Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I need thee

This is going to be brutally honest post. But I'm hoping it needs to be read because I sure need to write it.

People rarely admit that they have a favourite child. But they do. I know I do anyway. Fortunately the favour seems to swap and change. A few weeks ago, Georgie was hard work, and Charlie was such a delightful little snugglepot.

But this week? Oh, this week. I don't like Charlie. I just don't want to be around him, plain and simple.

I'm not sure whether maybe he's teething, or there is a nasty germ lurking somewhere that is making him feel bad. But I have a sneaking suspicion that he is just 18 months old. And he is finding life very frustrating right now. But, goodness me is he ever frustrating to deal with!

This morning, he woke up, and he smiled for two seconds, and then he whinged. He whinged because he fell over, he whinged because he couldn't get the door open, he cried when his sister reached something he couldn't, and then he roared when he got put in time out because he hit her out of sheer frustration. He whinged in time out, and then he whinged just because, before noticing I was making breakfast. Then he whinged and whinged and whinged at me, because obviously if he lets me know just how badly he wants breakfast, it will come faster. All before 8am.

I am so, so, weary of him right now.

I love him, so much. I do. I would run into a burning building to save him, I would take a bullet for him, I would develop super human strength and pull a car off him. I would. But living with him, dealing with him, being kind to him.... without losing my will to live? That requires a whole new level of love. One that I just don't always have the capacity for.

Yesterday was a bad day. Yesterday saw me wailing uncontrollably on the floor, after I lost my temper badly and shouted and raved and ranted, before unceremoniously dumping him in his cot so I didn't hurt him.

The problem is, this has been building for a while. He has been, for whatever reason, just difficult for a few weeks now. When he behaves this way, he needs extra love and extra kindness. People who are the most unlovable generally seem to need the most love. But after a prolonged period of unlovable-ness. I'm all tapped out. And then, I end up getting super-sensitive to his yucky behaviour, and I jump on him, for things that really shouldn't bother me. So I get more and more stressed and tired of him, and he senses it and needs me even more.... because he just wants to be loved! It's a vicious cycle that can be really hard to get out of.

I just don't have any cope left.

I need to draw on the strength of the One who is much, much kinder than me.

I will get through today, one tantrum, one wail at a time. When I want to scream and shout and cry and just run away..... I am going to pray, and pray, and pray. I am going to sing, and worship, and cry out to the only One who can grant me enough patience, and peace and love. I am going to do my best to love Charlie, as He loves me. And when my love is not enough, I trust He will make up the difference.

I need thee, oh, I need thee, every hour I need Thee
I need thee, I need thee, I need Thee every hour

Thursday, June 20, 2013

All kinds of time

These days, they are slow and they are long. They can be hard and they can be tiring. But they are beautiful.

They are filled with cooking, and cleaning, kissing bruised knees and bruised egos. They are filled with coffee drinking, and playtime at the park. They are filled with the mundane, and predictability and the joy of discovery.

I know I will look back and think they are some of the best days of my life.

Right now, I am pretty sure I am exactly where I need to be. My babies and I, we have the luxury of making the hours work for us. I can choose to spend a day ignoring the housework and playing with my children. Georgie can ask to go to the park, and I think "Why not?" and off we go. I can decide, 'no we are not going to playgroup today, I need to clean my house.'

I am in charge of our routine and our structure. I am in charge of the way our days go. And I am finally starting to learn how to be disciplined enough to do it. This is what works for me. The days, they are slowly getting so much easier, and I am grateful.

Eventually time will march on, and it will usher in kindy days, and school to attend. We will have to develop a new routine and be out the door early. My afternoons will be filled up with car trips and football, and ballet lessons, and swimming lessons and parent teacher meetings. Eventually I will have to go back to work, and run on someone else's schedule. But right now, we have all kinds of time. These days, in so many ways are like guerrilla warfare. But in so many other ways, they are completely and utterly golden.

Friday, June 14, 2013

To be a mother

It's such a strange and funny thing, being the mother of small children.

It's finding half eaten apples, sitting by the toilet, and picking them up going "Why?"

It's loving, more intensely than you could have imagined. It's also being more frustrated than you though possible.

It's seeing the man you love, in a whole new light as he becomes a Dad, and it's loving him in a whole new way. (It's also getting angry at him in a whole new way sometimes, too).

It's wondering, what on earth you did with your time before you had children. It's wondering what on earth you do with your time now, and wondering why is it you can be so busy and achieve so little.

It's being tired, more tired than you ever imagined.

It's "Dear God will everyone just stop touching me!!!"

It's desperation, when they just. won't. sleep. 

It's joy and love and fear like you've never known before.

It's brilliant days of sunshine, and cloudy days of oppressive darkness.

It's washing and folding the same clothes, over and over and over again.

It's power and responsibility that can be terrifying.

It's wanting to talk to somebody, anybody, about something other than Peppa Pig.

It's trying to reason with a person who doesn't understand logic. 

It's sticky hand prints everywhere, spilled milk on the floor, and food on the ceiling. It's kind of disgusting really.

It's picking your battles.

It's saying things that sound so wrong, like "Don't lick the dog!!" Or "Oh, go ahead and eat the grass if you want to then." Or my personal favorite,  "Here, I want to wipe your bottom."

It's wanting to squish tiny faces, sometimes because you are so amazingly angry, and sometimes because you love them so much you fear you almost can't contain it.

It's worth it.

Flogging this one with Grace today.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Wearing the right glasses

My children do not think I am too tall, or too big, or too fat, or too ugly. They do not look at me and see a number on the scales. They don't look at my tired eyes, or the wrinkles that are starting to appear where the skin used to be tight and fresh. They don't examine the pimples on my face or the scars and blemishes on my skin.

No, I'm the one who does that.

My son does not poke my stretched, saggy, soft, pock-marked belly and feel disgust. He delights in the ripples it makes and the giggles that erupt from my mouth.

My daughter does not look at my skin and think it is too dry, or too pale. She traces the freckles on my arm absentmindedly as we watch television, and I am hers.

To my children, I am lovely. I am familiar. This body of mine is beautiful and comforting to them, because it represents the person they love. This body encases the mother they adore. This body grew them and nurtured them for nine months. It cares for them every day, and holds them when they are sad or scared. This body is their safety. To my children I am home.

So why on earth am I so critical of it?

I need to smash the Hollywood-esque lenses that I have been examining myself through, and put on a new pair of glasses, so I can see myself as they see do.

I do not want to be the person who teaches my daughter, that she isn't beautiful. The world is going to tell her that enough, and it will be wrong. I do not want to be the person, who shows my son that a woman must behave in a certain way, look a certain way, work to look a certain way, in order to be deserving of his love and respect.

Yes, I am overweight. Yes I need to do something about it. I want to do something about it. But if I don't, I still have value. My worth is not determined by my weight. My value does not depend on how I look. No matter what society, or culture dictates, I am lovely. To my children, I am beautiful.

I need to like myself, respect myself, and love myself, the way they do.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Sick children are no fun

There is nothing so unreasonable in this world as a toddler. Except for a toddler who is sick. I've actually managed to get both kids to nap today, so I'm off to have a lie-down. I'm sure I'll write something again when the kids are less snotty and repulsive. But for now, this e-card is so very appropriate....

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