life in the fast lane

Guys, it’s been a while. I’m not going to launch into apologies though because I’d therefore be setting a terrible precedent and would likely have to begin posts that way every time given my lack of consistency here. Let’s just all acknowledge my blogging has become very sporadical, and then none of us will be disappointed. I’ve also got weird things going on with photos on the blog which I haven’t had time to investigate so many apologies there.

Moving on. I don’t even know where to start really, so much has been happening lately, hence my disappearance from this space. Mothers who work: please come to my aid. I am falling to pieces in my new life. Don’t laugh, but I really don’t think I’m cut out for employment. Do you hear me? Seriously, working and parenting and maintaing some semblance of a life of my own – um, slightly unrealistic people!!! Whoever put this idea into my head that I could do it all, please stand up now so that I can have someone to blame other than myself (and possibly throw something [soft] at you)… and my husband… who really would like to get out of the line of fire right now (sorry KB).

Basically I’ve got my knickers in a knot and they have become rather tight. Most of you know I’m not terribly organised… and that was when I was a stay at home mum. Now I’m a working mum and my life is a complete shambles. It is literally raining down around me in the form of dirty laundry, upset children and unmade beds… all my cooking, sewing, whole foods, meal planning, tidying, being-on-top-of-things, hanging out at the park, going with the flow, wearing thongs (flip flops) type lifestyle is currently ground to a complete halt.

I spent two hours last night washing dishes, and the house is still a mess.

I put on three loads of washing today and still had to step over laundry to get to my lounge room tonight.

I mopped the floor last night at 8.30pm (on a Saturday night… joy) and today it is covered in muck.

The girls and I went down into the backyard this morning for the first time in over a month, and it was – quite literally – a jungle. There were a number of dandelions which were taller than Birdie… she’s four and a half. (I pulled them out?)

Even when I do make an effort, life seems to overcome me.

When I think of the term ‘working mother’ I think of a lady with her hair pulled back (neatly), wearing a black (or navy) blazer, smart shoes and a crisp shirt or blouse of some description. She gets home to a house with tiles, and most likely a foyer or entrance area where shoes, coats and keys are neatly and minimally placed. She has planned her meals for the week and she has one of those island bench thingys (cleared and clean) in the middle of her (tiled) kitchen. The children wear clean clothes (possibly ironed) and have places to put their various things. A place for everything and everything in its place. Is this what you think of?

I asked my Mum the other day, “Do you think I’m dirty?” She laughed and said no, but there was a slight hesitation and I’m fairly confident she was lying.

I’ve noticed most motherly type blogs give advice on how to do things and get things right. I fear I am continually leaning in the opposite direction, begging for help and advice myself. Nevertheless, in my heart of hearts I know that there are other messy, disorganised mothers out there who tirelessly blame their creativity (ha!) and fun loving natures (ha!) for their lack of coordination in the home, and that they are still brilliant mothers. If I can’t become the mum in the blazer with the kitchen island, I only wish I knew how to sit more comfortably amongst the dirty washing in my moth eaten t-shirt.

Any words of advice, commiseration or camaraderie would be warmly accepted.


5 thoughts on “life in the fast lane

  1. Dearest Motherwho, I have been a so-called ‘working mother’ now for 7 long years. Carting wee babies to day care, barely sleeping, never cleaning beyond dishes and washing. It takes its toll. The bloggers are right; it means getting organised. BUT, you have to know where to cut your pie. How big to cut the work piece of pie? How big to cut ‘time alone’? You’ve only got one pie!

    Everyone makes their own choices about what’s right for them, as it should be. I’ve sacrificed holidays, motorcycle riding, great job offers, sleep, my dignity (“Sorry we can’t come. We can’t afford to go out for dinner this month”.).

    But I’ve held on to the few things we’ve meticulously and painfully decided are most important for us. Breastfeeding (all choices for feeding are valid – I mean no judgement), a village of close-knit helpers in action from day one (we tried to build this intentionally), and decent work that put our children in good care no more than three days a week. Our income has halved, but extreme thriftiness (and I mean EXTREME) has brought us through to the other side, and next year I kiss the youngest off at the school gate.

    The good and bad news for you is this: you’re in the best and worst part now. And you always will be. Each stage brings new extremes of both delight and difficulty. For me right now, I’m stumbling my way through in-depth reproduction discussions and pre-teen angst. It’s fascinating and HORRIBLE. But she can hang out washing, dry and put away dishes, make breakfast, get dressed, make lunch, brush her hair, help her brother, remember important dates.

    There’s a pay off as they get older – they need less physical assistance. But they need you to be a real person as they enter older childhood, someone who’ll guide them through and not falter. And to be THAT person, you need to go through this part now, making choices about going to yoga and forgiving yourself the massive washing pile. You’ll have a lot more time on your hands just around the corner as they start to organise sleepovers with school friends. At the homes of parents you don’t know THAT well. All night.

    See? Tomorrow has new problems, new worries. So why sweat today’s worries? They’ll soon pass and new ones will emerge.

    Let go of the guilt and of the whole, wide world’s expectations of how things should be, and dig deep into your own values to make choices that you can feel good about. Then, feel good! You’re doing the very best you can with what you have to work with, right?

    Dust youself off! And get on with doing what works for you four. Time is short. Pre-teen angst is imminent.

    Big love to you.

    • I love this comment Sarah. “You’re in the best and worst bit right now and always will be”. I often feel like this being in the baby/toddler bit right now -why does this amazing time have to be so hard. Tomorrow has new worries so why sweat today’s worries is great advice and so is make your choices and be happy about them. Thank you for this reminder 😄

  2. Have you ever heard of that saying “comparison is the thief of joy”? It’s true. One day when you are old, you aren’t going to be sitting there congratulating yourself on your perceived success simply because the floor was tidy and the washing done each day. Give yourself a break. You are doing the best you can and that’s all you have. One day, when you are old, you will be proud of yourself that you showed your children that it can be done, you showed them how to let it go, and you showed them that perfection is not the only way. You will remember their happy smiles and their cute little conversations… and they couldn’t give two sh*ts about the washing or the floor. Keep perspective. They will only be little for a bit and then you will have revolting teenager arguments instead and suddenly the washing will look amazingly interesting oncemore. Trust me. x

  3. I loved this post ! It sounds very much like me at the moment (minus the working bit ) my youngest is 8 months and literally cries every time I put him down at the moment, impossible to get very much done and things are piling up.
    Your girls are loved and cared for and that’s all that really matters 😄

  4. Pingback: Blazers Make Everything Nice | Ashley Ann Author's Blog

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