Friday, 6 July 2012
Tides Are Changing
Last time I wrote about the juggle of life - of working, of parenting, of wife-ing, I received a comment from a helpful anonymous commenter that "you chose this and you should suck it up". Clearly that wasn't verbatim - but it might as well have been.
Needless to say, I shut up about talking about family life - and since then I've shied away from sharing family life.
But the thing is, I think that's what most people can relate to.
This term brings another new change for our little family. A new and fresh load of guilt for me to either drown in, or choose to swim to the surface, flap about and save our souls. I'm choosing the latter.
Recently Matt was announced a semi-finalist in the Moran Portrait Prize (bravo Matt!), and within the same week he scored a really, really great job. It had been a long distance between good things for us. It's been a tough year, despite all the hilarity I can muster, it's stretched us to our limits trying to make ends meet, and trying to juggle the mundane.
The flip side was this.
Tiny goes to preschool Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday.
Matt's job is going to be Wednesday, Thursday, Friday.
I work Tuesday - Friday.
The Doctor goes to school five days a week.
Can you see the gap there? The gaping big hole in our week?
Luckily I could switch my day off. So I did. I'll be hanging with Tiny on Thursdays now, and joining the hordes battling Monday-itis.
By design we both work part-time so someone is home with the kids. That is our choice. We chose to have less of an income because family life is the priority for us. And now things are shifting, and we've got to shift with them, and move, like sands through the hourglass.
We've got Tiny going to a different preschool on Fridays - which weighs heavy on my heart. Her current preschool couldn't take her for another day, so I see this as a test. If it doesn't work - we will have to shift again. We'll change things around, switch things up. And I still need to find a solution for an afternoon school pick ups.
I wish I could ask someone at school to pick up my kids one day a week. But since I work - I haven't really struck up any relationships with other mothers to go out on a limb and ask. And it's a big ask, isn't it? To ask someone to take my children home once a week. Is it? Isn't it? I don't know. I've lost perspective now because this change feels so immense for us. I feel the distance even more acutely I think because I am at work. I leave early and don't get home 'til late. The distance and disconnection between work life and family life can be spectacularly damning.
The whole idea that it takes a village to raise a family is an awfully romantic notion. But Matt and I are playing dual-triple-quadruple roles of Mayor, Town Crier (that's me), counsellor, worker bee - we are the village people.
I wish things could have stayed as they were. They were hard, but we had our routine. The smalls had one of us. But I guess this is an evolution of our family life.
This is not a pity party. This is me grappling with what to do next. What's our next move?
the image is Tiny and her cousin P's culinary adventure in the garden this morning. They were cooking. Boy, those little girls, they love to cook.