|Not feeling super today!|
I'm shattered. I've been working straight for about a month now, I get little to no time to myself and we have struggled to make ends meet all month. For the last three to six months.
Today was a 'let the kids watch television without remorse' kind of day.
Today was a 'please help yourself to all the snacks' kind of day, and a 'please, I don't actually care what you are doing' kind of day 'as long as you leave me alone to actually ferment in my own shittiness' kind of day.
It's also an 'oh god, I feel so guilty day'.
Because I spent all day yesterday knowing I would be in charge, knowing that I had this opportunity to do stuff with my kids, but instead I tapped out.
I sat down and went 'Nope. Not today, motherfucker.'
I am out of resources, both physically and mentally.
I flinched every time my kids asked for something, groaned mostly every time the baby wanted up and actually had tears in my eyes when after the third time of very nearly almost getting the baby to go to sleep (which he desperately needed) a delivery man knocked on the door, waking him up.
The door of the fridge fell off completely, pretty much nearly killing the baby and/or shearing my oldest son's legs and glass smashed everywhere, and once again there was a ton of washing, a ton of cleaning to do and a lack of appropriate healthy snacks to eat, meaning we were all filling up on guilty stodge (well, i was - the kids didn't blink, obviously).
There was no petrol in the car to drive anywhere more interesting, and it was raining outside and no money in the bank to make life even a tiny little bit easier.
Some days we wake up to text messages that tell us once again we are over the limit on our already-stretched overdrafts and I cannot count on two hand the number of times I have turned to Dave and said, "how are we going to do this?"
But we always manage.
I've done the Tax Credit calculator thing about a bazillion times attempting to work out how in the hell we cannot afford the childcare for next month (summer holidays, so extra childcare needed) and we have scrutinized our holiday leave, our ins and out and our what-we-can-do-withouts intrinsically.
We are tight on time, tight on money, tight on energy.
Like always, I've paid out more than I can afford in all of these things, promising myself I can catch up with them all: and I will. I just need more time, money and energy. You know?
It's a gradual and slow incline, but we are getting there.
We have faced a lot of obstacles with illness and moving and car smashes and stuff, and it's definitely been no picnic. We have come out okay, intact. Still going.
But sometimes it just feels a lot harder than it is, and I always have to remind myself; we have our kids, we have our bodies, we have our health, we have our home. We have food to eat (mostly) and we have resources.
Today was a bit of a tap-out situation though.
I've been working extra hours to try and make up the shortfall since changing hours after maternity leave and this, plus all the other stuff; end of term trips and events for the boys, trying to find money/things to sell/keep on top of housework, birthday bits for Owen etc
I've been doing crazy cleaning, trying to get things together for family coming over for Owen's birthday last week (and it still wasn't up to the standard I wanted it to be - another thing that fell by the wayside), running between the kids and trying to find meals that will satisfy the kids from our meagre cupboard store (thank goodness for free school meals!)
Trying to work out how in the heck we would feed/water guests and also make sure our youngest boy got a wee birthday gift (gawd bless xmas club at the toy shop!)
I am tired.
This is parenting without backup.
This is parenting without the available auntie on-hand, the grandparent on pick-up duty, the close buddy play-dates.
This is parenting on the hoof, with a wing and a prayer and being stretched to the edge of your limits.
Without let up.
This is parenting night and day and then night again and then day with work and school and other stuff, day after day and week into month after month.
This is endless.
This is feeling guilty endlessly for various things; the scrimping on meals because of time, the forgotten coats, the shirts that still have stains on after they've been washed, the certain feeling of judgement coming from teachers, other parents, family, friends for not fulfilling x,y,z obligation.
The endless attempts to make sure kids get alone time, craft time, more time, not too much t.v time, not too much screen time, that they are reading, that they get to express themselves, that they eat well and eat enough, that they are getting good experiences, that their shoes fit, that they have clean hair and teeth and everything else.
It's the hours and hours spent facilitating their every need and want and whim from dawn until dusk and in between, making sure we don't raise our voices when we are stressed, making sure that others treat them fairly and that they also treat others with the same regard.
We don't have clubs, or after-school care or babysitters.
There's no overnights or long weekends or few hours off.
There's no 'date nights' or 'couple time' or 'me time'.
There's a lot of midnight frantic tumble-drying. A lot of crazy fiddling with numbers and dates and time. A LOT of thinking outside of the box.
Instead we forge out our own time.
We craft our own special family days.
We make sure we separate fun from real life. And we always take a picnic.
We take minutes to count our blessings and we try to do good where we can.
Life is not easy.
Life is difficult at best.
But there's a heck of a lot of happy.
Every day these boys get older. And bigger. And belong a little bit more to the world.
Tom loses yet another tooth. Ethan comes out with yet another characterful announcement and Owen takes one (or seven) more steps across the room.
One day we will look back and miss this; the crazy days. The busy days. The fullness of life and the challenges and the open-mindedness it brings.
Today was very difficult.
Today was very hard. Today I needed another adult to pick up the reins.
But the years are short.
And if anything, this family is living proof that things are always changing.
Always for the better.
Slow but sure.
Knowing first-hand what we get through each day, I'm definitely proud of our achievements so far!
The best is yet to come.