I'd make such different decisions today if I could rewind the clock to 1am, when I woke from a vivid dream of having dreadful menstrual cramps to discover that I was in fact having dreadful menstrual cramps.
- Instead of attempting the soft option (Panadol) first and lying in misery, not sleeping, badly hurting, for 2 hours, pretending it was going to work when clearly it wasn't, I would've taken Nurofen straight away and not lost almost 3 hours sleep. I ended up dragging myself to the kitchen at 3am, eating a pear and some cheese so I could take the Nurofen, which I can't tolerate on an empty stomach, then crawling shivering back to bed at 3:15 and *finally* drifting off as the ibuprofen did its thing around 4am.
- Instead of mumbling to my husband to settle the toddler at 5:15am on her first waking, I would've got up with her then. As it was, she did go back to sleep after 10 minutes of wailing at my patient husband, and slept for an extra hour, but I was thoroughly roused by the crying and didn't sleep again so I might as well have been up, as her extra sleep here led to a cascade of disasters downstream (see below).
- Instead of insisting that the 6-year-old swim with the other two in swimming lessons this morning, I would've kept her out of the pool with me, cuddled on my knee, and thus probably not have exacerbated her snotty nose so badly.
- Instead of buying a regular coffee at the pool, I would've stuck to my usual decaf, knowing how irritable caffeine can make me and that I didn't need any extra challenges to my equilibrium today.
- Instead of persisting with trying to get the toddler to nap for over 90 minutes, trying everything from nursing to rocking to lying down with her to singing, and ending up in tears of pain (cramps again), tiredness and frustration when she just would not go down, despite being very tired herself, I would've gone easy on myself and called it after half an hour. This is especially the case as I had a friend over for lunch with whom I got to spend exactly 10 minutes in between settling efforts, causing me to feel guilty, crappy and horrible when I came out of toddler's room at the end to find she'd left.
- Instead of arguing with my husband and getting severely worked up, I would've listened properly to what he was trying to say and realised the rationality of it earlier (instead of after 15 cranky minutes). Because he was, in fact, completely in the right on this issue, and I was being ridiculous, which I would have seen had I allowed him to finish a sentence.
- Instead of trying to be a martyr and avoid more pain pills, I would've just taken the damn Nurofen as soon as the dose window allowed, in the mid-morning, and saved myself 4 hours of increasing pain until I caved at 2:30 and swallowed some more.
- Instead of furiously berating my eldest when she wore her new good boots outside to scoot and shredded the toe of one (six days old - $60 - probably irreparable), I would've taken a breath and had a talk to her about taking care of our things, and I would've calmly pointed out that replacement boots were not on the cards.
- Instead of bursting into uncontrollable sobbing as toddler pulled my hair then grabbed my glasses off my face and threw them hard onto the slate floor for the 10th time, I would've ... no, actually by that point I can't think of anything else I could have done that would have been less problematic. At least I didn't yell, which was the other way it could have gone.
- Instead of spending all day in a black cloud, snapping at everyone, wishing myself elsewhere, I would've tried to be gentler on myself and my family, and to keep some perspective about the crappiness of it all.
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