Late yesterday morning, I was getting pretty frazzled as I regarded my weekly running list, which is currently more than twice the size of a "normal" week's list. We have such a lot on at the moment - so many extra events and commitments, so many obligations to fulfill and places to be.
It's normal for this time of year - the kids seem to have a preponderence of friends with November / December birthdays, and seasonal things are ramping up (we have our first Christmas do of the year this coming Sunday, in fact). I know and expect the period from late October until Christmas to be a highly socially active one for us, and much as it tires us, we also really enjoy it.
What's complicating the issue a little is the commitment I've made to do NaNoWriMo (which is intensely rewarding and pleasurable for me, but is undoubtedly taking up head room and hours that I could otherwise use elsewhere). This has coincided with a very busy period at my husband's work - he worked the entire weekend just gone, in fact, and has had several late evenings, with more to come, and an interstate business trip, in the next few weeks.
I thought I was handling all this OK, keeping all the balls in the air, until I became so stressed yesterday. I realised when I became unreasonably and disproportionately upset about the toddler's decision not to nap that the tight scheduling and rushing about, combined with the demands of NaNo, the reduced help from husband, and the increasing weight of seasonal preparations, was starting to take its toll on me mentally.
Pondering this, I picked up the big girls early from school and we went to our scheduled special event for the day - the Disney 3D Bluray screening of Cars 2 at a penthouse suite of a posh hotel in the city yesterday afternoon. It was such immense fun and so well done - but more of that later, as I'll be reviewing both the event and the movie (with a giveaway) once I've collected my thoughts.
As we were coming home though, all three kids excited but tired, I found myself thinking about all the stuff on the list for the rest of the week and feeling my heart rate starting to rise again. I made a snap decision. I looked at my C, sleepy but smiling in the back seat, and said to her, "Honey, shall we miss playgroup and forget the shopping tomorrow? And big kids, we can skip gymnastics after school? Just have a home day?"
"YES!" carrolled C is instant delight. "We have a Mummy an' C day!"
The relief I felt was immediate and immense. And already I know this was the right decision. C and I, after dropping the big kids to school at 8:45, have spent an hour painting pictures together and chatting. She's had a lengthy and enjoyable bubble bath. She's now selecting stories to read while we have our morning tea, and after that we'll do the vaccuuming together, and I'll do the bathrooms while she watches Spot the Dog on DVD. (This might sound dull but the need to do it has been itching me for days - nothing brings my house-mood down faster than a dirty floor. I can live with clutter and mess - which is lucky, as I have A LOT of it! - but too much dirt, and especially bad smells, in the house makes me feel grotty).
After lunch C will nap (I hope and expect!) and I'll get stuck back into my NaNo book, and when we get the big kids home, we'll make our Rainy Day Banana Muffins, a recipe that hasn't been used in a year thanks to the price of bananas following the Queensland floods, but now, with them reaching the depths of $5.95 / kg this week, is on the cards again.
Sometimes knowing when to hit the pause button is the greatest gift you can give yourself, and your children.
This post is part of NaBloPoMo. 9 down, 21 to go!