Hi.It’s been a while. To be exact it’s been six months. In that six months of manic-ness we’ve had a crappy (and short-lived) experience with a reclusive au pair; lost all sense of work life balance with jobs that gobble more than they were meant to; and seemed more starved of time than ever before.
I’ve found my tipping point: it’s when I find we are juggling three kids, two jobs, no childcare and a house still full of packing boxes and broken skirting boards. It’s the constant feeling of holding my breath all day waiting for everything to go wrong – so much so that even when it doesn’t actually go wrong it doesn’t matter as the stress is all about what could happen – not what does. Consider me officially ‘tipped’.
I owe an apology: to friends I’ve not seen or chatted to in an age and whose birthday presents are in a neat stack in the corner of the sitting room (note: no apology for my husband’s failure to deliver a gift wrapped, carded and nicely chosen newborn baby gift to his friend’s child who is probably about 6 by now. That’s just ridiculous). To the senders of unanswered messages, emails and calls. To the hosts of unreturned play dates and party pickups. To my knitting group left cake-less and organiser-less. To my husband whose new haircut went unnoticed for a week. To my parents who have been babysitting superstars but not been handed a cup of tea or a chat in months. To my belly, my chipped toenails, dry purplish skin and untended body parts.
Sorrynotsorry by the way to the kids. They as usual have maintained their position at the top of the queue and remained oblivious to the madness. Sorrynotsorry to Woodie who only got turfed off the boobie a few months ago but is still a frequent night-time visitor in his mama’s bed. Sorrynotsorry to Yoda who has the wiles of a woman beyond her 5-years and declares herself my ‘best friend forever’ while eyeing up a sparkly pink handbag she swears will fit her school lunch in September. Sorrynotsorry to now 7-year-old Spidey who earns ‘holiday stars’ and secret reading time by tidying up the playroom and water-pistoling greenfly off the rose bushes. Sorrynotsorry to all three for the fish finger suppers, the new found familiarity with potatoe waffles and the extra doses of Netflix that give me a running chance of getting the house in order. Sorrynotsorry to everyone for the desperately needed holiday I had the sense (but not the money) to book in January.
And now there has been a Breakup: The feeling snuck up on me but one day it was there: the unshakeable knowledge that after 16 years things have come to a natural end. Not because of the kids, or the daily panic juggling life, family and work since we gave the utterly useless au pair her marching orders but simply because I need to start something new. In a two minute chat over a latte the day after my 40th birthday, it is over. The end is amicable. As breakups go, it’s a good one. I’ve had ideas about ‘what next’ and the tenuous chats with strangers and friends about new starts.Swipe left, no thanks. Swipe right, now there’s a thought. It’s all new, all strange, but all good. After all it’s just a job. One I loved but just a job all the same. And there will be another.
So, what have you been up to, eh?