I have the lurgy. I feel like I am permanently under water, my head is twice as heavy as it should be and I cannot hear properly. This is an improvement on the the past two days. I can cope with my being ill and my son has caught it too. I can cope with both our being ill and the lack of sleep that ensues. What I cannot cope with is illness, tiredness and doing it all while my husband has to work away from home. So he has sent in reinforcements.
I now understand why people who have had kids near their parents or in-laws say we won’t cope on our own with a child and we would need the help. My mother-in-law has been staying the past two days and my idea of easy has just been stomped all over by actual easy child-care: getting someone else to do it for you.
Oh it is wonderful, I slept my way through yesterday and feel alive today. My MiL and son are both out enjoying the winter sun in North London while I got to have a shower with the door closed, reply to emails with two hands and can now do some of my own personal projects, which mostly involves listening to loud music, drinking tea and entering Magic’s daily radio competition. Oh to win the big prize…
I am just simply bunged up today and not suffering from a bad cold any more. I do feel like I have given in to defeat but it is nice to sit and have space to myself. I can see how relying on such help would make it seem like I have a hard job the rest of the time. Except I don’t. I have a fulfilling job that is around the clock and has no sick or holiday days. I can live with that.
I have a theory on how I am managing to juggle this work so far and it was highlighted last Friday night when I was off to a rare gig with my best friend. She was complaining about how tired she was having gone to gigs all week and worked long hours in the day; how she had no time to herself for the next few weeks and she was run into the ground.
“Preparing you for parenthood”, I said.
“Oh I am sorry, I shouldn’t be complaining about being tired and having no time for myself in front of you,” she replied.
“Oh yes you should. I made the choice to have a baby in London. You have every right to complain about your 24 hour working life. If it wasn’t for all those long hours, gigs, waiting around after shows then getting up to do it all over again the next day, I don’t think I would be as good a mother as I am. It was just preparation for the long hours of parenthood and as a result, I am less tired and worn out than others.”
“Good point but I still feel bad.”
“Problems are relative to the person having them. If you are exhausted by work then you should get it off your chest to me.”
I recently related this theory to a pregnant friend of mine who is an editor for television. I pointed out that her long hours and dedication to her job over the past 10 years would stand her in good stead when the child arrived and she probably (hopefully) wouldn’t find it as difficult as we are made to believe it will be. If you are used to working hard anyway then the hard work of child rearing just seems like fun.
That is not to say I am not enjoying my ‘sick day’ right now.