PM Essay

I’d like to start with a small apology to all the gentlemen who might be reading this (yes: both of you!)  This post will touch on the topic of – ahem! – hormones…

Most times of the month, I’m a fairly patient, laid-back, easygoing sort of person.  But, twelve times a year, I transform into a short-tempered, moody, destructive maelstrom.  Like a werewolf, but the sort that gets weepy watching superannuation commercials.

I’m a bit that way at the moment.  I’m feeling rather down on myself at the state of my house.  Two weeks of school holidays have taken their toll and the house is dysfunctional with mess.  It’s all dishes and clutter and Lego and loom bands and crumbs and random artefacts that look important yet seem to belong nowhere.

And clothes.  I think Strega Nona must have broken into my laundry and stirred my washing basket with her magic spoon.  Now I have so many dirty clothes, they’re spilling out the door.  It won’t be long before they take over the village…

Strega Nona with her pasta pot

I’ve been going a little nuts about it all.  Mr Knightley’s delightful-but-Type-A friend came over today and while I knew I couldn’t get the house to the level that Type A would consider ‘tidy’, I wanted at least to lift it out of the state of embarrassing neglect that made us look like the victims of a sock-and-duplo explosion.  As a result, I spent the morning venting and vacuuming and shouting and sweeping.  I bit everybody’s head off several times and, internally, I was biting my own head off (“What is WRONG with me?  WHY can’t I keep a tidy house?  How is it POSSIBLE that this many items can fit in the space under one couch?”) . I barked at Matilda for leaving her hardly-worn clothes on the school-room floor (she’d changed her mind on what to wear today, it would seem), roared at Christopher Robin for leaving his shoes all over the house, snapped at Harry for singing an inane song ad infinitum , wailed at Annie as she painted the table with cornflakes-and-milk, and ranted at the house in general about how hard it is to be me.

Mr Knightley, who had quietly wiped down the kitchen stove and benchtops, convinced me to stop for a minute and then swiftly administered coffee and chocolate.  It worked for a short time, but, really, I was beyond help.  It wasn’t long before I was again storming about the place, sometimes muttering darkly, sometimes screeching like a car alarm.  At lunch time, I snapped peevishly at Matilda, “that’s my seat!  Can’t you see my soup’s there already?”, but then I realised she was putting a note in my place.  Here it is:

Note from Matilda

If you can’t make out her handwriting, this is what it says:


To Mum,

When you said “I was going to have a nice relaxing bath tonight but it’s too messy”  (I did say that last night, in another PMS-fuelled rant) I thought I’d give you this to say thanks for letting me have nice relaxing baths when I’m tired and worn out.  So I’ll clean the bathroom and you can borrow one of my Pippi soaps.

Love from


I felt rather small.  I had been awful to everyone all morning and my nine-year-old daughter still had the grace to treat me with generosity and understanding.  I gave her a fierce hug and cried copiously and surreptitiously into my soup.  But I’m fine, really I am.

Just don’t show me any superannuation commercials any time soon…



11 thoughts on “PM Essay

  1. Amanda Martin (writermummy)

    Laughing in shared sympathy! I’m plain foul when I’m due (like this week – hubbie chose a poor time to get tonsillitis) and often get to the ‘raging about the state of the house’ point, while everyone stares at me in mute bewilderment, as it’s my job to tidy everything (or so they think). And as for yelling at a child in the middle of doing something adorable, that happens way too often, especially with my darling 5yo daughter. Mummy hell in a handcart, that’s me!

  2. sassy02

    Love the you put it, we all have those days, and it never fails we always seem to yell at the one child who is trying to be sweet to us. Try to have that relaxing bath!

  3. Cheri L.

    Been there, done that, refused to buy the tee-shirt in a fit of hormone induced rage. Chamomile tea helps. But then, I find tea helps almost everything. Especially when you have generous folks around like your daughter.

  4. In The Boon Docks

    Eat more chocolate! You made me laugh I am sorry but it was so me years ago and then one of my children would give me something or say something making me realize it was so worth every messy minute of it! Hang in there!

  5. Brad

    p.s. I wasn’t going to send you the link because I thought your house was scruffy! I just thought it might be the type of thing you’d be interested in reading.

  6. Jan Moyer

    It can all be overwhelming at times and I look at myself and think “Who is this raving lunatic” yet I can’t regroup. You are not alone in feeling nuts – thanks for sharing.


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