**Post originally written 4/2/2019**
Man I’m tired. Not just normal tired but the kind where I’m constantly fighting the urge to totally withdraw from everything and offer only the bare minimum of interaction required. If I thought December was hard going, January has been relentless. Me trying to contain or channel my crazy is pretty much today’s running theme.
That was a heavy opener, here’s proof I did have fun in January!
I have been more consistent with doing this the last few weeks so that’s good. There have been a handful of mornings where I’ve been really wound up by the kids and have seen my diary and thought about ditching it but then I make myself do it as these are the days I need to switch my prespective the most and it does help. I’ve even let Hamish join in with it after my sister letting her daughter join in too and again it helps change his focus from being ridiculously angry about having to eat breakfast/get dressed/not put his toes in his sister’s face to thinking about things he likes. They tend to be what is immediately around him e.g day 1 was mum, Ruby, myself. Day 2 was mum, Ruby, the sun. Day 3 (done on the way to school while stuck in traffic) a van, a tractor, a gate…
I just did my monthly check in, again it’s interesting to see how things have changed. Hopefully I’ll get to the point where I can be more mindful about improving these things, for now a bit of reflecting on the results will have to do. I’m changing my habit trackers this month to refined sugar free, get in touch with a pal (#itcouldbeyou) and read a book each day with Hamish.
Sugar is a ridiculous addiction. I have done a week without it before and that was tough. I’m just going to go one day at a time, if I happen to end up out for coffee with a pal and there’s a delicious gluten free treat on offer then I will allow myself to indulge, this is about changing habits long term not torturing myself. Ok who wants to get coffee and cake????? Gotta get in touch with some pals all of a sudden. As for reading with Hamish, pre-Ruby it was always me that did his bedtime so we would read two or three books, have wee chat then sleep. I’ve missed that time with him (though Ross is finally glad to get a look in) so I’d like to try and incorporate it into our normal routine and not just bed time.
Some things I have been grateful for: cosy jumpers, Ross being off work and the sound of wild weather while being snug in bed…not asleep obvs because apparently that’s not what night time is for but at least I got to enjoy one of my favourite sounds. Thanks Ruby. If it’s said sarcastically does it still count as gratitude?
Sleep is for losers…
Great things I have experienced: adult chat and lots of tea and coffee as I’m back to work, seeing Hamish having a blast at a new group we’ve started going to, podcasts and lovely lunch with my sister that was only supposed to be a cuppa!
Life is a great big canvas and you should throw all the paint you can on it.’ Danny Kaye
Remember those few puke free days at the beginning of January? I should have appreciated them more. Ruby and teething do not get on. The poor wee toot is almost nine months and still no teeth despite looking like I’ve painted her face nuclear red every night. This has meant that no tomming other than trying to make sure there are at least 2 clean and dry sleeping bags and sleep suits available each night (update 1. Today I hoovered) .
Liift4 is going well, I’ve only missed one leg day so far, I still need to do week 4’s but hopefully it will get squeezed in tonight, if not then see the worry (update 2: leg day done!). After this I’m going to start 80 Day Obsession with a few others in our challenge group. The workouts are a bit longer but I’ll just cut them short if I don’t have enough time in the evening. I think it will help if I change into most of my work out clothes as soon as I get home, that way I won’t be searching for them in various washing baskets or drawers and wasting precious minutes once Ruby is finally asleep.
BBC Good Food Archives
When it comes to the chaos becoming really overwhelming, this is the goal that will probably get dropped first. I love cooking and trying new things but I want it to be enjoyable, not something I’m trying to squeeze in which then just adds to the stress. That being said I tried out some overnight oats, cheesesteak sandwiches and polenta sweet potato fries. No good pics of any of them as there is still no natural light at breakfast or dinner time here so they all come out weird looking and really unappetising. Maybe in Summer I’ll get some!
The overnight oats were a bit mixed. Really enjoyed the carrot cake one but the raspberry peanut (or in my case almond) butter one was just a sgluish (or soggy mess for non island readers). The peanut butter and banana one just sucked as I usually put them both in my hot porridge and that’s how I like it best. Another thing I realised, I should be a bit more methodical with choosing which mags to look through and pick one that is at least the same season if not month seeing as Summer brekkie in Winter was a daft choice. The cheesesteak sandwiches and the sweet potato fries were great though! That herby dip by the way, de-flicking-licious. I think it might even beat my sister’s hot spinach and artichoke dip.
Didn’t do anything new this past week and doesn’t look promising for the week ahead either but here’s one of our favourites that we have at least once a week as it’s so tasty and quick.
I’m still working my way through ‘Becoming’ by Michelle Obama. Having managed to read ‘Girl, Wash Your Face’ earlier in the month it took the pressure off…plus Becoming is a really heavy book to read one handed while feeding your baby to sleep, especially if you have to hold it out at a distance to avoid dropping it on said baby. Maybe I need to up my weights in Liift4. I’ll be giving GWYF another read but will take it a bit slower, the follow up ‘Girl, Stop Apologizing’ is out on March so that is on the list for sure.
Playlists and Podcasts
Title update here as I have finally embraced the world of podcasts. I had previously dipped my toe in the water last Summer as I listened to Ben Bergeron’s Chasing Excellence series but I have added a whole pile onto my ‘to listen to’ list.
Since reading her book I’m pretty much binging on everything Rachel Hollis. Here’s a wee laugh for you, I was listening to one of her podcasts after I had picked Hamish up from nursery. Usually I instantly have to switch over to his favourite songs as apparently mine are boring but on this occasion he just let me keep listening. She was going on about vision boards and how you can change your life etc., getting all fired up about it when I hear this sad voice from the back seat ‘I don’t want to change my life’ poor Hamish! I actually had to stop the car (in a nice and safe place) as I was laughing so much! Needless to say Vicky Arlidge was soon singing about London bridge and it’s lack of structural integrity.
I love music. I love how it can almost be used as a form of time travel. Play a song from 1993 and I’m back in the Crown hotel for my birthday dinner, Spice Girls or Steps and I’m learning dance routines with my pals…some Nine Inch Nails and I’m in Glasgow’s Carling Academy and infinitely cooler than I ever thought I would be. No offence to all those going to Spice Girls gigs this year. It’s also one of my favourite ways to change my mood which I’ve already mentioned with my Christmas playlists but for some reason, I’ve never thought to make an ‘in case of crazy lady play this’ or as I’ve called it, System Reset playlist. In one of her podcasts RH says she has a playlist that she plays only if shes getting really mad or crazy (I cant remember her exact words right now forgive me) and her kids know that if she’s blaring Beyonce then she’s really peed off. So I have taken some of my favourite songs that bring up various happy memories and put them together in a really weird mash up but it works for me! I had to be careful not to indulge my love of heavier music too much as the kids will no doubt hear it frequently and I really don’t need Hamish learning the lyrics to Rage Against The Machine’s ‘Killing in the Name of’ or System of a Down’s ‘Chop Suey’.
The other playlist I recently shared on my Insta stories is called Vaseline and is just a collection of really beautiful songs that help me to slow down and unwind from all the stress I let build up each day.
You’d think I had a really high powered executive job the way I talk about how stressed and overwhelmed I am but for me, if I don’t get time to myself to just sift through everything that’s in my head or to zone out if that’s what I feel like, then I pretty much become an emotional time bomb.
There have been loads of times I’ve questioned myself about doing this blog. For one thing I started in December, possibly the busiest month of the year. Great choice there hen. Part of my reasoning with that was I just wanted to get going before I talked myself out of it, the other reason was I didn’t want to be lumped in with all the New Year resolution crowd. In hindsight I’m glad I did as this has been a tougher stage with the kids than I could have anticipated (safe to say we have moved on to Mind Dump) and I’ve needed, not just wanted, to fit in some pockets of respite.
Ruby is not only crawling like a pro but also climbing stairs, walking with some help from a walker and puts every single foreign object she comes across into her mouth. She needs constant supervision. Hamish has become a lot more prone to mood swings, not unlike after Ruby was born, but as my mother in law pointed out it could be because she now constantly invades his space and destroys whatever game he’s got going on. He has a thing for lining up his cars, she has a thing for demolition derbys. Usually when this happens I’m trying to wash a cup or move a pile of clean, unfolded laundry into a different room so the kids actually have some space to play so all hell breaks loose and everyone is making a lot of noise and sad faces and when its repeated 4783 times a day it kind of wears me down.
My blackboard reminders to chill the beans. The count down is actually to do with Mel Robbins 5 Second Rule but also helps me to respond better to everything!
It took me over a year with Hamish before I realised if I needed a time out I just had to do it. I really didn’t look after myself back then so I’m now trying to claw back some time to myself. My workouts are my priority, if I miss the odd one here or there it’s fine, if I miss a lot then everyone pays. After that I think writing here is next in line as having something to do that is just for me has been really nice. Especially as I can just chip away at this without any huge set up/clean up compared to if I tried to get back to messing around with watercolours or some other stuff I have planned in my head. I’m also glad I started it before having a clue who RH was as with all the stuff she has written or the podcasts I’ve listened to, she’s either spying on me or I am in fact a walking, talking, writing stereotype of a knackered mum as my actions over the last 12 weeks can be ticked off one of her ‘go do this’ lists! Fingers crossed she blows her cover and leaves a comment….it’s ok, I wont claim royalties, just tell people we’re pals. Pals who share royalties.
Any other knackered mums also living the stereotype dream?