Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I Get Upset So Easily This Time of Year


8.36am - I just got home from dropping my (almost) 2 year old son at his first full day of daycare. Let the judgement of other parents rain down on me because I am now a stay at home mum with a kid in daycare (*one day a week).

You heard right. But there's a lot
to this picture that you don't know. From the outside it looks like I'm a mum with a lot of spare time on her hands 'cause "oh my god, Becky she has time to write a blog." Bitches back up. I don't have time to write a blog. I make me-time to write a blog. Just over a year ago I  was saying to my friend, Karen, "I don't have time to write a blog, how do you find time to write a blog?" In fact, I said it to her so many times that her ears started to bleed and she wrote me a passive aggressive ("F*ck you Jess for making my ears bleed!") blog post. It's title? You'll never guess so I'll just tell you "When Do I Have Time to Blog." It really resonated with me for some reason.
Pretty tough to write anything with this busy dude around
I can't be certain she wrote that post for me but I'd like to think so. It gave me the swift kick in the tooshie I needed to do something that was just for me, just mine. All of it! My toddler is not allowed to mess this one thing up (although I do fear he'll someday jump on this computer and delete the entire thing by accident). Blogging has become an outlet for me. I was just coming out of my post natal depression (well, more anxiety than depression) and I needed this me-space so badly. Other mums will know, you not only lose your tight vagina the day you give birth (or perhaps your scar free tummy), you also lose little pieces of your identity. It's okay in the end though. You work through it. You discover and grow new parts to yourself you didn't have before like stretch marks, or extend on the lovely things that were in shorter supply before, like patience, love, and empathy. Ya know, the roses and honey shite. But you still need something that is just yours. For some it's going back to work. And for those of us who stay at home it's mopping any number of things. The point is, I found something that worked for me.

But here's where the shit hits the fan. I have run out of me-time. I am turning into an angrier person. I get more upset easily. I don't have time to listen to my husband tell me a stupid one minute story about the neighbour's cat. I miss out on all the little moments he wants to share with me because I just have no energy left at the end of the day for him, let alone me.This isn't new to us, him or me but every year it happens. Every year it's just as hard.

My husband has been studying for the entirety of our marriage - 9 years!!!! With only 1 or 2 years to go ...


Circa 2007, and he's usually not studying in a cafe
We used to joke that University was our baby because it took up so much of his time studying, and so much of my time taking care of all the house duties on my own. We joked that it robbed our sleep, haha, Just. Like. A. Baby... I'd bitch slap us so hard if I heard us saying that now. We just didn't know sleep deprivation then.

I can still remember exactly where I was when my husband told me he wanted to do further studies after he'd just graduated from University. We were in New Zealand, just the two of us, finally on vacation. Childless and care free. We went for an evening walk on the beach, and up onto the rocks in the old historical town of Russell. The sun was starting to set, the waves lapping the sand, and my romantic husband whispers in my ear "I was thinking about doing something called the CFA now that I'm done University." You can imagine how wet I got hearing those words (in the eyes of course, you pervert).

"What the f*ck is the CFA?" My initial reaction was to throw him off the rocks and watch his body bloody, as he hit into them with each passing wave. 6 years of him studying and working full time had really taken its toll on me. I longed for companionship. I had been looking forward to all the evenings and the weekends that would be completely ours once he finished his damn degree. I had been lonely for a long time. Eventually I calmed enough to listen to him, and really hear him out. I won't list all the reasons I changed my mind about him doing the CFA, just know they were pretty dang good if I eventually came around to the idea.
NZ 2011  - This was the actual time and spot he whispered that BS in my ear. As you can see I'm a gross exaggerator. 
The CFA stands for Chartered Financial Analyst. Do not let Dave hear you confuse this with Chartered Accountant, it's not the same. It takes 3 exams, one a year, to get your CFA qualifications. David says it makes university look like primary school. The first exam alone has a 68% fail rate. Summed up: it's hard, hard, and more hard. It can take more than the 3 years to finish because the failure rate is so high. Dave's exam is in June, like it always is. They aren't tested on anything else all year, just this one exam, (it goes from 9am to 5pm). It's all by correspondence, without any outside help. Every weeknight my husband studies, and one day every weekend he drives up to his office and studies there.
Dave will hate this photo of himself back in 2010, but it's a good reflection of how tired he gets! 
That means for one hour and fifteen minutes every evening our son has him being dad, and Dave is awesome at it. The rest of the time it's just me, on my own, ya know - slinging toddler poo, getting down with my toddler and throwing ourselves on the floor in tantrums of hysteria, singing wiggles songs, playing in the park, making up games, force feeding him food, and cleaning and cooking and then repeating.

You can see why there's not a lot of time for Dave and I to talk at the end of the day.
I get teary just thinking about it, because I am so worn down right now. But I knew this was coming. It's less than two months until exam time. This is the hardest time for our relationship. It's the time we need to work our hardest to be kind to each other, and give the absolute most of ourselves in all areas of our lives, even when we are both tapped out. I can't imagine how Dave does it. He's so time poor but he still tries so hard to make up for all the time he spends away from us both. Regardless, my love tank goes on empty right now. I get a bit sad, and introspective, moody, and sensitive. And lonely.
I know this will pass, and by June our ships will be sailing at full mast again. Our bed will be rocking, or we'll just be getting up at 2 am with our kid like always. 
It's just hard TODAY, and tomorrow... But it won't always be.
Circa 2010 - This is where he spends most of his time when he is home. There's a lot more Frankie posters on the wall these days. It's also where I'm writing from right now.
So to make right now easier on both of us we've given me a toddler free day. 6 days a week with a toddler by myself is tough - (we covered that right?)! I had to get over the guilt of childcare. We are both from huge families with hard working mamas so there's lot's of this guilt when you only have one child to care for. I didn't want to tell you this for fear of judgement. But I got over it and so should you. This is our little family and this is what we have to do to keep us together right now. This is how we will get through this Dave-deprived time.

Now if we could just find a solution for getting our kid to sleep through the night ...

I want more of this - March 2008
PS. I totally just went out on a date with my husband for lunch and feel so much better for it! We sat through the whole thing without alternating between spills, Peppa Pig, and screaming. Like real adults. Well I did scream a little, but only because the sweet potato chips were amazeballs.  The best part is that we actually got to communicate without interruption. Hello healthier marriage!

Is this the part where I post a vibrator ad? Just me promoting whatever gets you through a dry spell?

*Linked up with Essentially Jess for I Blog on Tuesdays

46 comments:

  1. Go you!
    Oh my God the comments form is here today!!!
    Enjoy your space. (PS, totally enjoyed your family post a couple of weeks ago about your childhood - it was amazing and I am sorry I could not comment on it at the time. Not sure if enjoyed was the right choice of words but you will know what I mean.) x

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  2. No need to feel guilty! When I had my daughter, I put my twin boys in daycare one day/week to give me a break. Three kids 2.5 and under was hard! My hubby travelled away a lot with work back then and I was exhausted. That is tough having your hubby study for so long. Mine studied in the early days of our marriage but we had no kids then. I used to find it lonely at times back then - even without kids. I hope your husband does well in his exam! Will this be the last one? You enjoy that one day off each week and make sure you do nice things for yourself on that day and don't just use it to catch up on jobs! xo

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  3. You need to do what works for you and that includes making time for yourself. I need a bit of that- time to just me. It's how I recharge. I get it! And it's hard doing it alone. so good on you for recognising the need! Now, onto vibrator ads... :D

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  4. it's a hard gig, this motherhood thing!

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  5. Natalie @ Our Parallel ConnectApril 14, 2015 at 12:37 PM

    Bahahaha if you don't laugh ( and bitch) then you would go insane.... This parenting caper just gets harder and more demanding as they get older. Not sure where I find anytime except that I know I have very little memory ;eft cause I am so tired...

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  6. Wow that would be hard! Such a long time to do it all. You're an awesomely supportive wife that's for sure.
    Glad you're getting some time cause it's pivotal for your mental health. Enjoy it. xx

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  7. No judgement here gorgeous girl! I totally get that you need a day to yourself. Most working families have the dad home on weekends to help but your situation is different. Enjoy those days by yourself and forget about the guilt. And I hope Dave's exam goes well in June so you can finally have some together time. Xx

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  8. Yeah, who's the PR company I can get to pay me for posting that ad. Maybe get a sample? BZZZZZZZ!!!!! ha!
    I am learning to let go of the guilt slowly, and care less about what other mother's think.

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  9. @writeofthemiddle TWINS!!! GAH!!! Of course you got some daycare. When would the laundry ever get done. Yesterday I had a hot bath. I did all the laundry the day before so i could just blog and bathe, and stuff. Just stuff. WOW. It felt surreal. What did we do before kids?

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  10. Hooray @Jody at Six Little Hearts! I'm so glad you could comment. I love when you do.
    Thank you for the nice one about the family post too.

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  11. My son loved being at daycare. It helps that it's a friend who runs it so I really trust her with my boy. She's awesome and really cares about the kids.
    So where do I get a vibrator sample and ad? @Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit

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  12. I love how I can relate to this so much, why is it so hard to have time with our husbands? UGH. Drives me up the wall, and you have so much going on. Time with your hubby alone is so important, otherwise it's just like having an inconsiderate flatmate! Kids do get easier as they grow... x

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  13. Day care is THE Best thing you can do for Charlie, you and Dave both came from big families right.... instant daycare in the lounge room. Granma once made the comment it was harder raising 2 teenagers than 8 kids in the house at once. Kids keep each other amused. They play, the fight, the learn, the share, but most of all they have fun. Enjoy your guilt free day to yourself, go have lunch with your hubby, do the housework with no added "help" lol or just go back to bed and sleep. Whatever takes your fancy. And remember Charlie's tears when you leave him at day care are Crocodile tears, the minute you disappear out of sight his busy little mind is working out what mischief to get into next. Hugs to you both, enjoy your free time and good luck with the exam. xx

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  14. Lisa - Sweet Little PrettiesApril 14, 2015 at 8:03 PM

    Wow! That would be hard, good work taking time for yourself x

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  15. That is so much to handle. We are all built different with our abilities to cope. There is nothing to be ashamed of because you feel you need time out when you 'only' have one child. Having your little one in daycare one day a week is possibly the best thing for everyone because it gives you time to recharge and face things again while your little guy gets to hang out with other kids.

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  16. I am SO glad you're taking this one day out for yourself! This is going to make a huge difference for your family. It's no wonder you're teary at the moment. It's hard work toddler wrangling on your own and to do it seven days a week. My hat goes off to you. Great post. Love how funny you are. Still laughing at 'bitches back up' xx

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  17. @Renee at Mummy, Wife, Me It's a wonder how I get away with calling my readers bitches. haha! It's great for people with a sense of humour, like yourself. Even though it doesn't apply to you because clearly you're on my side. Thanks hun!

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  18. @TeganMC That's exactly how I feel! Recharged. Thanks for backing me up!

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  19. @Janet Moore Thank you. I've been trying to read Gone Girl. I had a hot bath on Monday and was too lazy to even read it in the tub. So good to just relax. I think Dave and I will have to make Monday lunch dates in Charlestown more often. I forgot what it could be like to just eat and talk with out interruption. You'll be happy to know, Charlie hasn't cried at all being dropped off at child-care. He absolutely loves it. It's way more fun that being at home. There's so much to do for a busy kid like him, it's fantastic.

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  20. @Emily @ Have A Laugh On Me I bet there's single mum's out there going "what's she on about." haha! I wish I'd known how much easier they get as they grow because when he was a newborn I was wondering how I could ever have 2, but as Dave's Aunty above said "Kids keep each other amused." So the more the better. NO, haha. J/k! It does become a flat mate situation, and it's always my turn to do dinner and cook soooo that gets old fast.

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  21. "Bitches back up. I don't have time to write a blog. I make me-time to write a blog" - me to a tee!

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  22. People seem to forget that even SAHM's need a break from the kids too, they are draining, exhausting little creatures and there is nothing wrong with really needing that time-out. Makes you a better Mumma I reckon! Enjoy your child-free day each week, it's the best!
    #teamIBOT

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  23. It's so true @Veggie Mama We just have to make the time or it will never happen. Everything is always more important than me-time!

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  24. Shannon @ Dash of TonicApril 15, 2015 at 7:33 PM

    Do not feel guilty! You live your commitment to your family each and every day. It sounds like you are an amazing wife and mother. And no matter how many kids you have, motherhood is tough.


    I have also wondered how I could find time to blog (and I'm still working it out)..Well, last night I did and I was up until midnight. But it's important to me so I had to find a way.


    Fingers crossed for full night sleeps now!

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  25. @Kylie Purtell, A Study in Cont I honestly think I was more "present" today as a mum as a result of having him in care on Monday. We played so many little games together today. I was killing it with the mum stuff. The house is still a mess but he felt the love so whatever :) thanks for the comment!

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  26. Oh honey you're doing a brilliant job! Daycare is awesome for him as well as giving you a break. Everbody wins :)

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  27. What a fab job you're doing! Sounds like you need the mother and wife of the year award. Seriously, though, please don't beat yourself up. Everyone has their own shit. Nobody has time to blog, we all just chug away as best we can. You don't need to justify yourself to anyone

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  28. I have just started the daycare thing too, one day a week (and some weeks I wont even be working). Let all the judgement come at both of us! In all seriousness but, it's a good thing for everyone concerned. It's a bit of an adjustment but in time you'll be laughing! You're doing a GREAT job x

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  29. Who in the hell is judging you!?!?! Give me names....


    You can't be a good mum if you're exhausted and cranky and completely drained. You need to be able to recharge now and then so you can bounce back to being the great mum you are. PLUS - I truly believe that daycare is great for little ones. They get to play and learn and do all the things you can't do with them at home. It's fantastic for their social development. I'm so happy with my decision to send my little hurricane two days a week. I get to do my work and he has learnt so much in the few months he's been there.


    P.S OMG you're amazing. It sounds like such a tough slog for you right now. Thinking of you xxx

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  30. Hooray for all the mums who are backing me up on this. I feel so supported in my decision! YES. I guess haters would just be jealous? @Sheridan Anne

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  31. @Mumma McD I really feel like I'm winning. I've been so much more present all week. Except for right now. I need to get off the computer and stop commenting on blogs. AHHH

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  32. Shannon, isn't it so gratifying to press 'publish?' So good.
    Thank you for this amazingly supportive comment! So many mums know and understand this overwhelmed feeling, eh. It's a good club, most of the time.

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  33. Kaz @ MeltingMomentsApril 17, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    I felt terrible about sending Dora to daycare until I started to love sending her. I know she gets so much out of it too. Mutually beneficial. No judgement here x

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  34. Hooray for us! Don't you have another baby on the way @Vicki @ Knocked Up & Abroad? Gotta have a plan of attach on how to handle it all, right! Thank you for being in my boat with me. My son loves going to care. Way more fun that at home, so that helps.

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  35. @Lauren @ the-thud.com HA! You're the best. "Give me names..." You earned another #thudlife hashtag!
    I know we have boys around the same age too. OKAY- all guilt is gone. I'm surrounded on all sides by the most supportive group of mum-bloggers imaginable. I guess maybe I was a little scared of the other mums I know who go to "real" work and use day care for that purpose. What will they think. BUT they aren't in my shoes, and I'm not in theres. This is how it is! You think I can talk my husband into a second day? ha!

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  36. Socialising them is good for them, right @Kaz @ MeltingMoments? If mum is happy everyone else is happy? That's a saying right?

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  37. Go you good thing. I'm trying to find a day care in our area that can take our littlest for a day. Don't ever feel guilty about it. A sane mum is a good mum x

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  38. Kaz @ MeltingMomentsApril 17, 2015 at 4:41 PM

    Yep, and mums getting time to socialise is awesome too! hehe. I couldn't agree with you more (in a comment somewhere down there) that you can find you're more present after you've had a little break. I used to feel guilty about that but it helps make me a better mum to have some me (well, me and a baby) time.

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  39. No judgement here! I've got a FIFO hubby so I get it!

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  40. Wow - I don't have a child to look after but my husband runs his own business and studies every single night too. Studying has a lot to answer for and I get ragey about it, but soon, one day, there will be time again. Great post x

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  41. @Bele @ BlahBlah Do you have a family daycare system in your area. The groups are usually smaller, and they are easier to get in to. That's what I'm using.

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  42. @That Bettie Thing Thanks! My friend who had a FIFO husband compared what I was doing to that. She said it's almost worse because at least when her husband is home is there for awhile helping out. I don't think we can compare. Everyone's situation is different, but I know you FIFO wives would totally get it!

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  43. @Rebecca Johnstone You'd totally understand. for 6.5 of those years we had no kid. I felt even more lonely with out my son. He keeps me so busy that he (almost) helps me forget about the fact my husband is studying on everyone else's day off. You'd understand doing all the dishes and making all the meals on your own. Always us!

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  44. Yes! Sadly I do. And it is lonely. Luckily I have lots of creative interests but still. My parents even ask why we got married as we really don't get to spend much time together. That's hard and it makes me sad. On the other hand, he could have an equally time-consuming hobby that was just for fun and therefore less worthy of all the time spent on it - like football and following a team round the world. I feel lucky not to have to deal with that! And he is paid well which means I was able to leave a stressful work environment. Hopefully it will all be worth it for all involved and the light is at the end of the tunnel...kind of! xx

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  45. Oh absolutely. My husband comes home for 2 weeks and is like a fairy god mother!! That is soo nice. Keep up the good work. X

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