Wednesday, 8 December 2010

A Different Life

I'm half anticipating and half dreading 2011.

Excited because it's the new year. It's a clean calendar.

Dreading it because it means big changes in our little household.

The Doctor starts school in 2011, and I have really mixed emotions about that.

Tiny starts preschool in 2011. (This is Tiny at her preschool orientation.)

Mid year hopefully Matt will be a fully-fledged teacher.

And I am working 4 days a week for a while.

It's a cracking pace and if I am 100 per cent honest, I really miss my babies while I am at work. I love my job, but I miss my family. I've thought about it a lot, I've drafted a whole post about it (which is lying dormant in my draft folder), and I'm putting it out on the table.
I don't think women can have it all.
Boo me down all you like, disagree all you like, but juggling everything ain't all it's cracked up to be (or sometimes not cracked up). Being an at home parent is hard and being an at work parent is hard.


Megan.K. said...

Nodding my head over here Lexi on all of this.
I hate that feeling - when I'm at work away from the littlies, as much as I love the work, and it's only p/t and I know we need the money...
It would be so very fine if we could find a version of "it all" that worked.

Georgie Love said...

Oh definitely. I loved working 2 days a week, it was the perfect balance - to have something other than parenting to think about and 5 days when it was all I did. I now work 3 days and it's ok, but 2 was perfect. I love finishing though and being excited about picking her up and seeing her. Makes my day.

Anonymous said...

While we try to have it all it's inevitable that we miss out. And that's not really having it all is it? Have SOME things and have ALL of them.

mrs smith said...

I hear you sista! I don't think having 'it all' is a desirable option necessarily. What is 'it all' anyway? I want to have one really good thing that is going great guns and happy mama= happy family = ease and sanity, space and time. But I live on the island where I could buy my house on a student loan (almost) which gives me the luxury of choice. Hats off to all you mamas who keep all the balls in the air!

My second guy starts school next year and it makes my bottom lip wobble.

Anonymous said...

Hell yeah - having it all is a big fat myth. I've come round to having now and being happy with that. Works for me.

By the way, I so wish Queensland had a pre-school programme (drat and damn Prep) - Tiny's new pre-school looks ACE! Little Tuesday would absolutely dig a pre-school as funky as that. Alas we have to wait until next year to see if she gets into the local (expensive) C&K. I wasn't down with the deal and only put her name down a few weeks ago. Apparently I should have done that prior to conception. Hello? For pre-school???

norbyah said...

yes. definitely in agreement about this. though i try, it's utterly impossible to have it all. there are compromises. i'm a teacher, so i tell myself that during some times in the year, i can have it all. at least i have good working hours.....what i've learned being a mum of three is that there is no end to the guilt....

Kt said...

I'm teaching Kindergarten for the first time next year (crap!) and on the first day we're making little packs of tissues and a prayer for the mums (and dads?) to take when they leave. Hopefully to add some humour so they don't leave too upset that their babies aren't quite babies anymore. Good luck x

Cindy said...
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Anna said...

So true! I would love to meet whoever told that lie in the first place... learning that it's not true (and trying to accept it) has been one of my biggest lessons.

dorothybills..... said...

Totally understand, it is so hard to juggle all the balls in life!
My youngest starts pre-school next year and I have just started back at work two days a week & my husband is going to be studying to be a nurse next I said understand where you are coming changes can mess with your head for a while but it sure makes everyday interesting hey? Good luck with your busy 'different' life next year, Eleesa x

Christina said...

I always admire your honesty!

I had been thinking about putting Cohen into day care a couple of days a week so that I could focus on making jewellery and bringing in more money. But I still don't feel comfortable about leaving him, and his allergies worry me. He will be in kindy (prep? pre-prep, whatever they call it in Qld now) soon enough, and I can focus on silver smithing then. There are still days where I dream about putting him in child care however! Especially when he is grabbing everything in reach while we are grocery shopping or having a tantrum in the chemist! :)

All the best to you and to Matt.


mama bear said...

important post Lex. We absolutely can't have it all and we should stop trying to think we can.

I've decided to be a stay at home mum. And we just sat down to do our budget today. And I cried. it's hard not having your own financial freedom and it's hard being away from your kids.

nope. we cannot have it all. thanks for saying it. xx

ange_moore said...

Hear, hear (or is that here, here?) - I totally agree! I find that 3 days working and 4 with the kids is a pretty good balance but I'm acting in a higher role at work in mid-Jan and will be back full time - not sure how I'll feel about that!

Good luck with it!

Brenda @ Mira Narnie said...

love your honesty - they are small for such a short time. my son starts four year old kinder next year and i'm freaking out slightly...were did that four years go?? we don't need to have it all - just find the right balance for you... ;-)

Christie said...

I agree with you Lexi, I have made the change from stay at home parent to working parent this year & I think both have their pros & cons- I really don't see how you can 'have it all' because at some point, something has to give.

I am feeling pretty sad about having one kid at kinder next year & one in school- where did my babies go?

I shed a few tears saying goodbye to the kinder teachers today *sniff*

kelly louise said...

If being a mum isn't the hardest thing in the whole world then I don't want to know anything about what beats it. And I only have one, and he is still oh so small. From the outside, your life looks amazing, your kids look amazing, you look amazing. That's got to mean something... I am still plucking up the courage to be this honest in blog-land. Nice work.

Anna Bartlett said...

As an at-home Mum, I've spent time this week looking after the kids of working friends, envying their income and their freedom. Am thinking I need to go out to work for just a bit to get the balance right for me.
But my babies are so beautiful my heart aches to be away from them.
Damn my creative brain and damn the bank account.
It's doing my head in today.
We're in sync, sister.

Anonymous said...

I also don't think women can have it all. I think you're doing an amazing job!

ashley said...

I believe Quentin Bryce said it best; 'We can have it all, just not at once'. x

Lucy said...
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Lucy said...

Lexi, it has taken me 6 years to "admit" I cannot have it all.

So I am working (not very lucratively) at home. I have no career at the moment. But I do manage to juggle that little bit of work and the kids and the house, and all of the school stuff.

The bit that I have chosen to let go of is the $$ and the career.

It is hard, but it is working well for all of us so far. (Nearly a year. We are skint but happy.)

Jgee said...

I always respect and enjoy your honest insights and totally agree with you and lots of Mamas who've commented. It is pretty darn impossible to have it all. If we don't get back into the paid workforce our finances may struggle and we may feel we are letting our career driven selves down. If we do go back to work we feel like we are letting our babies down. I am going to go back 2 days a week when my little man is 16 months old, but feel kind of blessed that my parentals are looking after him for those two days. If it doesn't feel right, we've agreed that I will just stop work. Credit to all the parents who find the right balance and what works for their tribe.

Toni Brockliss said...

The women who say they can have it all are mostly the same women who are rich....or on speed.
When I admitted to myself and accepted that I couldn't have it all, then everything became easier. It's like I was fighting with myself - trying to be a superwoman and do everything and be everywhere. It's exhausting and nobody is having any quality time with the woman who looked sort of insane dashing around and trying to be everywhere at once.
When I started saying no and scaling down, the quality of life went up.

Bek said...

I am looking forward to your post in progress. I agree that you can't have it all. I had to admit to myself that I can't do the working mum thing. I just don't have it in me. Yes, I missed the kiddies, but in addition to that, my brain couldn't handle it. The stress at work was effecting me at home. I was a bit too proud to admit that for a while, being a bit of a high achiever.

My little man went to school this year, and there were tears (mine). It is a big transition for the whole family, becoming a family with a school kid in it. But it has been a great year for him and so much fun to see him learn and grow. He has done stuff like join the choir and the drama group off his own bat which I find adorable.

Sounds like a big year for you guys!!

katiecrackernuts said...

I've always been an at-work parent. There has been no other choice and I agree, 'tis hard, but has its own rewards.

Corrie said...

yay for saying it! I've known from the moment I had keira I couldn't do it all. Gee, I can't even do it all from home it's that hard with so many responsibilities and people to look after.

but you are lucky in some ways that your littlies a bit older and in preschool and big school next year. And they are probably going to have a ball next year!

but I'm sure you're doing the best thing for the household and budget. I am not good for the household budget :) I am a naughty shopper!

Lin said...

I totally agree - woman can't have it all! It's a myth. My husband and I both work part time to share the care of our two (soon to be three) little ones. Sometimes it drives us mad. We can't further our careers, we can't get on top of the bills, we can't go on overseas trips! But at the end of the day we know we are doing this for the best possible reason and it's not forever. Well done and I'm sure you'll make your new life work for you!

Amy said...

I feel like a gummy bear being torn from all extremities. SOMEHOW we stretch to make it work.

Unfortunately it leaves a very sad looking, stretchy stomached gummy bear to fall in a heap at the end of every day. Not much left over for ourselves.

too many analogies?

Wish there was an easy fix.

There just doesn't seem to be one.

I found the whole "school looming" thing really freaked and frazzled me. We decided to hold Bax over for another year. I hope we've made the right decision.

Happy days are ahead. (right?)