Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Routines or rather lack thereof

Are you a routine person? Do you need one to write? Or are you a go with the flow and see where life takes you kind of person?

Well, I fall somewhere in between, like most people I expect. Once upon a time, many, many moons ago, pre children, I was a highly organised, schedule, everything had its place kinda person. Yes, really. Stop laughing in that corner. I was house proud, heck I even ironed. Once upon a time as the fairy tale goes....

Even when baby number one arrived I was still very much in charge. And being the easygoing baby she was, it worked. She fed four hourly, slept through the night from three weeks, my house was spotless, hey I had this parenting lark sussed. Everyone else obviously did something wrong...

You know what's coming, right?

Baby number two arrived, a dark haired little stranger, who cried lots, didn't gain weight as he was supposed to, didn't sleep and to top it all my angelic first baby turned two. And as though a switch had turned in her head, she changed. Oh boy, did she change!

So I turned into a rather frazzled mum of two. Yet still I clung to my ideal of routines, spotless house etc. etc. Hardly a wonder I ended up with post natal depression. Going back to work, when baby number two was six months, helped.  Everything slotted into place eventually and it clearly didn't put me off, as baby number three arrived almost three years later to be followed by the next one in just twenty one months. Whoops :-)

That's when I finally stopped ironing, but I still wore myself into a frazzle trying to stay on top of housework. Really, why? I do smile at myself nowadays, thinking back to the days of obsession with housework. Talk about making life difficult for yourself.

And then baby number five arrived, very high needs and all thought of routine and doing anything but barest survival went out of the window. She never slept and I do mean never. What worked one minute, didn't work the next...To this day and she is eleven now, life is never dull with her around. I keep telling myself that it's good to be assertive. And being a drama queen will one day mean she will be holding an Oscar ;-)

She did teach me one important thing though. That I *can* function without sleep and that everything passes in time. Nothing in life is fixed and when you have a child constantly changing the goal posts on you, you learn to adapt - fast. In fact I learnt so much about myself. She does still push me to the absolute limits of my  patience and endurance, but you know what. I *can* get through it, no obstacle is insurmountable and well, sleep is for wimps ;-)

Anyway, I digress as usual. Let's just say life is a lot simpler since I allowed myself to take each day at a time.

Yet, pre Markus I slipped back into being a bit of a control freak. There are almost four years between Markus and Tj and he was a very easy baby. So plenty of time for *me*.

Plenty of time for plotting and writing.

And then along came Markus, who is now five weeks old. To a large extent he has just slotted in. Sure I can't put him down much, but hey I can type with one hand, and he is very, very cute. Sleep, well that varies. Last night he slept a staggering six hours, admittedly in my bed with his nose next to my boob, but he slept. What's more he went back to sleep till after the school run. Unheard of!

The night before he didn't sleep at all and spent most of the day screeching. This followed on from a weekend of non stop feeding and screeching if not attached. So, it swings in roundabouts really. Yesterday my stress level were sky high - today I am floating on an isle of extreme serenity.

Yesterday it took me all afternoon to just change a few lines on my wip. Today I woke up full of ideas and bursting to write them down. Whether I'll manage to actually do so, remains to be seen, mind you.

Markus may throw me another curve ball. Difficult to write when you have to dance round the kitchen, singing Fireman Sam to stop your baby from crying, like I was doing yesterday. I do pity the neighbours at times.


What has all that got to do with routines, you may ask? Well simply put, in this house at least it pays to have a routine to not have a routine. Of course some are set in stone, like school pick up times and dinner times and bed time for the kids. But that's as far as it goes.

I was setting myself writing goals of a thousand words a day, but all that achieves is get me stressed when I don't manage to reach them. Stressy mummy = shouty mummy and nobody likes her.

So I simply *have* to let go. A day I manage to write is a good day. On days when I can't, I just have to remind myself that my little fellow is only five weeks old and before I know it, he will be all grown up and off to school and then I'll have far too much time on my hands!

Remind me of this, when I am knee deep in an editing dead line and panicking ;-)

Mind you, when he looks like this

and this

I forgive him anything ;-)


  1. and do do I. Because I get my gramdma pics and my writing stops while i ohh and ahh. Wait until he is old enough to come and visit!!

  2. Awww. He's too cute not to forgive:)

  3. He is so lush... Whenever I get stressed and can't keep up with everything I try and remember the 'I'm Rocking my Baby and Babies don't keep' poem

  4. thank you, a nice bed time read ;)

  5. Raven, he can come visit now. I just come with! ;-)

    Donna, thank you. I think so too!

    Mamz, I love, love that poem. In fact you've just given me an idea for a blog post, so thank you :-)

    Nettie, glad you liked it :-)