Time, parenting and M.S.

I want to talk about time. Time is such a precious thing nowadays and we seem to have such little of it free. We are so busy doing things that we often lose track of it, or have that much to do, we end up wasting it! I’m talking about time from my perspective. Quite often you look at the day and think where has the last hour gone?! Often you look back on the day and wonder where the time went as you didn’t achieve half as much as you thought you would. Me, I often look back at the week and wonder where the blazes it went!! Parents, more commonly mums, will appreciate that children are HUGE time wasters! By the time you get up, get breakfast, shower, dress the kids and yourself, half the morning seems to have sped by! Especially if you have a toddler who procrastinates and takes a whole hour to eat breakfast. Or if he refuses to get dressed, or hop in the car, or put his shoes on… so on and so on. That’s mine.

Time becomes more important when you have multiple sclerosis. Because time = energy. Energy is usually limited, so the morning routine can cause an energy depletion that needs rest to restore. Then after the morning routine, you have to go to Playgroup or drive to daycare or drive 45 minutes to do some shopping. Saying that, if I use my energy up in the morning, the afternoons are a wash out for me. It really, really sucks when you are limited to half days and have an active toddler wanting your attention most of the day. We sometimes go for walks in the afternoon but more often than not, I rest on the couch while we watch TV quietly or he gets some iPad time. I like the spoon theory. I may have talked about this on another blog I once started… But it goes like this: You get a limited amount of spoons each day (say 12 spoons). These spoons represent energy. Once you get up, eat, shower and dress, as well as your kids if you have them, 4 spoons are used. That’s 1/3 of your daily allowance. By the time you go to playgroup, have a play in the park and walk home to make lunch, another 4 spoons are gone! So if your night time routine is busy, you really need to conserve those last spoons to make dinner, give kids a bath, do the dishes, read books (which I often yawn through) and by the time the little one/s go to bed you are ready to go too. If you had a really busy day, say like driving to an appointment or shopping, all your spoons are gone by the time you get home. Then you start borrowing from the next day. That is why I have what I call my MS days. There are times when I can’t do much at all after a busy day. My sister recently got married and it was an incredibly busy three days for me. I didn’t have to do much, but it wiped me out. I was recovering the whole of the following week. I’m not exaggerating here, I seriously felt like I’d been hit by a truck.

I have had Occupational Therapy sessions to help me manage my time better, but often that goes out the window. I love the tips like prepare dinner early or get a slow cooker happening to save a bit in the evenings. Another is to space out the housework – don’t do it all on one day or in one hit. I do that often (spacing it out, I mean) and I find I’m doing the house all week, which is frustrating. But then I try the one hit and I feel satisfied about having a clean house, but I wipe myself out for the next day. Naps help when you can get them, but I find if I have an hour nap, I feel guilty that some of the day has gone and I could have been doing something else. BUT napping does help replenish some of those spoons! If you have some time saving ideas I’d love to hear from you!

I often wonder where time goes. My son is about to turn three. Oh my goodness!! Three! I’m now spending time planning a party, and he has informed me that he wants a Mouse Cake (Mickey Mouse in particular), more on that in a later blog instalment.  I spend too much time on social media at the moment (yes, I think I’m slightly addicted) and have been searching Pinterest and the like for ideas. I love planning things like parties! We may have to hire a hall locally because our kitchen is due to be renovated soon. Fun times ahead! I really can’t wait for the kitchen to be done, so exciting!!  I’m going to have to take before and after photos of the renovation, but I’m digressing.

Parenting does take up most of your day. I don’t know how working mums do it! I know someone else looks after their kids during the day, but energy wise I couldn’t do it! I know there are mums out there with MS and kudos to you ladies! I’m so glad I don’t have to work, because I think I’d be sleeping the hours I’m home if I did. I only have one toddler, and he takes up a lot of my time and energy. Wiping hands, changing nappies, playing with toys, opening doors, brushing teeth, washing hands/faces etc etc. AND I wouldn’t have it any other way! I’m here for him and he’s here for me, we are best friends and have fun together! Yes, sometimes I get grumpy and yell, but he is generally a good kid and I’m finding I’m getting less cranky with him as he gets older. I hate myself for losing my patience with him, as I’m often fatigued and tired on top of that. Unfortunately that’s something I have to learn to deal with better. Again, that’s another blog entry. (should I be writing these things down?) I think the answer to that is … YES. Until next time………….