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Sizzle. Splutter. Pop.

I can’t do it. I just can’t fucking do it. The oil, the mustard seeds, the permanent seepage of haldi-dhania-lalmirch into our woolens. The grease, the scum, the mold beneath the detergent bowl.

The anger. Is it really time for them to be fed? Again? Why does everything out of a box or delivery menu have to be so fucking unhealthy or inedible?

The guilt. Why can’t I derive joy from feeding my family? Did my mother really love cooking for us? Does any mother? Am I really a mother if I don’t?

The self-pity. Can post-partum depression last over five years? Are maternal instincts a patriarchal construct? Is patriarchy my excuse of the month?

The self-loathing. I’m a waste of bum-wipe if there ever was one. Breathing is a fucking privilege not a right. My kids did not ask to be born and I owe them a tad better than disgusting ineptitude. Having a vagina does not entitle me to motherhood. Entitlement — now there’s a fucking word to chew on.

But on other days, I can escape into my cave