Minor Meltdown : Share Your Advice Please

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Today my six month old has won. This has been the hardest two weeks so far since little Isla came into our life. As most of you know Roy works FIFO (Flys in flys out) to Papua New Guinea. His roster is not too bad its two weeks on two weeks off which equals 12 days home with two travel days. A friend of mine is about to have two weeks on her own with her bub for the very first time and is nervous and I thought you could help. I want to compile a list to keep her sane, more on that later.

First it’s my turn. Roy left last monday and I was sick. The head cold type, as soon as we landed back from our holiday boom – Sick! I had one day to sort out my website that malfunctioned whilst I was away which was a huge stress and didn’t leave me in a holiday bliss on our return. That was Sunday glued to my computer. Monday –  bye-bye Roy, boo hoo me. So sick I went back to bed and curled up with my computer and Isla finishing my apologies to those who may have also been affected by our website malfunction.

The next couple of days were extremely slow, my ears finally cleared the snot stopped dripping and I was thankful that my little girl did not get the flu. By Friday I was 99% better, that was farm gate day and I wanted to head to Brisbane on the weekend to visit the Good Food & Wine Show. Yep, I didn’t make it. Exhaustion kicked in and well Isla had decided to be a real grumble bum on the Friday and has continued to do so. From one extreme to the other, happy one moment to can you hold me or I am going to combust type tears. To kick it off she also had her six month vaccinations on Wednesday. booooooo. I am happy to report though 9.1kgs and 68cm tall. She is going to be tall and is still very robust for her age.

This week has been ups and downs of what Isla needs, Isla gets. Which has me left with sheer exhaustion. Sleep who needs it right? Wrong, I need the stuff called sleep. I don’t function without it. Last night was horrific hence I have officially been broken. Two and half hours crying which was inconsolable in the middle of the night – what on earth. Yes I tried everything, she was not hungry, changed her nappy, tried to feed her some more, sang her favourite songs, held her and patted her back, cuddled, white noise and left her alone to see if she could fall asleep again by herself. Nothing.

The worst part is, I put her in our bed for the night to sleep, it worked.  I think she was so exhausted from all that crying she gave up. Small win but hopefully not something that needs to happen again. I don’t share my bed well with Isla, we have done it a few times while away but she wiggles way to much for me. Which means I get a shit night sleep. So after the tears from last night both Isla and mine. I was not a happy camper this morning.

One of the things I love the most about living on a farm and having stupid amounts of weeds to kill is wipper snippering. Honestly it’s the best anger management solution ever. Drown out the noise around you, cut the grass or in my case kill the over grown fucking weeds. Take That! The weeds not you, sorry. Isla went down the road for a visit with Dawn & Dennis this is the first time that someone else has looked after Isla with out the need of my assistance. I don’t know why I haven’t asked sooner. I think I was too proud, it took me breaking to ask. I arrived in tears and got a few hugs in. It’s tough on your own with not many people around to help. After my one and half hours of slaying back the weeds I felt much better. Many of you are probably thinking why on earth did I not have a sleep.

I sleep well in the afternoons and at night-time and thats about it. Plus the weeds were getting on my nerves too. We might get some more rain and if those cobblers pegs take off I will have stupid amounts of seed everywhere and when it comes time to picking my watermelons I don’t want to spend another half an hour picking them off my clothes.

So here is where you can help. My friend’s hubby is going away for two weeks. Her folks are also going away bad timing for her. However since I do this all the time she has asked me for a few pointers. After the whirl-wind thus far I am not sure I am up to the mark to give advice anymore.

share

Share your suggestions or ideas to help be strong and survive on your own.

The list so far:

  • Cook easy meals in sizes ready to reheat. Keep in the freezer or cook at lunch time.
  • Stick to the bed time routine
  • Be organised
  • Every couple of days go on a field trip – breaks the cabin fever
  • Have naps in the afternoon when bub is down.
  • Look after yourself
  • Be a couple of steps ahead

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14 Comments

  1. I totally feel for you and have been there done that and don’t worry you can still end up in tears of frustration and exhaustion when they are 10 and 8 as well and particularly when you are 10 you think you know everything about life more than your mother. The journey just continues and you get different problems to cope with. So far what you have listed is great. Not sure the age of your friends child/children however having cut up fruit in the fridge and/or veggie sticks (carrots capsicum etc) is a good go to snack for Mum and kids and if it’s cut up in the morning y don’t have to sort it out during the day. The slow cooker is your friend, yes even in summer you can out in the roast and have it with salad or hit veggies or a curry. Try and go for a little 30 minute walk out of the house around 3.30-4.00 pm to look at the birds, the sky, the trees, the letters boxes and then come home and do baths, play a board game or toys for young ones while you have a cuppa but sit on the floor with the kid/s with your cuppa out of reach of children but near the muma. Put on some calming music either those Steve parish Forrest or ocean ones or that type of thing.
    Now back to you she may be teething and of course as you say the teeth just pop out of no where. If you’ve done everything else clean nappy, milk, cuddles then she could be in pain and uncomfortable. Think back to tooth ache (I was in pain for 2 days in August from an infection and OMG it was horrible but I can talk and medicate myself) your baby can’t. Try baby Panadol and one of those teething rings you put in the freezer so she can such on the cold and get some relief. During the day while supervised you can put some bongella on a toothbrush and she can put that in her mouth and chew in it. Naturally she will put it on the spot that is annoying her and therefore the bongella goes where it needs to but be with her so she doesn’t put the toothbrush too far down her throat and choke. You should get your neighbour to have a regular 2 hr play with her to give you a little break. It’s hard going at the best of times and on your own and when you are sick it really really hard. I would say she had sore gums and couldn’t sleep. Me personally I always put my kids back on their own beds after a cuddle and 5 mins in bed with me because I don’t want to then have to break that habit of them sleeping in bed with me. I totally get why you had to do it to get some sleep but as you say they wriggle all the time so it’s not that great for you in the end anyway. Hope you are feeling better and have a good week. It happens too all of us as I’ve turned up on my mothers door step in tears over the years and said “take them” I need to be by myself for a few hours. Having been a single mother for the past 8 years there is never any down time like your hubby’s roster of 2 weeks on 2 weeks off but even with a husband around mothering and running a farm is an exhausting job. Hang in there. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

    • Thanks Kathy. Yes the teething gel has been put in to effect last night. Those damn teeth, keep coming and going. Just got to hang in there and they will emerge when they are ready. Last night little Isla went back to her own bed and thankfully it didn’t become a habit sleeping in with me. My friends bub is 7months. I think snack food is key. I will add that one to the list.

  2. Hi, Wives/partners of FIFOs, I take my hat off to you all, especially with wee ones. Ask for help, put aside things that aren’t necessary and I had to learn early on in parenthood (mind you I didn’t figure this out on my own unfortunately) is that nothing needs to be perfect and you don’t have to strive to be a perfect parent. Remember to verbalise, “is this necessary”, because it is often not and will just make you more exhausted or stressed. If you have a child that sleeps during the day, definitely sleep when they do and if you have an older child and small baby, plug the older one into tv for a bit and go for a wee sleep. Anything is better than nothing. I also use to go and mow the lawn when my other half was around because that was my hour of serenity, nothing but the mowing lines. Hoping for sleep for you all.

    • Thanks Susan, when hubby comes home I tend to most of my chores on the farm. I love it, it’s my time and generally it involves mowing. I was lucky to get an hour and a half done the other day while Isla was down the road. I have let go of being perfect, my kitchen is no longer neat and tidy. I get to the dishes when I can, the floor swept when I can. The most important thing for us is food and sleep and some clean clothes don’t go a stray either. Life has definitely thrown me a few lesson to learn during this experience. Thanks for your kind words and advice.

  3. Oh that has been a tough couple of weeks for you Liz. It really is hard when you’re by yourself especially at night when you get to the end of your tether. Those babies do play up. When is Roy back again? It is a shame we aren’t closer to give you a bit of support. Great to have Dawn and Denis down the road at least.

  4. Lizzie, I’m sending you huge hugs or admiration! What a brave post to write and share. I have found that asking for help is so hard, but so necessary. I’ve only had J away for a night here and there, never for 2 weeks at a time. During those times though, I do find texting/catch ups/communicating with other mums and sharing the tough times so much help. Cooking up big meals before your friends hubby goes away, and freezing portions could help, then she’d just have to grab something out and microwave it.

    • Thanks Clare. I swear by meals I can heat up in the oven that are portioned size. I will add that to my list. I don’t have a microwave but I wish I did some days. Would make heating food so easy for little Isla who likes her food warm. A network of other mums does help, just to defrag the brain and share what’s been happening. It’s not that I am complaining, I love my girl to pieces, I just need someone to listen so I can get it off my chest. Then I just pick up the pieces and move on. Thanks for the advice Clare. This is going to be the best survival list ever.

  5. Good luck with it all! I’m with you on cooking dinner early, although I would say get it done after breakfast when you’re full on energy. I haven’t got a FIFO worker, but have three kids and often think if you manage to make one nutritious meal and get one load of washing done a day, you’ve got it made (and deserve a medal!). The secret is to pare back, pare right back! Also, kids early to bed at night so you have that time to yourself – dose up on good books and television series you can binge watch by yourself that your partner might not like. My husband went os for a fortnight and I had early nights reading which was bliss! Best of luck with it all! Cheers, Lucy

    • Lucy, I am currently watching a very girly series that hubby would never in a million years watch. I watch one episode a day – it’s my time. If I don’t do that then I check out other blogs. Thanks for your advice and yes I am a real morning person too. If I can get everything done by ten I am a happy lady.

  6. Oh I can remember those days when my daughters were young, now 21 & 16. The tips you have already listed are great, I think keeping them in a routine is a really good one. It’s so hard on your own, all the best to your friend, she’ll be okay somehow we manage to get through it if not seek help. I hope Isla settles back into her rountine for you soon, asking for help and for someone to have her to give you a break for a few hours is a godsend. All the best Lizzie. x

    • Thanks Catherine. Yes I try to stick to our routine like crazy. We have our afternoon routine down its just the day time one we are working on now. Thanks for the advice and backing up some of my ideas. Some times it is hard to give advice when you are living it daily. I just go with it and do my best.

  7. Hi Lizzie,
    Congrats on your beautiful little girl. If I could give you any advice at all it would be to give yourself a break. Being a new mommy is the hardest job you can do and there will be days you feel like supermom, and days you feel like a complete failure. In the end if the kids are able to take care of themselves and be productive members of society, then I say the job was well done. Sorry, been so busy working, I can keep up with blogging these days.
    -Gina-

    • Gina, thanks for stopping by, I too have not been keeping up. Thanks for the advice – taking a break is important and cutting yourself some slack is something we all need to do as parents. It is a learning curve for us all and each bub is so different.

  8. Cook up food for freezer portions for no fuss meals. Run around in the morning doing fun stuff and have-to-do stuff. In the afternoons, chill out. Early dinner for sunset relaxing and bed (this is my perfect world scenario) Accept that parenting is really hard, really wonderful but really hard. Also, I had a no sleeper, he was amazing and hardly ever cried but my beautiful Fred always found the world too interesting to sleep for too long. So if the opportunity comes for sleep – sleep, sleep, sleep. Also if Freddo and I had bad days or nights, it usually meant within a few days he was sick. I would feel all this Mum guilt about not better handling the bad days but due to reality I am not a mindreader so have forgiven myself almost :). Be nice to yourself and them and chill the beep out :). Know that no parent has it easy, whether on their own or with a big support network, so don’t feel like you have to be amazing, just be, your child will think it’s great as long as you are relaxed. Good luck. T 🙂