Late last night, as I crawling into bed after a particularly gruelling day, the words of an old country song reverberated in my head. Just a single phrase, over and over in a way I knew would keep me awake for hours, despite my fatigue. You may remember it too, “Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.”
Hell yes! Especially during a drought, when every waking moment seems to be spent on the threshold of disaster. I feel these last few years have been spent on the brink; dams about to go dry, feed about to run out, nerves about to fray and hearts about to break.
Amongst all that chaos is the home: my domain usually although I’m hardly ever there these days. While I have never enjoyed housework, I liked the results of it. Keeping the household running smoothly always gave me a sense of accomplishment. I liked clean clothes folded in draws, a well-stocked pantry, planned meals and a clean tidy space for living.
Now home is like a war zone, and that’s not surprising given the circumstances. I find it particularly frustrating that I feel responsible for its unkempt state when I know there aren’t enough hours in the day to do everything. I spend my time working in the paddock, or racing to town for some vital part needed to keep machinery working, pumps delivering water, bikes and vehicles running. Little wonder meals are reduced to something fried or baked in the oven out of a bag!
I have to ask myself why I should beat myself up about this. When others in this house can happily move a pile of washing off the couch to put their feet up, why do I feel guilty? When there’s another pile sitting next to the washing machine and there are a cups plates and cutlery waiting to be washed in the sink, why do I feel a sense of failure?
It’s all another symptom of drought. The frantic days, the nights that seem too short, the endless jobs that keep getting relegated to ‘next time’. Time is now a luxury, all my time and energy is focused on keeping our stock alive and surviving this drought.
I never thought it would happen, but one day when it rains (how many times have I said that!) I will actually enjoy having a whole day for just house work. I might even have a lawn again, that I can mow and keep watered. There will be no poddies to eat the roses I will plant; they will all be drinking milk from the full udders of their fat mothers.