If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

My responsibility is.....

Have been struggling a bit this weekend and after listening to catch up on radio 4's Woman's Hour about anxiety have decided I need to put my house or rather my mind in order.

After lunch today I took the dog out for his walk all by myself. As I am a fair weather dog walker, gardener etc I try to avoid being outside in the wet and cold and with the weather being so crap lately the lovely husband has been on dog walking duty. What a star.  This afternoon was dry, cloudy and windy and whilst walking the cold blustery wind blew away my cobwebs and worries and the peace and quiet ogave me time to just be, to take stock and find new paths to follow in an attempt to make my life easier.

This is the first time this week that I've had time just to myself , half term has meant that the children have wanted me on tap all week, usually whilst child 4 sleeps they are all at school so I have an hour or so to regroup and re-organise my day, re prioritising what needs to be done. This week I haven't had that time, the minute number 4 is in bed I am required for something else. By the weekend the house was a mess, the ironing overflowing, and still child 1 needs help preparing for her French speaking exam, child 2 hasn't even started his history project (I did set him timetable for completing it 3 weeks ago, in hindsight I should have made him set it and write it down, that way he would have been more likely to actually work to it) and child 3 has to finish her space story and solar system for school.  I am very aware that, certainly the two eldest children at 15 and 13 years old should be able to sort themselves out but that doesn't stop me wanting to help them to do the best they can. Also once something has been discussed and set, like child 2's project timetable I seem to just forget and move on with the next thing that needs sorting out.  Not the best parenting I guess but in a way the children have to learn to take responsibility for their own homework, bedrooms and lives. In addition to all that I am going into work tomorrow morning for another keep in touch session, I know that one of the girls has very excitingly handed in her notice and is leaving for pastures new in a couple of weeks, which of course is leaving my already short staffed team even more short handed and I can feel the pressure to return a little earlier than intended creeping up on me. However for the moment my family does have to come first. Child 4 isn't fully settled into nursery yet and having had a week off for half term could potentially struggle on his return. Child 1 has drama competitions coming up and I would like to have the opportunity to watch her compete, without worrying about working. Another concern is how I will manage to work, look after the house, take care of the children and all the millions of things us mums have to do with the reducing time that I have.

Over a late lunch, I couldn't even have lunch ready by one today, it was almost two I talked to everyone about how I was feeling. I talked about, how after I empty the wash basket someone will decide to clear all the dirty washing off their floor and fill the basket back up, the trail of destruction they all leave everywhere they go, shoes, coats, toys and empty crisp packets and cups just left where they are finished with. I explained how on my return to work I will have less time to pick up and clean and actually I shouldn't have to, they are with the exception of child 4 more than capable of picking up after themselves.

My time out with the dog gave me the opportunity to think through new ways of ensuring that new routines can be set and adhered too. A teenager will show empathy whilst I talk of my concerns but then they are off  doing their own thing and forget to put the dirty washing in the wash basket and put their old coffee cups in the dishwasher, I need to teach them to do these things and this in turn will lead to consequences in not co operating. An amazing example is the "can I have your phones, IPods etc until your bedrooms are tidy please"  the bedrooms are tidied immediately.  Dirty washing being hoarded in bedrooms will lead to them sorting, loading and drying the washing at a weekend, not putting cups etc in the dishwasher will lead to washing up after dinner, items left lying around will be kept in a special bag ready to be retrieved once a chore out of the chore box is completed. Part of parenting is to teach our children to take responsibility for themselves after all in the real world there are consequences for all our actions and we have to take responsibility for them.
I am starting today by taking responsibility for my needs and building a routine that will work to help me keep my sanity

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