Now as anyone who knows me even vaguely well is aware, I'm not good with babies. Yes this is despite having four of em. I'm never quite sure what to do with them (apart from the basics of keep em fed with dry nappies). Plus my brain switches itself off and runs away screaming when confronted with the task of Keeping Small People Happy. If I start in a neutral mood, I merely descend into a zombie-like numbness. If I'm tired or stressed or have other things to do I morph into in an incapable, sobbing wreck. I think its a conditioned reaction of way too many years of PND which resurfaces when I'm around little people. And today I have two of em.
Usually, everyone is very careful to make sure I'm not left with small babies. Its a simple matter of pragmatism. We wouldn't ask Geoff to do jewellery design, my mother to do marketing, dax to do financial management, tricia to do website design - or me to do childcare. Because we're all a bit crap at those things that we wouldn't ask each other to do. So usually in this situation, Geoff would look after the babies and I'd make money. Because I'm good at making money and Geoff is good with kids. Sady at the minute, Geoff is also in the somewhat novel position of breadwinning and therefore at work today leaving me to play Auntie Steph to two very lovely but very demanding small girls while their mom hatches a third.
Sooo... how to approach it? Do I try seeing if I can work while they occupy each other in the living room? I have shitloads to do but if I end up not being able to do it when I've planned to do so I'll get majorly stressed. Or do I write off the day entirely, shut down my PC and move into the horrible dark living room for the day? I'm aware that technically its possible to just.... go with the flow and be wherever is most practical at the time. I'm just very much an all-or-nothing girl. Half-assedness doesn't come naturally and 'maybe getting a little work done, if I can' is very much half assed. And kids being chaotic and unpredictable, I can't plan ahead well, I can't set targets and goals and lists for the day which might seem like a little thing to you but its a major issue for me. I need my time to be planned and filled because boredom and indecision and internal conflict are not things I deal with very well.
So.... expect the worst, and anything else will come as a nice surprise has to be the way to go I think. It frequently works as well. So if I expect the kids to be horrible and demanding and me to totally not deal I feel better when its not as bad as expected. You'd think it has the potential to be a self fulfilling prophecy - ie I think it will be awful so it will be - but surprisingly, it doesn't tend to work like that.