One of the biggest challenges for me since becoming a mother is that everything is an effort.
Want to “pop to the shops” because you forgot something? (Even typing that phrase makes me laugh!)
Okay, then you need to talk one child into going to the toilet, grab some spare nappies for the other, get everyone to put their shoes on, then find out there is a last minute nappy change, then buckle everyone in, then tell them to stop arguing. Finally you get all your stuff organised, and half an hour later, you have left the house!
Think an afternoon down at the park is a good idea? Repeat toileting process as above, make sure everyone has sunscreen, hats, water, snacks, shoes, buckle one into pram, (they will then inform you they need a nappy change), tell everyone to stop arguing … you get the picture!
It sometimes gets to the point where I do some much stuff that needs an effort with my kids during the day, that when Mr suggest a night out for just the two of us, my mind goes into shut down … “what you mean organise babysitting, get kids fed, bathed, settled, clean house to a state where at least the babysitters can sit down, oh and then get myself dressed and at agreed venue in a reasonable outfit and with some capacity for conversation?!”
It is often much easier to say “I can’t deal with the effort, let’s just stay home”.
This week we were given free tickets to an event. Last minute we organised a babysitter, and we went out. And no, I am not going to tell you it wasn’t an effort, because it was! I nearly missed my train, we miscommunicated where to meet, it was cold. It would have been easier to just be at home. But as we walked to the venue we talked, as we tried new foods we connected and discussed, and as we walked back I got shown some lovely aspects of the city that he experiences every day.
When my eldest gets herself worked up into a state, part of the calming technique we use, is that I remind her to breathe. It is an effort for her to calm down. Sometimes it is easier to keep the tantrum going, to stop and breathe is hard work. Sometimes she says to me “I can’t mummy, I can’t”.
Our night out felt like that for me, a moment where I reminded myself that sometimes I have to just stop and breathe, no matter the effort it takes. It is only then that I realise what a state I have got myself in!