Posts Tagged ‘work’

I was getting better there with posting, but then I got a call from my previous work and they wanted me to help out for a few weeks.  Seven weeks later and it’s been a little hectic around here.  I feel like I’ve barely got time to breathe anymore.  Also doesn’t help that we are down two computers as both our desktop and netbook went kaputski within the same week and now we’ve commandeered FenFox’s clunky old box to get by.  Bring on our tax return and a new computer!

Lot’s of stuff going on around here.  I am job hunting, not as easy this time around, when I’m looking at part-time and set days each week.  Not much around that fits the bill, and competition is fierce.  There’s the larger overbearing issue of what I am going to do with my life too, still unresolved.

McBean has been through a wildly naughty and traumatic (for us) stage, where he was being a bugger about sleeping, waking up sobbing inconsolably every day and every nap and getting up to as much deliberate mischief as he could manage.  He’s now being lovely and practically angelic (for him), he is a delight to be around which is so very nice.  He’s been to a paediatrician about his delayed speech and she is investigating.  Had his hearing tested, concluded he has adequate hearing for speech development, so we’re now facing a full developmental assessment.  More on that later.  His speech is progressing slowly without further assistance so far, but we’ll see.

FenFox is getting more and more tweeny.  Had a little cry at the breakfast table this morning because the art teacher had “abused” her about her poorly made clay pot, which required a quick pep talk from Clark.  Mostly FenFox is so like R1 that it’s absurd, and then, like this morning, she’ll display an outstandingly Clark-like quality, such as getting upset that she is not good at doing something (like working with clay).  The mind boggles sometimes.  You just have to keep reminding them that in the grand scheme of life, the practical application of making pots by hand out of clay is not so important, and that you just need to move on through these little trials.  They get so bogged down in the minutiae of their lives.

Clark is beavering away at work.  She’s doing a lot of training for child inclusive practice, she’s off to a conference in Darwin in a couple of weeks, she’s got some research ideas for a paper she wants to write.  It’s all happening for her.  Full time is a hard slog though, so I’ll be glad when I finally secure something which means she can drop a day.

Election is upcoming, much discussions about that.  I worry that the mad monk will scrape in, somehow.  No matter who I talk to they are disparaging about him, and yet the polls are still close.  I guess I’m lucky that I don’t associate with the caliber of people who vote Liberal.  Disappointed in JG and her same-sex marriage stance, still hope that she gets in.  What’s the alternative in any case?  Shudder at the thought.

Election night we have plans with close friends, it will be her first time she can vote since recently becoming a citizen and the last time we’ll see them for a very long time, as they are moving to France in a couple of weeks.  We’ve know it was happening for so long, but it feels that it’s snuck up on us, and we’re no where near ready to lose them.  Every time we go over (which is often because FenFox is spending practically every spare moment with her best friend before she goes) the house is emptier and emptier, and it becomes more bleak and real.  Hopefully at least the election will be good news, so we can bid them farewell without the specter of the mad monk and the xtian right hanging over the country.


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And so this is… gastro?

Been a rough couple of weeks in terms of our family’s digestive systems.  McBean started us all off with his fevers and some vomiting, but that was pegged as a random virus.  Then FenFox came home from school throwing up, and we figured she’s picked up a bug at school.  Then Clark had to come home from her third day at work because she came down with it (so not good, and she felt so bad about it).  And now today there is something wrong with me.  It may not be gastro, but my insides are not cooperating today, so it may develop.

In retrospect we think that maybe what was wrong with McBean was actually the gastro bug that he then shared.  He was whingey and drooling madly and inconsolable – all of which could be explained by stomach/intestinal cramps and nausea.  Poor little lad.  I feel even sorrier for him now, knowing how bad it hit Clark.

I’m hoping like hell that the reason I’m feeling so dodgy is just over tiredness and not gastro – there’s way too much to do to prep for Xmas eve dinner for me to be out of commission.

On a slightly more positive note, the reports today from child care on McBean’s second day have been somewhat better.  He cried and cried again when we left, but apparently he has been playing and eating better today, so hopefully that’s a step in the right direction.  He’ll most probably have a break from child care next week (depending on what our plans turn out to be) and I hope that doesn’t set him back to the start again.

Last day of work for me now, 11 days off (not that I’ve accomplished much at all this week).  Then I’m only working through January and it’s adios muchachos.  At this stage.  Who knows what will really happen.  Which means I only have around a month respite left, and I need to start looking for a job.  What an awful prospect.  Haven’t had to do that for nearly 5 years now.  All I need between now and then is to work out how I can work from home and bring in approximately the same as working 2 days a week.  Then we won’t have to worry about child care.  Ah, wishful thinking.

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Firstly, McBean is still miserable, but seems to be recovering slowly.  And no rashes yet!

Tomorrow I start my new job.  My dream job.  It’s been a long journey to get to this point, and today seems like a good time for reflection.

In early 2004 I became fully qualified as a solicitor.  This had been a mammoth effort of combining first study and part time work and then full time work with single parenting, and often with questionable mental health.  I was so very proud of the achievement, especially given how little support I had, but things were not all rosy.

FenFox was four.  For the previous 16 months she had been in child care 5 days a week from 8 (or before) until 6.  Sometimes I wasn’t able to pick her up in time, but was lucky enough to have the support of a dear friend (who I worked with) who would frequently pick her up and take her home with her own kids.  When I did pick her up, wherever that was from, there was usually only time for dinner and bath and then it was bed time.  I would then work at home once she was in bed.  I also worked on the alternate weekends that FenFox spent with R1 (that was the only time she saw him). This was relentless, and both my mental and physical health was suffering, as was my relationship with FenFox.  I was surviving, and caring for her most immediate needs, but there was very little parenting and even less bonding going on.  And my own needs were just ignored.  To add to the stress of that time, as an articled clerk then a junior solicitor in a country law firm, I was earning very little, and was barely keeping our heads above the water financially.

By April 2004 I had had enough.  I went to my boss and told him that I could not keep up the same pace, even though I mostly enjoyed the work and was doing quite well, my health and family were in a fast decline.  He told me that I had great promise as a solicitor, that he had high hopes for my future, but that the work was only going to get more demanding and that I had better adjust and find a way to make it work.  I think I surprised both of us that day by resigning on the spot.

On a side note, the rest of that day was spent at the pub being young and stupid and suddenly free, and ended with Lazyboo and I finally declaring our feelings for each other, which was a very complicated thing.  A big day.

The next year was spent recovering my physical and mental health, regaining my parenting role and closeness with FenFox, and developing my relationship with Lazyboo.  At that point, I was still determined to go back to the law, to find a more family friendly role.  To that end, I enrolled in and began a Masters in Employment Law (the area I had been working in before I resigned).  But I was increasingly questioning how much I wanted that.   I was also extremely dubious about the likelihood of finding a family friendly solicitor’s job.

During my articles, I had spent some time working in family law.  That was my original intention and motivation when going into the law.  (That, and the memory of my dad sitting me down on the steps at Union House at Melbourne Uni at 8 years old telling me that I would study law there.)  The reality of family law was confronting and horrendous.  It was excruciating to watch families implode, and everybody suffer, while providing very little helpful support.  More often than not, we solicitors just made things work, and we certainly weren’t doing anything to help the children in the situation.  Being confined to working on the instructions of clients, even when that was contrary to the best interests of the children, was just awful.  So I moved on, into a different department and more intellectually demanding but less emotionally draining work (well, until WorkChoices anyway!)  At that time, I heard about mediation and thought that it seemed a much better way to do things, and was much more in line with my naive childhood ambitions of helping families through a really tough time.

So when I finally admitted that I would likely never be happy practicing law, and that it certainly wouldn’t be the best thing for my family life, I gave up the course, and started investigating this new direction.  I enrolled in a psychology undergrad course, and started caring for children at home.  This gave me the time to study, be home for FenFox and contribute some financially.  It was a difficult two years, especially when the stress and drama of TTC was added to that, but at the same time I was content that I was on the right track.

[I originally posted this whole thing as one long post, but afterwards decided that length was too ridiculous so cut in in half – to be continued tomorrow.]

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Descent into madness

The silly season is upon us.  From here until the end of the year the calendar is packed.  There are Christmas gatherings and first birthday parties and who knows what else.  Alongside my scaling back work, Clark  starting her new job.  As well as needing to try to fit in an appointment with the accountant so that C/Link doesn’t cut off what meagre payments they give us.  It’s going to be a crazy crazy time.

And this is us who have few friends and no social life to speak of.  The mind boggles when trying to comprehend what people with active social lives must go through at this time of year.  Do they not sleep?

I am looking forward to the Christmas break.  I will be actually getting a decent break this year.  Even before Clark got this new job I had arranged to take leave, and it worked out amazingly.  Given the days I work and the way the public holidays fall this year, I only needed to take one day’s leave in order to have 11 days off.  Now, the same will apply, but with my restricted hours its going to be hard to have everything up to date in order to feel relaxed while I’m off.  I’m trying not to worry about that yet.  It’ll ruin my warm fuzzy feeling that I’ll be stopping work soon enough.  Not that I’m not going to have to turn around and find something else immediately or else we’re going to struggle, but it seems amorphous and insubstantial at this distance.  I don’t want it to resolve clearly yet, I’m trying to be happy in my delusion.

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It’s late and I’ve just remembered that I have to blog.  A few short things:

  • I got the job.  Finally.  It’s only taken 5 years and 7 months to get here.  I don’t start for three weeks so am planning to enjoy these last few weeks with my family.  There’s a lot to say about how we got here, but that will have to wait for another day.
  • It’s going to be sad to no longer have the freedom to spend long days hanging out with the other mamas and munchkins who have been there for us and kept me sane and McBean entertained.  But I’ll still have Mondays.
  • I have been talking to FenFox a lot recently about feminism and patriarchy (instigated by her questions).  Long discussions were initially boiled down to her summary of  ‘Patriarchy is when men have the power and women are treated like animals.’ (her words not mine!) Some progress today when she told me that she stood up in front of her class to tell them all about it and said she announced that feminism is when men and women are equal. I feel so completely out of my depth with this, but am trying hard to answer her questions and avoid her just taking sensational sound bites and not understanding.  Hell, how can I expect her to understand at 9 years old when I still don’t entirely?  FenFox is a  bit stressed about the new job and told me today that she hopes that I’ll still have time for her when I start.
  • Lazyboo has gotten all industrious and is now working once again on a crafty gift she began for Turkey‘s birthday (which was in July incidentally).  She’s hoping to have it done by Christmas so she can then resume work on a similar but much more ambitious project for McBean that was started when he was just a few millimetres tall.  We also have plans to make some cool things for Squeak‘s birthday too.  Lazyboo is very excited about this new chapter in our lives, but I’m quite sure she is also quite apprehensive.  It will be a big change for her to suddenly become no. 1 mostly at home parent (and a big change for me to let go of that role).
  • McBean is just a little ball of giggles and laughter and mischief.  I just want to squish him all the time, and every day I have to stop myself from laughing at his naughty antics.  He has spirit, this little person, and he brings us all so much joy.  I’m going to miss him so when I’m only home one day a week.  We enrolled him in child care today (for one day/week) and it didn’t freak me out.  I’m ready to let him go and I know he’ll have so much fun.
  • I can’t believe that it’s only a month until Christmas.  Where has the year gone?

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Tenterhooks – updated

Clark has still not heard about the job.

Today, two of her references received calls from the ‘job peoples’ as Clark called them, and apparently gave her glowing references.  This is obviously a very positive sign.  Companies don’t generally bother following up on references unless they’re seriously considering hiring someone.  We know this, btw, because both of those references immediately called Clark after they were contacted to let her know.

However, the phone remained stubbornly silent for the rest of the afternoon, and we have heard nothing more.  The suspense is beyond painful.

It’s hard to maintain equilibrium in these circumstances.  We’ve been going along the whole time not being hopeful, and now with the news from today it’s hard to maintain that.

Of course there’s a lot of we in this – naturally Clark is experiencing the worst of this, but Clark getting this job also means change for me too.  Short term I think I’ll be dropping to two regular length days for the length of my notice, and then I’ll be finishing up.

So change is in the air for more than Clark.

Update: SHE GOT IT! 😀  Clark will post more later

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Two cute boys

McBean and Squeak

Then (18 February 2009):

mcb and squeak 18-feb-09

Now (16 November 2009):

mcb and squeak 16-nov-09

What a difference 9 months makes!

In other news, exciting job interview tomorrow.  Am being determinedly optimistic but I don’t think I’m convincing even myself.


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