April Tuesdays

Nearly 2 years since my last post.

The clothes are still in control of the house. The boy is now nearly 2. The girl starts school in September. The husband is loving the job he got back then.

And me? I am older. Fatter. I drive. I work. I am having counselling.

I found myself feeling increasingly angry, mentally heavy. I was getting physically too – I am now the heaviest I’ve ever been, just under 14 stone. I didn’t weigh that when pregnant with a massive baby. My sister was going through counselling and I saw a difference in her. She recommended I go. Wise woman, my sister. I am finally working through the the car crash of my youth. I am starting to feel ok. For the first time in years, truly ok. I am starting to like me. I am feeling as though I matter. It is a nice feeling. I hope physical lightness will follow the mental lightness. I think I’d like the disappointment of the increasing numbers on the scales to ebb away. I’d like to wear the poppy dress with tags on in my wardrobe.

I’d like to look as happy as I feel. I’d like the clothes in my wardrobe to be the cherry on the cake that is my quiet mind.

I would like a healthy body to match my healthy mind. The me in the mirror to match the me inside my head.

This afternoon I attempted to put away the laundry mountain that has been taunting me since The Son was born nearly 6 weeks ago.

I thought I should as the bedroom was starting to look like something off one of the hundreds of programmes about hoarders which have popped up recently.

And as I was putting away The Daughter’s clothes, it dawned on me just what an obscene amount of clothes my children (and The Husband) have. My Daughter’s wardrobe is full of clothes still with the tags on. See, The Husband and I buy her clothes in the sale, in advance. She had a pretty much a whole summer wardrobe purchased last autumn. Great, we thought. She needed one or two more pieces, so we suggested to The Inlaws that they buy some clothes for her birthday…and rather than the couple of nice outfits I thought they’d get, they too bought a whole summer wardrobe. Lovely stuff. Loads of it. And then on his last visit, my Dad also came bearing sartorial gifts. Again, lovely items. Putting the laundry away I found myself putting perfectly good stuff in the Freegle pile in order to make sure all the new things get worn before it’s too small. I was trying to find reasons to justify getting rid of things so the even newer stuff could come out. It’s bonkers.

I remember as a child my clothes came mainly from charity shops or made by my mum. They were nice clothes, but there weren’t hundreds of them. There were hand-me-downs from me to my sister, four years younger. It just feels so wasteful to not put The Daughter in things that aren’t worn until they’re fit for the bin, or bursting at the seams.

Is it terrible that I’ve considered selling some of the tagged stuff on eBay ready to make money for winter clothes?

And The Son – so many generous gifts of clothes when he was born. Many loveky, lovely things…and several things I would never, ever put him in in a million years. So what do I do with those things? I don’t want to put The Son in things I reallydon’t like, I can’t return them to the shop without The Husband knowing (he likes the clothes) or no receipt but its a waste of good money to leave them hanging in the cupboard unworn. Answers on a postcard please…

And I STILL haven’t finished putting all the sodding laundry away…

Not me. The Husband. Third time in as many years. If you thought teaching was a secure profession, think again.

Last year he was actually given his redundancy notice. It was final. Then a couple of weeks later a colleague resigned, some rejigging was done and he was saved. For the time being at least.

And here we are again. The selection criteria have changed slightly but it’s still not looking good. We know that one of his department of 3 is definitely going. The other two are responsible for subjects. He is ‘just’ a teacher. The selection meeting is tonight so this time tomorrow we’ll know for sure.

He’s been applying for jobs elsewhere all year, and he’s had some interviews but so far nothing successful. The problem with teaching roles is he’s so expensive compared to a less experienced teacher (ยฃ10k more than an NQT) so gets passed over for some of those. I hate when he calls to say its a no – the disappointment in his voice crushes me. He really does try to keep his chin up but I hear it. I try to be positive and tell him its fine, he’s done his best and every no is one closer to the place that says yes, but I am so gutted for him . How dare they say no to him?! He’s brilliant, hard working, loves his subject…

He’s actually at an interview today, and this job means we wouldn’t need to move house. My lovely old house. If he doesn’t find something and the redundancy is confirmed then we can’t pay the mortgage and lose the house anyway – even when I am working (on maternity leave at the moment) I don’t earn enough to pay the mortgage, never mind any bills on top of that. If I go back to work outside the home then it’ll all go on childcare as The Husband would register for supply work – we’d need a guaranteed income which supply won’t offer and he couldn’t guarantee he’d be home to look after the children.

It’s scary. We could lose our house. If its in negative equity we’ll struggle to sell it (never mind the subsidence in the past making it tricky anyway). We’ve got two small children. I can’t even send The Daughter up the chimney! The pressure he feels must be enormous – and I can’t ease it, however hard I try. He doesn’t let it show. I wish he would, he just keeps a brave face on and tries to shoulder all the worry himself and he doesn’t have to.

Fingers crossed for him today. And if it doesn’t work out, there are more application forms to fill in, and we’ve got a tent and a camping stove if the shit really hits the fan.

Right – off to Lidl for a bottle of something sparkly. Today could be the day our worries are over! Positive thoughts.

Failing everything else, there’s always the lottery…

**UPDATE** ย The trip to Lidl worked…he got the job. ย We keep our house. We don’t go through all of this again next year. ย  Amazing feeling – and I don’t have to cook tonight, apparently I am being treated to a takeaway! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

Ugh.

I’d forgotten how endless and boring the days with a newborn seem. A constant stream of feeding, poo – 8 yesterday alone – crying and spells of sleep so short that they don’t even qualify as naps. It comes to something when four uninterrupted hours is a lie-in.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my son. He’s a big squishy bundle of soft pink skin with downy dark hair on his shoulders and ears. His little sausagey fingers are a thing to behold. His wide grey-blue eyes looking in amazement at everything for the first time. He’s fab, and I absolutely cannot imagine a world without him in it now.

But my god, it can be boring. Have you seen the rubbish they put on TV at 3am? It used to be Open University programmes so you could at least pretend to learn something whilst doing the night feeds…now it’s either repeats of things that are on in the day (and thanks to maternity leave I’ve already seen) or news on a 15 minute loop because they assume no-one’s watching. And it all has to be watched on mute with subtitles as The Daughter is asleep next door and The Husband is asleep next to me, and usually has work in the morning.

Before you know it, it’s 5.45am – too early to get up, too late to get a good few hours sleep in before it is a reasonable getting up time.

Even when The Son has finally finished his early morning snack he decides his own bed won’t do, and so I end up contorted round him in my bed like a freak show reject, unable to sleep properly or even at least lie awake comfortably.

The days aren’t much better; an endless stream of crap daytime TV shows – I’m not a baby group sort of person. At least The Daughter is awake to keep me company and chat to (fortunately she’s rather verbose for a 2.1 year old) and The Son will have one four hour sleep but who knows when, so nothing can be planned.

The cold cups of tea (tepid and odd-tasting if I use the travel mug), the constant feeding which renders nursing bras pointless because they’re done up
for such a short time, the guesswork as to what that cry means.

I long for a proper night’s sleep, to have both hands free long enough to eat a meal at a leisurely pace AND to be able to cut it up myself, and to have enough time to make a couple of cards or bracelets.

But look. Look at his squashy, rosy cheeks. Look at his sweet little worry lines on his forehead whenever anything makes any kind of noise. Look at his brown, fuzzy hair. Listen to his little squeaks and gentle cooing noises. Total, unblemished innocence.

How can anyone be bored of the newborn stage? Precious, snuggly days that are over in the blink of an eye.

And now I need to sleep. Precious, healing sleep. Only I feel compelled to watch The Son while he sleeps in his own bed…and there’s a rubbish film on BBC2 with subtitles available.