Outside my window the sky is lightening blue-grey, and the daily sounds of cars starting and the rumble of the distant main road are beginning. It is very early, a few moments of peace before my day becomes full of young people and sound and busyness. I have a hot cup of tea. I sneaked out from besides the softly curled snuggly toddler to change over laundry and spend just a few moments alone.
I am thinking about meal plans and post office runs and somehow balancing everything today. No anxiety yet, just a lot of little things that must be done.
I am thankful for family and friends who don't judge us, or see us as hopeless stewards of money, but are just there when we need them. More thankful than I can say for the five different people who have made sure we are kept in bread, milk, fruit, cereal.
In the kitchen a loaf of fresh bread is waiting on the surface for hungry breakfasting children. Grains are soaking for soup for lunch. The washing machine is running already, I have so much laundry to get through - sometimes I think the sound of that machine is taking over my mind.
I am wearing a soft, long, steel-grey dress and a rust-orange cardigan. Bare feet. Copper skeleton leaf necklace.
I am going to make it to the park with a friend next week. I can't really predict more than that, other factors crowd in and make all the usual plans and wishes a little tricky. We wanted to go swimming at the weekend again, maybe visit a friend a little further off, but the car is out of fuel and posting parcels comes before swimming.
I am reading The Dragonfly Pool (well, I just finished it). I love borrowing books from my children! I really enjoyed it, interesting, quirky, light reading but my first completed book for a good while.
I am hoping that our Tax Credits will finally be reinstated tomorrow, or if not, soon. The money Martin makes is what keeps a roof over our heads. Tax Credits feeds us. My earnings pay for dance classes and books. It has been that way for a while, and without the weekly income ("computer error" they tell us, and "it may take another week or more") we are struggling.
I am looking forward to reading stories with Talia, and kissing her little soft toddler cheeks, and laughing together. She's a sweet little pixie with her own comfortable little rhythm and a generous laugh. I may sneak out of bed to spend a moment alone, but my heart is still there with my babiest one.
Around the house: Here in the living room there is a scattering of toys and a pony castle in the middle of the floor. When I got up, I told myself I would tidy a little in here before our day starts, but as yet I have only looked at it. A doll crib, a hair brush, a discarded pink shoe, a drum. Some kind of flyer that has made it through the door only to be snatched up by little hands and used in some game. This is my life; ragged around the edges and yet creative and full and mostly content.
Yesterday I spent hours sorting out the children's rooms. I woke up from a sleepless night thinking, "Of all the things I worry about not being able to give the children, I can give them at least the gift of uncomplaining service in this one thing." So I set to work picking up the pile of clothes, the strewn dressing up things, the books and pieces of paper piled high by the bed and on the desk. It was more of a mess than I thought it was, but they joined me one by one to say, "Wow, thank you mum! What can I do to help?"
One of my favourite things is changing the season table over to Autumn.
A few plans for the rest of the week: family time at the weekend, Jenna's dance class (mercifully pre-paid for the term), more science experiments because we found the instruction booklet for the chemistry set (!), and hopefully getting some of the laundry actually put away. Oh, the glamour!
Prompts from The Simple Woman's Daybook.
PS: I'm sorry if you don't like to hear me talking about money. I am *incredibly* grateful that we are able to freely make the choice to live with less so that one of us can be at home. I am even more grateful for the generosity of friends and family that has tided us over until our income returns. But if you feel the need to tell me why it's my fault or that I shouldn't be open about the impact money (or lack) has on us, then sorry but I'm not sorry (and I won't publish your comment). :p
PPS: Last time I spoke about our finances, I didn't add a post-script, and had to remove some "helpful" judgement.