My tagline says I’m a stay-at-home mum who stays sane. Well I almost had to change that last week. It was one of THOSE weeks. We stayed home a lot to attempt better sleeping for Annie, which made Henry extra hypo and then when she didn’t sleep, I got all worked up because I achieved diddly squat. Being happy as a stay-at-homer is often a matter of perspective. I wouldn’t change my role for the world, but sometimes I lose perspective and think I’m having the WORST day when really it’s just a little frustrating and I need to get over myself.
Give me a break though guys, cause I haven’t slept properly in almost three years now after two of those pregnancies where you have to get up and pee every half hour, followed by two babies who like ‘catching up with the olds’ every two hours in the deep, dark depths of the night. The sleep deprivation has hit us like a tonne of bricks this past month so Tim and I are focussing HARD on Annie’s sleep.
This means staying at home to help her have good naps. Not my favourite thing. Auckland is like one big playground full of fun and I am like a caged bird wanting to fly away and enjoy it. I find it worse when I’m tired because I lack the energy to play with Henry and he ends up watching way too much TV. There is no greater cause of Mummy Guilt than too much TV. I feel ashamed just writing it!
Anyhoo, by Friday I was super frustrated and I was talking to a friend about how we both like getting out with our kids. Then we realised something scary – WINTER would be here in a couple of months. Shudder. Summer as a stay-at-home mum is as good as it gets. I often have to downplay the day’s activities in summer, for fear of depressing my poor nine-to-five office-dwelling husband. We certainly did not spend today at the zoo, basking in the sunshine, eating ice-creams and giggling with friends, darling. That did not happen.
Winter is different. Winter takes work. So we got chatting about the fun things we found to do last winter and how we’d need to find more options this year. And then we ‘took it online’ that night with our other Mamas and brainstormed a big old document of delight to refer to when the kids start climbing the walls come June.
It’s such a great idea, I thought I’d share it with y’all. Whether you make one up with friends or just do it yourself with your local area, it can really help keep the cabin fever at an acceptable temperature. Here are the categories we invented:
- Places To Visit (free stuff we can do all the time without worrying about a budget, like the Auckland Museum, art galleries, pet shops, the airport and libraries)
- Special Trips (like Auckland Zoo, Kelly Tarlton’s, Butterfly Creek, Rainbow’s End etc)
- Indoor Playgrounds (like Lollipops and the free ones at shopping malls)
- Outside Activities (ones you can do when it’s cold but dry like visiting Ambury Farm, bike riding, scavenger hunts, walks with the kids rugged up nice and warm)
Then we added specific activities to each day of the week, like Whitcoulls story time (on every day in some Auckland shopping malls) Mainly Music, playgroups etc.
Fingers crossed our mega list will help keep the kids entertained and their parents calm and happy this winter. I, for one, will be hoping I can keep my claim of staying sane despite the rain! Crikey, listen to me. Maybe I have already gone bonkers.