I have just emerged from a week-from-hell. I was a bit blind-sided by it, particularly because I survived having a reflux baby (mostly) intact. You’d figure I could deal with a bit of screaming, right?
Both my tots came down with a bug. Sausage was coughing so badly I thought she was going to hack up a lung and she needed antibiotics. Chip came down with what I think was a different bug (joy) and was snotty, running a temperature etc.
That wasn’t the worst of it. There were tears, shouting, screaming, pleading and whining – and that was just from ME.
Both my tots were so out of sorts that I spent most of last week being whined, screamed or tantrumed at. Sausage wailed over the smallest request, while Chip threw some epic tantrums that lasted well over 40 minutes. It was exhausting. Oddly enough, it’s really hard to be a great parent when you are worn out and worn down, and I admit to completely loosing my cool on more than one occasion.
Sausage seemed much better by Friday, so I took her to a nature playgroup that we attend. BIG MISTAKE. The group walked down quite a steep hill. Sausage was okay, but slow and not really enjoying it. She completely lost the plot when she realised we’d have to walk UP the hill, and it took me more than 20 minutes to cajole my hysterical toddler to walk up the hill because Mummy could not carry her all the way.
Chip has been waking multiple times in the night, so D and I found ourselves running on empty yet again.
At times like these, the only way through is kindness. To ourselves, and to each other.
As someone who has had severe burnout I simply must take care of myself, lest my body decide to revert back to its stressed-out state. Most burn-out survivors never fully recover, and our bodies love to overreact to any sort of stress. Kindness to oneself is the best way to prevent a relapse.
We were supposed to join in our local Christmas parade, but it was a very wintry day. I reminded myself that even though Sausage seemed better, given her hysterics the day before she most definitely wasn’t, so we’d have to give the parade a miss. She was disappointed not to go, and I was inspired to do something kind – we put up our Christmas tree. I have never put the tree up quite so early, but it made her extremely happy. So happy, she likes to hide behind the tree and pretend it’s a talking tree.
D and I were kind to ourselves and abandoned the Dollar Diet for the weekend. We got lunch from a sandwich bar one day. The next day, D was in a particularly bad mood so I suggested we go for a walk around Virginia Lake. It was just the thing to perk him up, and he treated everyone to afternoon tea at the lake cafe.
D is so kind to me that he is giving me a weekend all to myself, even though he is very tired himself. We have friends with a holiday home near the beach, so I will be retreating there to rest in the peace and quiet.
We tried to get to bed early, and just got on with the absolute basics of life. Cleaning, cooking and caring for our children.
I’m happy to report my tots are on the mend, and we had a calm and peaceful day yesterday.