Yesterday was a strange day. It was my first day after (finally) finishing the uni term, a uni term that had damn near traumatised me. Last term I took on fulltime uni as we had settled into Kalgoorlie to work for 6 months or so and Zac had just started daycare two days a week. However - that "plan" (like many, when you become a parent) was not to be.
Zac instantly hated daycare... He cried from the moment we dropped him off until the moment we picked him up. His teachers were stressed because he seemed to be the "exception" to the whole "Oh, he will be laughing and playing (and stop crying) as soon as you're out ther door", instead - he was very consistant for a couple of weeks at two days a week. We realised this was causing him ALOT of stress and his teachers were having trouble giving him the support he needed because they simply hadn't experienced such a consistantly sad child.
This led to us pulling him out of daycare, I mean - I enjoy every moment with my son. When he is in daycare I miss him terribly. I (honestly) only sent him because it is the "thing you do" but my husband pointed out that alot of our life decisions go against that grain so if I love being with Zac and dont mind having him home full time, then why send him to daycare when he clearly isnt settling in? We believe that he wasnt settling in because of our lifestyle and always moving around, as he previously LOVED his "home-daycare" he used to attend (read: this would have been an entirely different situation if he had have settled in happily - he would still be attending now).
Thus the decision was finalised, and although my time alone went down to basically zero, my uni workload persisted. This lead to a very stressful term for me! I experienced alot of guilt because there were many times I had to just give up and sit Zac in front of the TV so that I could get some work done (those who know me know that I am the kinda mum whom is ALWAYS playing with her child and teaching him things and going outdoors with him when we are together) so this all added to both of our stress levels, which then bounced off eachother even more so.
Anyway, I woke up yesterday with no uni work and was just baffled... We got up slowly and casually, I washed some dishes, tidied the van, got ontop of the washing. Then we went and caught up with some friends we have met here in Kalgoorlie, THEN we came home... and relaxed??!?!?!?!?
..... it was BLISSFUL!
We made the bed so it was nice and neat, then layed on the bed, under the aircon and played cars, puzzles, lego, flash cards, dominoes, for hours. It felt so good to just be able to enjoy Zac again and play with him with my attention all on him. Then around 5:30 in the afternoon I took him for a big walk around Boulder while the sun started to get lower in the sky. Would you believe that after all of this attention, busy day etc. he fell STRAIGHT to sleep when I put him to bed. Wow, It all just felt so right, like it is the way its meant to be for us - like everything was flowing naturally again. (the last three weeks zac has experienced a major sleep regression, thats why this sleep "thing" has been massive for us now).
I hadnt realised how much my desire to get a qualification was affecting Zacs life. I knew I took on too much but I didnt realise how much my inability to keep up with it all was responsible for all of the massive changes Zac has been experiencing lately. With this thought in mind; life feels so blissful again. I love enjoying Zac and making the most of every second I have with him, so I am so happy to get to experience that again.
Today it has been the same, a nice relaxing morning with a little bit of housework. Then the day is ours, to play and learn together, to enjoy eachothers company and experience life together. I feel so lucky to be in a position to be home with my son all the time, I feel grateful that I enjoy his company so much and that I get to really teach him the basics aswell as about life and the world.
So today I am a little "high on life", I feel really happy, relaxed, at ease and inspired. I feel energised and ready to really be the mum I always wanted to be. I know my son would be proud of me in years to come if I could stand up and say "I singlehandedly finished a FULLTIME uni degree in just a few years, while raising my child and having a husband working extremely long hours. Because of this I was able to take on a high paying job and buy my son everything he could have dreamed of", but I know I am raising a child whom would be prouder to be able to say "my mum taught me the ABC, to read, to write, to play and how to be a good person, she was always there when I needed her and my memories are of her time, not of objects".
I feel so grateful for everything my life has brought to me. There have been some substantially tough times, but they have only intensified my desire to sieze the moment, be with my husband and son and experience a simple, happy life.
What does "living the simple dream" mean to me?
I always hear people from our generation saying "Ahh, living the dream" when they are doing somthing our of the ordinary - for example: sipping cocktails in a spa of a fancy resort or perhaps they post "living the dream" as the caption beneath a photo of them moving into their new $500,000+ mansion-esque home they have just mortgaged their life away for. At first I was confused by how simple my ambitions were. All I wanted was to live in a caravan and be able to spend as much time enjoying the outdoors with my husband and son, without my husband having to be at work all the time. So for me, this became my simple dream. I find myself having those "Ahh living the dream" moments when I am sitting in a natural hot spring with my husband and son, drinking a beer, ten feet away from a crocodile infested river. Now mine, my husbands and my sons life is all about chasing our simple dream.