Well, its official, my mind is a mess, my body is a mess, my house is a mess and my parenting style is a mess. I have been working long hours for a hellish project and it has taken its toll on every part of me. This week I’ve cried in the office over a very small thing, I’ve cried at home over big and small things. I’ve had a very poorly tummy (I will say no more on that right now), I’ve stared at my massive washing up pile every evening for the past four days but have not yet washed it up and I’m being a shit mum as all I want to do is come home and veg on the sofa when Charlotte wants me to play and we have eaten crap way too often recently (thank goodness nursery gives her real food).
I am apparently part time and have the salary that goes with it, yet I have also worked more than full time hours over the past few weeks and have been logging on at home in the evenings just to get stuff done. This is not a recipe for a happy, well-balanced life is it?
So I’m thinking about going to the doctors to be signed off for a bit after long and teary discussions with lots of my friends because I’m not sure I can do it anymore. But something is stopping me and I can’t quite figure out what. Pride, maybe. Stubbornness, maybe. Conscientiousness, maybe. Worried about the stigma, maybe. But I think it’s mainly down to the fact that, even though I know it’s utter bullshit, somewhere inside of me still seems to think I should be fucking Superwoman!! This fictional character who is able to deal with all areas of life effectively, all the time. Whose house is spotless. Whose children don’t have tantrums and do eat broccoli. Whose nails are perfectly manicured at all times and who can still hold down a full time job and keep up with the high stresses in her job. Single mum or not Superwoman has her shit together
Well being Superwoman and ‘having it all’ seems like a quick way into an early grave, so, as one of my friends said, I need to choose my priorities. Surprisingly work comes nowhere near the top of this list so I need to make sure it’s not at the top of my stress list either.
I feel a revelation coming on. #iamnotsuperwoman
Nothing sucks more than being a single mum with a job and a poorly child.
Oh but wait, it sucks even more when you’re battling an evil cold yourself and you have deadlines looming for some pretty high profile work.
It sucks even more that you are run down as hell because you’ve been running yourself ragged for work for the past six months and not stopped.
It sucks even more that you have to choose between looking after your poorly child who just wants mummy cuddles or dropping her off with grandma so you can get to work and try and get some things crossed off the very long to do list.
It sucks that I changed to being a part-time working mum in the hope it would give me a better work-life balance, but it’s just ended up with me being paid less for trying to cram the same amount of work (maybe even more!) into four days rather than five.
It sucks that I constantly feel at least one step behind at work and one (or ten or twenty) steps behind at home.
So, in summary, being a working mum sucks.
I was talking to a friend at the weekend who was mortified that he’d put on a load of washing on a Saturday night. I however thought this was a perfectly normal thing to do. I have had so many Friday and Saturday nights in over the last few years if I’m not going to get on top (or at least climb a few feet up) of the mountain if housework to be done then what is there to do?
It was my childfree weekend this weekend and the full spring clean fever kicked in so I have blitzed my living room and dining room (with help from my mother) and I have also taken on the exciting task of defrosting my freezer.
It had got to the point were the doors weren’t shutting and I had to push something in and shut the door in quick succession in case it lept out before the door shut. I also knew there was a bevy of meals I’d bulk cooked and frozen only to find out it didn’t taste that great in the first place that I could definitely get rid of. I also used an amazing tip of using your hairdryer to defrost the ice!
Granted it was like a scene from Ice Age in the back so still took an age but definitely better than endless bowls of hot water and a spatula chipping away whilst kneeling in a ever growing pool of water (tell me it’s not just me!!)
I also asked a question on my personal Facebook page as to whether my ‘friends’ thought I should get a dishwasher or not. And oh my goodness! I never knew my friends cared so much about an electrical appliance!! It was like I’d opened up a debate about capital punishment or breastfeeding in public or parents who don’t vaccinate their kids. Some were pro, some were against, some wrote yes or no, some wrote an essay but bizarrely some were vehemently against…so much so that they started slagging of my real friends who had posted a pro comment. I mean really?
I felt a little bit bad for causing such a drama on a Sunday morning, especially as I’d pretty much decided it was finally time to replace my one which broke and was removed over a year ago. As many of my friends said…life is too short for washing up.
Life is also too short for having Facebook friends who I don’t actually like in person.
Despite my grumblings over the dreaded Valentines Day I actually had a great week last week. I even got my M&S meal deal! (Well no one said you had to eat it with a boy did they?)
This week I have had a burst of energy and motivation. I have sorted out a meal plan and shopped for all the ingredients so no excuses. I have cleared another bit of my flat. I have started up my yoga again and found a great 30 day challenge on YouTube which is 30 minutes a day – just about do-able. I have done oodles of ironing. I have been on a successful date. I have found a job I want to apply for and actually have a chance of getting. I have had a catch up with two friends which were well and truly overdue and I even got to spend a childfree afternoon with my BFF wandering around Cheltenham. I even managed to have a successful clothes shopping trip whilst spending only £3 of my own money (thank goodness for vouchers!)
I think I have The Ultimate Toddler Sleep Programme and Jennie Harrison to thank for some of this as I officially started the programme last week. The title of the first module was ‘Calm mum, Calm toddler’ and our daily homework was to take 20 minutes to do something for ourselves. Now that is the kind of homework I like!!br/>
I failed miserably for the first two nights as Charlotte was determined to make it as difficult as possible to get her to sleep but day three was miraculous… After listening to the MP3 and watching the video Jennie sent us explaining why it was so important that we, ourselves, are calm whilst putting our little ones to bed I took a few deep breaths before launching into bedtime. I calmly got her ready, keeping my voice low and breathing steady and, although still in my bed, she was fast asleep by 7.30pm. I was amazed! She stayed asleep until 7.30am.
I had an ENTIRE evening to myself and an ENTIRE night of sleep!
The next night was 8pm-8am. Since then we have had a couple of ups and downs but we have seven more weeks to work on this so not expecting instantaneous miracles. Myself and the other mums on the programme also get to celebrate and commiserate with one another as we have our own private Facebook group. Having that support, as well as Jennie’s, has been really great so far and hearing everyone else’s stories also makes you realise that you are most definitely not alone in the sleep struggle.
This week is back to full time work and a new module to work on but two full nights sleep has made the mountain seem much easier to climb. Here’s to less eye-bags and more motivation!!!
If you want to hear more about my daily dramas or see the little valentines present I made myself, please come and like my Facebook page and follow me on twitter!<
Why do the weekends I have a brief bit of child free time zoom by so quickly!? I’m sure last weekend went on forever, I was sort of willing Monday to come so I could get home from my brothers and get to work to have a break and recoup! This weekend…where the hell has it gone?
I have spent all of today decluttering my daughters room and, after procrastinating for an inordinate amount of time by checking organisemyhouse.com for ‘the best way to declutter’ and browsing Pinterest for any nifty storage ideas that I would never get round to making, her room looks great. However this means the rest of my house has suffered because of it. I have piles of filing to do because I’d shoved a box of bills, payslips and instruction manuals under her bed as it was the only available space at the time. I have multiple loads of washing to do as I found all the clothes Charlotte had stashed behind her bed or that has been pushed behind the chest of drawers. I also have a huge pile of things to sell, charity shop or recycle because three year olds grow…out of clothes, out of shoes and bored of toys. So my one task for this weekend has created many, many more. Oh good.
Also, how many sticker books can one three year old have? I have uncovered tear out sticker pages from magazines, mini sticker books, big sticker books, rolls of stickers, window stickers and wall stickers! And how the hell do you store every type of crafting material under the sun! I have pipe cleaners, lollipop sticks, pom poms, squares of felt, googly eyes, every colour of paper and card. I felt like I was uncovering Mr Makers underground lair!
Anyway, enough whinging. I got to stay in bed until 8.30am this morning so it’s not all bad! (My 15 year old self is laughing at me now, I can tell!!)
Having browsed through my Facebook page today I have a feeling I’m not alone in the toddler vs housework battle but sometimes I feel like I just don’t have the capacity to keep up with it all!
My house is a mess. Not in the ‘excuse the mess’ way that some people say when a cushion is placed slightly wrong on the sofa, but in the ‘a laundry bomb has gone off and then a machine gun loaded with toys and other crap was sprayed around the house just to finish the job’ type way. One of the reasons I split with my husband was because he didn’t want to socialise with any of our friends. Now, however, I have ample opportunity to socialise in my own home but I daren’t invite anyone over because I’m ashamed at the state of my house! Not particularly great for the love life either!
It also seems like no matter how much tidying and cleaning I do, I am only able to have two tidy rooms at any one time! I’m sure I’m not just transporting the mess from one room to another but it must be a law in physics somewhere: two tidy rooms must equal two messy rooms etc etc.
I have actually found myself fantasising about, one day, just moving house and leaving it all behind but would I be better in any other house, who knows!!?? You would never guess, but deep down I’m actually a bit of a perfectionist so unfortunately I just spend my whole life frustrated at myself and the house. There’s a quote that says ‘Tidy house, tidy mind’. Heaven knows why my mind looks like then…although I could hazard a guess!
Despite having had a few days off work I am currently chugging coffee back like its going out fashion and applying extra concealer over the dark bags forming rapidly underneath my eyes. The reason, or one of them, is that my daughter has decided to drop her nap. Yes, yes it means she obviously doesn’t need it all the time as she has chosen this and it does mean that the bedtime routine hasn’t been quite so fraught and full of tantrums but has no one stopped to think about how this will affect me?
I am knackered! I make out that the couple of hours in which she naps is used to zoom around the house, do the washing, tidy up, maybe a bit of ironing and batch cooking all meals for the week but usually it ends up with me vegging with a well deserved coffee and cake, checking my Facebook! If I am feeling very lazy I will actually have a nap with her, which, at the end of yet another crazy week of work, nursery, pick ups, drop offs, food shopping and dog walks is sometimes desperately needed. So how on earth will I cope without this now? Well so far not great. I’m insisting she has some quiet time so I can have some too! How selfish am I?? But look, I’m being slightly more productive this time round…I’m writing a blog! The washing up can be done another time hey?