Though there are pros and cons of soon having to return to work, today reminded me of some of the differences between performing the job of Mum and the job which pays the bills. By 7am I was desperately thinking of how on earth I could call in sick. NB: I haven’t returned to paid job yet. I don’t go back until later in April. I really needed to call in sick for my job as Mum. Sounds horrible, I know. But I’m not ashamed to admit that sometimes you just know you are going to have one of those days. And with that attitude, the job really is unrelenting since a negative attitude will always influence the day.
It’s not every day I refer to it as a job. The majority of days it’s my privilege, pleasure, and joy to look after the kids (and the minor hiccups each day, are in fact just hiccups!) However, today started out somewhat differently to those days.
I should have been rested after a lovely weekend away in the mountains with my better half, V1 and V2. We stayed with our family in a lovely refurbished convent with lots of grass for V1 to roll around on and numerous breakable antiques for V2 to set her sights on (aside from some artistic doodling applied to a cupboard and a little spew down a lovely looking fabric upholstered – eek – chair, it was a relatively incident free weekend!). Looking back on the weekend I can see with only the clarity that hindsight brings that I consumed far too much alcohol, slightly too much good food, the perfect amount of good company and not nearly enough chocolate. Chocolate deficiency aside, it was a lovely weekend and I was relaxed enough to happily sacrifice my reading time (hence why I’m not talking about the book I’m only sadly 50 pages into!). I ambled casually by myself for almost two hours through Leura Mall and supported the local economy with some small purchases including a well chosen gift for my better half, which he actually liked – well done me!
So, my mood took a hit and was replaced by dismay when this morning V2 was still insisting on rising at 4.30am, three mornings after the end of daylight savings. I should also point out a pointless pre-bedtime argument with my better half was lingering in my mind and therefore created an environment conducive to anger and negativity when coupled with the early hour. Sadly, having forgotten to change the clock in the bedroom, my better half tried to help out with our little rooster. I heard the beep of the microwave as he heated her breakfast and her screams amplify when someone other than me, entered her room. She was quickly put back into bed after a quick cuddle, however she was rather unimpressed about her false start to the day.
When 6am finally rolled around and she was still not back asleep, we all gave up and rose. When 7am arrived and mid nappy change, V1 strolled casually into V2’s room to advise he had spilled my coffee I gave up hope for redeeming the day. I reconsidered the wisdom of my decision to drink my coffee for enjoyment instead of in the usual three gulp fashion mothers have made so fashionable. I’m fairly sure the freshly cleaned fabric sofa bed was reconsidering the wisdom of my decision too. I then spent the next 15 minutes multitasking:
- task 1 involved scrubbing the fabric
- task 2 involved cultivating anger at myself, instead of V1, for allowing the situation to happen where he was given the chance to spill!
- task 3 involved being almost overcome by extreme guilt at the anger I initially directed towards V1 when I knew pure and simple this was my fault.
As many of you know, guilt and anger are time hungry emotions. They sucked up a large portion of the early morning rendering me incapable of active participation in the kids’ play for a significant portion of the morning, supporting my initial idea that a ‘me’ day would have been appropriate for today. After all, I wouldn’t head in to the office and sit at my desk doing essentially nothing but observing. Since this wasn’t an option (despite my better half’s kind offer of doing a half day so I could at least take a half!) I researched my other options.
Option 1. Bury angry and guilty head in a giant bowl of fried carbohydrates.
There were a few problems with this. It was 7am. It would render the diet useless. And since it’s only day 1 after a few too many off days, it’s probably too early for a cheat day. The main hurdle however was that I don’t have anything fried in the house, it was raining and I was still in my pyjamas.
Option 2. Make another coffee
I couldn’t bear the thought of this on being knocked over so I scratched this one quickly.
Option 3. Start the day over
Stop throwing myself a pity party (after all, I was the only one in attendance). Be positive, head outside with V1, watch him ride the bike, take in some fresh air, listen to the birds and try to start the day again while V2 finally decided to sleep.
I went with Option 3 (after shedding a few therapeutic tears), which also included a bought coffee while making a trip to town before soccer as well as, rather embarrassingly (or resourcefully, you decide!), devouring the haloumi out of the mini haloumi pastry puffs purchased for V1. It’s not technically a carb – please don’t correct me, I know the argument is tenuous at best – so I enjoyed every mouthful of cheesey goodness without even lamenting the lack of pastry. (It now seems I managed to find a solution which involved an element of all three of my options – that’s efficiency for you!)
Since then we’ve had a few hurdles for the day (my washing outside has now been wet and dry three times because of Sydney’s marvellous ability to showcase three seasons in one day) but nothing we couldn’t overcome. And I certainly will not complain – the kids are performing the miraculous and occasionally mythical synchronised napping and I have a quiet moment to myself (and I remembered an open packet of Lindt balls under the bed that V1 had already made a dent in when we weren’t looking so I can resolve the chocolate deficiency!) Goodbye diet and hello day continually getting better ! A switch to a positive attitude, admitting a few tears is sometimes helpful, and being a little kinder to myself has certainly paid off and made a less than inspiring beginning to the day fade into memory. And the sun is now out again so the next load of washing might stand a chance at drying.
Now I will capitalise on both V1 and V2 being so exhausted from the morning’s exertions and attempt to get at least another 50 pages into my book!