Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Sunday can't come soon enough

I miss my mum. She has been on holiday in Canada for the last nine days and is not due home until Sunday. Is not that I miss HER as much as I should, but the unquestioning, anytime, joyfully given help she bestows on me in caring or hr beloved grandson while I struggle through the pain of SPD. I have quite clearly been taking this for granted, as I've not realised until now how great I have it. I had been able to ring her if I was having a painful day, and either go round to visit, and have a nice sit down and watch while she plays with Boy, running around and doing all the things I can't with him, or dropping him off for a few hours on my own. Instead, I'm dauntingly on my own ALL DAY from waking up until half an hour or so before Boy's bedtime. To set the context, I have a high-need, on the go, high energy toddler who enjoys going out at least once day to do even more high-energy, on the go stuff outdoors/in the company of others. Most days, we wouldn't even get to 8am before he is crying at the front door, or if he's being very easy-going, the back door. Come teatime, even as an able-bodied un-pregnant mum I have been in the past, I've completely exhausted our supply of parent-toddler groups/walking in the sling/playdates/swimming pool/library/visits to shops or garden centres/all the toys and books that reside in our house. And now I'm a mum that can't walk more than a few steps without wincing, and later holding back tears, can't sit on the floor to play, can't carry an 18 m old (no matter how much he begs, and yes it breaks my heart when he brings me the sling an cries to go in it), and, as a new development, is finding it increasingly painful to drive. In fact, I've stalled my car due to pain holding the clutch. (How much longer am I safe to drive?)

These points are not leaving me with many options for entertaining a small boy (never mind keeping on top of housework), but any suggestions would be most, most welcome. About two months ago, a lady at a parent-toddler group sympathetically approached me and asked how on earth I was coping, as I used my crutches to hobble to my car with my son in a sling on my hip. (Add two months or my condition deteriorating & bump and toddler growing to this scenario). She suggested I give homestart, a charity that helps families that need it, and see if they could help me. After a home visit, I was declared a "high priority" case, and skipped the waiting list. (I was on said list when I suffered a bad post-partum with my last baby, but by the time the 4 m wait ended, I felt much better and passed up my place to someone more in need). I was assigned a volunteer, who seemed lovely, to show up the next week for 3 hours, to play with Boy, or help us go out to a group perhaps. (I need someone to carry my toddler and bag, an to run around after him while we are there.) I planned my day around the schedule, as many of you know, it is hard to organise naps and mealtimes round a small child if you wish to leave the house, especially with one who has no set routine, but still has two naps a day!

1st time: she rang the day before, she was ill, re-schedule for following week. A little disappointed, but understanding.

2nd time: she rang the morning of: hubby slipped a disk, must take to casualty. Gosh how terrible! But sort of ruined our day. Starting to wonder if she will bother next time....

3rd time: 10 mins before she is due to arrive, the phone rings. I have just risked telling Boy we are going swimming, as she can't possibly cancel this late. I've spent time packing a bag, and Boy is currently crying at the front door to go swimming. She claims she thought it was yesterday and she had turned up to en empty house (I was at yet another hospital appointment). She asks me if it's ok to "not bother this week". I burst into uncontrolled tears. I've apparently finally found a way to get her here. Guilt. A wonderful time was had by all at the pool and I don't even mind her only staying with us 1.5hrs out of the arranged 3hrs. As she leaves she informs me that....

4th time: arranged to helping me attend a hospital appointment as my mum is on holiday and can't babysit. (I dislike taking Boy along for him to have to sit still and wait patiently while he watches mummy in lots of pain having needles inserted into her back for 20 mins. Perhaps not the best of childhood memories.) She tells me 4 days in advance that she is taking her dad to the doctors that day. I'm sympathetic and grateful she has (possibly) given me enough time to find a babysitter. Luckily, I do. By complete fluke, my sister is off work.

5th time: she rings tonight to cancel our swimming date tomorrow lunchtime. Dad's health again. I try to sympathise. I am overly polite through gritted teeth. Luckily, I've not packed the bag yet. I had got my hopes up though. Especially as my mum is away.

It's been pointed out to me that if I had never been offered this help, I wouldn't feel so upset/put out/angry when it doesn't arrive. Perhaps this is true. Those little words on my calendar, that I've planned my day around, wouldn't hurt so much if they had never appeared there. I am considering ringing the charity and asking for another volunteer, perhaps one with fewer commitments. They did say I could if we "clashed", but I feel I would come across as terribly ungrateful.

So I'm really not sure what to do tomorrow. Two of my friends who usually help me out lots (and thus not feel quite so guilty about asking my mum to do everything for me) are both away for the next few days, and I miss them too. Other brilliant timing: the weather has finally broken,and the rain is preventing us from going in our small but boredom-saving garden, I've been diagnosed with anemia (on Monday) and I'm still waiting for the tablets to make me feel a bit more "with it". Our huge fridge-freeze has finally given up today, and I've been frantically ringing local relatives to beg for freezer room, lest my lovingly prepared, from scratch family meals all go to waste. And I'm figuring out how to feed a family with only cupboard items......at times like these, I would usually just trot off to my mum's to get fed and for all the answers generally....god, mums are ace.

I am very reluctant to let Boy watch TV as much as he wishes while I'm in pain, partly because we would quite possibly watch upwards of 8 hours of Peppa Pig (he cries at anything else. Including when the adverts come on, and we only have so many episodes in the sky box.), but mostly because I lapsed my own rule on maximum 20 mins a day, when he was teething, and it's ONLY JUST got back to normal, i.e. not "asking" for TV all day every day and throwing massive paddies every time it's refused....it makes it harder on me in the long run.

So I'm feeling like a bit of a crappy mummy at the moment, very selfish for getting pregnant, and putting my son through such a rubbish time while I get to my due date. Especially as I knew I was very likely to get SPD in this pregnancy too. After all, mums don't get sick days.

To cheer myself up up, I'm heading over to the Brits in Bosnia to see if I can finish reading the British Mummy Bloggers Carnival before bed. You will find my post on my favored baby products on there this fortnight! I've enjoyed reading the entries so far.

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3 Comments:

At 7:47 am , Blogger Dancinfairy said...

I do not think you would be ungrateful to request another volunteer to help you. After all they agreed you needed the help and they are not providing it. Plus, there is a lot of being messed around going on, that person should not be a volunteer if they are unable to.

It must be so hard for you, coping with the pain, being pregnant and looking after your little boy. I have the upmost respect for you.

 
At 12:01 pm , Blogger SandyCalico said...

You need all the help you can get, this volunteer isn't helping!
Sending you (((HUGS))) x

 
At 6:35 pm , Blogger allgrownup said...

Today wasn't as bad as I expected, I think Boy knew! He was so good, and was entertained by his toys for once, we didn't even turn the tv on once! We had a bath, and he had two long naps too.

 

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