Monday, 22 May 2017

{The Ordinary Moments 17} 'When it all gets a bit too much...'

As I write this, it's nearly late on a Monday evening. I had every intention of writing this at the weekend but instead, Richard and I decided on a whim to go out for a couple of hours, to just sit and chat and to be away from our mundane evening routine. Richard's mum kindly came all the way down from Yorkshire overnight to help out with a few house jobs and to babysit the boys so that we could have a much needed break. We only walked around the corner to our local village pub and were literally out for an hour and a half (we're such cool parents huh?) but it gave us that much needed time out of the house, to sit and have a conversation and to be away from our normal evening routine of sitting in our pyjamas, eating coco pops and watching Homeland. Yes, this really is our little routine, every single evening. As I said, super cool parents right here...

I've felt really run down lately, not least because of this hideous cold and sore throat I've had. To be fair though that's been the least of my problems. I've also felt generally quite down about things lately too and as I'm a bit of an over-thinker and analyser I let small things get to me. I seem to have a never-ending list of things to do, and seem to struggle to fit everything into my days.

Thursdays are my one day in the week where both boys are in childcare. It takes me just over an hour to do the whole trip to drop them both off at their nursery and playgroup and get home, and then I'm off again by 2:45, so it is a short day, but I often have so many things I want to do and achieve, I just never know where to begin or what to prioritise. I sit and wonder should I be cleaning the house as I certainly can't seem to get that done when both boys are here, or do I tackle the never ending mountains of laundry strewn around every room in the house? Do I try and finish off one of my 5 videos which are sitting waiting to be edited and uploaded to YouTube or do I catch up on all the blog stuff I neglect to do on all the other days? I often look at other people and think how on earth do they manage it all? I often feel like I'm sinking with everything I want or need to do, and honestly, lately I've really felt like I've struggled with it all, and it makes me feel sad to think that, let alone write it.

I know that everyone has different life circumstances, or different ways they manage their lives. I know that since we've moved, I've found it a bit harder as we have no family nearby we can call on, and some days I've felt lonely and a little isolated. I've felt guilty for putting the TV on too much or for being snappy with the boys when they've not been listening or have been particularly wilful that day (it seems to be a strong trait in both of them). But I also think some days I try and do too much- I'll try and cram in endless activities just to fill our day- anything so we aren't just stuck at home all day.

Last week there were a few times when I felt like an utter parenting fail. Days where I just couldn't seem to keep both LO and L occupied and happy at the same time. I had days where I just didn't feel right, where I felt so far beyond exhausted I was at point of wondering if I ought to get checked out to see if I'm ok. Days where I just wanted to curl up under my duvet at 3pm and go to bed. Of course, I couldn't and wouldn't do that, but when you're that sleep deprived, it's all you want to do. This is totally not me trying to gather sympathy but I hope that even if one other sleep deprived parent might read this, they might think they're not alone after all, as it can certainly feel that way, especially when you're sitting at home and wishing for time to just speed up for a few hours.

I'm trying not to be so hard on myself. Richard always reminds me that it's not always about constant activities and 12 hour long entertainment. He reminded me that you've got to take the little wins each day. To appreciate the ordinary moments. To realise that I don't necessarily need to pack in 101 different exciting activities into each day and that a bit of quiet time in front of the TV or on the iPad isn't the worst thing.

I think that one thing I am finding hard is that when we moved here, we didn't know the area at all, or have any family or friends nearby. I underestimated how hard I would find this, and while I'm quite chatty and sociable, it takes time to build up that circle of friends, people who you can call on or just pop around to see. I think the times I find the most difficult are when we spend too long at home. The hours can feel long and sometimes lonely and I get stressed with the chaos and mess which gets worse when we spend so many hours in the house. It frustrates me that I'm in the house yet at the same tim unable to keep control of the household as I just don't get the time to keep on top of it. I'm finshing bedtime around 8:30pm and then spending an hour tidying and sorting laundry, before finally sitting down at about 9:30. I insist on having an hour or so to wind down and watch some TV with Richard, but go to bed knowing I'll get about 5 hours sleep before the whole routine begins again.

Getting out of the house is most definitely the best thing to help break the monotony of the days at home I find, and something as simple as a walk around the block with the pushchair and LO on his balance bike just makes us all feel so much better.

We love being outdoors and while we're not an especially outdoorsy type of family, we find that getting out and about is the best tonic for when we're all feeling a bit crap. This morning was one of those mornings. I seem to always struggle to know what to do on a Monday. There's no playgroup and we have a whole day with no plans. I love this but equally it can be hard to think of different things to do to fill the day. On a whim, I decided to out together a little picnic, grab the sunscreen and sunhats and got the boys in the car. We'd signed up as family members of the National Trust when we visited Clumber Park this weekend so I felt inspired to make the most of the membership and head south down the A1 to Belton House in Grantham. I may do a separate post all about it as I took a few photos and a little video too, but I just wanted to document it in this post as we had the most special day and it made me feel so much better after how rubbish I've felt lately.

I'm really pleased we signed up to the National Trust and I think it will really encourage and inspire us to get out more, not only at weekends as a family, but also during the week when it's just me and the boys. I think it's so important to have the option of breaking the routine occasionally, as we certainly get stuck in a rut with routine. We're lucky in that there are quite a few gorgeous National Trust parks and properties near to us, and so I know we will make the most of the membership. I love that for a fairly small monthly fee, we can now just head out in the car, drive to a beautiful location, take a picnic and just enjoy being outdoors in the sunshine together.

I'm all too aware that come September, LO will be starting in reception at school and I know the months leading up to that point are going to fly. Yet while the hours can sometimes drag, I don't want to wish them away. I want to soak up every minute of having him with us in the day. I want to enjoy the days he's not at playgroup and make the most of them, not to sit feeling exhausted and snappy at home. It sounds so silly but I am genuinely so thrilled and excited we have signed up to the National Trust. I know we are going to have so many wonderful adventures together. And while I know these early days can be challenging and exhausting, I know these days are so fleeting. The days are long but the years are shorter, and I want to cherish these moments, sleep deprived or not.





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10 comments

  1. Belton House! Best childhood weekend in the world! Good memories Amelia xxx

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  2. Belton House! Best childhood weekend in the world! Good memories Amelia xxx

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    1. Yes! I remember our visits there well! And the family fun days too- it's what inspired me to take the boys xx

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  3. I know the feeling - so many things that I should be doing and I just want to curl up and sleep. Sometimes it's just about that things that must be done to keep us fed and watered.

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    1. Absolutely this. I think it's easy for us to put pressure on ourselves when really we should be taking a bit of time to rest and look after ourselves too x

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  4. I am sorry you are feeling this way and as you know I have been too a little especially with the blog and sleep deprivation. What I would say has helped me is knowing how much they learn and love about helping me do things, I have made helping part of our daytime routine in the house where it is safe and yes it always takes longer but it also takes the pressure off doing it all when they are in bed and makes them understand about jobs need to be done too, and hey its one less activity to set up if nothing else! These years are ones to treasure but its ok to say that sometimes it isn't ok. xx

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    1. Thanks Laura, these things come and go in waves for me, some days harder than others. I know you also have difficulty with Roma's sleep patterns, it's so exhausting going to bed and not knowing what sort of a night you will have ahead of you xx

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  5. I love National Trust too and for me getting outside always makes me feel better. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate but I hope it gets better soon x

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    1. Thanks Donna, getting outside away from the chaos and mess in the house is definitely a winner here. It's been pretty stressful and I know now I need to make a bit of time for me too xx

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  6. Lovely pics and seems like a normal, fun, mad family day out haha Its madness sometimes and it must be hard being in a new place...I hope these feelings pass and you will soon find your feet xx #ordinarymoments

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