Mumbot Version 2.0 – a work in progress

This is not me. This is, in fact, Nicole Kidman. Doing the acting.

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.

There are two invisible kids sitting on the heavy side. Can you see them?

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 …

xx

41 thoughts on “Mumbot Version 2.0 – a work in progress

  1. Pingback: Mumbot Version 2.0 - an update - Falling Face FirstFalling Face First

  2. Oh Kim, this could be me. Apart from the fact I hate commuting to work and I also hate lots of things about the lunatics I work with, I STILL appreciate my two days “off” from the smalls. I get screamy too. We should be.friends x
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  3. I know that working part time and having the social connection with co-workers along with on-the-job thinking makes me a much better mum. I just wish I had a long enough commute to enjoy an e-book ;)
    x

  4. Hee, hee – I ‘m with you Jacqui! My daughter smashed a full bottle of my new perfume on the bathroom floor yesterday while “trying it out”. I was tempted to throw her out with the broken bottle…. We went to the park to blow off steam instead.

    • Good move Sue – very wise decision. (The park i mean, not the bin). I was tempted to take mine back to the daughter shop, but then they go to sleep, and become fresh and perfect again.

  5. i envy u… leaving the house, wearing nice clothes that wont be covered in weet-bix by 9am, silence…. my kids do all that annoying stuff, plus they are in an arrangement where one of them is always crying…. hurry up school holidays and be over already!!!!

    • I know how you feel Sophie – though I’m torn right now between wishing them away and wanting to hold on to my little girl before she starts school. 10 days I think! Going to have to learn to iron. Booooo.

  6. Sounds like a great balance to me! The boys are in daycare 3 days a week this year and I love the idea of spending 2 of those at a job and be a normal adult. Do what you need to do to keep sane…and still love your family! x

  7. I work 4 short days (school hours) and I don’t have the balance right. I would rather work 3 long days and have an extra day at home but you do what you have to do. I know that I am a better mother for having some time away from them so don’t feel guilty for that, particularly after the day you have had! I hope tomorrow is a better day for you Kim.

    • Thanks Kirsty – today has been wonderful. Stimulating, satisfying work, smiling kids happy to see me, lovely kind people on my blog, and a husband that cooked dinner. I’m actually feeling a little blessed right now. Xxx

  8. When Bell was little, I worked in an office 2 days per week, and I swear it kept me sane. Balance is the hardest thing for me to achieve right now, but i think we just have to keep working on it.
    And as I read your post, I was thinking thank goodness it was water and not milk. I’m all for the small wins. x

  9. Not one of us is the same, and we all need to work out the right balance for us all. If working two days works for you, and helps you be more patient, that’s awesome. You can’t be something you’re not

  10. I could NOT agree more Kim! When I have hard days at home I think THANK CHRIST I HAVE A JOB! I’m working 3 days and it is a good balance. It’s peaceful. It makes us all happy. And I don’t dance sober either. x

    • I know – 10 years ago we would have thought we (us, now) were mental for thinking work is peaceful. But, it is! It’s like paid yoga. Xx

    • Agh I know what you mean – cant get the job before the childcare, or the childcare before the job. The old crappy cost-prohibitive hamster wheel. Want to borrow a spade??

  11. I can totally relate, I work from home two days a week, and my 3 kids go to daycare. While I yearn to actually have a workplace that isn’t my computer in my own house, I do love the break from the constant demands. And when they’re not at daycare they seem to run circles around me and yes there are times when I scream my head off because I am at my wits’ end! I’m just trying to get through one day at a time. But it’s bloody hard when they are little shits, eg rub playdough into the alfresco area, pour water on couches, cabinets and put toothpaste everywhere they can. Hang in there, I’m told it gets better – YAWN! xx

    • Yeah…I keep hearing that too. Nobody says exactly WHEN. Little L at 5.5 is becoming quite lovely though. I worked from home 3-4 days for 4 years, and it’s bliss to not be able to see the washing from your desk!!!

  12. Staying at home with kids full time is not for everyone! I certainly understand that need to have a break, and how it can and does make you a better mother. You suddenly appreciate the time you are with them, rather than resent it, if that makes sense. At least, that’s how it was for me. x Aroha #teamIBOT

    • Thanks Aroha – it’s so funny. Everyone at work moaning about how tired they are and brain-fried, and I feel like I’m on holiday! It’s all relative I guess… ;)

  13. The Stepford wives were lobotomized robots (and Rosebud’s a sled) – do I need to say more? The whole stay at home mum thing was propaganda in the ’50′s to get women out of the workforce for the returning service men to get jobs.
    Never, never feel guilty about (a) wanting to work (b) being driven nuts someday by being at home with the kids….

    FYI, I have worked full time with kids, part time with kids and currently stay at home with the kids. The hardest challenge in all these situations is the guilt and self judgement of the adult. That’s probably the part that needs to be worried about?! Why are we so pointlessly mean to ourselves?

    • Haha ‘Rosebud’s a sled’! Yep… Not something I’m aspiring to. Great comment – and thanks for absolving my guilt, especially from one who has done it all. It’s so true about the 1950s…. My grandma was one who loved her work before she stepped down, I’m sure like many others.

    • You scream, you complain, you tear your hair out, you jump around a lot, and you apply for a motherlode of jobs. Oh – and flog your booty all over LinkedIn. But, like I said, I could be unemployed again next week… ;)

  14. I always thought 2 days was perfect, 3 days too much (says I who officially start ‘full time’ work today, while hubby becomes the SAHD), but yes, lunch breaks are great and do make you appreciate the kids even more if that’s possible (mine has always been obsessed with pawpaw ointment, too. Why? Why?)

    • I don’t know what it is…. Is there some kind of subliminal marketing thing going on with the pawpaw ointment? Did i rub it on my preggo belly too often? Back full time…. Good luck to you mate. I look forward to hearing how it goes. Don’t disappear… ;)

  15. I wholeheartedly understand!
    Some days have nothing to do with balance or patience, they are all about survival – you or them!
    Work is perfect for that balance – or just perfect for you to keep your sanity!
    Great reading xx

  16. Oh my! That sounds so outrageously normal to me… The paw paw, the drawing, the spills and falls….On some days at least. Some days are fab. We all like those .:) I am sure you are doing a great job, and hope you enjoy your work days, they sound like heaven.

    • Thanks for the reassurance Hun, but yesterday I was plain crap. Today, however, was great! And I have big plans for tomorrow…:)

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