Making the most of it

How do we make the most of a situation that we don’t want to end and yet, is the humdrum of our lives with all it’s daily frustrations?

This question has been on my mind for a few weeks, as Mini Mck’s school start date looms in the not too distant future, when at the same time I’d been finding days with two small children frustrating and irritating.

Just like any job, even one that is loved, there are times when caring for your kids full time is something you would really just rather not do and before Christmas, this is exactly how I felt. The change from having a toddler and a baby to having two toddlers, added to the manic Christmas preparations, miserable winter weather and the longest school term in the history of the world, ever, was taking it’s toll on me and my boy tribe. I still went through the motions of mothering, but really what my real voice was silently screaming ‘go away, stop needing me, stop causing me work.’

As Mckdaddy’s Christmas break was coming to an end, I found I was dreading looking after the children again and yet I knew I couldn’t spend the next seven months shouting and wanting them to  go away, because in September I will, no doubt be wishing I could have this special time back.

Sometimes things happen just at the right time. I got a book from the library. The Happiness Project. It is the kind of book that seems to have been written especially for me, as if the author is just sitting next to me having a chat. It is gently pushing me to make small changes, that are having big effects on how our days are being played out.

I realised I need more of a plan each day, even when nursery is happening we are back by Midday with still a lot of time to fill. It’s not a rigid plan, but I know roughly what we are going to do and what we are going to eat and when Nano is going to sleep. Suddenly as they are finishing one thing, I am preparing the next. While they snack, I am getting the playdoh ready, while they busy themselves with playdoh, I am preparing lunch or getting the lego ready in another room. Our days are suddenly running much smoother and I feel so much more in control.

I also had to accept that we need to get outside as much as we can. Every day if possible. Thankfully swings and slides are being replaced with bikes and football, which I much prefer and I even pop Nano’s trike in the pushchair for him to join in. We don’t always stay long, but it makes such a difference.

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It’s not just about what I am doing when the children are awake. After they have gone to bed I am having a quick half an hour tidy up and probably the most important thing is I am getting to sleep at a decent time, making sure I have a decent period of non-screen reading time before I do. I know it’s boring, but I feel so much better and so for now, I shall have to be boring.

I am not so unrealistic to think that I am always going to feel so energised and enthused, but for the first time in a long time I really am making the most of our day to day life. I am putting in to practice my desire to really enjoy these last few months before school starts and it feels wonderful.


5 thoughts on “Making the most of it

  1. Love this, and remember it so well. When the four of them were all small and high maintenance days seemed unbearably long sometimes, and I’d stay up late trying to grab time for ME. Took ages before I realised sleep – and a plan – were key. Loved The Happiness Project and I must have another read of it! Now mine are aged 6 – almost 13, it’s about finding time when they’re at school. Working from home is hard! x

  2. Following on from our chat about this, I took heed and planned a few bits, it made the last two hours of the day go a lot more smoothly – we all know it works, it’s just sometimes hard to gather inspiration!

    Glad it’s working for you x

  3. Hi, what is that book like? I read about it in my magazine and wondered about investing. Is it worth it overall? It takes along time to get into a routine you’re happy with, when you have little one(s) and then just when you do, they go and change on you and need new things!

    1. the last couple of chapters haven’t been so relevant to me, but I’m only halfway through. The first two or three definitely were though and I’ve picked up lots of little tips that are making such a difference to my outlook

  4. I got a bit stuck halfway through the book but I think I should just go and skip some of the chapters that I don’t think are relevant to me right now. I am glad to see that you are finding a way for it all to work for you. I find as Kate has got older I need to adjust what I think they need from a day (she still naps but also needs wearing out a little now too). This is the hardest time of year and we have all been quite housebound since you wrote this with the snow but I love to hear what you have planned each day and I love the fact you seem to ask MM what he wants to do each day.

    I cannot wait for Spring when we are all wanting to be, not just needing to be outside.

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