ups and downs

Warning: this post contains some personal life stuff, as well as knitting.

I’ve had a funny week.  Complete rollercoaster.  It started with Mothers Day on Sunday.  It ended with panic attacks and an aborted commute to work yesterday.

Mothers day was fun.  I was spoiled with handmade cards from the boys, complete with handwritten messages inside from the two biggest boys.  And lots of glitter.  There was chocolates and new slippers and a fishermans basket lunch by the beach on a glorious Sydney late autumn day.  Good times.

Monday was busy.  I’m managing several projects at work and flitting between three different offices.  Its exhausting and stressful. I look at spreadsheets and schedules and I’m not sure its really what I want to do.  I didn’t study engineering to be a manager.  I like getting stuck into the techie stuff.  And working four days is getting to me.  Four mornings a week I get up at 5:30am, get myself presentable for work then try and get three small people ready.  And they push back every step of the way.  Its not fun.  With more of the same at night, except we’re all tired so the tantie index is way higher.  I’m not sure its worth it.  Three days worked well for everyone, four is just wearing me out.

Tuesday I had a “ladies maintenance day”.  I took a day off for a long overdue doctors appointment and a very long overdue hair cut.  Also managed to squeeze in coffee with a friend and a quick trip to Calico and Ivy.  The doctor told me I looked tired, and she was right, I was tired.  Hell, I’m always tired.  The kids were “challenging”, and I didn’t sleep well, but other than that a good day, busy but fun.

Wednesday was just like Monday.

Thursday started out like usual.  It took 20 minutes to talk Sam into a wearing new pair of trackies.  He didn’t like the little sporty motif on them.  I calmly talked Archie out of deliberately choosing Sam’s favourite pair of dinosaur undies.  Then Archie couldn’t find his shoes and I lost the plot.  There was shouting and crying and three startled little boys.  A panic attack.  That was fun.  Mark got the kids into the car and I tried to pull myself together.  We got the boys to daycare and us onto a train.  I was still weepy and panicky but I had a meeting, I had to go to work.  Then I came over all panicky and wobbly while trying to change trains.  I thought I was losing my mind.  Mark gave me a hug, told me I’m not crazy, just exhausted, go home and sleep.  And it worked.  I think I’ve been slightly sleep deprived for about 5 years, but recent events (sick kids, sick me, work, a couple of late nights and boys pushing every button all at once) have stretched me to my limits.  And yesterday I snapped.  But a decent sleep, a  quiet afternoon of knitting and a chat last night over what we can do/change to improve things has helped.  The alarm clock has been pushed back to 6am!

So, after all that, here’s the knitting!

First up, I finally finished Milkweed.  I cast off at Guild on Saturday.  It seems a bit small, so I’m currently blocking the crap out of it.

Milkweed, stretched.

Milkweed, stretched.

Next, I cast on Paper Dolls.  With Milkweed off the needles I didn’t have any WIPs.  None at all.  Can’t have that.  I’m using Harrisville New England Shetland.  The i-cord cast on was not fun, all 234 stitches of it.  Bugger of a way to start a project.  Then came then corrugated rib.  Yikes!  Love the effect though.

Look!  I-cord cast on AND corrugated rib!

Look! I-cord cast on AND corrugated rib!

Finally, Archie’s jacket.  I got the yarn from Calico and Ivy.  Rowan pure wool DK in a rich chocolate, with a pretty aqua blue contrast.  I am planning a very similar jacket to Sam’s, but knit top-down.  So far I’ve knit the collar, saddles and am now working my way down the body, with short-rows to shape the neck front and increases to shape the sleeve cap.  There’s a whole lot of “at the same time”, but I planned it all out, and so far so good.

Athletic Archie, top-down!

Athletic Archie, top-down!

 And really I think thats been the problem with my life lately.  Too much “at the same time” with not enough planning.  And not enough sleep!

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About crafting, with chocolate

I'm a thirty-something Australian with a mild craft obsession. I knit, I sew, I bake bickies with my kids, and four days a week I pretend to be a serious engineering professional. Its a full, frantic life, but I love it.
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6 Responses to ups and downs

  1. LynS says:

    Oh Zena – my heart goes out to you. I remember all that ‘at the same time’ stuff and look back in amazement that I survived – and that the relationships with the children emerged unscathed. Let me assure you it gets better – or at least the intensity fluctuates and the physical exhaustion is not so intense.

    And I marvel at your knitting – at both its creativity and your capacity to think about and wrangle its structure.

  2. roseredshoes says:

    Oh Zena, to give you a cliche – I don’t know how you do it! I think you are amazing. Twins, 3 boys, 4 days/week work and designing your own complicated knitting. But good to know your body tells you when it has had enough, and that you listened to it (and your very smart husband), and that you changed some things. I hope the changes work and you get back into sync. And maybe see what you can do about your role at work, if that will help too?

  3. Bells says:

    having just had Miss Alice for another weekend, I struggled with the 20min getting dressed routine and that was just on a weekend. I turned my thoughts to women who do it before work, that battle over things like getting a pair of track pants on – and I’m stunned at how anyone gets through it. One weekend out of every two or three I do this – but every day? The tantrums and demands would be wearing, to say the least.

    But you’re knitting some lovely things. I’ve never done corrugated rib. It does look worth it. It’s so pretty but I’m impressed you’re doing hard stuff when you’ve got so much other stuff going on.

  4. DrK says:

    i dont know how you do it either. 3 boys pushing all the time, its exhausting just thinking about it. i think there is so much pressure on people now to do parenting perfectly, to worry that every lost temper or raised voice is going to scar forever, but its really not. your kids need to know youre human as well, and thats how they learn to co-operate and that not everythings about them. because its really not, and you need to take that time for yourself. without it you’re no good to anyone. hugs z xx

    • Thanks DrK. I can tell you there is definitely no striving for perfect parenting in this house! But I have probably made things harder on myself lately, and it came to a head last week. Its time to get some balance back so everyone is happier.

  5. DrK says:

    by the way, paper dolls looks completely stunning already!

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