This morning Kiran woke up at approximately 3.30am and refused to go back to sleep. My usual trick of lying him back down and feeding him didn’t work and he rolled away angry and pointed at me shouting “uhhhh!” Kiran has a few words that aren’t really words and he’s in a phase of not saying mama and papa at the moment (Maya did the same thing at about the same age) but is very good at getting his point across all the same. So I picked him up and we cuddled for a bit and then watched cartoons for half an hour until he started yawning and I put him back to bed. I’m normally not too happy to be woken in the middle of night and forced to stay up but I didn’t mind the extra cuddles last night after reading on Tamsin’s blog about another blogger who just lost her little boy to SIDS and then another little boy I follow on facebook, finally losing his fight with cancer.
I’ve been struggling with my temper recently. Maya is headstrong and at a difficult age and sleeps late every night. Kiran is napping so little now and needs to be watched constantly now that he’s walking – he toddles around with his arms out in front of him like a little zombie baby and then inevitably loses his balance and topples over onto the concrete steps or Maya comes along and pushes him over. He had so many bangs to his head yesterday alone that I was seriously considering investing in one of those baby helmets. Anyway, all this means that I am getting very little time to myself and to work and I’m screaming constantly at Maya not to push her baby brother or scratch his face when he takes one of her toys.
I don’t want to shout or scream and I don’t want Maya remembering her toddler years as me being angry all the time. She’s two and she can already remember things that she did a year ago. I don’t want her to be spoiled or naughty but it really breaks my heart after I tell her off and she sits and howls “Mama, Maya anak baik!” (Maya’s a good girl). I remember being very patient with her when she was younger and Kiran was still newborn but now she’s older and wiser and quite deliberately naughty sometimes, I find it very hard to keep my temper in check.
And then there’s the time issue – I don’t want to waste these precious years working on my computer when I could be reading or playing with them. Yes, I must admit, it’s not always fun for me and I’m sometimes at a loss for how to entertain them without losing my mind in boredom myself. Maya is pretty fun to be around now, plus she’ll tell me whether she wants to read a book, play with her train set etc., but I do get a bit stuck with Kiran – what do you do with a one year old? I don’t remember! He just wants to walk everywhere. And climb things.
I talked in my 2013 goals post about how my aim for this year is balance but wow, it’s tricky. I have not been working a lot recently, nowhere near the amount I was working when Maya was the same age Kiran is now. It feels good to work on my own projects and not drive myself into the ground working for stupidly low rates but at the same time, the money situation is stressing me out. My debt level stayed the same for many months (just earning enough to cover what we spent) and then I managed to reduce it a little but after working a minimal amount for the last three months while I had visitors, it’s gone way past the level I’d mentally set as the ‘maximum’.
Things need to start turning in the other direction and I’m not ure how I can do this while still not getting stressed out and eating into my quality time with the kids every day. One thing is for sure, I need to get out of just working X number of hours for X per hour and create something that will make money on its own even if I can’t work for a few weeks. I did know how to do this once upon a time but things changed before I managed to scale it up and it’s not so easy any more. I wish I’d put the work in while I was still child-free with all the time in the world and I’d probably be a lot less in debt now. Oh well, live and learn.
Anyway I watched a video recently posted on a forum I’m in that talked about separating money-making activities from your other business ideas so you don’t have the pressure of needing to make cash from it straight away. Basically if you can make $50 a day through whatever means, that is $1,500 a month (which is enough to live on and start paying back my debts here). Put that way, it doesn’t sound so bad. Work at $50 an hour for 1 hour or $25 an hour for 2 hours or $16.67 for 3 hours. Make the quota for the day and I’m free to work on my business ideas, blog and other personal projects. Now who wants to hire me for $50 an hour?
I’ve been terrible at getting up early since I got out of the habit while the kids were sick and interrupting my sleep. Now I think this is the key to my success and I need those 3 uninterrupted hours every morning. Let this be my public accountability – I will get up at 5am every morning or strike me down!
Work and computery stuff aside, I’ve been really wanting to get back into drawing/illustration lately, spurred on by some of the amazingly talented artists I follow on instagram (lillypiri // outtoplay // becwinnel //audkawa // kozyndan – my mini claim to fame is that I took the photo reference for kozyndan’s Battle on the River Tyne panoramic). Please let me know if you know of any other amazing artists on instagram! I used to really enjoy drawing but I’ve not done it in years. I have 2 blank moleskine notebooks sitting on my bookcase and I jsut bought myself a set of nice good quality colour pencils (which I will be hiding from Maya) so whenever I find that elusive free time I’m looking for, I’m going to get sketching.
Wow, another epic post. I’ve got to stop doing that, I’m sure nobody bothers reading all this! Oh and if anyone knows of any good websites or books about how to parent toddlers without strangling them or screaming at them all day, please let me know! I’ve heard 3 is worse than 2 – god help me.