It’s been a long time since I posted about what is going on as far as the Big Plan that hinges on our attempts to complete the Very Large Catamaran. To briefly recap – after M and I did up our lovely Queenslander in Hervey Bay we put the profit we made into buying a kit to build a 35 foot catamaran. (See pictures of a similar one here.) We intended to spend about two and a half years building it, and then live aboard it, and then? Sell it.

M’s mother was dubious about our plan. She told me several times that we should stick to houses. I was resolute. This was the best idea we’d had. So we went ahead with it. Even as we did so I factored in ‘boat time’ – a concept that recognises that everything to do with a building a boat takes double the forecasted time. I was thinking maybe four years.

I wasn’t thinking about a baby. And that meant lost building time, and lost income for me and more incurred debt. I wasn’t really thinking about another baby – to the point where I’d got rid of most of our baby stuff. But, yunno…

And that meant more lost income, more lost boat building time. Of course, totally worth it. But back in about September 2006 when we finished putting up the shed in which we would build the boat, (a shed that M and I dismantled together on the other side of the city) if you had told me that M would still be working on it in 2011 and that we would have two kids, I would have just laughed disbelievingly…and then gone grey overnight.

I do not hesitate to say that we were both blisteringly naive. Of course, there was not a better time for us to have babies – with me working a flexible job and M able to take heaps of time out… But all that time out has prolonged the project to the point where we are very much almost sick to death of it. And our expected profits and hopes to live aboard are very much in doubt.

We have decided, after several fraught discussions, that it needs to be painted and ready to be fitted out with boat bling by the time our lease is up on this house. The end of January 2012 – less than a year away. By that time we will have a FOUR year old and a one year old. (Is there any more devastating yardstick of time passing than growing children? I think not.)

This deadline is good (we can see an endpoint) and bad. M is working most nights until 8.30pm – I am wrangling the two little ones on my own. I go to bed at around 8pm in order to stay sane. M staggers home, exhausted and covered in fibreglass dust, in the dark to a sleeping house, knowing that he has to get up in the morning and do it all again. He’s working Saturdays, as I need him for childminding on Thursdays.

So our one ‘family’ day is Sunday. But we barely see each other. It’s really hard. We’re sick of being skint, are kicking ourselves for not just sticking with renovating houses and at the same time trying to console ourselves that it will be alright – as long as we can just make it to the end. Make it to the end intact.

Luckily our meltdowns don’t tend to occur in stereo, so one of us can try and jolly the other up and out of the occasional ditch of despair. Sometimes it all seems just too hard. A constant financial juggle of ever-increasing debt. Other times, it’s easier to embrace the choices that brought us to this point and to be happy that we have two beautiful girls in a house we like, an egg shaped caravan, a trimaran and good friends. There are things more important than profit and debt.