martedì, marzo 14, 2017

My independence seems to vanish in the haze

Using that fucking beast of a cargo bike daily has given me some weird Greek mythology monster body, whereby I have the flapping belly of a woman who gave birth three months ago perched on top of the ass and legs of a goddamn Thundercat.

Speaking of things that are a little complicated but make my life easier, we're hiring help. A cleaner and a babysitter for some of my work hours. The cleaner is self-explanatory, and the older I get the more I think it's both insane and socially irresponsible to not hire people to clean your house if you can afford it. She's a retired nurse from Bulgaria. The cost of living isn't insane here, but it's not retired-Bulgarian-nurse-pension sane. Also kind of awesome to have someone in the house who can give emergency medical aid, even if it's just for three hours a week.

For the babysitter - well. Godzilla we made it to almost a year without help with his care while I was working, but . . .  it's not only a question of there being two of them now and that being more tiring (though it is) or of the F-word now working full time instead of part time (though it is); it's also a question of personality. Godzilla was, I realize now, a super chill baby. In retrospect the occasional shocked looks I'd get from parents with older children when I'd just put him down for a nap when he seemed a little cranky, or put him down for the night when we were at someone's house for dinner, and continue with whatever I was doing or saying - now I understand them. I always assumed the default for babies was super chill, like Godzilla. It isn't.

Because the Monkey King is a sweet, laughing, happy thing - if you are holding him, staring at him, and playing with him. He is a lovely sleeper - if you sleep with him. You may notice that is not fully compatible with working, even working from home. . . and so, help. I met a very nice seeming Italian lady today who can take the lion's share of the job, and who actually wants to work on the books, which is great, since childcare costs are tax deductible here (they weren't in Oz), which will make me feel better financially about having to get care in for the Monkey King nine full months earlier than I did with Godzilla, if not emotionally.

But there's the blessing of the second child . . . I think you're a lot more forgiving of your own shortfalls, even if they still feel like shortfalls, because you get that no matter how you handle parenting situations you're always going to be second-guessing yourself anyways.

Also, a few years of this mothering stuff has demonstrated to me that the proverb about how "if momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" is one of the truer ones out there, along with "when the elephants fight, the ants get squashed" and "live hoping, die shitting". I can't be a good mother when I'm stressed and tired. I snap. Like all stressed and tired people. I actually told Godzilla to shut up yesterday. I wasn't even that mad. He was sitting in front of me in the cargo bike, making a really irritating shrieking noise in the Monkey King's face that I'd asked him to stop making earlier that day, and suddenly there it was: "Godzilla, shut UP!" And you know, a day later, mostly what I feel about that is glad that he shut up, because it was a really irritating noise.  

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