Monday, 16 February 2015

Keep calm and chill out

I wrote a blog post and had it all ready to go until I read it today. I didn't like it. It was boring. It was about car seats, baby classes and baby sleep (oh my gosh, I am a total parent when these are the topics I think and talk about!). It was about the fact that I have become a mess, a bundle of uncertainty, unable to make decisions, constantly second guessing my actions. All because I have fallen into the trap of watching everyone around me and evaluating myself in relation to what they're doing and how they're doing. I've forgotten to watch my own daughter, listen to my own gut instincts and make the decisions that are best for us.

So there it is in a nice, succinct summary.

What to write about now? Well I have collapsed in exhaustion for a few moments while my daughter is sleeping. This morning I have been for a walk, done 2 loads of washing (1 is still in the washing machine), fed bubs some solids (or should I say attempted to feed as it didn't go too well today), baked a mass amount of plum and oat slice and cleaned up the resulting mess, folded half a basket of washing (and left the rest strewn across the couch), been in and out of my baby's room in attempts to resettle her and finally, as the resettle eventually worked, here I am, scoffing down some lunch and talking to you. Unsurprisingly, I am tired. It's not even 2pm!

I've become quite tired lately. The lack of a decent night sleep for the last 5 months does little to help my cause. The same goes for a sleep in on the weekend. Yes hubby looks after bubs when she wakes (which I am very grateful for) but not before I have had to get up and feed her as the little ratbag refuses a bottle. I have one incredibly stubborn little girl which I think is pay back as apparently I was the same. Who would believe it!?? :)

I can't blame this tiredness on lack of sleep though. Of course it's part of the problem but there's not too much I can do about that. The reality is I'm not taking care of myself. I'm taking on too much and simply expecting my body to stretch itself even further than it already has to so that I can complete these extra things.

I'm missing balance.

I've heard about this problem with mothers. Of course it's not limited to mothers, it's something that a huge amount of people struggle with. For some reason though, it is expected that being a stay at home mum would make it easy to have balance. After all, you're not 'working', you're just as home everyday, there's plenty of time to get everything done that needs doing.

Oh the ignorance of anyone who thinks this! But that is not the topic up for discussion here so I'll move on.

I do try and have balance. I try and eat healthy, but not too healthy as I love chocolate and baking far too much for that. I attempt a walk most mornings, just a little one, but it gets us out and most days makes me feel a bit more human. I love to take my time over breakfast once bubs is down for her first nap, reading the news, catching up on emails, checking facebook etc.

I think this is a good start. Yet I still feel so tired! I struggle, once the day gets underway, to stop and relax. If I take time to sit down, I think of all the things I could be doing - tidying away those toys, straightening the cushions, hanging out the washing, folding the washing (the mountain of washing that has suddenly appeared over these past 5 months is simply ridiculous!), cleaning, working on some more items for my shop Mubs. This is of course once bubs is asleep. When she's awake, it's all about entertaining her and that in itself is exhausting! Particularly as she's going through a phase where she loves to stand, not by herself of course (she is only 5 months old) but with me holding her. My arms are probably the strongest they have been in my entire life since she arrived on the scene.

My husband has expressed his concern that I'm taking on too much. He tells me to go and have a nap, but how can I have a nap when there is so much to do? I haven't even gotten to the state of our garden!!! That garden is the bane of my life. It would be fine if you could just weed it once, mow the lawns, get it how you wanted it looking and it stayed that way. If only!

I have limited the amount we go out during the week, in an attempt for balance. Just one 'outing' a day is enough for us both (walks don't count as outings). Over the past week I have also decided that during her last nap for the day, I will sit down, have a cup of tea and simply chill out. I might read a book or watch some cricket, basically I will do something for me.

It's been hard taking this time though.

I still think of all the things that I could be doing but I know that it's important for me to do this. I have to look after myself. If I don't look after myself, how can I look after my daughter? How can I have any sort of decent relationship with my husband. How can I keep up my friendships (which definitely have suffered of late)?

I don't have it all sorted yet, far from it. It's only appropriate that it comes in baby steps. So I will make small changes, like tonight, I think I'm going to make the effort to go to bed a little bit earlier. That's enough for one day. Tomorrow it might be something else. Hopefully balance will come. In the meantime, I hear my daughter waking up so my time of sitting is over. Instead I shall go and work on developing those arm muscles a little bit more.

What do you do to keep balance in your life?  I'd appreciate any tips you'd like to share with me.

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