Monday, 19 August 2013

A Self-Indulgent WAHM Moan, Sorry

Earlier this year, I decided that instead of going back to work, I would stay at home with Ebony. I worked out that we had enough savings to get us through about six months of no income, and then I would start looking for work. Well, it has been six months, and I still think she is benefiting from me staying home with her, so that plan has gone out the window.


We haven’t had to spend a single penny of our savings either, because I decided to take on some freelance copywriting work. This has allowed us to have a bit of extra income, whilst not taking me away from Ebony, so it has been perfect. I work while Ebony naps, and anything left at the end of the day, I do when she’s in bed for the night.



I’m careful not to take on too much, because the whole point of freelancing was to let me stay with Ebony, so it’s not working if I’m having to spend lots of time away from her. When I first started freelancing, Ebony used to have two naps a day. A short 40 minute nap in the morning which I would spend getting dressed, tidying or writing, and then a two hour nap late in the afternoon. The two hour nap was amazing for work, and I would usually be able to get quite a lot of work done in that time. I would occasionally have to work the odd evening, but my weekends were mostly free to enjoy time as a family.


Now that Ebony is a little older, things are getting a bit more difficult. Her naps are unpredictable at best, and it makes it quite difficult for me to plan my work schedule. I have reduced the amount of work I take on, and while that does make things easier, I still have difficult weeks. Last week was a particularly difficult week, and has left me feeling quite stressed.


On the Wednesday, I didn’t manage to do as much work as usual because I needed to get ready to go into Manchester. On Thursday, we went on a long walk and Ebony fell asleep in the carrier 40 minutes from home. She slept the whole way home, and then woke as soon as we entered the house. I wasn’t able to do any work that day. On the Friday, Ebony had a later than usual nap and was overtired, so she only slept for 20 minutes all day. I didn’t get any work done then either. I hadn’t been able to do much work in the evenings because Laurie has been home later than usual for various reasons, and by the time it reached Friday night, I was feeling very stressed.


I’ve had too many late nights, too many unproductive days, and too many jobs on my to do list. And once I feel stressed, every little thing that happens seems to add to that. Not being able to drink a cup of tea while it’s hot, not having the time for a bath, and having a messy house are all things that have made me feel at breaking point this week. I wish I was the size of a toddler, and I had someone the size of a Mummy to give me a big, warm hug to make me feel better.


I love being able to stay home with Ebony, and I’m so pleased to have found a way to earn money while doing that, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard. It doesn’t mean it isn’t a struggle sometimes to get everything done. If I’m up to date with work, we’re usually living in squalor. If the house is in order, I probably haven’t blogged for two weeks. If Ebony has been having the time of her life on exciting day trips, it probably means I haven’t replied to my work emails for a while.


I know motherhood is a juggling act, but does anyone have any advice for keeping all the balls in the air at once?

4 comments:

  1. bless you! it is a juggling act indeed! i know it's almost imposible but try not to be too hard on yourself. i have a 30 month old and a 3 month old.... i barely keep on top of the housework, but i have a lot of fun with my girls. the way i see it, they are only little for a very short time, just make the most of it while you can, and i don't think they ever stop benefiting from spending as much time as possible with their parents! xxxxxxx

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  2. I'm sorry you feel stressed, but I completely understand! I think sometimes we need to decide what is the absolute minimum that HAS to be done, and just try to be OK with doing that when we're having a tough day/week/month.

    Failing that, you can always give me a call and I'll pop round with cake :-)

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  3. Thank you for writing this. I don't have any advice but I feel exactly the same way. I have a 2 year old and a 6 month old and I feel completely overwhelmed most of the time. Everyone says 'don't worry about housework' but there are some things (washing, shopping, basic hygiene) that can't be left and I get really stressed if I have to spend my one free hour in the evening sitting in what looks like a low rent soft play!
    I have such huge highs and such terrible lows all in one 24 hour period. It's certainly the most physically and mentally exhausting thing I've ever done! No need for a gym membership anymore.
    I think just trying to survive each day/week with a smile on your face (when you can) is the best you can hope for. And celebrate the little wins, like the naps that do work. Just keep plowing on...you're not alone! X

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  4. Thank you so much for all the kind replies. I replied on my phone at the time, but it doesn't seem to have worked! I felt much better after writing the post, and have been trying to keep on top of things a bit better since. Still hard work, but getting there. Thank you x

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