Things have been harder than usual for me of late due to a change in personal circumstances.
My husband works away a lot now.
Which has inadvertently caused an upset to my usual routine and to the kids' usual routine.
Family dynamics have changed. We were such a tight knit family unit and now I often feel lonely...despite being busy with 4 children. So how do you get by and manage on your own when you're so used to being part of a team?
Well 'when life changes to be harder you change to be stronger'.
I'm not the type to be defeated so I'll find a way but, I kid you not, times are testing right now. But that said I do a bloody good job of it of it on my own.
I doubted myself the first few times the Mr went away. I had created a self-fulfilling prophecy by telling myself I can't do it, then after having had a really tough day I would say 'see, I can't do it'.
Well I recognised this early on so decided something had to give. My husband leaving this job and going back to his old job on less money wasn't an option.
So I adapted. I changed to be stronger. I stopped wallowing in self pity & pining over my husband and instead adopted a positive, can do attitude.
I've learnt that as much as I don't want to I CAN parent on my own when the time calls for it. I'm not prefect by any stretch but I am a great mum. And aside from reflecting on my parenting and observing what needs to change I have also set up my own childminding business. So it's all systems go!
We have found that the time we do get together as a family is of a much better quality and I also discovered that I'm stronger than I initially gave myself credit for! With all that in mind things are working much better.
There are days when we have to rush around after school and I mean rush. My son is a ballet dancer and it is currently the run up to his show so dancing is quite full on with longer sessions and dance routines to master. We have to have dinner at super sonic speed, we can't find dancing uniform or shoes then as we are walking out the door they all decide they need the loo!
Tension heightens and voices start to raise. Sometimes there's tears and my stress levels can go through the roof but we make it on time.
Then there is the task of keeping the others entertained and out of trouble. So I let them sit with their tablets. They sit quietly, they don't wind each other up or start fighting, stress decreases and everyone is happier...
Then I start getting looks across the room from other parents. You know the look, the look of judgement, the 'uh she's just sat her kids in a corner with screens' look!
At times like these I find myself putting my suit of amour on and blocking out the opinions of those who do not matter to me. However I still find those opinions incredibly frustrating.
To the person currently sat across the room looking at and judging my children and me as we sit here on our tablets, not talking to each other you have NO IDEA what things are like for me right now...
Running a house, raising four children, getting to school and various other places on time, cooking relatively healthy meals for us and so on ON MY OWN.
So no I haven't really spoke a word since I got here but I am 100% ok with that. And yes my kids have been sat on their screens for the best part of an hour and as this is the first bit of screen time they have had today I am again 100% ok with this.
To those struggling...Firstly know you are NOT alone. Secondly stop wallowing (harsh but that's what you're doing) pick yourself up, dust yourself off and change to be stronger. Find YOUR way. Thirdly talk to people and do not be afraid to ask for help or take it from those who offer.
It's not easy. No one said it was. But the reward is huge.
Keep your chin up.
To those who judge, my message is simple...
You never know what is going on behind closed doors.
If ANY of this very raw and honest post resonates with you or has affected you in anyway I would love to hear from you.