It’s been a busy and tumultuous time in our house with lots of change over the last couple of weeks. The twins have started daycare, Mr 5 started school and this week marked my return to part-time work following 20 months of maternity leave.
I was warned of the ‘tired tantrums’ that would inevitably occur a few weeks after Mr 5 started school, and a number of school mums with older kiddies revealed week three is generally the week when the wheels start falling off. But what no one told me was that it just not the kiddies that will struggle. No one told me that I too would also start feeling tired, uninspired and generally just like having a tantrum myself.
I have done very little inventive cooking other than just getting lunchboxes organised and the normal meals on the table and what I had planned to write about this week will have to be saved for another time as I forgot to take the required pictures from the meals. I have been feeling sluggish. And grumpy. And even though I have eaten my way through the best part of a block of fruit and nut chocolate it has done little to give me the lift I was hoping for. Funnily enough.
When I picked up my son from after school care on Monday (which just so happened to be my first day back at work) he burst into tears as soon as he saw me. ‘Oh how sweet – happy tears’ I thought to myself and how apt as I felt a little emotional too after all it had been a successful First-Day-Back-At-Work and that morning we all managed to leave the house. With everything that we needed. On time. Oh wait – that needs more celebration – ON TIME!!! But no, not happy tears. Tears, in fact, because he did not want me to pick him up. As I swallowed my annoyance (reminding myself to breathe, telling myself to remain calm) I felt my happiness bubble deflate. And it is that feeling of deflation that has remained with me all week.
Now that is not to say it is my 5 year old’s fault, I am sure I would have felt this way even if he had skipped up to me singing how he had the best mummy in the world. He is just tired and overwhelmed and given this we have wisely (in my humble opinion) chosen to pick our battles carefully with him during this adjustment period and cut him some slack. But I do not think I have been as considerate to myself. I have been feeling so guilty about my lack of drive this week and thoughts have cluttered my head about how I ‘should’ be baking something fresh for the family or working on my recipes, I ‘should’ be planning fun activities with the kids.
It took me until Thursday to cut myself some slack and to let go of my feelings of what I should be doing and just accept we were all doing what we needed to do during this period of change in our house. I think that realisation came just in time as Friday evening was a chorus of crying from all three children from the time they were all picked up from daycare and school until the time they went to bed. So this weekend we are in recovery mode. We have planned to have no plans and to rest as much as possible. Maybe I will do some baking. Maybe not. And that is ok.