Monday, October 29, 2012

on sharing, and oversharing

There are times when I question, "Why on earth am I sharing so much, some of my most innermost thoughts and feelings, with the whole world, on the internet?"

And honestly, I have no idea.

If you think about it logically, it really doesn't sound like the smartest idea. Why lay your heart stripped bare for all to see?

At times, it feels stupid. Like I say too much self-centered introspective rubbish. Like I say things that should be left unsaid. But I don't sometimes. For every words written, for every post, there are a thousand more that could be shared, and I choose not to. It's icebergs all over again. However, the things I do share, I share because of the connection. I love writing and knowing that somebody gets what I am trying to say. I love finding out that other people think and feel and act the same way I do. I love finding out that I'm not crazy. I write to know that this is normal. Or not normal... but it doesn't make me the most despicable person in the world either. And I write to make memories for my babies, and for me.

I write because I love it. I write because so often I don't have the words. Especially when it comes to the bad times, it can feel like there's a gag over my mouth. The words won't come out. Sometimes I don't want to share because I am terrified of being anyone's burden. But communication is one of the keys to breaking free of these chains. When I write, and the people I love read it, they can help. Be it by starting conversations, offering assistance in practical ways, or even just praying. I believe that evil prospers through silence. When I share (and overshare) I am trying not to give the darkness a foothold.

But I have also been made aware that much of the time I can make things seem worse than they are. When I write about the bad times, I ought to make it clear that they are far and few between. For the majority of the time, everything is okay. So okay in fact, that I sometimes feel guilty asking for (and receiving) help. I know that there are many different types of depression, and I know that what I am suffering from is not as bad as it gets.

I also want to make it clear that my children are safe. They have always been safe. They always will be safe. If I ever got to the point where I could not adequately care for them, there are many people who would step in and see to it that they were okay. But I am a long way from that ever happening. And (God willing) I don't foresee that ever happening

So. The reason I write isn't really to draw attention to myself. I'm not trying to over-dramatize how things are, and I never intend to make people feel sorry for me. I am just trying to get better, and communicate, the best way I can. And I hope that by writing about the bleak times, maybe this can help another Christian Mum with Post-natal-depression. That she can know that it is possible to feel this way, and still hold onto God, and be held by him.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A good mum

I am learning.

Always I try. To be that elusive, ethereal, mystical being.

A good mum.

But I am discovering, that actually, she is different than I thought. She is not who she appears to be. I am learning, many, many things about the good mum.

That she doesn't have to do painting, or craft, or drawing.

That her children measure her by the depth of her love, not the depth of her folding pile.

It it doesn't matter how many mistakes she makes. 

That she needs to take better care of herself.

That she is allowed to not love every minute of her life.

It doesn't matter what her children eat sometimes. It just matters that they have food in their tummies.

That it's okay to have bad days... and not every day is a bad one... sometimes she can have some pretty great days too!

That a good mother is someone who makes sure that her children are cared for... even if occasionally, that means it is better if she is not the one doing the caring.

Her children need to see her smile.

That regardless of whether or not she feels like a good mother- by simply continuing to try to keep her head up, and get on with the job- she is one. And He who made her a mother and blessed her with these children will always help her. He qualifies the called.



Monday, October 22, 2012

Today is not forever

Crouching, in the shower, as your chest heaves and waves of shame and anger and desperation crash over you. Hating yourself, hating everything about you. Praying, pleading to God for help, as sobs shake your body and stringy, gluey globs of snot and tears drain down the plughole. A little girl opens the shower curtain, "You okay, Mummy?" Please God, let this be over soon.

Before I got this way I never really understood. I made all the right noises, and said a lot of the right things.... but in the back of my mind I was silently judging. How can people feel that bad? I just couldn't get it. Why did they let it get so bad? Why couldn't they get themselves back up? I kind of thought depression was just pure selfishness.

And, in it's way it is. But it's also fear. Crippling fear and ugly self-loathing in a way you'd never dreamed possible. It's not coping, no matter how hard you try. If it was possible by sheer force of will, to not be depressed... nobody would be. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. I know how the smallest tasks can seem like Everest. I know how easy it is to plaster a smile on when you are out, and then go home, alone and desperate.

I find it so hard, feeling this way while I have to care for these tiny people.  And there's that lingering question; would I feel this way if I wasn't a mother? They bring my stress and tension into the foreground with devastating sharpness. I wish I wasn't responsible for them, while I am like this.

But at the same time, they are my saving grace. If I didn't have to get up every day, and care for them... I don't think I would get up in the morning. They make it so hard... but they keep me trying, fighting. On the bad days they can make things so much worse, but they can also make the bad days so much better too. The fact that they need me, makes me get up, keep moving, even if some days it's barely a shuffle. Fall down seven times, stand up eight.

I'm grateful for this. Because of it I am going to be a much better, much more compassionate, understanding person. But I am looking forward (so much) to the day when I can be the person who used to feel this way, instead of the person who does.

Friday, October 19, 2012

My children are not me.

You know something that sounds a little silly, but is true nonetheless? At times, I kind of forget that my children are not me.

They start off as little tiny creatures that are inside of you, so close, that it feels like the are a part of you. That emptiness after you've given birth, and suddenly there is no being inside of you.... it's a bit bittersweet. It's exhilarating, sure, to be so light all of a sudden. Yet it's also just a bit sad too, hollow. But the baby, the baby is so close. It still is a part of you. The baby still is you. Your milk nourishes it's tiny body, keeps it alive. Your child needs your touch, your scent. You are still one.

But then over time, it changes. They start to become independent little beings. Who have their own minds, their own desires, their own needs, their own feelings, and their own thoughts.

My children are not me.

I mean, if I wanted to, I could try and raise them as little carbon copies of myself. Not allow them to question, or think. Stifle their thoughts and feelings and force them to be something they are not. But that isn't what I want for them.

And so, they do things that are completely contrary to things I would do. They make choices that are completely impossible for me to understand. They may go off and live lives for themselves that I would never have imagined.

They are my tiny people, yes. But they are people. They are not me. And it's kind of weird to remember that. They won't be my babies for long. I have to let them make mistakes. Make their own choices. I have to cherish and take care of them. And help them learn to be whoever they are.

 Heck, the world's already got me. It needs Georgina. It needs Charles.

And that's even better.

Because those two little people are awesome.

Linking this post up with Grace today! (It's been a long time since I've posted on Friday!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

It starts with me

Some days it can be very hard to get going when you are a Stay-at-home-Mum. There is no work to get to, or clock to watch. There's no cash incentive, or a boss to give you praise or criticism. You can do a great job or a dodgy job, and at times it feels like no-one cares either way.

On days like today, when I've ignored the dishes the night before, when the dirty clothes basket is overflowing and the kids are sick.... it would be easier to just escape and pretend it all doesn't exist.

But I am working on being present.

This morning, I was encouraged. I felt like I was doing the right thing. Pleasing God. And it helped.

Instead of switching the TV on and plonking the kids in front of it while I put myself into autopilot and did what absolutely had to be done... I was Mum. And I managed to be Mum while I did my chores. I let a little girl 'help' me with the dishes. I made the bed and played peek-a-boo with Charlie and the sheets. We hung out washing and played outside.

I wasn't just surviving.

It was hard. It required strength and discipline. But it was good. Maybe you don't understand what I am talking about. Maybe you are a great, engaged parent who manages to look after your children and clean at the same time with ease. But I am am coming out of a fog that as been consuming me for a while.

Today the fog lifted.

I think it's easy to think about 'important God stuff' only as it applies to the big issues in life. Big moral dilemmas. But how we act, what we do all of the time... it matters so much too. I think I  worship and honor God, when I enjoy my life.... when I don't complain..... when I work on reducing my stress levels. The way we behave with the little dictates how we will respond when the big comes.

At the moment, mothering and housework- they are my job.

God gave me these children to care for and to love. They need me to be their Mum. And right now, in our family, Shane goes to work and earns our income. It's up to me to take care of our children and our house. I know many people say 'Oh, just ignore the housework.' I understand that, and at times I do. Housework will always be there. But, ignoring the bad stuff is only a coping mechanism. It won't make it go away. Eventually someone is going to have to deal with it. And that someone is me.

Sure, Shane can help me out around the house,and sometimes he is wonderful and he does. But he already works, and this is my job. My children, and my husband... they deserve to live in a lovely clean house. I value my family and myself enough that I want us to live in a nice environment. Now we all have different versions of clean. My clean is not my mother's clean, and someone else's version of clean would not be mine. But for me, having a clean house is important. It helps me to function well.

The older my children get, the more I see that they are tiny sponges. They take in everything they see me do, they soak it all in..... and then my behaviour is reflected in theirs. I want my children to take care of themselves. I want them to learn how to be disciplined, to do things they don't want to do simply because those things need doing.

And it starts with me.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Mummy Code

I watched What to Expect when you're Expecting last weekend. I was chatting about it with my favorite Mummy friend, and she said she was talking with her husband about the 'Dad code' that the Dads in the movie had. He asked her if there was a Mummy code.

And there totally is!

The more I think about it, the more I see it. There are so many things that are deemed acceptable and appropriate when you're a Mum. And Mum's just seem to know. Heck, I know it all too! Nobody ever told me.... there wasn't a Secret Mother's Business pamphlet that the midwives handed me when I left the hospital, and I'm pretty sure I didn't get a microchip of Mummy wisdom implanted in my brain during pregnancy. But somehow, we have 'The Code' too.

So here are a few things that are part of the code in our own little Mum's group that meets every Tuesday. They apply especially when you are talking to new mothers who you don't know very well. You might go home afterwards and give your friend a call and say "Wasn't that weird!?" But at the time, you must remain completely non-judgmental.

1. You don't judge about religion. And you make no verbal judgment on any religious/spiritual ideas about parenting. You believe that your child doesn't have a soul until you do the naming ceremony, which has to occur on a full moon when your child is precisely 150 days old? Alrighty then.

2. When a new mother brings her baby... it is always beautiful. It doesn't matter if that is the ugliest, funniest looking kid you have ever seen, you must talk about beauty/eyes/hair/something. Cute is a good word. Cute can mean anything. And thankfully, babies are cute. You are also expected to say 'Oh what a lovely/cool/great name!' no matter what the child's name is. It doesn't matter if they named their kid The Terminator. The name must be praised.

3. When another parent completely loses it, you make no judgment whatsoever. Because lets face it, we've all been there. You act like it's perfectly normal, say kind things and hand over the wine/chocolate/coffee. It is also extremely helpful if you talk about your bad parenting. However, it is not okay to tell your tale in a story-topping way, but rather in a comisserating, comerades-in-arms way.

4. You never discuss the comparison of the SAHM vs Working mother thing. You might chat about it all- but you don't put one over the other. (No matter what your personal views are.)

5. You never, ever, ever put another person's child down. Same goes for another person's parenting.

6. You don't compare breastfeeding and bottle-feeding. You are allowed to chat about the two, but you never put one or the other down.

7. (This one relates solely to our town) You are very careful when you discuss school. You don't talk in absolutes about public vs private school. You are allowed an opinion, but you should leave yourself some wriggle room.

Where did we learn it all? I could go on, and on. But the general rule seems to be, no judging. And if you do have an opinion on something, leave yourself some wriggle room! Are there any specific things that you think are a part of The Mummy Code?


Thursday, October 11, 2012


A month or so ago, One mother hen tagged me with a Liebester Blog award, and I was going to write a post and pass it on (I was, I swear!) but life got in the way. Then, on the weekend, A Desert Rambler tagged me in another one! (Because I am just that awesome!) So, to Alica, and Emma- Thank you!! I am finally passing it on!

"Liebster" is German and means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.

The rules:
* Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
* Answer the questions the person who tagged you created, then make 11 questions of your own for the people you tag.
* Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
* Go to their page and tell them.
* No tag backs.

 11 Facts about me:

1. I used to suck my thumb, and carry around a sheepskin. (I'm not telling you when I stopped)
2. I was married at 18.
3. I can't run. I've tried. But I'm just not a runner.
4. I received a Maths award in Grade 12. (Which, if you know me, and know how much mathematical skill I have, is laughable).
5. When I was in Grade 2 I took my sister's Music trophy in for Show and Tell and tried to convince everyone it was mine. (They didn't believe me).
6. I was an absolute pill of a child and used to jump on my sisters heads. My mother actually gave them permission to hit me.
7. My teacher in Grade one hit me. I've never gotten over it.
8. I can't stand having a dirty floor. I can leave my folding for weeks, and ignore my dishes. But a a dirty floor makes me stabby.
9. I had aspirations of being a criminologist for a while in high school.
10. I've never broken a bone. I did however, once slam a door in my sister Liz's face, and broke her foot. (It's okay though, she got me back when she stabbed me in the hand with a kitchen knife. We had an awesome childhood.)
11. Th first time I went in a plane was when I was 21. Both my children have already flown before.

Because I'm so cool- I get to answer 22 questions!

My Questions from Alicia:

1. What nationalities are in your ancestry?
My Dad came to Australia from England when he was 18, and my Mum's family was German originally. (I think).

2. Favourite Australian actor/actress?
Toni Collete. I like that she is so real, and I think she is just beautiful. She always reminds me a little of my sister Jenny,

3.  Which magazine do you read the most?
None. I rarely read magazines.

4.  What was your first job and how old were you?
Working in a Chinese restaurant. Two of my sister's worked there before me, and it was a great first job. The food was so good!

5. Electric Blanket or hot water bottle? 
Electric blanket.

6. Favourite joke or party trick?
I don't think I have one... I do have a double jointed shoulder and can stretch it way back- but it's not that special.

7.  Right now, what's on the top shelf of your fridge?
Lots, and lots of milk, because Georgie is part calf. And red cordial, because we've all just been sick.

8. What colour is predominant in your wardrobe?
Probably blue. Especially navy. 

9. First car you owned and what are you driving now?
My first car was a blue Mazda 626 that was as old as I was. His name was Frank and he was cool. I currently drive a black Subaru Forrester XT. (Don't ever buy a turbo car!)

10. Where was the best holiday you've had?
I don't think I can pick just one! I loved skiing in New Zealand, but I've also had so many great family holidays at Bribie Island and Rainbow beach. 

11. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
My Mum. She is amazing. Every girl should have a mother like mine.

And now my questions from Emma:

1. Have you ever moved interstate or overseas?
Nope. The furthest I have lived from my hometown is 4 hours away. One day we would love to go live overseas with the kids for a year.

2. What is your dream job?
I don't really know. I think my family will always be my most important job. I like the idea of writing a book. (Yeah I know, me and every other blogger out there!) Today I also thought I would love to be a swimming teacher. Ask me again tomorrow? 

3. What's your favourite song from your teenage years?
Dare you to move. By Switchfoot. 

4. Are you a camping person or a hotel person?
Most definitely a hotel person. (As long as someone else is paying!)

5. Your favourite thing about yourself?
My brain. I'm glad I have one, and I was taught how to use it.

6. How many pairs of jeans do you own?
Too many!

7.  Have you a potty mouth or do you rarely swear?
My mouth could be much, much cleaner. I'm waiting to hear Georgie drop an F-bomb because she heard it from me!!

8.  What's your favourite accent? (Eg Irish, French etc)
Probably an Irish one. There's just something about it isn't there?

9.  Prefer Malcolm Turnbull or Tony Abbott? (As Opposition leader, not in a 'you have to shag one, and you can't choose death' kind of hypothetical.)
Hahaha! Glad you made that clear Emma! Honestly? I have no idea. I don't pay enough attention. I know I should, but my world is just quite small lately- even though I know it shouldn't be. I don't particularly like any politician, and think it's very much a case of voting for the leader you detest the least. I've been really ticked off at all the mud-slinging that has gone on in parliament recently. I've seen kids in daycare behave with more maturity.

10. What's on your kitchen sink this very moment?
Nothing! I just did the dishes- yay for me!

11.  Do you have a nickname? If so, what is it?
My name doesn't easily lend itself to a nickname. I got 'Bob' for a little while there- but mostly, it's just Robyn. 

The blogs I'm passing this on to are all pretty awesome. They are all women who I think are very cool:

Ninja Tales
Around Here
Becoming Mum
Killing a Fly with a Ukelele is probably the wrong thing to do 
Graze if you want to, but don't eat the dirt
Praying at the Clothesline, Screaming in the house
The Mother Experiment
Happy at Herbgully
Beyond the Edge of Adventure
Lohtown Life
The Imperfect Housewife

 My Questions for them are:

1.  Your house burns down in the middle of the night. Who is the first person you call?
2. If you could have anything to eat or drink right now, what would it be?
3. How do you kill a spider?
4. Would you rather be blind or deaf?
5.  What would you do with a million dollars?
6. How do you take your coffee?
7. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, which one would you pick?
8. How did you meet your significant other?
9. What time did you go to bed last night?
10. Ginger, yes or no?
11. What is your favourite time of the day?


Tuesday, October 9, 2012


Today, as I walked outside with my shoes off, my feet felt the grass. I curled my toes up, and the ground beneath me felt vibrant and alive.

I turned the sprinkler on underneath a thirsty tree, and my nose was assaulted with the earthy scent of dirt and water and nature.

I jumped on the trampoline with my babies, hearing their delighted shrieks as I bounced them up and down.

Later, we lay on the trampoline and looked up at the blue sky. We watched the sunlight shine through the leaves of the trees. And we were happy.

Life is happening. I must live it.

Linking up with Trish for an (almost) Wordless Wednesday

My Little Drummer Boys

Friday, October 5, 2012


Today my sister is moving.

It is a little bit sad. I am one of four girls, and for the last few years we have all lived in the same town. It's nice to be so close.

Jenny, my sister, has been down the road from us, since we bought our house almost 5 years ago. When we moved to this street, we bought the house next to my Grandma, and have been just 6 houses up from Jenny.

Yes, my family does close very well.

Now, we are the last ones left on the street.

I will miss being able to go for a quick stroll when I run out of milk or sugar. I will miss having cousins just down the road (especially when they are nearing the age of being able to baby sit!). I will miss being able to dash down the street to get Jenny to check on a child's rash. (She used to be a nurse, and is our family's go-to person when it comes to health). I will miss seeing her beautiful family at church every week, and I will miss being able to just pop in for a visit whenever I like.

But she will always be my sister.

It will be different, not having her family nearby. But we still be close, and her family will always be mine. She may not be just down the road anymore, but she will only be a phone call away.

Now we just get to look forward to lots of visiting, and someone to stay with when we go away!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...