’s very little time for ‘you you you’…
1) Extreme exhaustion
This one manifests itself in several ways and is personal to each individual Mam. It can creep up on you without you realising. Take last week for example: I was serving up the kids tea amidst all the usual after-school chaos. I opened the cutlery drawer and was perplexed to say the least that there was hardly anything in there. Perplexed because I knew for a fact I’d just unloaded the dishwasher. Half an hour later I put something in the bin and discovered that all the cutlery had indeed been ‘put away’ in the bin. Five seconds later I found myself crying and googling ‘signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s’ while the kids exchanged ‘oh god she’s really lost it this time’ looks. After a quick skim of the first few articles diagnosed myself as follows: ‘Probably not Alzheimer’s. Probably fucking knackered.’
2) Scrutinising your looks
Another sneaky little bastard of a symptom this one… For days, months, in fact years of motherhood I’ve been giving myself a quick once-over in the mirror before the school run thinking ‘Yeah; still no Kate Moss, but you’re alreet love. You’ll do.’ before scooting out the door without a second thought…
Hmm. Not now that I’m in the depth of the Mam-life crisis. Over the last couple of months either my wrinkles have gone into overdrive or my awareness of them has. I think it’s the latter to be honest.
After a very regrettable post-baby haircut; I caved in and invested in hair extensions. Shameful. I’m not even a WAG type (I wish I was). But truth be told; I don’t want to stop there. Unless the Mam-life crisis subsides soon I’ll be taking out a second mortgage to fork out for Botox, boobs, teeth, the works. I know; I’m a horrible cliche… I’m the Mam version of the chubby middle aged bloke with his hair transplant and his Porsche. Of course there is more to me than the aesthetics and it’s what’s on the inside that counts… it’s just at the moment; I really want my outside to look 25 years old again.
3) Asking yourself deep and meaningful questions
Well, as deep and meaningful as you can get when your attention is broken literally every 3 seconds with someone telling you they need a poo. It’s not that I’m unhappy; in fact quite the opposite. I’d say I’m very content. But the Mam-life crisis is the enemy of contentedness… as the question ‘is this really all there is to my life? Shouldn’t I be making more out of it?’ ricochets around your head. The ideas which present themselves during the 3am baby-soothing are nothing short of ridiculous. Recent highlights include; ‘Should I have been a war reporter for the BBC’ and the particularly laughable; ‘I wonder if we should look into becoming foster carers’.
Sometimes I feel like our family life is too self-centred and that we’re not doing enough for the greater good. I have fleeting thoughts of uprooting the kids so we can move to Africa and help build schools. Then I remember I really like Topshop and having access to cappuccinos and the idea all goes tits up from there.
4) The Groundhog Day guilt cycle
I feel guilty for even saying this because I know I’m #blessed; but some days the routine just gets a bit, monotonous, you know? Some days I just want to be Holly Willoughby so much it hurts. Look at her; all smiley and lovely and gorgeous. Wearing bloody amazing clothes and laughing her pert little ass off at Phil’s jokes. I can’t even be jealous or mean about her cos she’s just so friggin delightful isn’t she? The Insta-society tells us that we should be sooo grateful for everything these days. Our perfect kids, our delicious overnight oats, our view of the sunrise. Yawn. Yawn. YAWN. Don’t get me wrong; I am grateful for all the wonderful things and people in my world. I’m a proper lucky cow. It’s just sometimes life can feel a little bit ‘blah‘, for want of a better word. I bet Holly never feels like it’s all a bit ‘blah’…
5) Fantasising about making drastic changes.
This is possibly the most recent symptom I’ve exhibited. I guess it’s a combination and indeed a culmination of the previous four symptoms. I could try and dress it up as something more, but in all honesty it largely consists of being a massive perv on men (ok boys) who I could technically have given birth to. I blame One Direction. And the level of detail in these fantasies (not that type of detail) is so precise it shocks me. One particular daydream started off while I was doing a Body Coach workout in front of the TV. Aah Joe Wicks. With your puppy dog eyes and Popeye biceps. One moment I’m in the zone of the workout, cracking out the burpees like there’s no tomorrow. Next moment I’m off in a full-scale fantasy where I’ve eaten myself up to a size 22 so that I can enter a competition for personal training with Joe. I win, obvs, and during the process, he sees beyond my somewhat more rotund exterior and falls madly in love with me. So not only do I end up with the body of a Love Island finalist, I also have Joe as my official boyfriend. Winner.
So there we go. The five symptoms that you may be having a Mam-life crisis. Don’t beat yourself up if you recognise yourself in this piece. The key is not to panic ladies. It’ll pass I’m sure… just in time for the menopause to hit probably.