The holiday is over

Today, after 5 weeks off, I went back to work.

Back to the coal face.

Put my nose to the grindstone.

Working for the man.

And all that jazz…

I know I should be feeling rejuvenated, refreshed and motivated to get back to it. But I’m not. I’m rather ambivalent about it all really.

Perhaps it’s the circus that is the kindy drop off /school-run before work.

Perhaps it’s the concerns I have about my boy starting after school care when he’s I’m we are quite anxious about it.

Perhaps it’s the long list of holiday to-do’s that didn’t get done. Again. Still.

Perhaps I’m really not that enamoured with my job.

Or perhaps it’s all of these things combined with the fact that I don’t really feel like I’ve had much of a holiday at all. Apart from a month ago when we had a week at the coast (which, by the way, felt exactly like a holiday), these days time away from work just feels like… life.

Broken nights, early mornings, washing and housework, meals to prepare. These things rarely take leave.

Gone are the days of holidays equating to sleeping til noon, watching (non Disney) movies and reading books all day before going out for dinner. No more spontaneous road trips or living off takeaways.

Alright, I must admit these holidays have had a lot of highlights, a new car, a new puppy and the beginning of a new journey for my Wilful One.

Actually, it has just struck me that after 5 years of parenting my definition of ‘holiday’ needs to change significantly. Life might not take a holiday but I need to appreciate that having one less obligation/responsibility competing for my time and energy (i.e. paid work) certainly does qualify as a holiday.

One thing is for sure, by the end of this week, the last month will look a hell of a lot more like a holiday!

What’s your idea of a holiday?

Linking up with Jess @ Diary of a SAHM for 

 

 

 

 

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Wordless Wednesday: Mothers Group

One of the few things that makes me smile on a workday is the resident mothers group.

Linking up with My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday

My Little Drummer Boys

SAHM vs Working Mum

Motherhood_frame_large

 

Today is a rare day for me at home alone. I’m off work sick & the kidlets are at kindy/preschool.  I thought I would spend the day relaxing, sleeping, blogging and generally chilling out.  Instead I’ve mopped, vacuumed, attacked Mt Washmore (4 baskets folded & put away!), striped beds, cleaned out the fireplace, tidied the toy room and have plans for making some meals to freeze before popping to the shops and collecting the offspring.  Phew!  Doesn’t sound relaxing does it? But apart from still feeling pretty sick, I’m feeling fantastic about what I have been able to achieve without interruptions, kid’s snacks & meals to prepare and the general feeling of fatigue that usually accompanies my days at home with the children.

I work 3 days a week with the kids in care on these days. I’m so in awe of mum’s who work 5 days a week. I’m not sure how they achieve anything (or have any sanity left) however I know some wouldn’t have it any other way.

Today has made me question what my preference is. Being a stay at home mum (SAHM) or a working mum.   

Obviously I had time off when the boys were born but must say this was largely wasted on me for various reasons. I thought I would be organised. I thought I would be social. I thought I would be fulfilled. I was not. My post on Thursday will shed some further light on why…

After my first stint of maternity leave, I was keen to get back to work. In hindsight, I had never really disconnected from my work. I kept in touch with my colleagues regularly, knew what was happening and wanted to be involved again.  However, after I had been back a few months, I started to feel that I had robbed myself and my son of precious time together. This wasn’t altogether true, of course. We needed the money and the Wilful One was being cared for by his 2 grandma’s which has created wonderful relationship between him and them.  It was clear to me though that my priorities had changed.

My time off after Bam Bam’s birth was somewhat different. It was busier with 2 under 3 and even though I thought I knew what I was doing the second time round, a new baby always brings new challenges. And Bam Bam was (& is still) a very big challenge.  Even so, I wasn’t keen to go back to work but did after 13 months as The Man’s work prospects were already starting to look grim at that point.

It’s hard to believe I’ve been back 18 months. It’s difficult, as even though I like my job and am only there part-time, I find all I think about are the things I have to do at home.  When I’m at home I feel overwhelmed by the prospect of achieving these things with constant interruptions from little people. I feel guilty that I’m not spending as much time as I should playing and teaching them. I feel guilty that the house is always in a semi-state of chaos. I feel guilty for sneaking off to have a coffee and do some blogging. I HATE feeling guilty.

I think a craving for intellectual stimulation was a big factor in my “need to work” after having my first child. Now that I have my blog, I feel I have an outlet for that. So would if be different now if I was a full-time SAHM? Would I be organised, social and fulfilled? Would I feel guilty for not contributing to our family financially?

I know every mum faces these dilemmas. The work/family/life balance is not a new quandary by any stretch.

Ultimately, my ideal would be having a business I could run from home. One day this might happen.  But for now I must be content to have a secure part-time job with the guarantee of returning full-time if when I’m ready. Our babies are well cared for when I’m at work and have ample (much loved) home time. I know I am lucky to be in this position but boy am I looking forward to 5 weeks holidays in October so I can play SAHM a little more.

Tell me, what’s your ideal? SAHM, WAHM or working mum?

 

 

 

 

Image from We Heart It

Grateful for…a whole lot

Well this week has been hectic, frustrating and draining but on reflection I find I’m grateful for a lot of things, without which it could have been a whole lot worse.

1. Australia Post – I know. Strange huh?  Never thought I’d find myself saying it but it’s true.  I love shopping online and think it’s a great way to purchase gifts, but this week I left my run a little late. It was a close call but the poster and the postie both came through for me & I received my item today in time for gifting to a very special someone tomorrow!

.la douleur exquise.

2. Consciencous work mates – few & far between where I work, but those few are awesome and have saved me a lot of hassle by covering my training sessions for the rest of the days I don’t normally work. No more last minute babysitters required!

3. Male parental figure at my house (aka The Man) – without whom a certain monster would rule the roost. Not sure why, but I have absolutely no control over Bam Bam. We have a trashed bedroom &  scratches on my arm after today’s attempts to get him to nap which stand testimony to this!  The Man, on the other hand, just says the word & he’s asleep. My theory is that they speak the same language. Go figure.

4. Microwaves – without which I would not still be drinking a hot coffee which was originally made 4 hours ago.

And last, but definitely not least…

5. Red wine & chocolate – no further elaboration required.

What are you grateful for this week? Don’t forget to pop over to Maxabella loves… for some more thankful thoughts.

Beautiful gift image courtesy of We Heart It.

TGIF

I’m grateful a little early this week because I’m feeling extra grateful for Fridays. They are the beginning of my weekend and boy it seemed to take a long time to get here this week!  It’s been a strange and painful couple of days.

I took a little trip down some stairs at work on Tuesday, managing to twist my ankle and bruise most of the rest of me.  It’s been a bit of a struggle, hopping through kindy drop-offs, campus-wide audits and ridiculous amounts of meetings. Plus it’s been soooo cold! I really do believe my office is a portal to the arctic. Thank goodness for scarves and my secret office indulgence, a footrest heater (*ssh*).

So you can see why today I am very grateful for Friday. A home day for me and the boys. We stayed in our PJ’s till 11am and then went out into the sunshine where I set up an obstacle course so the boys could burn off some energy without me having to run around with them. What a lovely start to the weekend.

One thing I’ve realised this week is how much I’ve let our routine slip lately. Time to get organised to make my working week run a little more smoothly. Even though it’s only 3 days, lack of planning (& little accidents) can make our normally chaotic house more so than usual! I plan on using these great menu planners courtesy of  Super Organiser Mum as a kick-start to getting us back on track. I love these matching To Do’s as well. The pinboard is going up tomorrow!

What are you grateful for this week? Don’t forget to pop over to Maxabella loves…  tomorrow for some more thankful thoughts.

Collect Call

I was frantically finalising a document for submission when my mobile phone rang at 11.58am. I glanced at the screen and saw what every working mother dreads…the name of our daycare centre. A sick child requiring collection.

Not yet a full week into cold weather and the lurgy is upon us already. As much as I love winter, I hate the cold and flu season. My poor babies were plagued by illness last winter. We had a full 4 months of back to back bugs and far more antibiotics than I was comfortable with. Not to mention far more days off work than I was comfortable with too! Fortunately my boss is very understanding when it comes to such things however my mummy guilt and employee guilt clash terribly under such circumstances!

Perhaps next winter I will plan to take a few months long service over winter to appease my guilt on both fronts (what a smashing idea!) but for this afternoon I’ll try to enjoy the cuddles of my sick little man guilt-free.

Does your household suffer much illness over winter?