I have a tonne of blog material in my journal, in my notes app, and generally floating around in my head, because I’ve had a string of light bulb moments in the last month and I’m desperate to share them. However, one of those light bulb moments was that I am much happier when I get sleep (duh) and so I’ve not written anything up because I’ve chosen sleep after brilliant but exhausting days. Blogging into the early hours about how well I was doing, would obviously be counterproductive! So I’m sneaking this one in while the baby sleeps and the toddler attends YouTube-iversity.
The first light bulb has been to let myself get organised. I say ‘let’ because I’m a Project Manager by trade, if I was rich I’d manage projects for fun I enjoy it that much, so organisation shouldn’t be an issue for me. But as a parent, it has been. I thought I wasn’t supposed to plan, I thought that was a sign of my weakness as a parent in fact. I thought I was supposed to just morph into Mary Poppins but on steroids, because lets be honest…she wasn’t doing the cooking, the cleaning, getting up in the night and everything in between!
Anyhoo I digress, this isn’t Mary’s fault.
The getting organised lightbulb is ongoing with lots of different areas I’m now attacking and quite enjoying, but the main thing definitely had to be…
I’ve had a life long battle with fussy eating, which I’ve passed on to the toddler. Bollocks. Throughout every damn day I’ve worried over what to feed him, whether he was eating enough, whether he was getting enough variation, whether he would grow properly, was the baby going to copy him, was I wasting my time cooking for him to shun it yet again. UGH. It has been doubly challenging because I am very aware that children copy the example we set as parents, so I’ve had to address my own diet and habits around food which has caused its own stream of anxiety. DOUBLE UGH. ADULTING IS HARD.
The one worry I had any control over, was what I offered him. I’ve finally learned that I can’t MAKE him eat (because no, I am not up for bribing/threatening/forcing), but I could make sure that what I offered was good and varied. But thinking up meals on the day wasn’t working for me, so planning was the way forward.
I thought this was an excellent opportunity to make good on my vow to get creative again. I’d done a draft meal planner on a small cheap whiteboard but its boringness made me die a little inside. I wanted something beautiful – Pinterest and Instagram worthy! And I had a mirror upstairs that practically begged me to be the guinea pig.
It didn’t turn out to be the beautiful boast worthy piece I’d wanted, I made a bunch of mistakes, but I even pushed myself to a new place by seeing it through to the end and not quitting just because it wasn’t perfect. I decided that not only did I want to finish it, but I wasn’t going to learn how to improve for my next creative project if I didn’t even finish the first attempt. This actually made me relax a lot more, to see the whole thing as an opportunity to learn and improve, and it boosted my mood significantly!
So here it is, my weekly mirror planner. The final result was quite hard to photograph as the ink reflects, but I have the days of the week along the top, and on the left I have rows for; Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Snacks, Food prep (day before), Food Shopping (for any odd bits I couldn’t get in the weekly shop or forgot), and I also included Chores, and Self Care.
I fill the planner in and then I do a weekly shop based on it. I fill in the ‘Food Shopping’ row if I know there are bits that I can’t grab until the day or the day before for freshness. I’ve been doing this since June 1st and boy do I notice if I forget to fill it in! We’ve had a crap week or two mixed in where we’ve lived on jacket potatoes or takeaways!
But ooooooooooooooooh it feels so good to be organised. It’s afforded me a lot of mental space, my days seem so easy now in comparison, its crazy! I’ve since realised that I’ve quite often heard or read another mother say that their lives only work when they plan. I no longer feel like a failure, I feel quite empowered and free!
And that’s just the first light bulb moment…more to type up when I get the chance!