Monday, 31 October 2016

A Few Random Thoughts

It feels like we have been quite busy. It's odd, because I quite often get a mid summer sense of "what's all the fuss about?" and am lulled into thinking I can handle the workload of an entire acreage, two kids, garden, sheep, chickens and pigs all by myself. This cockiness returns every year, you see, and once I've forgotten the frantic rush to get ready for winter, to bring in wood, put the garden to bed, tidy the garage and clean the becomes February and I feel like there's nothing to do and by spring I am rarin' to go on a new venture or a bigger garden or a new rock wall....well, you see where this is going. Twice a year I fool myself into thinking I can do everything that needs done, and twice a year I fail, then forget, then do it all over again.

This year is different in that I have a 6 year old in school every day. Oh, how this has changed my life! I feel like I can do anything with just one little helper plodding along behind me. It's the lack of fighting, see. With only one boy here during the day he chatters my ear off and it exhausts me, but it is ever so different than listening to kids fight. Oh, so different!

We are out and about more, and this tires me. I have always liked to be alone. So being at the skating rink twice a week and helping at the school once a week has me very much all chatted out. I am also taking in two sweet little boys on a very part time basis! This will give poor little O something to do as he is very lonely without J most days. He's excited, and I'm happy for him. So this also gives us a couple of busy mornings per week and gives me some incentive to be more organized with my time.

The pigs. Oh, the pigs. They are growing nicely but I am the first to admit I didn't realize what I was getting into. I've been working my way through my mom's garden plus a couple aunt's and my neighbours. It all helps so much but three pigs eat. so. much. If you ever consider fattening pigs, arrange to get the wasted food from a bakery, grocery store or restaurant first. If I can ever secure a food source like that I might try pigs again. I plan to leave the pen as-is for future consideration. But I tell you, without a grain bin here and a way to haul and roll my own grain, it has been a lot of work to bring big tubs of grain from my parent's farm and keep these pigs happy. The whole other issue is going to be loading them. I need to build a ramp and the whole thing just stresses me out. My eye has been twitching for a week.

Husband has been away since July and we are all weary of this. Last night J pinned it all on me, and I can actually understand how he might think I am happy daddy is away. For one, I outright refuse to complain that my man is off making oodles of money while the whole area has ground to a halt and families have faced outrageously stressful decisions over the last two years. I try to keep my conversations grateful and optimistic in front of the kids. So maybe from that they are getting the sense that as long as there's money coming in, mom is happy. And in one way that is true, sorry to say. We are quite accustomed to there being a month or two (or three!) every year where there is simply no income. For that reason I am a saver and a planner and every day of work is a blessing that gives us stability.

That said, I am tuckered right out with single parenting and keeping up to the pigs and running the house. I very much need a break. It doesn't help that I now have the cold that my kids suffered with for a week. I am also coming off a more social than usual weekend, so I'm contemplating going and hiding under the bed rather than going door to door tonight asking for treats with my kids. There really are days that I wish I could phone it in. On the other hand, I am being self-indulgent and just wish Husband was here to do some heavy lifting. I know he wishes he was too.

On the bright side, we have been slowly cleaning each room in the house. I feel much better doing it now. I normally leave it until February thinking that it will give me something to do in my least favorite month of the year. But being tasked with one of my least favorite jobs at my least favorite times has not been working out that well. I feel happy seeing neat and tidy rooms (upstairs, at least. Somehow the main floor is getting increasingly cluttered as I clean!) and I know that our busier schedule is going to pull me through the winter months. The other moms at skating are very friendly and welcoming and it is, so far, a refreshing hour for me on both Mondays and Wednesdays. So, it appears, my little family is growing up and we now have to set foot out in the real world. I am doing my best and enjoying it so far. The introvert in me very much needs to regroup quietly, so I am planning that into my week and being as gentle on myself as I can. I had high hopes to clean more house today but it simply wasn't in me. I am getting better at recognizing the need to balance time out with therapeutic writing, sewing or tidying.

I hope everyone is having a lovely fall day. If Halloween is your thing, I hope it's a good one!


  1. Hang in there my dear! And please find some much needed time for that introvert called Jill. Even if it is just a daily 20-min breath in-breath-out meditation/sipping a hot cup of herbal tea (ginger for the cold!).

    Scaling back an activity each week might also be necessary for you and the boys. Perhaps swapping it with a simple activity at home. Maybe a we miss daddy let's make something for his return craft activity (even drawing a card that the kids can do on their own for a few minutes) while you sip that tea!

    You are entitled to your feelings and being a single parent sucks. There is no other word for it. It is extremely stressful and there is a lot of guilt that goes with it. I know you are grateful that your husband is employed and for where you are you are correct - work = good. The boys will ultimately grow up to understand that important value and to know how it was for you.

    Doesn't make it any easier in the moment. But keep on keeping on! And remember hot tea!

    ~ Pru

    1. Very wise words, Pru :) Husband is now home after 3.5 months away working. There is a lot to get done. But for now, some rest. Thanks for commenting!

  2. Oh how lovely! Make sure you get lots of 1-on-1 time without the kids - you both probably need it!

    1. We do...I also feel the need for some quiet solitude. I'm fortunate to be going on a writer's retreat this weekend :) It all worked out perfectly: Husband will be home for 4 days with the kids while I go to a monastery (a monastery!!) to write, do yoga, walk, contemplate, SLEEP, write, exercise in their world class gym....ya, I'm super excited!

    2. I just saw this! I hope you have a wonderful time! So glad you are going to the writer's retreat!