I have been meaning to make a few changes for a few weeks. But there is always some excuse. We have been very busy and Tim’s work is rather manic, which seems to have a knock on effect on our whole lives. Anyway, that may seem totally unrelated to the following changes, but I have found myself in general becoming more and more unhealthy. I haven’t been organised with planning meals like usual because Tim leaves early for work and I don’t seem find the time to cook proper meals when Poppy is awake; but that is a poor excuse because I could do with a little effort. I am so tired by the end of the day and Tim is home late, that I don’t feel motivated to cook from scratch and eat by myself. Not having the car as often as usual also means we are getting behind on food shopping, and have been left with an empty fridge far too many times recently. The other night I literally just roasted some potatoes and ate those!!! I am filling myself up on quick fixes like crisps, and drinking too much tea and coffee because when I do it makes me feel as though I am having a break, even if I am drinking it on the go! So that is the eating side of things.
Another way I feel unhealthy is in my mentality. When I have a lot going on I find it really difficult to switch off. I actually love being busy, I might moan about my essays at times, but I think it is good to have something to focus on, and I am enjoying it. But I admit I find it hard to manage my time between being a mum, a girlfriend (housewife!), a student and a friend to lots of people who I have not made enough effort with recently which is adding extra pressure because I feel guilty about this. My mind goes into overdrive. And I have become so used to doing that I have forgotten how to stop. It gets to 5pm and I start looking forward to putting Poppy to bed and having some me time. I think about what tv might be on catch up, whether I might run a bath, what book I could read…but then the time comes and I find myself tense and fidgety, and usually end up writing a blog post, wasting time on facebook, starting a mini project (like today I rearranged our living room and looked online for some paint to revamp our drawers) or something else that seems to get me to 10pm realising I haven’t put my feet up once all day. There always seems to be little jobs that need doing, like changing my phone contract, ordering our veggies for the week, booking car hire for our holiday, writing a letter to my doctor…I have a list on my phone with the idea that it will be deleted once everything is crossed off (I am sure many of you are the same.) Of course this will never happen. I aim to do these little jobs in the evenings when I have no distractions, but sometimes I just can’t be bothered. What do I do instead then? I don’t sit and relax knowing they can wait until tomorrow. I sit and think I really should be doing stuff and don’t allow myself to relax, so it is just a complete and utter waste of my life, and it somehow seems to take energy to do nothing?! This tense state of mind is also filtering into my weekends with Tim, and I am fed up of us sitting next to each other on our phones, or saying ‘Let’s find something to watch’ every now and then for an hour or two, whilst we waste time doing other things and then realise it is bed time. We are off on holiday this weekend just for 3 nights, and I am so looking forward to it. Tim has even promised he is leaving his phone at home!
The last thing worth mentioning before the list is that I feel like my own energy effects Poppy and vice versa, and not in the way you might first think. When I feel worn out or demotivated Poppy seems more energetic than ever, which makes me even more sorry for myself! Whereas when I am energetic and productive Poppy is calm, interested in what I am doing and the hours pass so quickly as we do lots together. I have recently become interested in the conituum conecpt (I will try to write a post about this another time) and one thing that has stuck with me is the way in which young babies are so calm and relaxed when they are at the centre of the adults busy lives and everyday jobs. It seems that the active lives of the adult is enough to tire out the baby without them doing anything at all. When Poppy was a newborn our busy lives seemed to be too much for her and she became very over stimulated, so I am questioning whether this philosophy would have worked for us, but now that she is older she is certainly very interested by our actions, and often falls asleep most peacefully if we put her in the sling when she is wide awake and get on with our lives. Suddenly I look down and she is dreaming. Babies brought up according to the contiuum concept are constantly held, watching their parents work and amazingly they are able to use knives safely by themselves at age two! I am not suggesting this is my aim, but it is amazing how concentrated Poppy is when she is watching me ‘at work’. This must be the easiest, most natural way to teach a child. It also resonates with me because the concentration a child demonstrates when they are fixed upon the activity of an adult is that same concentration that is at the heart of Montessori education, and indeed the way in which you present an activity to a child is by clear, precise demonstration with little need for speech. It makes perfect sense that children should be calm and relaxed watching their parents at work because their mental energies are focused and they have no need to channel their natural energies into volatile behaviour or pointless activity.
So anyway…my completely random, unrelated list of positive changes:
- Drink more water and less tea and coffee
- Hold Poppy in the sling every evening whilst I cook a healthy dinner.
- Turn off my phone and computer one evening a week and have a bath, read, do my nails…
- Turn off my phone and bully Tim into turning off his during our weekends (or rare evenings together), as MUCH as possible.
- Take Oscar for a walk EVERY afternoon with Poppy in the sling* (another time when she is nearly always calm and concentrated on the world around her. Also love the fresh air once we are out and Oscar thanks me)
*I have had a bad neck/back lately so in the event that this is particularly bad I am allowed to skip this one every now and then!
If you know that I am not adhering to these rules feel free to slap me! Oh…whoops it is 9.30pm and I am getting up at 5.30am…I suppose I had better go and relax quickly!!!