Well that’s just it, I don’t. Do 'it' that is.
So as part of this blog post, I am appealing to the Sisterhood out there – including you Sarah Jessica Parker – to share with me how you bloody well do it.
I realise I’m very much not alone: trying to manage two under fives, a freelance job, the endless chore-age of running a home, cramming in the odd quest to do something for me and attempting to keep on top of waxing, threading and grey-covering (I swear hair maintenance alone could be a full-time career for me).
And I’m hoping that I’m not alone in feeling like I just can’t cope with it all a lot of the time. And then feeling like a failure. And then eating some Hobnobs. And then feeling shit. And then shouting at The Husband as if it’s all his fault (which confuses his poor brain since it is built solely on logic and reason).
This weekend, we decided to tackle the plastic toy invasion and general misplacement of everything (bicycle pump in the fruit bowl, a single winter glove living happily in the bathroom…that sort of thing) and have a good old tidy up. This (I am told) the children do dutifully at nursery, yet when I suggest it at home they look at me like I’ve suddenly started speaking in Swahili.
What ensued for the next two hours was that I went about all whirling-dervish-like, clearing, boxing, gathering and sorting everything in my sight. Behind me, the rest of the family created more destruction than we started with. The main problem being my in-laws have just cleared out their loft and delivered four large boxes of dusty memorabilia to The Husband to sort through. This he decided would be his contribution to the Big Tidy Up. But amidst pleading love letters from broken hearted teenage girls and faded Blur tickets, were a whole load of The Husband’s old toys, which of course soon found themselves all over the playroom floor. Before long, my two year old was trying to swipe the screen on a Commodore 64 and my son had Mr Potato Head astride a delicate electric Hornby train. It was like my plastic invasion had just morphed into a vintage one and now I was just faced with tidying up three children’s toys…one of whom is 37.
Needless to say, yesterday my John Lewis image of plumped up cushions, sparkling surfaces, fluffy rugs and everything in matching middle-class storage, pretty quickly disintegrated. And the bicycle pump is still in the fruit bowl.
They say the home is where the heart is and I’m just not feeling a whole lot of love for my house. I’m sure it tries to wind me up on purpose. There is some weird Law (definitely a derivative of Sod’s) to the laundry basket. I empty it ALL the freakin’ time and whenever I go back it’s full to the brim (with the addition of the pair of dirty boxers and socks always placed carefully on top). It fills itself up, I swear. My tumble drier creases things just to piss me off, my toaster spews crumbs out over the top so they land all over the kitchen floor, my Brita water filter leaks everywhere but customer services insist there’s nothing wrong with the design. It’s like my appliances all have a little private agreement to really fuck with me. When I started writing this post, even my Mac decided it couldn’t be arsed to comply and went to sleep all hot and bothered demanding a new motherboard.
Maybe I need a new motherboard? Maybe I’m a bored mother? The relentlessness, the lack of knowledge of the extraordinary amount that goes on behind the scenes in order to create a happy platform for my little ones. The constant additions to the To Do list before you’ve started crossing anything off. I don’t really know what the answer is but I’d love to know how all you ladies do it? And if you have any top tips? I’m hoping at least I’ll discover I’m not alone and perhaps it is only Sarah bloody Jessica Parker who really does it after all. (And even that’s fiction).