If I was in the right frame of mind, this would be a post ranting about the state of our government, and how we’re all fucked, and working til the grave and DOOM DOOM DAMN YOU MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT AND YOU TOO THE QUEEN.
However, clearly, I stopped paying too much attention a long time ago, and have chosen to live in blissful ignorance of that. Her. Him. Them.
Instead, I find myself feeling thoroughly sore about our situation here at home.
A mom, a dad, 2 children.
It sounds like it should all be lovely, sweetness and light. The kids go to school, the parents go to work, the mom picks up the kids, spends quality time with them until the dad comes homes, more quality time, yaddah yaddah, stereotype, whatever.
Instead, since Noah and Isaac were born, I can’t ignore the elephant in the corner. The elephant being, in a desperate bid to survive, be comfy, pay for “luxuries” (Chinese take-out, one week holiday a year, blah blah), that we’re spending increasingly less time as an actual family. So, The Mr sees his children approximately 15-30 minutes a day, because he works from around 5:30am til 5:30pm (getting in after 6pm). On the weekends, he ends up running around the house like a crazy person, trying to tidy everything up, because I’ve not had time to do it in the week. Saturdays at peak time I barely see them. Sundays are pretty much our “day together”, though I end up working some of it as it’s the only time I get with The Smalls supervised.
During the week, I actually hate myself. A recent tweet made me actually see red. Something along the lines of “Moms complaining about having to look after their kids and not working; well don’t have kids then.” I’m paraphrasing (and I sure as hell won’t name and shame), but my initial and very valid argument was that circumstances change.
I ended up putting in official complaints against the company I worked for, as they treated me rather unpleasantly once I fell pregnant. I can take a fair amount of shit, hell I come to expect it, but some of the stuff of they came out with was spectacular. As a result, I was in no position but to resign. Nothing like being shoved out of, what was at the time, your dream job.
I loved that job.
And so I quietly freaked out about how the hell I was going to make enough money to compliment The Mr’s income, and ultimately, help us survive.
Maybe that’s what spurs me on to work so damn hard in the job I’m in now. I need to put in everything I have, literal and actual blood, sweat and tears to get off the ground and establish my name. I can’t begin to think how many times I’ve actually cried over it, wondering what the fuck am I doing.
But at what cost?
The Smalls are not neglected, at all. I don’t do as much as I would like with them, by any means. Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m not a natural mom (whatever one of those is). But I try, y’know? I make sure they’re ok, I let them know they’re loved. But it feels like I’m doing it on my own, all the time. In order for us to survive, until I’m making suitable income, The Mr works almost every waking hour of The Smalls. As a result, he pretty much never sees them. I regularly tell him to stop, to wind it down, but I don’t think we can. I don’t think he can. I know he wants us to be comfortable, to live a life where we don’t feel hard done by. Or whatever.
But at what cost?
We choose the lives we lead, I’m told.
I didn’t ask to be in a position where, in order to not lose my marbles in the corporate world (or y’know, just having a job), I would have to choose a job in which I start everything from scratch. And yet, projected figures for next year show I’d just be able to earn more than the pittance I was earning in my previous job.
But at what cost?
The Smalls don’t understand what I do, they don’t understand what The Mr does. They just know that we’re involved in photos and roads, weddings and diggers, cameras and building sites. And they know we work stupidly hard, all the time. As The Mr and I are both self employed/freelance, they can’t understand everything we have put in, individually and together, to get to where we are.
We’ve come a long, LONG way.
Now if we could just have the time to do it as two parents together, instead of two parents like ships in the evening roughly around bedtime routine, then that would be nice. We’re a few years away from that yet; I feel the pressure of building my business to a point where we are BOTH secure. Where I could actually take some of the financial weight so we can enjoy the things we want to enjoy. Or perhaps, just live a life which is comfortable. We could live less extravagantly, it’s true. I don’t deny that. Very few people in my life now, know of the lifestyle in which I grew up. I’ve been at the bottom, I know what it’s like.
And maybe I just don’t want that for The Smalls.
I just hope that everything we’re doing now, for them, for us, all of us, is not detrimental to our lives now, and sufficiently rewarding for the future. Otherwise I’m probably going to feel quite pissed off.