That quote about the best laid plans of mice and men? Someone definitely had spent time with a toddler that week. I’ve got the Monday blues, looking back at all of the things I had wanted to do last week, to do this week, feeling utterly muddled.
Himself is away for work since last Tuesday until next Sunday. We’ve somewhat figured out a groove with him going away, it’s never easy but it isn’t the dramatic catastrophe I had feared. This time I was full sure that I had the hang of this solo parenting thing. It’s only ONE toddler, how hard could it be? I know plenty of amazing ladies who do it with two, three, four kids and live to tell the tale. They balance school runs and keeping the house standing up and careers, and still live to see the obligatory Airport Toblerone. This time it would be simple, old hat. Remind me never to get cocky about these things.
I’d worried about balancing work and childcare, given that our creche times didn’t quite align with my shift pattern. Luckily, I had accrued some holidays while out on sick leave, so I was able to take the time off as to not throw solo parenting into my “just back at work” routine. This may have contributed quite a bit to the cockiness. Oh downfall.
With E still being in full time childcare, I had hoped to get a lot done last week. Sure, what else would I be up to? Lots of time to have my house clean and sparkling, lots of healthy diet friendly food batch cooked and ready, lots of long walks and a tonne of writing. Oh I had Plans, with a capital P. I should have learned not to plan for lots of writing. It’s never worked before, and right on cue absolutely killed ANY drive I had to write. The love has not been there, all mojo has gone out the window and I’ve had one or two wobbly “Oh why do I blog anyway, this is clearly not what I should be doing” moments. But, here I am, so I guess crisis averted for now.
The house, oh the house. With all this time I’d had plans forÂ a complete Marie Kondo binge. It seems I’ve managed to accumulate MORE stuff, and less places to put them. I dream of getting a cleaner, but I’d clearly need to clean before they got here, and I’m not sure I’ve got the energy to do that. It’s not exactly at “call the gardai, there’s been a disturbance” levels, but you can definitely tell there’s a two year old tornado on board, and the poor steam mop bought so lovingly is not getting the use it deserves. The great plans have been shelved, I’ll get to them at some point.
The weight loss? The less said about that the better. I’m teetering at the brink of the “losing 2 stone” mark, something I am quite proud of. It’s made a noticeable difference in how I look and how I feel about myself. I’ve started making healthier choices, cooking everything from scratch and discovering new lovely foods to boot. The stress eating and boredom eating is still existent though, so I’ve had a bit of a fall off the wagon with every intention of getting back on tomorrow. The takeaway was worth it, believe me. Hopefully not too much damage has been done, I’ve a fair bit to go yet to my goal, but I’m proud of how far I’ve gotten so far so I don’t want to ruin it. Trying not to let guilt get in the way because the last thing I need is to grow a complex around food – I’ve not got the energy to deal with that! As for the extra exercise? There was talk of gym workouts, physio assigned, long walks, the works. Waking up feeling like I’ve been run over by a herd of cattle after days of not feeling right has somewhat put paid to that. Sinusitis, you’ve done it again. Here’s to hoping the antibiotics do the trick!
Surely with the lack of cleaning and writing plans, it must mean lots of meaningful fun time with the toddler? Yeah, not so. The restoration of Fireman Sam and Thomas the Tank Engine to our Netflix account have been a saving grace. It’s not for lack of trying. There’s been colouring and playground dates and days where we head to the park and it all looks like it’s going well. Then he misses a nap and it all goes to hell. Or decides this is HIS time to be independent. By lying on the floor, or deciding the only person who can hold his hand is HIMSELF (this one is hard to get mad at until he does a runner, because it’s so damn cute, but still). I wind up cross and impatient and all my goodwill flies out the window, and then I’m left feeling the guilt for the evening. It’s not a nice feeling. I feel like the worst mother in the world, feeling the relief that the childcare I have gives me, even on my time off, which I know I should be relishing with my little boy because he won’t be this small forever. I feel like a horrible person, handing my child off and taking the time for myself. Oh joy, another stick to beat myself with. At least if I was filling the time with writing and cleaning and getting my life on track, it would at least somewhat shut the stupid in-head voices telling me about my awful parenting up. I think I’m looking forward to getting back to work next week, mostly so it negates the feelings of being useless in this way. This is a feeling that I’m not sure even the wonder drugs for the PND can get rid of, it’s just something I have to sort out for myself.
So, there we have it. This is clearly a post to be stuck on the fridge, a memo to never make plans with confidence again. Always remain flexible with a toddler in tow, because you’re not going to hit those standards you set yourself and the pedestal you fall off is only as high as you put it. We’re still alive. We’ve eaten. We’re not living in squalor just yet. Child has made it out of the house in clean clothes every day, he’s even started using please and thank you in correct context without being prompted. Feels like I must be doing something right. Just need to adjust those plans to something more realistic, like “Just get through the next 24 hours, one day at a time”. (And outsource the laundry pile….that’s a whole other story).
Ramblings about failed plans to be a better person and parent can be found on Facebook sometimes.