24/7

At this point in my life, it felt like I’d been let down a lot. By many different people, in various situations as we all have but wasn’t sure just how much more I could handle. Waiting to start this new job had kept me alive all year and now it was August – that’s 8 effing months of playing the waiting game. I was so disappointed. My dad and I had the whole ‘everything happens for a reason’ discussion yet again, emotions running wild and I had to sweep myself up again. Sometimes you just need a pick-me-up pep talk. I finally got ‘poor’ Charlie into nursery much to ‘the commenters’ dismay as he was ‘only 3 months old’. The commenters are people who comment on everything you do but don’t even know you. There are lots of them inhabiting this small island.

I boldly went out to vet clinics asking if they’d hire me, trying not to sound too desperate even though I was, and got no bites. I just studied for so long, how is this possible? Should I beg? For God’s sake Steffi, do not beg and certainly do not cry. Crazy mother mode was raging. This place just hired someone…that place doesn’t have enough business to hire another vet etc etc. I felt screwed and now truly recognized the importance of written contracts as opposed to verbal agreements, but Trinidad ‘doh wuk so’.

Trinidad doh wuk full stop.

Fine then, I decided. You don’t want me? I’ll start my own business.

But it was a lot. Most days I was booked up and doing vet work from 8-4 which sounds totally normal and great…unless you also own a baby. Sucking snat out of your baby’s nose at 3am to then go empty dog’s anal glands at 8am – what was happening? Also when did I become a snat sucker? My aunt always said you’d do it for your own child and I solemnly pledged that I would never do such an absurd thing. My word, how times had changed. Trust me, you’ll be a snat sucker one day too if you have kids. And running on zero energy with a random salary each month wasn’t cutting it. Babies cost more than anything I’ve ever owned lol obviously. Like almost even more than a car, especially after the hospital bill which still hung over my head. Why didn’t my silly body just do its job, it would have been much cheaper – the horror of ‘labour day’ from getting hooked, to the Pitocin, to the bill, struck me often and it always made me feel a bit dizzy.

But thank you Jesus for saving my vagina.

Even though my scar is crooked.

Did you know that a baby t-shirt in the mall is $250? WHAT. Formula is $270 for the biggest size which lasts approximately 5 days if you have a shark baby. Then there’s nursery fees, toys, doctor visits…and the list goes on. And people think their pets are expensive, ha. The limitations of money brings a stress that it shouldn’t have the ability to. Quite like a Trini passport. It is so sadly limiting! And I get stopped, questioned and x-rayed every time I travel. Airport officials stop me to ask whether I know that drugs are illegal. What? Ugh.

Anyway – A few months after I launched MobiVet I was approached by a clinic with an offer to start working there as of January 2018. It was refreshing to start having some stability to life again but that meant MobiVet house calls before work, after work and then emergency calls and texts all night – oh yes and the motherhood situation. It was totally exhausting and I had no clue how to balance it. Vet life is a lot more work than I ever thought it would have been, physically and emotionally. And the salary does not equate the workload in any form or fashion. 

See the problem is that I’m a true hustler at heart. In Convent I used to burn DVD’s, make mini cheesecakes, brownies, cheese paste sandwiches, popcorn, you name it… to sell to classmates in form 5 Earth Sci. Before I knew it business had spread to Nat Sci, Modern and Business and I had a line up every lunchtime ready to barter. “I’ll give you $5 for that brownie…”

“I’ll Give you $7…”

Sold for $7! Thanks see you tomorrow I’m bringing cheesecake.

It was great, I loved it.

But we weren’t 16 anymore (unfortunately). I had to stop hustling, grow up and learn how to balance all of the weights and responsibilities that I now had in life – and it felt like I had a lot more than the average 28 year old. I had to make a conscious decision to make more time for the kids because I was getting too caught up with all the work. Work shouldn’t come before family. I was so determined to make money out of fear of depending on my parents – no one wants to be that child. No sir-ee. I needed to learn how to balance being the bread-winner, child carer, dog walker, exerciser and sometimes limer. And since the most important thing that anyone can give is your time… I needed to start giving more of it.

Below. My beautiful boys deserved more of me.

IMG_9651

There is also a deep fear engraved in most vets that you will not always be there for your clients, tarnishing your reputation slash having people think that you don’t care. But the reality is that you cannot please everyone. It takes a great deal of discipline to not accept phone calls after a certain hour. It causes massive anxiety and sleepless nights thinking that there may be a pet who needs you. And sleepless nights aren’t affordable when you already don’t sleep because your baby doesn’t let you! I would watch Netflix until 11pm to unwind, get woken up at 1am, then at 4am, then at 6am every day. Some days I’d cry until 11pm then repeat the rest. Why won’t he sleep, what am I doing wrong? I could feel the dark circles under my eyes drooping further downward.

Side note – A typical morning: Up at 1am for a bottle, up at 4am for a bottle, up at 6 am to start the day. Mix Charlie a bottle, on the way back upstairs he throws bottle on floor. We are both covered in milk, as is the staircase while the milk trickles downward. Skye never too far behind, standing in the way as I try to pick up the bottle and go back down the stairs to clean up the mess almost tripping over him, 30 pound Charlie in hand. Bathe Charlie. Charlie poops in the shower and refuses to get out. Have to clean up the poop and force him out of the shower so he’s now screaming and crying and kicking me on my tummy with karate master precision right onto my c-section scar which hurts like a bitch. I eventually am able to dress and send him to nursery after breakfast which sometimes he eats, sometimes he throws everywhere and most times he feeds to Skye. Thankfully he goes to nursery like a champ – the easiest part of our lives. Go to work until 4/6pm  depending on the day then fly home to relieve him from mum. Go running with Skye and Charlie. Feed him, bathe him, play time, entertain him. Bed at 7:30pm but sometimes 8:30, sometimes 9. He gets overtired and barbaric, biting me, pulling my hair, digging my skin. Plop him into crib with his ‘Beppm’ (bottle) and most times leave him to fuss until he falls asleep because I just can’t do any more. I am totally exhausted by 10pm and wish I could go see my human friends but my face looks unrecognizable and I tell myself I cannot go out into the world looking like this. Also I have to be up at 1am for the next feeding. And if I’m on call I cannot go anywhere. My computer is allowed to see my face briefly and then I lay in bed worrying about pets, cases, life, what even happened today and then eventually knock out. No joke, this job is 24/7.

But back to where I left off – Around the same time that I started the new job in January, I had rekindled an old flame with someone I never imagined I’d even speak to again. But as they say, it’s all about timing. Sometimes you need certain people without realizing it and you open yourself up to experiences and emotions that you never ever thought you would. And it can be so great.

If it lasts.

*Disclaimer! – Snat/snot sucking only occurs when your child is sick with the flu and they cannot breathe so you zip into instinct mode and try to get the cold out before they suffocate. If it not for fun, it is not enjoyable and I certainly do not recommend it…unless you truly think they cannot breathe.*

 

“Out there things can happen, and frequently do,
To people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew.
Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!”
Dr. Seuss, Oh, The Places You’ll Go!

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