Stressful. A lot.
I start too early and I am on my feet for most of it. In my short breaks I am on here, procrastinating you would assume, but also doing a timed online exam at the same time. I'm going better than expected in the last 2 so I've actually done 4 exams in my lunch break.
My blood pressure is too high because I'm spending my time chasing after doctors to sign my forms like a lovesick teenager runnign after an autograph. I'm exhausted by 3pm but I don't get to go home then. There's at least another hour worth of time consuming, back hurting work and procedure.
I then race for the bus, or walk 3km to pick up the girls, getting home around 5, usually half past. Even though all I want to do is curl up in the corner and go to sleep, the girls haven't seen me all day and they want me. In that "I'm so tired I don't know what I want" kind of way that preschoolers have. Setting them up at the table with pencils and books buys me maybe 20 minutes in which to prepare dinner. I've gone right off meat at the moment so there is a fair whack of preparation involved. I do it like a woman possessed.
Yesterday, for shits and giggles I combined this with being on the phone to Centrelink to sort out a major issue with childcare benefit. When I refused to allow the 2 year old to talk on the phone, I resolved the ensuing tantrum with the delights of bubblewrap. I am nothing if not resourceful.
Bingley gets home around 6, and if he's very lucky (because he's exhausted too) he walks in to the table set and dinner ready. Dinner is actually really nice, because we are all sitting, and we can talk about our day. The Monkey is becoming more conversational as we go on and in between trying to get the Elfling to keep her mouth closed while she's eating we get some entertaining stories from her as well.
After dinner is bathtime and the girls splash around while we lie on our bed and try and stay awake, watching the Elfling teach the Monkey how to do things like draw on the shower door. Which I intend to clean off but never do - so it is a glorious bath crayoned masterpiece.
We then each tackle a baby and brush their teeth, pyjama them and tuck them up in bed with a book, reading aloud for a few minutes, occasionally succumbing to the cries for more books, before lights out. Usually they are so tired they fall asleep before I've reached the light switch.
We then go downstairs and on a good night clear up the dinner plates and turn on the dishwasher feeling smug at the be-Spray and Wiped sparkliness, or as is more common lately, collapse on the lounge room floor watching bad BAD tv and alternately half heartedly expressing the need to get up and clean. It mostly gets done, but I confess, often, it is left there to dry out overnight, so that cursing as we rush through the morning, I try and scrape dinner off plates.
While prostrate in front of the TV I usually have my laptop open so I can answer e-mails, download study modules, finish off minor essays and check my schedule for the next day. Bingley at this stage finds it hard to talk, being upright using up the last reserves of his energy. We both look old and ragged. Sometimes, in a fit of tearful exhaustion I will pick a fight - because at 9pm at night when you know you will be up at 5am, when you're exhausted, when you've had a very long shit day, when you're about as rational as a garden gnome, is a sensible, grown up time to have a "big" discussion. The make up sex is probably worth it though.
I don't enjoy this part of the year. The lead up to the grand finale. Dress rehearsals day and night for the big end of year performance. All that gets me through at the moment is crossing off a day in my diary. Looking at my countdown and seeing how few of these days are left.
Thinking of lying by the pool in our villa in Bali. Of Christmas craft with the girls. Of putting up the Christmas tree and rolling out rumballs. Of making gifts and spending time in the sun. Of coming to the end of each day, and having a surge of panic that I've not done anything all day before realising, gleefully, that there is nothing I'm supposed to be doing.
18 days to go