Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Tuesday Night.

It's Tuesday night and I'm feeling tired. Too tired to get up and turn that freshly boiled kettle into a hot cup of tea. Too tired to talk myself up or sell my wares. It's a content kind of tired. The well-earned kind. The quiet kind. Not the "Please Evie will you please go to bed so I can rest, kind." The kind that has no idea what tomorrow brings but has learnt to rest in the unknown. The kind that knows I can't do everything but rests in my own limitations.
Tim found out on the weekend that the cafe he was working at no longer has enough work for him. Here we are in unemployed land again. Where there are always more applications to write, emails to send, people to call. When one has work, one can use his free time as he chooses. But when there is no work, there is no rest.

And when there is no work, I want to launch into action. I don my super hero cape, sit at my sewing machine and nothing can stop me. I will provide for my little family. I will sell like there is a tomorrow, and we will enjoy it. And cries of boredom or hunger or attention ("Look at me Mum! I'm Firemam Sam!") will have to wait just another five minutes...or twenty. And slowly (maybe not so slowly?), we plunge into chaos. I don't have time for new teeth or high temperatures or just sitting while you tell me about your latest adventures with Lighting McQueen.
And when there is no work, we split things down the middle. Even Steven. Because you are home now. And I cooked last night. And everything needs to be negotiated and we are accountable for our time. And we ask permission to head out for a bit or sit down at the computer.

Last night, while Eve was growing one of her teeth, and Tim was out at a friend's house, I stood there in her room, rocking back and forth, cranky for the interruption to my plans for the evening. Cranky at Tim for having all the fun. Cranky at the universe because her teeth always come a week before a market. And something prompted me to stop and listen.
This is my job, I thought.
I don't know if it sounds impersonal to you, or unfeeling, calling my sad baby 'my job'. But for some reason it was incredibly significant for me.
No one else could do this right now. And all over the world there were people doing things they'd prefer not to. It's just part of life. Part of what we choose. And what is chosen for us. Cuddling Evie was the right thing to be doing, right now, for me. And that might mean I get less sleep than Tim (or others) and have less freedom to choose the course of my day, or don't get thanked or affirmed with pay or promotion. But it also comes with the blessing of that knowing, scrunched-up-nose smile in the morning or being the one to understand Tully's 3 year old language or discover with Evie the new games she can play, new words, new dance moves.
So tonight I rest, while the kids sleep. Because what else could be the right thing to do on a Tuesday night? I will turn up to market in less than two weeks with whatever I happen to have, I will plod away surely, yet interruptably at my work. I will set it aside sometimes when a very unimportant and unpaid game of soccer is called in the back yard. And other times, I will make it a priority and let them watch Sesame Street. I'll cook dinner because I like them, and sometimes peanut butter cookies because they're fun (not for dinner!). And occasionally, we'll order pizza.
And hopefully in there we'll find some kind of rhythm that allows for interruption and rest, even though the future is uncertain.


  1. it can be so hard to juggle all the things we want to. sorry your other half is out of work, and hope it all works out soon

  2. A wonderful, beautifully expressed post. You have near enough summed up my life too. What a great job of juggling you are doing :)

  3. Wow - what an emotionally honest, and true reflection of how life with two children, limited money and limited time can be. Remember to take time to enjoy something wonderful each day.... even if it is simply when the crying stops for half an hour!
    All will be well x


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