I really struggled with writing this post because I haven't really been doing that well. I mean I'm ok, But just. My stress levels have been increasing for a while now and I've really worked myself up into knots about it and I feel like it's making me ill.
I have been on antibiotics twice in the last six weeks for a blocked duct in my left breast. I've had a bad cold in between this which I'm still recovering from and Molly caught it as well. Juffin has had massive migraines, Mushroom has had a bad cough and both the kids have had conjunctivitis.
I can't blame daycare. Mushroom only goes once a week now.
I just don't know why we can't seem to catch a break, and I feel like it's a bit my fault because I can't seem to stop worrying about our life and where we're heading.
In a nutshell, our financial situation has changed drastically in the last few months and our access to free childcare will cease shortly as well... I know, I know, we were very fucking lucky to have this available in the first place. It makes such a massive difference.
I hadn't told anyone but we were considering increasing my maternity leave so I could take the next 12 months off and stay home with the kids. This is our last child, Mushroom will be at school the year after. I was, I am, enjoying being home with the kids despite the challenges that an almost 4 year old presents on a daily basis. This is no longer a possibility. Not only that, but I'm also wondering whether I can continue to work part-time or not as we'll be paying for full days of daycare for two children despite me only working 5 hours a day 4 days a week. Living on one wage is no longer an option.
Here I am, tying myself in knots, wishing that we'd done so many things differently. I have even felt guilty for having another child, having children in general, which is fucking awful. I can't stop thinking that if we're struggling so much at this age, what kind of life are we going to give our kids.
We don't own a home. We can't afford to go on holidays. Some weeks it's my turn to shout coffee for the girls and I have a mini panic attack because I may only have $13 in the bank account. Yes, you read that correctly, $13. I make it work and shuffle things around and at the present moment, we are not broke but we're on a pretty tight budget. There's no surplus. I need surgery and despite having health insurance, we can't afford the bloody excess or out of pockets.
There are so many things to be grateful for, our general good health, a job to go back to, a roof over our head, food on the table, but at 2am when I'm breastfeeding and it's quiet and dark, I worry and worry and worry, turning myself inside out and stewing over every detail. What if this were different, what if we did this, what if we did that, but the reality is, it doesn't matter because we didn't and this is our life now.
I know that in the end we'll be alright. Juffin's university studies, though it will be years before he finishes, will mean a significant change to our family income. He's working so hard, so many late nights, and I'm so grateful for his dedication and his ability to keep getting up out of bed in the morning and go to work despite being up studying until all hours.
This is my reality right now. Stress, anxiety, a dodgy left boob.... I'm sorry this post isn't funnier but sometimes I'm just not funny (Juffin would say that I'm never funny but, meh, men). If you've run into me over the last couple of months, you may have noticed that I've been a little off, not as perky as I am usually. I'm trying, I really am but I want you guys to know that life isn't perfect. You can't put a filter on feeling shitty and make it OK. Despite all our challenges, we're still here. And, for the most part, I'm still smiling. At the end of the day, I know that we'll make whatever situation work. We have to. That's life. And we're luckier than most.
|See, still smiling|
Disclaimer: I don't suffer from depression, but I have in the past and I know when I need to seek help. This isn't one of those times. I am actually OK, just stressed and worried and tired. And that's not a good combo. If any of you are really not OK, please let someone know. I'm here to listen if you need.