I used to think I was busy

28 Mar

I used to think I was busy. I was looking after my three children, working occasionally, trying to keep up with the housework and my sense of self (both of which seem to cancel the other out). The point is that I was busy, but I still had time to THINK.

This week, I officially don’t have time to think. As I write this I am listening to a uni lecture. I am even making notes. Multi-tasker extraordinaire! My husband is so funny. He wouldn’t dare tell me to say no to extra work and he’ll carefully avoid mentioning his lack of clean work shirts (he’d do them himself if I had time to let him know that I can’t) and he tries not to enrage me at dinner, making sure to let me know that he doesn’t mind toasted sandwiches or last night’s dinner of eggs on toast.

Before you start screaming in feminist outrage, my husband leave for work at 3.30am and doesn’t get home until at least 6.30pm. Crazy hours, a crazy job but the money makes it worth it and I’m meant to take care of the rest so he can get through it all. Sometimes I pack his lunch. Sometimes I fall asleep in the clothes I was wearing that day. When I read stories to the little kids at night I skip a few pages, hoping they won’t notice. My eldest son told me that when he calls me in the middle of the night I look a bit like a monster. Monster-mummy doesn’t like being woken up and because she’s fallen asleep in her clothes and makeup she sure does look like a bit of a monster, in fact a lot of a monster.

Insert your own manic list here but this week I am – having meetings at my son’s school re bullying, having meetings at my son’s school re Trivia Night and the upcoming P & F meeting, meeting up with the committee at my son’s pre-school re my role as Treasurer, trying to keep up with two subjects of my masters degree, working way too much, doing enough housework so we can walk across a room without getting bits of food stuck to our legs and doing enough laundry so we have enough clean clothes although the clean clothes may not be the clothes we want to wear. I went to the doctor where I found out I am anemic and deficient in vitamin D. I’m trying to reduce our family sugar intake to cure my husband’s gout and improve our health overall but we’ve run out of good fruit and the corn I bought has rotted. My friend and I are writing a book together. My email inbox is struggling to cope. I think it needs some vitamins too.

Yes, I know you are screaming at me at the moment. Talk to my sister. She’s been saying this to me several times a week. “You are doing too much”. Yes, I am doing too much because I feel like I am running out of time to do all the things I want to do before I die. But I’m doing everything badly. I’m forgetting basic things like buying night time pants for my son (crucial to a good night sleep for me!), we ran out of toothpaste for the first time in eight years, I sometimes call my children, niece and nephews two or three different names before I get to the right one and I would LOVE to do a hard workout on my cross trainer followed by some girlie pushups and then wash my hair and blow dry it perfectly. Oh, I think I fell asleep for a second and had a mini-dream.

The lecture is finishing. Good. I absorbed enough to fudge my way through this week’s online discussion.

I reached breaking point yesterday afternoon when I realised I’d forgotten to organise my son’s birthday party which is coming up all too soon. I haven’t exercised for days. I feel like crap. Somethings gotta give.

I just said no to more weekday work and it physically hurt to say no because I LOVE my job. I have emailed a lecturer to drop one subject at uni which means it will take me four years instead of two to get my Masters in Creative Writing but at least I’ll actually get it. I’ve contacted a place that will host my son’s birthday party and now need to find time to drop off a deposit. This will help me for now. And perhaps I’ll stick a note on my bedroom wall that says “Say no Jo”. Catchy. Or in the words of my two-year-old daughter, “No mummy work”.

La Dolce Vita – Jo Abi

2 Responses to “I used to think I was busy”

  1. lipstickrhetoric March 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

    You sound as if you are suffering from Superwomen Disease. It is a new found malady that is quite contagious, has surfaced and effects mostly 30 plus women. Biggest sympton is guilt. When we realise how badly we are doing so many things the guilt just drives us on to do even more.

    The only cure is to accept that we can fail and still be fabulous!


  2. joabiadmin March 31, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    I sure am! It is contagious…what a good point. Fail and fabulous. Thank you !


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