I was feeling a bit frazzled this morning. I don’t know how getting two humans out the house feels like such an ordeal, but most parents would agree it’s a challenge. Leo was up too early, and he had to entertain himself just a little bit too long when I did unreasonable things like having a shower, drying my hair, tidying up, putting the washing on, getting all his stuff together for nursery and packing the car. His little toy giraffe was shouted at and the poor wee wooden animals were decanted from their ark. I do a lot of singing in the morning to keep the entertainment going while I try and sort things out. Leo’s little applause at the end of each song keeps me going.
Despite being up for more than two hours, I left without time for breakfast. That wee emoji with the steam coming out, that was me. As usual, once we are in the car, we both calm down. We chat about our day, sing songs and practice animal noises and arrive at the nursery. We are always greeted with a cheery welcome and Leo brightens further when he realises a fun morning awaits.
I leave without any fuss. Leo never cries when I leave him. It’s heartening to see him so confident in himself and comfortable with the team at nursery. Soon, I am seated with my first coffee of the day and my shoulders drop and air leaves my tightened chest. I wonder, what was that all about?
I am being defeated only by my own expectations. There are only four things I absolutely needed to do today – feed Leo, dress Leo, dress and drive to the nursery. I achieved all four. But I also did so much more. I sang songs with Leo. He is washed, dressed and has his hair brushed. He is wearing matching socks and his outfit is practical for nursey. I sorted out washing. I remembered Leo’s diary, care plan, word book and standing frame. He has a change of clothes, his specs and his juice cup. I showered, washed and dried my hair and did the minimum amount of make-up I need to feel more awake. I am in clothes that match, and I remembered to pack a book and my laptop for the coffee shop, so I didn’t just play idly on my phone. I even remembered the letter that needs to be posted. I did all this while entertaining Leo and listening to a fair bit of whining. And I wonder why I feel frazzled.
I am sitting recognising all this, and a part of me is feeling guilty, that I’m not getting the shopping in, not at home hanging up the washing, doing ironing and sorting out the spare room. I’m not at the gym and I am not tidying out the growing pile of paperwork in the corner of the dining room. Instead, I am doing what I need to do for myself. What I enjoy doing. Having a nice coffee, writing and enjoying a book. Savouring the precious time that I get to be alone. Perhaps a new approach I could take is, what do I need to do right now? What is the next step I need to take? In one hour, I need to collect Leo and then he will need his lunch and put down for a nap. So, for now, I will close my laptop and read a book and keep telling myself and believing, you are doing the best that you can, your best is good enough and there is nowhere else you need to be right at this moment.
What message do you need to hear today? Make sure you say the words and please, be kind to yourself.