I am the person I am today due to an episode I like to call my “Nervy Turn”.
Yes, I was one of THOSE mums.
Those mums who strive to be perfect.
Smiley, shiny mums who carried homemade treats in Tupperware containers and always had wet wipes in their bag. The type of mum who pulled notes out of school bags each day and sat down at her desk to action each piece of paper.
The type of mum who would look at a mundane task she was completing and ponder: “How can this be done better?”
I pulled all of the towels out of my linen cupboard once because someone on Oprah showed me how to fold towels the way they do them in the shops so they stack nicely and look neat.
I used to fold t-shirts using a board like they do in clothing stores, so they stacked nicely and looked neat.
Yeah. I was that mum.
And nobody gave a shit.
No one in my family gave a shit that is. They could not care less how the towels were stacked or how their t-shirts looked in the drawer. No one cared whether the cake they were hoovering was homemade or store bought. They had other things to worry about. Like how late they got to stay up.
I continued on this merry path to Crazyville until one day my body stopped. And my mind blanked.
I remember it like it was yesterday.
I had dropped the kids off to school and day-care and I got back into my car and froze. I just could not do it anymore and I burst into tears. I sat there in the Mazda for 20 minutes trying to pull myself together.
It was like the years of stress had finally caught up with me and had pressed my pause button.
I called my friend The Divine Ms M who told me to drive home and get into a hot bath and wait for her. I lay in the bath so very still. Not moving. Barely breathing. I was scared. What the fuck was going on with me?
By the time she arrived, she had made an appointment with her GP and a counsellor. She drove me to both appointments that afternoon, where I was diagnosed with a mild case of depression with an anxiety chaser.
Everyone has something… hey?
Over the next few weeks I learnt to let go of the things that were making me crazy.
We hired a cleaner; I went for regular massages and learnt to shove towels into the linen cupboard so they resembled the sale bin at Sheridan. If I could not be arsed to cook, we went out. The kids did not care that they ate the same thing for lunch day in and day out. Or if they did they never said anything.
And I learnt to say no to things that I did not take pleasure in.
Apart from pap smears. You need to keep on top of that shit.
Being a mum is the hardest job in the world.
You are the Captain of the Team and you need to be On Top of Your Game.
Every. Single. Day.
By putting yourself first, the rest of the team will fall into line.
They do not care where the cake is from. It is cake.
Read stories like this here.
*About Mrs Woog: “I can be found in the laundry, folding laundry, sorting laundry and dropping off the dry cleaning. I am mum to two boys, boss of my husband and master of a cat and two guinea pigs. Come nightfall, I watch TV while tweeting which drives Mr Woog insane. I like to read cookbooks and eat out. During my waking hours I ferry kids around in the Mazda while drinking takeaway coffees and listening to talkback. I think about going to the gym every day. I used to work in the publishing industry before I realised it was nothing like Elaine Benes from Seinfeld made out like it was. Now I write this blog. And I never get writer’s block. It is a gift I have.”