anxiety, General Parenting, Mental Health, Stay-at-home-Mum Life, Uncategorized

Getting My Life In Order

I am a lover of lists. And spreadsheets. And space-saving storage solutions.

I like things organised.

Things have felt a little hectic and chaotic lately. Cleaning has been neglected. Meal plans have been non-existent. We’re running out of food towards the end of the week as a result. Our routine keeps changing.

Kids need a stable routine.

Anxious mummies need a stable routine.

When we’re all getting antsy at the same time it does not make for a good household atmosphere.

So the past few days I’ve been getting back to my lists and spreadsheets.

I’ve written a list of all the dinners we eat in such a way that if we choose one thing from each row we’ve got a full month’s meal plan with plenty of variety.

No more “what do you want for dinner?” “Don’t know, what have we got?” “No idea.”

No more shopping list fails. We’ll have enough food to get us through the week.

It’s going to take so much stress out of our lives. (Hopefully).

I’ve also been planning educational activities and games to play with the kids. And working out a toy rotation.

No more stagnating about the house.

I’ve also been (gradually) deep cleaning everything. And decluttering (again).

It’s awful how gross things have gotten around here. And how quickly the clutter builds up.

I feel like there is always something that needs to be done but there isn’t time. Maybe that’s just home ownership mashed up with parenting.

I struggle to get out when there’s things to be done in the house, so getting back to a routine where things get done will hopefully help with that too.

We went to the aquarium on Father’s Day and it wasn’t nearly as stressful as I thought it would be. Now that the twins are a little older it’s getting easier.

I think the hardest baby days are past.

#day15 #30daychallenge

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anxiety, depression, General Parenting, Mental Health, Stay-at-home-Mum Life

Changes

I think one of the most frustrating parts of parenting is when you finally manage to get everyone into a routine and then it changes.

Because just before each change there’s a few weeks of bliss. When you feel like you’ve finally nailed this parenting 3 kids thing. When we get out the house every day. When tantrums are fewer. When we get time to do activities/art/messy play. When the house is clean. I start to think I just might be a Pinterest Mum after all.

Then something changes and we’re back to total chaos.

Back to not getting a chance to shower. The house being messy. Nap times going to hell. Lots of shouting, frustration, crying. Not getting out of the house. Tantrums galore. The change in routine makes my anxiety skyrocket. I stress and stress and stress.

Then depression starts to kick in.

It tells me that life has always been like this and it always will be. Same shit, different day.

I can’t face waking up in the morning. I can’t see an end to the endless shouting, tantrums and crying. Of being trapped in the house because I’m too afraid to take my screaming, tantruming, crying kids out in public.

Since anxiety makes it difficult for me to settle into a routine, it is too easy to just get stuck here.

But I write lists, and I make spreadsheets. I time-block around naps and mealtimes. I start over.

I wont let myself get stuck here.

#day14 #30daychallenge

anxiety, General Parenting, Mental Health, Stay-at-home-Mum Life

Change of Plans

No, no, no, no, nope.

Routine keeps my anxiety at bay. I don’t stress about things that need to be done if I know I can get it done later. I have naptimes and TV time blocked into the day, and even get the sporadic “all three kids are happily playing” times.

I NEED these predictable times to shower, do housework, bake banana bread (honestly the stuff’s magic), and sometimes just STOP and switch my brain off for a few minutes.

I need a lot of notice to do something that’s not part of my routine.

However, kids don’t give me that warning.

Caide didn’t warn me he was about to have a behavioural regression, making it practically impossible to get out the house.

Linden didn’t let me know he was about to start losing the plot if I left the room. Or even moved to a different spot in the same room. And therefore make it very difficult to get anything done outside of naptimes.

Theo didn’t tell me he was about to go from being the baby who will fall asleep anywhere to the baby who doesn’t even blink never mind shut his eyes. And therefore make it difficult to get anything done during naptimes.

I definitely wasn’t warned that all these things are all going to happen at the same time.

So here I am again, trying to figure out a new routine that allows the babies to nap and Caide to get enough attention that he doesn’t wind up with an ASBO at 2 years old.

Settling into a new routine when anxiety wants everything to run smoothly every day is pretty challenging.

Wish me luck x

#day10of30 #30daychallenge

anxiety, General Parenting, Mental Health, Stay-at-home-Mum Life

Touched Out

Caide is so unbe-freaking-lievably high needs. He always has been. From the moment he was born he has wanted held. 2y 7m later and he is still always right next to me. He has graduated from “always under my feet” to “always right up my arsehole”.

And the constant demands.

“Mummy read it.”

“Mummy help me.”

“What you doing Mummy?”

“What’s this called Mummy?”

“Mummy…

Mummy…

Mummy…”

The instant I’m not paying attention to him he does something he knows he shouldn’t do. I have to be paying attention to him every. second. of. the. day.

Its so draining.

Linden is also going through a clingy phase. I have one or the other or both on me at all times and it’s making me want to crawl out of my own skin.

I am so touched out.

So here is me, hiding under a blanket.

#day8of30 #30daychallenge

General Parenting, Stay-at-home-Mum Life

8 Dirty Bottles

2 dirty bottles sitting by the sink
2 dirty bottles sitting by the sink
And if our little babies should have another drink
There’ll be 4 dirty bottles sitting by the sink

4 dirty bottles sitting by the sink
4 dirty bottles sitting by the sink
And if our little babies should have another drink
There’ll be 6 dirty bottles sitting by the sink

6 dirty bottles sitting by the sink
6 dirty bottles sitting by the sink
And if our little babies should have another drink
There’ll be 8 dirty bottles sitting by the sink

8 dirty bottles sitting by the sink
8 dirty bottles sitting by the sink
And if 4 dirty bottles go through the steriliser
There’ll be 4 dirty bottles sitting by the sink

4 dirty bottles sitting by the sink
4 dirty bottles sitting by the sink
And if 4 dirty bottles go through the steriliser
There’ll be no dirty bottles sitting by the sink

No dirty bottles sitting by the sink
No dirty bottles sitting by the sink
And if our little babies should have another drink
There’ll be 2 dirty bottles sitting by the sink

Repeat. Forever.

Idontknowifimlaughingorcrying

Butimdefinitelygoingmad

anxiety, General Parenting, Mental Health, Stay-at-home-Mum Life

Mess, mess, mess

This is my house right now. This is my house most of the time.

This is my kitchen, where yesterday’s dishes are still on the draining board and today’s/last night’s dishes pile up next to the sink. And the floor is gross.

mm3

If you look to the right you’ll see my attempt at making lunch for myself. A single slice of bread in the toaster. I never got my lunch. I never even pushed the lever down.

mm4

I’m not even going to look at the “clutter collector” worktop. That place we put things to “put away later”. Everyone has one right?

This is my living room, where I can’t walk without stepping on something (or someone). Where the floor is covered in crumbs and baby puke. Where I can’t sit down because the sofa is covered in toys despite the “no toys on the sofa” rule, and the cushions have been thrown on the floor despite the “cushions stay on the sofa” rule. Where everything that is ours has been removed or put high up, but the toddler still finds a way to get to it and break it.

mm2

And this is the entire room full of stuff to sort through, stuff that doesn’t fit anywhere else, stuff to get rid off. The room that needs painted, new flooring and turned into a bedroom so we can claim our own bedroom back.

I am exhausted. I never stop. But my house still looks like this.

I feel like I literally can’t breathe. There’s no air in this house anymore. Just stuff. I need to get out. Burst free. Breathe.

I try to inhale but my chest constricts, crushed beneath the anxiety of everything I still need to do. Of how little time I spend playing with my kids because I’m too busy. Of how much I don’t even want to play with them because I am just so. damn. tired.

I start picking up toys or the sofa cushions and a child empties them out again. I start running the tap for the dishes and someone cries. I clear a butt-sized gap in the toys on the sofa to sit down and settle a baby for his nap and the toddler has an accident. I clean him up and go back to the baby to find the other baby has mega-puked and rolled around in it. I clean him up and change him while his brother cries for that nap he needs. Then he cries too because he also needs a nap. Caide is starved of attention so starts misbehaving and having meltdowns.

Before I know it Phil is home from work and it’s time to start the dinner/bath/bed routine.

By the time the kids are all asleep I am utterly shattered and in a foul mood, surrounded by mess and dirt and grime, and it’s 10pm.

I haven’t stopped all day and it looks like I have done nothing

anxiety, Mental Health, Stay-at-home-Mum Life

Scroll, scroll, scroll

Actually hate myself so much right now.

I’ve just sat here on my phone all morning.

Every evening I regret it and promise myself I’ll do better tomorrow. I’ll get stuff done. We’ll get out the house. I’ll pay attention to my kids.

But the reality is that the next day, it’s 12:45pm and we’re all still in PJs. There’s housework to be done. I should probably start sorting out lunch.

But instead I’m scrolling, scrolling, scrolling.

Caide has been trying to get my attention all morning.

“Mummy play.”

“Mummy build it.”

“Mummy draw.”

“Mummy phone off.”

“Mummy put phone down on table.”

But all I can say is “can’t you just leave me alone for 5 minutes to drink some coffee?!”

But I’ve had 5 minutes. It’s been over 2 hours.

PUT THE GODDAMN PHONE DOWN DOWN STEPH!

I’ve tried a whole bunch of apps that are supposed to help curb phone addiction but they all have a workaround and I’ve eventually uninstalled them all. I’ve uninstalled Facebook but then I just access it via the Chrome app instead and have just reinstalled it.

The truth is, I am bored. And lonely. My kids are adorable and I love them to the moon and back but there’s only so many times I can build a tower or blow raspberries on a tummy before I want to talk about something other than the fact that pee goes in the potty.

So I’ve downloaded more educational apps for better mental stimulation. I’ve made sure that I always have a book, both a fiction and a non-fiction, in arms reach. I have projects I’m working on accessible on my phone via Dropbox so I can work on those instead.

But still I scroll, scroll, scroll.

And ignore my kids.