This week has seen a lot of my social media filled with posts expressing both fear and excitement at those who returned to work this week. My internal monologue has mostly reacted to these posts with a “My job doesn’t offer annual leave”. As Mum I work 24 hours a day (Thanks co-sleeping two year old), and whilst the perks are far more rewarding than any other role, it is definitely emotionally draining. Because my husband works evenings, there is no partner to split responsibility with 5 days a week. He’s asleep for school run, and at work by the time pick up happens. After a particularly long evening routine, it’s not uncommon for me to be simply unable to do anything but sit on the couch watching you tube videos that review makeup I can’t afford. Friends will plan events and long weekends based on their leave allocations, and whilst my husband can take leave, I can’t. Getting a babysitter on a Saturday night is one thing, but when weekends are filled with cheerleading practice, swimming lessons, birthday parties and other kid related things nursing a hangover becomes an unappealing prospect.
And then it happens. A week of “Mummy Annual Leave” appears in the form of your parents taking all three children for a whole entire 7 day week.
Seven. Whole. Freaking. Days.
For me this begins on Saturday, so I’ve begun preparing for this time off. The list of things I want to achieve in this beacon of calendar events is long. Really long. Seriously, really long.
- Get the carpets cleaned
- Redecorate Sylvie’s room into magical “Frozen” inspired toddler wonderland
- Empty study
- Refurnish desk/organization/toy storage in study with flat packs etc. (this involves trips to Bunnings and IKEA)
- Put all the stuff in the study back into new furniture.
- Move Xbox 360 into study
- Clean out 2 kitchen cupboards
- Dinner with girlfriends
- See a movie with husband
- Walk every.single.day.
- Lunch with friends
- Pick up some garden stuff offered to us from a friend
- Get the backyard into a more play ready state
- Sleep in!
- Get my hair cut/coloured
- Attend a wedding
- Go with parents and children on a Zoo trip because it’s my Mum’s birthday
- See a podiatrist
- Complete 2 assignments (1 Unit Plan, 1 Essay)
This is no longer feeling like annual leave. This is feeling like a job!!
Why do I feel the desperate need to get all these things done while my children are away? Why can’t I just put my feet up and drink wine? (Don’t worry there will be wine had!!) Well, because basically a mother’s job is never done. Clichéd but true. My delightful two year old has reached a wonderful clingy, sooky stage, and doing any task that might take attention away from her for more than 2 minutes (like, say, cooking dinner, hanging laundry or going to the toilet) is simply out of the question. Nightmare.
Even though this list looks complicated and exhausted, I’m excited to have multiple hours of peace in which to complete them, to stop for a break when I’m ready for a coffee (or wine) rather than when I need to fish an Elsa out from behind her ice castle home. I’m excited to be able to pick an appointment outside of 9.30am – 2pm because I don’t have to worry about school times. And the food! Spicy soups, medium-rare steaks, heck I could have ALL VEGETABLES one night and no one would complain (husband would be a work, remember!). I’ll be able to go out for dinner and not have to worry about being home in time to get enough sleep for the next day!
If nothing else it will be interesting to see how many of these things I actually achieve. I’ve already taken off a few options to try and make the list more manageable. I’ll be sure to report back, but otherwise you can follow me on Instagram for visual updates!
Am I crazy? Or are you the same? Do make a long list of things to do the minute your kids are out of the driveway?