So I had my first cervical smear test a few days ago and now have to wait two weeks for the results in the post. And waiting in the nurses office of my GP, half naked like a passed out frog (wearing dotty socks) on a plastic bed I think all dignity had already left the room as soon as I stepped through the door and the nurse said “So, you have two children at twenty-five, did you mean to do that?” Oh, well hi, good morning to you too.
And as she proceeded to do her stuff I tried to explain how two of my three pregnancies were unexpected and the third was actually planned. I found out I was almost half way through a pregnancy at nineteen with Millie when I was on the pill; and after feeling totally rubbish last year at twenty-four we again discovered I was pregnant but went through a miscarriage in July whilst still being on the pill. And I guess after realising what could have been when finding out that I had been pregnant, it made us want a second child so we tried and had Gabriele. And when I finally got all of my words out, trying my hardest to resist eye-contact with a woman doing her thing down there, I realised I hadn’t felt a thing and it was all over very quickly. And her job of hitting my cervix with a cotton bud to check for undeveloped cancer cells was complete. Maybe it wasn’t painful because I have two children! Or the fact that I was concentrating so hard on explaining why I’ve produced two babies at my age.
I’m a little bit dubious about contraception because of the fact I have two children and have always used something! I know that my hormones are off balance, which may affect the situation slightly but the doctors know of that when they recommend something new to me. I’ve almost tried everything, the coil destroyed me and I never stopped bleeding, they were about to give me the injection but the tick sheet of questions they ask before administering were: are you on medication? – No, are you pregnant? – No, are you vegetarian? – What? Yes! Sorry, the injection is not for you then! Apparently it’s something to do with bone density as I’m close to vegan. And I’ve tried possibly every kind of pill, so many different foil packets they’re every colour of the rainbow, take one everyday or leave seven days out. I’ve never knowingly ever missed taking it as the days are written on the packet and any unused day will obviously be out of sync when you take your next. And if I quite smugly don’t need to wear the days of the week on my socks or pants then I believe I’m quite capable of knowing what day it is to take a pill or not!
And when we decided to try for Gabriele I literally fell pregnant straight away, which makes me think I’m quite fertile, but obviously I lost a baby so something must have been off, maybe being on the pill during the pregnancy didn’t help entirely. So now I’m thinking do I bite the bullet and get sterilised or just get married instead? Because either way is set in stone that you’ll never get pregnant, or have sex!
But all joking aside I’ve had a completely rubbish couple of days and I wish I could be in paradise with just the kids right about now, I wonder if EasyJet have any spare seats? I’m a crazy emotional so-and-so at the moment and can totally justify booking a flight! Luca and I haven been arguing more than ever, and it probably hasn’t helped the fact that we’ve been out drinking every weekend this month and are due to go out again tonight. And it’s so unlike us, I enjoy being out when it’s once in a while, but we haven’t done it in so long and it’s been so often recently, when I’m on the receiving end of him shouting about being tired and hungover the next morning and I’m up with no sleep looking after the kids and doing the housework and shopping I feel like chucking everything within close proximity at his head; shoes, kettles, candle sticks, the dog. I really have no preference, and although I’m not a violent person I kind of wish I could pull out a little anger card much like Monopoly’s Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free and unreservedly unleash my anger and frustration through the medium of kettle throwing. Doesn’t he think I get tired? Doesn’t he think I’m human? Doesn’t he think I might like some help, let alone him actually doing everything for me? Seriously I have two children, not three and just how far should you take your kindness and compassion and do absolutely everything for someone everyday to the point that it becomes normal?
I go so far out of my way to be wonder-woman and make Luca proud and relieved to come home after a long day to a clean and tidy house, contented children and a stress-free life. I’d actually be far better off being a single parent and not having to run around after him and do everything to please him when my efforts are obviously totally wasted and when he eventually gets home you could cut the ungratefulness in the air with a knife and easily eat it for three days before storing the massive amount of leftovers in the freezer for months to come.
He see’s first-hand on his days off all of the things that I do in a hectic whirlwind where by the end of the day I strongly resemble a Tasmanian Devil, yet when he comes in from work -as a barber- aka no cleaning, no cooking, no heavy lifting, no driving school-runs, no tending to teething babies, and his dinner is on the table and the cat and dog are lined up by the door smiling as he enters an oasis of calm; he kicks off his shoes and leaves them out in the hallway despite the rack being next to him, goes to the toilet and leaves the seat up knowing Millie can’t use it and will wet herself in desperation, and when I hold Gabriele up to him for a hello kiss and he says “Not now I’m tired, where’s my dinner? Get me a drink while you’re out there.” And like some sort of slave I stupidly have it all plated up ready, the dishes already washed and a drink in hand for him, so he can sit and watch TV without saying two words to me even since he got in. What the fuck? And just how has this become normal, that man is the master of the universe and women should clean the shit off of their shoes?
I honestly never saw it happen, my daily acts of kindness and treats of making him breakfast in bed, having his dinner ready for when he gets in despite not having eaten myself, and letting him sleep all night whilst I attend to a screaming baby now all fall on deaf ears. My kindness isn’t taken kindly anymore, somewhere down the line it became expectation, undeserved and unreciprocated to the point of it no longer being acknowledged or appreciated anymore. And all I get now is “When are you going to get a job? You don’t do anything all day.” Are you fucking serious? I’ve worked since the age of fourteen, studied and raised two children, and this Kingdom you’re sitting on top of on your high throne was built by hand by me and I’ve got the bleeding knuckles and bad back to show for it. Oh, and this is my maternity leave, which isn’t my ‘days off’ like yours are where you have a fantastic fiancée running around after your every needs! Where the fuck is my knight in shining armour looking after me and making me feel loved and on top of the world? Nowhere, I’m a poorly treated, neglected slave who deserves a hell of a lot more.
And I wonder how many women out there are treated exactly the same, when a relationship starts off all hearts and flowers, and when you speak your partner smiles as they actually listen to you; but years down the line you argue daily, bend over backwards and don’t even break even and get less respect than the dog? Is this what being married to a man is like? Is it a punishment for all of the kind things that you do in life? I don’t understand it and it’s exhausting and soul-destroying and my eyes have suddenly opened to how unequal we are. If anyone should be sitting on top of a throne surveying the Kingdom it should be me, I built it, I run it and I fucking paid for it!
I love Luca to bits, he’s my soul mate but I can’t let my life be like this. Your partner is supposed to make you feel loved and protected and not like you’re responsible for them as you would be for another child. When did men regress into being boys again? Or has he always been this way and I never noticed? Maybe before I didn’t need his help with just Millie, but having two children now and Gabriele being so young still, at a time when I could do with a little extra help to keep up to scratch he’s the one actually putting the weight on my shoulders not the guiding hand to pull me from the quicksand.
And what was the straw that broke the camels back? On his day off (which I NEVER get), I rushed around to get the kids ready for school, made the breakfast, lunch and got dressed and made-up myself. I did the dishes from the night before where he’d left just his dinner plate and paraphernalia in the sink. I woke him up sweetly at 8:00 knowing that we had to leave at 8:35 and giving him plenty of time to get ready. Feeding the animals and sterilising Gabriele’s baby bottles and packing his nappy bag it had got to 8:25 and he hadn’t surfaced, so I called upstairs and he was still in bed face down snoring. So I said I’d take the kids on my own as I normally would and he jumped up and ran around to get just himself ready finally making us ten minutes late to get Millie to school despite me having everything ready and being up hours before and all night with Gabriele.
And when I drove and dropped Millie at school with Luca waiting in the car, I then chauffeured him around town to various shops for some plastic that he wanted to buy and have cut despite needing to get home and finish my own things. FIVE hours later after doing everything for him I drove us home and asked him to take Gabriele for five minutes whilst I got Millie’s dinner on in preparation for picking her up from school in half an hour, but instead he went to the toilet and sat on his phone the entire time as I cooked with Gabriele on my hip, juggling saucepans and trying to feed him a bottle whilst peeling potatoes and burning my fingers.
And when he finally emerged from the toilet ten minutes before I had to leave to get Millie, he told me he was going out now and would be back by the evening, and he would have stayed to have held Gabriele for me to finish the dinner but there wasn’t much point as I was going in ten minutes and he had things he wanted to do! I get one hour four days a week to go to the gym by myself and he’s waiting at the door the second I get back telling me I was an extra five minutes and how horrific it was being left to look after the children. And as I’m dripping in sweat and jumping into the shower I panic and rush and cut my legs shaving to get out quickly and take Gabriele off of him just so that he can sit and watch TV or play a computer game.
And as I drove with Gabriele to collect Millie from school I had to try my hardest not to cry and to smile at the other mums around me in the queue outside the classroom door. I felt and still feel so rejected, so downtrodden and so unloved. I wouldn’t even treat our fish like that, let alone my other half. And as I sit writing this I feel choked and hollow and when I type I see my engagement ring glistening on my finger like some kind of ownership and shackle to this heartless existence, and I want to throw it out of the window, far into the woods where nobody will ever find it, in case a loving sweet couple should stumble upon it one day and place it on their finger only to have their hearts crushed by it and feel the same way as I do now. How is this love? I give my all to the people I love and treat them with respect and kindness, yet this is how I’m treated in return? Maybe he loved me years ago when we first met, but the words fall empty now, serving only to justify this disrespectful treatment.
And why am I still here? I don’t know… I love him but my heart can’t take anymore… Somebody please tell me is this life? I try my hardest to keep in shape after having kids, be the perfect housewife and mother and the only reason I’m not slaving over a desk at work all hours is because I’m on maternity leave. I’m not a sponger, I’m not a lazy slob, I’m not a dirty mess and I don’t ask anything of others. So what have I done to deserve this? I’m looking at the front door and finding it so hard to resist packing a bag and running…
And I know some might say “Oh, that’s normal, that’s just what women do.” But I have to think of my daughter and the life that I want for her in her future relationship, and can I honestly say that I could rest in peace after I’m gone if I knew that she felt the same as I do now? Is this how you would hope your child to be treated? Because I sure as hell know it’s not what I want.