They say, if it doesn’t rain, it pours. In Toowoomba of late it has been pouring. We have been blessed with some wonderful rain – our tanks are full, the gutters were overflowing, and the weeds are growing well. But in my neck of the woods, it has been pouring in more than one way.
For many of us, life is like a house of cards. It is a fragile construction, where each piece sits delicately balanced on all the other pieces. It only takes one puff of wind, a sudden shake of the hands or a nudge of the table, and it all comes crashing down.
Things have been a little quiet around here of late and it’s because the house of cards came crashing down.
First, my husband Paul lands himself in the Intensive Care Unit in the local hospital. It took five days to find the possible cause of a pain on his left side – a cyst on his appendix. In all the hours I spent at the hospital I never once saw the doctor. Apparently he only does his rounds late at night. I thought 11pm at night was a bit late but the nursing staff said that was early for him. He is frequently seeing patients at 2 or 3 am! All is fine now and we just have to wait and see if Paul needs to have the appendix out or not, but it’s all the driving to and fro, filling in the paperwork, and waiting around…
In the middle of all this, we find out that Dan’s application for Specialist Disability Accommodation has been successful. This is excellent news but that meant even more paperwork. We had only just received Dan’s latest NDIS plan in January, but every time there is a change of circumstance, a new plan is done. The new funding meant a new plan. A new plan means all the service agreements have to be signed all over again. And the likelihood is that there will still be another new plan when the support worker funding is approved. We will quite possibly have three plans in six months and three lots of service agreements with the same service providers. Clearly the NDIA thinks I have nothing better to do with my time than fill out paperwork.
Then Bec’s laptop decides to seize up on the very day an assignment is due. Panic! Fortunately we were able to follow the prompts and get it started up again to retrieve her notes. Since the laptop was looking a bit risky she used my computer for the day, which funnily enough ended up being a silver lining. Bec suffers from chronic headaches and migraines. She can often only do an hour or two on her laptop before she needs to lie down for a while. It’s very disruptive to her study. However, using my desktop was a very different experience. Instead of a headache getting worse – it went away. There seems a lot to be said for a bigger screen and better posture from looking ahead and not down. Guess what we’ll be looking at?
In amongst all this happening and all the other things a “Mum” has to do, I am trying to keep up with my own study. It has been very tiring and very frustrating. Some things just had to be put on the back burner. But why is it always my things that have to be pushed aside? Why is it that I have to be the one doing all the thinking for everybody else? Am I the only one with a fully functioning brain in this household?
I think by now we all know about the mental load that women carry around. And they wonder why we get cranky!
This kind of thing does happen, of course, from time to time. A crisis occurs and everything falls in a heap and mostly in women’s laps. I used to describe it as being attacked by life. But I am starting to think there is something else going on here. Something more sinister. I have come to the conclusion that life is not just attacking me, it is actively conspiring against me. Yes, life actively conspires against women. Or maybe it’s just patriarchy. Well, that’s my theory.
And no, I haven’t forgotten about my Australian Women’s History series – it’s coming. And so is Easter and mid-semester break, and I am so looking forward to that. Some people are relieved when a day is over. Others are glad when a week is over, but I will be happy when this month is over.
Have a Happy Easter!