The difference of a day

The tears flowed here yesterday.
I don’t view this time through the eyes of some calm earth mother.
I don’t feel all connected to the earth and at peace with the world.
I feel overwhelmed by the responsibility. The reliance. On me.
Every day is simply a process of survival. A head count at the end to check there were no casualties left behind.
There are things I do to feel grounded. To feel in control of something.
Generally it is cooking, but even that is challenging when you have the Good Child secretly enrol in a gifted and talented accelerated program of toddlerdom.
Don’t get me wrong, I still sniff my baby’s head and watch his squirmy, squinty, squiddgey goodness and feel proud and in love. I still survey the absolute wreckage of this house and see these little lives unfolding before my eyes with a sense of bewildered, thrilled, exhilerated incredulity that these boys are mine and I am theirs.

It’s just that this has been quite a baptism of fire.
Having the fourth child in the small hours on the first day of school holidays.
Then everyone being sick, Oscar very much so.
Which impacted on the whole management plan. The big boys were meant to go to my Dad and stepmother’s for a few nights this week. Chef’s Mum and Dad were going to take them during the day a couple of times. Mum was going to take them on various outings. Instead everyone got sick – too sick to go away, Chef’s mum has been bed-ridden sick, Mum’s had what we’ve all had as well as the whole cardiologist development. the Chef has had three double shifts this week and the reality of managing four children on my own five nights of the week has been very, well, real. Oh, and its rained . A lot.

So Chef had the day off yesterday and I fell apart.
I think because I could.
If Jasper cried, I cried. It was as if my heart couldn’t absorb any more pulling on its strings.
I had that sensation of everything being too much. And relentless. That hideous feeling when I’m falling into my pit of wave after wave of domesticity and parenthood and money issues and mother issues and body image issues knocking me down and back. Over and over and over again.

And then, at around 8pm, I (finally) had the dawning realisation that it was just a bad day.
Which was weird, because there were good things in it.
Like we left the house. All of us. In the bus. It was the first time we were all in the bus together and it felt just fine.
We ate bbq chicken and hot chips at North Head, watching the ferries sail past and seeing where the small slivers of sunlight were hitting their mark, then wandered around the Mall aimlessly freezing our butts off. (Open air mall = stupid idea in winter, as in we might live on the beaches but it sure ain’t the Gold Coast)
And when I said to Chef last night that I felt like a warm pudding, like sticky toffee pudding, he up and made me one.
Just like that.