Navigating the Motherhood Maze: Muddle through Mum

There’s something to be said for ‘boring’ – that’s what my nan always used to say to me. Probably when I was complaining that one of my friends was off doing something incredible and I was going about my daily ‘boring’ routine, whatever that was at the time.

For me, routine can be ‘boring.’  And yet at the same time, when I lose my routine, I often feel out of control, less grounded and ultimately more stressed.

In this next blog in her ‘Navigating the Motherhood Maze’ series, Jude talks about the importance of routines for her and her children and how things can so quickly turn to chaos if those routines break down. And how having some spontaneity and impulse is also important yet finding the balance between the two can be a challenge.

Welcome to the blog post from a muddle-through Mum. I like Jude’s synopsis, I can certainly identify with what she is saying, as I expect many other mums out there will too. Enjoy!

Sarah, Scheme Manager

Muddle Through Mum

I never realised till I had children how much of a planner I am, how much I love routine.

Or maybe it’s the fact that children (or mine at least) seem to thrive on routine that has led me to attempt to structure my life so rigorously.

The flip side to the contentment brought about by regular routine is the chaos that so quickly ensues when routine breaks down – even just a tiny bit of it.

This week, two of my children were sick. Just once. And seemed well the next day. But it meant that they both had to be off school for 48 hours. Everything fell apart.

The washing didn’t get done. The fridge got emptier and emptier. My diet went to the wall. The house was a mess. The children, tired and frustrated, decided they wanted to do crafts. I was tired and frustrated too. Craft was the last thing I wanted to do – especially craft that was too tricky for their age and for which we didn’t have the required equipment – aargh!!

My great victory was that I didn’t take out my frustration on the children.

I took it out on the craft book.

My rant went something like this, “you stupid book – this tiara-making activity isn’t “quick and easy”– how can a five-year-old make this “without help”??!! Who wrote you anyway, you stinkingly unrealistic publication??!! Who has the kind of children who know to find tape measures in their house to measure their heads with??!! What kind of parent has tape measures in their house anyway??! I DON’T KNOW WHERE I KEEP TAPE MEASURES IN MY HOUSE….!!!!!!”.

I ended up making tiaras pretty much all day, abandoning any pretence that anything else was going to get done. Then all of a sudden, there was a golden hour where they happily played Princes and Princesses and Guards together. Extraordinary. (The golden hour lasted at least 18 minutes…)

I need to find a way to have routine and structure in my life that works well but at the same time are totally disposable. To be able to build up the perfect plan, then throw it to the wind at a moment’s notice. That’s the kind of Mum I’d like to be.

But I’m not that Mum.

I’m fragile when things are uncertain, and I’m thrown when plans change. I get worried and anxious, and telling me not to worry or be anxious doesn’t help. I’m me. I’m a muddle-through Mum. And things tend to go best when I decide that that’s an OK kind of Mum to be.

Jude

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