I am in a bit of a slump at the moment. Slump… such an odd word but the only word to pretty much sum up my physical and emotional mode for the last few days. Nothing bad has happened thankfully, other than the fact I have been struck down with a nasty bug and that I have the usual stresses and strains of a busy Mum of 3, but I also seem to have an added problem of feeling a bit ‘Meh’ about everything too.
I am aware that I don’t really have cause to complain. Many people are dealing with a bucket load of agro in their daily lives from serious illnesses to serious debt and I am thankful for all that I have but, on occasion, I also just want to adopt an Ebenezer Scrooge persona and grumble about nothing in particular as well.
I have always been an optimistic person, am always blessed as a shoulder to cry on for many friends as I am told I have a knack for cheering them up, but at the moment I would give Jack Dee a run for the morose crown!
And when I find myself in a slump, gone is my carefree abandoned nature and in return is a paranoid guilt fest of emotions. My reflection in the mirror is met with a tut while I try to fluff up my hair or study my increasing worry lines, I start a myriad of housework duties only to find that whatever I achieve (ironing, dusting, mopping) needs re-doing or goes unnoticed after a day which then leads to frustration.
My work/life balance feels strained at both ends, the benefit of working from home is that I can choose my own hours but when my time is not governed by me, i.e. school runs, afterschool clubs, dog walks, chores, etc., versus deadlines for work, then I find my working day seeping into my evening and weekends and limiting the quality time I spend with my family.
My joie de vivre was seriously depleted yesterday evening so my parents kindly covered the school run so I could take to my sick bed. On their return, I kept them hostage as I felt incapable of parenting solo and/or being a lone adult, something that doesn’t normally bother me. After the kids had gone to bed and I released my parents back into the wild, with hubby on late shifts this week, I found myself alone again. Desperate not to shuffle back into my melancholy mood, I remembered a tactic from during the postnatal/early stages of my parenting days. When I used to feel hormonally challenged and endlessly exhausted it was sometimes impossible to find my inner Mary Poppins, so what I used to do was creep into the kids bedrooms and watch them while they slept. To watch your sleeping baby is a fantastic quick fix on helping you feel that you have achieved something remarkable in the world, to create something so beautiful, you feel forced to buck up your ideas and take notice of your achievements.
So, last night instead of demolishing the kids ice lollies in a bid to satisfy my comfort eating, I crept into youngest son’s bed and watched him snooze, immediately evoking goosebumps on my arms. And although I felt dreadful in myself, I was awash with emotion. It helped me remember how clever I was to make this little man along with his twin sister and big brother.
My parents have the twins tonight straight from school and my eldest son is out on a play date, while hubby is at work. This meant that I could have a whole day to rest and relax, get better and have some me time. And I have done this and I am thankful, but do you know what? It’s so quiet in my house. The peace and quiet and the ‘mini-break’ from my daily toil that I crave all seems a bit bland now. I am actually longing for a return of the chaos, for my three children to be talking over each other and creating a tsunami of toys in my lounge. I was wrong, my slump isn’t being helped by starving myself of the craziness but from pushing the craziness away. I need to be jumped on by the children, become tangled in their little limbs while their eager eyes bore into mine as they excitedly tell me about their day, I even miss my eldest son talking constantly about football or asking me every 15 minutes if he can have a snack.
Without my hubby and kids today, it has left me and my only company, my Labrador Chester, feeling a little bit lost. So I have decided to shrug off my slump, to stop worrying about the little things, the housework, the lack of time in the day. No more moaning about the trivial stuff, but instead count my blessings and appreciate my little realm and the people that live within it. Time to get on with my lucky life and put a search party out for my inner optimist and in turn I will leave you with the words of a true optimist, Mr Ferris Bueller:
“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”