So I’m three weeks into my plan to put my body back together again and get a bit healthier after having three babies in four years. My mission from last week to get more sleep has only been partially successful so far. Greta’s eczema has continued to be bad and was causing her a lot of trouble at night, so I spent a fair few hours in the middle of the night trying to rock my giant toddler to sleep in my arms so she can get some relief from the constant itching. We have managed to help her get a better nights sleep recently though with the help of these scratch sleeves which are literally genius. I have also been pretty bad at sticking to my new bedtime and have been staying up late like a naughty kid. But it’s mainly been to organise things for Mabel’s birthday which was at the weekend so I’ll let myself off. But I do feel like the kids are all getting to bed in good time since we implemented our new bedtime routine, so at least we are having a bit more of an evening.
I’m doing fabulously with drinking more water, if I do say so myself, thanks in part to a lovely water bottle that my sister-in-law bought for me like the super person she is. I always find that when I do get back in the habit of drinking lots, that I can really tell when I forget to drink and start to get dehydrated during the day. It’s a really yucky feeling when your not used to it.
So this week I’ve decided the one change I’m going to add in is going to be getting outside more often. Although at the weekends we’ve been having lots of outdoor adventures and being fairly active, during the week when I’m on my own, it’s a completely different story. I’m more than a bit embarrassed to admit this, but last week we went a whole week Monday-Friday without leaving the house. That’s extreme, because normally we have the preschool run and shopping to do and doctors appointments and things, but it’s not uncommon for us to have at least 2 days a week when we don’t venture out. It’s just that when there’s nowhere that we have to be, it’s so tempting to just forget about the stress-fest that is trying to leave the house.
No matter how many children you have, you probably know what I mean. Just in case you don’t, here are some examples of things that I find a bit tricky (frickin impossible) about leaving the house with three kids….
- Finding clothes for everyone in the pile of clothes that I like to call ‘clean washing mountain’, plus a spare set to take with us that we’ll only need if I don’t bother to take it.
- Coaxing, bribing and begging the girls to come and get dressed, in 3 minute chunks in between trying to settle the baby, who just wants to get going so he can fall asleep.
- Finding everyone’s shoes, getting them on and then actually leaving the house before somebody rips them off again and chucks them to the corner of the room.
- Trying to rake my fingers through my hair and clean the baby sick off my top with a baby wipe 2 seconds before we leave, so I look like I actually have a home to go back to.
- Convincing the toddler that she is going in the buggy, she’s not going to walk as she keeps screaming at me. The word ‘walk’ doesn’t actually seem to be in her vocabulary, and I’d rather not have to run screaming after her towards a busy road with a baby in a wrap and a 4 year old stood laughing at me (once was enough thank you).
And that’s before you even think about all the possible disastrous scenarios that could play out while we are out in the wild, with all of the general publics judgmental eyes upon us. Tantrums, an emergency toddler toilet stop behind a wheelie bin, a preschooler who insists on hugging every tree and shouting ‘THIS TREE IS MY BEST FRIEND’, you’ve got to be prepared for everything and anything.
I’m not even joking, leaving the house is exhausting, and when I’m surviving on little sleep and have a breastfeeding baby sucking the life out of me every hour and a half, who will only sleep on me during the day so I have to wrap him for all his naps….. it’s so tempting to just skip the whole thing and become a hermit. I usually chuck the kids out in the garden (sometimes with coats on over their pjs) so they are still getting their daily dose of fresh air and exercise.
But I think I need to give myself a bit of a kick up the bum, because although I’m a great believer in not beating yourself up and just doing whatever you need to do to survive this parenting game, I think I will feel a lot better if we do get out in the outside world a bit more often. Carl takes our car to work with him, and I don’t have any friends within walking distance as we only moved here in November, so we are a bit limited with where we can escape to. But there is at least one nice park and I know of more which I need to venture to and explore. A bit of fresh air and a walk will do us the world of good on those days when everyone is going stir crazy. I just need to force myself to grit my teeth and push through the crazy leaving the house routine.
One thing I am going to make a habit to help me out is I’m going to insist that everyone gets dressed first thing before Carl goes to work and while he’s still around to lend a hand. I did this this morning and Greta said ‘Ooh where we going to mama?’ I think that says it all…
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