I’m about as far from a domestic goddess as one can get. I am neither organised at it, nor enjoy it. Cleaning is simply one of life’s necessary evils. I find it to be such a frustrating endeavor as well, as it’s difficult to see any progress. Yes, my room might be clean for an hour or so (at best, with a toddler around), but it will soon be back to needing yet another clean.
When writing, it’s different. You can write a little every day, and you see improvement. Your word count goes up. There’s no imp following behind you ten minutes later erasing the words you just typed. It’s so much more rewarding to do something where you can see that you’re moving forward.
Cleaning? Cleaning is a never-ending circle of tidying up – it gets messy again – you tidy it up – it gets messy again. It does my head in. Having a dog, a cat and a toddler admittedly doesn’t help. Some days it feels like they’re having some sort of contest on who can mess things up the quickest. Or a combined effort to get mummy to lose her sanity in the shortest time possible.
I’m trying to follow “The Organised Mum Method”, with varying results. If I wasn’t as exhausted as I am, I think it’s a really good method. It’s just that there are days when I can’t actually bring myself to do it. Still, even following it halfheartedly has my home in better shape than it was before I did.
What do you do to keep your home tidy? Are you a domestic goddess?
I don’t really want to write about it, because I’m so over-saturated by the constant bad/terrifying news of what’s going on in the world, but at the same time, I don’t want to ignore it.
What is happening in the world right now feels so surreal. I keep wondering if I will wake up soon and find it’s all some weird nightmare, but sadly I know that’s not the case.
We’re practising social distancing as much as possible. The boyfriend is working from home, the Imp and I have cancelled any play dates and are staying away from soft plays and any public places with a lot of people as much as we can. Obviously, we still need groceries, but I try not to have to bring the Imp anymore since I just don’t want her touching trolleys and things, then putting her hands in her mouth.
The hardest part is staying away from her (and my) friends. I wish we could have still met up just our three families, but at this point in the trajectory, it’s too risky. If one family caught it from somewhere, we’d spread it between all of us.
I feel cut off from my family. The plan was to go see them in June, and now I don’t know if that will happen. Part of me wishes I was back in Sweden rather than in the UK. Not because I think we’d necessarily be any safer there (even if it’s a small village out in nowhere, so at least there’d be plenty of space!), but because you want to be close to your family. Then again, if you’re not allowed to hang out with them anyway, I guess it doesn’t matter.
I’m sorry, I don’t know what my aim is with this post. I think I just wanted to put my feelings into words somehow. I hope you’re all staying safe wherever you are, and remember to wash your hands!
The holiday period for us was quite busy, but not necessarily in a bad way. Our tiny flat was filled to the brim with visitors as my dad, his wife and two of my siblings came to celebrate Christmas with us. It was crowded, but a lot of fun!
Being a weird Swede, I’m used to celebrating on Christmas Eve, so with my family in town, we invited the boyfriend’s parents over and treated them to a Swedish style Christmas dinner. It included things like meatballs, sausages, potatoes, Christmas ham/gammon, fermented herring, egg halves, ribs and a home-made schnaps that my dad made from vodka and spices. I think it was fun, and while part of me just enjoyed getting to eat all the Swedish goodies, I also enjoyed sharing some of our traditions (and food) with my new English family. (And the Imp, but she’s a terribly picky eater at the moment and basically only ate sausages.)
Christmas Day we all invaded the boyfriend’s parents’ home for a more traditional Christmas lunch and presents. I say traditional, I don’t think theirs is entirely traditional as I saw no turkey! Amazingly we managed to fit a full 10 people (or 9,5 if you consider the size of the Imp) in their small lounge for presents. With that many people, presents took forever, but we had nothing better to do anyway. And it’s nice to see what everyone else gets. The Imp was so happy about anything she got, that she completely lost interest in unwrapping more presents, and would instead walk off with her latest discovery. This did not help with the speed for getting things unwrapped.
On Boxing Day (last day for my family before returning to Sweden), we all went out to our favourite restaurant for a meal. The Imp, true to her favour of beige food at the moment, ate nothing but chips (fries for those of you not British). I tried giving her some peas the other day. She put one in her mouth, promptly spat it out and started brushing off her tongue as if she had burnt herself. And when I tried to at least add a bit of pineapple to her favourite lunch (cheese toastie… we’re hitting all the major food groups here, people!), she just said “Yuck!” and wouldn’t eat it. I honestly don’t know what to do with this child and eating anymore.
But I digress.
Once full on chips the Imp no longer wished to participate at the table, so like the good mother (*cough*) I am, I brought up Netflix on my phone and she watched a bit of Chip & Potato. She then entertained our whole section of the restaurant by laughing her head off at a part of the show where the main character is running around/chasing the other. Apparently things running is hilarious. I swear she laughs at it every time.
After my family went back to Sweden the flat was blessedly empty. We loved having them here, but there’s something to be said of just being on your own for a bit too. New Year’s passed by without much ado. We didn’t do anything as some plans we had tentatively considered fell through, and so we spent the evening/night at home. The Imp, true to her aversion to sleeping, was awake at the stroke of midnight to toast the new year. We then all went to bed together.
So, only a week and a bit too late… But Happy New Year!
The Imp and I went to Sweden at the start of November and stayed until December 1st, so we’re only just back in the UK, really. While in Sweden I attended my grandma’s funeral, which was incredibly sad, yet a beautiful service. I’m glad that I could get there and pay my respects, even when living in another country. There’s always a fear of missing out on important events when living far away.
During the rest of the visit, we saw family, visiting my dad for a weekend and one of my sisters for another weekend. There was snow for a few days, but a good couple of weeks were just gray and dreary with rain every day. Those days were absolutely miserable.
I’m frustrated by myself and my lack of writing – both on the blog and otherwise. I was never a very prolific blogger, but since the Imp it’s been pretty dismal. In my last post I mentioned having written a chapter for a novella, that’s about as far as I got since after that the Imp decided that sleep was not something that she needed. Suddenly her already rubbish evenings turned into a flurry of “no I will not sleep until 11 pm at the earliest”, and I would most commonly fall asleep with her or shortly after. Even the odd evening when she did fall asleep I got nothing done because I was either exhausted or expecting her to wake up any moment (which she often did).
Four (and two more nearly through) teeth later, and it looks like there might finally be some light at the end of the tunnel. She’s actually been asleep by 9 pm a couple of evenings now. I won’t hold my breath, but if I can at least get a couple of hours to myself in the evenings again, maybe I can get some writing in. Wish me luck!
Our one week in Spain turned out really nice. There was quite a bit of running after the Imp as there was an open pool in the garden, but between three adults it worked out well. We took it easy most of the time, lounging at the house and in the pool, with only trips to the grocery store and twice to the beach. I think everyone just wanted a break, and it was lovely. The Imp, unfortunately, decided during the holiday that she hated the car seat, the highchair, and the buggy – so we had quite a few battles whenever we needed to go anywhere!
I’ve already booked my next holiday, which will be a trip back home to Sweden in November. Sadly it’s due to wanting to attend the funeral for my grandmother who passed away a couple of weeks ago. She ended up in the hospital while we were in Spain, but seemed to be doing better as we came back. I was on standby to book a ticket to come home sooner if needed. Then suddenly she took a turn for the worse, and then she was gone. It’s all very sad, but I’m glad that at least I can make it for the funeral. It’s instances like these that bring it home that I’m far away from my family, and it makes me miss them even more.
In completely unrelated news, I’m trying my hand at writing fiction again. It’s been absolutely forever, other than some fan fiction a few years ago, and currently, it feels about as easy as squeezing water from a rock to get the words to flow – but I am persisting. Hopefully, the writer’s block will subside if I can keep at it. I just need the Imp to sleep a bit better, so that I have more time to actually write. To sort of get myself back into it, I’m not jumping right back to my old Regency series, instead trying to write a little novella with a Christmas theme (still Regency romance). I’m considering publishing a chapter every week or so on Wattpad and/or blog as I finish them. Then for Christmas 2020, I’ll have it revised and properly edited, and maybe release it as an e-book.
We shall have to see how it goes. I only started yesterday so I only have one chapter so far. Wish me luck!
I’ve suffered from chronic fatigue (CFS) for a long time now, and I have periods when I’m definitely doing better – and others where I’m definitely doing worse. Same with my fibromyalgia. However, I always feel like I can cope better with the pain than I can with the tiredness and exhaustion. I realise that this makes me lucky in some ways, the fibro isn’t nearly as bad as it could be, and for that I am grateful. The exhaustion can be debilitating though. And somehow I decided that I would add a baby into the mix. (Well, technically a toddler by now.)
I will never regret having the Imp, I love her above all – but there are days when I feel like the worst mother because I simply don’t have the energy to do everything that everyone else does. There are days when we just hang out at home because I can’t contemplate leaving the house, I’m just too fatigued. Fortunately, the little Imp seems quite happy to potter around at home, wreaking havoc the way I imagine a small hurricane would.
For the last few years, I’ve managed my fatigue somewhat. I’ve been able to work full time, which has been a definite win, even if it’s been at the cost of some other things having to go. During the years I’ve noticed that I can’t have it all, I have to choose where to expend my limited energy. I can either do my hobbies, keep a clean, tidy home or work. The last couple of years I worked, and my hobbies suffered. (As for cleaning, I was somewhere in between. I managed to sort of keep on top of it, even if not perfect.)
Pregnancy was okay. I was exhausted, but I think even women with no previous health problems are exhausted during pregnancy. Especially if they, like me, work waking night shifts.
Then enter the Imp. I’ll be honest, the first few months after she came along I was doing great. Exhausted? Yes. But I don’t think any more than any other new mum (or so I like to think). My pain was nearly entirely gone. It was amazing. Maybe six months down the line the pain started creeping back though, and both it and the exhaustion has been getting progressively worse.
The Imp is 14 months old today, and yesterday I was so tired I just wanted to sit down and cry. I struggle with feeling inferior to other mums, who manage to care for their child, going out and doing things every day and keep a neat, tidy home. At the moment I can’t do either. I feel like I’m stuck, trapped in this body and mind that are sluggish and fatigued – all while the house crumbles around me.
There are so many things I want to do. I feel like I need to do. But I can’t bring myself to do them. I’m just so tired. All I want to do is sleep, it’s what I would have done in the past, but with a little one running around that luxury is beyond me.
For months the exhaustion has been getting worse and worse, the lack of sleep definitely not helping. The Imp isn’t a great sleeper, still waking up several times at night, and she won’t let anyone else settle her. Only I can get her back to sleep (I am also the only one that can get her to sleep when first going to bed in the evening). I’m not sure how to fix it. At this point, all I can think is that I need to rest. But there is no rest to be had.
Ps. I’m sorry about the rambling nature of this post. I don’t know if it’s making any sense, and I’m quite honestly too tried to make it make sense.
A little while ago I started a separate Instagram for the Imp called Grumpy Baby. It was just for fun, because she has resting grumpy face, and sometimes her grumpy photos just give me a chuckle. It has all of like 8 followers or something, nearly all family members. So imagine my surprise when suddenly I got an e-mail from Instagram telling me that the e-mail associated with the account had been changed. Followed by another e-mail saying that the username had been changed.
It gave me an option to click a link to revert the e-mail change, which I did as soon as I received it. However, and I can only assume it’s because of the user name change, the reversion didn’t work. I got about halfway through only to be told the account didn’t exist. Hopefully the half-done reversal blocked the hacker too though, because in the 24 hours it took me to retrieve the account, nothing was posted on it.
In the end, I did get the account back – but it did require a bit of work. Especially since one of the things they want is a photo of you holding a hand-written sign with your username, and the person in the photo should be on the account. Since the account only has photos of the Imp, I had to take a photo of her with a sign. And yes, I did it while she was sleeping, because otherwise said sign would have been eaten and/or crumpled by grubby little hands.
While all this was going on, I discovered that someone must have the password for my @spellbound.nu e-mail, because I was getting lots of spam of undelivered messages. So someone was using my e-mail address to spam people. Great. I’ve since changed the password, and I haven’t received any “undelivered” messages since, so hopefully that’s stopped it.
Not a very interesting blog post this, I suppose – but I hope it may serve as a reminder to change your passwords now and then. I have had the bad habit of using the same password in more than one place. In large part because I have a terrible memory, but I will just have to do a password retrieve every time if I have to – because this was a really frustrating experience.
Oh, and if anyone wants to see the occasional photo of resting grumpy face, her Instagram account is grumpybaby.02.
Where does the time go? Suddenly it’s 2019, wasn’t it January 2018 just a couple of months ago?
2018 was the year I became a mom, and very little blogging was done. I’m hoping that I will do a bit better this year, but then I think I say that every year, so we’ll see.
I think one of my problems with the blog is how much (or little) I want to share about the Imp. It’s a difficult one for me. Also life in general, it’s probably boring for everyone else, but nice for me to be able to go back and see what I’ve been doing.
Will have to think on this and make a decision.
So, 2018… I had more visits from family than any other year. I suspect due to a certain little imp being born.
I connected with a couple of friends who already had young children on a new level, and we now get together with the little ones nearly every week, which is lovely.
In the summer, the Imp and I spent 4 weeks in Sweden with my family, which was great.
Christmas and New Years was also spent in Sweden, and we’re currently here until 21 January.
I’m currently in semi-panic mode about everything I need to get done in, well, by tomorrow night – because on Friday morning we’re all traveling to Sweden to celebrate Christmas with my family. As much as I’m looking forward to the Imp’s first Christmas, and seeing my family – there’s a lot to be done!
I have to pack everyone’s suitcases, and hope against hope that I can fit all of the Christmas gifts! Then I need to tidy up the flat and prepare it for the people who will be staying to take care of the pets. It may not sound like a lot, but it all takes time – especially with a little Imp that crawls around my legs and tries to get into everything. Today I wrapped the last gifts, and probably spent as much time wrapping as I did removing sticky little hands from the paper, tags and anything else in reach.
So, so, so looking forward to going home for the holidays though! I love Christmas! My sister will be traveling up as well, so there will be quite a few of us on Christmas. The Imp will spend Christmas with three out of four cousins.
New Year’s we’ll spend at my dad’s, and then the boyfriend travels back to England on January 5th, while the Imp and I stay until the 21st. So plenty of time to see the whole family.