I have a lot on my plate – three kids, a part-time job, a house to run with all that it entails (washing, cooking, shopping, cleaning), a long list of extra-curricular activities (Scouts, Cubs, ballet, swimming lessons, street dance, Rainbows, rugby and football), plus being a school governor and helping out at school and a husband who works long hours.
It’s a lot to juggle, but most of the time it’s OK. But then something else comes along and it all gets a bit much.Right now, it feels like everything is out of my hands. It’s little stuff, but on top of the regular stuff, it’s tipping me over the edge.
On Sunday morning, my eldest had an important away rugby game, while my younger son had training at home. With a week until my half marathon, I needed to fit in a 12 mile run. I also needed to get my younger son to rugby for 10am. So I got up at 5.30 to go running. Yes, FIVE THIRTY. On a SUNDAY.
To add insult to injury, after torrential rainfall on an already sodden pitch, my eldest’s game was called off. I could have had an extra hour in bed and Daddy could have been saved an hour of driving.
Our swimming pool’s system for booking lessons is out of the ark. You stand and you QUEUE with all the other hundreds of parents desperate to get their little darlings into the right class. This used to happen on a Monday morning and I would join the queue in 30th place at 6.45am. People must have moaned about this (I can’t imagine why!) so, rather than book online, they switched it to Sunday afternoon bookings. Hooray! What a great way to spend my precious weekends. So I arrived half an hour before booking was due to start and joined the queue in approximately 100th place, level with the back of the adjoining building. To say I felt like crying would be an understatement.
Two hours later, I got to book my daughter’s lesson and, needless to say, the lesson I wanted was no longer available. Two whole hours wasted, two hours of my life I wouldn’t get back. The same amount of time I had spent running 12 miles that day. The same amount of time I’d spent watching my son’s rugby that day.
On Wednesday there’s an urgent school governors’ meeting at 6pm. 6pm on a Wednesday (or any other day of the week) is not a good time for me as my husband isn’t home from work. I had suggested other times, but everyone has different priorities and responsibilities, and obviously this time worked for more people. With sufficient warning, I can arrange for my husband to come home early or for my parents to have the kids, but not this time. So I’m not going. I don’t like to miss meetings and I feel bad, but it’s out of my hands.
Right now it feels like my whole life is out of my hands, like it’s being controlled by someone who is having a laugh at my expense to see how far they can stretch me before I break.
And so to Thursday, the final nail in my poor worn out coffin. I have a school governors’ meeting (yes, another one, on a different matter) at 1.30pm. This is fine.
But then I hear my eldest is finishing school at 12.30 that day. Oh, and we have a parents’ ‘evening’ at his school at 2.30. So I have to leave my son home alone while I’m at my meeting. I have to leave my meeting early, having missed one the previous day. My husband can’t go to parents’ evening because he’s at work. And I risk being late to pick my younger two up from school. What a flipping great time for a parents’ evening.
Right now I feel I am being crushed by the weight of responsibility of my three kids and our busy lives. Usually I’m in control, albeit clinging on by the tips of my fingers, but this week someone else is pulling the strings and I’m struggling to cope.