Growing up, I always had the picture of what my life would be like… The kind of life that exists in a perfect world, before the reality of being an adult hits. I’d stay at home with the kids and homeschool them, feed them homemade meals made from veggies grown in our garden, have a house that smelled like freshly baked cookies, and a garden that could support the wildest imagination of a child. And of course, I’d have all my shit together. All of this by the age of 25, with 6 kids under the age of 8.

Looking back, I must have been crazy. Wait, let me rephrase that – I am convinced I was crazy.

Fast-forward to today… I am 29 years old, approaching 30 in two months time. I am married and have two sons – Phoenix (4 years) and Joshua (7 months). One thing is for sure, life is nowhere near what I had planned, and I don’t think it ever will be – and that’s okay. I will take the madness of my current life over the idea of a perfect life any day! I mean really, with two very busy boys, I don’t have time to plant and tend to a veggie garden or bake cookies daily… I just about have the time to keep a semi-tidy house, do laundry once a week and make at least one decent, nutritious meal a day. To say that life has been chaotic is an understatement. I have no idea how other moms keep their shit together!

A lot has happened in the space of 4 months… Not only did my maternity leave come to an end, I changed jobs from teaching at a special needs school, to teaching Grade R at a main stream school. Phoenix returned to school, and Joshua joined him. Fortunately, my new job was at the same school the boys attended, however my mommy guilt of sending my 4 month old to school ate me up daily. In addition to this, we moved. With this move came earlier mornings. Each day felt like we were on a hamster wheel – one that never stopped. Farrell and I were getting about 4 hours of sleep, up to make breakfast, and pack lunchboxes before the kids woke up, getting two kids dressed and ready for school (which was completely new to us), and of course I needed to get ready for work. After a full day at school for all of us, we would head home, only to unpack and repack bags for the next day, wash lunchboxes, make supper, get the kids bathed and somewhere between all of that spend time together as a family before the boys eventually pass out at 9pm. To top all of that off, I needed to express enough milk for Joshua to have at school the next day – the pressure was on! Madness I know – but what other choice did we have?

I guess life works in a wonderful way, without us always being aware of it. I woke up one morning and my back felt more busted than usual. Back pain was always there, I just blamed it on lack of sleep, Farrel and I co-sleeping with both boys, and the madness that made up our day. This specific morning about a month ago, Farrell said I should stay home from work, and go to the physio. Long story short, this was not a small issue. We were faced with the decision of me going to work and causing more physical damage or staying home and slowly fixing my back problem. We decided that I would stay home – and of corse, homeschool the boys. Just as we made the decision, and I sent in my resignation, we were faced with the Covid-19 lockdown. With Farrell being a freelancer, this meant his work had been postponed to post-lockdown. Both of us are home with the boys, trying to develop some sort of structure to keep us sane. And that’s when it hit us. Being at home with the boys is actually worth it. So we are working together, homeschooling the boys, and starting to work online so that we can still earn an income, and most importantly we can get off the hamster wheel!

I still don’t have all my shit together, but I guess I’m getting there slowly!

– Cath