Measure of days

My two sons within arm’s reach.

Here I am sitting in a parked car at McD’s with the engine on. My two sons are asleep in the backseat, and so is my husband, who is in the driver’s seat.

Meanwhile, I am savouring whatever remains of my very late lunch.

It is 4.27pm.

Such has been our family’s lifestyle of late.

We have not been eating at regular times. We eat whenever everyone becomes hungry. During the meals where we cook, we get to eat whenever we manage to finish getting the food prepared. Which is often late too.

These days, my husband is at home with us every day. He decided to quit his job abruptly, just before our second son was born. It was not an ideal choice. And it was certainly not the best season for our family to have this happening either.

But this he did, and of course, having discussed it with me beforehand. I metaphorically grit my teeth back then, saying it would be better he left his difficult situation at work than to be stressed out managing work challenges at a time such as this.

Anyway, here we are. He has been without work for the past 3 months or so.

It’s an ongoing worry on our heads, no doubt.

I ended my self declared maternity leave prematurely just to ensure we could get some extra income from a job opportunity that came up. This is not what I would have liked, as I had wanted to be able to focus my attention on just loving the boys and being available to them at this time without the complications of dividing myself between work and them.

But what needs to be done needs to be done. And even with this going on, we still are not making up for my husband’s loss of income.

We have some money to keep afloat for now, but it will not be for long. We still have not yet worked out a concrete plan for the next few months.

So far, bills are still able to be paid. But will we reach a point where we fail to? God only knows.

There isn’t much that gets done every day, even with both of us adults at home. Most times, it’s just about getting the minimal amount of chores done, meals cooked and keeping the kids alive through those daily routines of baths, naps, etc.

On the surface, I guess you could say there is nothing at all magical about our day-to-day affairs.

I don’t know how to put it without sounding too whimsical or unrealistically optimistic, but somehow to me these days are special.

Every day is a countdown to a reality which I will eventually have to face one day: That my boys will grow up and go about their own lives, probably apart from me.

And until that day comes, I cherish every one of these seemingly ordinary days. Each with their own share of chaos and their own sparkle of tiny battles and victories. Laughter and memories.

I also especially treasure the fact that my husband is present 24/7 for the boys at this time too.

I don’t know how to make this last, but if I can, I want it to.

I’d like the whole family together. And I hope we can find a way to make this work, yet to have everyone happy too while also not dying of poverty.

I’ll tell this story if you will listen.

And I’ll look forward to (as I hope you will) that happy ending that is just around the bend. Fingers crossed.

Terrified

If what most people say is to be believed, you’d think that the worse thing about parenthood is that you lose your freedom, your sense of individuality and your ability to sleep soundly without a care in the world.

But honestly, I think they are utterly wrong.

The most terrible part of parenting is really this: Constant feelings of guilt, inadequacy and worry.

Guilt because you almost always feel like you aren’t doing enough for your children. A regretful sentiment that convinces you that, time and again, you fail them in multiple ways that you cannot even recount yet cannot simply forget.

Inadequacy because you can’t shake off a nagging thought that perhaps you aren’t really suited for this virtually lifelong responsibility. Hence, you are perpetually messing things up.

And worry because you know your children are still vulnerable, and yet you can’t protect them enough from every single danger there is that lurks out there.

To top it all, the terrifying truth about all this is that there is no quick fix to dissolve all these tumultuous emotions for you. You have to live with them, and they inescapably change you.

But perhaps you can attempt to determine what kind of impact you will allow it to have on you. At the very least it’s something you can control.

The end looms far into the future, but you have today. And maybe, if you remained focussed on the right stuff, it just might be enough to get you through.

This ought to be your hope. It is certainly mine.