5 things that stressed me out last week and how I handled them

| February 11, 2014 | 2 Comments

The daily stressors of being a mum, a wife, a business owner… nothing new I hear you say! Who doesn’t deal with stress on a daily basis? You must be living a blissful tranquil life in la la land if you don’t!

I thought I would share with you five things that stressed me out this week and how I personally got through them with out being a blubbering mess, curled in the foetal position in the corner of my room.

5 things that stressed me out last week and how I handled them

1. Open Homes

ForSale

Our house went on the market just prior to Christmas, which is typically a low period for sales because, well the obvious… business closes down and people go on holiday. But we had a plan. Apart from the fact that we had a few little jobs, like rebuilding our dilapidated fence, to attend to, we were counting on the fact that the New Year brings optimism and plans for the future for many people. First home buyers sitting around with their family over the holiday, having a barbie and a few bevvies, talking over the future… maybe with the gift of a help with the deposit on a new home from the parentals… are you seeing it?

So they hit the web and pickup the pre-christmas Property Press and there in all its “Perfect First Home” indoor/outdoor flow glory is our little 3 bed ex-stater. Styled to within an inch of its life with its Let Liv yellow pouf and Leanne Yare designed industrial clock which matches the feature wall, which matches the kitchen splashback…

Well that plan, it worked and the people came in droves! But what came with it was the promise of open homes, appointments to view, building inspections… and I was STRESSED OUT! I had to actually keep the house clean at all times, or at least clean enough that if someone wanted to view at short notice, it was matter of just picking up the kids and the mess and packing them into the car.

Yeah for anyone who knows me, housekeeping is not my fortay. Plus I have a four and six year old AND it was school holidays. Yep, recipe for stress disaster!

So how did I handle it? First thing I did was put away all but a small bucket of lego. True genius right there. Next I bribed and threatened and there may or may not have been ALOT of TV and iPad time involved… mother-of-the-year material, NOT! Then we went away for a WHOLE week and left all the stress behind. It was perfect!

Our last weekend of open homes was the weekend before school started back, and we’d just returned home from camping… cue chaos. But thankfully it wasn’t too bad, or at least something must have switched in me when we were away, because I didn’t feel so stressed out by it all, or guilt at putting the TV on, so I could clean. I found it easier to just let things go, not get wound up. Hubby was the same. We were relaxed, we joked, we laughed, we stopped to play a bit of cricket… we just got on with it. So if you are planning a stint of open homes, the best piece of advice I can give you is to GET AWAY FROM IT ALL, preferably somewhere with no phone or internet, and regroup.

2. Exercise

Exercise is my kryptonite. I know I need to do it, but I just can’t motivate myself to do it. I have always had a weight problem, or at least a weight issue. Since having kids, surprise, surprise, it’s harder to shift. We are an active family and I would consider myself to have average fitness, but changing what I eat just doesn’t do it anymore. I have to actually work pretty damn hard for my body to get the message that this extra 15kgs needs to just F off.

So a couple of weeks ago I signed up for a Crossfit trial. I know some peeps who swear by it, vomiting and all. And I thought, I want me some of that, ok maybe not the vomiting but the joy in seeing results from hard work. As the trial got closer I started to sh*t myself… for one I HATE exercising in a crowd, I go as red as a beetroot, plus I started to doubt myself…. was I going to fail? Would I look like a loser?

crossfit

But the fact that I had signed up and committed myself to others was the motivation I needed to getting my butt into some leggings and just GO DO IT. And it was bloody hard, but I HAD FUN, yep fun exercising. Who’d have thunk it.

So if you need to find the motivation to do something outside of your comfort zone, make yourself accountable to others. So you are not just letting yourself down, you are letting others down too. Worked for me!
Now to go back… that’s another story!

3. Back to School

backtoschool

A lot of our readers will relate to this one. A lot of you probably gave a little jump for joy as you waved goodbye to your offspring at the school gate. Some maybe not? I don’t think I gave a jump for joy but I certainly felt a little lighter when I returned home to the peace and quiet.

Our six year old loves school, as long as it’s all going his way. He’s a perfectionist and puts a lot of pressure on himself to perform, and he was worried. Worried his teacher wouldn’t be nice, worried his best friend wouldn’t be there, worried that the work would be “too hard” and he “wouldn’t be good enough”. So there was a mountain of reassurance to attend to. A lot of “just be yourself”and “just try your best’s”. As parents how can we ever be sure that our advice is enough? All we can do is encourage and love and give cuddles when they are needed, but the worry of “is that enough” is always present.

To be honest, barring time travel, we’ll never know at the time if it enough, we just have to give the same advice to ourselves.

Just be yourself. Just try your best.

4. Four year old behaviour

Some people say four year old boys experience a boost of testosterone that results in aggressive, undesirable behaviour. But I have also read that that is a load of bull, that it is more about boundary pushing and the frustration of not being able to fully communicate how they are feeling. Whatever it is my four year old is experiencing it.

He has always had a bit of a temper. As a newborn I thought he had reflux because he would just scream, arch his back and scream some more. Nothing I would do would settle him. Turns out he was just cranky. I would have to catch those signs of hunger immediately or else he would scream blue murder and refuse EVERYTHING.

He is a challenging wee tike, full of cheek and demands what he wants constantly. The tantrums are getting more and more aggressive, complete with vile, sometime disturbing language (some of which he may or may not have heard sprouting forth from his mother when she had a parking space rudely taken from her… Note to self: Kids are sponges, must not mutter “Stupid bitch!” when being gazumped of a parking space!).

sweartally

In order to rid our sometimes lovely, delightful child of his anti-social behaviour we have implemented some strict no-swearing and no threatening of violence rules, so when on the way to big brothers swimming lessons he punched his brother in the mouth, for no reason other than he was talking, and then calling his Mum a certain thing mentioned above for daring to put a stop to it, all while I was trying to navigate post-school traffic… well there were consequences. No swimming for Mr 4! The tantrum that followed was a doozy.

I thought I handled it all rather well. Calm under fire and all that. We ended up having to leave the building because those indoor pools they have awesome acoustics! Usually I would get so worked up and embarrassed as well but nope. Good thing about Mr 4 is that he recognises that in these instances he really needs a cuddle, so he would calm down, have a cuddle, then wind up again, scream a bit, pull out the fist ready to strike, then fall into a cuddle again. I think the big thing for me was I actually didn’t give a flying …. if people were looking at us for a change. I just dealt and yes it was a doozy but I didn’t lose my shit. Win for me, and double win for the lesson learnt. Mr 4 has certainly improved on the behaviour front… a long way to go but baby steps.

5. Going to Auction

For anyone who has sold or is selling their house by auction you will know what I am talking about when I say it is stressful. Under statement, right? In our case we were selling our first home, the home we returned to after the births of our boys. The home where they were conceived. We have poured our hearts and souls into this place and have mixed feeling about moving on. But in order to move forward you have to move on.

So we were first up for auction in the morning and all went swimmingly, we couldn’t have asked for a better result. It was swift, over in what felt like less than a minute. Bought by someone who hadn’t even viewed the property! We were busy phoning our parents, texting friends etc, waiting for the agent to come to us to sign our part of the agreement. It seemed to be taking a long time…

SOLD

Then the thing you don’t want to hear from your agent: “We have a problem”

WTF! Turns out our buyer had done a “runner”. Cue panic. What did that mean for us? Where did we stand? Oh SHIT! My husband was strangely calm, which had a calming effect on me. I just kept thinking. “It’s going to be alright. We deserve this.” “We deserve to have something go right.”

After lots of phone calls to lawyers, visits by concerned auction managers, agents… an hour later he turns up again. “Sorry maaaate!” OMFG! Seems he couldn’t get his banker on the phone so decided to just go to the local branch to sort out the cheque. WITH. OUT. TELLING. ANYONE!

So it was and is alright. I stayed positive. It all worked out.

Lesson learnt:

STAY POSITIVE EVEN WHEN IT FEELS LIKE ALL IS GOING AGAINST YOU.
KEEP BELIEVING! 

So that’s my story from the last week. See I’m only human!
How have you handled stressful situations. Were you able to stay on track and come out fighting?

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Category: Commentary, Gratitude

Comments (2)

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  1. Melissa Jack says:

    Cool! Saw on IG you were heading to auction and was wondering how it turned out, great news. We are doing some major behavior recalibration with our 9yo and it’s hard work but worth it. Most of it is our fault anyway as we let standards and expectations slip over the holidays. Yah school!

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