I’ve been a bit quiet on the blog front of late, I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed by life and to be honest, I didn’t know what to blog about. But I have just been considering all that’s wrong with that statement. I started blogging because I find it a useful release when things are getting on top of me, so I’m questioning why I have started feeling that way and I think I have resorted to sticking my head in the sand as a way of ‘coping’. I know myself well enough to know that is not coping at all, so I’m nipping it in the bud and I’m going to spill… little of interest I’m sure, but it will make me feel better. Sharing is caring!
I’m just going to throw out the biggest things that have been worrying me*: (*in no particular order)
- The end of breastfeeding, or is it? This probably deserves a blog of its own, I have been driving myself mad with the pressure I have putting myself under with what I ‘should’ be doing. I never imagined that I would be in this sort of pickle, after my previous experience with breastfeeding – I wanted to feed Albie until he was at least 6 months, so to get to (almost) 11 months with no signs of him giving up any time soon is a shocker to me! The pickle is that if I didn’t have to work I’d happily continue until he is ‘ready’ to stop… but that isn’t an option since I do have to work (and I can’t imagine Albie ever being ready…). Trouble I don’t know where to start with stopping. And I don’t think I want to. But also I need sleep, preferably more than 4-5 hours of consecutive sleep. But 4-5 hours consecutive hours of sleep is a massive improvement to the 2-3 hours I was getting a few weeks/months ago, so maybe things are slowly sorting themselves out. See driving myself mad!
- Work – I am still relatively new to my role, having started 5 months before going on maternity leave and having been back for 4 weeks now. It is a role unlike anything I have ever done in the past, so there is a steep learning curve involved. Thankfully the team are incredibly supportive and I know without any doubt that I’m not alone, even if I am on my own in a physical sense. I have been walking a fine line of confidence/confidence crisis, over analysing all of my actions even down to worrying about seeming ‘too confident’ in my abilities after such a short amount of time in the role
- Effect on upheaval on Sophie’s behaviour. Since I’ve been back at work, Sophie has been becoming more ‘angsty’- I’m not sure if it’s directly attributed to me working or whether it’s just her entering the threenager phase, or maybe a bit of both. Whichever it is, I can understand how the phase earned it’s title! In the past week alone we have developed traumatic tantrums involving a sit down protest (her) and a flustered exit (me) from a shop where you’re not allowed to exit the entrance doors, which made my swift exit impossible as I had to wait for someone else to enter before we could leave..! and hitting me, she’s freakishly strong and can pull quite a punch, it’s not nice to be on the receiving end of her new found fury- but I’d rather me than Albie!
- Jaffacakes – seems a bit odd but it has featured significantly in my turmoil over this past week. For those of you that don’t know me, I love Jaffa cakes, they are probably in my top 3 best snacks. I normally like to demolish a pack in 4 sittings (sometimes 2, on occasion 1- I’m not proud!) and 12 in a pack has always leant itself to my obsessive planning around how long the pack can last. But I bought myself a pack last week as they were (suspiciously) low priced and there are now only 10 Jaffa cakes in a pack. This blew my mind, I tormented myself over how to eat them- should it be 5 lots of 2, 2 lots of 3 and a 4, 2 lots of 4 and a 2?! I explored lots of options, but couldn’t (and still can’t) bring myself to tuck in! Please tell me someone else is equally distressed by this Jaffa cake conundrum?!
- Upcoming birthdays andChristmas– I don’t know what to buy, how much to spend, what to do on their individual birthdays. I have booked them a joint birthday party venue (their birthdays are 4 days apart, they’ll be having joint parties for as long as I can get away with it!), so now I need to get invitations out- I purchased some birthday party invitations from Tesco in a hurry, only to find there is no space to write who’s party it is or the date on?! So a watsapp message has had to suffice so far… there’s also the yearly* issue (*unless you’re on maternity leave..) of not knowing what days I’m working over the Christmas period meaning we can’t make any plans yet… fairly sure I’m in line to work the big day though, after 2/3 years on mat leave and some how getting away with it in between!
- Mundane things. Jay has about 2 weeks of the year when he isn’t malting so hoovering is an ongoing issue, I have got an ever growing mountain of kids clothes to organise for giving away/selling, the bathroom seems to be dirty 5 seconds after I cleaned it, 2 seconds for the kitchen, dust- everywhere, toys- everywhere, and then there’s the washing, with a perma-full washing basket (I swear I emptied it the other day!) and worse still, the clean washing waiting (still) to be put away- only to end up straight back into the washing basket! I put on a clean jumper this morning and literally within 10 minutes I had 2 lots snot smeared on it, along with a bit of mushed banana to add insult to injury. Everyone else I know seem to have pristine homes and jumpers – I don’t understand how to achieve this goal and still manage to leave the house?!
- Meal planning… while I was on maternity leave we got into the swing of planning meals for the week and shopping accordingly. It was a revelation! But now I’m back at work, there seems to be a grand total of 1-2 days per week where we are all in the house for an evening meal, thanks to a combination of my long shifts and Simon’s long list of extra-curricula activities. This has resulted in Sophie and Albie ending up with ‘breakfast for tea’ on days like today, where we’ve had a lovely day together including lunch out, then a fragmented evening with Simon dashing off to play at a gig. Frustratingly, they seem to be most excitable when breakfast is offered up for tea – as opposed to when I cook anything (other than spaghetti bolognese, obviously)
- My poor husband. In between working, Mum-ing, not sleeping and general attempts at holding my life together, I occasionally get to see Simon… generally we get to see each other when we are utterly exhausted and that means it’s probably fair to say that we don’t see the best of each other at the moment. That’s if we see each other at all, I have been working a lot of weekends since being back at work, meaning that Simon has been flying solo with the kids when I’m not there, they have had a lovely time together – including going to birthday parties in my absence (making friends during NCT classes = a lot of birthday parties in a short space of time!) – I’m pleased they have such a nice time together but it adds to my bitterness when I can’t be there to join them. I love a good birthday party. Anyway, my point is that we are in desperate need for a bit of time to rebuild ourselves as us, it’s so easy – when I am so used to putting self-care at the bottom of the priority list – to forget to prioritise us. We have our first night away together coming up, and I can’t wait to spend a bit of time together away from the strains of everyday life and enjoy each other for a change.
Phew, now that just sounds like a major whinge! I like to think of myself as a fairly positive person, that’s probably not how this blog reads at all though – and I hate that I am sounding so moany at the moment but I needed to offload a bit, and it certainly helps.
I have been debating whether or not to do this post for a couple of days now, when I started writing it, I was in the midst of the horrendous whirlwind of hormones that comes with the monthly gift from mother nature – I think this is having an increasingly negative impact on my mental health each month so I am going to address that with a trip to the doctors soon, but a couple of things have made me feel better since starting to write this post. The main difference is most likely hormonal – I am still feeling aware and maybe slightly overwhelmed by all of the worries I have listed, but it doesn’t all feel as oppressive as it did about a week ago. And just as I now can’t relate to how low I was feeling then, I probably then couldn’t appreciate what I’m about to type: I realise how much I have to be grateful for. I have a roof over my head, a husband that loves me despite – well – me, two beautiful and healthy (ish!) children, a loyal and loving dog and a job that I love and feel privileged to be able to do – and that teaches me all the time to remember how lucky I actually am.