Ditching the routine: revelations of a mum on rum

Drinking, and abandoning my child’s routine, are two things I don’t do very often.

While at first these topics may seem completely unrelated, upon close and honest inspection they are connected by a deep down desire to maintain control. That, coupled with general fretfulness surrounding what would happen if said control was lost.

Whilst I have long ago made peace with these little quirks of mine, I do think my husband sometimes longs for a drinking buddy; I have been known to leave him with two thirds of a bottle of Muscadet in favour of cake and a cuppa in bed. Sorry love.

On special occasions I do “go for it” but then of course I am the ultimate lightweight; Two drinks are enough to send me off on a giggle fit, three drinks and I’m on the table, four drinks and I’m cowering under it. It’s quite embarrassing!

My commitment to sobriety is almost as loyal as my devotion to Finley’s routine. I have always been quite an adventurous “fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl”*, so was taken aback by my own rigidity once I became a mother. Finley suffered from severe reflux for most of his first year so I became wholly obsessed with doing EVERY. SINGLE. THING. in my power to help him feel less pain. Nursing was done on a timer, every 2 hours on the hour, for 40 minutes followed by minimum of 20 minutes burping. If he nursed between these sessions he would again be burped for 20 minutes, also timed. Reflux and digestive medicines were measured meticulously and administered 4-6 times daily (also on a stopwatch). Minutes of sleep and reasons for waking were logged, as part of a sleep journal for the Sleep Nanny** at a time of absolute desperation. Every moment between these appointments was spent squatting a screaming baby. No prams, no car seats, only squats. This was my life, for many long months.

Things are MUCH better now and we have a bright-eyed bouncing little boy who is no longer in pain (fantastic news obviously, with the only downside being that my thighs have gone jiggly again, I really must revisit the squats). Things are changing for us, and this evening was a perfect welcome beacon to our next phase as a family.

On this sunny Friday evening I pulled up outside our home at exactly 5 pm with my hubby and an impossibly smiley little rugrat waving at me. Finley was put down and told to “go get Mummy” at which point he took two excited hops followed by a firm face plant into the concrete.

Most days I would have been upset by this. On a particularly nasty day I might have even gotten cross or blamed Daddy (Finley wouldn’t have fallen if he was in his high chair eating dinner like he SHOULD BE AT 5PM!), but today, for some reason, I laughed instead. He was fine. And it was cute.

ice creamThe next few hours we ditched the routine and played at the beach until half past six. I know, I know, reckless. We bought ice cream cones, which Finley pretended to drink, followed by the “ahhhhhhhh” sound, as if they had quenched his thirst. That was cute too.

All this cuteness required celebrating.  Down went baby to sleep, out nipped hubby to get takeaway pizza, and out poured the drinks. And now I am here with you, writing, suppressing giggles and eyeing up the table, spouting out revelations of a mum on rum. Here goes nothing:

  1. Children change extremely quickly.
  2. It is quite important to change alongside them.
  3. Motherhood is difficult for everyone, at different times.
  4. Just because you have experienced a hard time doesn’t mean you should hold on to it.
  5. When you have a spell of “good times” it is your NUMBER ONE PRIORITY to enjoy it.
  6. Laundry can wait, gosh dang it.
  7. The above also applies to my expense report.
  8. I can’t truly control my life and child, so perhaps I should stop trying so hard.
  9. There is life beyond routine.
  10. The occasional Muscadet wouldn’t go amiss.
  11. That bit of advice that everyone used to give me, which I hated: “Things will get better”, it was true.

Whether due to the sun, the rum, or the fact that I am about to tuck into a steaming hot Hawaiian pizza with extra Parmesan, I feel tremendous. Not in control, and not at all on schedule, but warmly appreciative of the fact that life is good, at this present moment. At least it is for me; my poor husband has just referred to himself as a “blog widow”, so I had better wrap this up!

I wish you all a weekend full of happy family moments and reckless routine abandonment. Let’s make it one to remember (or not, depending on your rum intake). And, if you happen to be right smack in the thick of your own personal hard times, please know that things will get better. The sun always comes back out, and your rainbow is right around the corner. ♥


*because one should ALWAYS quote Pretty Woman when given the opportunity.

** The Sleep Nanny did work, for those interested. Worth every penny (not as many pennies as you might imagine) and happy to recommend her to any mummies desperate for sleep and needing a change. Hang in there, mummy.



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