Last week was not a huge barrel of laughs. Through one reason and another we had to let our nanny go, which meant having emergency childcare on my work days. 5yo only slept all night once the entire week, and refused to go back to bed at 5am most mornings too. Little fella’s teeth made him absolutely miserable. 3yo started pre-school but I wasn’t able to dedicate much attention to her because of everything else going on, which of course made me feel like a terrible mummy.
On Thursday the black clouds loomed large over my head, and for the first time in I can’t even remember how long, I felt as if I was on the verge of a panic attack. I could barely breathe and I was close to tears most of the day. Although I wasn’t due into the office I went in on Friday and let hubby deal with the kids and emergency childcare. It helped to get out of the house, and I had a really productive day at work, which gave me a much needed boost. I can do my job still, phew, I’m not completely useless and incapable.
Friday night was not great for sleep and on Saturday morning I was physically and mentally exhausted. The tiredness was all consuming, and felt like it was crushing my bones. I wanted to do some yoga but just couldn’t with all the kids around, which left me feeling like a right old grump. We didn’t do much – hubby took 5yo to gymnastics in the morning, I went grocery shopping with the little ones. It peed down in the afternoon so we stayed home and did arts and crafts. Something unpleasant happened to me in the midst of all that, and I found myself zoning out from the children and desperately wanting a drink. Had we had a bottle of tonic in the house I would definitely have poured myself a G&T, and it wasn’t even 4pm. I had a couple of glasses of red wine later once all three were asleep, but to be honest, I could have easily polished off the bottle. Fortunately I did the sensible thing and capped it at two though.
Those that have read my book know how far I’ve come from negative, destructive behaviour. The thing is though, it never fully leaves you. Once you’ve flirted with the darker side of life, there will always be a little battle of wills between the angel that sits on one shoulder, and the devil that sits on the other.
Yesterday morning the girls were fighting, the baby was up at the crack of dawn, and hubby and I were really snappy with each other. He took 3yo out to break up the tension, and after some strong words with 5yo, l left her to calm down. When she was ready to, we made up. I tried to get the boy to nap in his cot and when I realised it wasn’t happening decided to pack everyone up and head out to one of our fave spots. As I was walking out the door I realised my phone was plugged into the charger still, and rather than going back inside to get it, I chose to leave the house sans mobile.
It might seem insignificant to some, but to me it’s a big deal, and when I told hubby he was really impressed. That tiny split second decision meant that I was choosing to spend the afternoon being truly present with my family. Not taking loads of photos whilst missing out on the real fun. Not glued to my online life while I went off to get the baby to sleep whilst missing out on everything the girls were doing. It was pretty liberating I have to say.
Yesterday evening was much less challenging than the ones that came before it last week, and although I was up in the night for about an hour with 5yo, I was so much calmer with her than I’ve managed to be lately. This morning, after the baby screamed the house down at 5:30am refusing to be settled, I was momentarily grumpy. Then I caught hold of myself and reminded myself that I could start the day on a grump, or choose happiness. Choose joy.
So I did the only sensible thing there was to do, I took a silly selfie and it cheered me right up. We had a pleasant school morning and I was chuffed to be sending 5yo in with a smile on her face. My sunny disposition wasn’t even shattered by the news that my bestie has cancelled our lunch today, because I’ll see her next week instead. As I’ve been writing this post the baby has been having a massive feed. I was hoping he’d nap afterward but no chance, he’s full of beans now. It’s fine though, the sun is shining and it’s a good excuse to take my gorgeous girl to the playpark, he can nap in his buggy.
Today, I choose joy. How about you?