I Write at 2am

My internal clock is out of whack. Since the holidays, the sun has begun to rise and the birds have commenced their incessant chirping before my tired head has even hit the pillow. Even then I only sleep due to sheer exhaustion. In the daytime I rise reluctantly and zombie-like from fitful 4-hour slumbers… I must find a better way.

These past few days my feelings have been flitting between inner turmoil, quiet contentment, resignation, mild despair, acceptance, resentment, confusion, motivation, lack of motivation, excitement, disappointment, and generally feeling like crap. There must be a pill to fix that.

But the main thread of my tumultuous thinking is that I am feeling the squeeze of time. Counting down the days when I have to return to the “real” world and my life as a working mother. There is so much yet that I want to accomplish. So much to do, so little time…

I’ll admit it — I love being a stay at home mom. I relish the chance to spend as much quality time as I can with my kids. But reality has been slowly sinking in that soon I will have to return to the rat race once I finish this MA. There REALLY has to be a better way.

My goal for 2012 is to somehow crack the elusive work-life balance for my family. I have a slew of plans bouncing around in my head — little plots of how to take over the world  combine being a mom and having a career I absolutely love (because life is too short to do something you hate just for the money).

I suppose the next step will be to implement my strategies on how to achieve my goals. So much easier said than done.

In the meantime, I guess I better grab some sleep before the damn birds start up again.

No sleep for the weary

“I don’t wanna go to school!”

This is the refrain that echos off our sleep silent walls each morning, with the slight variation of “I don’t wanna go to ballet” on Saturdays.

Pillows are clung to and the covers are pulled up over a reluctant, pouting head.

A four-year old’s finger pokes me in the eye.

“Don’t be ridiculous mom. If you don’t take me to class who will? It’s already seven-four-six…” She says the four and six separately for emphasis.

I groan a feeble “I’m coming” and roll back over. Emilie has been up with the roosters (not that we have any) and has already helped herself to 2 pots of yoghurt and a sloppily poured bowl of cereal. I, on the other hand, have been smashing and snoozing my alarm for the past hour.

Smash, snooze. Smash, snooze.

Emilie dresses herself expertly while I lay lethargic in my swaddle of blankets. I peer at her through half closed eyes, checking that she hasn’t put her blouse on backward or her tights on inside out.

“Don’t forget your shoes,” I mutter, my tongue slick with sleep.

“I’m already wearing them mother.” This kid takes independence to a whole new level.

I am eventually coaxed from the confines of my cocoon and dress with the zest of a zombie. The brisk 15 minute walk downhill in the crisp, cold morning air puts life in my legs and lungs.

By the time I have deposited my darling daughter at her classroom door and tackled the journey back uphill I am alert, fully awake and all hopes of returning home to salvage my slumber has evaporated like the morning dew.

I pray for Sunday…

At night

I am seriously considering renaming this blog to “I Write at Mid-day” because the sleep deprivation is getting to me.  Who am I kidding? When the kids are asleep and the house is finally quiet, all I want to do is GO TO BED. Not hang out on the laptop, bleary eyed and hungry bellied.

Zoie is snoring lightly beside me. Her hair in colorful bunches, she is wearing pink Pj’s and stripey orange legwarmers. She might just be an 80’s baby at heart.  Emilie is sprawled diagonally across her whitewashed pine toddler bed which she is outgrowing at a mind-boggling rate. Her long, dark curls are splayed across her pillow. Her breathing is rhythmic, soothing. There is a soft glow from the closet night-light and outside my window all is still. In the distance I can hear the rumble of a lone truck or motorbike coming onto the highway which isn’t too far from here. Otherwise, it seems that everyone who should be in bed is there. Asleep. Peacefully?

In the morning I am taking Emmie to her ballet class and afterward we will mail a letter she has written to her friend, Grace. Yes, posting a letter the good old-fashioned way. Envelopes and stamps, remember those? Afterward, perhaps we’ll grab a bit of lunch and if we’re sneaky we will try to catch a movie, provided there is something child-friendly at the cinema. Alternatively, there are some arts and crafts I have been eager to try with the girls and I’d love to stock up on supplies and make one huge mess in the living room. When was the last time you fingerpainted?  🙂

First day back

The day started out in misery. I awoke with cramps reminiscent of the throes of labour and cursed the day I was born with a uterus. Luckily, my mom offered to do the school run scoot and got Emmie  showered, dressed, fed, and out the door in record time despite an obscene amount of dawdling and backtalking on Emmie’s part. I managed to drag myself out of bed long enough to share a warm scone with Zoie and then we both went back to bed until 1.30pm. Bliss.

By 3.15pm Emmie was home and I was dressed, dosed up on paracetamol, and reluctantly ready to head into London town. I made it to the station ambitiously early and stopped at charity shop to buy a book for the train journey. The book I chose is about a little boy whose imaginary friend turns out to be a demon. Nice. I’m fairly certain I will only read it in the daytime. Near a church. When it’s sunny and the birds are singing…

Somehow I managed to find the correct classroom in record time and sat in the front row, because I am the definition of a nerd scholar. And because it is exceedingly  difficult to fall asleep when you are in full view of the teacher. As an icebreaker (fairly pointless as I knew most everyone in the class already) we played a “game” where we had to describe a fellow classmate and assign them a color and a song. I described my subject as “calm and collected”, assigned her the color “swimming pool blue” and imagined she was a piece of classical music, one instrument.  The teacher said I was a wonderful story-teller and that I engaged him. He said listening to me speak made him want to lean forward in his seat. Well I just about floated out of the room, my head was so in the clouds after such a barrage of compliments.

On the way home my Oyster card decided that the first day of class wouldn’t be the first day of class without some Oyster drama.  As I stood in front of the bus driver breathlessly explaining that my card DID have money on it, the embarrassment and annoyance washed over my already fatigued body. I could feel the cramps returning as the driver gave me a dismissive wave of his hand which meant “I know your broke ass don’t have any money, just go sit down before I change my mind.”

Seeing the light of my front door seemed to be the most lovely thing in the world. A beacon of hope after a tiring day. The oasis in the desert, the light at the end of the tunnel – pretty much every cliché you can think of rolled in to one. I was greeted by a pajama-ed Zoie screeching “mama!” and dancing happily in the hallway. Emmie was long asleep and I crept into the bedroom to stroke her hair and tell her I love her. Seeing her sleeping so peacefully gave me a stab of guilt that I had missed the bedtime story, the cuddle goodnight…

I ran a hot shower and rinsed away fifteen hours of stress. And now as I type, the soft folds of the duvet engulf me, pillows caress my shoulders. Soon I will melt away into the sleep I have been craving. It was a good first day. Better than many. I suppose I can’t complain. So I won’t.

On my mind

Just a few things that are on my mind. Not an exhaustive list by any means.

  1. Writing at midnight is a terrible idea. I’m sleep depreived and hardly coherent. Spelling errors and rubbish musings (such as this) abound.
  2. But “I Write at 1.46pm” just doesn’t sound as cool.
  3. Semester two of the world’s most perplexing Master’s degree starts tomorrow. When people ask, I still can’t explain what I’m studying.
  4. I don’t wanna go to school. You can’t make me.
  5. Halloween. Nuff said.
  6. I shouldn’t have eaten that cold leftover meatball just now.
  7. I should have washed it down with some ginger ale to conteract the impending upset tummy.
  8. I am now too lazy to return to the kitchen to fetch said ginger ale. I suffer in silence.
  9. Why am I still awake?
  10. Alarm. Must remember to set. Again.

And so it begins…


My very first post and how appropriate that I am writing it at (almost) midnight? Luckily the kids gave up on fighting sleep at around 9pm, leaving me with far too much time on my hands. Instead of being productive, I sat around playing Angry Birds Rio and sipping Dr. Pepper just because I could. Now I feel sleep creeping in. I need to be up bright and early for the school run stroll in the morning. The weather man says there will be sun. Thankyoulord. A picnic in the park may be in order.


Slowly losing alertness. Eyelids are drooping, fatigue in every tap of the keys on the laptop.