The reason the blog has been so quiet for a few weeks is because I wrote a blog post freehand and then promptly lost the whole notebook that I'd scribbled it down in!
Now there is a strong possibility that my three year old has used this book as a clipboard, treasure map or 'struction manual' on her endless game of make believe as Topsy, Rapunzel or Katie Morag; but it is also highly likely that I have myself squirrelled it away (along with hair grips, bank letters and other semi-precious items that may have been innocently laying around on my work surfaces when someone happened to drop by) and in my unique way of tidying away the evidence of my slovenliness and disorganisation, may well have chucked them in a cupboard, dresser or drawer of doom!
I drive my husband insane!
In my absence from the blog it has obviously been 'back to school' (or pre-school in our case), which comes with it a mixture of mummy guilt that I'm not making the most of every hour of my little girl's time at home before her requirement to start formal education and bloody relief that I have a reprieve from the exhausting task of perpetually being 'Topsy's Mummy' or Gothel ever single minute of the day!
I LOVE that my daughter has an incredible imagination, but bloody hell it is exhausting and woe betide you if you get your or her name wrong!
She even bought home a piece of 'art' (PVA and poster paint mess) from pre-school the other day with Topsy written on it. I understand the long suffering ladies at pre-school clearly decided the force and will of my little whirlwind are intense and sometimes it's just easier to go with it!!!
She only does 18hrs a week at pre-school but I still struggle with missing her during that time.
However I also struggle with getting it all done.
'IT' being, the washing, (there is a whole rugby team's worth and that's the two tiny humans alone!), dishes, charity work, the hospital admin, the kids' admin, pet admin, the friend admin, the gift and thank you card admin, house maintenance and adaptation admin, the admin admin... I feel like I have letters (and today even letters about letters from Royal Mail!), coming out of my arse! ...the pre-school committee meetings, church meetings, children's classes and extended family birthdays and obligations.
And all these are before I make the time for the most important things of spending time as a family and as a relationship with my husband!
Hilarious! I'm sure that will come back in eighteen years or so!
Hilarious! I'm sure that will come back in eighteen years or so!
To all of you parents out there, how do you get it all done?
Scrap that, to ALL of you out there- how do you do it?
Life is flipping bonkers nowadays and I'm constantly feeling that I'm spread too thin and letting everyone down.
My best friend is getting married after years of those of us closest to her fearing this day would never come, (the drama in her life can make mine look a little like an episode of Last of the Summer Wine at times!), and I would LOVE to spend the week leading up to her big day hanging out, drinking fizz, drooling over her dress and generally having super rare quality time together; but instead I have to attend a neurology appointment, take my three year old for her flu spray, take my dog back to the vets (again!) and finish up some work for my charity.
I am a lover of lists and love to tick off tasks done, but despite late nights, early mornings, no time for hobbies or 'me time' I still don't manage to tick off even half of my 'to dos'.
Even now I am feeling guilty about writing this as I am thinking about all of the other pressing things that have to be done today.
I'm clearly in desperate need of practising some mindfulness- but need the sodding time to do it!
Do we all feel like this?
Do we all feel like we're failing?
Does social media and improved means of communication put more pressure on us?
I think my parents' generation had it easier in a way. When they had children people understood that that's what they were doing for a good few years, raising their family, spending time with their family and putting the old them to bed for a little while.
Doing the most important job they could be doing in those early and influential years of a human life.
Their means of communication were limited to writing letters and Christmas cards to check in on old school, college and work friends or picking up the phone. It's no doubt that it was a simpler time.
There's also no doubt that more friendships were lost/left to dwindle because of this; but with that the expectation was less. The stress was less; however I wouldn't want this either as as a people person and I LOVE meeting people and learning from the people around me and making friends on holiday and still being friends with those people years later and attending their children's birthdays and Christenings thanks to Facebook and email and Whatsapp- the very things I was just moaning about.
There are times though when I long for that simpler time and lack of stress.
My to do lists forever have a backlog of 'thank you' and birthday cards that are overdue; ongoing Whatsapp chats where our old military married patch of mummies are STILL trying to find a date for us all to meet up; and chats with pre-children friends who I desperately fire messages to at midnight once kids are fed, put to bed, re-fed and put back to bed in the vain attempt to convince them that I do still exist as a person with a personality in my own right and indeed care deeply about them, I am just pushed to my limit doing the 'mummy thang' right now!
I know that these early years of breastfeeding all hours of the day and night, tantrums, ferrying to health visitors, jabs, baby groups and pre-school won't last forever, and I'm reassured by friends who've got through these first few years that you do actually reappear someday with some semblance of the independent, head strong young woman you once were, but at the same time I was warned jovially by my friend and mother to two teenagers the other day that the problems don't get less, only different. In fifteen years they are still likely to be eating and more worrying drinking all hours of the day and night, they will still be having teenage tantrums or worse still sulking and not talking to you at all and the ferrying to health visitors and toddler groups will only be replaced and increased with mum's taxi to classes, friends houses and parties!
I often worry I've lost my identity as 'me' and only joked yesterday with a mum at the pre-school gates that so far we only know one another as 'Florrie's mummy' and 'Henry's Daddy'.
As for my relationship with my husband, 90% of our exchanges are in front of the kids and veiled in forced politeness in front of them when at times when we are sleep deprived and pushed to our limits we would prefer to be shouting, 'why did you not think of packing their sun hat you f*%# #%^*!'
There follows suppressed resentment (mixed with more guilt), with an overly polite agreement to talk about whatever the over exaggerated issue was until the kids have gone to bed, by which time after a team effort of five stories and a deep clean of the kitchen following the children's attempt to cover every surface of the ground floor of the house in pasta sauce mixed with snot and yogurt, we inevitably just flop in front of the box in front of Bake Off- (Lord bless it's dear departed soul), having forgotten about what we were planning to talk about from our earlier exchange anyway!
But I ask myself would I have it any other way? And the resounding answer is of course, no.
Do I wonder how everyone else does it and makes it look easy or even doable?
And do I NEED wine to attempt my own 'to do' list- hell yes!
I do feel like I'm drowning in motherhood quite a lot of the time at the moment, but something tells me I'm not the only one.
And I'm certainly not the only one who will be longing for these days once more in years to come.
Reminding myself of this I will strive to stop, breathe and just enjoy times in the yogurt caked mess of my life.
Because as yogurt caked and sleep deprived as it is, it is a life filled to the brim with love and that is surely the greatest of all things.
'Three things will last forever, faith, hope and love. But the greatest of all of these is love.'
1 Corinthians 13:13.