36 things mum do before 9am?? Really I only seem to do 30?

I read an article this morning about the amount of things mums do before 9am, before the day even starts for most people. I’m a new single mum with two boys. There is part of me that says no I don’t do that much and anther part that says I’m exhausted I must have done more!!

This morning I’m shattered but I’ve been a little organised the night before so things should be a bit easier this morning. But that depends on the kids so really I have no idea how organised I am. So I stay in bed as much as I can until 7am and try to get some sleep while they play in their rooms.

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1) 5.30am youngest gets up. Take him into my bed hoping he will go back to sleep.

2) 5.50am my oldest gets up. I explain it’s not morning and he needs to sleep a bit longer. (I already know I am wasting my time)

3) 6.10am they are both up running around and I hear the first crying. I sort out who is to blame and hope I can dose for just another 10mins.

4) it’s 6.50am I should be grateful but I’ve not slept properly in nights and this is just the start to another day. I pull my hair back into a ponytail. It’s quick, easy and keeps it out of my way.

5) First thing I do down stairs is let the dog out which reminds me I’ve not been yet myself. (Hope my bladder can last a bit longer)

6) We have breakfast together, at least we all eat the same.

7) I make the kids lunches. Some negotiations needed here so that it isn’t a lunch box full of sugar.

8) While making sandwiches the kids see the bread and ask for toast after their cereal.

9) While the toast cooks we make a start on today’s reward charts. Hopefully this might encourage them to get dressed themselves. (What kids will do for a sticker)

10) I empty half the dish washer while I eat a slice of toast. Not sure if I should eat slower or empty the dishwasher faster.

11) I’ve been down the stairs for about half an hour and I realise I’ve still not emptied my bladder. It’s getting a bit uncomfortable now. I nip to the toilet while they eat their toast. I’m shouted to come down and sort out another screaming match.

12) I’m followed back upstairs with by youngest and I’m shouted to put cartoons on. But there isn’t the ones he wants so he’s not happy.

13) I quickly get myself dressed while I ask my youngest to start getting dressed. (The promise of a sticker isn’t helping here)

14) They are both up the stairs now and I have to tell them no more jumping, bouncing or bouncing on their knees while on my bed.

15) Stickers aren’t working so I pause TV to encourage them both to get dressed. (Another argument nearly starts as they fight over the gruffalo outfit that neither of them are wearing.)

16) finally we get some movement my oldest dresses himself and I start to help my youngest.

17) We all brush our teeth together.

18) Then I have to chase my youngest downstairs to finish getting him dressed.

19) Put every light in the house back off for about the 4th time this morning

20) Decide I should do something useful this morning and put a load of washing on.

21) Next I encourage the boys to tidy rooms, think between them they might have picked up one toy.

22) Then I need to redress my youngest since he has put his trousers on back to front.

23) Go back and finish emptying the dishwasher.

24) Let dog out again.

25) Open blinds and curtains throughout the house.

26) Find money to pay fees for childcare and take that form that’s got emergency contact details back to them at the same time.

27) Negotiate where kids are staying and eating dinner. (They are with me, but want to go to their grandparents)

28) Put everything in the car, bags, lunches etc.

29) Chase kids to get them in the car.

30) Take kids to childminder so I can go to work for a rest

This was an easier day, often it’s much more frantic than this. But when people say that they are amazed at how well I’m coping I suppose I am starting to see what they mean.

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Being able to reflect on where we have been helps us focus on the future.

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I’ve had some pretty low times recently and while I want to forget them I found myself thinking that I need to remember them.

Let me try to explain. Things are going well just now and that’s great. I’m in a “better place” the kids appear more settled and I’m wondering if my ex-husband may be being “medicated” as everything about him has changed again.

While this seems positive it gives me the chance to forget some of the hurt that’s been caused. Again good, but I feel I need to remember the pain and how low I got to ensure that I never get there again.

I think I blogged about the horrendous argument that we had when I introduced my new man to the kids. But I forgot how bad it made me feel. I’m choosing to write about it now because I want to remember what he did to me.

I was shopping in a large store (think it went over 3 or 4 floors), I was away for work. So I was about an hour and a half drive from the kids and my ex wouldn’t let me talk to them at all. Telling me that I couldn’t do what was best for the kids and couldn’t be trusted. I was texting my new man as I walked round this store which is probably what kept me slightly more grounded.

I was trying to buy clothes for Christmas shopping and I felt like I was walking round in a daze. I was in there for ages looking at the same things over and over again, forgetting that I had already looked for them or worse had already put them in my shopping bag.

Then as I looked at the kids clothes it hit me. I realised how high up I was and if there had been an open window I would have jumped. I felt so low, isolated and stuck. I didn’t know what else to do. Everything I did was wrong. It felt like everytime I moved he had a go at me. He would scream at me and tell me I was useless and he would be fighting for custody of the kids.

I found some composure, paid for the clothes and headed back to the hotel. I don’t remember anything else about that evening, I have no idea what I did.

It was around this time that I first started blogging and was finding it a great way to vent and gain strength and support from others in similar situations. Now when I look back I wonder how I got through it, how I kept going. I used to write parts of blogs or ideas that I had for blogs while I walked from the car to work. It gave me clarity, some composure and the ability to block some things out while I worked.

Through this time I’ve learnt what good friends I have and I’ve made so many new friends. Some just because I’ve been socialising more and some because we’ve been or are going through similar things.

I still hate everything he’s put us through. But without it I wouldn’t be where I am now. And right now I’m pretty happy.