Today was one of those days; a day when exhaustion set in. We looked around at the mess and wondered what are we doing? Women's lib was all well and good but, honestly, I'm not liberated. As a working woman I have two full time jobs -- the care of the house and family and the job that pays me to maintain that house and family. The candle is burning at both ends and the wax is melting quickly.
Don't get me wrong. My husband helps out. He does dishes and laundry. But he's equally as exhausted. And we're stuck. We've got a mortgage, a business loan, student loans and mouthes to feed. Oh yeah and then there's the saving for that seemingly elusive retirement that neither of us are sure we'll live long enough to see. We're living as frugally as we know how and yet it's barely enough.
Eight years of intense odd-hour schedules have unhinged us. The kids want us to be home, to be present. The bills need to be paid. The house needs to be cleaned. The food needs to be prepared. And, somehow, money has to enter our bank account.
If I could do it over again I'd make different choices. I wouldn't pay so much for my education. I'd buy a smaller house. I'd save more money from the get go.
I don't have it to do over again. So I just keep plodding along. Most days I live with blind hope that better days lay just over the horizon. If we can just make it through this set of shifts or through this week, then things will be better. If ... then.
I also hope and pray our children will learn from our mistakes. I want to teach them to live simply. To appreciate the things that truly matter.
Really we are lucky. We are employed. We have a roof over our heads. We have food on the table. We have three wonderful healthy children. We have so much to be grateful for.
And yet, on days like today, we fall apart. We break down and cry a little. We wonder if we're doing the right things or if we made a lifetime of erroneous choices. We wonder if it's too late to correct our mistakes. We wonder how badly we're messing up our children by being tired, by working so hard for what often seems like so very little.
After tonight I'll have a week off work. I suspect in a couple of days, with a couple of nights of sleep tucked in between, things will look much brighter. At least I can hope.
Mr. Peculiar and I are both working tonight. The kids have once again been shuffled off to our friend's house. As such I made another video, a virtual bedtime story. At the end is a slide show of our family from my computer photo booth. There's solace in watching our marvelous imperfect selves at play. You may check it out if you are so inclined.