Camping and anxiety

We took the kids camping last week. I wasn’t sure how my two princesses would cope being away from WiFi and electricity, but they completely surprised me! They loved sleeping in tents and cooking on the tiny gas stove. Even when we got caught in a wind storm and one of our tents got ripped to shreds they treated it like a huge adventure.

Losing one of the tents meant that all 4 of us had to squish into the same tent, which would have been fine if it wasn’t for the hail and thunderstorms, bucketing rain and howling winds. And the fact that our tent is apparently not waterproof anymore. A year ago I would have demanded that we pack up and go home as soon as the first raindrop fell, but I surprised myself and enjoyed the chaos. I didn’t freak out when we got caught up the mountain in a thunderstorm and had to race back down to safety, I didn’t panic when the tent collapsed or when all our gear got wet. Instead we all just kinda got on and made the best of it. Honestly, it was one of the best family trips we’ve had in a while.

I don’t know if it was being surrounded by nature, or the fact that I’m so well medicated, or that I’m feeling so burnt out that I just couldn’t be bothered to care but I loved the whole chaotic experience.

Another fun thing lockdown has done.

The kids have been in lockdown since mid March. Once of the things that this enforced togetherness has highlighted is that The Husbeast and myself have very different parenting styles.

Our kids are good kids. The are well behaved, respectful, kind, loving… like I said, they are good kids. But they are kids, they don’t like doing chores so they will do anything to get out of doing “work”. Before lock down, we had such busy lives that we all had our specific chores that we had to complete and if we didn’t do them, we spent most of Sunday afternoons catching up. A lot of things just didn’t get done, especially when it came to cleaning.

Since we’ve been stuck at home, I’ve spent hours in the internet reading blogs about how to increasing my productivity and decrease my stress. I’ve downloaded pages and pages of worksheets, flowcharts, checklist, all designed to bring order back into our chaotic lives. Needless to say, none of it worked.

The main problem is that I leave the house and go to work everyday, The Husbeast works from home. He closes the bedroom door and is glued to his phone and laptop the whole day. The kids have realised that he doesn’t check up on them as long as they are quiet. They have to complete their school work but other than that the day is theirs to spend as they want. I give them instructions and expect everything to be done when I walk into the house in the afternoon. I’m pretty lucky, when I leave work in DONE with work. No after hour phone calls or emails. The Husbeast is not so lucky, he still has to answer calls and emails.

And that’s where the conflict comes in. I walk into a messy and chaotic house and then FREAK out. If the girls don’t do their part, I have to complete their chores before I can start doing what I need to do. If they don’t pack away the clean dishes, I can’t wash the dirty dishes and clean the kitchen and start cooking and and and and … You get the picture.

So I’m upset cause I feel like I have to take on all these extra tasks over and above my normal daily work and the Husbeast is upset cause he feels like I’m calling him a bad parent and implying that he doesn’t pull his weight in the house.

When I ask the kids to do something, I tell them exactly what I want them to do (like clean their rooms), and by when I want them to do it. If I notice that they haven’t started their task, I will remind them of it. If it doesn’t get done, I will get upset with them and insist that they complete the task or I will do it myself while loudly complaining that it was not my task to complete. The Husbeast is different. He will ask them to do something once. If they don’t do it, he will ignore it. And that just drives me insane. He will see that something isn’t done and just leave it for another day. I have learnt, we can’t leave things till later cause we just wont do it at all.

There is no easy solution, we just see things very differently. We’ve started having little family meetings on Sunday afternoons, where we divide up the chores for the coming week. It’s not a perfect system but it seems to be helping.

“Me no sleepy time!”

Since the beginning of time, those 4 little words have struck fear into the hearts of mothers everywhere. The Tomboy has decided that she doesn’t need any sleep, she fidgets and moans until she eventually passes out from complete exhaustion. By that time I usually am half insane from pure frustration. Hopefully this phase is just short lived, there is not enough coffee in the world to keep me calm at this point!

Waiting my turn

As I’ve grown older (and hopefully wiser) I have realized that I spend most of my life waiting.  Waiting in ques  at supermarkets, waiting for my turn to speak, waiting for someone else to finish up so that I can have my moment in the spotlight, waiting for my kids to sleep on their own beds, waiting for others to see my potential… The list is endless.  So I have now decided to stop waiting, that it is OK to sometimes step in front and demand attention.  And that it is also OK to give up and accept that change is not always inevitable, and that sometimes going with the flow is just easier and healthier.  

I will be the first to admit that I don’t always know when to stay my hand and when to dive in headfirst, hopefully it will come soon. Until then I can see that my ego might be bruised and battered:)