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Balancing Acts

Emily is asleep in her cot.

It is mid-afternoon, and as usual, I have no idea how long we have before the little whirlwind wakes.

I am sitting in the rocking chair across from her, listening to her breathe.

Yes, I am that mother.

The five or so minutes I have to myself is heaven.

Now why couldn’t it have been this easy yesterday?

She is so peaceful.

Too bad, I cannot say the same for myself.

There is no choice but to reflect on the last two weeks, and wonder where it all came undone.

No less than 14 days ago, I was so on top of things.

As in, I never thought I would say I was enjoying the lack of sleep on top of things.

It is 5:00AM, and I am sitting at the dining room table with a warm cup of tea in one hand, and the laptop in the other.

My tea is still too hot to drink.

However, I Never thought I would say that either.

If it is not bordering on room temperature these days, I cannot drink it.

Michael says he finds almost full cups of ice-cold tea around the house all the time.

I make them and forget to go back to them. However, I am simply too busy. Then there is that small detail of out of sight, out of mind to worry about.

I used to laugh at mothers who would tell me stories like these.

That will never be me I would smugly think from the safety of not being a mama.

However, ha ha here I am.

Daylight saving will be here soon, and it cannot come quickly enough.

Emily thinks the moment the first birdy opens his eyes, she too needs to be awake.

I am pretending not to hear her upstairs babbling away with her daddy.

I know he is trying to sleep.

However, what is the point in my going up there, when it will just wake her up more?

Besides, I came down stairs at ridiculous o’clock to work on the website.

I am finding myself working more and more on the business in the wee hours of the morning, or the long hours of an evening after Little has gone to bed.

The only thing which saves me at this point, apart from necessity, adrenalin, and a looming deadline, is the fact, Michael does not judge me for taking a nap with baby girl in the afternoon if I need it.

I feel terrible in that regard actually, because I secretly judge him a lot, and he is incapable of reciprocating the cruelty.

Slowly I am getting more adept at letting go of my insecurities and self-made resentments and inner dramatics.

I jump to conclusions, make stuff up in my pretty little head, which is not actually true, and generally drive us both crazy with my antics at times.

Good God, you would think I would grow up at some point, right.

Sometimes I wonder why he is with me.

I learn a lot about kindness and caring by being with him, but what am I teaching him?

He is lovely, while I am not.

I am trying hard to break from the shackles of my upbringing and my default position of defensiveness. However, sometimes I do not get it right.

He does most of his work on the business during the day.

We try and take turns in having baby girl, so we can each get a decent block of time to get things achieved.

I know for him, after dinner is his least productive time, and he would rather sit and watch trashy television.

While for me, I am finding it increasingly more and more difficult to spend my time in that way.

I used to make a conscious effort to sit down with him of an evening and watch the idiot box, because it was how we bonded. Moreover, if I did not, then I felt like we would go through an entire day without spending time together.

Now that we are both home more, it is easier for me to justify spending my time on the internet.

Although when I put it like that, it sounds pretty sad.

So here I am, utterly overwhelmed and excited with the next one thousand steps, which need to be taken in order to get this project up, and running by the end of next week.

The submenus still have to be done, all the graphics, the copy needs to be written, and so many other little things.

I have actually had to periodically switch adaptive technologies in order to complete some of the most basic tasks, because what is accessible using one text to speech software, is not accessible using another.

When I think about the skill involved in building a website, let alone having to make it work with at least three different blindy technologies, from both the front and back ends, my head spins.

Not in a million years did I think I would ever be able to tackle such a daunting task, let alone be the one willingly getting up at four something to make it happen.

However, here I am. Functioning on the almost unheard of amount of six beautiful uninterrupted hours of slumber, and I am practically bursting out of my skin with energy.

So why am I sitting here writing instead of coding?

Because I am letting, my excuses run wild in my head.

I know I will give myself a hard time throughout the day for not spending these moments as productively as I could. However, I need to write.

I have not written properly in so long, and it is hard to find the time.

Alternatively, not so much find the time, as use the time.

I keep thinking of all the other things, which need to get done instead. All the while knowing, so many good ideas, concepts, and releases come from my turning up to the page.

So in fact instead of composing this post, I could have spent the time streaming through the crap in my inner world Julia Cameron style, or I could have maybe figured out that Amazon product code, or linked my personal website with the soon to be proper big girl blog.

Yep, that is right! Blind mama is going to have a website just like all those other gazillion mummy blogs out there.

However, do not worry, it will still live here as well. Moreover, no I will not make it post automatically so all you hear with Voiceover is a stupid PHP link message, and not the juicy stuff.

However, it does mean everything will be in the one place, including the blunder weeks, and hopefully some awesome photos.

But I digress, because again this is not getting the most pressing tasks finished. And I wonder why I never complete anything?

Good Lord, to think I used to think I was busy before having a baby.

Oh how the sands have shifted in my universe.

Not that I would have them back the way they were.

This is amazing.

Even what some would consider the mundane details of painting Little’s face with peas, or picking her up out of her cot. I love them all. Still I cannot quite believe I got this lucky.

But today?

Nothing could be further from that glorious light filled place of gratitude, graciousness, and goodness.

I am stuck in the mud of overwhelm, exhaustion, and snot.

Yep! Snot snot snot. Be it Emily’s, or my own.

We have all been sick to varying degrees, and it has cost us dearly.

I mean I have not had a cup of coffee in over a week. Now that is saying something.

The business website is not done, the blog has once again fallen off the wagon, and my sanity is missing in action.

I cannot remember the last time I treated myself to a yoga session. In addition, walking over the Sydney Harbour Bridge once or twice a week is not enough.

Yesterday I actually raised my voice to Little.

I feel terrible about it.

As in terrible horrible very badly about it.

I did not mean to, and it is not as though we yell in this house on any occasion.

Simply because there is no call for such theatrics.

However, yesterday I reached the end of my very measured rope.

The worst thing is, it had nothing to do with baby girl, and it was all about my frustration and my guilt about not taking care of our family, which had me at my wit’s end.

I have never raised my words to her before, so it came as quite a shock.

She merely looked at me as if I was nuts, and carried on with her why can’t you understand what I am telling you crying.

To make matters worse, five minutes later when I gave her a bottle, it turns out she was hungry.

How could I have missed the signs?

I completely shrank into myself and burst into tears.

What is wrong with me?

I am absolutely positively unequivocally mortified at what I have done.

It was not as though I lost the plot; I simply sternly told her to stop crying and go to sleep.

I have been short with her in my head before, and sometimes my tone is a little harsher than I would like, but never loud.

I had been trying to get her to sleep for an hour and a half.

The little cutie cute cute cute had only dropped off for twenty minutes earlier that morning, and consequently was beside herself with tiredness.

Then Michael rang with the news that the car needed to go to the auto electrician because the blinkers had stopped working while he was out.

This sent me into a tailspin, because I had no idea where we were going to get the money to pay for said unexpected expense.

I was so stressed about the money and the bigger picture; I forgot to be thankful he was safe.

My priorities and perspective are ridiculously out of alignment.

How did this happen?

We are literally hand to mouth now, and there is not a penny to spare.

Things are so tight there hasn’t been ice-cream in the house for weeks, I don’t buy coffee when I am out, I really need shampoo for my hair, but I’ve simply stopped washing it instead, and I have no idea how to cover the rent next month.

So yes! Who is feeling like the most terrible wife and mother ever?

I cannot remember a time in my adult life when it was this bad.

I mean I know it has been worse, but I have conveniently forgotten.

How many times have I vowed it will never come to… Or I will never be… Only to find myself in a completely shitty situation of my own making?

Now it is not only me I need to look after; it is Michael and Emily as well.

The deal still stands; I work, while Michael stays home with baby girl.

At this rate, I am worried I am going to have to borrow from her account in order to keep us afloat. I never wanted to be that parent.

Most of the time I can laugh at where we are, but this kind of poverty consciousness is no fun.

It seems the more stressed out I become, the more grateful Michael is for everything we have.

Last night when I was finally discussing some of our financial details, and lamenting over my losing it at sweetie pie, even though it was not about her, he just kept pointing out the things we do have.

A healthy happy beautiful amazing curious clever daughter.

A park right next door to our house, which we do not have to cross a road to reach.

A train station up the road.

Plenty of tinned tomatoes and pasta in the pantry.

An amazing marriage.

Good friends.

Some crazy ideas, which we are trying out.

The most comfortable bed ever.

A big ass TV.

In addition, of course, there is always his handsomeness. We cannot forget his handsomeness.

However, most of all, we are safe.

He says it won’t always be like this, but at the same time, he says we cannot have everything.

The problem is, I want everything, and do not understand why we cannot have it.

Since when did he become the optimist in this relationship?

The aim is for the business to make enough for us all to spend as much time as possible together, but we are not even close to that being the case.

Right now, I am wondering whether it is all worth it.

Maybe I should simply go and get a proper full time big girl job and we done with it.

However, the moment I make that decision, I remember that Little is growing so quickly, and it is not worth missing her childhood just so we can have nice things.

However, how do I give her all the experiences we want her to have if there is no money for them?

I was so excited a week or so ago because we were going to get a zoo pass for the year, but that is not going to happen now because we need nappies and formula instead.

I am so stuck in my own head, and the survival mode of our daily lives, I cannot even imagine what it is like to have money.

I try to remember what it was like not to be worried, but it is completely beyond me.

Worry worry worry that is all I do.

Michael is quick to remind me we knew what we were getting into before we had her, and this is true. However, unlike him, I am not as accepting of this struggle as he appears to be.

I am shocked it is not easier, and things are not where I thought they would be in terms of our prosperity.

The fact that houses in Sydney are through the roof, be it for rent or to buy is not helping my self-esteem.

How on earth are we ever going to be able to afford anything?

We were considering moving up the Central Coast of NSW, because the rent is cheaper, but honestly, apart from my not wanting to live up there, we could not really afford to move anyway.

The essentials seem so far out of reach right now.

So here is to a miracle, in whatever form.

In the meantime, I need to clean the bathroom, because that always makes me feel more in control.

If nothing else, at least the tiles will sparkle, and I will have accomplished something.

If I accomplish something, then maybe I can go on to accomplish something else.

If I accomplish something else, then maybe I can accomplish something more…

I know I need to look after myself better because when I do that, everyone else is able to flourish so the question is what kind of mother do I want to be?

I wonder if I will ever truly know the answer to that.

Does anybody?

Published inBaby TalkBusiness BanterMotherhood

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