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It’s all just an act!

This one’s a mental download post – it simply serves to get my thoughts out of my head so they stop festering! Here goes…

Anyone with children knows that life is just one big balancing act. You basically just make it up as you go along and hope for the best… Most of the time it’s fine. And then along comes a spell like the last few weeks.

I’d love to pinpoint the date the balance started to shift but I can’t. It’s been a subtle shift over a period of time and has now reached ludicrousness!

The Husband, always busy and hotfooting all over London and the South East managing his projects, has been under immense pressure… and it’s increasing. Whilst I can be prone to a touch of poetic licence to make the blog a little more readable (let’s face it, life is pretty dull for most people most of the time!) I am in no way exaggerating when I say that he has been working long into the evening, after a full on day. And on some days has been working into the early hours of the morning. Coupled with the fact that he’s generally out the door by 6.15 every morning, he is utterly exhausted and not seeing very much of the girls at all.

Meanwhile, I’ve been ‘attempting’ to absorb the home pressures – but not being well known for keeping my opinions to myself I do occasionally let rip with a few points of view… Most of which The Husband doesn’t really need to hear, it’s stuff he already knows!

Generally things are sort of all well and good, but of late, my work pressures have increased too. Simultaneously, Youngest Mini Me has been hurtling towards her 2nd birthday (the feared Terrible Twos clearly emerging) and Eldest Mini Me is suffering extreme End of Term-itis (tired, grouchy & emotional). Basically, the household seems to be in a constant state of over-tired, stressed, panic, headed up by me – the Screaming Banshee of the Hedge!

This week things peaked (or at least I hope they have). With Wednesday childcare issues ongoing (resolved from the start of the Summer holidays thankfully… although only to be replaced by a different set of childcare issues!) and Youngest Mini-Me turning two yesterday, I can’t even explain the guilt and conflict at having to rely on other people to change their plans to do the necessary pickups from school and the childminder, and more importantly of missing most of her birthday party. For the first time in a very long time, work pressures reduced me to tears. To be fair, it wasn’t so much the work thing as the absolutely crappy timing that made everything turn to rat-shit (sorry Mum!) on Flo’s 2nd birthday!

It wasn’t until much later that I realised I had also missed the ‘Meet the Year 1 Teacher’ parents evening…Go on then, lets have an extra dollop of mummy guilt!

As a result I headed to bed last night too mentally and emotionally drained to even consider setting the alarm for the planned 5am run (curiously I just mis-typed that as rum….. is it too early?).

But after all’s said and done, working is a choice I make and it’s one that’s right for me and my family. It keeps me sane and (hopefully) makes me a better parent. Unfortunately I have to accept that sometimes it will also mean I can’t be where I want / need to be. I can’t lie though, it’s bloody hard!

If you’re still with me, thanks for reading and apologies for the indulgence! I’d love to hear I’m not alone.

Here’s your open invitation to the Pity Party, come on in and share your woes!!! 🙂

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6 thoughts on “It’s all just an act!”

  1. You are definitely not alone Liz. It may be aeons ago since my two were tiny but everything you say resonates. I sometimes think we set ourselves up to fail. Children are very resilient though and whilst we may suffer the guilt pangs, they only remember the good times, or so mine tell me!
    Sounds like you are doing a great job.

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  2. You are most definitely not alone! We were in a very similar situation this time last year with Neil commuting to Oxford every day leaving the house before the boys were awake and not getting home until they were in bed most nights. Then he was working into the small hours at home all for an utterly horrid boss who didn’t appreciate any of it! Childcare, housework, shopping and feeding us all was all down to me. My work was suffering as i was constantly late meaning i was trying to make up hours during the day by cutting into my lunch break and i always felt guilty having to leave bang on 5 while my colleagues were all still working. It was stressful for all of us especially as neil was very unhappy and stressed in his job. Thankfully (although it was scary at the time) he finally had enough and quit his job just before Ewan started school. I had no idea that school would be such a relentless volley of letters, things to remember, events that parents are expected to attend in the middle of the day, dressing up days, dressing down days, forms to fill in etc etc. I thought I was quite an organised person but this last year has made me think again! There is no way I would still be sane if neil had not found a great new job. It’s lower paid so we’ve had to become even more frugal than before (I do miss having my sainsbury shopping delivered every week but lidl ‘s not so bad!) but it’s local meaning we can share the childminder/ school drop offs and pick ups, it’s much lower stress so we are all happier and his new employers are very accommodating so we can usually sort things out so that at least one of us can attend school things.
    So I take my hat off to you liz, and I’d say you are doing a great job under very difficult circumstances. Hang in there its nearly the summer hols! (Hope you’ve got some time off work to relax). I think being a working parent is a juggling act for everyone it’s just that some people have more and bigger balls to keep in the air than others! The good thing is that the more you practice juggling the better you get at it 😊

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    1. Wow, sounds like you had a nightmare time last year. I’m glad things are better now you’re right though, school is like an additional job… I actually dread opening the flaming book bag as whenever I do it seems to deliver yet more things to do!!
      Not much time off over the summer sadly but at least there’s no school run so the mornings should be a bit less stressy!!

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  3. You are not alone; have been doing the work/mothering/guilt trip with three children over the past 15 years. Mostly guilt.
    But like you, I know that the work is necessary for me and so I live with the guilt. Having a rant every now and again helps. Also, from experience, I know that everything looks better when you have had a decent night’s sleep. Hats off to you, keep going and keep checking that whatever pattern you’re in still works for you. x

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