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Cures for frazzled adopters?

(23 Posts)
B1rdonawire Wed 03-May-17 14:34:27

Well, OK, 'cures' is over-ambitious. But I'm basically wondering what people do to try and restore themselves a bit, as I'm feeling close to empty here and too tired to have good ideas about how to feel better. I've been replacing sleep with sugar, eating my feelings etc, and so now am very weighty and blood pressure is going in the wrong direction. I am considering trying yoga. I would love to do more "get out into fresh air" self-care stuff but it's tricky as a single adopter with not much childcare - I work all the school hours, so looking after myself mainly has to come after LO's bedtime. Brainwaves? Solutions? Gin??? Pleeeeease tell me all the clever things you squeeze in to take care of yourselves and prevent becoming as shouty as I was when DD got up for the 11th time last night

Italiangreyhound Wed 03-May-17 16:37:54

B1rdonawire well firstly I go on mumsnet a lot and realise loads of people are worse off than me!

I also have 'naturally' high bloody pressure which is now pretty much text book as controlled by pills. Don't solider on with illnesses, always get the right medical help for you just as you would for your child.

Swap sugary foods for naturally sweet or creamy, tomatoes, avocado etc, as you eat more of the natural the natural will taste sweeter as your taste buds calm down. I am still trying to get the hang of this (I love sweets!)

For me I love tea, it calms me down and gives me vitality. If you want to be fancy try herbal, chamomile, Jasmine, whatever.

I love hot bubble baths and watching my favourite TVs shows (The 100, and the Good Fight in my PJs!)

I love chatting to friends on the phone.

I love Taekwando which I do at a class.

If you cannot get out in the fresh air make your home as echo-friendly-outdoorsy as you like, flowers, plants, sounds of the rain forest etc.

Get out when you can, at weekends, or to the park after school.

My kids are total home bodies who love TV and shun the park. So sometimes I make sure we have a play date in the park.

If you can cultivate new mummy/daddy friends who can come over for coffee and chats, I find this helps. But if you crave peace then make sure your child goes to bed as early as is reasonable and make your evenings your own.

Basically, all the things that energize you, find a mummy/lone parent version of them.

CrazyCatLaydee123 Wed 03-May-17 17:36:40

Haha! A very timely thread for me... this isn't a practical solution for any single adopters, but I found spending 2 nights in hospital over the bank holiday weekend incredibly relaxing.

Sometimes your body tries to tell you to slow down... listen to it! You don't need to be superhuman.

B1rdonawire Wed 03-May-17 18:35:40

I like the idea of making indoors more like outdoors, thanks!

Crazy what happened???! Your post did make me smile though - I used to be almost dentist phobic, and now I see it as a chance for a nice lie down grin

B1rdonawire Wed 03-May-17 18:35:40

I like the idea of making indoors more like outdoors, thanks!

Crazy what happened???! Your post did make me smile though - I used to be almost dentist phobic, and now I see it as a chance for a nice lie down grin

CrazyCatLaydee123 Wed 03-May-17 18:50:44

On the surface it was just good old tonsillitis... Which got so bad I couldn't swallow anything at all. Friday night DH had to take me to A&E, kids in tow, shaking, and vomiting blood having not been able to eat or drink anything for 2 days.

Under the surface, I think that kids, stress, counselling, everything... all got a bit much. This was my 3rd bout of tonsillitis in 2 months. Thankfully my DH swiftly got the inlaws up for the week and everyone is trying to ensure that I actually GET SOME REST. I feel like I'm being lazy though...

B1rdonawire Wed 03-May-17 19:05:10

Um, safe to say NOT LAZY! Know what you mean though - I paid someone to clean my house last week and felt generally inadequate somehow (first ever time using a cleaner)!

tldr Wed 03-May-17 20:17:00

Have you tried doing 'mindful' or 'intentional' type stuff for yourself? Or how a about starting a bullet journal? (Pinterest is your friend if you don't know what I'm talking about...) You can use a bujo for practical/efficiency stuff like meal plans and shopping lists or for more aspirational stuff like reading lists, fitness goals, getting to go to the loo in peace, that kind of thing. πŸ˜‚

I'm too lazy for a BuJo but I love a good list!

tldr Wed 03-May-17 20:20:18

CrazyCat, you crazy cat! Look after yourself!

I'm not there now, but I have fantasised at various low points about getting a little rest in hospital... Now I just park kids in front of tv and go fold laundry - it's almost like a holiday...

CheeseAtFourpence Wed 03-May-17 20:31:04

I started running! Did the C25K as couldn't run a minute - now I regularly do 5K whilst she's doing one of her hobbies and the odd 10k whilst DD is at school on my day off. It is my chance to think and get rid of pent up feelings!

dimples76 Wed 03-May-17 22:38:55


I am a single adopter too. I totally relate to your comment re the dentist - I had a filling recently and treated it as a chance to relax!

I can't say that I have this sorted. I feel that I watch too much tv and over-eat. What has helped is exercising - I follow some HIIT routines on YouTube which are only 20-30 mins long - that reduces the guilt about being a couch potato for the rest of the evening.

I have also recently got back into reading. I think turning the telly off and putting my phone and tablet out of reach has helped me relax. Obviously at the moment I have the tv on, I'm online and the phone is next to me....

B1rdonawire Thu 04-May-17 07:48:24

Hmm, it had never occurred to me to make lists of nice things! Worth a go, definitely. Running is oddly tempting but the time needed is impossible - DD is too little and anxious to have outside school activities without me as yet, and my childcare is basically 2 hrs, once a month - so I'm generally too shattered to use it for anything except a coffee with a friend. Longing for the day I can "make evenings my own" <wry laugh> - sleep does not come easily to poor DD. I like the sound of those shorter bursts of exercise from home, will check them out. Also going to try and get us both out on our tandem trike more, that's lapsed over the winter which hasn't helped. Thanks for the ideas, keep them coming grin

Illias Thu 04-May-17 11:46:23

Trying to think of things you can do in the house in the evening, since you obviously can't leave LO - it's tricky!

Personally, I get a massive kick from decluttering and organising - really helps me feel in control day-to-day and more on top of things which gives me a big confidence boost. It does give you a job as you then have to take the stuff somewhere eventually, but I set up a bag or box and just add stuff to it for a week and then pass it on. I've thrown out loads of my kids toys which has made a huge difference, they haven't noticed a thing but play with them loads more as there's not just stuff everywhere. And it's easier to organise, which makes me happy!

Also, I crave time outside since having kids - do you have a yard or balcony you could potter in? Just gives you a bit of fresh air without having to leave the house.

And reading? Can you take DD to the library and pick up a book for yourself when you're there?

I've tried to make at least one room in the house special and 'sacred' for me - I don't let the kids in our bedroom (when they listen to me!) and try to make sure it's clean, free of dirty mugs/dishes etc so that there's at least one place I can go where I don't have to think about jobs.

Being outdoors (at weekends, or after school) - even just an hour at the park helps me and stops me from telling the kids off all the time. At the park they can roam and throw and bounce and hit things, and it means they settle better at bedtime. There's also less mess when we're out of the house!

Italiangreyhound Thu 04-May-17 15:57:05

CrazyCatLaydee look after yourself.

OP I love lying in the dentist chair for a rest! Honestly.

How about a very cheap treatmill.... wonder if this is any good

"sleep does not come easily to poor DD." How old is she and what have you tried?

B1rdonawire Thu 04-May-17 16:33:58

She's 5, but emotionally nearer 3. It's all trauma-related sad so it's a long-term process building resilience to help her with severe separation anxiety and traumatic memories. Two years of therapy have helped, alongside essential oil diffusers / massage / very consistent routine. Loads of regression, rocking etc. Something of mine to sleep with. We're about to try audio stories mainly as a distraction from the fears that set in when she attempts to self-soothe. We'll see! I am also considering a large sleep-sack instead of covers, to feel more secure - has anyone tried one?

MintyLizzy9 Tue 09-May-17 20:54:25

For me getting out and about helps and a shit ton of gin but there's not much a day at the seaside can't fix and DS is the same thankfully, loves a day at the beach. We're usually the only ones there as we go a lot in the winter, lots of layers, wellies and a bucket and spade. It also means I'm away from the house that is desperate for a good clean and tidy but I just can't seem to get done! It helps to clear my head and we both have a good sleep that night and I've successfully ignored the housework.

I've also done a lot in the garden this year, swing, slide, trampoline and next project is a large outdoor blackboard and little sensory area (DS is 3) as he's most happy/calm when outdoors which takes the pressure of me and it's lovely to sit out and watch him play whilst I relax and ignore the house work drink wine.

When he's in bed I try to chill out and watch rubbish tv whilst ignoring the housework that doesn't involve having to use any brain power whatsoever and drink gin

I've been back at work for 3.5 months and am so exhausted I'm finally starting to consider sending him to my parents for his first overnight without me and booking into a nice hotel and having a massage....but then I look at the bank balance and feel my stomach flip at the thought of not being with him overnight so then just run myself a nice hot bubble bath and a large gin and relax whilst ignoring the housework.

Hmmm there's a theme to my mental wellbeing πŸ·πŸΎπŸΈπŸ’…πŸ»πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

I would say that the biggest thing that has helped is me readjusting what I see as a good day/good behaviour/good progress and being ok (ish) that the house isn't clean and or tidy, that sometimes I misjudge what he can cope with and that when that happens it's totally fine to abandon the plans and do something else even if that means cuddles on the sofa with two hours of paw patrol, stopped stressing about screen time, it helps him to calm down and we can play on games and apps together oh yes and it's totally empowering when you actually realise that you don't give a shiny shit about strangers judging you or your child when the meltdowns happen (it used to really stress me out) and you just ride it out in style, I think the stress I felt made me feel twice as exhausted as I was drained.

I'm also lucky to have a small soft play near by, just the right size for DS and not one of those vast warehouse type places so you only tend to get pre schoolers there and we go on my day off (weekday) so hardly anyone there and I can actually sit back and drink a nice cup of tea and read a magazine 😱

conserveisposhforjam Tue 09-May-17 22:47:17

I am currently killing two birds with one stone on the children's trampoline ( not RIGHT now but in life iyswim? )

I bounce with them, they love it, they are tired and well exercised after an hour or so and I have done some high quality aerobic exercise.

Obviously you have to ignore the strict manufacturers ' instructions never to double bounce but I don't know anyone who follows that rule anyway.

Well worth a try if you have a garden and don't mind looking like a complete idiot in front of the neighbours

B1rdonawire Wed 10-May-17 11:50:33

I am sensing an important theme in both those posts, that an old surrogate aunty used to say and I'd forgotten "when all else fails, drop your standards" grin grin

Love the outdoor blackboard idea, LO adores chalking so that would be an extra outside activity that might last a bit longer. I've been getting LO to "help" me garden a bit every day lately, which has helped me enormously. I have closed my eyes and held my breath and handed over my credit card - and signed up for some individual yoga classes that start tomorrow <gulp> In theory, the person is going to hide their dismay at my many rolls of tummy and complete inflexibility, and help me learn some breathing and stretching exercises to manage my stress. Let's hope she likes a challenge!

hackneyLass Wed 10-May-17 12:45:51

Hi B1rdonawire You mentioned sleep sacks - my kids go through phases of sleeping in sleeping bags - partly because they get warm very quickly (they are impatient!) and because of the snuggly wrapped up feeling. I mentioned it in passing to a SW who looked nonplussed & wrote it down in her notes. No doubt will come back to bite me sometime. (Like the time I was asked what I did to look after myself and I said jokingly a glass of wine after kids had gone to bed - then found they had written a report saying I had a drink problem! Oops. Irony as I am actually almost teetotal)

user1486956786 Wed 10-May-17 12:57:15

I think it's important to learn how to mentally switch into your relaxation state. Rather than go from bedtime routine straight to collapse on couch. Perhaps after bedtime take 30 minutes to transition, into 'your time' - shower/bath, put on your pyjamas, face/skin care routine then sit down and get that gin :-) I really enjoy putting on nice smelling moisturisers, exfoliating etc. each to their own of course but that's my suggestion anyways.

B1rdonawire Wed 10-May-17 14:17:30

That's really interesting. I definitely try and do that between work and school pick-up time, I take ten minutes to read a book (in the car parked outside school!) to get my head out of "work me" into "about to be mummy me" and it helps hugely. I would never have thought to apply it again after the emotional drain of LO's bedtime - I am definitely trying that one smile

Haha to SWs only hearing the bits they tune into! Good to know about the sleep sacks though, I think they are probably worth a try.

tldr Wed 10-May-17 16:41:18

I do a two minute tidy up between LO bedtime and my slumping on the sofa time as the switching bit. (Added bonus, house is two minutes tidier than it would otherwise be.)

I kept my recycling in the car for the whole of home study in case SW decided we had a problem.

Enjoy your yoga!

MintyLizzy9 Wed 10-May-17 19:50:37

Haha I hid my wine and the ironing in the boot of the car 😁

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