The past week has been a funny old week here, one which I feel has gone unusually slowly in our little world which I always talk about as going by so quickly. I've been feeling really tired lately but I've had so much to do, I don't feel like I've really had time to stop and take a rest when I need it. And while I can't believe I managed to work effectively as a full time year 3 teacher when I was pregnant with LO, I feel like I was perhaps more mentally drained back then, while now I feel more physically exhausted, with a feisty little boy to run around after. I definitely don't 'take it easy' in the way I probably should. I run and jump around, carry heavy things, including my 2 and a bit stone toddler, and just generally over-do it a bit sometimes.
This past week, I feel I've not had as much patience as I ought to. I have been short tempered and snapping at LO for the silliest things. Granted, sometimes he has really pushed the boundaries and needed a bit of a telling off, but I have probably had one or two times when I've been a bit mean and bad tempered. Some days just fly by and we have so much fun together, but other days I've counted down the minutes to Mr F coming back from work. More often than not, he will get in at 6 or 6:30, so I will try and cook while entertaining LO. It can be stressful, but I am quickly learning that it's ok to let him sit in front of the TV for half an hour while I try my best to cook dinner for us. After all, dinner isn't going to get prepared by itself and a bit of TV every now and again isn't going to do him any harm.
Something which I feel has got on top of me a bit this week is the fact that I work freelance from home. I am doing two different types of freelance jobs on top of blogging and trying to pack it all in to two days and bits in the evenings here and there. I'm not very strict with my time when I am at home and LO is at nursery and easily get distracted by jobs around the house which also need doing like cleaning and laundry. Juggling doing my own work and trying to do it well with looking after LO when he's not at nursery can be really hard sometimes, and the past week I've felt the pressure of this more than ever. Taking your toddler around with you to do professional jobs can occasionally work, but sometimes it can be really really hard!
I've learnt a bit of a lesson this week though and had a bit of a wake up call. LO is my absolute priority and the reason why I gave up a full time job in teaching. While it would be lovely to earn a salary of my own or even a bit of extra money from all the small freelance bits I do, I work in this way so that I can be with him. We do so many lovely things together, and the things we enjoy most are often the most simple things- things we go out in the week to do like going to soft play, little visits to the post office where the lady always gives him an air mail sticker to wear and trips around the co-op or the park. He really is such a good little boy and often he's so grown up, when he is a bit silly I forget he's only 2. I need to remember to cut him some slack sometimes.
Mr F and I definitely have what I think is quite a relaxed style of parenting. We're like big kids ourselves. We very much sing off the same hymn sheet with LO, and probably allow him a few liberties every now and again, not necessarily for a quiet life, but because we want him to develop a sense of independence and to know we trust him when we are out and about. We seem to have stopped going out with a pushchair and now rarely even use his reins. Instead he will toddle about like a little grown up, and he never tries to stray too far.
We have been doing a lot of online grocery shopping recently, because it's just easier than taking LO around the supermarket by myself when he refuses to go in a trolley. We have learnt that with LO, he just wants to be a little grown up and it's no surprise that he doesn't want to sit in a supermarket trolley for an hour. This weekend, LO and I decided to brave the supermarket, and rather than the battle with the trolley, I let him sit safely in the main bit of the trolley. We made the shopping trip into a little game with me asking him to point to where different items were. He counted out potatoes and bananas to place in a bag, he picked bread rolls for lunch and carefully stacked everything in the trolley for me. By giving him a job to do, he loved the trip and was all smiles. His favourite part was putting all the food on the checkout and helping me put things in the bags, all the while smiling and charming the checkout lady.
I sometimes look around at other parents and their toddlers, sitting nicely in their trolleys or in their pushchairs appearing to not make any fuss but in all honesty, it doesn't bother me. All toddlers have their moments and families all have different circumstances. I am with LO for most of the week and sometimes that can be really intense. It doesn't really matter what other people are doing or how they manage their children. It might be slightly unconventional to let LO have the freedom and independence he does when we are out and about, but it's at these moments that we often have the most fun together- and because life can't simply stop when you have a toddler, we make the most ordinary of moments into our little adventures, making games at the supermarket or the post office and through the eyes of a toddler, it must seem like the most exciting thing ever and it's these moments which I shall miss the most when he's older.
Linking up with Katie from Mummy Daddy Me for The Ordinary Moments