I’m allowed to not cope

I am World’s Worst Mum today, and I’m okay with that.

Nobody is perfect, and nobody does everything right all the time.

So I’m comfortable with admitting that today, as well as having some wonderful fun with my children (like our Neil Diamond Dance Party in the living room), I’ve also cried and screamed at them. I’ve been angry and frustrated, I’ve struggled with them and with my temper.

I should be quite accustomed to telling somebody the same thing twenty times a day only to have them forget it just as frequently. I am, after all, married. Oh, and I’ve got kids. But today it is getting to me, largely because the thing I have needed to say over and over is, “Do your poo in the toilet, not in your underpants.” I’ve asked her, I’ve told her, I’ve begged her, I’ve bribed her.

Once I got to reward her. I even made up a song, to the tune of ‘Sex on the Beach’:Ellie did poo in the loo, then she got some chocolate! Poo in the loo, it made her mummy happy!

And of course I’m not just saying it over and over, I’m also cleaning the damn underpants over and over. That is a major contributor to the frustration. I don’t know if you’ve had to clean poopy underpants six times in as many hours, but it gets old fast. Worse, perhaps, is the knowledge that if she’s smearing her undies, she almost certainly does need to go properly, but she just won’t!

So yeah. I’m not really coping very well. I am going batshit crazy. But it’s just one day, and tomorrow cannot possibly be worse. Right?

Spoke too soon

It was only yesterday I blogged about sleep, and how good Evelyn has been to me of late. Sleeping all night, sleeping later in the morning, just generally being Little Miss Sunshine.

I’m pretty sure she read that post, and decided she was being too easy on me.

Last night she was restless, unsettled, and woke up at ridiculous times. From 4am onwards Aidan and I took turns holding her, walking her around the house, trying to get her back to sleep by any means possible. By 6am, it seemed she felt it was morning, time to get up properly.

Fortunately for me, Aidan isn’t working today, so I brutally forced him to get out of bed, while I stayed in the warm cocoon of my doona for another couple of hours!

Lacking creativity

In weeks, months, and years gone by, I’ve tried my hand at various crafty or creative things. I’ve scrapbooked, I’ve photographed, I’ve done NaNoWriMo (several times), I’ve even tried needlepoint – which I found rather boring, to be honest! I’m a creator on the Discworld MUD (my only current creative project). And obviously I’ve blogged.

But as time goes by, and children enter the equation, creative energy has become limited. I want to do more scrapbooking and writing, I would really love that. I want to do NaNoWriMo again this year. I want Evelyn to grow up and see her own life celebrated in scrapbooks as well as her older sister’s! But I feel that these things require more time and effort than I can really spare to invest. They require the re-engagement of my imagination, which is currently limited to thinking up new ways to get my family fed!

I begin to wonder about my priorities. It is clear that my family, my children, must come first… but where do I draw the line, when is enough simply enough? When do I get to follow my own interests, free from distraction or guilt? And how important does something have to be before I feel justified in trying?

Ultimately responsibility lies with myself. If I feel the need, I must put aside the time and make the effort to create something. I think, right now, I shall organise to have some digital photos printed out nicely to scrapbook! Wish me luck.

A day of blergh

Despite having been awake and active for six hours, I really feel like my day is just beginning and I’m struggling with it. Some dishes are done, but benches remain un-wiped and piles of clean clothes wait for me to put them away. The floors desperately need sweeping (thanks to Elspeth and that crumbly carrot cake), but all I can think is blergh.

I guess it’s the combination of amusing a toddler, playing host to a new life, and having a cold; I may not consciously notice it a lot of the time, but it’s all very draining.

Then there is the now-constant apprehension: I expect another faint spell if I exert myself too much, making me reluctant to try too much and making me stop and sit down if I feel the slightest bit dizzy or out of breath. Of course, that is probably a sensible and necessary precaution, but I still feel a little paranoid and guilty about it, as it stops me doing my share, or my job, around the house.

In short, I  need to acknowledge that the day is half over, and act like it! I must motivate myself to get the broom out and sweep the living room at least! I must… make another cup of tea and savour that before doing anything else. Right?