Disappointing Weekends

Truth be told I look forward to the weekend from about 10am Monday morning. I long for the adult company and conversation of Hubby, I relish the idea of being able to split the parenting duties, not being the only one saying ‘no’. It is very common for me to post something on my Instagram with some sort of Friday or weekend reference, ‘Happy FriYAY’, ‘Have a great weekend’, ‘Can’t wait for Friday wine o’clock’. Etc etc….. I like these posts by other people but when I do it all I manage to do is to piss myself off. It doesn’t matter what we have planned for those glorious two days of double parenting the weekend will always be a disappointment.

As a stay at home mum I am naturally on hand 24/7 for all the needs of the girls. Other than 15 hours a week that Pinky is at preschool I am the go to girl! We are never apart. So I understand that it becomes very normal to ask me for something when they need it, from food to cuddles. I truly get it. HOWEVER, it would be nice if they could learn that their father is equally capable of providing for them. When they are physically sat on his lap having cuddles, or playing a game with him it would be nice if they didn’t leave his company to hunt me down and ask me for a snack, or to take Pinky to the toilet. Call me melodramatic but they really do hunt me down, in my own home and pull me out of whatever corner I am hiding in trying to get 5 minutes peace whilst I can. Ok,y it’s their home too but I swear they have infiltrated every single part of it. Even my makeup bag has their hair bands in it!

Believe me Hubby does try. He genuinely tries to get the girls to understand that he is more than capable of getting their preferred snack out of a cupboard for them. He tries to inform Pinky that he too knows where the toilet is in the house and could be equally as capable as Mummy in the art of arse wiping! But no, only mummy could possibly do it right!

In some ways I know I should be flattered, happy even, and definitely enjoying these days whilst they still very much need me. And I am under no illusion, I know full well I will long for these days back when they are gone. Living through them is a different story though.

Things have changed in our household recently. Hubby is working longer hours and is traveling more than he has ever done before. One week the girls saw him Monday morning then not again until Friday evening. They missed him loads and wouldn’t leave him alone. I think they would have cuddled him for hours if it wasn’t nearly bedtime. It was really cute, they are actually showing huge signs of being ‘Daddy’s girls’ where for years they have been ‘Mummy’s girls’. I saw a light at the end of the tunnel, I thought to myself that as much as I miss Hubby when he is away if it means the girls get to enjoy the time they spend with their Daddy more and maybe appreciate his presence I may get a chance to deal with one less toddler request over the weekend.

Alas no!

It doesn’t matter how much they miss him only Mummy could possibly complete their request properly. Only Mummy deserves to be screamed and shouted at, tantrumed at, because only Mummy could possibly understand the reason and all consuming need for a catastrophic meltdown over a fleck of dust on Dolly.

So with another weekend over, another Monday morning looming, have I been on call all weekend?

Oh yes!

Will I still sit and long for next weekend most of the week?

Oh yes!

I will always remain hopeful that next weekend will somehow be different because without hope there is only despair. And that is not a healthy place to parent from on a regular basis.

Of course Wednesday’s wine o’clock helps, or is it Tuesday’s? Or Thursday’s? Meh! They all help….

Cuddle Fairy

 

Dear Bear and Beany

My Mummy CV

Recently I’ve been feeling a little lost and confused about my daily life. I have no desire to go back to work at all, which is not like me, I have always had a strong work ethic. After Pinky was born my priorities changed and now two children down the line I actually quite like being a stay at home mum and because I don’t get the nursery drop off tears from the girls anymore I get a little less mum guilt, which is always a plus! Despite this I just feel a little bit worthless. I know this is silly but I thought it would be good to remind myself of just exactly what I do as a SAHM, so I thought I would write my ‘Mummy CV’.

Name: Mummy Winnette

Personal Profile: As a mother I am expert at functioning on a higher conscious level even after a torturous amount of sleep deprivation. I am a very patient person, I remain calm in stressful situations and yet when the appropriate occasion arises I can go so bat shit crazy that even the least judgemental person would give me a side glance. A talent which is enhanced by the sleep deprivation. This is an incredibly useful skill to ensure the health and safety of an overly curious toddler. I have eyes in the back of my head and a sixth sense for misbehaviour. My hearing is freakishly good. So much so that sometimes I pretend I haven’t heard something, even when I did, just so people don’t think I’m strange. My main hobby is baking and I love to teach this to my little girls. I know all the words to the opening song of Sophia the First, Doc Mcstuffins and Sheriff Callie as well as few CBeebies programmes. Plus the words to approximately 80% of the Disney songs from their animated films. This was the result of intensive self directed study from a very young age. I greatly enjoy watching pretty much anything on Netflix when time allows.

Education: Genuinely irrelevant at this point.

Training: No previous training in Motherhood. A total novice.

Additional skills:
Laundry Guru specialising in the removal of tomato sauce stains
Gourmet Cook (don’t try and tell me otherwise)
Nutritionist
White lie inventor
Language interpreter with a keen interest in toddler talk
Sibling Wars referee
Events coordinator
Health and safety executive
Cleaner
Snotty sleeve collector
Waitress
Nurse
Toy locator
Expert Negotiator
Miss Manners enforcer
Kindness and Sharing monitor
Teacher
Guidance councillor
Expert in Anger Management
Provider of emotional support
Cuddle giver
Bum wiper
Bathroom sharer and conversationalist
Librarian

References:

Pinky Winnette
Daughter 1
Aged 3 1/2

Perky Winnette
Daughter 2
Aged 1 1/2

I think this is a fairly accurate CV. It’s hard to explain to anyone without children exactly what being a parent is and this only gives a tongue in cheek insight. I love it and wouldn’t change it but sometimes it’s ok to need reminding of that.

If anyone thinks of any skills I have missed please let me know…

Getting into the Swing of Staying at Home

It has been 3 months since I officially quit work became a stay at home mum and I finally feel like I am getting into the swing of things. It probably shouldn’t have taken me this long but it has been a battle against errands and pre-school routines around tantrums and playtime.

I love a bit of ‘me time’ but I have felt like it is impossible to get some, mostly because it is. Even when Hubby does take the girls out for an hour it can take me the whole hour before I feel like I am actually relaxed. Then they are back and wanting me for everything. Little Ladies, Daddy can provide you with a drink too! Over time I have learnt to take the little moments and savour them, I no longer need to sit down in total peace to feel like I have had some time to myself.  Every weekend I bake. I have always loved baking and over time I plan to take it to the next level but for now it is a hobby I take very seriously. I suspect it would piss Hubby off if it weren’t for the fact he gets to eat the end result. Mostly he will try to keep the girls out of my way whilst I play in the kitchen and, despite the inevitable toddler interruptions, I get some ‘me time’. Had you asked me for my definition of ‘me time’ a couple of years ago it absolutely would not have been standing in a kitchen. But parenting changes you! If I’m honest this small amount of time where I can use my brain power to think of things other than nappy changes and colouring books has made it easier to think about the nappy changes and colouring books.

It has taken numerous three year old tantrums, a change in the bedtime routine and a few (ok a lot) of mummy tears but I think we have finally found our own harmony. Pinky can get very tired, what toddler can’t, this often result in more tantrums, more moaning and generally a less happy mummy and little sister. Its not fair to blame this all on her, if one of us ladies is in a bad mood then we all are, and if it happening now when they are only 3 and 1 if feel really sorry for Hubby when the teenage years arrive. His golf swing is going to be of professional standard. Pinky is very good at bedtime and now that we keep her up a little later she generally goes straight to sleep. The more time she feels she has spent learning in a day and the more cuddles she has had the happier she is. She is a simple affectionate soul. I think I forgot for a while how much of a mummy girl she is. Recently she has really enjoyed spending time with Daddy and she often says she misses him whilst he is at work, but in reality it is me than can have direct effect on the number of tantrums she has. It isn’t exactly a hardship giving my daughter lots of cuddles and singing the ABC song with her and if it has the added bonus of giving me an easy life then that can only be a good thing.

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Perky is a different beast altogether. She is a real Jekyll and Hyde. I haven’t worked out how to keep her happy a majority of the time, but bless her she is teething. Some days she is the cuddliest child on the planet. She has always been able to give the best cuddles. Even from a very young age she is happy just laid on a lap, thumb in mouth, muzzie in hand watching her world go by. She particularly enjoys doing this with her Uncle who is more than happy to oblige, it gets him out of helping with the Sunday lunch…. Don’t worry Mick Mick, we know your game. Other days… Well! She can be horrific. She will fight with Pinky, she will tantrum and plank over everything and anything. This will start from the moment I get her up. If I don’t give her the beaker quick enough, or if I wipe her face after breakfast, that little chubby body will go rigid and expel squeals that rival the screams of a banshee. Quite frankly she can be damn exhausting.

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I am getting used to juggling the emotions and demands of the girls. I am finding my own rhythm. On the worst days, the days when I really want to sit in a dark room and cry into my luke warm coffee, I give them both an apple, sit them in front of a Disney film and get out my recipe books for some weekend inspiration and 5 minutes of mental rejuvenation ready for the rest of the day.

Onwards and Upwards.

Quitting work….

So after long conversations and lots of maths that made my head hurt, Hubby and I decided it was best for me to stop working.  The simple fact was that one child in childcare was vaguely affordable but two was going to be crippling.  We were going to be paying money for me to work, I simply didn’t earn enough without doing large amounts of overtime.

This was not a decision I took very lightly, or well at first.  I am a nurse.  I worked hard for that title, after Pinky I dreaded the idea of going back to work but I found it a welcome break from being ‘Mum’.  I liked the adult conversation and using my brain to a greater extent.  So after Perky came along I knew I would be going back and quickly came to terms with that.  I knew that we didn’t want a third baby so there was no going back until pregnant again, this was it this time.  I forged career goals, areas of nursing I wanted to gain experience in with an end goal in sight.  Although this isn’t the end completely, putting these goals on hold has been strangely hard.

We sadly don’t have much help with the girls during the week.  This really isn’t a problem, my in-laws live very close and they are all very supportive, it’s simply that they work full time still.  All of my family live too far away and also still work full time. So along with Hubbys Monday to Friday job which can involve travel and requires him to leave before 7am and not be home until 6pm it’s not that easy for me to work the 7am-7.30pm shift required by the hospital.  This will only get worse when the girls start school with later start times and early pick ups compared with nursery.  Unfortunately we didn’t work this out before I went on maternity leave.  If I had I would have handed  in my notice then rather than go for Maternity Leave.  Having spoken to HR I have now completed my time back and left.  The NHS offer a fabulous Maternity package but it understandably means you have to go back to work at the end of it for a certain amount of time.

Once we decided I should stay at home it became really difficult for me to go back, but it was short term and went by very quickly.  When I did go back I was pleased it wasn’t forever.  Pinky obviously doesn’t really remember a time when I did work, I went on maternity leave for her little sister when she was 21 months old.  So far as she knows I have never left either of them for such long amounts of time.  I am gone before she wakes up in the morning and I get home after she is asleep.  To keep her calm as she misses me Hubby lets her stay up and wait for me to get home and put her to bed.  As lovely as it was to see her it made her extra tired and grumpy for the rest of the week.

So now I find myself a stay at home mum.  It doesn’t feel like much has changed at the moment since I have been at home for the past year anyway.  But I am more relaxed, I don’t think about time constraints so much.  I have organised with a couple of friends to meet at the same time each week, either at our houses or to take the children out.  Our lives have become slightly more planned which suits us all brilliantly.  Everything felt a little ad hoc before, which suits some people but it made me feel lonely and always at a loose end, some weeks we would be ridiculously busy and others we would have no plans outside of our house.  I like plans, plans make me happy and relaxed.  We still have a couple of ‘free’ days each week where we can make arrangements with friends and relatives we don’t normally see, or we can have some chill days, just me, Pinky and Perky.

Pinky is starting her Pre-school hours next week so I will get some time with Perky on our own which I’m really looking forward to.  We used to get all day Tuesday to ourselves but since working my notice period we haven’t had any time.  Tuesdays also used to serve as downtime for me whilst Perky napped.  Now there is none, and although its only been a couple of weeks I am really starting to notice the lack of ‘me time’.  I will give it another couple of weeks and see how everything fits together but I am definitely going to need to find an hour a week to myself outside the house.  I’m not sure what yet, maybe I will start swimming again one evening a week.  I have always been quite comfortable in my own company so since becoming a mother I have missed the peace and quite being on your own can offer.  Especially now my days are filled with detailed descriptions of everything from Disney Princesses to the size of a poop!  Pinky has a very good vocabulary for a three year old (well it’s likely average but I didn’t realise how well three year olds could talk before) and she uses it all day long!

One unexpected side effect of me becoming a Stay at Home Mum is that now Pinky knows I’m not going to work she has relaxed.  She has become less clingy towards me and has even started to enjoy Daddy time again.

Part of me still wishes I could work.  Being a nurse is part of what used to make me feel like me.  But it is what is best for our family as a whole.  The girls are loving it and so am I.  They won’t need me like this forever, which in part I look forward to and in part I don’t.  So for now I will make the most of being needed and hope I don’t go certifiably crazy in the process.