We got a call Monday morning that mum-in-law was coming - on Tuesday! Luckily we knew she had been trying to book a ticket and so I had tidied up the house a bit. That still meant I hadn’t had the chance to take the day off work, so rushed out of the office at 4pm to pick the kids up from my mum’s, visit the butcher and grocer and head straight into the kitchen.
The traffic coming back from the airport was so bad that I had done everything by the time they got home anyway. Mum-in-law was well as was my youngest brother-in-law who has come with her (although he said hello and then fell asleep for the next four hours, ignoring the kids attempts to rouse him).
The kids were going crazy, fighting to sit next to their gran at dinner and trying to get into her bed. Everyone was in good spirits (including myself and hubby who were so exhausted it was ridiculous). Finally managed to get into bed at 12.30, happy at the noise and joy in the house, happy with the gifts they had brought us, but oh so happy to be in bed.
Wednesday I got home from work and opened the front door to a blast of noise. I came in to find my uncle and his son, another cousin, and one of my sisters had popped round to say hello to my mum-in-law and brother-in-law. The kids still hadn’t calmed down any so I just sat down quietly in the middle of all of our guests and ate samosa’s and drank in the various conversations going on around me. Was soon joined by another sister (alhamdulillah) and my dad.
Today I found myself having to do some thinking. The house really has such a good vibe right now. I used to think when I had my own place it should be hospitable and full of guests and family and noise, a place where everyone is happy to be and feels welcome. Alhamdulillah Allah (SWT) has given us this. What I am also finding though is that I am slightly out of step with things. I am going to have to lay down the law with the children because at the moment I don’t seem to have any control/influence/authority over them at all. The change in the household means that they are testing their boundaries – extensively! The change also means everyone’s routines are also seriously out of whack. They are on half-term holidays so I have not been strict, but dinner seems to be very late and bedtime consequently very late (eating samosa’s with guests half an hour before your dinner time seems to have some role in this…). I think today I will have to put some effort into reigning in the children and taking charge of what time dinner and bedtime happen.
The other thing I am finding is that I have been walking round in a slightly spaced-out state for the last two weeks. I am struggling to wake up in the morning (I usually get up at 6.30 to get to work for 7.30, so that I can finish early). I like to read at bedtime or chat with the hubby, but at the moment I am out like a light as soon as my head hits the pillow. I go back to bed after the dawn prayer (it’s at 4am right now), and again I am asleep as soon as I lie down. Hubby seems to be going through the same as up until now he has been working and minding the children whilst I am at work. At the same time, he is very busy at the local masjid doing building work and DIY (they originally thought he was a builder and he never corrected them!).
At first I thought I couldn’t get up because I hated my job, but I am enjoying my work right now alhamdulillah. No amount of royal jelly, propolis, vitamins or blackseed oil seems to be making a difference either. I suspect I need to look at my diet (I do like my food tooo much). The one day I skipped dinner and had some fruit instead I felt brighter. I plan to drastically reduce the sugar in my diet and replace with fruit and veg insh’Allah and get on hubby’s case to eat properly too.
I realise too that I need to be more sensible about what I take on. Wanting to do everything, does not mean that you can or should. So I need to communicate better to people my enthusiasm for projects and activities along with a clear message about what I can really manage (this will be the hardest for me, as I never want to say no to anything).
One other thing that comes to mind, is that my last holiday was two years ago, for two weeks, in Pakistan in 45C heat, visiting for my brother-in-laws wedding. I think perhaps we both need a small break. Sometimes, you can’t get away for a month to the Seychelles or Marrakesh, but I am sure we can manage one day just for the two of us, just to relax and recharge. Now that mum-in-law is here, I might plan a few days like that insh’Allah.