Arrested development…

I’m trying to better myself. Trying to do things in a more streamlined, matter-of-fact manner, trying to improve how I live, what I do, how we eat and so on. In some areas, I’m making great strides, in others?

I wonder how long I can carry on doing what I’m doing. If you want different, you need to do different, but what if the external forces around you exert such a large amount of control over your life, you’re stuck. No matter what you do.

I’m aware there only 8,760 hours in a year. We were kindly provided a two day training session to tell us this, and also to tell us that we need to dedicate 8 hours a day to self-care e.g. sleep, 8 hours to work, and the last 8 to life exercise, catching up with friends and so on. Fair enough, it’s a good Life/Health/Work balance, in theory. But here’s a typical day for our house:

4:30-5:30am Toddler will wake up, getting him back to sleep is sometimes successful, sometimes less so.
5:40am Alarm goes off, if we’ve not been woken already.
6:00am Hubs leaves the house, after making me a cup of tea (he knows his priorities).
7:00am Peanut and I leave the house, this is after an hour where I get to read to or play with him, I need to get showered, dressed, faff about with my hair and throw some make-up at my face.I drop him at nursery and whizz off to a train station.
7:15-7:25am I get on the first available train.
8:20-8:45am Arrive at work.
12ish Lunch, usually at my desk.
4:00-4:20pm Whizz out the door.
4:15-4:35pm I get on the first available train.
5:10-5:30pm I collect Peanut.
6:00-7:00pm Preparation of dinner, toddler bath-time, bedtime routine.
7:00-9:00pm Washing up, breakfast and lunch prep for the next day, at least one load of washing, maybe some ironing, maybe some housework, I will also have to log on to work remotely from home at least two evenings a week to ensure I meet my 40 hour a week contracted hours.
9:00-10:00pm Preferably closer to 9pm, as my body is shutting down, I’m getting progressively clumsier as I get more tired.
12ish Peanut will wake up, sometimes with a nightmare, sometimes because he’s thirsty.

We don’t even get 8 hours sleep a night. The best I can do is not to buy crappy food at the supermarket. I have no time to exercise, because if I do, it has to be at work and people already have issues with me leaving just after 4pm to get home for my son. They do not see me answering emails at 10pm at night, or over the weekend. I can’t remember the last time I caught up with some friends, let alone my family. While we share the collecting duties of our son, I am responsible for dropping him off, I refuse to send him in before 7am, but even so, I am fully aware the three of us are up, dressed and out the house before some of my work colleagues are even waking up.

It kills me to leave my son with other people all day, I see him for about 2 hours if I’m lucky and I’m missing him. So if I am to split my day into three, so I get a good balance, tell me what gives? I am in transit for at least two and a half, sometimes three hours a day if I’ve just missed a train and am standing around on a train platform. I like living in a clean house, but this week, I’ve not even made my bed each morning, although last night I did change the sheets. Last night, I was also asleep by the time Hubs got out the shower.

We’re consciously trying to live with less, donating and selling our possessions that we don’t need any more. We’ve asked for donations to a charity for Peanut’s birthday as he already has more toys than he actually plays with. We’re trying to streamline our processes at home, investigating shopping online and home delivery, to find another hour or so in the week.

And for what? It feels like I’m on a treadmill. I desperately want different, but until something major happens, nothing will change. Because I am not allowed to work at home any more than I am. Because the priorities I once had, have changed. Because although life rewards action, what if the omnipotent, governing presence in your life is beyond your control?

But what makes me feel so sad today? I am going to have to give up my writing class. Because the only two hours each week that were mine I can find, but I cannot find another slot in my life to write daily, in the same place, with the same tools is impossible. Sure I could write on the train into and out of work each day, and I do use that time the best I can with emailing friends and reading and taking massive notes, but to find an hour to sit down at my desk when we’ve got housework backing up, I need to exercise, I need to shop, to plan meals, to hold the house together with my husband. When all these things are shoved in and around travelling to and from work, everything else falls by the wayside.

Including me.

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One thought on “Arrested development…

  1. Hi Hun, Maddie, my love you have got to take a chill pill. Don’t jump down my throat when I say that. What you are trying to achieve is admiral, but with a toddler, work, home it is darn near impossible. I realise OCD is your middle name, but sometimes you have to rebel and say f**k it! Your son and hubby are the most important things in the world to you, so concentrate on them. The housework will still be there tomorrow. Make time for YOU, no one needs a stressy mum, you love to exercise, to write, well bloody well do it! Life is too short to chew yourself up trying to micro manage things beyond your control.
    Sometimes I have so many balls up In the air I don’t know whether I’m coming or going, but I get there, I might drop a few balls, but they will still be there when I go back for them. Take care sweet pea, you’ll burn yourself out if you carry on as you are now.
    Much love
    Jac xxxxx

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