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When life serves you lemons…..

Preserve them.

I had a stash of lemons sitting prettily in a bowl on my dining table, from our recent trip to the farm. I had filled one drawer in the freezer with another stash. I decided to google how to preserve them. Not that I have ever eaten a dish with preserved lemon, but now that I will have them, next step will be to find some yummy recipes to use them. Well, I have about three weeks until they are ready.

This has been a really tough week here. Homme is away and master x has been quite unwell with high temps, fevers, runny nose and hacking cough. His nights (and mine) have been disturbed. His health, combined with a rainy week has meant cabin fever for both of us. Miss e has the world’s loudest cough. Seriously, she sounds like a doberman day and night. I have separated the coughing two and she has slept in my bed. She missed school on Tuesday and on Thursday I was phoned to come and collect her. So she had today off too. Cough, cough, cough. Miss i woke this morning feeling full of cold. When I picked her up from school she looked awful. Her year co ordinator had suggested she go home but she stayed to sit a science exam and to have her violin lesson. She has been asleep since she got home.

I am used to doing the hard yards with parenting. Homme’s work routine is to leave the house at 6.30am and arrive home at 6.30pm. That is a usual day, but then there are always evening work commitments and weekends away. I usually just put my head down and soldier on. This week however, I have been teary. My toddler yells at me and I get weepy. When I have them all tucked up in bed I stare at the tv and weep.

Sure, I am tired and not feeling 100 percent myself, but there is more to it. I really miss my husband. Not just because he is away this week but  because he has been so busy for so long. He works a full time job which requires him to be at the end of his mobile phone 24/7, to answer calls and attend to crises at workplaces, usually mine sites. He co ordinates an external post grad university course which requires marking assignments and exams outside of work time. He has written a book this past year, to be published in October. This commitment has meant weekends and late evenings of solo writing time.

Last week he sent me flowers, apologising for several late night work commitments which meant that the week before he was leaving us for 16 days, we hardly saw him.

I miss my husband, my partner. I want to be a priority in his life. God knows we have been to too many funerals this past 12 months to not appreciate that life is not a rehearsal.

I have booked two nights at an adults only spa retreat when he returns. I have just realised that the weekend we are away, miss i has her Tournament of Minds final. Damn. My first “motherly” reaction is to reschedule, but it takes so much organising to have the kids looked after for two nights. A friend has offered to have miss i for the whole weekend, and take her to the competition, which her daughter is involved in as well. It means I will miss the performance she has worked so hard to organise.

And that makes me teary again. Compromise, always compromise. Does my homme feel like his life is always a compromise?

I am hoping that an early night will put it all into perspective and that that tomorrow will bring back the old me.



4 Responses

  1. Oh hon. You’re doing it hard. No husband, three sick kids, and you’re feeling blue and exhausted too. I think Cabin Fever has a lot to do with how you are feeling, but I do think that you’ve been doing it on your own for some time too.

    I really understand how you’re feeling. With my husband who is away 4 months a year for work, I often feel like a single mum. It’s hard going, and so often I am asked, how do you do it? Well, there are times when it’s fine, and other times when I don’t do it at all.

    Trust me a good night’s sleep puts things into perspective. And don’t cancel your trip, it sounds like you really need it right now. Miss i will understand. After all, you are there every other time.

    Hang in there (and hugs from me) xx

  2. Did I mention that your lemon preserves look delicious? I want to make lemon butter soon. YUMMY!

  3. Oh sweet Vanessa, I’m not surprised you feel teary and are torn between the compromises you have to do as the mother and the wife. No-one would be able to handle three sick kids and the ‘joys’ of sole-parenting for long stints without feeling exhausted, ever-so-slightly resentful and over-looked.

    It’ll pass. As Kymmie says, don’t reschedule your weekend away with Home. Miss i will understand and would rather see her parents happy and refreshed than irritable and cranky. Hugs your way from me too xo xo xo

  4. Vanessa, you always put it so aptly and it is sooooo OK to feel ripped off. I know that feeling only too well and we, as mothers always seem to be able to pick up and sodlier on. However, when we don’t feel like we can keep going, or that we are appreciated, we really do beat ourselves up. I think men just operate so differently in general and don’t get that “guilt” that we do over everything. You are amazing and you are always so positive- you deserve a little pampering and a get away. Your girls will love and respect you for taking the time to re-energise and to reconnect with homme so you can parent better. Take the time, enjoy yourself! Also, a nice big bath, with a magazing and a glass of wine when I am teary and David is away works wonders. Chin up and hugs to you. Xxx

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