For the last few years I, myself, not the kids, have ended up in A and E.
Last year I was rushing to get into a car and fell over (tits over fanny- in the middle of the road – and no I wasn’t drunk!) spraining my ankle. The year before that I woke up after putting up the decorations and had pulled a muscle in my neck. Don’t ask me how and the year before that I was trying to make fajitas and a spray of very hot oil caused me a second degree burn on my wrist. Ouch!
The last time I was there – last Christmas – I had a really nice nurse, a woman in her 40s, a mum, I found out, and we had a great chat –
Use your best Watford accent – “Oh my love! The amount of mums we get in here over Christmas! You wouldn’t believe it! We are all rushing about so much and that’s when accidents happen!” Of course she was absolutely right. All my previous accidents HAD indeed been because I was rushing about. I looked around and saw another woman my age with her arm in a sling. Ok so mine were only ‘minor injuries’ but excuse the pun they have been a complete pain in the ass – especially at the busiest time of the year.
I love Christmas but it does get so hectic and we end up rushing about and not thinking about ourselves or our safety! I have noticed that road rage seems to be increased around Christmas as everyone rushes around trying to fit everything in. The words ‘Happy Shoppers’ certainly wasn’t invented at Christmas. The amount of bad tempered shoppers (myself included) is truly amazing considering this is supposedly the most wonderful time if the year!
So here is my ‘life Jacket’ anology. I have 3 children with only 3 years and 10 months between them *I’m counting! My way of surviving has always been the ‘life vest theory’ – You know when you get on an airplane and they something like this –
“If you are travelling with a child or someone who requires assistance, secure your mask on first, and then assist the other person. “
I can not look after my own children in an emergency unless I have my life jacket on. Because if I can not survive neither can they. I now use this as my parenting mantra. As a parent my duty is to look after my kids and make sure they are well cared for. However I can not do this if I myself am not well. Having my life jacket on has become a metaphor for making sure that I put myself first in order to make sure I can look after the kids. I will give you an example… It’s been a long day. The kids are hungry and you have a lovely healthy meal planned. But you are knackered and you know that finding the strength to make that lovely fresh healthy meal (that 2 out of 3 MAY eat) will kill you. So you order in pizza, put your feet up and have a glass of wine! Happy mummy , happy kids. That’s the Life jacket. So is a night out with the girls, McDonalds, a weekend away with the husband and wine/chocolate and shopping. You get the idea.
So as I rush about putting up decorations, buying presents, attending children’s plays, concerts and parties… I am going to remind myself to stop. Stop rushing. Stop stressing and give myself a break – put on my life jacket because if I don’t I may have another minor injury and worse still my kids might not have a good Christmas because I didn’t have my life jacket on as I am to busy worrying about everyone else. Oh who I am kidding? My next post will probably be from a hospital bed after falling off a table dancing. I have done that before….