Otherwise entitled, How I ruined Easter 😦
I ummed and ahhed about writing this, and I almost didn’t, but for two reasons. 1) For the sake of my own records, I need to be able to look back and say “there’s where I went wrong, and this is what I need to do different next time”, and 2) For the 6 people who read this blog, other than me and the moderator (hi Dad 🙂 ), I want to keep it real. It’s not all rainbows and lollipops. And while this is more about me and less about Miss 5, my experience influences hers, so my thoughts and feelings need to be addressed and validated, even if it’s only by me.
This week has sucked. There is nothing else for it. Sucked big time. Miss 11 months is cutting teeth. She is waking during the night, and screaming incessantly during the day. Miss 2.5 is, well she’s 2.5. She’s intense, she’s demanding, she’s loud, she’s highly verbal, she’s non-stop, she’s into everything and she’s noticing the shift of my focus and my attention when it’s “school time” with Miss 5. And of course her natural response is to be even more intense, and loud, and into everything, and verbal in order to get more of my attention.
The week started with a couple of rough nights with Miss 11 months. Then I had the night from hell!! Miss 11 months awake between 11 and 12. I had just got myself settled and back to sleep, when Miss 5 and Miss 2.5 came into the room, hand in hand. Miss 2.5 lost her Bunny in the middle of the night, so miss 5 brought her down to me, knowing that I would get up and find Bunny. This was just after 1am. I settled them both and went back to bed. Only to be woken by Miss 11 months at 2.30am. Miss 2.5 crawled back into bed with me at around 3.30am – giant scary snowmen were prowling, apparently – and Miss 5 joined us at 4.30am because she was lonely. Miss 11 months woke up at 5.30am for breakfast. And it’s in this haze of exhaustion, that I started the week. And it just kept going downhill. And of course without any sleep, things tend to spiral out of control much quicker don’t they?
And here’s the thing; all of a sudden I have realised that I just can’t reconcile the person that I’m supposed to be. I am a mother of three very small people. I have a household to run, bills to pay, meals to prepare, theatre classes, swimming classes (and soon sports and preschool classes) to get them to. For my own, personal reasons, I cannot leave the housework. I simply cannot have a dirty house. Untidy, of course, I live with four people who don’t understand how to pick up after themselves, but dirty? No. Can’t do it. AND now I have added the responsibility of educating my daughter into this as well. Man alive, I am SO overwhelmed. How the hell am I supposed to do ALL of this. AND give my children the attention and love they deserve, AND find the time to give myself a break, AND still have the energy, desire or motivation to be an attentive wife at the end of the day, AND manage to smile, AND keep my sanity?? I feel so spread thin, that instead of doing a great job at a few things, I feel like I’m doing a very mediocre job at everything. I am not being a good wife, to be honest, at the end of the day, the last thing I want to hear about is how crappy someone else’s day was. I’m not playing with Miss 2.5 as much as she wants me to, I’m not picking up and cuddling Miss 11 months as much as I did the others at that age (and there’s a whole world of guilt wrapped up in that one), and I’m not doing any justice to Miss 5, and what she wants. I have found myself saying no to her and her requests to do more school work!! Seriously! She has said “mummy, can we do x,y,z for school” and I have caught myself saying “not today darling, go out and play.” How can I take on this role, and then refuse her requests to learn??
And everywhere I look there is chaos. Things on the floor, half done jobs and projects everywhere, clothes that have been washed and folded, but not put away. Still sitting, washed and folded, in the same spot they were 3 weeks ago!! And I want to scream! “I know you can’t clean the house, I know it’s not your job to clean the house, I don’t want you to have to clean the house. But do you have to make my job even harder? Can’t you at least put your clothes into the washing basket? Can’t you at least wipe up the mess that you made, or not leave your damn shoes in the middle of the floor where you took them off?”
So I’m not keeping up with the house work, I’m not keeping up with Miss 5s expectations for school, I’m not keeping up with being a proper mother to all 3 of the girls, and I have spent the last week being cross and cranky and tired and overwhelmed, and scared that Miss 5 is going to come to me and tell me she wants to go to school, just so she can get away from her crazy, cranky mother! And I feel like I’ve backed myself into a corner. I can’t speak up, I can’t ask for help, I can’t ask for something that I can’t expect to receive.
In a perfect world, I would have a network of people whom I could turn to and say “You know what, I need help.” Or “Can I just drop the girls off for a couple of hours? I need some time to regroup, centre myself, or just mop the goddamn floor”, but I chose to move to Perth. I left my family and my closest friends and I moved 4,500kms away (and while I have made friends with a small but wonderful group of ladies, it’s not quite the same). And that was my choice, and I don’t regret it. But the point it it was my choice. Just like homeschooling Miss 5 is my choice. I pushed the point, and I decided this was the way I wanted to live. And it is, it definitely is, BUT now I feel like I’m backed into a corner. I feel the weight of “this was all your decision, your choice, you made the bed now lay in it” hanging over my head. I have survived the last 3 years, moving into 3 different houses, 2 pregnancies, 2 newborns and 1 miscarriage with very little in the way of a support network. I truly believed that I could do this. I truly thought that compared to those events, educating Miss 5 at home would be a breeze. But on days like today, I feel that I cannot do enough, I am not doing enough. I am just not enough. And yeah, I probably should have thought of this all before I pulled her out of school. But I didn’t.
So I have refused to join in the Easter celebrations with Husband and his family. Which, as you can imagine, has made me the least popular person in the world. Husband will have to face the embarrassing task of lying to cover for me. But I’ve had to do that too, and I know that he’ll live. I did. In the meantime I’m relishing the next 4 hours to myself. To be able to put myself back together, make a better plan for Miss 5s next school week, cuddle my baby without making another child jealous, and maybe even put away the basket of washing that I’ve been staring at for nearly a month. Maybe. Or I might nap 😉
I can sit here and recognise, that I need some sleep. And I can recognise that I need some time just for myself. And I know that I’m not going to give up on this, and that next week is a new week. I know that tomorrow I will put my big girls pants on and start taking care of business again. But on days like today I am building a blanket fort, and hiding in it.
To end on a positive rather than finish this, feeling sorry for myself, Miss 5 is starting to read. And as soon as I figure out how to put the video of it on the blog, I’ll do that too. She’s doing a wonderful job 🙂