This week, I was invited to watch a very close friend of mine, perform in her University drama finals. It is an evening event, which of course, as a mum, makes you seriously ponder the ramifications of having an evening out.
I had to weigh up the following things:
1.       The event is a good hour away
2.       My Mum would have to put her teething grandchild to bed
3.       I’d be up way to late and be even more terrible for the 5:30am start the next day
4.       We are crazy busy for the next week, so I will have little to no time to gather my brain if Evie decides to play her grumpy card
I decided that it would cost me way to many ‘sanity points’ and declined.

What are sanity points?

Allow me to explain ‘sanity points’. When you become a new mum for the first time, after struggling through the 24/7 feeds, exploding boobs, scary expressing machines, nappy changes at all hours of the day (and night), learning the new cries and keeping well wishers at bay, you end up learning what events/catch ups/ outings/ family dinners to turn down.
You don’t turn down these events because you are a horrible person, you turn them down sometimes because you know it is going to cost you something. And that something is sanity points.
Allow me to share how this works.
1.Points can be acquired or lost throughout the course of the day due to :
  Positive or negative actions of spouse/child/in laws and or extended family members.
POSITIVE: Spouse changing nappy of child= 3 Sanity points (2 Bonus points if the nappy is of the eye watering, gag reflex kind)
NEGATIVE:Spouse hides quietly in the loo with the door locked when child produces something positively mortifying from their behind= – 4 Sanity Points
POSITIVE: A  family event where everyone is in good form and on their best behaviour = 4 Sanity Points
NEGATIVE: Female in law, or older relative ‘speaking’ through your child in high pitched voice: “Your mummy is very mean and cruel.” = -6 Sanity Points
POSITIVE: Child goes down for a nap happily= 5 Sanity points (2 bonus points if cup of tea is able to be enjoyed)
NEGATIVE: Child decides to have the mother of all tantrums/crying fits in a public place/during important telephone call/in front of former school peers you haven’t seen since 1999= -6 sanity points
2. One must also weigh up the impact of certain activities which may affect the acquisition or loss of Sanity Points over a 24 hour + period:
* Grocery shopping
* Any trip in the car which takes you more that 30 minutes away from home
* Hiring a babysitter
*Cleaning the house
*Doing the laundry
*Catching up with friends
*Mothers group/ playgroup
*Important events such as Weddings, Funerals, Birthdays
3. Combinations of actions and activities may also effect your Sanity Points:
POSITIVE: Child naps well and settles easily on a family road trip= 10 Sanity Points
NEGATIVE: Child vomits up lunch, and poohs through their clothes whilst in the car seat during a family road trip, 1 hour away from the nearest rest area  =  -10 sanity points (-5 extra points if the weather is foggy/wet/windy or just on sunset)
POSITIVE: Three loads of laundry washed, dried and folded+ child dressed and ready on time for playgroup= 15 Sanity Points
NEGATIVE=  House looking like a small bomb went off spewing clothes and toys everywhere+ in-laws coming over for dinner in 30 minutes+ child smearing sudo cream over every possible surface= -20 Sanity Points
PERSONAL EXAMPLE: Husband had old uni mates come over for beach day yesterday. I declined as I had a lot of work to do for an upcoming fundraising event. Positive points were accrued when Evie went down for a two hour nap (I’d say about 6 points).  Later, she decided to produce two horrible nappies, (which smelt out one half of the house -2 points) and when changing the final nappy, the home phone and mobile kept ringing (-3 points) and after changing her onesie, she vomited all over herself and down into the deep canyon that is my chest (-3 points). For the duration of the afternoon when I was doing some heavy and intense research, the wail of “MUMUMUMUMMMMMM” came forth from a small human, and did not cease even when Evie was held, offered milk (breast refusal – 3 points) read to etc (-6 points). Include some miscommunication between myself and Jonny (-6 points) and the grand total was -17 points.
All in all, I was not a friendly (or sane) person for my poor husband to come home to after his day at the beach, hoping for sympathy as he had jarred his finger whilst playing footy with the boys. Sympathy was in scant supply that evening.
However, today I gained back those sanity points when I got a cuddle and exhubrant kisses from my friend’s gorgeous Pakistani Grandmother ( 6 points),  Evie succeed in surprising me with two naps (7 points), our parenting wasn’t subtly questioned by a relative (5 points), I had a nap of my own whilst Jonny entertained Evie  (8 points).  I’ve even managed to have a cuppa or two (+4 points)!
Being a mum is a day to day experience, and I am learning no one day is the same as the one before. And that’s ok, as long as I have a little bit of sanity left at the end of it.
This article was written by Beck Hendropurnomo
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