Whoever invented the phrase "work/life" balance needs to be shot. No, forget that, they need to be hung, drawn, quartered and their remains dragged in front of me so I can fucking stamp on them whilst screeching like a banshee. I have no work/life balance. My life IS my work. I am Mother, I am Wife, I am Daughter, I am Sibling-in-Law, I am Queen of the Household, Empress of the Garden and fucking OVERLORD of the Housework. Somewhere along the way I lost me. I can't remember who I am. Sometimes I get a chance to be me, to be Witch, to be Odd Person, to dance in the kitchen singing to old songs and pretending that there is someone there, looking at me, seeing a REAL PERSON. Not a title.
My reality is cleaning, cooking, washing, scrubbing. It's the school runs, the homework, the Parents' Evenings, the small-talk in the playground. It's the smiles I plaster to my face when I Skype my parents and hear how they are struggling with their lives. It's the shirts I wash, the beds I make, the meals I cook, the socks I pair.
My world has been reduced to a tiny fraction of what it was. Half a mile up the road to the school and back. A couple of miles to the Cemetary or the woods maybe once every six weeks. A trip food shopping on Saturday morning. Visits to the in-laws. And now my mental health has deteriorated to the point that I can't PHYSICALLY cope with going any further than that (hell, there are days even just the thought of having to go to another "do" with the in-laws has me breathing into a paper bag and taking valium). It's a descent into something soft, squashy, and suffocating. Even if I do try to do something for me, the anxiety fuelled by guilt makes it taste sour, tainted.
I'm not looking to escape. I love The Hubster, and I love the Witchlets more than anything I've ever known. But there are days I fantasise about NOT EXISTING. I can't want to not LIVE, because that would mean dying - and that would cause such pain and difficulty for my darling little family. But if I never had existed, then neither would they. The Hubster would never have known me. I couldn't hurt them if I NEVER EXISTED.
So I'll keep putting on the smile, keep scrubbing away. Mother first, Wife next, Witch last. Maybe one day, I'll turn and look at myself in the mirror, and find I'm not there any more.