Tag Archives: coping

Happy Blah-day

Not only are we almost at the end of my two weeks imposed SAHM -ness, I’m also at the end of my tether.

I wrote before about why I could never do it full-time.  I change my mind daily about going back to work. I’m not sure which is worse. That’s horrible thing to say about staying at home with my kids isn’t it? I mean, I know how fast time flies.  I should be cherishing every scribble on the furniture, every temper tantrum, every piece of computer equipment she expertly dismantles.

But I can’t.

I’m waking up at the moment dreading spending the day with her, knowing that my temper will only tolerate ten minutes of her being a disobedient diva before I snap.

Ok, it doesn’t help that from about 2am I go into a 20 minute feed, 30 minute settling  20 minute sleep cycle until 7.30.  It definitely doesn’t help that the house constantly looks like mothercare exploded here and there are dirty nappies everywhere. The same load of washing has been hanging on the line for more than a week…

Which doesn’t sound massively odd for a house where the stay at home parent is still adjusting to two children, but we have a lodger. I want him to feel he can use the communal areas without feeling uncomfortable because they are a mess.

I think I shot myself in the foot by returning to work the first time.  If I had always stayed at home, this would have been easier right? What other excuses can I use for my failure?

It’s not just ONE thing…

I live for weekends. I love my breaks.  I love being able to spend some time cleaning the house without worrying about him screaming for cuddles or her drawing on the TV.

On Saturday, I woke up and came downstairs.  Normally, I would have done the washing up on the Friday night so it wouldn’t be the first thing I had to face on Saturday morning. Sadly, I had broken the discipline and decided not to do it.  I had been told it would be done, so when I came downstairs and was faced with it, I was not impressed.

I got a chance to go back to bed at 9.30ish and then was woken up at 10.10 to feed. O fell asleep so I rested and had a break until 11 30. I brave downstairs and he announces he wants a shower. He has shower then does lunch. He serves up beans on toast (bread not cut) and expects me to be able to eat one-handed while I feed O again.

Then he buggers off.  So I’m sat looking at my food going cold, O on the boob and her shouting “finished” and waving crusts in the air while he’s having a seemingly “urgent” conversation with our lodger.

I get to eat and he decides O needs to sleep so he takes him.  I then clean up my dinner stuff and sort washing out. Then I say jokingly we should go get an EEE Pad Transformer this afternoon.

He says “We could go get the pieces for the computer…” then disappears off to the other room to look on said computer for parts.

I was so fed up.  I wish I could just leave the room willy nilly and not have to worry about looking after two small children, but my life doesn’t work like that.  I have to schedule in time to clean  the house, or do the washing up/washing/cleaning when the children go to bed and I’m dead on my feet.

Sometimes I wish he could see it’s not just one thing that makes me snap, it’s the bigger picture.

Almost human haircut

Last Friday I had my hair cut. Short.

Before I went I was warned by OH not to have it above shoulder length.  He doesn’t like short hair.

My hair was waist length and matted.  I’d just wash it, brush it as best I could in the limited time I had, and tie it back.  It was driving me mad.

See, when I had the Toddler, things like personal appearance fell by the wayside. Sometimes just finding 10 minutes to jump in the shower was a struggle.

Now its worse.  Now I have to carefully choose how to spend the sneaky ten minutes I get without them. And my choice was not untangling the brush from my hair for the 14th time.

So it got the chop.

It might seem a bit weird but the haircut was actually a lot more than chopping off some hair.  It was actually about feeling human again.  Mostly about feeling like me again and not Mummy Milk Bar.

When you have a baby, you suddenly go from being a creative individual to being a full-time, overtime, all the time carer. During this transition you can lose part of yourself.

I hid behind the mummy mask.  It made me fearless and less self-conscious yes, but it also meant I wasn’t me.

I love the newfound confidence and the fact that my personal appearance means next to nothing to me.  I can walk into any room and not give a crap.ic they stare at my jogging bottoms, faded t-shirt and flip-flops. But sometimes its nice to have a picture taken or catch a glimpse of myself and not think “oh well, I look shit because I’m a mum.”

We are skint

What part of that don’t you understand?

I’ve spent days panicking about how we’re going to cope.

I’ve written out meal plans, bought cheap everything and kept a close eye on what we’re spending.

You go out for nappies and come home with expensive puddings and chocolate…and God only knows what else.

Then you go on about how you’re treating me.

You just don’t get it do you?

And the rent money is going in your account.

Why do I bother?

Admiration for a mother

When I first had the Toddler, I was encouraged to go along to the local Bumps and Babes group for some further support.

As it happened, some of the mums I went with turned out to be not the people I thought they were, but there was one mum I had always admired.

She was a breastfeeder although she expressed as she wasn’t comfortable feeding in public.  She was quite shy, and her baby was unable to turn her head in one direction due to he way she had been laying in the womb.  This had put the baby’s development behind, had meant that she had to have physio and the last time I saw her, she had to be in a brace for 22 hours a day.

And Mum handled it brilliantly!  She was on her own for 12 hours a day and she never complained about it (I complain bitterly if OH is just five minutes late home from work).  She was so incredibly brave.  Obviously, you never know what is going on behind closed doors, but I was falling apart with Post natal depression and this mother was handling everything her pregnancy, labour and child threw in her face.

The Mum had also haemorrhaged heavily during her labour and needed a transfusion…which always made me think she wouldn’t want to do it again.

I recently saw her in the local supermarket looking fab.  And she had another baby.  A boy this time, who had been due the day before O but had been three weeks early.  She had a 1 and a half hour labour with him with no complications. Her baby girl was also walking and had been since she was 1!

I admire this woman so much for not only facing and coping with her first child so brilliantly but also not letting a negative experience during the birth and afterwards stop her from going on to build the family she wanted.

SAHM – No ta.

We always considered it might be an option before I had The Toddler, and I was beginning to think it might be worth considering again after baby 2 gets here, but the last week has just re-enforced that I’m not that kind of person.

I’ve had to look after The Toddler four days this week while OH has been at work.  The horror.  Four days of looking after my own offspring!  It’s not that I dislike her, or that I’m trying to get rid of her, or anything like that, it’s just I find it hard to cope with her at the moment, seeing as she is into everything and I’m unable to move around.  She also gets bored very easily and then starts to climb on me which is impractical.  I’m not a massive fan of other children, and the mummy friends I have either have things going on or are too far away.  To add to this, I was put off the local playgroups by a couple of not great experiences (mainly because of my mental state at the time, but that’s irrelevant and would just add to my discomfort were I to meet up with some of the women I used to go with) so I’m quite limited as to what we can do.

I’ve figured out at the key to being a SAHM is to not be at home at all!  I managed to arrange something to do on all four days that would make the day slightly more interesting for the Toddler.  Tuesday, we went to my Aunts and MWs, Wednesday I spent time with OHs mum and sister, Thursday we did a trip to the local pet shop, Friday I went to OHs mums house and let her run loose there and then had a friend over in the afternoon who was happy to help keep an eye on her. The house was somewhat neglected.  The Toddler does have her jobs though which include cleaning her chair before meal times, emptying the dishwater and watering the very sorry looking bush at the end of our garden.  Oh and she puts our socks away (in the wrong drawers.) I still don’t know how proper SAHMs do all the washing up, the cleaning, the hoovering, the sorting out and the bazillion other jobs and manage to keep their children from going insane. I’m guessing that’s something that comes with practise and/or a metric shit tonne of patience.

I still prefer the days I have at home by myself though, and depending on her mood, going to work!  However, I think this week we have bonded a bit more.  Maybe we were starting to drift due to my working hours and our weekend routine.  The cuddles seem to be more of the “Mum, I want to be close to you” kind than the “MUM PLAY WITH ME NOW!” kind.   I feel a lot more confident and relaxed than I did.  I wouldn’t consider a SAHM role as I’m definitely one of those women who needs to be out at work, although I do appreciate her more now and it feels like we are a team trying to fight the day time boredom rather than two individuals who are just arguing to pass the time!

I’m currently considering goign back to work full time, but until that decision has been made, I will still have both children at home two days a week.  I’m not too sure yet how that will pan out, but I’m hoping this week together has made us both a little more relaxed around each other.

Oh joy – You know that thing when…?

everything piles up so much that you go beyond caring about any of it any more?

That’s pretty much where I am.  The cool bit is that I don’t care enough to get stressed about it, so I’m actually the calmest I’ve been in a long long time haha.  Of course, when you get to that point, there is always the little niggly itch of irritability in the background.  So, I’m going to write about that itch today.

If you feel like you can’t tolerate yet another whingey/ranty post from me, then you best just shut this page down.  I really wish I had a load of positive things to say, but I’m 9 months pregnant, fat, uncomfortable, going through some sort of hormonal depressive phase and have a very short fuse so being pissed off happens really quickly.  The positive is that I’m pissed off rather than angry, frustrated, or feeling shit about everything.  The only way is up and all that jazz.

So, I wake up this morning to a text on my phone from my Childminder – Childminder is very sick,  please keep children away.  *EYEROLL*.  If you don’t already know, The Toddler goes three times a week.  The childminder is going on holiday next Thursday until the 12th of June and at SOME POINT during those two and a half weeks, I have to give birth.  Today, friday, Monday and next Wednesday are my last Toddler free rest days.

This annoys me.  I’ve already planned things for The Toddler and I to do tomorrow as she needs constant entertainment at the moment (she probably doesn’t NEED it, but more on that later) so today was a curve ball moment.  As you know, I deal with pretty much all of the curve ball moments in this house.  He goes off to work.  Not just work.  he goes to Croydon – an hour and 20 minutes away, on the train.  I know, he has to work.  I know, it keeps a roof over our heads and allows us to have dinner.  I KNOW!  But (as above) I’m fat, pregnant, etc etc and him getting this freedom grates my nerves.

Anyway, I then post on FB asking if anyone has any ideas on what we can do today as I’m at a loss.  She got up at 6.30 so by 10 she’s knackered.  As it happened, she was positively gorgeous this morning and her tantrums just washed over me.  They were all relatively short and either caused by being tired or being hungry, both of which we can resolve fairly quickly.  We played some silly games and rolled around on the sofa and the floor and sung songs and I chatted to other Mummies on twitter (My current lifeline) and Facebook and all was fine with the world.

I only got one reply to my “HELP! Bump and small child looking for something to do!” post which happened to be OHs sister asking us to go round for lunch.  She only had one of her children there, so it seemed like a good idea. Plus free lunch.  We never turn down free food.

So, off we went…and once there I realised how different and intense my method of parenting the Toddler is to her method of being with her children.  I wouldn’t call either method wrong, although I did feel like I was being judged somewhat for following the Toddler round to make sure she was ok (I do this at home anyway.)  In all fairness, I probably make being a parent harder than it actually is by being neurotic and should probably  just let The Toddler get on with eating bits off the carpet (she always finds the three week old Cheerio we didn’t get with the hoover).  Yeah, so, all in all, I found it quite stressful chasing her around someone elses house.  It was a change of scenery and even though she was tired, she managed to last it well and the drive back, although short, was enough to knock her out and she’s been zonked for a couple of hours now.  This in itself is a RESULT!  However, by total coincidence, OHs sister helps out with looking after another child, who just happens to also go to the same childminder as The Toddler.  She was of course there and I found out that the childminder has a tummy bug.  The both ends kind.   JUST WHAT I NEED! I’m stocking up and waiting for it to hit this household.  I will not be impressed when it does.  I’m particularly peeved that some parent thought it was appropriate to take a sick child to the childminders so that it could not only be passed around but mean that I lose childfree days AND still have to pay (I don’t MIND paying, I understand WHY we have to pay and I think the childminder is great, so paying isn’t a problem, but paying because someone ELSE was thoughtless and gave everyone the lurgy? That bites.)

Argh.  Now I’m just waiting for the OH to get home from his trip.  Apparently, he should be here around 6, we can have meatballs (veggie ones for me) for dins, bathe The Toddler, I can catch up on the housework and then we can finally rest ready for tomorrow.

Hopefully tomorrow will be a good one.  I’m going to try and plant some veggies and bake some cookies.  Maybe.  I might just end up taking her to a pet shop and spend a few hours watching the fish and small animals.  See, it doesn’t take much to keep them occupied really does it?