You can’t pour from an empty cup. And don’t I know it. The blog has taken a back seat recently, as I have been trying to get my travel business off the ground, whilst simultaneously being a stay-at-home mum.
Let’s start there. I vastly underestimated how difficult being a stay-at-home mum would be. With the absence of a second regular income, we couldn’t continue paying for childcare for The Littlest, so for the past six months, I have shouldered all that responsibility. And my beautiful, funny youngest child, has my temper, and my zero-patience. It’s the perfect storm.
So, there I was, thinking it would be fine to work in the evenings once the kids were in bed and I could get some work done from the kitchen table or while he naps. But he is two, with a burning inquisitively and an abundance of energy. He wants constant entertainment, the only time he will sit quietly is if I resort to the digital babysitter, which I already feel I use too much.
He wants to be outdoors, running around. I was naïve to imagine I could get anything done. My mum looks after him one day a week which was my usual childcare day, but my stepdad needed an operation on his back, so she has been caring for him. The business is doing ok, but nowhere near where I wanted it to be.
To begin with, I could work with the pockets of time I had. But the terrible twos have kicked in, with full force and those nap time snatches of time are spent trying to keep on top of piles of washing, or cleaning. The evenings come and after running around after the kids all day, I am exhausted, with a tiredness that burns to your very core. I drop to the sofa at the end of the day and there I stay until bedtime, trying to mentally recover to do it all again tomorrow. This article summed it up for me perfectly.
We made the decision that we would put The Littlest in childcare two mornings a week to try and give me some time to push the business. He started in April, and it’s helped a little, but I have eight months of fatigue to catch up on. I have so much respect for those women who have the patience to stay at home with their kids all day. It isn’t the chilled, relaxing time some people think it is.
This weekend I went to see my friend in Manchester, and we went to the theatre, had some cocktails and I had a relaxing morning in bed with a cup of tea, followed by a leisurely brunch. It’s helped me refill that cup, but I still feel like it has a crack in it, no longer gushing the water out, but maybe seeping out? But they aren’t little for long. Each milestone makes life a little easier. Next up is potty training. Soon The Littlest will be at preschool. And maybe I will yearn for the days I found so difficult. For now, I will just keep refilling when I can.