Saturday, August 15, 2020

Stupid ankles, stupid valleys

I sprained my ankle a month or so ago. I was at the park with the kids, and was on a swing and went to stop the swing with my feet, but I didn’t have them down properly, and my left foot went sideways and bent in an unnatural way, and I felt a crack. And I knew it was bad. It hurt so much and I was scared I had broken it. I thought I was going to faint and be sick, but I managed to get us home in the car, and gradually it got better. But every now and then I’ll bend on it in the wrong way, and I’ll just feel intense pressure on the weak joint. It feels like it could break, or pop, or go very badly and I’d be worse off than I was before.

That’s how I feel, inside, so much right now. Not completely ok. And every now and then the pressure on me gets nearly more than I can bear and I’m afraid somethings going to give and all the kings horses and all the kings men won’t be able to put me back together. So much easier to never be broken in the first place, wouldn’t you agree?

I feel, bereft of words. I can’t quite figure out if this is just how everyone is feeling right now. The world feels so uncomfortable, like a pair of jeans that you always had to suck in for, but suddenly they’ve shrunk in the wash and they are no longer just uncomfortably tight, but cutting your body in two so you feel like you are doing damage to your organs when you sit down.

I’m not ok. But what does that even mean? Once you’re not ok, the world doesn’t magically just rush towards you and offer you cups of tea and fluffy pillows. There are still dishes to do, and meals to make, and bills to pay and a family that needs you, needs every last drop of you being poured out until you’re a big old jug of empty, and good grief woman just get a hold of yourself already. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. Don’t you know how much you have to be grateful for? 

The problem is, you do. But you just end up feeling more rubbish for not being sufficiently grateful. Man we humans are a stupid bunch aren’t we? I’m just tying a knot and holding on. Hills and valleys. And I’m not alone. He has never left me, nor forsaken me. But I sure wish these valleys weren’t so damn deep.

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

It’s just hard

Tonight after dinner we got a call from Shane’s Dad about a predicted meteor that was supposed to be visible at 7:58pm. So we ended up having an impromptu astronomy lesson. (Not really, we just went out and lay on the trampoline and looked at the stars for a while, but it sounds good.) We never did see a meteor, there was some cloud cover that started coming over and we think that must’ve made us miss it. But it was nice.

I am trying so very hard at the moment to see the good in this situation. There are so many beautiful moments in amongst it, and I am so grateful that we are safe, and healthy. But the truth is, I’m still struggling. I know my kids are having a hard time. Georgie is a bit moody and emotional and anxious. She’s sleeping badly, and has been waking up a few times a night since February. I thought at first it was school, but now I think it’s just how she deals with things. Plus I think she’s just gotten in the habit of waking up. I feel for her, and worry about her so much, but mostly I just wish it didn’t happen. It’s very tiring. Charlie is such a social creature, and I know he’s really missing physical time with other little boys. He has been so incredibly cuddly lately, and he’s also finding the motivation to do school work tough. Ted isn’t too bad. But he’s very three, and that is tricky in the midst of all this.

Part of me is so grateful that I can do what I’m doing. My work is suffering, I’m doing what I can, and Shane’s picking up the slack, but we are managing, and an income is still coming in. I know so many don’t have this luxury of being safe at home with their families like this. But part of me is just so jealous of the people whose lives don’t seem to have changed... their kids can still go to school and play with their friends, and they can go to work and talk to grown ups.

I keep feeling like I’m back in time, at home all day every day with two small kids, (except now it’s three!) going slightly twisty because this time I don’t even have the luxury of nap time or early bedtimes or park dates and playgroups with other mums or church. All of which helped keep me together when my kids were small. My big kids are wonderful, but the barrage of questions and requests is relentless and consuming. It’s not their fault. This is hard for them too. They are  navigating school from home which is a big challenge. Lord knows I’m so grateful that they’re as young as they are and I’m not tearing my hair out trying to understand their school work with them. We can do this, and we are. But oh, I remember why I used to stay up so late when they were tiny, just to have a few blessed hours where nobody needed anything from me.

This is temporary I know. I have so much to be grateful for, I know. But still, this is hard. It’s just hard.

Friday, April 17, 2020

Unexpected events... and gratitude

What a day! It’s been a strange one. I was supposed to go up to the church with Shane this afternoon for an hour or so to sing a couple of songs so that he could record them for our church online services, since he had everything set up to film there today already. To be honest, I wasn’t 100% sure about it... I wanted to, but at times it’s not very comfortable putting yourself out there like that.

So I was set to go at about 3:30pm in the afternoon, and Mum was going to come up and mind the kids. We’ve kind of relaxed our distancing this week a bit. We’re still being careful, but the government guidelines recommend having two guests at a time, so that means that we have seen Mum and Dad and my sister Cathy a tiny bit this week, which has been so lovely. Anyway, so at around 2 this afternoon, our dog Chloe was tapping at the back door and I figured she was hoping to get fed early. So I went to the back door, and when I looked at her, her left eye was really badly swollen. I was thinking it might have been a bee or something, but I wasn’t quite sure and it just looked really bad, so I rang the vet to see if I could bring her down. I called Mum and she came over a bit early, and I took her to the vet, where it turned out, she had maybe been bitten by a spider. So she’s got some medication, and we’re keeping an eye on her.

Then, when I got home, I got Mum to have a quick look at a mosquito bite that Ted has, which was looking red, and it was looking worse, so I rang the doctor to see if I could get him in. I managed to take him straight down, and he has cellulitis, so we had to get some antibiotics for him. By this point I think Shane was thinking about saying not to worry about doing music after all, because he’d had a big day at work, and had a headache. But he had all the recording stuff set up (which takes a bit of doing) so, we decided to keep going, and I left the kids and the wounded at home and went down to church to do a couple of songs.

It was tough, let me tell you! Nothing like hearing yourself and watching yourself to make you self-conscious about every single one of your flaws. But I think, because it was so hard and so complicated and full of roadblocks just to film a couple of simple worship songs, and despite all my feelings of unworthiness. I know that it is important. Sometimes what we see with our human eyes, has nothing to do with what God is doing. So I am doing my best to just trust Him with this, to just get  my anxious thoughts out of the way as much as I can. And to be grateful for how many things did turn out right. For medication. For appointments when they were needed. For Mum who stepped into the breech for us, and my sister who popped up to lend a hand too. I am richly and abundantly blessed.

Monday, April 13, 2020

5 weeks

So Easter is all over. It was a strange one. In our town Easter is a big deal and there is a parade and markets and various events over the weekend. I’ve grown up with this tradition my whole life, and only missed a handful of Easter weekends here, so it was very strange to be here, but stay home. It was a pretty good weekend though. Sunday in particular was nice, But I really missed church. We finished the weekend tonight with pizza and a movie, and Shane is sitting on the couch with the kids finishing the movie while I’ve slipped away to have a bit of alone time.

The constant closeness is a bit tough. Ted especially has been a bit out of sorts with his normal routine gone, and he has been having lots of trouble getting to sleep a night. He’s also been super attached to me, which is nice, but tough.

The government in our state has just announced that all kids will stay home from school and learn at home for the next five weeks. I’m not quite sure how I feel about that to be honest. Apprehensive. I’m not sure what it’s going to look like, and I worry that if we get too much that has to be done from the school, it will just be like beating my head against a brick wall. I think I’m going to have to work on developing really good structure to our days. But all we can do is our best.

We are supposed to be moving house in a month. I’m really hoping it all still goes ahead, as we need a bigger space badly. But there’s lots of hurdles to overcome there too. There’s just so much to stress about. Let alone worrying about the actual coronavirus. Australia seems to be handling it well right now, our area is still yet to have a single case, but I worry about what it looks like when it does come here. Who could be affected of the people I love and care about. How we will manage when it is actually spreading here. How our health services will cope... just so many worries.

I’m trying hard to trust God with all these unknowns. But I know that He’s good. He loves us. I think about how Jesus must’ve felt before he gave himself up to be crucified. He didn’t quite know how it would play out, and he knew there was pain and difficulty ahead. But he did it because he loves us. And because he trusted the Father. I need to trust Him too. I think every difficult moment in the next five weeks I will have to make a conscious choice to trust.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Tired thoughts

Three year olds huh? They’re the perfect mix of so-cute-you-wanna-gobble-them-up, and so-hard-you-wanna-run-away. I love my Ted. I really do. But he is not easy to have around lately. It’s so tough trying to do anything that is structured with the big kids, because he just blunders in like a toddler-shaped Godzilla and renders everything impossible. In his defence, he’s been a bit unwell. But man, is he ever pushing my buttons lately!

Honestly, I’m trying so hard to be grateful that I can work from home, and look after the kids and we haven’t lost jobs and stuff..... but I had just come out the other side of stay at home motherhood. And I was glad. I am a nicer and better Mum when I work. Not full time. I had been doing four days a week this past term, and that was a bit much. But three days is perfect. It gives me a bit of breathing room, and honestly, I think I appreciate the time I spend with my kids more. Mentally, I am much better when I’m working. But yet...... here we are. I’m trying to make my peace with it, and make the best of it. But man, the three year old sure doesn’t help matters.

Last night we had a ‘sleepover’ in the lounge room. We had homemade pizza and watched a movie and set up the mattresses on the floor. It went pretty well, but the kids had a super late night, and as a result we’ve all been a bit grumpy today. It’s probably been one of the toughest days so far. I think we’re all a bit sick of each other, and missing ‘normal.’

I know personally, I kind of went downhill after I went up to the kids school and picked up their term two work. I think the realisation just hit me.... that they won’t be going to school again after these holidays, and that things are going to look very very different for a long time. Not just a few weeks. I think I’m so anxious too, because you read about how awful things are in other places, and here where we are in rural Australia it hasn’t even hit yet. We don’t even have any confirmed cases in our region. Which is good, but it’s also scary to think about what’s to come.

Anyway, I’m not quite sure where I’m going tonight, I think I’m just really tired too, and probably things will all seem easier after a good nights sleep. Here’s hoping we all get one!

Sunday, March 29, 2020


It’s been three days home now. Not a long stretch by any standards. And yet, it’s feel different. I think because we’ve literally been at home for three days. It’s funny, I’ve always thought we weren’t crazy social, but I think when you cut out everything, you really do notice how much you do.

We’re going along ok for the most part. Ted had a bit of a tummy bug on Thursday night and Friday. He’s pretty good now, but still a tiny but off colour. Its funny, even though I’m sure he just picked up a tummy bug at daycare because there is one going around, on Friday morning I still was panicking slightly about the corona virus. It probably didn’t help that I’d had a sleepless night and wasn’t thinking clearly. But it’s amazing how the fear and paranoia can get a hold of you. It’s very tough not to let your mind run away with you, even though you’re sure it’s just regular everyday illness. I was really grateful when he improved, anyway!

The weekend was very slow. Far too many screens watched. But I’m not too worried. I figure we will reign it in this week, but I’m in no rush to start homeschooling either. The kids have just had a full term, so I figure they need a little bit of a rest before anything too serious starts anyway. I’m planning on just taking it slowly this week. We are going to do some crafty activities, and Georgie has grand plans to do some baking. I though we might do a sleepover in the lounge room one night, and try to do a few fun things. But I think I will work hard on trying to develop routine and structure this week, especially because we won’t be going anywhere to break the days up.

Today we had church online, which was ok... but oh I must admit I’m missing proper church so much. I think it just really sets my head right every week, and I think I’m going to appreciate it a lot more when it’s back! Especially corporate worship. But I am supposed to be meeting online with my discipleship girls tomorrow, so I hope that goes ahead. It will really help. Anyway, that’s enough for now. I’m planning on getting the kids to start writing daily journal entries too, so that will be good for them. Interesting to see what they will write!

Thursday, March 26, 2020

The COVID-19 Diaries

So, the whole world is basically in quarantine at the moment, due to the pandemic that is sweeping the globe (as they say). And I’ve been toying with the idea of resurrecting my blog as a journal of sorts while I’m home with the kids. I’m not 100% sure what this is going to look like. I don’t know if I’ll stick with it, and I’m not even sure if I’ll mention to anyone that I’m back here. But it just felt like a thing to do.

So I’m going with it. Where we live in Australia, the schools have just all stopped early for Easter break, and I think most of us are settling in now for a long while. Part of me is relieved because it’s easier than sending kids to school and being unsure if that’s the right thing to do. And it’s nice to know we are as safe as we can be. Part of me is hopeful that this will be a lovely time of family bonding. But most of me is freaking out at the idea of all of us being stuck under one roof for God knows how long.

You see, for me, when parenting, my secret weapon has always been to get out. If kids are fighting, or things are tough, I’ve always been inclined to go to the pool, or the park, to the library, or playgroup, or to Grandma’s house, or for a walk, or heck, just a drive in the car. I’ve always found a change of scenery a good way to cope with difficult times with my kids. And now.... here we are.

But I keep reminding myself that everything really is ok. We are safe, and healthy (aside from Ted who spent this evening vomiting- what a way to start quarantine!). But things are really pretty good. We have food, we have each other, the weather is beautiful, we have a massive yard, we haven’t lost our jobs, and we will be fine. Learning to trust God daily right now! But anyway. Here we are. Corona virus quarantine starts tomorrow. Let’s do it.

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