When there are a lot of the children in the house, a lot of needs to be met, meals to cook, places to be, abilities to nurture and worries to ease, there is normally something that gives at each stage. Sometimes a hobby goes, or a chink of time together, or a relationship falters a little. Sometimes we get crabby. Sometimes one child gets the upper brain space portion, or more resources, or more outward affection or more worrying.
This house exists with a lot of balls in the air. I guess we all do. It’s only when we stop for a bit, or a few kids are away (or back) or a need changes, that I really notice the pace we live at. Out most nights, juggling work and job shares, school runs, weekend activities, shopping – just all that shit. It relies on being a well oiled machine. There are no relatives who we can easily rope in as backup, we spend a lot of time in hospitals, or juggling a change. Every week involves minor adjustments. Whose doesn’t? How I crave an ordinary week.
And then the wheels come off. In the space of the last two weeks the girls have lost their gym again in circumstances that I’m still trying to decipher, sift, understand and weigh up. They’ve had to make choices, guided by me, and I don’t have all the answers. I’m without a roadmap or understanding and I’ve been caught between loyalty, fear and frustration – with a massive dollop of not wanting to cause pain or hurt and knowing I can’t actually avoid doing that with my choices.
It’s been shit.
Fran has lost trust in somewhere she loves – and needs too, her future is pinned on it – and I don’t know how to help her. Lost her sport, her peers, probably her job. And worry, sifting, searching, waiting it out, takes energy and time I barely have.
I feel up to my neck in things. Again.
And then there is school. My hobson’s choice, my compromise. It’s limping by, better for them in lots of ways but not meeting every need. We are virtually still home educating alongside it – with no perks to the job – and it is wearying. (That’s another blog post). At least one child is not thriving and home ed right now would throw spanners in the works. And I don’t have the money or the resources or even the choices available to make it easy for any of us.
I juggle too many needs every day, too many balls up in the air; kids, work, futures, money worries, little one needs, big kids needs, recovery, joy. Well, who doesn’t? And I’m frightened, all the time of making the wrong choices. I worry my brain, my thinking power, my ability to creatively work the problem, is diminishing daily and that mainstream equals humdrum and busy equals failure to find solutions.
I’m up to my neck in motherhood today and the current feels too fast, is dragging my clothes too hard and the branch I’m clinging to is far from sturdy. All the problems of parenthood have flooded the pitch, again; it’s not leaving enough time to enjoy it. I’m certainly not shooting the rapids and feeling the buzz.