Monday, October 29, 2007

Learning and revelations

As you go through life, the things you experience teach you a lot about yourself. I think about that a lot these days as I experience motherhood - something I had not experienced before and wondered if I ever would experience. I thought about being a mother a lot, of course. Growing up I played with my dolls and pretended to be their mummy. In my years of trying to conceive I often daydreamed about being a parent. More than "Would my child have my ears, and Hubb's nose?". I wondered what it would be "like" to be a parent. Would I cope? Would I be a good mother? Would I smother my child too much? Would I be too soft or too strict? How would it feel knowing this little person was of my making? When I get a hug and hear "Mummy", how would it feel inside?

Of course, Alex is too young for me to have experienced all of this just yet, but I am amazed at how much in the course of just 11.5 short weeks he has already taught me. I think I have learnt more about myself in this time than in my previous 36 years.

As you know, I recently learnt that I have a real problem with asking for or accepting help from anyone. This was a new revelation for me. I never knew it was such a difficult thing for me to do. (and no - I never said anything on Saturday to my Mother in law, and yes - she did say "is there anything I can do for you").

I have realised too just how badly we have been eating lately. When I first came home with Alex, i thought I was so organised. I was making dinner every night, and whilst I had some difficulty getting organised for breakfast and lunch, I was actually eating something for those meals. Lately, Alex has been more active; more awake after feeds, and being mostly on my own all day I haven't been so good. I have been sick. The IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) has really been attacking me terribly. On Saturday I went to lunch at my Mother in law's best friend's house and actually ate lunch - delicious quiche, salad, fresh bread and pieces of fresh fruit. I couldn't believe just how delicious it all was. The fresh fruit really hit me as it was like tasting pieces of heaven. It was then I realised the extent to which I was eating very badly.

Looking over the last week I have not been having breakfast or lunch at all. Instead I was eating either a handful of potato chips, a few pieces of chocolate or some biscuits. Then at dinner time I was waiting until Hubbs came home at 10 or 11pm (or later), and either cooking something really quick like two minute noodles or scrambled eggs, or sending Hubbs straight back out for KFC or McDonalds. Very very bad. It is no wonder I have been so ill.

With the shop open 7 days a week, we rarely do shopping. Any shopping that gets done has to be done on my own with Alex in tow and that has a degree of difficulty of it's own, so is rarely done as well.

So Saturday was a huge revelation for me. I realised something very drastic has to change. This is what I have come up with:

* I need to fill the fridge with fresh fruit and vegetables
* I need to find quick and easy ways of preparing them so that I have healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners.
* I need to actually eat breakfast, lunch and dinner.
* I need to clean out the freezer so I can freeze dinners for difficult to cook nights.
* I need to eat dinner at a reasonable time - not wait for Hubbs to come home to begin cooking it.

For me, that seems like a huge list. It's achievable but isn't going to be easy. The biggest problem, especially with the last one, is that my time is completely determined by Alex. He is my first priority. And the fact that I am on my own with him until about 10pm at night (at the earliest) means that making dinner and eating it is totally determined by him. If he is awake and wanting attention, I can't be in the kitchen cooking. If he is due for a feed, I resist starting to cook in case I have to stop for an hour to feed Alex.

So I will have to cook things that can be precooked and heated up later, which also works in Hubb's favour. It means that when Alex goes down for a sleep in the afternoon, I can prepare dinner and even cook it if I have to, and then when I get a chance around a normal dinner time, I heat up my dinner and eat it. When Hubbs gets home, he can heat up his own dinner, or if I am still up I will heat it up for him. It is the only way.

I am going to have to be organised and I don't expect this to be easy. I don't think it is going to be fixed in just a few days. I will continue to have good and bad days but having a plan of sorts is a start.

And I haven't even started on the "I need some rest" bit or "doing something just for myself". Easy does it - let's work on feeling better in the stomach first.

I have learnt lots of other things too. I have learnt how incredible people are out there, and how much they sincerely wish to help me. Even just a comment on this blog, an sms or an email helps me so much to realise that I am doing a good job.

Yesterday we went to the shop for the day and it was a very good day indeed. Alex loves it there and is so intrigued by the fishies. Being there also means Hubbs gets to spend more time with his son, and can help me out with his care. Even just having someone else to hold him or heat up his bottle is such a help. While Alex was sleeping I made myself useful by cleaning the glass on the fish tanks. It felt good to be able to help out as well.

Hubbs loves it too when we are there. Not only does he get a hand in the shop with customers and maintenance, but he loves spending time with us both. He told me last night that after we had gone home, he looked at where Alex had been sleeping and got a bit sad because he wasn't there, and neither was I. He said he missed us.

Because I felt better yesterday as well, I came home and actually cooked dinner for myself (and plated up some for Hubbs for when he got home). We had Chedder cheese curry (recipe over at my recipe web site - linked on the right). It was so delicious.

ok - better get ready to get up the street and get some fresh fruit and veggies - yummmo - I can almost taste them. Have a great day all.

and I will leave you today with a picture of Alex in a lovely tshirt and shorts set, part of the items that Leoni sent him - doesn't he look spunky?

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At 1:44 pm, Anonymous Leoni said...

Wow hasn't he grown Bugs!!! He's sooo cute, can't believe how much taller he is.

Yep, that is a HUGE revelation you've just made about yourself, guess it was something you needed to find out for yourself.

My household is run by lists and routine, I have to or else I go bonkers. I make a whole weeks meal plan up in advance and create my shopping list from that. The plan then goes on the fridge, I don't follow it to the T, might shuffle some meals arround depending on what time I have available and how I feel, but in general it helps me focus what I need to feed the family. Most things I prep while Imara is having a nap, so that come dinner time (5pm in this household) I can just wack it in the oven or on the hotplate. I generally make casseroles (easy to prep and wack in oven + left overs are yum) or I make pressure cooker meals. The healthy side of my meals are fresh vegies cut into finger sized portions so the girls eat their vegies. By about 6pm dinner is complete and the shower routine starts, lots of fun getting all 3 girls showered and dressed all at once NOT! By 7pm Imara goes for her night sleep, followed by Annike at 7.30pm and Anya at 8.30pm, then I can kickk up my heals and relax ;-) Andrew is normally home anywhere between 7-8pm each night, so we don't wait for him to start our dinner. I pretty much stick to this routine come what may and have found it really gets easier with time and practice. I could literally do it with my eyes closed now lol.

You'll see once you have dinner down pat how much easier things will become, plus as Alex gets older it will be easier to juggle chores. My pet hate is still grocery shopping, firstly finding a trolley that has the babyseat and 2nd trying to do it all before Imara's next nap and feed while still keeping Annike entertained...arghhhhhhh But we are getting there.

Anyway, you are doing great, keep it up hun, you'll get there.

At 9:21 pm, Blogger Em said...

He is sooo cute! Can't wait to meet him! I was the same with the eating. It is tough to do everything. Small steps and it sounds like you are doing well.

At 9:22 pm, Blogger Casp said...

I lived on raisin toast for the first few weeks I think - I couldn't get enough of it!

And now we get a box of fresh fruit and veg delivered once a fortnight, which I am then forced to use up.

Our supermarket is almost over the road, so that is easier - we just walk - can't buy more than one bag of stuff though. But there is always home-shop. You just need to find the easiest way of doing stuff.

At 9:19 am, Anonymous Sassy said...

Have you tried Coles Online or the Safeway version?

I'm going to try using one of the organic delivery places for a while as our nearest supermarket is 30 minutes away. Here are some I'm looking at -

It's just so hard to find good quality fruit and vegies.


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