Moving Backward to Come Forward.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Here's the deal. Working from home while also being a stay at home 24/7 is a bloody mission. It's stressful. It's draining. It's confusing and if I'm honest, it's been a bit shit. I've spoken before about trying to find the balance and struggling. Well, I'm giving up. Or giving in? Either way, I've realised that I can't do it. And I'm not sure I want to.

When I imagined getting back into work I had a baby who had a predictable sleeping schedule. And I don't mean sleeping through the night, just that when he went to sleep, he'd stay asleep, by himself, for the amount of time he normally sleeps. And he was like that. But then we hit the four month regression (or something) and my nights disappeared. And so did my mornings. He's up every 1-3hrs, and won't really settle at night until I get into bed with him to sleep. Which means sometimes I'm in bed at 7pm or 8pm because that's the only way he'll settle. The mornings are similar, sometimes he'll go back to sleep after his 5am wakeup for a couple of hours, but others he'll need to be rocked/sung too/patted/shushed to get back to sleep. Then he'll wake up an hour later. And don't even talk to me about day naps. If I can get manage to get him to nap OFF me then it's a miracle.

Meanwhile, deadlines are getting missed, time frames are extended and I'm becoming too exhausted to actually get any work done. When I can find an extra hour in my day it's not spent in front of my computer catching up, it's frantically trying to do the dishes or put washing on or indulging in a cup of luke warm tea. There isn't really space in my life for work, unless I head on over to my in-laws for the day. But that's usually once a week and honestly, it's not enough. It's not enough because I'd rather use that day to get our house in order, or to do the groceries, or maybe to just hang out with my in-laws and watch them with Jackson. And it's hard because creativity and inspiration comes and goes, and sometimes it's not hanging out on the day that I need it.

I thought I NEEDED to work. To fuel my creativity. To keep my brain active. To fulfil my passion but all it is doing is ruining my experience as a first time Mum. I resent Jackson. I get annoyed because he needs to be sleeping so I can do my work. I'm frustrated when he won't do what I want because I KNOW that people are relying on me and I'm letting them down. How is that fair? On anyone? It isn't. 

Luckily we have a mortgage which means we have a bit of flexibility when it comes to finances. I mean obviously, we need to be earning money to pay it and our bills, but we're also able to borrow/refinance/top up. And while it's not the ideal situation, and we're going backwards a bit I think it's only going to benefit us. Money will be tight, we'll have to make sacrifices but I can only see positives in this decision. I WANT to be a stay at home Mum. Rob wants me to stay at home. I want to lie in with Jackson, to have a slow day without worrying about a "to do" list. I want to take him to visit family without thinking about all the emails I have to reply to. I'd like to actually watch him roll around on his play-mat instead of quickly trying to respond to enquiries and send files off. And if we can, then why not? He's only going to be little for such a short amount of time and when he's off to kindy, I'll be able to pick things back up again. 

The other thing is that we have been talking about Baby Key #2 and if we do decide to try for another baby, we'll be looking at the end of the year. Which means that everything will get turned on it's head again and we'll have to re-evaluate once more. I've been worried about losing momentum, about becoming irrelevant and disappearing when I worked so hard to build up a reputation. But you know what? I can get it back. Of course I can. Who's to say that I can't take a couple of years off and jump back into things when we're in a better position to? And you know, I might not even want to work as a freelancer anymore. Who knows! But I'm not happy with the amount of pressure and stress I'm putting on myself when I don't NEED to. 

So there we go. I've dropped some contracts, and am wrapping up projects. I've decided I won't go full cold turkey, if projects pop up that I'm really excited about and am happy to sacrifice time for, that I feel I can manage then I'll go for it. But I'm going to start saying no. To stop being scared of disappearing or losing opportunities. I know that I might be putting a hold on my career, but it's in exchange for fully experiencing Jacksons first few years of life and that's a trade off I'm willing to make. 

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