How I Live Now

Wake up around 5 or 6 am in the morning and wash my face. If Finn is grumbling, I let him grumble while I go through the morning facial routine–one of the few routines that survives motherhood because my brother’s wife is the same age as me but my skin is much older than hers. She has been properly taking care of her skin since she was 20. I was boozing it up with friends when I was 20, not a care in the world about anything, the least of all my skin.

Then I change Finn’s diaper–nappy, as they say in Australia–because that usually calms him down a bit. He likes staring at me from his laying down position. His eyes roam about, looking like he’s writing my face into memory. I have seen the same look before on another baby: my baby brother. Finn makes these cute baby noises and sometimes smiles at me. Changing Finn in the morning is a favorite part of my day.

The two of us wait for Jamie to wake up, or sometimes he is awake already and that’s when I hand Finn over for Daddy-Time. They both enjoy that.

Between 7 am to 8 am, we make our way to the main house from our little hut. We usually bring a bag of things we want at the house. This is where we start our day. Me with the daily baby washing (his clothes and nappies) and Jamie with his morning chores.

For our breakfast, Jamie has coffee and I have a mug of hot chocolate. I used to have at least a cup of coffee a day, but since I’ve had to give up caffeine during pregnancy, I have felt so much more energetic overall. So I decided I would not go back to having coffee daily. Of course there is still caffeine in hot chocolate, but really not enough for it to have a lasting effect on me, I find.

Usually I feed Finn during my breakfast. Then I do the breakfast dishes while everyone else start their day’s work. The rest of the morning depends on whether Finn falls asleep or not. If he falls asleep and stays asleep, which is rare, then I spend the morning either reading or walking around the yard. If it’s a washing day (house laundry), then I spend the morning hanging out the laundry that Marion’s washed.

Lunch is usually a casual DIY deal. I most often have instant noodles, because it’s the easiest.

The afternoons are passed much like the mornings. Again, it all depends on how Finn is. My main activity is reading. I try to continue my writing projects, but it is difficult to do when your thoughts and inspirations can be interrupted by a crying infant.

Most days are passed in a blur. It is usually supper time in a few blinks of the eye. Jamie comes in from his day’s work around 5 pm. He showers so that he’ll be clean enough to handle the baby. I shower just after him. Then we eat. After-dinner washing up is usually my job as well, as I’m the worst at running away after dinner. That and because I hardly ever cook dinner now.

After post-dinner wash up, I soak Finn’s reusable nappies from that day so that they’ll be ready to be washed the next morning. Jamie and I head off to the Hut with Finn and try to get an early night. We go to bed now generally between 8:30 pm to 9:30 pm.

During the night, I’ll wake up between three to four times, depending on how Finn eats. Some nights I can’t even stay awake and I fall asleep with him still attached to my breast. Some nights I can’t fall asleep and I stay awake reading while Finn sleeps. The extra time feels stolen–cheated, but it’s an essential. I find I need those hours when I am still just myself. When I’m not a wife, not a mother, not anyone but ME.

This entry has taken a whole day to write. Finn is the main reason, but it would be unfair of me to say that I had no free time whatsoever. Finn is laying in his laundry basket of a cot next to me, with a pacifier in his mouth. He is awake but not grumbling because he is sucking. I used to be one of those new moms that decided I wouldn’t use a pacifier. Look at us now.

Today we spent the morning before lunch down at the Bottle Brush Paddock. I sat in the UT with Finn while Marion and Caromy helped Jamie collect fallen pieces of wood. Jamie plans to plow the rest of the paddock so they can get rid of the onion grass growing there. Onion grass has taken over the paddock and the cattle doesn’t eat it.

This is how I live now.

 

Finn

Everytime I look at my son, I am amazed at how much one can possibly love a person.

When I think of having another child, I think that I couldn't possibly love another as much as I love Finn.

But I suppose it would be different, wouldn't it? Much like how you couldn't really compare your love for a sibling with your love for a spouse. I wonder if it is always the first born that is most loved or if it is the last.

I am a middle child.

Things About Me

There are things about me that other people consider weird or anal.

  • I don’t like leaving hair in my hair brush
  • I always put things away exactly where it’s supposed to go 
  • I separate utensils in the dish draineR
  • I cook egg yolk and egg white separately

These are just a few things. I’m not extremely tied to these habits; I won’t throw a tantrum if these things didn’t go the way I wanted. But the strange preferences are still there.

Farm Life

Things I’ve done in the last 6 months that I’d probably never do if I weren’t living on the farm:

  1. Raised some Guinea fowls 
  2. Saved a little chicken from freezing 
  3. Picked up a baby goat

Been A While

Currently writing from a remote farm in Western Australia. We managed to get internet here thanks to my current job at a digital advertising firm. They were willing to pay for the monthly internet fees in exchange for having me work remotely. This contract will last until the end of February.

I am also currently 5 months pregnant. 🙂

Starting Over

Not going to lie, I’m pretty scared of how this will actually turn out.

I have just scrapped a writing project I’d been working on for four years (how did it take that long??) and started it over because it would work better as a modern story rather than a fantasy.

I realised that there were so many themes at play in the project that keeping it as a fantasy story was actually distracting from the theme. I wanted to tell a more relatable story and having “ye old time” dialogue just simply wasn’t doing it for me.

It’s scary to scrap it at this point because I’d had already gone so far (over 200,000 words!) into the plot. Although the last 100,000 so words of it was pretty much garbage because I had been hating the story while still forcing myself to work on it.

So far I am enjoying the new start. Whether it’s just the excitement from working on a “new” project or actually having something that works is still hard to tell. But hopefully it’s the latter.

 

Deer In Headlines

That’s how I feel right now. My decision to quit my job without having a new job was made abruptly, and I don’t regret it. But I still can’t stop myself from feeling the terror of unemployment.

How will I take care of myself?

Sure, I have a family, a husband who loves me and supports me in my decisions. I have a roof over my head and food to eat.

But what if I didn’t have any of those things? What if those things suddenly disappeared tomorrow? Then what would I do and where would I be? It feels strange to know that I am this close to homelessness.

Well. I did leave my job with some savings. I wasn’t totally crazy. I also do have some prospects I am trying to look into. But the terrifying thought of being unproductive as a citizen of the world simply does not go away.

Unproductive. What a word. The very idea that I am not turning today’s 8 hours worth of work into money that would then sustain me as me being unproductive… how did it come to this? When did we begin weighing our value in work and money?

Whatever happened to doing the work because we enjoyed it? Whatever happened to just having enough to live on and actually living our lives?

My father’s CEO voice in my head is asking me, “how dare you pull out of the Rat Race at merely 31 years old? Get back in there and keep going!”

It felt strange today not to commute to work in the morning to work. Not to sit down at a desk I’d been sitting at for five months (five months! was it really only that long?) and clearing tickets.

Tickets. A word to summarize the endless demands from people who supposedly pay our bills. I got used to measuring my days based on how many tickets we closed. In this last job, I became jaded. I didn’t bother getting to know the clients. I knew none of them. Their names and the names of their companies all blended into one giant demanding monster. All of the requests were the same; their website looked ugly. The site went down. They broke another page trying to edit it.

Meanwhile in other parts of the world, people are actually dying. They are being bombed and people are losing loved ones here and there. Real human suffering is taking place all of the time while people over here worry about how their website looks and how much business and money they’ve lost because the color of their navigation menu is not the same green they originally wanted.

How did we get here?