The green-eyed monster


“Enjoy Sydney,” I said tersely, and I did mean it; it’s just that I wished I was going too. Like I do nearly every time my DH goes on a trip.

Yes, I can be a jealous wife – and it’s a horrid, energy-sapping emotion that I wish I could banish. And, I’m going to be completely uncensored here: it gets worse when you have children. And they’re dangling off you like deranged Christmas ornaments and depending on you for everything.

It was probably just a bad day, but my boys were awful today. AWFUL. I woke up with a small knot of dread in my stomach. I knew the morning would bring with it dark forces: the battle over homework. Getting my youngest to sit down at his wordlist is like trying to trap a will-o’-the-wisp. The older one is in cahoots and just as bad.

But, actually, the homework went OK; it was later in the day that I plummeted into the doldrums. Son2 bailed on a class he’d previously begged me to pay up-front for by screaming all the way there. His punishment – not being allowed to see a friend he’d already spent all morning with – caused his tantrums to crescendo, becoming a punishment for us too, and my equally strong-headed Son1 made a big scene about something else.

By dinnertime, my nerves were frayed, and the work I was meant to be completing still wasn’t done. When DH, nervously, asked what we were doing for dinner, I lost it. “They won’t eat anything I make anyway,” I raged, referring to a lasagna I’d cooked the other night (containing mushrooms) that had actually made Son1 vomit at the table. “Food I’ve spent ages preparing just gets thrown back at me!”

So I wasn’t in the best frame of mind when I wished my beloved (who does so much for us at home) a good trip as he went to bed at 6pm. I might even have told him he was lucky, and that I wished I could get away. If I’m honest, it’s not the layover in Sydney I’m jealous of (although it is one of my favourite cities); it’s the minutiae of everyday life and the juggling I want a break from.

“Have you seen the state of our cat?” DH asked the other day. “She really needs a bath.” “Look at Son1’s fingernails. You really need to cut them.” Then get the nail clippers. I’m pretty sure you can cut nails too.

Then there’s the Rasputin ants in the kitchen; the two-tonne grocery runs to feed ravenous boys on top of full-time work in media; the fact they’re getting up at 5.30am to play on the Xbox and are like grisly, overtired bears when I put them to bed – not to mention the never-ending logistics of the car pool I’m indebted to because I can’t get Son2 home from school when I’m at the office.

And don’t get me started about the school projects my older son can’t do himself, that last week saw me up until midnight making a beard for an Ernest Shackleton costume. (When do the costumes end?) I can’t be the only working mum who spends lunchtimes sneakily printing pages off the office printer when the bosses aren’t looking?

If there are any men reading this who want to know what a woman’s mind is like, imagine a browser with 2,671 tabs open.

I’ll feel better in the morning, when I’ve laid the green-eye monster to rest and am getting on with everything – because all this stuff, it’s just life, isn’t it? And it’s nearly the end of term.


About Circles in the Sand

Sun worshiper, journalist, mother, pilot's wife and distracted housewife living in the land of glitz and sand
This entry was posted in Children, Dubai, Expat, Family, Parenting and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to The green-eyed monster

  1. ‘Suggestions’ of things needed to be done at home when He can do them himself makes me crazy bad!

    Good day will come.

  2. Pat Mintoft says:

    I want you to know how much I look forward to reading your blogs, keep up the good work in blogs and at home.

  3. A wife and mother’s lot is not always a happy one! I remember very similar feelings myself when my husband used to go off to Australia, Hong Kong, Singapore, USA and I was left at home doing all the usual stuff.

  4. I think your description of a woman’s mind as being like a browser with multiple tabs open is great. Yes. And each one has that little circle going round, when it updates.

    Sounds like you need a break. Can you have a couple of days off? I always find that if you have something in the diary to look forward to, that helps – so planning a break has a double value: the break itself, and just knowing it’s coming!

    (This is Iota posting, but for some reason your blog won’t let me comment, so I’m using my daughter’s WordPress account.)

    • Hi Iota and Harrypotterfan! thanks so much for making sure your comment got through (I don’t know why my blog sometimes makes commenting difficult!)…you are so right. A break, and planning it, is the best tonic. Also, it’s just so hot here! Like 42 degrees, so of course we’re stuck indoors unless we’re swimming..But not long till the expat exodus starts! x

  5. Linda Storey says:

    Totally spot on as always. I read every blog and I do wish you’d put all your blogs into one book, get it published and live off the royalties because you’re exceptionally good at writing. Then you could close the ‘work’ tab and only have 2,670 open, which would help.

  6. Deanna says:

    I may have a different parenting philosophy than you, but if in your shoes with some of the moments the kids are misbehaving I definitely had to spank my son. He was better off for that. He knew clearly what and why he’d be in trouble. He is older now so there isn’t much of that now but other discipline. He is strong willed so that form of punishment was the only thing that got through to him for years.
    We also had to put the xbox away for awhile on and off. And it’s put away right now indefinitely. 5:30 is craziness. I’d be nuts with that stuff.
    I do completely relate in every way here.
    I have a ton of windows going all the time. 😉 and I get so tired of being home all the time. We don’t even work for a nice paying airline so going some where isn’t even affordable.

    • There are so many times when I’d like to throw the x-box out of the window!! Now I realise that they have absolutely no self-regulation, so policing it/banning it/hiding it is the only option! But it’s hard work! I really hope you’re able to take a break somewhere soon … we get to leave the sauna that is Dubai soon – there’s always a mass exodus over the summer, although 6 weeks away from home with the kids is always a bit daunting! Thanks for stopping by and commenting x

  7. It’s so tough, but it will get easier… and think, you were very sensible and highly intelligent and stopped at two 😉 Amongst the daily grind it’s hard to remember what an amazing woman you are x

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