Motherhood feels like that exam I didn’t study for.
Nobody said it would be easy but they did say the answers would come naturally.
But I don’t understand the questions.
I only brought a pen but I wish I had a pencil, what if I make a mistake?
There’s only one line for each answer, what if I get it wrong?
I’m so tired I can’t even make sense of the words on the paper.
I can’t hear myself think.
Exams are supposed to be quiet but there’s a construction sight next door and the noise is constant.
There’s only 60 minutes left but I’m stuck on question two.
I’m tempted to move on to question three but it requires me to build on my answer from question two.
I need help.
I raise my hand for guidance but the examiner isn’t looking.
I want to scream but the sign above her head reads ‘SILENCE’.
I look around the room and everyone else is busy writing.
The girl next to me is up to page ten, but I’m still stuck on question two.
Why is this SO HARD I think to myself.
The examiner looks in my direction.
She can see the tears pooling in my eyes.
You’re fine, she mouths to me, just relax.
I blink and the tear falls.
My heart hurts more than it should.
It’s just an exam I tell myself.
It’s just a test.
You’re stronger than this.
The examiner looks up from her own papers.
She winks at me and points to the refreshments at the back of the room.
She says it’s time for a rest.
But I can’t.
I just can’t.
As the examiner returns to her own desk she places an apple on mine.
She takes my paper.
But I’m not finished! I say.
This paper won’t be graded dear.
Let’s try again tomorrow.