Read Chapter 2 “My Knee Is In Pain Again”
So The Drama Begins
October 4th, 2018
I’ve been pretty unhappy recently. Maybe my dissatisfaction with life has always been there, I just never saw it up close like that. The constant anger I carry around is consuming every muscle of my body and every cell of my brain.
I’ve been trying to find the reason for my unhappiness for weeks, and the only thing I can come up with is that the girls are growing up fast and fairly soon they won’t need me as much as they used to.
I guess that, on some level, I’ve started wondering what shall I do with my life now and how could I arrange my working life, if I was to go back to work, around the girl’s school?
I have this strong gut feeling that I need to decide fairly soon how I want the rest of my life to look like.
Jim has been working so late for the past few weeks. When the house is all quiet wine has been keeping me company. On the one hand, it’s nice to have evenings to myself. Still, on the other, the pickups from the afternoon activities, homework, play dates and bedtime fall all on me, which at times is overwhelming, especially when the girls had a bad day at school and are unsettled.
Luckily, tomorrow I’m seeing my girlfriends. Would you believe if I told you that I hadn’t had a chance to have a morning coffee with them since we started school? Already a month has gone by!
The four of us have known each other since our kids were in the playgroup together. We like to call ourselves The Kids and the City gang, you know like the Sex and the City but with much less sex and nearly non-existing social life, which has been taken over by the kid’s activities and the stream of birthday parties.
I love spending time with my girlfriends. Our coffee mornings always fill me with positive and refreshing energy allowing me to forget all the shit I have going on in my life.
October 5th, 2018
My little monsters decided that having a tantrum over who is wearing what to school is the best way to start the day. I wonder if they do it to see how much they can piss me off.
Jim left when I was in the shower long before the tantrum took over our morning. I’ve always found it hard to handle the screaming kids. Jim is so much better at calming them down.
They were so upset with one another that neither of them spoke in the car all the way to school.
In comparison to the morning drama, the drop off felt unusually uneventful. For a change, even the gate was opened on time. I didn’t see Christina, which is always nice. She is the leader of the “mean girls club”. School parental politics are very much like the high school political landscape. You must belong to a group and immune yourself to the waterfall of gossips, talking behind people’s back and countless passive-aggressive behaviour parental communities engage in.
Since I didn’t feel like waiting by the gate for my girlfriends to arrive, I made my way to the cafe. Over the summer the cafe had a makeover. There are a new owner and a new menu. I like the newly updated cafe as much as I loved the old one (The only local cafe I don’t like is the one that served me a latte with a hair in it. When I asked for a new one, it wasn’t well received. Of course I don’t go there any more.).
I was so ready to talk, drink coffee and eat brownies.
The moment I sat down, I started thinking about our life stories and how our current lives seem to be alike. Before we had kids, we all had careers and highly paid jobs. But after kids and maternity leaves, it’s been hard to get back to work and keep our pre-kids high paying jobs.
Currently, most of us either have part times jobs, freelance or started businesses in hope to turn a profit at some point.
The whole experience of shunting mothers aside from a workplace is humiliating. We are all resourceful, creative problem solvers, who can multitask but most of us can’t seem to be able to find well-paid full-time employment because apparently being a mother makes us for some reason unemployable, especially in the decision making positions.
I try to stay positive and not get affected by the gloom of our situation, but pretty often, I feel resentful and depressed that nobody wants to see what I can offer. My girlfriends and I are real-life examples of inequality in the workplace and life.
I was halfway through my brownie when my girls arrived. The moment I saw them, I knew something was seriously off; all three of them were… distressed, the way I haven’t seen them in a long time.
I didn’t even manage to ask what happened when Jenny blurted out.
– “We were late… because… we… love you… and… you need to know…that…that…that…”
– “That what Jenny? Spill it out!!!” – I almost screamed; I was getting this sick feeling in my stomach. It happens every time I feel something terrible is about to happen.
She took a deep breath and finally said.
-“Jim… Jim… has been seen a couple of times cosying up to Christina in the city in the past week”.
At first, I had no idea what Jenny was all about, and I just looked at her for a few seconds while trying to figure out how could Jim see Christina if he was working late.
But soon enough, I understood.