Stop stressing me out!

This is one of those posts that I didn’t intend to write. I had something else drafted for today but feel the need to ventilate… ahh the beauty of the blog.

I’m feeling deeply frustrated by the dawning realisation that much of the stress in my life is brought about by other people.

I’ve written about my control issues in the past and the actions (or inactions) of other people are definitely out of my control.

I can not control other people’s expectations.

I can not control other people’s perceptions or reactions.

I can not instill in other people values or behaviours that I believe to be more appropriate and effective than their default modus operandi.

I CAN control my expectations, perceptions, reactions and behaviours.  Yet even though I can openly acknowledge these facts, still, so much of my energy goes into worrying about those “other people”.

Please excuse these ramblings of a frustrated soul. I vowed to give up worrying this year…

I just wish I knew how.

Do you waste energy stressing about other people? If not, please tell me you do it!!

Linking up with Jess at Diary of a SAHM for 

Highly appropriate image from We Heart It

My favourite party theme: “Stress Free”

I know that for some people parties are a BIG deal. Months of planning, cooking and preparing in anticipation for the big day. I think when an innocent gathering of people requires a theme, you know it is serious business.

Out of all the possible party themes, my favourite is “Stress Free”

I grew up in a house where getting stressed and flustered was (& still is) par for the course when it came to hosting any sort of social gathering. I can tell you under no uncertain terms, it’s not for me. I know I get overwhelmed pretty easily these days so I try not to exacerbate the situation with added complications.

Don’t get me wrong, I love attending events that have been beautifully coordinated. I’m so amazed by people who painstakingly hand make invitations, decorations and themed party food. Rest assured if you’ve managed to coordinate your tableware with the birthday boy’s outfit, I will certainly appreciate your efforts.

I really hope your child does too, because the cynical practical side of me believes that when it comes to a small child’s birthday, all they really care about are balloons, the cake, the party bag and being the centre of attention. And of course, the presents. (This probably applies to many grown ups, too)

Nothing is going to cast a shadow over little Bobby’s birthday party more than mummy freaking out that her cake pops are pooped. Or when the fire truck entertainment rocks up full of male strippers.

That is why for the Wilful One’s birthday this year I did something the pre-kid me never thought I’d do. We had a party at Macdonald’s.

Yes, I know, it’s all a bit bogan, but he really wanted to have a party with some close pre-school friends who he won’t see next year when they all go off to school. He’s never asked for daycare friends to come to a party before, always content with our predominantly family affairs and I couldn’t say no.

My dilemma was that at this stage I had already set my sights firmly on the “stress-free” birthday theme, and with the mandatory family celebration was already on the agenda.  I examined various options for outsourcing and in the end Macca’s won the bid.

Yes, it was run by a clueless 15yr old. No, it wasn’t flash and it certainly wasn’t how I would have done it. But The Wilful One ate ice-cream cake, felt like a prince, had lots of fun with his mates and quite frankly, that is all that matters to me.

Happiness at 5: Ice-cream cake

The Maccas soiree was followed by a low-key afternoon tea with the family en-masse, which once, again he loved as all the prerequisite boxes had been ticked. Balloons – check. Presents – check. Centre of attention – check. Oh and yet another cake – check.

This cake is ridiculously easy to make and is lots of fun.  I found it at The Tipsy Hostess (via Pinterest)

Apart from Macdonald’s I’m yet to pay for party entertainment. I think it’s prudent to save magicians and sumo suits for when pass-the-parcel and piñatas no longer keep pint-sized party goers amused.

I realise this time is fast approaching. That’s why I’m glad there are so many fabulous bloggers out there who rock some serious party mojo.  When my stress free no-frills approach to birthday celebrations no longer cuts it with the guest of honour, I’ll be turning to the following ladies to help up the ante:

Maxabella Loves: Bron is currently doing a wonderful series on all elements of hosting children’s parties. She’s got the whole planning caper down to a tee and there are lots of links and pics from other great online sources.

Great fun 4 kids: Simone is the party queen. Her parties inspire (& intimidate) me!  She has a whole page dedicated to invitations, recipes, decorations, the works. THEN she has a link up page where other bloggers can add their party posts as well. There are some amazing posts there.

Planning with Kids: Nicole is the Planning Queen and parties are no exception. She has lots of great posts and even has a Parties with Kids eBook.

So, when it’s time for me to step up, I know I’ll be able to find loads of inspiration and helpful tips in my hour(s) of need.

What’s your party style? Do you always have a theme or do you opt for stress-free like me?

Linking with Jess @ Diary of a Stay at Home Mum

Balloon image via We Heart It 

Little rituals

I have been going through a rough patch of late (better known as “life”).  I must admit I have to work very hard some days to keep from dropping my bundle. I feel I have been failing dismally.

So, in an effort to regain some semblance of control over my feelings and reactions, the last couple of days I have tried to be more mindful of what triggers my stress, anxiety, depression, frustration,  ANGER… well you get the picture… 

In doing this I have realised that I do a multitude of little things each day in an attempt to prevent myself from decompensating completely. My daily rituals include:

 A morning shower which I cannot function without. Full stop.       

Michael Buble’s Crazy Love CD (specifically tracks 4 & 5)  which I listen to in the care with my boys on the way to kindy. They know all the words (even Nick who can barely say “milk”) and sing along at the top of their lungs.  Switching on this CD instantly calms us all from the stress of the morning rush and makes us feel happy & loved up which is exactly the way I want to leave my babies as I toddle off to work.  The beauty of this – it works in reverse for the return trip home in the evening too.

Coffee, coffee, coffee! Whether I’m at home or work, if I’m frustrated, exhausted, have a mental block or am just plain procrastinating, I find the simple act of making a coffee very therapeutic.  Of course the chocolate or biccie that inevitably accompany it probably helps with the endorphins too.

Hand cream. I have the most beautiful Cath Kidston Rose & Carnation hand cream. It smells divine & the simple act of rubbing this luscious, silky cream on my hands is amazingly soothing.

Washing up. Strange but true. As much as I resent extra time spent in the kitchen, I find the actual process of washing up relaxing. I also hate waking up to a messy kitchen so it’s a means to an end!

Non of this is earth shattering stuff but up until now, I’ve performed these little rituals semi-consciously. Doing something that calms you and fully appreciating the experience for what it is are two different things.  With this in mind I’ve decided to perform my little rituals much more consciously to ensure I saviour every calm-enducing moment.

Do you have any little rituals that bring peace to your day?



Image from here