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I have no idea how, but somehow it has been two months since we first arrived back in Australia after 13 months away.
Last year definitely feels like a hazy dream now. I have so many conflicting feelings and thoughts about being back. I am definitely not as positive as I was.
You can read our 1 month update of being back here.
The best part about being back is I think the kids are definitely happier than they were the last couple of months that we were away, especially Z. He is loving having a more permanent home and the trimmings that come with it like a new trampoline. He is really coming out of his shell with all the one on one time he gets with me now that S is at school. He is loving his kinder and has settled in really well.
It was Z’s 4th birthday on the weekend and it was great having family and friends to celebrate it with.
It’s a bit harder to tell with S. On the one side, school is going well. She loves the social aspect. She is doing a great job learning another language, and it is obvious she is learning a lot in school and faster than she was last year. This is rubbing off on Z too and he is suddenly interested in sitting still long enough to learn how to read and write.
But S also spends a lot of time being exhausted and doesn’t like going to school so often. I hate how much of our life is consumed by school and how little time is left for anything else. I am definitely not someone who believes that the only place to learn is in a classroom.
Josh and I do love our new house and our new neighbourhood. The house is a good size for us and in an awesome neighbourhood. We are very comfortable and I always feel happy when I come home.
My business is doing very well. To the point where we are seriously talking about Josh staying at home when his current 6 month contract finishes.
It is nice being around friends and family again – not that we have enough time to do that often.
Get ready for a lot of whining!
I feel like life is really hard for Josh and I. All we seem to do is work – whether that’s paid work, looking after the kids (by ourselves, when we both do it, I don’t call it work), cooking, cleaning, driving kids around, etc. We are often working past 10pm at night and pretty much every day is like this, 7 days a week.
It feels out of control. We have very little time together and Josh has nowhere near enough quality time with the kids. I look at the calendar I have stuck on the fridge to keep track of everything and I want to vomit.
I know we are parents and that is part and parcel, but I am sure we had more family down time before we left and we certainly had a lot more while we were away. Juggling parenting, pregnancy and both of us having full time jobs is HARD.
School is more work for me than I expected. I always seem to be doing something for it and, even though school goes for 6.5 hours, I swear I just drop her off and it’s time to get her again!
I often think it would be easier if I had a traditional job – at least then the kids would be in care full time and I wouldn’t be trying to scrape every free moment possible to do work. I would obviously hate that though, and I would never put the kids in full time care if I had any type of choice, so we are where we are.
Pregnancy is also hard and quite depressing. My body is pretty much useless and I can do so little that it drives me absolutely crazy. I am going to have to stop walking S to school soon – it’s only a five minute kid walk away! I’m starting to feel permanently exhausted again and I can’t wait until it is June, our baby is here and I can have my body back and stop feeling so useless.
I am sure many people are reading this and thinking, so what? Welcome to the real world.
The problem is that if last year taught me anything, it’s that life doesn’t have to be this way.
I don’t accept that we are meant to live an existence full of work, exhaustion and not enough moments of just being happy together.
Josh and I brainstorm and try to work out ways to make it easier. We have a cleaner but other outsourcing is tough and not really practical.
When the baby is here, if Josh doesn’t leave his job (a contentious topic as he no longer wants to and I am not happy that I am expected to do it all again) then we will probably hire a nanny for a couple of days a week when I start working again.
At least they can do some of the running around of the kids that drives me absolutely crazy. That is really just a small thing to ease the workload though, and it won’t make much of a difference overall. The only way I can really see things improving is to have Josh home more often.
No. I just want life to be simpler.
I hope that we can find a way to do that here.
I also know that many of these problems would still be there even if we went back overseas as I would still be pregnant and S would still be at school which would give us many of the same constraints.
We spent a weekend in Melbourne city in a hotel a week ago and it showed us we were happy to have a home again too. It wasn’t even exciting to be in a nice hotel – our home seems nicer and we wanted to get back! The concentrated family time without distractions was good though.
I am looking forward to when we travel again. We leave for Tasmania on Friday, and I’m going to the Gold Coast in September. We also have Phuket in September and Hong Kong and Macau next Easter already booked. We will definitely go somewhere after Christmas too. And then there’s the biggest adventure yet mid next year – the trans Siberian railway.
Any tips for how to simplify our lives and stop being so damn busy?
You can now read our 4 month update here.