I saw this great quotation via @qikipedia on Twitter this week.
Gosh, I thought, in all my middle-class, first-world exhaustion, That is so true.
There is so little time in life. We know this because we all say it, from the time we either (a) get a serious job, or (b) have children or (c) grow out of our twenties. (Or at least my twenties, pre-HECS, pre-internet, were pretty free and wide open. Not sure if that's still the case for the young 'uns today).
I went back to work when my babies were 8 months old, initially 3 days a week, building up to 5. I worked full-time for the next 4 four years, and just recently cut down to 4 days.
That extra day is a marvel, and I am so, so grateful for it. I don't know how long I can "get away with it", because our finances are not great and you know, life is expensive. Especially when you're used to having the money from 5 days' work in your bank account, but anyway, that's my failing and I'm learning to adapt (slowly).
Back when I was working full-time and my twins were toddlers/pre-schoolers/preppies and I was having a nervous breakdown every few months, I used to HATE reading about "work-life balance" and "fitting in" working and motherhood, because everything I read was written by women working part-time.
So I am trying not to bore you with the same opinions and perspectives that used to annoy me.
I will just say, that EVEN with my lovely, precious extra day, life is SHORT and Tuesdays (my day off) are SHORT - and my to-do list is LONG.
There is so little time in the day to do the things we really want to do, isn't there?
For instance, what I really want to do all day is read and write. That's it - I know, I'm horribly unbalanced, but that is what I really love and want to do.
I don't want to clean the house, plan dinners, buy groceries, dust, sort and file administrivia, do laundry or tidy my clothes. I don't want to re-evaluate our super and insurance every 12 months, compare utility providers or switch bank accounts. I don't particularly want to walk the dog. (No surprises there, the dog would grumble if he could talk).
I do love spending time with my kids, and I like feeding them (when they eat what I make), and quite like doing homework or reading with them (when they don't grumble).
So if I do a great job looking after my kids - which I mostly think I do - and I feed them and teach them and listen to them and do their laundry and watch over their emotional state and help them and love them - that is a full-time job, right?
So why do I ALSO have to do all the other house and admin stuff that comes with a grown-up life?
P.S.: That's not a serious question. Parenthood is a choice and it makes me very happy, blah blah blah. Doesn't mean we can't vent about how hard it all is, every now and then!