I suppose the absence of a post about managing being back at work would suggest everything’s all good ! Rather it’s an accurate reflection of me saying a last goodbye to free time of any description.
Chaos. Reigns. Supreme. Our new V1 and V2 family motto. Each morning I tell myself Phil Dunphy of Modern Family is absolutely right – “slow is smooth and smooth is fast”. If only the mantra was enough !!
But irrespective of this mantra and how early we get up, or whether it’s the chaos of a work day or a home day, our chaotic mornings are remarkably consistent:
- the weetbix are too hot.
- the Weetbix are too cold.
- the Weetbix are too soggy.
- the Weetbix are too sloppy
- ” good God mother why, WHY did you stir it?”
All of the above is usually followed by inconsolable screaming and an offering of cornflakes, toast, or porridge. All met with utter disdain. A 5 minute task takes at least 20.
And at this point we havent even started to get dressed.
Or pack bags.
Or load everyone into the car for school drop off.
At least on home days there’s less of a rush to get dressed, pack bags or get into the car. However since I’m only in three days and I work from home the 2 days (not full days, just portions during naps and emergencies!) I’m realising its on these two home days where the real chaos lies. At least on a work day we have a schedule, a routine and a goal. On our home days it is utter bedlam. I’m hoping the past 2 days are the exception, not the rule, but I have a feeling wishful thinking is not going to help me in this regard.
V1, much to his credit, helps me cook and clean and V2 still gifts me wih a morning nap. Both nap together (saying a quiet thank you!) For at least 2.5 hours in the afternoon. Where this entire time before was taken for reading, movies, indoor exercise (when the wind takes me there!) or life admin. Now it is work from dot to dot.
I’m exhausted, frazzled and very often dizzy from the act of rushing and jamming everything in. I’m only 3 weeks in to being back at work and my body has decided an external representation of this fatigue is necessary in the form of an attractive array of cold sores.
Perhaps while V1 and V2 ate lunch on Wednesday on one of our home days, I should have sat and rested. But the fridge was in dire need of some TLC and it was an opportune time since we are close to a grocery shop. We had already done a full house clean, had a Playdate over, so another almost full house clean to remove all the mashed cookies and spit up from the carpet, lounge and walls.
I heard a knock at the door and excitedly sprinted to collect what I anticipated was a late birthday present for V2.
It was not. As if the day wasn’t chaotic enough, the visitors were armed with videos and brochures. I’m too polite to shut the door so I sprinted back and plucked a Macaroni covered V2 from her chair and returned to the door. V1 followed me with a blueberry stained face. I assured our visitors I do in fact clean my children but they’d caught me at a bad time. Then the dog sprinted out the door between their legs and dashed down the stairs. He was quickly captured and returned to the backyard but I think the messaging was clear. Lunch times are not an appropriate drop in time and I’m too polite to actually say that. (Not before I’d watched two videos and offered a definite chance of a possible maybe for the next meeting).
Since day 1 with the kids involved cooking 2 dishes for violet, soccer, a Playdate away from home and 4 loads of washing I felt like I’d done a week’s work in a day. By the time we’d had another Playdate and house clean for day 2, I felt like I’d already done a week’s work, yet once they were asleep, I was still to commence my day’s paid work.
Mothers instinct saw me also jam a Dr’s visit into yesterday’s schedule too.
I thought I’d spend today pondering how V2 will cope with her first solo day at daycare but in reality it was only when I realised it was dark outside that I noticed I was already late. I hadn’t thought to call to check on her. And quite possibly now I won’t see her before bed.
So far my suggestions for managing everything are along the lines of telling myself ‘life never dishes you more than you can manage’. And so I will plunder headlong through the chaos, taking comfort that most people on the train with me and more than half of my team have also overcome the chaos to be at work and enjoy what is hopefully different challenges, stimulating conversation, and (as I know of have already mentioned several times) a hot coffee, or 3!
But sometimes I do wish there was another way ! (I would even consider giving up my hot coffee for it).