Last week was one of those weeks when nothing goes to plan. A nothing sort of week. It was a week that started off slow and lazy, we were recovering after a busy week the week before and so we wore our snuggliest clothes and we had soup for lunch and we downloaded the new chipmunks movie (I know… Mabel loves it!) and cuddled on the sofa.
But as the week went on, everyone started to come down with colds, Ernie was cutting another tooth, nobody was sleeping well… And to be honest with you, there was no big disaster, nothing was going on that we couldn’t ordinarily deal with, but I was feeling really really hormonal and just lost all my get up and go. And I find that once you have a couple of bad days in a row, it can very easily snowball. It quickly turned into one of those survival mission weeks, the ones where you give up on doing anything productive and you switch focus to just getting through it. Just keep everyone in one piece until Saturday, until the reinforcements arrive (in the form of Daddy).
With a baby, a toddler, a 4 year old and a hormonal mother in the house, these weeks are bound to happen. Whole weeks when nothing much gets done, we don’t have any exciting days out, we don’t do any fun crafts, we don’t cook and bake together, but we survive. We watch TV, we read stories, we eat cheese on toast, the girls play together on their own for hours on end, and we rely heavily on iPads. It’s not a pretty picture, it’s not a tidy house, but it is reality. When you have your children at home with you 24/7, you’re going to have days and weeks when you don’t completely nail it, and that’s ok.
I could feel guilty and beat myself up for having a bad week, and to be honest with you I did… but then I decided to look for the positives and concentrate on what we were winning at. So here’s three things that I learnt from our rubbish week…
My kids can amuse themselves
I already knew this really because they do have a lot of free play time, but last week I really noticed how long they can spend absorbed in their own games. Listening from downstairs or the other room I could hear all sorts of stories being acted out. One minute it’s Catboy and Owlet, into the night to save the day, the next it’s a Mummy and her daughter going on holiday to Butins, whatever they are doing they are really good at being imaginative and playing co-operatively (most of the time). Ok, they might pull all the clothes out of the draws and destroy their bedroom while they’re playing… but this week I’ll turn a blind eye to that if they leave me alone for an hour so I can rock and cuddle Mr. grumpy teething baby to sleep and have a hot cup of tea.
They’re not just amused, they’re learning!
I believe there is huge power in children’s own self directed free play, and I also think that the skills they’re learning and developing through imaginative play might not always be immediately apparent to us adults, but no matter what they definitely get so much from it. It’s always nice to take comfort in the fact that although I’m not ‘teaching’ them anything, they are always learning and practising all the skills that are going to help them out in the big wide world. Last week they even started picking up pens and paper on their own. Mabel’s drawing has really come on leaps and bounds and her people not only have a body, a head, arms and legs, they now have hands and feet, fingers and toes (which she counts to make sure there are 10 of each) and she’s also started doing some independent ‘writing’. A few times last week she came to me with paper and pen and asked me to write some words for her to copy ‘Mummy can you show me how to write To Daddy, From Mabel’. I love to hear this because it means she actually wants to write and she is enjoying it.
They are happy and they are loved
It’s not my favourite way to spend a week and I doubt it is theirs either… but I’m pretty sure they notice the piles of laundry in the corner or the fact that we’ve had toast based lunches every day a lot less than I do. I’m always going to feel a little bit guilty if we’ve had a nothing sort of day (or week), but there’s really no need to beat myself up. They are happy, they are loved, and there is always next week to recreate a Pinterest board in the playroom.
I only managed to vlog on Monday last week and it’s a bit rubbish, but this is how we spent a lot of our week, just chatting and playing, and lying on the sofa and trying not to move…
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