There are many moments as a parent where you just need to take big breaths in and out and count to ten. Kids having tantrums, kids squabbling over toys, kids refusing to put their clothes on, kids refusing to take their clothes off, kids refusing to walk any further, kids refusing to drink from any cup that is not pink, kids emptying the contents of their bowl over the table, the floor & themselves, kids vomiting from the top bunk at midnight all over the floor and over their sleeping brother on the bottom bunk just a few hours before their father heads off to Sydney for the weekend and leaving you at home with the (now potentially infected with gastro) kids. Kids who wet the bed an hour after their elder sibling has vomited numerous times on the closed toilet lid, waking up (did I actually sleep?) to a rainy day (no chance of washing those sheets and towels) and to liquid all over the kitchen floor coming out from under the kitchen sink just weeks after we had the leaking dishwasher repaired. Yes, that did all happen last weekend and more!
Yet, I am grateful. I have to be grateful. I have to find the things that I am grateful for (or maybe I’d sink – it’s a coping mechanism). I much prefer to live life with a glass half full/Pollyanna kind of outlook.
I am grateful that whatever caused the vomiting did not spread to the rest of the household. I am grateful that the liquid coming from under the sink, was not in fact a leaking pipe, but a newish bottle of windex with a loose lid that had tipped over. I am grateful that I am an ‘old hat’ at looking after the kids for the weekend sans husband. I am grateful that this weekend, even though Mr FGB is working, it is a sunny day and I can catch up on that washing and we are off to a birthday party in the park.
I have many moments as a parent that I just need to take a big breath and push through the exhaustion and frustration and find that inner strength that I didn’t know that I possessed before I had children, but am grateful that this year these moments don’t feel like they are back to back with no reprieve, like they felt last year. This year, there are many more moments where I can breathe easily, get back on track and see the bigger picture, instead of feeling overwhelmed by the small minute by minute.
I’m OK this year, but I went through a long time last year when I wasn’t OK. It all got too much and I was able to talk about it with those who cared and get some more support and although I still have my ups and downs – I’m doing more than OK. Incidentally, I was very impressed this week to hear about “RUOK?” day. You can read more about it here and here. The idea is to make sure that you ask the question and make sure your friends are actually doing OK. A lot of us are pretty good at hiding it.
You can also read about what others are grateful for with the lovely Mira Narnie (we love you Brenda!), who is hosting this week while the gorgeous Maxabella has a little blog hiatus (we miss you Bron!)
More ‘Wordless Wednesdays’ here.
I think often pictures speak louder than words.
These photos were quickly snapped on my phone this afternoon.
Not a lot of blogging going on here at the moment…
Afternoon Addition – this feels so therapuetic to post these pictures – I dare you to do the same and post your house, just the way it is looking right now! Let me know if you’ve been brave enough to do it in the comments below…and feel free to link back here so that others know you’re not the only one!!
29.07.11 I have just linked this post with Magdalena from the Craft Revival.
29.07.11 I have just linked this post with Magdalena from the Craft Revival.
…for ‘big girls’ who decide all on their very own that they will absolutely NOT be wearing nappies any more!
Even though her mother was not at all sure that she was ready – neither the child or the mother who was feeling quite frankly that she just didn’t need this right now! But the child was adamant and to her parents utter surprise, it’s worked! A few accidents, but that’s OK.
I feel like giving her a great big kiss each time she goes just in sheer gratitude and relief of making this so easy!
After so many many exasperating months with the others in this area, I was determined to wait until she was ready in her own time. I just didn’t expect it so soon and just like that, we are out of nappies! Thank you little one – I’m so very grateful as your Mum really needed that right now.
What are you grateful for today?
* Apart from a few days setback when camping when she refused to go behind a tree or in a hole, precious child that she is! We had to bring out the “pink princess pull-ups” & bribe with a few choccie eggs to avoid any more accidents that are just not fun while in the middle of nowhere!
For me, the last year can probably be best described in one word – exhaustion.
I have found being a mother over the last 12 months particularly hard and at many times, overwhelming. I had many many days when putting one foot in front of the other was all that I could focus on and even that was a struggle at times.
Paradoxically, at the same time, I have found my family
particularly gorgeous and have felt more content and happy with my lot than I have ever felt in my life. Life is rarely black and white is it?
For a lot of the year I felt a little trapped in my role as a Mum and at many times felt that I was barely holding my head above water. I felt like a single Mum most of the time and found the constancy of motherhood on my own utterly exhausting.
More recently though, thanks to a few changes in our life, some wonderful support from my extended family and friends and some big changes this year with my husbands work, I’ve managed some ‘me’ time and I have been able to focus more on the contentment and joy within the chaos. Blogging has helped too (best form of therapy!).
I still have my moments of course (quite regularly in fact), but more often than not I feel like I can push through, hold my head high (way above the water that threatens to sink me) and enjoy the ride with this stunning family of mine.
It has been reinforced to me over and over again in the last year, mostly in the most ordinary of moments, how much I am just where I want to be. I have been so blessed in all the areas of my life that matter the most to me.
This year, I want to have more tea parties and smell more snails and focus less about the state of my house and feeling like I’m never organised enough because, although I’m far from perfect, I need to stop focusing on the lack of perfection and see that actually I’m doing a bloody good job!
Bring on 2011!
What does the year hold for you?
We have escaped our house and have joined Lou on an extended long weekend at Mum’s house with the whole family.
I can’t tell you how nice it is to escape reality for a few days and have the aunts, uncles, cousins and Granny there to help entertain the kids! Entertaining 5 kids indoors (mostly) for a few days is not always an easy feat, but with endless games of hide and seek, drawings of masterpieces (thanks Kate), stomping in muddy puddles, the balancing of cards and mini chairs, hilarious dress ups and trick or treating in every doorway of the house, they did a superb job – thank you!
It has been a welcome relief from the everyday which has been quite the balancing act and particularly exhausting of late. I haven’t always been managing to balance it all that well.
This weekend has been a welcome relief.
Thank you family.
What has been happening at your house?
P.S. Don’t forget my little giveaway. Details here.
Hopefully this will become a new Saturday ritual.
This week I am grateful…
- that a real fairy really did visit a certain fairy garden. She had a little dance in the garden, took a tooth from under a pillow, replaced it with some coins.
- for a very understanding, albeit confused, Goose who, discovered that same tooth in another part of the house the following day. One dotty and mixed up tooth fairy that one….. The understanding Goose merely popped it under her pillow again where she knew the tooth fairy would be returning anyway. Apparently, last time the tooth fairy had written a reply to her note, so she was sure the tooth fairy would be returning the next night to deliver the forgotten letter.
Dear Tooth Fairy,
Do you want this pad?
You’re welcome to have it.
You’re the Best!
Love from Goose.
P.S. I Love You!!!
She now tells me she looks just like Nanny McPhee.
- that the father of the house is now officially on holidays for two whole weeks (!!!!!!) and we are off to the beach for one whole week, via Granny’s and the Heathcote Food & Wine Festival. Not sure if I have ever been more grateful for a break in my life…..I think I may have said that last time….
To find some other grateful people, visit Maxabella.
Thought I’d play along with Maxabella today.
I do see blogging as a form of therapy and I thought it would be a good thing to weekly remind myself of the positives from the week past. There are more than a few negatives at the moment and I’m finding it easy to feel a little bogged down, but I would rather be a ‘glass half full’ kind of person and, as Maxabella says
‘it’s nice to pause to appreciate the things in your life that are positive and affirming, whatever they may be’.
This week, just when I felt I could barely keep putting those feet one in front of the other, a little ‘gift’ of time or sanity dropped down from heaven.
I am so very grateful for so very much this week…
- that earlier in the week (after I’d been up for 2.5 hours one night with a child who just would not stop crying no matter what we did and another an hour later who was vomiting from too much coughing) that our neighbours just popped in and took all the kids to the park for over an hour and then stayed and kept them entertained and saved the sanity of one exhausted mama.
- that the next night (after falling asleep with one of the kids at 7.30pm and dragging myself to my own bed when my husband got home at 9.30pm) that every single child slept through the whole night! (I’m not sure that I can remember the last time that happened!) The fact that when their father left for work at 5.30am I couldn’t get back to sleep is irrelevant.
- that yesterday when I ran into the back of someone (in my car, first accident I’ve ever had! and I burst into tears because of my current frazzled state) she was completely understanding and even gave me a hug – I ran into the back of her and she gave me a hug! Then I was even more grateful for my MIL who came over for the afternoon, in the middle of her own very busy life, to do my ironing, fold my mountain of washing and entertain my kids.
- that when I woke up last night (at 3am with an excruciating ear ache and eventually woke him up at 5am) that my husband had all the gear and expertise to work out the problem, painfully flush my ear from my usual build up of wax and give me drugs to ease the pain and antibiotics to cure the problem without having to get out of my pj’s or wake the kids.
- that this morning (when I spent most of the time vomiting from the pain of a middle ear infection) that it happened to be a Saturday and he could take the eldest 2 to work with him for a few hours so I could lay on the couch. An unexpected phone call from a lovely friend didn’t go astray either.
- that when we missed out on a free dinner at Grossi Florentino’s tonight (because I wasn’t well enough) my husband was very understanding and we ended up having a great chat about life and where it’s going and how on earth we are going to continue coping for the rest of this year with his ‘out of this world’ current work hours. He’s more than a good catch that one (despite those pesky work hours).
- I couldn’t end this post without letting my mother and sisters know how very much I am grateful for their help and support in this time where I’m feeling a little overwhelmed.
Sorry for long post, but I just had to get that out there. No point having you all think my life is all about baking and gardening or something…. heaven forbid!
Thanks also Maxabella for the lovely ‘cherry on top’ blog award that you passed on to me weeks ago – I am flattered and honored and might just not get around to passing it on, but I know you won’t mind. If you haven’t read her blog – you must, it is one of my absolute favourites!
P.S. I ‘m also grateful for flowers that just pop up in your garden without you having to do a thing and fruit dropped off by more gorgeous neighbours. Sometimes it’s these little things that give you that lift that you needed….even if your table is in need of a sand & polish.
Not a lot of time for extra creativeness at our house at the moment. I’m struggling. But as the need to be creative is not an optional extra in my book – I need it for survival – it just comes out and pops up in the most ordinary of places. I add a splash of color into my life in whatever way I can….
By color coding the washing…. pinks all together (with pink pegs), blues all together (with blue pegs)… you get the picture. *
everyone keeps their food dye in the bathroom ….. don’t they? **
These may just be the scenes from the house of someone in desperate need of a break and a bit of me time…..
I like to dream of being slightly more creative again over at kootoyoo
and play along (belatedly) with ‘at my house’…….
if only there was more time……
but, this too shall pass……
and I’ll be knitting, sewing, gluing and cutting and getting those creative juices flowing again one day soon…….. it may well be in a few years, but as my Mum says, those kids won’t be at home forever….
So while they are here at home with me, taking up every spare second of my day (and some of the night….) I’ll pop in whatever bit of creativeness we can manage.
*You’ll note there is actually a matching pair of socks there! And you may also notice a green peg instead of a pink one…… oops.
** While we’re there – does anyone know how to get bath scum off bath toys – those letters in particular?
I think of witty, intelligent and profound blog posts all day,
mostly on motherhood
(that’s where it’s at for me at the moment)
but at the moment I just feel my mind is absolute mush and when I get to the evening and sit down to the computer, these thoughts just fly out of my head.
I felt a little better when I read this post and reminded myself that sleep deprivation does play a very strong part in this. Not sure if I remember the last time I had a full night’s sleep…..
With a husband doing over a hundred hours a week at the moment with not one whole day off in 6 weeks (including weekends) and the same for the next two weeks, I have been feeling the pinch……He’s not the only one in need of a day off…..
Some days I feel like I’m drowning and other days I feel like I am managing to keep that chin above the water.
While I am trying to defuzz my brain, I enjoy reading others blogs, like Maxabella, and Loose Change and many, many more who manage to put coherent thoughts together (even with small children) in quite profound ways and help me get my own nuerons back in action.