Friday, 4 March 2011

Running on empty

Ah, lovely Planetarians, all 261 of you (and a warm welcome on this rainy Hobart day to the newbies), can you relate to this photo? See how the fuel gauge is even showing at less than empty? It is symbolic of where I’m at in life at the moment. I’m overstretched on all fronts. I’ve posted before (here and here) about my wish to ‘keep it real’ here on Planet Baby. I don’t want to ‘airbrush’ out life’s little *inconveniences*. So, in that spirit, I just wanted to let you know how I’m feeling now. Maybe some of you can relate to a bit of this. Maybe I’m *not* the only one feeling like this. Hmmm.

The home front
  • a fridge which is almost completely empty of food;
  • lots of washing to dry but Hobart’s fickle autumnal weather is making havoc of my efforts (we even have snow on Mount Wellington today – on only the 4th day of autumn!);
  • no tumble-drier as a back-up plan so I may have to cart a load of washing up to my parents’ house to use theirs;
  • the chariot’s fuel gauge showing at only *marginally* above the level of the photo above;
  • hair which hasn’t seen a hairdresser for months (see financial below) and which is driving me batty as it keeps getting in my eyes;
  • a to-do list which seems to get longer instead of shorter; and
  • a to-do list in my head which hasn’t even made it onto paper because I keep forgetting to write things down.
The financial front

I have:
  • to wait until next Wednesday for Mr PB’s monthly pay to arrive; and
  • a fridge to fill, nappies and formula to buy and a petrol tank to fill before then.
The blogging front

I have:
  • e-mails to reply to;
  • 240 posts waiting for me to peruse in Google Reader which I’m longing to read – I need my daily fix of you all!;
  • been the lucky recipient of some blog love and fabulous giveaways which I’ll post about soon;
  • a few days’ worth of lessons and homework to catch up on for my Blogging Your Way e-course (BYW) which is frustrating me no end as it’s so utterly compelling, inspirational and thought-provoking; and
  • so many plans and ideas bubbling away sparked by the course so far which are delighting me but I’m frustrated as I don’t have the time to even write them down yet.
The health front

I have:
  •  just seen one of my doctors;
  • to see another one next week; and
  • growing impatience at how long it is taking me to recover from my PND.
The school front

I have:
  • to drop off at, and collect Joshua from, school 5 days a week;
  • to get used to that after my father-in-law used to take Joshua to school last year;
  • two other pixies who need to accompany me on those trips;
  • said pixies to have fed, watered and dressed appropriately before such trips (see said fickle autumnal weather above);
  • to buy Joshua some long trousers as he’s currently freezing in his shorts (see said weather above);
  • to remember that the school clothing pool is only open on Mondays and Wednesdays;
  • to remember to actually go to the school clothing pool next week to buy him said trousers;
  • lots of names to learn as Joshua starts to make friends;
  • lots of mothers’ names to remember which instantly leave my head the moment I see them at school and return as soon as I drive home;
  • lots of complex levels of interconnection between said mothers to discover (the joys of living in a small city – you need to know this stuff); and
  • lived in Sydney for 11 of the past 12 years whilst many said mothers have stayed here and formed said interconnections.
The daycare front

I have:
  • to hope that India will stop being so clingy when I drop her off at daycare twice a week – she’s just moved up to the next group so she has lots of new rules to follow and children to get to know; and
  • to hope that Sam will stop screaming his head off when I leave him at his new daycare on Mondays – leaving him like that, with tears streaming down his face is *unpleasant* (they assure me it only lasts a few minutes and then he’s fine for the rest of the day but hmm, are they just ‘saying’ that to calm me down?).
The extended family front

I have:
  • a gorgeous newborn nephew in Adelaide for whom I haven’t bought a present yet (see financial above); and
  • worrying concerns about my Dad’s health.

Hmm, that all sounds a tad bleak, I know. It’s just been ‘one of those days’. Or weeks. Most of the ‘home front’ and ‘financial front’ issues will be rectified once we use my parents’ tumble-drier and Wednesday arrives. If Mr PB can look after the pixies a bit on the weekend and we manage to *actually* get them to sleep earlier for once (a story for another day), I’ll catch up on the ‘blogging front’. Everything else is just ongoing work-in-progress. Just normal old life on Planet Baby, I guess. So tell me, are any of you Planetarians running on empty like me? Tell me I’m not alone!
Postscript at 10.20 pm: 

I borrowed one of Miss India's many hairclips so said hair is now restrained, the washing actually dried (somewhat miraculously after having been rained on intermittently throughout the day), the pixies didn't muck around with bedtime (for once), I have caught up on all your posts (and stopped following about 60 blogs - not yours - hmm, maybe it's time for a bloggy rehab update!) and now I'm going to have a peek at BYW before having an early night. The day is ending on a much brighter note. Thankfully ☺.


  1. Oh the joys of being the ruler of your own planet!! It's a real balancing act things mummy thing. Hope things settle down for you soon and the stretching stops for a while. Sounds like you use some R&R. Take care miss Jane.

  2. Oh dear - might need some R&R myself following that little dyslexic display!!

  3. Not so much running on empty as hanging on by my fingernails. You know that feeling where you feel like your only just keeping ahead of that giant tidal wave behind you, and if you slow down for even one minute it will totally engulf you? That's me.
    Not helped by two nights with no sleep and more projectile vomit than I care to think about (or clean up)
    ahhhh, the weekend is soooooooo welcome :-)
    (and hubby home tonight, yay!!!!!)

  4. Definitely running on empty! I must have been running on adrenaline these last few weeks with work because as soon as it was done, I feel like I'm collapsing in a heap. I haven't seen my dining table for weeks due to the washing, the house is a mess, the baby keeps hasn't slept more than 2hrs in a row in the last 3 days and I still have the settling in at kinder for the two big boys. All the parents names to remember when some days I'm so tired I'm surprised I can remember my own. Thankfully, it is just a phase, one of those more difficult times that I know will pass. And quickly, I hope, for both of us. Take care Jane, and I hope things improve soon xx

  5. Hang in there Jane, grab some dvd's and popcorn for the weekend. It's exhausting keeping one step ahead of everyone.x

  6. The hugest of hugs from Queensland sweet girl!

    I hope the pressure releases soon.

    xxx Felicity

  7. Jane, I hope this weekend allows you to catch a breath. It seems that quite a few of us are running around like fools at the moment trying to do too many things and not actually achieving much in the end. How about you get rid of your current to-do list and make another with only 3 things on it? Once that's completed make another with 3 things on it - small manageable steps.
    Take care of yourself. x

  8. Yep, feeling your pain my friend!


  9. I love Beth's advice above.. just make a little list, and don't beat yourself up about so many things all at once. As long as you aren't dressing the kids in wet clothes, all is good!!
    And I know exactly how you feel about the little ones crying at daycare drop off, we had the same thing with Milla, AND she would cry with relief when we picked her up. I ended up having a big break down / sob to the carer, I was that upset about it all, and you know what they did, SO LOVELY, they made a video for me, of Milla playing during the day, she was SUPER happy, playing, laughing, loving it. So then I believed them when they said she was fine 3 minutes after I left.
    Take care of yourself Jane, you are doing an amazing job with your three little Pixies.
    And yes, I am running on empty too... and petrol here costs nearly $3 a litre ;) It will be a long time til the figurative tank is full, I think.

  10. All of us mothers are right there with you Jane. It is not easy keeping on top of everything and my advice would be to let go everything that you can let go of.

    If you are already doing that, choose one thing that you love - ie blogging course maybe and spend at least 10 mins on it each day so you have something to look forward to that is just for you.

    The rest of the stuff will sort itself out eventually. Kids are very resilient and are tougher than we think and will survive fine through most challenging times.

    As the mother of the family it is so important to take care of yourself - running on empty is bad, B.A.D. It happens to all of us though and you need to get yourself to some higher ground because as a mother you cannot lift others onto higher ground unless you are standing on higher ground yourself.

    You are wonderful in that you are so caring and concerned for your family. You want the best for them and that is so lovely to see.

    I hope you can feel loved and supported from us because we think you are wonderful and are doing a sensational job running your planet and taking care of your pixies.

    Love to you. Naomi x

  11. Sweetie, you are not alone, hang in there, and I just send you virtually a big hug and positive energy, look out of the window to receive...
    Oh how far away are we from each other, but know this, we are here if you need to write it of your chest. No problemo!
    Hope your weekend will be good,
    Hugs, Maureen xx

  12. Friday's are always the most draining I feel. I hope that after you wrote all that you feel slightly better. And I hope that by reading everyone else's 'yep, i hear ya' comments, you realise that you are not alone - which doesn't really help with the day-to-day runnings in a household but it may help at the end of the night when you 'might' be thinking that everyone seems to have a handle on everything and yet you seem not to.
    Motherhood is a lovely thing, but a huge tiring thing also. Today I was actually going to do a post on juggling. I was going to ask the question 'does everyone else feel like they are juggling and if so, what would happen if the balls dropped'. But, I didn't quite find the time and I doubt I will until at least Monday.
    A few things I noted from your comments (and without going back to check exactly what you said):

    The hair - a clip or a hat. that will do. Mr PB and the pixies will love you regardless of how your hair looks.
    Mothers at school - don't worry. They prob won't remember your name until at least term 3 either. They are in the same boat and are just as exhausted.
    The clothes - I hear ya and 2nd ya. Pretty soon it will be cold enough that we have to run the heaters - and then your lounge will look like mine and basically be a clothes-room rather than a lounge-room.

    I would continue but alas I am out working when I should be veging on couch before a massive weekend full of 'things' that just must be done. So I will head off. I'm glad you wrote what you did - and I hope you make it till payday next week and then you can breathe deeply and say 'I made it'.


  13. Phew, you are one busy lady. I guess we all are. I vow NEVER to list all the things I have to think about or do on the one page else I just may totally lose it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! See... even your list is bringing out my Excessive Exclaimation Marks Disorder!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DON'T LIST all on the one page, Janey. Little lists and lots of them are the only way. x

  14. I'm with Naomi in everything that she said. Kids are resilient, we need to look after ourselves in any small way that we can find. You are most definitely not alone! Thankyou so much for your honesty - so many of us are running on very little fuel and it's nice to know we are not the only ones! You are such wonderfully caring Mum - it stands out so strongly in all of your posts.
    I am going to take on board everyone's advice re smaller lists.... maybe that's where I'm going wrong....
    Enjoy your weekend. Hope you manage some time for you.

  15. I'm feeling like I"m on empty, too. Tired lately. I think it may be the arrival of spring here and the allergies.

    OH, and we won't even talk about gas prices here....It's killing us Americans right now. Everyone wants their car on empty so we don't have to fork over the cash we don't have to fill up our cars.

    Your photo reminded me that my car is on empty, too.

  16. Ah Jane, I call it running on batteries...I have just arrived home after dinner with girlfriends and we were all saying the same things . One girl said she was so tired she found herself crying on the toilet! The worst part is footy and netball is just starting and that is a big deal in the country. Hang in there, life with 3 kids is always busy but it does get easier as they get more independent. Deb

  17. Hang in there Jane. You're doing a marvellous job. Frustratingly, the to do list will always be long, so best to make peace with they length of that list, safe in the knowledge that you are doing your absolute best. Pace yourself for the journey ahead lovely girl.

    Give yourself a pat on the back every now and then and I always find that sitting down next to my husband, holding his hand and just chilling out is never time wasted....even if there's a laundry mountain to attend to and washing up to finish:) Meredy xo.

  18. You speak my language! Maybe I can get my said haircut before the Easter Holiday . . . especially as it comes so late this year?! I'm currently working on making clothes that will fit my growing children. And I'm off to the grocery just now to hopefully scavenge enough for the weekend. Hugs an more hugs to you, friend!

  19. That's a lot of hassles all at once, especially when they're filling up your brain. I agree with one of the other readers who said to worry about and deal with just a couple of thing at a time - it makes it all so much more manageable. When you are tressing about too many things at once, you'll never solve any of them. One step at a time.
    Payday, now that's a day to look forward to! I hope you have some nice relaxing moments over the weekend x

  20. Smiling and nodding at a lot of this Jane.
    Oh we will have so much to talk about come Friday!!
    I too get caught up (overwhelmed!) by all there is to do with 4 little people to look after and a home to run.
    Have you read the (three) Buddhism for Mothers books?
    I was inspired when I read them (not that I am a Buddhist, but I liked a lot of their philosophy.) particularly by the whole "being in the moment" concept.
    As busy Mums we live so much in our heads and always thinking about "what next" we have to do.
    Sometimes we just need to sit, quiet our mind, breathe and BE, here and now.
    Then go focus on that list, one thing at a time, baby steps.
    To focus on the entire list just becomes overwhelming.
    Btw the school run thing takes time to get used to, so be kind to yourself dear Jane.
    See you soon!! :)

  21. Jane so glad to hear your day ended on a far brighter note.

    Monthly pays are the absolute pits!

    It is little wonder you're running a little low right now. That is one exhausting list.

    On a brighter note it is Saturday so I hope you have a wonderful weekend :)

  22. Oh Jane, how I can relate to your feelings of exhaustion. It's impossible to know where to begin when the to-do lists continue to pile up. Hopefully writing it all down has helped you get some perspective and you're feeling less overwhelmed. At the very least, some pretty hair clips and a good blog catch up go a long way in brightening an otherwise bleak day. Thinking of you xxx

  23. Bloody heck! You need a fairy godmother or at least her wand my dear :) Whenever I get overwhelmed I just try to stop, which I know is easier said than done. I like Maxabella's advice...almost as good as a wand :) Take it easy over the weekend.

  24. i feel your pain, jane. i've been in almost your same postion (especially in regard to the school pick-up /drop-off situation). i was so stressed i came down with shingles.

    things can only, and do, get better.

    i hope your weekend is especially relaxing, you deserve it.
    i'll be thinking of you.

  25. oh la, la...that is a lot to deal with. It is funny how life is full of so many complications. Prioritize, check a couple of things off your list. Remind yourself of your accomplishments and the wonderful things you do everyday. We'll all still be here, when you find time to write. Take care, ebh

  26. Hang in there, sweetie! Yes, that is quite a list. I took the BYW course in the fall, and it was great - I'm so glad you are doing it. I'll be meeting Holly at her London book party in April - can't wait ;) XOL

  27. I am sure you well and truly know now you are not alone and another mother here in Hobart is also feeling low on fuel as well.

  28. dear friend, I wish I was there, as your fairly blogmother to lend a hand as I feel like I have walked in your footsteps many times when my children were young.

    I would make sure you get your feet up for a cup of tea while I busy the little ones and run your errands. All I can say, is take it one step at a time and perhaps blogging ( I know, it is hard to do) needs to take a back seat for a while. Your are so sweet and thoughtful to leave comments to so many posts, I often wonder how you do it.

    You know that we will love you all the same if you slow down the pace, take lots of deep breaths and start ticking off your list. I laugh as I write this because my TO DO list which i expertly categorised and printed on bright yellow paper so I won't miss it, still sits next to the kitchen phone waiting for a few scratch marks.

    So, yes I understand all too well. My list is not as long and I do hope you are able to get some help as you sorely need it. Those tears when you leave them at daycare and school can be the most unsettling thing you ever experience. I remember hopping in the car and feeling utterly shattered. Just remember, that they do recover and go on to have a happy day. Take advantage of the time to revive yourself.

    I find setting off on a walk with my little recorder sometimes helos. I can get outdoors, exercise and still fill my vices. I have been known to write as I walk too.

    I wish I could offer more Jane but please know that I am thinking of you and if you ever need to vent, write it out or talk, I am happy to do so.

    Sweet dreams....

    Jeanne xx

  29. I want to give you a big HUG!

    1) Because you need it!

    2) Because I was nodding to everything you said!

    3) Because you need it!

    It'll pass ... I'm starting to think a 'RECOGNISE THE IMPORTANCE OF MOTHERS' Revolution is needed! Bugger the Middle-East.

  30. Ah! How blessed I am to have you kind Planetarians backing me up with all your kindness and empathy. I'm so very grateful - it really lifted my spirits to read these comments and helpful suggestions. Thanks so much.

    As for our to-do list, it's gone MIA. So tomorrow, I'm going to write three of them - 'Now', 'Sometime' and 'Eventually'. That should make it more manageable.

    And today I had a lazy, waterside hens' lunch with old girlfriends which was just delightful, followed by a wander around an art gallery with some pretty paintings. So life is looking a little brighter today. J x

  31. I am glad you're feeling brighter - reading all that made ME feel tired and it's not my life.. Ask for some help from your nearest and dearest (that's one of the reasons you're home), don't get blog guilt (it's a hobby) and forget the Hobart mother mafia (I know it well and it's best ignored) and have more days like Saturday!

    Here's cheers to those three new lists. I like that idea. Ann x

  32. Jane, you are not alone:)

  33. You're never alone Jane! And I bet you never realised how good you are at juggling all that and more...
    Seriously - I know exactly how you feel - I'm in the same space with different things on my list that's all.
    (P.S That blogging course really makes you think doesnt it! Back to the homework...)

  34. I HEAR you Jane dearest :) !!!! life is full - ups and downs and in betweens ... I have a rotten head cold at present and it just all seems a bit much ... nothing another 10 hours in the day would not fix :) love to you le xox

  35. This post made my blood run cold.

    I hope everything is better now. I rely heavily on my dryer and would weep if it stopped.

    Mother hood seems so hard and isolating and thankless it makes me wonder why any of us want it...i am so excited about having a baby but deadset afraid of the admin it will bring....

    Hope everything is improved for you now.

  36. I have gone into bloggy rehab and gone cold turkey. No more Fairchild Street blog for me. It was taking up too much of my time and energy. Life and energy has returned to normal a wonderful feeling. Charmaine

  37. wish we lived nearer and I'd help you out! sometimes I go to bed - I mean fall into bed and think oh I didn't do this, didn't thank that person, what is that mum's name at school - actually I've been doing gym classes and chatting to a mum and thought her name was her daughter's name! oh dear.

    I totally get it but I don't have pnd so I really feel for you but you're doing a good job for sharing because surely that has to be better than bottling it all up!

    what I like to do is make my to do list and prioritise! the non essential stuff I let slide a bit but I've got to admit starting school has totally added a new level of work and I'm sure you agree!

    keep smiling, it will get better

  38. Thanks, ladies - you really lifted my spirits. Ann, you *get* what I mean, as I expected.

    You're totally right, Amanda. Oh, I posted my homework very late last night but quite enjoyed the process.

    FF, thanks for stopping by. I'm now following you. Life is looking brighter today now the sun is out.

    Charmaine, I completely understand and am delighted that you're feeling better, having made your decision. Good for you.

    And Corrie, you're such a sweetheart. I really appreciate your empathy and understanding. Now I just have to remember to buy those shorts this afternoon! J x

  39. Oh Jane!!!! What a horror story of lists you have created... take care darling the sun is shining today I have a line full of washing (and a few clothes horses too) I also don't have a dryer, can be difficult to keep on top if it in tassie that is for sure.

    I am currently working on a little "get happy" project. I am trying to focus on happy things and at night I must write one thing I am grateful for. give it a go, it does not get rid of the horror lists, but can help find that happy place xox

  40. Oh Jane, I hear you loud and clear. I was nodding along to so much of your list, oh except my fridge is full to bursting with off stuff that needs to be chucked out. I hope things calm down soon.

  41. LLCAOBT, thanks for your kindness. You know that sounds like something achievable even I could manage! Writing that down on a sticky note now.

    Why, thanks, Kate, you sweetheart. It's a delight to see you over here again. And yes, I did find some *very old* vegetables to throw out of our fridge as well. Oh, and I remembered to buy Joshie his long trousers today ☺. J x

  42. Jane - sounds like there's a lot going on in your life right now! Hopefully the pay cheque has arrived and your kids are feed. And the one things I can't recommend highly enough is Coles Online for busy Mum's - you can shop anytime of the day and night and the nice delivery person puts your groceries on your bench for you. And you can shop days in advance and only pay the day of delivery - perfect if you know what you need but living with cashflow issues! And it also beats dragging those little tackers around the store too!

  43. Oh hon! I so wished that I lived closer to you so that I could help you out with some of the to do list items! Also so glad ( as I have already read the most recent post!)that some of the things worrying you have been resolved already. Much love, Emma xx

  44. I can definitley relate to how you are the best of times I find it hard to find the right balance and let things get on top of me.
    I find taking each day as it comes and only doing what is absolutely necessary helps me.

  45. I feel like we are living a very similar life - but am happy to see you edited this to say things are on the up.
    Sometimes it just all gets a bit too much doesn't it!

  46. Oh Jane, I hear you!!!!!!!
    Hence, my blog post today :)
    Finding balance is so hard...argh! :)
    At least we're all in this together!

  47. Thanks, Ange. Yes, pay in the bank. All fed. One of us tends to do the shopping at night when the pixies are asleep.

    Oh, Emma, you darling girl. Thanks so much for your sweet empathy.

    Ah, yes, LL. Tomorrow's another day, though...

    Yep, you've nailed it, Claire! J x


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts, you gorgeous soul. You've just made my day! J x

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