Mini stress

Ever have that dream where you’re driving down a street and suddenly the breaks won’t work anymore, and you can no longer change direction with the steering wheel and you inevitably crash the car? It’s a recurring dream of mine and it apparently signifies the feeling of having lost control in your life. I’ve had that dream a lot these past two weeks. Ever since that morning where I pulled on my office garb and proper shoes, leaving the jeans and converse of maternity leave behind me. Back to the grindstone. Back to a job I have no love for but simply have to hold onto out of necessity.

It’s been an emotional time-Mini Mini has been extremely unsettled and any notion of the carefully constructed routine that we had been working so hard to create has gone out the window-and none more so than this morning when I think about what I am missing. Not just my girlies, but today is Mini’s Little Owls end of term party. I usually try and avoid clichés and stereotypical attitudes but the God’s honest truth is that little kiddies with Down syndrome tend to be adorable. And a whole bunch of them squealing with delight at being let loose in an indoor play centre even more so!

So here we are, two weeks into the Great Return of 2014 and I’m struggling. Mini Mini is still treating us to some unwanted nocturnal performances and so sometimes I feel like I’ve done the equivalent of a day’s work even before I get out the door in the mornings. And then in the evenings, I’m absolutely shattered and starting to slip in the daily requirement of keeping up with Mini’s extra speech and language and physiotherapy needs. She doesn’t really need them every day but I was making an effort to do at least a few minutes of each every day. All of this is with the assistance of our au pair extraordinaire-Tata-the Frenchman’s sister over for the summer. I don’t know how we’ll manage when she goes back home in a few short weeks. The Frenchman continues to work mental hours and any request I make for a reduction in my own working hours is met with the stock answer “we are unable to fulfil your request at this time.” Yes, that’s a verbatim sentence from my line manager.

And then there’s just the oddness of it all-it doesn’t feel right to be away from them all day. Don’t get me wrong it’s great to get a little adult time where the conversation doesn’t revolve around Peppa Pig and I don’t have to keep checking my shoulder for some snotty snail trails or sneaky puke stains but fulltime hours are just that. Full time. Full on. I leave early in the morning when they are still sleepy and not fully there. I come back in the evening when their best hours are behind them. Any impromptu singing or dancing from Mini or any dirty giggles from Mini Mini seem to have lost their sheen by the time I come through the door.

I feel like I really shouldn’t complain as I know I have it a lot easier than other parents do. I have a ridiculously tiny commute-5 minutes with traffic!-and I get to occasionally come home to see them at lunch but I’m finding the hours I’m away from my minis are the longest ever.

For me it’s the new holy grail only more elusive-it’s the work life balance. It’s all I can think of right now. I’m not sure what the answer is for our little family but I’m pretty sure this isn’t it.
My friend called me “super mum” this week when he came to visit us.I don’t want to be super mum,I just want to be mum again.

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0 thoughts on “Mini stress

  1. Oh no, you poor thing. It really is so tough. I was in exactly the same place mentally when I took my career break. Is there any way you can get some parental leave or any other time off? It’s just so tough and having extra demands of speech and physiotherapy only makes it tougher. Sorry cant help but ((((hugs)))) to you.

    1. Thanks Lucy!Parental leave isn’t really an option as we need two wages. I’ll just keep praying for less hours while buying those Lotto tickets!

  2. That sounds so hard Aedin, I only managed a month before I handed in my notice… I can really appreciate how hard it is for you, I hope you can find the right solution for all but especially you as happy mama makes for happy family xxx

  3. Totally understand how you’re feeling. I assumed I’d be dying to get back to work by the end of my maternity leave, but instead I didn’t want to miss out on all the good (and bad) days at home. Hope you find a better solution for your family. At the very least, a job that you’re happier at.

  4. Oh no Aedín, that’s really tough going! Hope you can find the right balance. I felt very similar to you this time last year and like you I was unable to reduce my week/hours so here I am after taking all 36 weeks of parental leave (both sets of 18 wks) and embarking on a 3 year career break! It’s so tricky finding the balance, I struggled hugely and ran myself into the ground. I hope everything sorts itself out, as Naomi said- happy mama=happy family. Take care

    1. Fair play to you Ciara for going on the career break-must have been a tough decision but I’d say you don’t regret it for a minute!Pity I have no career to break,maybe that’s my problem!

  5. Oh Aedin, it’s so tough! We both worked full-full time until about 6 months after my return after number 2. After several failed parental leave requests, and negotiations (with work, the creche, my husband and my in laws) that resembled the good friday agreement I finally managed the compromise of one day a fortnight PL with the in-laws taking them the alternate mondays and them moving to a 4 days week in creche.

    With that arrangement we’re ever so slightly better off financially (probably only a 10% fee reduction though, but only 2 days unpaid in the month), and lots better emotionally. I know you haven’t flexibility but you could try and see if there’s alternative plans out there

    I hear you, we don’t need to be super, sometimes we just want to be there.

  6. I know I’m coming to this a few weeks later but I just wanted to post to say I really understand what you’re going through. I’ve no flexibility or option to use parental leave either and although they exist for me if I’d like to avail of them, there’s just no hiding the fact that the two full time wages are needed and the numbers don’t add up! I have no solution – I wish I did! – but just wanted to empathise. It’s crappy. It makes me sad that you’re sad. And I completely agree with Jill about not wanting to be super just present 🙁

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