Monthly Archives: October 2012

Autumn Balm

My sister-in-law agrees with me that when the stress builds, a walk in amongst nature soothes your soul. She has three boys under five, so I’m glad for her sanity that she lives on the beautiful island of Arran. Until we can get over to visit, the leafy Glasgow parks are doing a great job of lowering my blood pressure. This morning, with Rod unexpectedly working all day, I took the wee man and I off to Pollok Park for a wander in the woodlands. Autumn has been stunning this year, I’ve been Instagramming my socks off (follow me at kimmca), but today I took my proper camera and reveled in shooting all the wonderful warm colours as the trees prepare for winter. The wee man pointed and shouted and watched entranced as I shook leaves down over the buggy. We are definitely feeling reinvigorated.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You may also enjoy this post: Mother and Son Time

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Filed under Glasgow, health, hello World

The lesson of the Big Blue Sack

We don’t have a laundry basket, we have a big, blue Ikea sack that sits on the floor of a walk-in cupboard in the bedroom.

When we’re tired and lazy we fling our dirty washing at the bag and don’t much care if it goes in. If one of us has put a towel in the sack we don’t even aim. The pile annoys me for a few days until I finally get round to hauling it out, hunting for all the socks and pants and separating the whites from the darks.

Rod likes his work shirts washed separately and there are usually those towels and bits of handwashing left over, but occasionally the bag is empty and I see blue. I open it out as far as it will go and put it back in the cupboard, wondering if this time we’ll keep it all tidy.

Going to bed with the knowledge there’s an empty sack in the cupboard is a good feeling.

When the fridge is empty and I’m tired, I do a small shop at the local Spar, knowing that eventually I’ll need to sit at my computer and order the big online grocery shop. When my car gets messier and filled with more stuff, I grab a few empty water bottles on my way out and make a mental note to hoover it at the weekend. When business is busy and childcare is limited, I hit the deadlines and answer the emails knowing that one day I’m going to have to organize those receipts, file those papers and get back to the business plan.

The joy of the full fridge, spotless car mat and organized office is sweet and brief because I know, soon, it’s going to start up all over again. I’ve decided that’s OK.

Short cuts are supposed to be hard. If they weren’t, they’d just be The Way. And as we all know, it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey.

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Filed under home, work

Going with the flow

The smoke alarm has just gone off.

It’s 12.50pm, I’m drying my hair in the living room and ignoring the chatter from a little man who’s supposed to be napping upstairs. He’ll never sleep now, but instead of mentally rearranging my day I’m deciding that’s just tough. I’m trying this new thing, you see, called ‘going with the flow’.

At Buggyfit this morning two friends and I were discussing how we pack everything in. One’s starting swimming classes after a morning Gymboree session; the other already does swimming classes and wants to do an extra Buggyfit session in the morning, but can’t figure out how to squeeze in naptime. None of us had quite figured out how the new, later, Buggyfit start time of 10am is going to affect The Routine. One had had to wake her boy from an early nap and I had had to lay out my clothes for after my shower and prepare lunch before we even left to make up for the half hour we’d lose after the class.

It’s ridiculous.

If you’re reading this as a parent you’ll get it, if you’re reading this as a single you probably won’t. Because it’s ridiculous. When did I become the woman who dries her hair in the living room at lunchtime? But I have been driven to this craziness by the fact that the wee man needs a nap before he goes to the afternoon session at nursery and I need to wash after my morning exercise and make myself presentable for work in the afternoon. So this is how I do it. I’ve eaten my lunch with the wee man at 11.45 so that I can use naptime to get myself organised. And blog. Yeah, I’m totally going with the flow.

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Filed under health

Be kind to yourself

A blogger I love has just posted that her second baby has arrived and she is blue. All the comments have been very supportive and nearly everyone has said: “Be kind to yourself”.

I’ve been feeling a bit stressed over the past few months and this phrase has struck a chord. The person putting all the pressure on me is me, so why can’t I just be kind to myself? I’ve spoken to a few mummy and non-mummy friends about this and it seems like we’re all at it. We’re all worried about things not being done properly, we’re all stressed about our workloads, we’re all guilty that the people we love aren’t getting the attention they deserve. Why do we do it to ourselves?

I’ve been trying very hard to follow my mum’s advice about replacing every negative thought with a positive one.

When I left the wee man crying at nursery today I firmly told myself he’d be fine in a few minutes, he loves nursery and I would be back for him in no time. When I took a break from my work to make a cup of tea and sneak a few chocolate buttons, I sternly reminded my conscience I do three exercise classes a week. I’m going to try very hard not to feel guilty about taking tomorrow off to take the wee man to an appointment and just play with him the rest of the day.

I wonder where this pressure comes from. Let’s blame the media shall we? In fact, let’s blame Victoria Beckham. She has four children, a tiny waist, a fashion label, a gorgeous husband, millions in the bank and a sunny life in LA. Sure she’s a grumpy cow whose husband cheated on her but you can’t deny the image is good. Or shall we blame the government? The economy is on its arse, everything is extortionate from childcare to petrol, and we all must run as fast as we can to stand still. If I’m honest – brutally, look yourself square in the eye, honest – I blame my pride. I’ve worked so hard to get to where I am, I must keep the standards up. I must ensure my business is a success, my house is clean, my hair is shiny. I must raise a well-rounded, happy child, support my husband and go out, be sociable, have a laugh and still be me.

On the whole, I reckon I’m managing all this pretty damn well. My life is full to bursting. Business is good for both Rod and me, the house generally is pretty tidy and clean and we have a fantastic social life. As for the wee man – when he throws his arms around my neck and presses his wee mouth against my cheek I just want to whoop at the top of my voice. He makes me so happy. Seeing him jump on his daddy makes me joyous. Watching all the new things he discovers makes me so proud I could burst. Those are the feelings I need to remember when the bin’s overflowing, the dishwasher needs emptied, there’s nothing for dinner and I have a deadline to meet.

I’m going to be kind to myself. I hope you are too.

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Filed under work