Posts Tagged ‘patience

the school run is when my stress levels are at their highest.

I am still seething from the school run this morning.  Middle child, who has in the last few months become a kind, helpful, adorable five-year-old, had a monster tantrum getting out of the car because I wouldn’t let her take her doll into school.  Hitting, slapping, screeching, the works.

I slapped her thigh, the only part of her I could reach with all the flailing arms.

Now, in my mind, this is equivalent to a smack.  Generally I don’t approve of smacking.  Yet I find myself in this position.  I suppose I wanted the slap to shock her out of her silly tantrum.

I have never let her take dolls in before.  There’s no reason for her to think it would be OK now.   Reasoning with her didn’t make a blind bit of difference.  It was like we’d gone back six months in her behaviour development.

Have you ever been lucky enough to watch the TV programme ‘Little Angels’?  Or perhaps you’ve heard of Tanya Byron from her book (promotional clip below). We watched a few episodes pre-children, and it was amazing how a child’s behaviour was ALWAYS rooted in the parent’s behaviour – she even mentions this in the clip.  So perhaps this is an opportunity for me to take a look at myself.

Middle child’s behaviour did get me very worked up, I have to admit.  I’m feeling more  on edge at the moment, though I can’t put my finger on why – my inner serenity has vanished.   Until this month, I have actually managed  four consecutive months of not raising my voice around the children.  In the past week or so, however, I have had much less patience.  What has changed?

Maybe I’m just feeling stressed.  I know I’m feeling tired.   Perhaps it is all rooted in this.  Perhaps I should just go back to basics. Get some exercise, get to bed on time, try not to let the housework get on top of me and not attempt anything more than that.

I reckon that would be a good idea anyway.  However, I have realised whilst typing that I know what’s changed.

Smallest one is going through separation anxiety.  Big time.  I cannot do a single thing without her.   Loud screaming if I ignore her or go out of sight for just one second.  Being quite an introvert at heart, I find this very draining.

That’s something I can’t really do anything about.  I need to embrace it, which is all the more reason for going back to basics with the sleep well, eat well, exercise well thing.  Duck and cover for the next six months or so till the phase is over?  Well, not quite, but I will be treading choppy water.

Hopefully, though, now I see how anything that affects me indirectly affects the family, I can somehow get in touch with my serene alter ego and everyone will calm down.  Short-fused five-year-olds included.

Thank heavens for blogging.  I doubt I would have worked it out otherwise.

Have a read of this. I’m a big fan of OINKtales since I imagine myself to be in the same situation, albeit a few years behind and in a different country. Also, Mary is very funny.

But here’s an observation on the Mummy Glare and one woman not using it. Fascinated to know what you think.  I’m going to think about this one for a while.  I wonder whether I’ll ever have this much patience..?

The Monster Truck Whisperer Last week, I went to the “Welcome to Kindergarten” meeting that our elementary school puts on for parents of incoming kindergartners. When the principal asked parents to raise their hands if they were sending a child to kindergarten for the first time, more than half the people in the room had air in their armpits. When he asked for a showing of second-time kindergarten parents, the rest of the room responded. My battle-scarred, oven-burned, cuti … Read More

via OINKtales

This post, as you may have gleaned from the title, follows on from my New Year’s resolutions, where I promised myself that this year I would (a) get healthier, (b) complete my studies and (c) keep my temper.

Catherine Hadler /

So if I want to stay healthy in the long term, this is probably the wrong way to approach lunch.

It’s one month in, and, as you’ll see from my Friday Fatchecker part 5 post, I’m making slow and steady progress so far with (a).

Yes, snails would get there faster than me, but I don’t want to do anything that I can’t sustain permanently, so snail’s pace is just fine.  (I was tickled by this photo – it seemed to sum it all up nicely!)

So, one healthy resolution still intact in February.  A good start then.  Go me!

On the other hand, (b) is my stumbling point.  I just cannot get motivated to do the essay that has been looming since November.  Three months of procrastination?  That’s not a good sign, really….

And I had promised myself to do it by the end of January.  That’s a big thumbs-down there, then.  I know that once I get into it, I’ll keep momentum on it till it is done (usually by neglecting everything else, unfortunately). But the topic is a sticky one and there don’t seem to be any decent texts around.  I sincerely hope that I have caught up by my March update…

But!  Would you believe it?  (c) is still intact.

photo by EA /

I feel some synergy with this mummy duck calmly leading her little ones across the water..

The one I thought I would be least likely to keep up.

Actually I feel extremely proud of myself for not shouting at the children once in over a month. Considering I used to lose it nearly every day, this is my greatest achievement so far.

Can you see my halo shining?

And it has made an incredible difference to the atmosphere at home.  I don’t know if anyone has said it before (they probably have), but just as negativity breeds negativity, so too does positivity breed positivity.

What a revelation!

What a resolution.

So I’m back in my going to bed-too-late-because-I’m-tired routine.  The one that I tried to break when I first started blogging.

I was doing fine.  But now the kids have been ill, and I’m up and down in the night more often than a seesaw in the school holidays.  It’s taking its toll on me.

I can feel my resolution not to shout at the children wearing very thin.  Thankfully it has not been broken so far (more on that next time), though if I may say so myself, I was a saint not to shout at them this morning on barely three hours sleep.  Didn’t someone say that sleep deprivation was a form of torture?

And then there’s the question of whether I can kick myself back into the not-so-late routine when it’s all over.

Admittedly, it’s probably not helping that this time of the day (10.30pm at time of writing)  is when I am most inclined to write my feelings down and share them with all and sundry… But I get to the point where if I think my night’s sleep is likely to be ruined, I figure I can’t make it much worse.

Hmm.  Not sure if that’s a good excuse.  Perhaps I’d better stop now.

It’s such a cliché, but there is something wonderful about making resolutions at the beginning of the year.  A fresh start (there goes another one) can be just what you need to kick yourself out of stagnation and into a positive attitude that helps both you and those around you.

Many years I resolve not to make a New Year’s resolution.  But I’m always glad when I do, even if it’s only to have something to strive for.  The main thing is to come back at the end of the year and see how you did.  If you didn’t achieve what you wanted, then you can look at where you went wrong, tweak a few things and try again next year.  The main thing is to keep looking forward and not beat yourself up about the past.

Anyhow, this year I have three main aims.

Resolution No. 1

I aim to complete my training by the end of the year.  It seems a long time ago since I was at university, regularly completing three assignments in a week.  Nowadays I pat myself on the back if I complete an assignment with a month…

I’ll be teaching my final student course in July, and my tutor will cancel it if I haven’t done the work, so I have a good incentive!   I can do this as long as I keep focus.  This means self-discipline!  Wish me luck…

Resolution No. 2

To treat the older children with more understanding and patience this year.  I have improved on this over the last year, but even now I still struggle to keep calm when I am tired or moody, so there is an underlying aim here to keep looking after myself with good sleep and ensuring that my needs don’t get swept under the carpet.  I’m not aiming for Mary Poppins perfection, just an improvement in general.

Resolution No. 3

And finally, I want to become more healthy.  I have an extremely healthy appetite, and doubly so since the birth of my youngest back in April – breastfeeding seems to make all food completely irresistible.  As a result I am currently clinically obese.  Eek.

BMI tool available at


So… time to lose some weight.  Slowly and carefully.  I would like this to be manageable even when I’m tired, so I’m keeping it simple and not too ambitious, so I will start with three rules to keep for the year.

One, exercise once a week, and more if possible.  I have a place on a pilates course, and the municipal pool allows gives you free gym access if you book a full morning with the creche…  And thankfully this is a gym where it’s not about being beautiful before you go.  Just as well.

Two, no alcohol except when we have company/eat out, and at one other point in the week, such as Sunday lunch or a special dinner with my love.

And three, no eating between meals or second helpings.  Specifically, no hoovering up leftovers from the children’s plates.

So, the plan is to publish my progress here week by week.  Today I weighed in at 12 st 2 lb.  If I eventually reach pre-baby weight, so much the better, but for now I just want to keep going in the right direction.  If I do reach my pre-baby weight (9 st 10 lb), then I shall treat myself to a new hairstyle. You know, the sort that only suits you if you are relatively slender…

So. Thirty-four pounds between now and a truly new me!

That way, maybe one day I’ll find part of my body without excess fat on.

Other than my feet, that is.

Smallest one in the early days

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