Nailed it: counting the good stuff

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

The whole point of this blog is that I try to be as honest as possible. I know that sounds a bit cliched, but then, who would admit to kind of ... image-managing their lives? Not many people. I do try to get a balance. I don't want to moan constantly, and I like capturing happy little family moments on Instagram. (I'm also quite careful in what I feel is appropriate to post about, but that could be a whole post in itself). But I like to keep it all in balance. The thought of selling my life as a kind of brand makes me feel a bit sick.

I'm also a bit hyperbolic and I like to poke fun at my weaknesses because for years, I couldn't do that. I've kind of gone the opposite way now. This combination means that sometimes people think I feel really rubbish about myself all the time. I don't. I feel rubbish about myself for a normal amount of time.

I had to have a little check though when a friend approached me, all gently and seriously (in the manner of someone approaching a startled deer) to tell me that she thought I was doing really well and I shouldn't put myself down so much.

I mean ... I think it was a case of crossed wires. And maybe a bit of exaggeration on my part. Most of the time I actually think I'm doing alright with life in general. 

Which brings me onto the point: 

Sometimes you have to remind yourself that you are, in fact, capable.


I remember a clear and shining moment in my pregnancy: my daughter was running around my feet demanding that I make up a story for her. Meanwhile, the baby was somersaulting around in a way that made me feel like a human washing machine, I was walking with an extreme limp due to PGP, and I was cooking a quite complex dinner involving a) vegetables and b) lentils that my daughter actually ate and enjoyed afterwards.

In that brief moment, I thought, 'I'm nailing this! I can do it!'

It's very important to appreciate these moments and do a quiet, probably inward celebration about them. Because life demands a lot of you, and it makes you feel like you can't keep up, and that everyone else is doing way better than you are at being an adult. We live in a world where people celebrate their successes quite publicly, which is fine, but it means that we forget that, most days, people are just quietly getting on with their lives - sometimes doing well, sometimes not so much.

We forget that we can just be normal, and boring, and that is good.

Normal and boring is what most people are when they're not posting on the internet.

But we can be good at normal and boring. We are good at normal and boring. So if you've gone off to your job again wondering what the point of it all is, or you're at home washing the third load of laundry for the day and feel a bit like banging your head against a wall at the never-ending-ness of Clothes Maintenance, here is my tip: just think about all the things you did well today.

I did it a lot while I was pregnant and feeling totally useless. Like:

Remember when you prepared dinner even though your leg felt like it was going to fall off? That was good.

Remember when you got your daughter ready for bed in between throwing up everything you ate in the last twenty four hours? That was quite impressive.

Remember that time you went to the hospital on short notice and had to get a taxi there and back, and therefore had to juggle your toddler, your unwieldy bump, the car seat, your maternity notes, a tube of wee, and a bag full of drinks and snacks and sticker books? That was good. (A bit manic, but good.)

Remember that one time you got to the bottom of the washing basket?

Remember when you were a good friend today even though it wasn't the most convenient moment for you?

So it is. Today's bad things include the fact that the house is a mess, I haven't got round to a) applying make-up b) doing my hair or c) shaving my legs (despite the fact that I have my legs out). I haven't put on any washing. I haven't hoovered in ages. I haven't finished tidying my daughter's bedroom (a frankly stupid and pointless task). I haven't phoned up about that important appointment (yet). My daughter is currently eating plain crackers for lunch and watching Peppa Pig on our portable DVD player as opposed to eating vegetables and doing some kind of educational task.

However ...

I did do a little bit of tidying.

I did manage to shower (!) and put on clothes that don't smell of baby drool.

I did sort out the old laptop to pass onto my Dad which made him very happy.

We may eat a healthy meal involving salmon for dinner.

So really, not bad.

Not bad at all!

Another thing I didn't get round to doing was taking a decent photo for this blog post ...

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  1. I love this post! I posted today in response to the Daily Mail article that was dissing the rise of the Slummy Mum Blogger - for me I would much rather read about the true ups and downs of parenting than an Instagram / pinterest filter. Some days are boring, and that's totally cool too!! :) #TwinklyTuesday

    1. Thank you! :) I haven't read that article because I knew it would give me the rage but I've seen a few bloggers talking about it. Got quite cross on behalf of the Hurrah For Gin blog, it's one of my faves! The ironic thing is the Daily Mail often complain about bloggers and Instagrammers pretending to be perfect ... not sure what they want really! x

  2. It's easy to lose sight of the positives when you're tired isn't it Meg. Housework has always been the last thing on any of my lists (and very rarely does it get done). Guess it's all about your priorities ...

    Great post. x

    1. Thanks lovely. Tiredness changes everything! And housework is overrated ;) x

  3. I love this post! It's so easy to just pick out the negative parts of the day and tell yourself you've been crap that day, I'm terrible for doing that. Love the difference a quick change in perspective can have!

  4. Love this!!! It's ALL about perspective! #coolmumclub

  5. You are so very right and it's something I've been thinking a lot about lately too. I'm feeling tired but invincible after a week parenting alone, including open evening, 2 swimming lessons, gymnastics a sick relative and a poorly kid as I do my linky reading. Yeah, I'm doing alright.
    Thanks for reminding me and for sharing with #coolmumclub


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