Being a working mummy is tough at times. People tell you how great it is to feel yourself again, have a hot cup of coffee and enjoy using your brain for adult topics. This is all great but sometimes the split life of a working parent can become overwhelming. The two separate compartments become full to bursting. Exceeding capacity. Each side bleeding in to each other. The carefully maintained juggling act suddenly unsustainable. Balls dropping all over the place. Mental capacity exceeded. Therefore I am taking action. I am taking a break.
What was I going to say?
I started to notice my mental capacity slipping a few weeks ago. I missed an appointment. I went to it, just 25 minutes late. I had written it down but my brain stored the time incorrectly. I was mortified as I had juggled a number of balls to attend the appointment in the first place. I missed important deadlines like the MOT on my car and the return date for school photographs. Small things (and big things) but frustrating none the less. Mostly because sorting it out caused extra inconvenience.
Other things I began to notice was an inability to finish a sentence before I had forgotten what I was going to say. This has happened to me before obviously but this was more than occasionally. This was a daily occurrence. It was like my head was full of thick fog and the words couldn’t work their way out. Little things leaving me confused like when I unpacked the shopping and couldn’t find the spread I was adamant I had bought. I discovered it two days later in the bottom of my handbag.
My home is suffocating me
Since returning to work in September we have had a run of life hurdles thrown in our way as a family. Nothing so serious thank God but enough to cause an extra level of stress and strain between work and family life. From Top monkeys’ broken wrist to my eye infection, the sprained foot and in the last two weeks a full blown family wide bout of gastroenteritis. I am probably lucky I still have a job.
The navigating, plan changing, disappointment inducing, exhausting, brain melting, non stop chore of it all has taken its toll on me. This came out a few weeks ago following a mix up over a GP appointment. The nurse making the appointment last minute booked it on a day I was at work. I managed to confirm it and get work covered. But as I dashed over there the nurse accidentally cancelled it and it was given away. As I burst in to tears in her office as she apologised, she took my hands in hers and said “what is it? Is it your husband?” “No” I wailed. “It’s because I haven’t got time for this and I had a 45 minute argument with my child this morning about French toast!”” I’ve never made French Toast!””I was late for work again and then I had to beg to get out to attend this appointment.” She reached in her drawer and quietly slid the Talking Therapies leaflet across the desk towards me.
A two week break for me
I am on leave from work now. A two week break for me. Not to cover school holidays. A Monkey free break to sort this out. I booked it 12 weeks ago and it has been difficult to hang on to. It has required having to take some unpaid leave to cover monkey illness. At times I didn’t think I would make it. I have plans which I dare not speak about in case it goes wrong.
Friends have said in a well meaning way that I should ignore the jobs and take time for me but I disagree. You see I am not striving for perfection here I am just trying to move aside some of the things that are making the day to day movement impossible. Like removing all of the monkey clothes that don’t fit anymore. Removing my clothes that don’t fit anymore or have become so full of holes they are unwearable. Finding summer shoes and jackets. Filing the out of date paperwork and putting those dates on the Calendar. Finally booking the family holiday we have been talking about for months.
Taking a little bit of space
I had to remove work from the equation to focus completely on home. To do the school run and listen to what the monkeys have on at school. Start reading bedtime stories again instead of a quick song and a cuddle because I am too exhausted. Just time to breathe again.
I also need to write again. I’ve had hardly any time to blog, administrate the blog and just empty my head of all of the stuff getting blocked in there. If I just sat around drinking tea and reading a book, which would be amazing, I will be back at work in the same sorry, frustrating, suffocating position and I cannot and will not do that to myself or them. I am the mummy, around me they all orbit like the planets round the sun. All needing my warmth and attention. I owe it to them to stay strong and burn bright. I’m not talking about unrealistic goals just space to tackle what needs to be done to keep things moving.
So here I am on day 1. I have done ok so far although I drank wine for Mother’s Day yesterday and I have already needed a lie down. I move between panicking I haven’t got much time to achieve all I want to and taking deep breaths and prioritising the important stuff. Wine fog isn’t helping. But hey ho, I’ve got two weeks and 5 more Monkey free days. Now I’m off to make a cuppa and maybe have a nap.