Friday, 29 November 2013

Putting the brakes on


...Or not.


Last night I set out to my art class and bumped my car before I'd even left our road. No damage - just sheer absent-mindedness. Except that's the second time it's happened in a week. 

Prior to setting off I'd crammed into an hour cleaning, dinner, a rush-job on last week's homework and wrapping some empty boxes for the shop window display we're working on this evening. I'd rushed out of the house with a half-packed bag and realised I'd forgotten my apron. I was running late despite promising myself I'd set off earlier this week.

This little scenario was typical of how my life is at the moment. And the only person placing all these demands on me is me.

Halfway there (cursing the traffic) I just pulled over. I couldn't face it. I wanted to turn around and come home. So I did.


We all have different thresholds when it comes to stress, anxiety, burnout. I think I'd reached my limit. I haven't slept properly for weeks. I tell myself that people see being a stay-at-home mum is an easy option to take. Or that I only have one child and other people have two, three, four and cope.

But the fact is that I've been looking after Joe - who is, incidentally, a delight and no trouble (and Jay is beyond supportive) - and trying to cram in far too many other things. Setting myself unrealistic targets. Being silly, basically.


The volunteering is fun but has of late been spilling into my other time. Extra hours, making things for the displays (like the book sculptures in the photos). I've got things to make to order too. And Christmas presents. Cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry. Dealing with financial stuff. Making sure everyone gets to see Joe on a regular basis. Being a perfectionist.

So last night I just decided to stop. Stop trying to multi-task, spin plates, however you want to describe it. I've had something arranged for every day of the past week and the weekend coming. I'm working tonight but once that's over I'm coming home to mulled wine and a hot bath. Tomorrow morning's activity: cancelled. 

This weekend is about tying up a few loose ends, getting my priorities straight and looking forward to December. I refuse to spend the run-up to Christmas trying to juggle endless projects and getting nothing finished. I love this time of year and want to savour it. We're off to a farmer's market on Sunday and that's as strenuous as it's going to get. Sometimes it's OK to admit you're not superwoman. 

This little sentiment makes sense to me right now:

Image courtesy of Tumblr

Have a relaxing weekend and thanks for reading x

16 comments:

  1. Yes, yes, yes. When my children were little I did nothing other than look after them and the house. Actually that's still all I do. But without the looking after small children bit.

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    1. Bloody hard work, isn't it? I just need to look at it for what it is: a full time job, not a hobby which needs justifying all the time.

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  2. Good for you! It's really easy to pile more and more stuff on, well done for calling a halt to the madness if it's stressing you out.

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    1. It was! No doubt I'll reach that point again but I'm trying to have a relaxed December - and have started a day early, just to get into the swing of things :)

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  3. Excellent and sensible decision! You are wise to know when you've hit your limit and not feel guilty about pulling out of stuff. I hope you have a wonderful run pup to Christmas.

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    1. Thank you - and it's surprising how easy it is to push non-essential things aside once you start. I'm quite enjoying my new laissez-faire approach. Long may it last :)

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  4. A very sensible decision, and one that saved all of us from piling unsolicited advice onto you! I hope you'll stay resolute now....

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    1. Me too! I'm a natural worrier and have always put a lot of pressure on myself. It's just a case of managing it, I suppose... maybe I'll put my efforts into that instead of trying to do far too much and feeling as though I accomplish very little!

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  5. A very sensible motto. I think I may write that out for myself! It's very easy to pile the pressure on ourselves, especially at this time of year.

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    1. I love that motto. It's easy to remember - perfect for me :)

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  6. What a great motto. I think I should try that too.

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    1. I'm trying to stick to it. It's quite liberating!

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  7. Oh no! I know how you feel, I wrote about this subject a few weeks ago. Sometimes it's all too much isn't it. It will pass and you will find a path through it. Chin up love xxx

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    1. Hi Lou - I read your post at the time and totally related to it. I've always got through times like this but why I let it get to this point I'll never know.
      Thanks for your lovely comment. I'm enjoying December, making a conscious effort to cut out the unnecessary stuff and making time for the fun things. Hope you're doing the same xx

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  8. I read this and nodded along - the car prang, the rushing around, the unrealistic targets. In the last few weeks I've done all of them too. It's so easy to belittle the job of stay-at-home-mothering and think that there's enough extra hours in the day to do so many other things. And then feel guilty and crap for not managing to do it all. It's something that's taken me a long time to realise (and I'm still learning it, 18 months in). As you say, we need to see it as the full time job it is.
    Sleep always helps - I find the weeks that I'm more tired than normal are the worst for mentally berating myself for being rubbish etc. Is it Joe waking you?
    I hope that now you've put all those plates down, you're feeling better. (And sorry for turning this comment into a therapy session for me!!) xx

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    1. That's what we visit each other's blogs for! It's always so nice when other people relate to your situation. Even when it's a tough one!
      We're very lucky in that Joe sleeps for 12 hours straight. It's my racing mind that keeps me awake. Although the past few nights have been much better. Slowing down has definitely helped.
      I think we can be our own worst enemies when it comes to needing to justify our choices. Some of my old 'friends' made snide comments about my staying home with Joe, and complained about having to go out to work and put their little ones into nursery. But it's completely my choice. We make do with less, don't spend more than we have and that's how we make it work. Each to their own.
      It's lovely to hear from someone who 'gets' it. The people I met through baby groups etc made me realise that just because you have children the same age doesn't mean you'll be good friends. You need to have a bit more in common than that, and that's where blogging helps :) x

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