This is my version of Aesop’ s ‘The Goose and the Golden Egg’. This fable reminds me about how effective we currently are and how effective we could be. Stephen Covey uses this fable to talk about that which we produce (the Golden eggs) and our capacity to produce (the goose). In the original story the farmer is very greedy and wants the golden eggs quickly and kills the goose to get them, only later does he stop to think that he can no longer get golden eggs as the goose is dead. In life we often make these wrong decisions too. Here is where I am at currently.
In my relationship
I love my partner, although it can be extremely hard at times. I have chosen to support him with his alcohol addiction rather than leave him, and not just for the sake of the children, but because he is a good man when he is sober. Even writing this down it sounds like my love is conditional but it is not – he is just very difficult to be around when he is drinking, which is quite a lot of the time. I know that I should try to be more understanding and forgiving but I find myself holding resentment and as a result our relationship has become distant. He won’t talk to me unless he has been drinking and then he gets abusive so I then shut down. We have basically come to live separate lives, we do very little together. I worry about the long term effects on the children.
I know it is my resentment that is holding us back. So what am I resentful about? I had post natel depression after I had my first child, he did not support me or help with the baby, he puts his work and social life before us, he is ‘fun’ daddy with the kids and I do everything else. I see now that he just didn’t know what to do or how to be a father. I’m not sure if I am making excuses for him! So confusing.
I know that I can’t change him – he needs to do this for himself. I just need to be more supportive. It is difficult to be this way when I’m yet again cancelling work because he is too drunk to look after the children.
If I could just forgive and show more compassion, he would be more receptive and follow suit. Obviously better for everyone. So why is it so difficult? I have made some progress though, my happiness is not defined by him anymore, I have moved on with that and have found things that I enjoy rather than sitting at home worrying, such as crocheting, drawing and Writing! I still go out very rarely though.
As a mother
I love being a mum, it is the most amazing thing I have ever done. In my twenties I was told I would probably not ever be able to have children due to scar tissue around my fallopian tubes – I am so thankful that the damage was not as extensive as they thought. Two children later I feel a very lucky woman. My eldest DLP (Daddy’s LIttle Princess) is 5, she is very outgoing, talkative,and creative. My youngest MLS (Mummy’ s Little Soldier) is 4, he is placid, gentle and kind. Two very different children.
At times I feel overwhelmed by motherhood and completely rushed off my feet. I feel a burden that the responsibility is all mine due to my partner helping rarely. I have very little time to myself. I feel tired all the time. I ask myself how I’m expected to be a good mum when I don’t look after myself properly. The tiredness can make me quick tempered with the children, I sometimes feel like I spend my whole day shouting. Then the resentment returns when ‘fun’ daddy comes home (5 mins before bedtime), reads them a bedtime story and nips straight back out to the pub, reputation untouched whilst I am bad mummy because I’ve been telling them off all day!
Of course not all days are like this. I love doing activities with the children, teaching them new things, creating with them. I know when they grow up, they will remember all the things they did with mummy and the time I spent with them. Something Daddy may not have.
In my friendships
I have a few close friends but I do not spend a great deal of time with them. I find it hard to make social engagements due to my home situation. I worry that my partner might have too much to drink to be responsible for the children. I could ask my parents to babysit but I don’t like to as my mum looks after the children in the week as I work full time.
I have a few good friends at work but I tended to keep these relationships quite professional as I knew my chances of promotion were good. I think I have lost my confidence in social situations.
Reading this back, I realise what a mess I have got myself into. It’s hard to see it written down in front of you. My production and my capacity for it certainly has room for improvement. Lots of things to work on.