Wednesday, 26 July 2017

A Mum's Day Off

Wednesday is the one day in the week that has 
no appointments, no visitors, no support staff and
none of the offspring at home. 
The house is empty; no need to watch the clock. 
It is the perfect day of the week to have my 'day off' 
but I am beginning to wonder about today …

So far, I have travelled to the school twice and it isn't even home-time yet. Miss Get-out-of-bed-too-late (twin sister of Miss Go-to-sleep-too-late) needed to be driven to make it by the bell. I had barely arrived home again when the plea for rescue came through, "Forgot my computer today!"  

If it weren't for everything going digital and 'internetty' lately (including the school curriculum) and if it weren't for important assignments being due for submission today, I would have not bothered. (My parenting is very much of the 'tough love' and 'natural consequences' variety). 

Being a 'softie' today, I agreed, with a sigh, to go right back to school with computer in hand.

Since I was getting in the car and going that way anyway, why not fix up another overdue errand?  

Along with computer and wheelie walker, I packed into the car Miss Get-out-of-bed-too-late's push bike which had a rear wheel puncture in need of repair.  After all, the bike workshop is along the way, between home and school, and would be open.

Luckily, it was morning (when I'm at my best) and I had the strength to remove the stubborn front wheel to fit the bike into the car. The whole exercise would have been much easier if the garage roll-a-door hadn't argued though! 

No worries, the bike will be ready for pick-up after school.  That's great service and next time my daughter wakes up too late, she can get herself to school with pedal power; what a furtive, mischievous mum I can be!

After that easy errand, a quick dash into the local shops on the way home to exchange an item and grab a few groceries left me with a sense of achievement and it wasn't even 10 a.m.  "Right." I said to myself, "Now I can get on with the day I had planned:"
  • An appointment about support services;
  • Laundry (sheets and linen which had been waiting until the sun came out. Today's weather is cold but fine);
  • Basic housework and tidying;
  • Household administrative tasks.

The clock has just gone 3:00 p.m. While checking the washing on the line (not dry yet) and enjoying the sun at the same time, I reflected on where the day has gone:

  • School run
  • School re-run
  • Bike shop
  • Groceries
  • Four loads of laundry
  • Support service review
  • Attempts to deal with household admin. amidst a bunch of further interruptions:
    • A flurry of phone calls in response to the support service review from various providers
    • Messages and calls from offspring
    • Messages to coordinate the after school activities

The realisation came that all of these things were concerning either health admin., housework, household management or errands for the children.

What happened to MY day off?  

Broomstick scarf and hat in rainbow colours casually draped across the corner of the well worn table.  This is where they ended up as I took them off.  The scarf is folded and the beanie style hat is resting on top.
The latest broomstick hat prototype is complete!
Here it is with the scarf, casually dropped
on the table as they were taken off

I haven't even had a chance to pick up my crochet hook but I did get to wear my latest scarf and hat ensemble created with broomstick crochet.

The fatigue is tapping on my shoulder and an afternoon nap is in order. After that, it will be preparing the evening meal and serving the family's needs.  Do you think it is too much to ask for crochet time after dinner?

In future, I will need to be stricter about my use of Wednesdays!

 Do you have days like this?


  1. Be strict!! Sometimes I will SIT, be it with a coffee or book or hooky, while the laundry stand in piles. I have 4/5 hours in the morning to do everything related to admin, training, house cleaning, laundry, shopping - everything. So sometimes those 5 hours are just mine ;-)

    1. That is excellent advice, Stel. Laundry time is a good time to grab moments between cycles. I like to do quieter, less physically demanding tasks then so there's enough stamina to hang the washing out. Ooooh to have 4-5 hours to ourselves! I'm so happy that you are able to do that. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about it. You are living the dream when that happens, Stel! ;-)

  2. I'm in the middle of a hell week - they don't happen as frequently these days, with kids grown and gone and just the two of us at home. But I do have one this week - AND a huge flare that exploded yesterday... I'm helping out a friend who's in town doing a show by babysitting her little dogs on the days she has double calls, and this week she had a 24 hour away trip with the rest of the cast for an awards night interstate. So, Monday overnight til the middle of Tuesday afternoon. This afternoon. Tomorrow afternoon for the matinee that was cancelled Tues and moved to tomorrow, and supposedly I'm meeting someone else for brunch on Friday. As it is, I dragged myself there today, and emailed apologising for what will be a no show to a rehearsal I should be going to because I'm just home now and could happily go to bed. The brunch may have to be postponed also because I've got bloods on Friday and have realised I need to see my GP - a flare with no endone is NOT OK. I was running around with washing and housework this morning - well, wasn't pretty. Must do a load of washing tomorrow morning too. And call the surgery to make that appt.
    And I must stop rambling here too...LOL!!
    I'm totally impressed about you getting Miss Got-out-of-bed-late's bike firxed for 'next time'...go you, dragon mother! And all those other errands too. But, I do think you need to quarantine a compulsory block of 'you time' for Wednesdays!

    1. Oh no, Kaz! :-O
      I'm horrified to learn you are in such a state at the moment. Isn't it typical that a flare comes when you least need it? Why do bodies do that? Could the excitement of guests (of either two-legged or four-legged variety) have triggered something? I find that any type of stress, even stress from happy, exciting things, can set me off. It's so hard and I feel for you.

      Can you put off or delegate any of that washing or housework for the duration of this busy time? Please don't be offended at the suggestion - I realise how important it is for busy households to have the washing machine going all the time to avoid the backlog - but when I am on a downhill slide, the laundry is one of the first things I delegate, along with washing the dishes!

      I'm sure your friend would not want you running yourself ragged due to her visit. It's a shame that the light at the end of your tunnel got pushed back. I encourage you to take those quick power naps, sneaking into bed when your body screams. Sometimes half an hour can help.

      For people like us who usually need much more recovery time than usual, half an hour will not relieve your fatigue much but it can give you valuable time to calm down and de-stress and get a little bit of thinking capacity back.

      I find that when I'm so mind-numbingly tired, I cannot see the simple, logical solutions that are so obvious to us when we are better rested. I'm reminding you in case you are in that place this week!

      Don't worry about rambling! Better out than in! You can ramble all you like. It helps. Thanks for the cheer for dragon mothers too! I'm feeling proud now.

      So that was my advice to you (I must be a 'dragon aunt' too) and I like your advice to me about quarantining a block of time. Yes, I am out of practice. Forces beyond my control have insidiously undermined my efforts and I can now see that a conscious effort will be needed to reclaim time for me.

      So, what were you saying about rambling on ... ? ;-)

    2. Haha!! It's all good. Doing my last shift with the little dogs this afternoon, as the show wraps up here tonight and they'll be heading back to Sydney tomorrow. It's fine once I'm here, cos they've had a walk, and mostly sleep, so I can just rest. It's been the getting around in between this week. You'll be pleased to know (?!) that the mountain of towels is still on the laundry floor waiting to be washed, and my own washing hasn't even made it as far as the laundry. Job for tomorrow, methinks!
      However, I managed Tai Chi this morning - which was bloody hard work, but SO worth doing. Plus it stops me stressing about missing too much, LOL!!
      Hmmm...rambling...were we rambling or philosophising... ;-)

    3. Good for you, Kaz, on going to Tai Chi. Yes, it's hard work and tiring but in a good way because you are making an investment in your wellbeing.

      As for the laundry, I like the indecision about the correct punctuation (?!) which made me grin. I can see that!

      It's almost a contradiction for me to be proud of dirty washing waiting on the floor after my upbringing which says that dirty laundry either goes in the washing machine and gets done or sits neatly in a hamper; if it is wet or damp, God forbid that you leave it lying around because that's not healthy.

      So it isn't pleasing to have dirty laundry on the floor per se but it is more pleasing than ending up in hospital or sick for days and weeks because you pushed your body too far. I am proud of you for prioritising yourself.

      That washing isn't going anywhere so it can wait (although it would be nice if it could magically take itself to the laundromat and return neatly ironed and folded) and you're not going downhill for overdoing things.

      You will get there (my sheets were sitting in the hamper for almost 3 weeks while I went through other sets until they got done!) We get there eventually!

      It is good to see you are feeling more positive now. xxx

  3. Well done for getting so much done and helping out your daughter. The bike is such a great idea for another time. However, you do need to look after yourself and take some time for yourself on a Wednesday...Take care!

    1. That's the thing, isn't it Lorraine? It's finding that balance between making the most of those energetic and lucid moments without overdoing things. It's difficult to gauge when one has been low for an extended time. I'm thrilled to be gradually clearing a very long task list.

      How are you going with your list? Houses and property improvements can have endless lists of things that need doing. I hope you are finding joy in all of those things as you continue to turn your house into a beautiful, welcoming home. x

  4. Yep, been there. Just when you think you've got time on your hands, things pop up for you to do and you end the day wondering what happened to that free time. Now that both my boys are away at college and I quit working, I do actually have all extra time in the world. And though I could use it to get so much done (like organizing and purging and tidying), I allow myself lots of time to just be. I spent so many years rushing around and taking care of everyone else, so I don't let myself feel guilty now (though there are times ever so often when I feel like I should be doing something important). I'm guessing with your health obstacles, you do need to make good use of those feel good days. But then again, feeling good has everything to do with self-care, too, so sit back and get to hooking. :)

    1. Yes!
      Tammy, you have precisely identified the main culprit(s) - the 'pop-up' stuff! Usually the timelines for these things do not cooperate with my current plans that are nicely laid out in advance. It is very frustrating to schedule activities to allow for rest and unexpected issues, only to have them hijacked by some other urgent, important imposition.

      I'm glad you have thrown 'guilt' out the window when it comes to self-care. We need to take care of ourselves (guilt-free) before we take care of everyone else, don't we?

      I am going to take your advice and write it in big letters on my board and if anyone asks, I will say "Tammy said so. (So there.)" ;-)

      " S I T B A C K & G E T T O H O O K I N G !"

      I like it.

  5. It was a productive day, even if you didn't get the chance to crochet! Bet you looked great in your broomstick lace hat and scarf while you were out and about! Hope you managed to fit in a little hooky time in the evening.

    1. Thank you, Tamara, for sharing in my triumph, "even if I didn't get to crochet." Blogging was something I've been trying to get to again so it was nice to quickly spend time back in blogland and maybe explain the gap between entries. Reading and responding to everyone's comments today are part of 'me time'.

      Yesterday was the first wear of the hat for an outing. I wanted to see how it felt after an extended time just to be sure (plus I loved the look - should have taken a photo but was so busy!)

      As for the evening, I went straight to bed after posting this blog entry, slept for about an hour and then it was dinner time. Once that was cleared up, it was quite late so the rest of the evening was spend relaxing with the family. At bedtime, I reached for the project bag to do a row or two but fell asleep before I could even get the work out of the bag!

  6. My days like this happen often... almost always with an underlying edge of anxiety. That feeling that I'll never get time to myself again and the day has almost gone even before it's started. Sometimes I remind myself that I'd give anything for even 30 minutes to myself on a typically busy, hectic day, and that even a small amount of time is worth it. I can certainly relate to all of the above!

    1. Hi Sarah! I am thrilled to see you here and also thrilled to notice that you have been blogging regularly this year. For some reason, your posts weren't showing in my blog reader and I thought you must have been taking a break. Apologies for relying on my reading list and not checking manually. This year has been a crazy one for me so I hope you understand. From a quick glance, your project pictures look amazing. I will make it a blogging priority to catch up on all of your news.

      I'm sorry that you are dealing with anxiety. That's not nice at all. I wish you didn't have to experience that.

      Life can get very hectic and crazy for all sorts of reasons. It is easy to get caught up on that roundabout and can feel impossible to get off again. Does that fast pace feed your anxiety? Some people thrive on a busy lifestyle, others not so much.

      You are so right about even a small amount of time to oneself making a difference.

      I have been thinking these issues through as I've been reading everyone's comments - perhaps it is about choices; choosing to do something meaningful for ourselves in that quick 10 minutes instead of forcing ourselves to endure yet another thing on the never-ending task list. Perhaps determining which things are the most and least valuable to us can help to prioritise.

      Often my resting time is also my thinking time. Sitting still and thinking is just as productive as being busy with physical activity. I will ponder these things more deeply during that time.

      Thanks so much for saying hi, Sarah! It's great to know you are still blogging and creating beautiful things. xxx

  7. YOu are the best Mum in the world, I hope Ms Has To Have Her Mom Come To The Rescue knows that. I was a sucker when it came to my kids and made a many a trip to school to deliver lunch or homework. I am sure I am not done as Little Buddy will be the same. Well you got loads done even if it ended up not being a day for you! Hope you did get some rest in between all the running around.

    1. Thanks, Meredith. You are so sweet and I love your sense of humour. You are right that this wasn't the first 'rescue' and it probably won't be the last for me either. Your Little Buddy is such a bomb (in a cute and clever way), I am sure he will give you lots of adventures of a similar kind. We can laugh about it together.

      As for getting things done, it was an excellent day. It was wonderful to be able to harness a state of clear-thinking that coincided with pain-free energy and motivation. Yay!

      Rest? Yes, Mum! ;-) I did get some useful sleep between signing off the blog entry and preparing dinner. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing with my family.

  8. Well, so much for your day off! I hope you got some crocheting in after supper.
    and a nap.
    I hope you got a nap!

    1. That's what I began to feel too, at first, "So much for a day off!"
      Nevertheless, it felt good to get so many things crossed off my list, especially those that had been lingering until a sufficiently lucid moment.

      It was hard to switch off for a nap but I got there in the end!