Switching off

That saying actually irritates me – as so many popular phrases do…

I have had my phone set to ‘do not disturb’ between the hours of 9pm and 7am for months – mostly because I have an ex who loves to text in the wee hours when he is heading to work…

It works quite well. I have my kids and my dad listed in my favourites, so their calls will always get through. Other than that, you have to ring twice for my phone to actually ring on my end. Apps, etc just decide it can all wait til morning.

But! There’s always a but… The kids are away and they are homesick… and having issues. Far too many people, late nights, too much sugar… So the last couple of days has meant a lot of calls and tears. Yesterday, I switched off the DND – just to make sure they can get through on any media. My daughter’s phone has been broken for weeks, so she chats to me through FB…

Guess how many people sent messages last night? Everyone knows I rarely sleep… but I’ve been trying to change that a little, and to catch up a little whilst the kids aren’t in my bed…. So guess how many messages? And do you know that the phone bleeps? Loudly. Very loudly. Every single time a message comes through. Every. Single. Time. What’s the saying… I’ve never been held hostage, but I have been a member of a group chat… People chat on those things. Often. Plus the private messages… They went til just after 3am… and then started again at 530…

One more sleep til the kids are home. One more sleep til I turn the DND back on… It is NYE though, so there will be very little sleep tonight anyway 😉

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OMG, how much easier is it without children?! Apologies to those of you without…. but it really is.

All four have gone to their dad’s for 6 sleeps. Six whole sleeps! Six mornings of waking up and not having to get breakfast. Not having to nag them to get dressed. Not mediated the bickering. Not listened to children’s tv. Not cleaned up the dishes afterwards.

It’s never, ever ALL four. Ever. I forced this one. A huge, extended family Christmas. It was important that they ALL go 😉

Yes, I miss them, but I am busy. I’ll have one day/night without plans – although even that could possibly change… I had thought to have some time to myself, but that hasn’t happened either. So, yes, life is busy regardless of whether or not you have children or how many you have….

But! I wash one plate and cutlery set. I use one glass in the day. I’m washing today and it’s only half a load. Things stay where you leave them. The tv hasn’t been turned on. I have slept in (although, the noise of the new neighbours makes that a chore in itself). I have had the bed to myself. I can read a book – uninterrupted! Life is simply easier.

Reality will return on a plane on New Years’ Day though… at lunchtime… with what will hopefully be only a minimal hangover…

Pain

Why do we put up with pain when we don’t have to? I’d like to admit I’ve been in pain for a few days and haven’t done anything… but the reality is, this neck pain has been present for months… and the actual reality is, it stems from a pain I have had for years… I even know what is causing the pain. I know what I need to do and who I need to see. So why don’t I? Why have I never seen anyone about this?

Instead, I am sitting here with sharp pain radiating from a point on my neck where everything has kinked during the night…. and I won’t see anyone today either, or tomorrow…. Realistically, I think they’re all closed for the season, but that wouldn’t really matter.

So why? Why not see anyone?

Partly because I am terrified the wrong person will push in the wrong spot and do more damage. But that’s only partly… the rest is for a variety of ridiculous reasons inside my head….

How does it feel to know where you are going?

I’m not so certain I would want to know… not really…

When I was a child, my grandma traced our family tree back a few generations. We were bitzas. I have always loved that. I have no need to have a strong affiliation to a particular heritage – I can take the bits I like from a range.

So, she found the standard four – England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales… I chose Ireland and Wales – I’m not sure why exactly, but I’ve never felt the need to align myself with England or Scotland.

Then there was Germany and France. Austria. Possibly Greek – but that was vague…

Then my favourite. Romany. Gypsy blood. This one I adopted wholeheartedly. As a child who lived within the pages of books, the idea of Gypsy blood meant the greatest adventures lay ahead.

Perhaps this is where my wanderlust arose… or perhaps it’s simply in the blood… I just know that I have never liked to stay still. I am always looking for the next venture. The next adventure. Restlessness. A need to see other places. To see them all.

I visit the world of books. An escape… but more importantly, and adventure. A new place to visit for a while.

And I am itching. Twitching. I need to go. We have been here for a year – although, only 6 months in this house. But the oceans are calling. I need to cross them.

My eldest recently informed me she has lived in 9 houses so far, and wouldn’t it be nice to stay in one place for at least a little while… She’s 15. Nine houses in 15 years. If you count the time in my womb, she’s actually lived in 10 houses 😉 I have promised her I will stay here til she finishes high school. Two years. Two years! I’m not actually certain I can stay put that long… but I also don’t know that moving is good for the littlies – they are less resilient to change than she is…

But I am itching…

Mothers….

I know I should be full of Christmas spirit and wishing everyone a joyous season…. and I am! But I’m also having a whinge… 😉

This is the message I want to write on my mother’s FB wall:

Hey mum. Merry Christmas! Tried to ring you this morning but you’d already left and gone to spend the day at your other daughter’s house. That would be the daughter no longer speaking to the rest of us. The daughter you have always sided with. So I guess we won’t be hearing from you today.

And I really do hope you had a great birthday the other day. I did offer to have lunch with you or visit/have dinner after you’d finished work, but you quickly shut that idea down – several times. And it’s great you received your gift and ever so nice that you did actually let me know it had arrived, in passing, as you said goodbye after I called again on your birthday. I realise that if you had allowed me to visit, people might think I was a nice daughter, a considerate one even – and we can’t have that!

The kids have wished you happy birthday and merry Christmas through a variety of mediums – I’m sure you are simply too busy to thank them. Several of my friends have also wished you well the last few days and I’ve explained to them that I’m sure you meant to reply.

Yes, work is exhausting and that 38 hour a week job certainly takes a chunk out of your week. Of course you want to spend your spare time visiting your other daughter and her kids. No, it’s fine that I am the only one of your children who lives in the same city and who you have not seen since June.

No mum, I won’t be putting in the incredible effort next year. I’m sorry. I’ve simply decided to be the daughter you keep telling everyone I am.

Christmas Stars

The last star finally arrived in the mail. Swarovski Christmas stars. I had started buying them for the kids years ago, then, due to a series of unfortunate events (yes, I do love that phrase), I had sold them… A few weeks ago, a friend reminded me of the obvious – I could replace them. So I have.

The reaction sums my chicks up perfectly.

Child number 1 is almost 16. She smiled happily then reboxed it and took it to her room to find just the right place in there to hang it.

Child number 2 is 13. He cheered when he saw his star and immediately jumped up to hang it on the tree.

Child number 3 is 8. She squealed with delight, hugged and kissed and thanked me profusely… then reboxed it and put it on the shelf of ‘special’ things in her room.

Child number 4 is almost 7. He smiled beatifically, then left it lying on the lounge.

This is my chicks 🙂

Insomniacs in my house…

2am… The bedroom door slams open…

Child: Mum!! I can’t sleep!!

Me: Oh… I was…

*sigh*

This child has always struggled with sleep. The smallest things set his mind to overdrive. The longer he can’t sleep, the more he stresses about it.

We’ve tried everything. All the tonics and old wives’ tales. I’ve tried to explain that it doesn’t actually matter whether he sleeps or not – even simply resting in bed helps…

Nothing. Nada.

When he reaches the point where his brain is ready to snap in frustration at not being able to sleep, his world implodes.

We tried medication a year ago. I was wary of chemicals in his system – I want him to learn strategies, not pop pills. The one we tried didn’t work anyway. The placebo effect lasted two nights.

We tried herbal remedies. That one had some pretty scary side effects.

We’ve tried the warm milk, the routine, the crystals under the pillow, the lavender on the pillow, and a number of other options.

We’ve tried yoga and meditation – these are not things he is open to.

I’ve run out of options. The night before, he slept easily and well. No idea what triggered yesterday.

I can’t even grizzle though – not really – because insomnia is my own infliction… The difference is, I don’t make others suffer :/ Number 3 child suffers a degree of it as well. There are nights when she is still surfacing well past midnight and there is nothing that soothes her until I eventually lie in bed beside her or gather her into my own bed.

Oddly, sleep is the one thing my babies always did so well….