By Maria Duffy. First published on Thursday 22nd April 2010. 8 Comments so far.


Today is not a good day. I’m feeling fed up, upset and more than a little overwhelmed with my lot. Now the worst thing about that is that I’m also feeling incredibly guilty about the fact that I’m fed up, upset and more than a little overwhelmed with my lot!

Firstly, let me tell you the reasons for this dark cloud that’s hovering over me this morning. Now I don’t have a very sick child/parent/friend, I’m not destitute nor have I had any bad news. It’s just an accumulation of little things that have built up and I’ve had to admit to myself this morning that I’m not the all singing all dancing Mum I aspire to be!

As most of you already know, my children are 6, 8, 12 and 13 and they’re wonderful. But sometimes I feel I’m being pulled in a million different directions. There’s football, singing, drama, piano – and that’s only Mondays! I know that my friends who are knee deep in dirty nappies and struggling with sleepless nights would tell me I’m lucky that I have them all in school and that’s true to a certain extent. But they don’t see the other end of the spectrum when I still have bodies hovering around at eleven o’clock at night because they feel they’re too old to go to bed beforehand! I’m also dealing with sulky, hormonal teenagers while still having little ones that need so much of my attention.

Next week my eldest daughter is making her confirmation. I have a million and one things to do as we’ll be having around forty people to the house after the ceremony. I still haven’t bought myself anything to wear and I could do with a team of cleaners to sort my house out. I’d planned to get as many things as possible sorted this morning but my vomiting eight year old has rendered my plans impossible. Does that sound too harsh? I honestly do feel sorry for her and I’m giving her loads of mammy attention but I can’t help feeling resentful about having such a clump of my precious time taken away from me.

Now I’ve been so busy organising the confirmation, the fact that my youngest daughter is making her communion next month has taken a bit of a back seat. Yesterday I decided I should try to get that sorted too. I’m planning to get caterers in since I’ll be up to my eyes with so many other things on the day.

“The 29th of May!” said the caterer, incredulously, when I rang to book him. “I already have nine communions booked in for that day. You’ll never get anyone at such short notice.”

Short notice? Sure there’s 6 weeks left. How ridiculous. Ten caterers later and I was beginning to panic. It seems now that my day will be taken up with cooking when I just want to take time to dress my daughter in her beautiful white dress and give her all the attention she deserves.

The worst thing about feeling like this is the fact that I beat myself up over it. I’ve just re-read what I’ve written and I can see I’ve come across as selfish, incapable and downright mean. I’ve had to force myself not to hit delete. As mothers, I think we have a terrible habit of trying to live up to some ideal. We all want people to say; ‘isn’t she a wonderful Mum’ or ‘she never seems to get frazzled’. I know I’m a good Mum but I also get bogged down with things and have days (like today) when I feel I’m utterly useless.

I have to say a special thanks to Barbara Scully at for bemoaning the view from her kitchen table and making me realise that it’s okay to tell people how we’re feeling.

I apologise for the length of this post but today, a shorter moan just wouldn’t cut it. I could actually go on for longer but I reckon I’ve bored you all enough. I promise to come back in the next day or two with more humour but in the meantime, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Maria x

8 comments so far

  • If only we could go back to the days when Confirmations and First Holy Communions were simple, you went to church – got some dosh and ice cream, and we were as happy as pigs in muck! How about arranging an outdoor picnic somewhere (no need to clean the house) and ask everyone to bring something (no stress on the food side).

    It is tough when they are ill and best laid plans go astray, but I am sure you will pull it all together beautifully in the end!

    • Thank you so much for your kind words. I really appreciate them. I’m not usually so down on myself but a lot of things came together and I felt I was losing control. Much better now. M x

  • Hi Maria: Its the other moaning minnie here!!!!!

    I can totally empathise with you and you dont sound like a selfish cow. I know that no-one it dying.. but its the constant drugery of being at home that can be very soul destroying. And sulky pre teenagery kids are a right pain in the ass, as is not having time in the evening to yourself as they all stay up! So yep and yep.

    You could probably do with some time out in the next day or so.. when your 8yo is back on her feet. A coffee with some friends is always great to lifting the spirits.

    As for Communions and Confirmations – they are such a palaver. Being much older than you, I decided for my two younger daughters that instead of doing the gig at home, we would run away. We took off after the church to a country hotel and had lunch and stayed overnight! Dunno wot the neighbours thought as we turn up at all their Communion/Confirmation dos but I just couldnt work out how I could do it myself – and so didnt!

    Anyway – hang on in there. You will get there! Thanks for the honesty and sharing!!!

    • Oh now you’ve gone and made me cry all over again!! What a lovely response. It definitely makes us feel better to know that others feel or have felt the same. I think I do a good job of things overall and my kids are blissfully happy so that’s a good thing but just sometimes it all gets to me (oh and pmt doesn’t help!!) I think you’re right about time out. I’ve been setting myself targets with my writing and telling my friends I can’t see them because I’m too busy. I think I need to concentrate on me for a bit. I wish you lived closer so I could come and see the view from your kitchen table on a sunny day!!! Maria x

  • Hi Maria…

    Please dont deapair!You are a great Mom! If its any consolation I think every Mom is in the same state this week trying to organise everything for the confirmation, God forbid our darling daughters should ever get married!! But I think we do try to over do it sometimes, we just want everything to be perfect. We decided to redecorate the living room…for the confirmation! And as I type the room has 2 arm chairs surrounded by Papers, dust cloths, paint tins, dirty paint brushes and rollers! and because one room is being decorated the whole house has been neglected, so no hovering now in 2 weeks, no ironing, bathrooms should be under the control of the serious infections disease agency and all our kids can think of is applying more and more pressure… our eldest who is doing here junior cert has her practical home ecc exam tomorrow, so tonight we have to go shopping for all the ingredients (on the double) so she can practice it again tonight(For the 20th time!) And last night the Confirmation girl had to to taken to blanchardstown to get the outfit!! The one we purchased on a very long and expensive day out in Belfast in early March has shrunk… or maybe she has grown 5 inches but its so short she would probably get arrested in it! Hubby is so laid back about it all its scary…so I am doing all the panicking but cant do anything practical as am at work, and only have the weekend to get it all done!! God help my kids and huband if they get in my way over this weekend! However, I maybe able to help – I work for a catering company and may know someone who can help on the catering front for the communion at the end of May, if you dont get sorted – let me know. Look after the little sick one and sure as long as the sun continues to shine we will get there in one piece to the church for 11am next Wednesday….

    Bye for now…Connie xx

    • Okay, box of tissues please! Connie, what a lovely response to my mad ramblings. I’m so glad I spoke straight from the heart on the blog today because it seems I’m not the only one in the world who feels like that. Not that I revel in your misery or anything, but you seem to be having it bad too! Somebody left a comment and said that why can’t confirmations and communions go back to what they used to be – go to the church, get some dosh and maybe an ice-cream if you were lucky!! There may be some truth in that! And looking at your Katie the other day, I’d say she most definitely has grown five inches. She’s so tall – could pass for way older than she is. I’m thinking of getting food from Avoca for the communion but if it doesn’t work out, I’ll get back to you. Thanks a million for the offer. I’m definitely feeling a lot better about things now. Thanks again for the lovely things you said. Maria x

  • I may be a bit down and over and a quick hop across the Bristol channel from you – but I’m with you on these feelings Maria.
    Right now I’m listening to a 5-year-old and a 13-year-old have a shouting match and have had to ground our 15-year-old, who is sulking in her room. Some days it’s plate-spinning fun and other days it’s a big messy crash! We women always feel guilty and responsible when things are not perfect. But don’t you hate people who do seem to be perfect? 😉
    Hope writing it down helped and you’re feeling good today xxx

    • Thanks for that Rachel. Funny you say that about your 13 yo and 5 yo. My two boys who are 13 and 6 cause the most arguements. They start off with a friendly wrestling match and there’s screams of laughter but inevitably it ends in tears (usually mine!!). It helped hugely to write it down and hear from people who felt the same. I think we all see the so called ‘perfect’ moms doing such a good job and we really beat ourselves up when it’s all falling apart for us. I’m on top of things now and looking forward to 12 yo confirmtion on Wednesday. Thanks again for your support. Maria x

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