When I got a job back in June 2018, I got a lot of comments along the lines of:
“That’s nice, it’ll keep you busy won’t it?”
While it was most definitely meant as a boost and nothing less than positive, it wasn’t. It was said with blissful ignorance and demeaned everything I had been working towards at that point. It created a false reality in which I was this poor stay-at-home parent, bored out of my mind and needed something to occupy my time so that I could escape the shackles of my home. Not only was that a slap in the face to me but every other parent out there who, yes, stays at home and looks after the children and household (and works their arse off doing so for that matter).
As soon as Joshua started preschool, I used to get comments from the same people asking, “What will you do with yourself now?” I swear these people believe that our identities live and die with our children and that as soon as we multiply, we stop being everything we once was. Well, fuck you! Also, I will be doing exactly what I have been doing already. I’ll be working but just more of it. Even if I wasn’t in work at that point, screw you!
As I brought up in my last post “I Gave Up My Career“, I got my current part-time job to allow us to get a mortgage much quicker. My main job at that point was being a freelancer, but I have always felt that it wasn’t good enough for some people and some in the family will never see it as an actual job. My part-time job, and life in general, has taken its toll on my freelance work for the time being, but I’m gradually getting back to it once again.
Being a parent isn’t the only thing about me; while I’ve lost a huge part of my identity starting a family (who doesn’t?) there’s so much more I have to offer the world than raising children. Truth be told, I don’t want to be any busier and if I was… I’d drop.
I spend 13+ hours a day fighting the never-ending mountain of washing and housework, run the school drop-off which only gives me 3 hours to do stuff before picking Joshua up again. I work my way through my to-do list which probably should have been completed months ago, with more things being added daily. I then balance being a parent with freelance work; which often means working on the kitchen counter while cooking dinner or working from my phone at the park. I then barely have time to eat before rushing off to work literally the second Jamie gets home. On the days when I’m at work from 9am-6pm, I come back to find that of course nothing has been done. So, I have the days’ worth of housework and mess to clear up before sitting down and doing even more work until my bedtime. On top of that, we’re also renovating our home and I’m taking on more courses to better myself.
I’m never on top of everything and only just have my head above water. I’m winging it every single day, I skip meals and have no social life. Having so much stuff that needs doing and mental health related short-term memory loss is a fucking battle – I rely purely on alarms, diary notes and calendars to get me through each day otherwise I would be a mess. I could be doing better, but I sure as hell work my arse off to provide for my little one. So, is getting a part-time job to keep busy realistic? I fucking wish.
But how do I balance everything? Not very well.
Is it bedtime yet?