One week on

It’s a whole week since I toppled sideways to the ground outside our house. In my head, at the time, I thought I’d be back to normal after a couple of days. The reality is rather different from that, but I can be positive and see how much better I am now than I was last Tuesday night.

The situation on day 7 is as follows:

– The airboot continues to be a thing of joy. It still hurts to put my foot down in it, but at least I can do it, and standing on both feet, even supported almost entirely by crutches, is wonderful.

– I can walk short distances around the house with airboot and crutches and then need a nice long rest with the foot elevated to recover.

– The bruising continues to come out more and more; it looks a lot more dramatic than it did last Tuesday even though none of the bruises are in the least bit tender – no bruising at all at the actual fracture site! Bizarre.

– Getting about is still exhausting

– I’m pretty much managing without painkillers now – just 2 paracetamol and 2 NSAIDs during the day (which I’m hoping to cut out tomorrow), and the same again just before I go to sleep.

Today the following nice things have happened:

– A work colleague who lives in my town, is currently on maternity leave but was heading into school today for a meeting, called round to collect both my sick note and my present for the Secret Santa to take in for me. It was really nice to see her despite the fact I was in my pyjamas and the house is a tip! Also good to be reassured from someone at a senior management level that I would definitely be a health and safety nightmare and a liability if I’d tried to go to work on my crutches, and that I should take as much time as I need to get properly better rather than rush back and get worse! (Still hoping hard to be back for the beginning of term though!)

– I got a parcel today from a lovely friend which I can only describe as a ‘broken foot survival kit’. It contained some gorgeous sock yarn (which I am reluctantly resisting casting on until I’ve finished at least one of my current Works In Progress), a big bar of chocolate and a puzzle book – fabulous! Thank you Dawn!

– I also opened another parcel from another lovely friend which contained a wonderful purple knitted hat. I’ve been wearing it all day and it has both kept me warm and cheered me up loads! Thank you Liz!

I have utterly awesome friends. Lots of whom live too far away.

Plus an awesome eldest daughter, who made it to the corner shop and back this evening just because I said I was craving Lucozade. And an awesome youngest daughter who has made me a lovely detailed Christmas card. I haven’t seen Son today of course but he too is awesome and made it back to Manchester just fine on Sunday even though he had to walk to the station and find his train all by himself! Bless them all. 🙂

Disconnected snippets (again)

– Dear advertisers on the TV, radio, billboards, via email, all telling me to treat my dad on Father’s Day: Shut the **** up and go away. And don’t come back next year. No love, me.

– Still absolutely loving my job. I love the child I work with; I love the school; I love the staff; I love shrieking with laughter in the staffroom at lunchtime. I still can’t believe I’m actually employed. I still can’t believe I’m in such a perfect situation for myself. I still don’t take going to work every day even one tiny bit slightly for granted. Doesn’t mean I don’t get frustrated, exhausted and look forward to weekends and holidays – but even with the knackeredness and the inevitable flies in the ointment here and there, I am just so bloody, bloody lucky to be there and I love it.

– It was parents evening this week for Three. I noticed the usual facebook status updates among local parents lauding their amazing children with their wonderful reports and excellent work and behaviour. That’s brilliant (and I know it’s been me in the past!). This year I’m heading up the army of parents who didn’t post their children’s achievements on facebook. My child: has great potential but worries too much, is distracted and not concentrating much of the time; we’re really quite worried about her, oh and by the way did you get the letter about headlice? We think she’s got them…. (It’s ok: I’m now very much on the case on both counts!).

– It’s the weekend! Hurrah. I planned a barbecue for today’s main meal, and am now looking rather skeptically at the weather. (sceptic or skeptic?) skeptic looks wrong to me, but sceptic has a red wiggly line under it.

– The house is a total tip again and once I’ve finished this blog post (which many would say is clearly displacement activity – they would be quite right) I’m going to get off my backside and do something about it so we’re not living in squalor for the whole weekend (squalor? squalour? The curse of the red wiggly line again – I was sure I could spell! Is the spellchecker American or am I losing the plot?)

– Two came home from school on Wednesday with curry from lunchtime all down his uniform polo top. I spent ages attacking it to get the lovely yellow stains out and was very proud of my efforts. Sent him off to school the next day in his (almost dry) beautifully clean shirt. He returned that afternoon having had a leaky pen thrown at him. The dark blue mess was incredible. I cried. (It’s almost all come out but there is a small blue stain right in the middle which I think is there for ever). Wouldn’t be so bad but this is a replacement shirt given to him by the pastoral manager because his previous one was so full of unwashable pen stains that he got into trouble for looking scruffy.

– I’m not likely to win any Mother of the Year awards any time soon from either of my kids’ schools, am I? 😉

– I’m so busy and tired at the moment that I’m finding real life social interaction quite difficult. I’ve stopped answering the phone altogether, even to my mum. Texting, email and instant messaging is all I can manage right now. I’m ok during work and can chatter away to everyone at breaktimes, but at home I’m finding being a parent is taking up every single ounce of the energy I possess and I just have no resources left for anyone else. This is normal for a single parent, right? It won’t last for ever? And how come everyone else seems to have it all together and be able to do amazing things like go out to meetings in the evening or volunteer with guides/scouts/at church etc? (on reflection, maybe I need to stop reading facebook status updates altogether for a while…!)

– This blog post is brought to you by honesty and imperfection. None of it is meant as a moan. I’m really happy and content with life at the moment. But I think it’s really important to keep it real. No picture perfect snapshots here. Just life, warts and all.

Have I ever mentioned I love my workplace?

This morning on the school gate, I was standing with a colleague when a parent asked us the date of the end of term.

Immediately I said ‘well I know we’ve only got six more Monday mornings left’, and my colleague said ‘I know it’s 32 more get ups’!

In entirely unrelated news, all this sunshine is very good for my mental health. Long may it continue, and I must make sure I get outside in it as much as possible. 🙂

Nine.

My youngest child is nine today. NINE. Where did it all go?

By no stretch of the imagination can I even think of her as my ‘baby’ any more. And to be fair, nor do I much want to – it’s fab having older children and I’m not much of a one for hankering after the toddler days. I adore the young person Three is turning into – my quirky, sensitive, articulate, girl with a certain wisdom beyond her years and a very macabre sense of humour!

She has had a lovely day. Thrilled with all of her presents, enjoyed being sung to at school and had a family tea (including Dad and Grandma) with a Minecraft Creeper cake (made and iced by me, and cut into pieces successfully by her!) She went to bed at 8, which is her new bedtime now she has attained another year of age.

I am SO TIRED. This is the first birthday I’ve organised since going back to work. It was all rather last minute but everything kind of fell together successfully. I’ve had a different day at work as my 1:1 child was off ill, so I worked with other SEN children – quite nice to have a change but more tiring than usual as I got to know children I’m not so familiar with, and worked in a class I haven’t been in before.

I’ve now delivered Grandma back to her house and Two to youth club. I’ve collapsed onto the sofa for a quick, but huge, mug of tea. Soon I will go out again to the supermarket to buy essentials for packed lunches and the meal ingredients to get us through to the weekend, and then collect Two at 9.30.

I’d quite like to go to bed right now, if only that option was available! My head is pounding but the responsibilities of a single parent never seem to end (or at least, there is nobody to delegate to!)

I’m so glad Three has had a good day. It was her day and we made it fab for her. She is revelling in the very nine-ness of nine. It suits her, somehow. 🙂

Further creativity

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Zentangle count now up to five.

Top three yesterday, bottom two this evening, having been out and spent my Easter present money from my mum on a set of really nice fine nibbed pens. I now have the potential for twenty different colours, but am sticking with black for now while I find my drawing mojo!

This is hugely addictive. All the tangle patterns are copied from websites, but by tile 5 this evening I was feeling confident enough to put my own spin on a couple of them.

In other news, Two and Three have gone to their dad’s for the next week, leaving One and I in peace and quiet. So far we’ve been to Tesco, eaten delicious pasta (if I do say so myself) and watched a lot of TV. This morning, Three and I went through a ridiculous amount of her clothes and filled two black bags full of excess stuff she never wears or is too small. All her remaining clothes now fit in her drawers, the drawers now close and thank goodness for that!

I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I go back to work next Thursday, which in my head and everyone else’s is still in the middle of the Easter holidays. Making the absolute most of the time off I’ve got left! I’ve done loads of jobs I’ve been postponing for weeks, and even booked myself a cut and blow dry for Tuesday morning – which I’ve already had an anxiety dream about…

Tough week

If I was still volunteering, I would be giving myself a ‘mental health day’ off today.

As I now work for money, instead of the above I am giving myself a shower, a big breakfast and a stern talking to.

This week, balancing work and home life has fallen apart and everything feels impossibly tricky.

If you know a single working parent who appears to have it all together, be kind to them today. Just in case, like me, they’re secretly floundering a bit.

I know this is totally normal. By next week I’ll probably feel on top of things again for a while. I’m holding out for the Easter holidays to catch up on the admin and phone calls I’m too mentally exhausted and busy to achieve when I get home from work each day.

But today, this is my blog and I’m telling it like it is. And this week, how it is feels almost impossible!

Two more get ups…

…until half term! I can’t believe how quickly it has gone, or that it is almost three weeks since I last blogged.

I’m not even going to try to catch up. I will just cover the past three weeks with the following words:

Exhausting. Rewarding. Steep learning curve. Proud. Drained. Tired. Busy. Happy. Humbled. Inspired.

I love having a job. After being on Jobseekers’ Allowance for so long, I don’t take one single bit of what I have now for granted. It really is hard work and some days I don’t feel equal to the task, but over and over again I discover what a lovely supportive environment I’m working in. I’m definitely in exactly the right place.

Last weekend I managed to get away and stay with J, to help him with a very prolonged and tricky house move. I know my practical assistance and moral support was hugely appreciated, and I’m ever so glad I went.

It has, however, knocked all the routines I have been carefully constructing over the past five weeks completely off track. One weekend away has led to a whole week of chaos at home! This evening I have had to do two whole days’ worth of washing up before I was able to use the kitchen to cook our evening meal. This means that the evening meal will be late and Three will be late for youth club. I’ve also just set a wash load going for the second time; it already got washed on Sunday night but has been festering in the machine ever since as I never got around to hanging it out. There is mess everywhere and I can’t find any of the forms I need to fill in by Friday. Urgh.

As well as that, I’m physically dropping to bits as well. Carting heavy boxes about over the weekend took its toll on me – thankfully my knees and back have stopped hurting mostly now, but my hands and wrists are in a very bad state and only seem to be getting worse rather than better. This morning I woke unable to close my hands into a fist; they were totally numb and horribly painful all at the same time. They’ve improved quite a lot through the day but the numbness has persisted and I couldn’t write for long periods as I normally do. If they follow the usual pattern, they will worsen again through the evening and be hideous by the time I wake up. I’m slightly scared this has nothing to do with carrying heavy boxes and that I might have sudden onset arthritis or something! (Yes I am a closet hypochondriac *grin*). I have suffered intermittently with mild Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in my right hand since I was pregnant with Three, but this is in both hands/wrists and is a thousand times worse. I’m seriously considering bandaging them both up really tightly when I go to bed tonight to see if that helps in the morning.

I’ve been wanting to pick my neglected knitting up again and finish my poor abandoned cardigan over half term, but that is out of the question at the moment. 😦 Even typing this isn’t doing my hands any good!

Right. No more whinging. Life is good, and fulfilling. I’m off the antidepressants completely now. When the low moments come (which they still do, of course they do), I’m able to talk myself through them rationally, which I was not even slightly able to do this time last year. Though I have done my share of crying myself to sleep recently, I have no burning desire to hide under a duvet for days on end and not come out. Despite the fact the house is a mess and my routines are currently shot to pieces, I don’t feel like a failure as a person. This is all wonderful, and massively positive!

For now, that will do.