So, it’s no surprise to anyone that lately I’ve been living on struggle street.
I love how my boys are growing and developing and learning so much. It really is the most amazing thing to watch and be a part of.
But sometimes learning and development turns into moments like this:
Which are hilarious in hindsight, but frightening and stressful in the moment. You think what could have happened if you’d been only one minute later. But you take a photo because the shock and pure mentalness of the situation strikes you as recordable.
And you start to think what you need to do differently, to avoid moments like this. To avoid feeling like you are constantly on edge, waiting for the next screening of Toddler Cirque de Soleil or Crusty Demons: The Toddler Show, or even WWF: Toddlers Go Head to Head.
And the truth is there really is nothing more you can do than take safety measures and supervise, supervise, supervise.
And all that supervision makes you feel good because although your house is a pigsty and finding clean clothes for yourself is a challenge – because you’ve been prioritizing the children’s clothes in the minimal time you have to let them out of your sight – you get to watch and be involved even more in this growing up fun.
But that supervision eats into spare time. You can almost watch the time get eaten. Like Pac Man moving across the screen, consuming those dots and leaving empty space in his wake. The time is just gone.
And just a little bit, you resent not being able to have the space you had before. You resent not being able to trust your kids to give them the space as well.
Playing in your room unsupervised? Forgeddaboudit!!
Playing out the front unattended?
Being left alone in the lounge room for more than one minute?
Asking for trouble.
And so despite all the love and kisses and fun flying around the room, you’re all a little sick of one another’s faces being in one another’s faces.
Especially when day sleeps, night sleeps and any kind of sleep at all is escaping out the window like a teenager on her way to the party she was forbidden from.
You know she’ll be back eventually, but it’s concerning and upsetting wondering if something will happen. And maybe the teenager that is Sleep will never return.
And so, as I try to navigate this all, a feeling, a thought, a niggle has been whispering in my ear.
Something’s gotta give.
And last week, it finally did. Give. Way.
It gave. I fell through the cracks and onto my arse.
And when I finally voiced the niggle, it was met with resounding agreement.
Whilst scheduling my exam for the unit I’m studying I discovered that it is to be sat on the day and time of Oscar’s cardio appointment. In every city.
And an invigilitor could be organized for special circumstances, but that a doctors appointment doesn’t really cut it. Couldn’t I reschedule the appointment?
Well, no. It’s already been rescheduled once and it meant waiting four months.
And the next assignment is due this week. And despite getting amazing results for the first assignment (100%, thankyouverymuch) the motivation and interest in the second assignment, and any study at all has waned to almost nothing.
Now the idea of study sits at the back of my head. Bugging me. Taunting me. Letting me know I have too little time and too much to do. And not enough sleep to deal with anything more taxing than supervision and dinner duty.
And so I gave in. I have withdrawn from study indefinitely. I am sad and upset and angry and yet ridiculously relieved at the same time.
I HATE quitting. It’s not in me. I hate to let people down, to let myself down.
And I feel like a hypocrite. Like I set myself up as an example and said: “Look, you can do this too!”, when really, I can’t do it. Despite finding something that I really enjoy, that I could finish this degree and get qualified and get a job that I know I would love. Despite being really good at it. I can’t do it right now. Maybe one day. But not right now.
I can’t resent my children for not providing me with the sleep, space and time I need to study. I won’t resent them.
I can’t do everything, and something has got to give.