This blog originally appeared on firefly.
It’s one of those mornings.
I wake at 5am to hear a determined 13-year-old trying to exit her room by squeezing herself under the stairgate at her door. It doesn’t work as she is blessed with the booty of her mother’s mothers, so she gets stuck and shouts.
I left the marital bed at 1am for the spare room as the snoring had become deafening so I figure it’s not my problem.
Shaken out of sleep I realize I am a terrible mother and wife, and so am wide awake, while the escapee and snorer have both managed to fall back to sleep.
Just for fun I run a few of my favourite, back stories in my head. I am the star of these glorious productions, and while I consider myself, failing in a myriad of ways I make absolutely no concessions for my age, tiredness or general humanness in the tale. Each failure is utterly my fault and could only be resolved if I was an all-round better person.
Thirteen years of caring hit me like a brick on the forehead.
I was going to write about self-care this morning.
How important it was to eat the rainbow, do the things you love, exercise religiously and surround yourself with sunlight.
Instead I offer you this.
On the mornings you wake up imagining that the teachers at school talk about you behind your back because you lost your child’s reading books again, these same books that your child only manages to listen to the first word of (This you understand ,not because she has huge cognitive challenges, but because you have not used your professional skills to gradually increase her attention span, but have let her watch The Wiggles on her iPad)
On these mornings forget the Instagrammable meals and to do list.
Get your child out of the house onto transport as soon as possible-stay in your pyjamas, cleverly disguised as exercise wear. In fact, if you like put your running tights on so you look like you’re just about to go out-they are as comfortable as pyjamas anyway.
Shut the front door. Turn off the phone. Find a carb if your liking and consume it with a cup of coffee.
Grab a cat if you have one. Put it on your chest and lean into the purr. This is an animal that knows the importance of rest. Let it be your teacher.
Turn on the tv (books are available but at the bottom of this well of tiredness who even has the concentration?) and watch anything you like without fear of judgment.
At some point you may have to get up to boil a kettle or eat something. Do not be drawn into a chore. Resume the position you only have a few hours before the school taxi returns.
Rest is important, vital for recovery and progress. It is not an indulgence it is a requirement. Nobody will die if you don’t put a wash on. There is absolutely another day tomorrow.
There are other days when getting up and setting yourself a task like getting dressed is the way forward. (if all you tomorrows are like today and getting off the sofa becomes an impossibility then another level of self-care needs to kick in involving a GP and extra help.)
Nobody told me there’d be days like these. They don’t tend to be ‘grammable.
Strange days indeed.