Monday, February 2, 2009


This is exactly how I feel today and it all started with Ikea.

We had to go there yesterday to return some of the kitchen units we purchased back in November. Normally, I love a day out at Ikea - saddo that I am. The kids get to play in the child care centre for an hour while me and Him Downstairs can browse in peace and we all get to enjoy their meatballs and fries for lunch. But yesterday, I found myself plodding round, annoyed at the crowds that got in my way, annoyed that Cheeky kept stepping in front of the stroller, annoyed that Monkey wriggled whenever I strapped him into the stroller, annoyed that I'd forgotten to put make-up on, (I actually didn't look that different to 'The Scream'. Yes. Not a good look.) But mostly, I was annoyed at how reasonable Him Downstairs was being. Am more used to the comfort zone of arguing with him all the way around Ikea.

I am officially crazy I know. But when we discussed buying new storage bins for the boys playroom, he was so bloody reasonable about it, I told him to "Drop it!" and I refused to buy them. I haven't even got the excuse that it was 'that time of the month.'

When we got home and I realised I'd forgotten to buy diapers, milk and bread I wanted to weep. I did weep.

All quite unreasonable behaviour really. But in my defense, I need to explain my current state of mind.

Next week two major things are happening:

1. I fly on my own with my two little boys back to England for three weeks.
My kitchen, laundry room, lounge and part of my garage are being ripped apart and re-modelled.

To get to where I need to be for these two events to go smoothly, I have so much to do that am feeling completely overwhelmed. I haven't even brushed my hair today so far, such is my angst. The idea of having your new kitchen put in while you're away is, on the one hand good planning, as God help my mood if I was to be here trying to entertain the boys while the builders rip out the heart of the house. But, on the other hand, it adds way more work for me in the run-up to my trip.

On top of the usual holiday washing, packing, shopping, etc I have to pack up three rooms in my house, shop for paint, tiles, light fixtures, appliances, doors, windows and counter tops. All in oh, the next five days.

On a regular week I struggle to get all my chores achieved by the weekend, so I'm starting on the back foot with this lot already. I feel like I did just before a big essay was due at college or a deadline loomed at work - bit my bit my brain shuts down and my body goes into slow motion. I can't seem to achieve any of the things I'm meant to do and days pass where I get nothing done. Then, the last few hours before said deadline, I pull all the stops out. Burn the midnight oil and get it done by the skin of my teeth.

I think I thrive on the adrenalin rush of being a last-minute-Lucy, but it does nothing for my complexion or my nerves.

Today, I have a huge list of 'Must-dos:'
1. Buy milk.
2. Buy diapers.
3. Buy bread.
4. Call bank.
5. Put clean clothes away (I have two overflowing baskets full on my bedroom floor)
6. Put a white wash on.
7. Change boys bedding.
8. Find out about Cheeky's passport renewal before new visa goes in it. (Might have to drag him to passport office in Victoria, London. Not a happy prospect.)
9. Confirm OBGYN appointment - time for PAP Smear. Yuk. Mustn't forget to do this.
10. Buy birthday cards. Mail birthday cards. Oh crap. Buy more stamps too.
11. Do list of dates Cheeky will be out of school for teacher.
12. Clean my bathroom. If I can find it under the dust and grime.
13. Clean kids bathroom. (Him Downstairs left all their hair and dirt clinging to the tub again after the last night's bath. V annoying.)
14. Take new jumper back to H&M because Him Downstairs said, "It's exactly like all your other jumpers."
15. Lose 7lbs so I look nice and skinny for my UK debut. (Not going well on this. I just ate banana cream pie for breakfast. Yes. No milk left.)
16. Get leg wax and pedicure because one of my friends back home says we're taking the children swimming during my stay. (The worry over exposing my hairy winter bod is keeping me awake at night.)
17. Get dressed.
18. Get the boys dressed. (Guess these last two should be top of this list.)

Oh and I can add another one to this lot too. Cheeky just said to me:

"Mummy, you have a hole in your pyjamas!"
"Yes. I do."
"Mummy I really think it's time you went and got some new ones."

If only I could find the time eh?

I want to be a motivated Mum, but sometimes it's all too much and I just don't know where to start. I've also just looked in the fridge and there's bugger all in for lunch. I am officially rubbish. I want to cry. I couldn't give my children cereal for breakfast today as I used the last of the milk for their morning drinks and my tea, and now all I can offer them for lunch is one yogurt to share, some cheese crackers and a square of Milka chocolate.

Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish Mummy and Housewife.

Hiding under the duvet and leaving all my tasks to rot into the recesses of my memory sounds like the favourable option right now.

Trouble is, I don't think the boys will let Mummy throw the towel in. I've landed myself the only job I can't quit. Someone let me go stand in a field and scream....


  1. Break your list up into like 4 smaller lists and work from there. Make a must-do list for each day and accomplish what you can. I secretly love racing the clock too and enjoy the rush I get when it's all done.

    Put the washing on before you leave, make your phone calls in the morning... you can do it!

  2. Oh Mom/Mum, huge, huge sympathies. I often feel like The Scream after spending the day with the Littleboys. I am surprised you even attempted Ikea: after the last fiendish visit by the four of us I make The Doctor go by himself. And I know just what it's like to pack up for builders.

    On the bright side, you won't be there while all the work's being done; you're getting away for a while, even if the flight is bad; and you are definitely not a rubbish Mummy. The boys probably enjoyed their Milka and Crackers lunch!

    As for me, I've just eaten all four of the Littleboys' fishfingers from their supper, as they refused to touch them....

  3. Yikes! Don't envy you that list. Think I would scream, too.

    At least once you are away, you can relax. Unless you are trying to fly into London in snow ........

  4. And breathe

    Life being a woman is pure hell at times

    I am the most disorganised woman in the world, but take heart from me, my kids are still alive, you'll be okay.

    Organised women only end up running the PTA anyway

  5. @ABrit - Yes, that sounds like sound advice. Thank you.

    @NVG - Exactly. There is a bright side thank goodness. Think am feeling overwhelmed mostly sometimes by the mundane of the washing, cooking,cleaning etc. but when new exciting stuff comes into play, I panic. I can't win! thank you for your kind comments. think the boys thought Christmas had come again, being allowed chocolate at lunchtime!!

    @WorkingM - yes, yikes indeed. All self-inflicted stress. Crazy. Hopefully the snow will have left London by the time I fly in, as I was planning on escaping the white stuff, having been knee deep in it for 3 1/2 months. I am looking forward to some good old British rain!

    @AG - breathe you say? BREATHE I haven't got time to do that Auntie!
    I think I'd rather listen to Celine Dion on repeat than head up the PTA....

  6. Yes, just breathe. Or as my annoying Queenager says when she's taking the you-know-what, "Breathe in the calm, breathe out the conflict". Or go to the Expat Women web site and read the very long article I wrote about traveling long haul with small children.

  7. Motivated mum? Who's she then? What mythical creature do you speak of?

    And Nappy Valley Girl, that's so funny, I've just finished off my daughter's fish fingers to (cold fish finger sandwich, yum!)

  8. Deep breaths, deep breaths. I actually did something very similar to you years ago--I took the kids off to the states for a month and we had the kitchen re-done. I actually pretty much left it to my husband to pack up the kitchen because I just ran out of time. He was "not happy" but you know what, he rose to the occaision and got on with it.

    Once you get on the plane you'll be fine but pre-travel stress is a nightmare. I feel for you!

  9. Leave some lists for the husband, he can pack up the kitchen etc on the weekend you fly over.
    Go buy food and exchange sweater for PJs.
    Just do as much as you can and don't worry. I am exactly the same as you and it makes me feel sick sometimes too. Or like crying. I have big girls birthday party this weekend and I HATE the build up to these events. I know come Saturday morning I will be screaming at everyone and worrying about insignificant stuff like the dust that constantly collects on my square edged skirting boards, and the cobwebs that are collecting in the far corner of the lounge - like a 5 year old will notice?! BUT I WILL and that is the stressful bit. Hope you manage to get everything done. Just think by the time you are on the flight, you won't be able to do a thing, apart from sit down for 8 hours!! Bliss? As long as the little people sleep...

  10. Crikey I am knackered just reading your list. Can't add to the advice you already have on here! Safe journey home.

  11. @EM - I'd love to read that piece. searched the site but couldnt find it - can you send me the link? Any tips - short of putting brandy in all our drinks?!

    @Tara - motivated mum - sher exists surely??? there seem to be alot of them in my neighbourhood - annoyingly! Sent there to haunt me, methinks.

    @Audrey - glad am not the only one then. leaving the packing to hubs sounds like a plan - thanks for the tip!

    @CTTF - good plan re jammies n jumper and yes, the hubs has my vote to do the packing! Not that he'd volunteer himself. Do i trust im to pick out the tiles though????
    goo dluck with the party. am sure 5 yr olds wont give a stuff about your dust. but I 'd be the same way as you for sure.

    @MOB - I was exhausted just writing it all down!