Yesterday I went back to work after four days at home relaxing and enjoying my Birthday.
It’s been a lovely break but spending two days all to myself was needed, because if I am absolutely honest, last week was tough. And when I say tough I mean nothing short of horrendous.
The kind of job I do will always be difficult emotionally and upsetting. But at the moment especially work is stressful, and although I usually am able to channel this stress and use it as some sort of motivating factor, it became too much.
I crashed and burned.
Too many deadlines to meet, too little time. Too many jobs to do at home, too little time. I worked five thirteen hour days and I didn’t see the kids for four days in a row, at all. I was out of the door before they awoke and home once they were asleep. Apart from spying on them whilst they slept, it was utterly depressing and downright miserable.
It’s no way to live a life. After all, we work to live right, not live to work? What happened to this work-life balance that’s banded about? Well I need to get it back, and quickly!
Like I said last week was particularly upsetting and trying on my emotions. I was exhausted but knowing I had a day off, alone with the kids in Friday I took them to Leeds to meet a friend for lunch and for some quality Mummy-toddler time.
It helped. We had a nice day, but on the journey home it was busy, a thirty minute journey had taken over an hour and a half and we hadn’t even left Leeds yet! I could feel myself becoming stressed, the kids needed to eat, I needed a drink, it was hot and we were all tired. I just wanted to get us all home.
The Gabriel said something.
‘Look Mummy! It’s a circus!’ And sure enough, it was. On the right there was a huge red Big Top with pictures and signs of all the acts and attractions. My first thought was hoping he wasn’t going to ask to go inside to be honest, I didn’t need toddler tantrum on my hands in an already stressful situation. But instead he just calmly asked,
‘Mummy are there cannibals in that circus?’
‘Erm. I hope not. Do you mean animals Gabriel?’ I asked him
‘Oh yes. What’s a cannibal?’ He replied
‘Talk about it later Gabes’ I said
Then I really, really laughed.
And I giggled all the way home.
I really needed that laughter. It’s funny how something so simple can brighten your day and actually can do a lot for your stress levels.
But it also reinforced that I must often miss out on these little memories, anecdotes and stories. Being a working Mummy is hard, I miss my children so much and I wish things were different so that I could have both my career and more time at home with them. Plans are in the pipeline for this, but for now I have to sit tight.
At age three I don’t think Gabriel needs to know what a cannibal is, and so I won’t be explaining that anytime soon. But, in the meantime every time I see a circus I will remember Gabriel’s accidental confusion of the words cannibal and animal then giggle to myself!
Roll up! Roll up! Tickets for the Cannibal Circus anyone?