Saturday 30 January 2010

Rantie auntie

I fear this may become a regular feature as I hurtle towards grumpy old womanhood. I worry that I'm only a brooch and a Per Una cardigan away.

This is really a post about all the things that are currently making me cross. I fully accept that a great deal of the blame for this can be fully apportioned to me as I appear to be cursed with the Unholy Trinity of Passivity, Indecisiveness and Martyrdom. This is not good. I spend my life making things easier for other people. This is the big one, I suppose I feel very unappreciated at the moment. I read Working Mum's post on how she is doing it all too.

I am currently very fed up with friends who only contact me when they want something. Friendship should be a 2 way street, we should phone, text, mail, meet up on a regular basis. You should not just contact me when you want to have a moan about your husband, your boyfriends gone away with work for 2 weeks and you're bored or you remember I exist and wonder where I've gone. This is not fair, I understand everyone has a busy life (you should try mine sometimes) but if I love you enough to be your friend then you can spend 2 minutes sending me a text. Then the next time you want to moan about your husband I will be much more sympathetic. Do I ever tell you that you've pissed me off? That would be a no.

I am really pissed off that although I live with 3 other people, who are, on the whole nearly functioning humans, I am the only person who does any chores on a regular basis. I do all the laundry and ironing. I do all the shopping and cooking(all right, heating up) The dusting and hoovering, also me, mopping and wiping of surfaces, again me. Any kind of cleaning is me. The fingers that can work computer consoles, text and facebook appear not to be able to spray polish and remove with a soft cloth and no one could find the Dyson without a map. It enrages me when the first thing people say to me as I return home after a 10 hour day is "What's for tea?" I usually still have my coat on at this point. I do ask and they will do stuff on an ad hoc basis but it's not thorough and it usually needs redoing so I do it myself and save the "quit nagging me's" Most of this paragraph is aimed at the work shy article I call my son. Eldest Beautiful Daughter is the best but is studying and doing voluntary work and has a part time job so I know she is busy.

I don't want to live in auntiegwen town. We moved here because my ex husband got a job here and when he left I stayed so the children would have the stability and routine of same house, school and friends. He now lives in a nice place too far away to help with the school runs or activity runs and has 2 of the 3 children for less than 60 hours a month. 2 overnight Saturday lunch to Sunday teatimes. He doesn't have to worry about who'll look after them when they're too ill for school or having to try and fit in a life of his own around guitar lessons, Girls Brigade, rugby practice etc etc etc. I'm not even slightly sorry if this sounds resentful, I did not choose to leave Scotland and bring 3 children up alone. I am resentful that he earns 5 times as much as I do and can afford to treat the children when they're with him and have great fun and just enjoy them. I love them and I hope you all know how much but I still have to be the parent who says eat your broccoli, tidy your room and do your homework. I want to be the fun parent and I would be the best and most fun parent ever if I only had to do it twice a month.

So by the time my Beautiful Baby Daughter leaves home I will have spent 15 years living somewhere I don't like for the benefit of other people. And to my growing dismay I will most probably have to stay here as I don't know where else to go.


Saz said...

well as this has wrought me to tears, as l feel the same and as l'm pushing mid fifties I sometimes feel they wont be anything else the other end for me...

This is such a real post, I feel must cogitate and write about it in solidarity Gwenie. Lord its a bad day for me too!

gosh now l'm ranting and blubbing at same time!!GWenie you've done me in for today!!

AGuidingLife said...

Rotten day feelings - it's the nagging them into it that's the killer - if somebody else sometimes took the burden of responsibility then the work load wouldn't have to drop off but it would feel a little lighter. And maybe a bit of appreciation now and then AND oh yes, how great they think Dad is because he can spoil them but he's not the one mopping up the sick at night is he ARRRRRRRRRRRRRGH - now you set me off!!! Maybe it's the moon because workingmum posted this

Perhaps it's the post christmas "I'm sick of having to do everything phase"

But what I do think your wrong about is that you will be able to move if you want to at some point - you aren't trapped, it may take a while but if the need is enough then you can do it.

*Hugs* for a rough day x

Chic Mama said...

OMG, your life is a bad as mine! :0(
No idea what to say, struggling with my own as you know. Just fingers crossed we will get huge rewards for all of this very hard work one day. XX

Rarelesserspotted said...

I so really wanted to comment to support you and the empathise with some of the issues you have around it being all down to you. But then words failed me because I didn't want to sound patronising or philosophical which is the last thing you need. Me and her indoors both work long hours. Every now and then, I have to sit my kids down (boys 19, 21 and 23 who are otherwise great kids) and remind them they "do not live in a hotel and we are not your slaves" and there is a need to contribute otherwise they may end up not having their clothes washed, meals cooked etc etc. It works for a while and then the need to say it all again becomes necessary.

As for the friends bit, I'm glad you have the courage to say how you feel about (some of) them. Go that next step and cast them adrift with a long rope attached with an option of rescuing the relationship if they understand what they do to you. If they choose not to respond, so be it. Changing your mobile phone number might help in filtering some of them out by not giving out your new number except to those who really matter to you.

Have you ever thought of meditating for a few minutes per week to relieve some of the tensions?

Head up girl. You need to marry an incredibly rich, incredibly elderly bachelor with a serious heart condition.

Style At Every Age said...

Ditto. I live in a house of lazy so and so's and an ungrateful husband who says all I do is sit on the computer all day which means I must have a washing and ironing and housework fairy. Perhaps she comes round when I am at work!

auntiegwen said...

Saz - shit, so sorry to make you cry, sometimes it's just the sheer never ending tedium of it all, coupled with my poor sister and work is fairly sad and tricky too, thanks for the solidarity

Kellogsville - thanks for that, I did read WM's post and that's what set me off, we're all doing it all. I know once my youngest has left school theoretically I could live anywhere it's just my indecisiveness and probably cowardice of not wanting to move where I have no job and no friends that will prob keep me here. My name is auntiegwen and I am a big fat wuss.

Chic mama - lots of similarities to be sure, big hugs back atcha xx

RLS - glad to know I'm not the only one, and fret not I know you're not being patronising :) I don't meditate but I do try and count my blessings. As for the man thing, if I ever do meet a man I leave him the minute he tries to get into my life, I just can't involve anyone with my children, I can't visualise ever introducing someone to them

Mrs Fab - please send the housework fairy soonest :) x

Gigi said...

I think we are all pretty much in that same frame of mind right now. And really - what is it about some people that they can't reach out to you? That you must always be the one to initiate contact? Drives me nutty. And don't even get me started on lazy family members who don't seem to even know where the trash can is - much less be bothered to help out or at least appreciate all we do!

Anonymous said...

We are living the same life. My ex lives with his dad and has a great responsibility free life - goes to the gym, buys himself expensive gadgets, and takes the kids out shopping, to nice resaurants etc. He also buys them loads of gear - topshop and timberland etc. I currently dress out of the local Cancer research shop- I kid you not... He however, has cried about not having enough contact with the kids - now this drives me mad as the fecker not only left me, he has a key to the house still, and can come over ANYTIME he wants - usually to sit in my front room on his gym toned arse watching shite on tv, annoying me and making me GO OUT WHEN IT'S MY HOUSE!!!!!! Sorry - should be supporting you and not ranting, but, grrrrrrr, how did we, lovely, sensible, clever women, end us like this?????
Mae xxx

auntiegwen said...

Gigi - that's it isn't it, we just want a bit of appreciation for what we do

M - yep, ex mr ag also has a key and will bring his parents to visit whilst I clean up and have to have good biscuits for them, yep we've known for a while we have the same life and it's scary how many other women have it too

Jo said...

omg this is a post I want to write sometimes, so well done on saying what a lot of us are/might feel at times.

my son now age 22 left home about a year/18mths ago, he was working and paid us £50 board per week from £250 wages, he thought he could live better elswhere, he moved in with a friend, time off sick then lost his job, he is now living in a flat on his own on the dole and trying his best to manage, he came for 3 days at xmas and stayed for three weeks. I won't have him back, and I feel a total bitch for making him manage in his flat but all he wants is to live here for free and not help around the house etc.
Isn't that what wives/parents do , live their lives for the benefit of other people....
Josie x

Maggie May said...

Came over from Saz on FFF. You obviously made a big impression on her.
I do feel that sometimes you get to the crossroads in life and wonder what it is all about.A kind of mid life crisis.
I think we have all had friends that only come round only when they want something.It pays to work out who are the takers & who are the givers in your friendships.
Sometimes it is best to avoid the takers.
Hope you feel better soon.

Nuts in May

DAB said...


Sorry it's a wee bit shitty in your world. I can relate to some degree BUT I've got a cunning plan to leave home and become a Nun! Just gotta find a nunnery near a pub first though! ;-)

ADDY said...

Came over from FFF. It sounds like quite a few of us are in a similar boat. Not sure how we all got there in this day of women's liberation, but it's probably got something to do with being too soft-natured and not saying no enough.

Laura said...

This post proves that you are a great human being, doing all that for others wow! I'm far to selfish.

Velveteen Rabbit said...

As a mother I can so equate to your words......

At what point do they actually see you as a fellow human being and not just "Mum"?

A Woman Of No Importance said...

Oh, been there, done that, got the T-Shirt and the stains! I just wibbled over at Saz's about our being all but fecking invisible, BAGwennie... I know you're not, 'coz you're gorgeous, but I do feel it - At work, at home - The Doormat says welcome but the porch light is out in her head!

I loved what you said about being one cardi and a brooch away from being doddery - I think you are fab, tho'!

As for the child who's going away to Uni - I've one of those - They need to learn to cook and clean sharp-ish, Gwennie, or else they'll drown in their own shite, rather than lift a finger! Can I send my son over for some humility lessons from your EBD??! xox

libby said...

Have you considered sex and drugs and rocknroll?? just a thought...personally I'm working on a tunnel...

Expat mum said...

I think a great big "Chores Table" on the fridge door is a must. That way, when one of them slacks off, it'll impact everyone and there'll be hell to pay but not just from you.

scrappysue said...

it's sad, AND it's heartening, because we are treading the same worn path, except as well as 'what's for tea?', i also get 'where's my...?' or even worse, 'where did you put my...?"

i feel for ya - even tho it's raining here, you should still come live here and i'll make you coffee and waffles and i always have chocolate hidden around the house, and of course there's plenty of plonk to go around.

i always think i've been too easy on my kids and i've waited to long to get them 'on board; but it's never too late, baby steps auntiegwen!

as for moving,it's scary, but my 2 closest friends just moved countries - on their own, so i know whatever you decide, you can do it.

Anonymous said...

That's mighty hard. You didn't ask to be a single mum with three children working a 10 hour day and doing everything else as well.

Here's hope: when they have left home, (or at least, when they have finished their education, and you no longer feel the duty to be so supportive), you will still have a lot of energy left, if you are only 41 now. You can do anything, once the menopause is over, and assuming your health is normal otherwise. The end of the menopause, (and believe me, it took me over five years to get to that place) is SO LIBERATING. It feels like you are a child again in the sense that you don't have any of those monthly roller-coasters of emotion. I can't speak highly enough of it as a phase of life.

Madame DeFarge said...

Well, I'm not in the same boat, but I share some of your frustrations. I feel like my life is tumbling past and I'm not sure if it will ever come back quite the way that I'd like it. Anyway, little of practical use that I can say, except take care and look after yourself.

Shirley said...

Who in the world is William Dunigan and why is he proselytizing on your blog? Mr. Dunigan, you're insulting, and if you understood anything at all about your subject, you'd know that. Kindly take your crap to your toilet and flush.

(Sorry, AG, but that kind of rhetoric fries my cookies.)

It seems to me that it's the lack of appreciation for our efforts -- not the efforts themselves -- that generates the resentment. Imagine if there was a "thank you so much, mum" and a hug for everything we do. We'd probably be whistling while we work! (Yeah, some help would be good, too.)

Eddie 2-Sox said...

I want to make a different point. I disagree with you.

I hope you're able to accept my opinion. If not feel free to delete.

As a separated dad I would give anything to have my son with me, the majority of the time. Have you suggested this to the man in this situation? That the children spend the majority of their time with him? That way you would have a lot less mundane stuff to do.

AG, I think you're a fab mum, but if you're moaning about having to deal with the kids, and are not willing to let their dad take over the majority of the time, then you're pissing in the wind.

So. If you feel stressed having them around, either give residency to the dad, or suck it up and get on with it.

Sorry if my opinion differs.

Eddie 2-Sox said...

And sorry, I forgot to mention about the friends.

If you haven't had contact from them for ages, then you haven't contacted them for ages too. Do you speak to / email / text EVERY person you know on a weekly basis? Didn't think so.

If you're a friend you will respond appropriately. If you don't feel like responding then you're not really mates anyway.

Eddie 2-Sox said...

As for William Duniggan....what a cock.

auntiegwen said...

Josie - oh I know, I remember having to hand over a nominal amount to my mum and feeling very disgruntled, now I know better :)

Maggie May - I've probably been having a mid life crisis for a while but I've just been to busy to actually just get it over with

TF - I may join you, the uniform is in my colour palette

Rosierio - yep I know I only have myself to blame, no is very rarely in my vocabulary

Lolly - nah just a moaning mammy

William - thanks for dropping by, is it help the heathen month already? I didn't get that memo

Velveteen Rabbit - love your name :), I don't think I ever saw my mother as a person until I'd left home so maybe mine will always see me as their Marmee rather than me

Fhina - ta hen, feel free to send Griz over EBD can't be any more distracted by another hot boy, or can she?????

Libby - sex and drugs and rock n roll sound like a plan, a cunning plan and if that doesn't work out, I'm right behind you in the tunnel :)

Expat Mum- a think a chore rota might be coming on

Sue - you have no idea how tempting that offer is :)

Sensibilia - thanks for that, I know when they have gone I will miss them

Madame - am now feeling ashamed that I bumped my gums so publicly, there are masses of good points in my life but still I get annoyed, I think we all do

Shirley - I have no idea who left the door open and let him in ! Yep the thank you could be used a wee bit more often I feel

Soxy - my ideal would be for the children to live half and half with each of us but my ex chose to move 60 miles away and that makes it impossible because of schools. I think I would moan about them being work shy articles even if their dad was here, I just seem to feel it more as I get the heavy end of it. But I also get to know them and be with them in a way he doesn't and that is sad for him.

As for the friends, I actually have cut back on sending the 2 friends I was cross with invitations/texts etc, I got fed up of only getting a reply when they needed/wanted something from me.

sixpence said...

I suspect I'm one of the people using you as an emotional crutch, although I do try to keep in touch as much as possible to find out how you are but I know you have a busy life xx sorry about having to cancel Friday, I really could not have cooked anything the day after having a tummy bug, but I was looking forward to seeing you and the beautiful children and I hope we can rearrange soon, if you would like to.

auntiegwen said...

Sixy - oh sweetie, you always text me and keep in touch, it most certainly wasn't you and I hope you feel better soon xxx

Working Mum said...

Ok, so I'm crying now! I was feeling pretty rotten about enabling husband and daughter to do everything they want to, but I don't quite have the absent husband sweeping in to be sugar daddy when it suits him thing that you do. I do feel for you having found yourself in this position through trying to do the best for your children. I'm sure one day they will realise and appreciate it; hopefully you'll be where you want to be by then! Chin up!
WM x

Rate My Sausage said...

Gwennie, thank you for allowing my comments to stay posted. You must have the same viewpoint as me on the subject of comments, that people are entitled their opinions.

And sorry to go back a little, but do you ever eat veggie sausages, and if so which brands?


Anonymous said...

You never have to evolve in the world of "grumpy old womanhood" I don't see that happening to you.
Stay young at heart and fit of body, you'll like it!


Mrs Worthington said...

Hi been following you for a little while and it's like holding up a mirror. You are definitely not a card and brooch away from grumpy old womanhood as you forgot the most important accessory.. tena lady.
Kids - hard to love and lovin em is hard

keep your chin up.

Anonymous :) said...

Fantastic post. You get where you're going early on - with plenty of time to resign, get all hands on deck, change and have the same great life everyone else is having at your expense.

Susie Vereker said...

This is so heartrending.
Suggestion 1. Maybe ex could stump up and pay for a cleaner for you, even if it is only once or twice a month. It might boost your morale.
Suggestion 2. Write a book and put all the annoying people in it. Quite therapeutic, believe me. And you are a good writer.

auntiegwen said...

WM - I'm sure I only do what all other mothers do, but I admit I am my own worst enemy by being resentful hoovering as they are lolling around, I should just make them do more x

Soxy - no worries, I don't expect everyone to agree with me or think I'm right and sorry I don't eat meat substitute things, just veg x

Secretia - most days I do, just a bit of a down day, tomorrow Pollyanna will prevail

Mrs W - how could I forget tena lady !!! you see middle aged forgetfulness already, scary how many women are living the same life the world over

Madison - thank you, I should have a discussion about chores with the children, they are able to do more and if they knew how I felt, they would try harder as really they are amazing kids, honest !

Susie - ah, what a good idea - that would alleviate a lot of the stress and I would actually be happy to fund it myself, I think it would be money well spent and thank you for the lovely compliment, I write like I talk, probably incoherently most of the time but I would love to write a book. Think of the shoes and handbags I could buy!!!!

Helena said...

You've got savoir faire, Gwen. It's my family who only gets in touch when the want something from me not my friends.I think I'm really needing to try some laissez-faire.

I've not replaced my mobile in two years, otherwise I'd send along a text or two! Chin up!

family affairs said...

Just having exactly the same rant with my children tonight - must be the full moon!!! I do everything, they're not supportive, there's only one of me and they expect everything and give nothing in return. Bla bla. It's an age old problem. Solution might be for us bloggers to turn - meet up, go out, get pissed, have big hangovers and let them all get on with it without us - even better lets all go away for a month!! Yippee!! I'm packing already Lx

Suburbia said...

Came over from Sazs.

Well said and written. I have always been the one to do all those jobs too, and while husband and I still live together, be it because the divorce settlement is still not through, he is still doing nothing.

This weekend he has had the children while I have been away, he has been a full on dad, lovely for them, but the house is a tip and the jobs undone. He can't even be trusted to make sure the homework is done properly. Oh I can't wait for him to live in a different place so that I don't notice these things so much!!

Sorry, have ranted at your rant! Thanks for sharing!!

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Hi from Dublin! Just discovered you thanks to FFF and totally identify with this post. Sorry you're feeling bad, but as FFF says, tomorrow is another day and I'm sure it will be better :)

vegemitevix said...

Oh Gwen I'm so sorry you feel like this. I once called these feelings (which I suffer from too I admit)as being midwife to everyone else's lives. The kids just don't understand, maybe they won't until they're mothers.. not sure if they will even when they're fathers. I don't understand how some men (I know NOT all) can divorce their children as easily as their wives. How can they switch off from being so involved in their day-to-day? I just don't understand. I know too the horrible feeling that he's doing so much better financially and sees no need to help in proportion to what he can afford. I don't understand this either. Chin up Gwen, I love your posts and so relate. Virtual hugs coming your way - with the housework fairy, of course (and some chocolate cake and a damn nice Champagne!)

indigo16 said...

That whole 'feed me feed me' neediness drives me INSANE. My youngest sometimes needs to be fed three effing time in one evening. At their age I swear I was the one cooking at least once a week!
The whole father thing stinks too. I had a better time ratio as in most weekends but the maintainace is paultry I pay for fees for this that and every effing other finacial wont.
This means he gets to jet set sans kids all over the world when I can barely muster up a holiday in the UK with the kids.
I find just writing it down cathartic and I pray these men will at some point get there comeupance. Promise me not the Per Una cardie though ..please!

Not From Lapland said...

I don't know what to say, I really feel for you, to have to live away from home for 15 years for other people. to have to do all those things and not be able to afford the fun stuff or have the time away that you need. I want to give you a great big hug, not that it'll help at all, but it may make me feel better. How selfish is that?

Frankies' Cornish Farmyard Ramblings said...

Oh Gwenie, it is what it is - you need a moan who the F--- are these well meaning, do gooders who think they know best? You just needed a rant I had one on Friday, it's better now, it may get better for you soon. Look at ED going to uni, I struggle 'cos 2nd Daughter is at Uni and really doesn't want to be there. We are together but boy do we have our moments. You are a great mummy, don';t let the psuedoes tell you different.
All the time you do fine.

Anonymous said...

Well I don't seem to be using my abode very much. Fancy a crash pad in London for the next few months??

Jon Storey said...

Shame about Christmas (bag and Tennant!). Not sad at all: 'Tis better to travel in hope than to never journey'

Where would we be without our fantasies?

cheshire wife said...

I have come over from FFF. This is the fourth post like this that I have read in three days. Is it the time of year? Is it blogland? Maybe it is the weather with everyone stuck in doors? I don't know the answer.

I think that we sometimes expect too much, from ourselves, and from others. I hope that you had a peaceful weekend and are feeling better.

Simply Sassy said...

Shew, sounds much like my life. My ex lives in the USA and I live in SA ... I get a month off every 11 months if I'm lucky - the rest of the time, homework, housework, juggling job and shopping, kids needing dentist and doctors visits and clean laundry all falls on my shoulders! I am not even going to touch on the friendship story! I will totally clog your blog. But, I hear you. I can't help as such, but as you see, plenty of us paddling the same canoe. Stay strong. Look after yourself and know that you have worth beyond measure

auntiegwen said...

Lena - ta hen, much appreciated

Family Affairs - lovely, count me in, any meet ups, holidays, jollies of any type, I'm most def in x

Suburbia - there is a huge comfort that it's not just me, that other people have this stuff too and empathise xx and feel free to come rant anytime xx

Looking for Blue Sky - thank you, I love, love, love Dublin and I do feel less bothered by it now. x

Vegemitemix - loved the midwife analogy, and to be fair to ex mr ag, he would give me more money if I asked, it's my independent streak and stubborness that keeps me where I am

Alison - how can they consume so much food? where does it go ??? and I promise, never ever to wear a Per Una cardie

Heather - aw thanks pet but I was just having a moan, all mummies put their kids first, I'm no different

Frankie - spot on, you totally get it x

Mud - yes please somewhere to excape to and I promise to leave it tidy :)

Jon - oh yes, the life I have in my head is ACE

Cheshire - yep, there seemed to be a lot of similar feelings, was it the full moon ? thanks most kindly for the support though

Sassy - oh God, I so want to hear the friendship story now !