Disappointing as it may be to That Man, there will never be anything Stepford about me. I can bake, but I don’t do it recreationally. I love to cook, but I don’t do it to impress work colleagues. I can dance, but I don’t do it sober in a floral frock. And pearls? I like them black.
I wrote last year about my immense frustration with being at home, and the fact I’d thoroughly misplaced my patience. Sadly this is not a victory post. In fact, today I’m dangerously close to taking myself off for some ‘Time out’ in the sandpit to try and breathe and feel some sand between my toes. It’s about as close to the beach and some ‘me time’ as I’m likely to get. HOWEVER – I think I may have found, if not the patience, then some trick around it. BALANCE. Or some approximation of it, anyway.
For me, that balance is work. I’ve been working two days per week in the office, doing work I love, for about a month or so now. My permanence hasn’t been confirmed so I’m a bit hesitant about declaring the work drought over, though I’m super-optimistic and feeling less like a citrus-fruit than I was around October last year.
Today, as a home day, has been a TOUGH DAY. Often they’re not, and we hang out and are chilled and relaxed and play together nicely. Yes! I know how to share! This is not that day, however. Keeping me going is the promise of a cappuccino, a desk, and air-conditioning tomorrow. Little A, my pocket rocket, has today drawn with biro on the white wardrobe (‘couldn’t find any paper mum’), put lipstick on the dog, taken 15 minutes to go to the toilet at the gym with the ‘engaged’ lock on the door and me outside, then had a fight with me about seatbelts. Oh, and hurt herself 3 times (falling off things, getting feet stuck in things), and spilt 2 cups of water. It’s only 4pm. I’m so tense I could scream, and with much guilt, I admit I have been. Revision: 5 minutes later – I have just found her in the bathroom lathered in Lucas’ pawpaw cream and water, over her face, arms, hands and hair. WHHYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!! Attention? Me going to work? Maybe I should be sitting with her and a book or playing, but we are both so mad at each other we need a little space right now. Tomorrow is a fresh start and we had a chat and makeup cuddles at bed.
I’m relieved to be going to work tomorrow. People listen to me there, and say ‘thank you’, and suggest I go and make myself a cup of coffee before we do some work. I sit and eat lunch in a courtyard garden, and read my Kindle on the train, and wear nice clothes, and get PAID to do these things. The best part of all is, I miss my girls, and I kiss their little faces all over when I come home, and look forward to playing with them all the next day. Work 5 days? That’s hard. Two days? That feels like balance, and like fake patience, because it makes me fresh for the girls twice each week. It also feels selfish, but I’ve almost convinced myself it’s part of making me a better mother. Plus, money.
This Mumbot Version 2.0 I’m working on? There’s nothing Stepford about it. Like that Vegemite Version 2.0 (Cheesymite?) they brought out a year or so ago and had trouble naming, I’m a work-in-progress. There’s a slower, more planned and organised way I’d like to deal with and respond to the girls, without the heights of emotion and the urgency of being late. Now, if only I can get the littlest family member to play along …