Actually, not so much One Darn Thing After Another as just Everything At Once, really. Household and work and everything got very intense last week. I am ready for a rest now please thank you (but it’s not coming just yet).
Armin was in Davos, as happens every January, and it’s really quite striking that every year the solo parenting aspect gets sooo much easier. It’s still a lot to manage, of course, but the kids are so much more self-driving now. And also largely over their constant screaming phase. Well… over the constant part, at least. And not as much screaming at each other, even when they’re still screaming a lot out of sheer “fun”. Why are my kids so damn noisy? Why? I am quite sure they’re much, much louder than other kids. And I am quite sure that I have less tolerance for it than (many) other parents. Terrible combo. I have so much sympathy for my dad these days. I remember him constantly telling me to lower the volume and I just didn’t get it. I’m so sorry, Dad.
Given this noise problem, I may live to regret the music lessons. However, so far the guitar and keyboard are the source of much joy. Also one early shock as Claudia broke a string while tuning (yep, just two days in). Poor kid. I’d worked so hard to impress on them the need to BE REALLY CAREFUL AND LOOK AFTER YOUR INSTRUMENTS and then she didn’t realise that strings can easily be replaced… poor kid.
Meanwhile work was intense because deadlines and because, well, my current project is the shittest project possible and Breaks Editors, it is known. I’m not breaking, but I am annoyed. But I’m tough. Just looking forward to March. And experiencing that very specific frustration that comes from knowing I’m not doing my best work, partly because I am literally not allowed to, but also because the whole setup leaves me deeply uncertain as to how I should be working, and then I make bad choices. It sucks. It’s not my fault, but I could still do better. Oh well. Chocolate? CHOCOLATE.
So of course my mind turns to Work Options and what I want to be doing a few months from now (different job? same job but fewer hours? same job, same hours, because hey this project will at least be over?) and then I do run into the small detail that the kids are suddenly costing quite a lot of money. Music lessons. Sport. Childcare (especially in the holidays). I’m lucky that childcare is actually very low-key, considering I work 80% (I pay only for one kid, one afternoon, other than holiday programmes), but then again that means that I don’t have too much room to save on that front should I reduce my hours. One instrument and one sport each isn’t a lot, and I wouldn’t want to cut down there (I’m not counting gymnastics and scouts, which are volunteer-run and practically free, but which are far less exciting to them than riding and judo). And then there’s the small question of Buying A Property. With an extra bedroom.
So I guess this is how people get trapped in working just for the money. Huh. Who knew.