Joy in my 3 year olds pain

Let me set the scene. It’s 11pm, I am cursing the book I’m reading because I came to bed over an hour ago fully intending to read just one chapter, I flick the monitor from 11mth old to 3yo for my cuatomary check before lights out and I see her coughing and crying out, half asleep, coughing again. 

Instantly I’m up, getting panadol, carrying her to my room, fetching water and tucking her in, soothing her as she coughs, finding the Eukybear rub, and finally fishing out the (ridiculous) giant Peppa toy I bought her on a whim days ago but never gave her (because it is ridiculous). 

Seeing her pale little face light up like she’s the luckiest girl in the world delights me, she snuggles down still coughing and lets me rub Eukybear on her chest (“because my tummy is a bit sore, mamma”) and then some Eukybear on her feet (“My feet are a bit sore too, both of them!”); she is soon asleep, cuddled against (ridiculous) Peppa with her normal buddy Eyeore clutched in her hands. 

And I am so joyful. It sounds wrong, so hear me out, but in her pain / discomfort, I have found joy. Because I have again found my place.  I’ve found peace. Contentment, certainty. Of course I’m a mother. Of course I am right where I’m supposed to be. Of course it is me, specifically, that these two little souls need and depend on.

I’ve had a few weeks now of a bad mood settled on my psyche; of feeling stretched beyond my capability, of not being able to be the person I was constantly needed to be.

Teething, sleepless nights, colds, birthdays, visitors, parties – all these things have pulled at me, demanded my attention, been competing priorities. I’ve just felt so unable to get it right and had a recurring feeling of “Just go away and leave me alone!” Even as, bizarrely, I have truly and honestly been enjoying the events going on. Well, the birthdays, visitors and parties, obviously, not the shit stuff! 

I’ve felt like an imposter, like I’m playing a part but this isn’t really me or my life, like there is no proof I’m really the mamma here. I’ve felt like I am trying so hard to be some one and some thing I am not. 

It’s a feeling that has cropped up a lot this past year, well it started in September and that’s when I went to my GP and was diagnosed with PND. Point is, I have had this feeling before but not for a little while – I am feeling more and more like Me and less and less like Me with PND, so having this cloud over me the past three weeks or so has made things a bit worrying.

Until now, tonight. Suddenly it’s lifted. Caring for this tiny human who is only slightly unwell came so instantly. So naturally and instinctively. Of course I am Mamma. Her mamma. I’m not failing or in the wrong spot or doing the wrong thing. 

Yep, it’s hard when they’re tired and whiny and clingy and it’s just me or they just want me, but that’s par for the parenthood course. I have to keep reminding myself that getting sick of the consent demands or feeling tired or overwhelmed by this journey is pretty normal and doesn’t make me a bad person or mother. It makes me human.

Feeling resentful of the little humans doesn’t make me a bad person or mean anything malignant. It means I’m tired and I’m human. 

Feeling like I want to go away and have a whole day or two to myself without any demands on my time doesn’t mean I don’t love my children fiercely and completely. It just means I’m human

Phew. What a weight to get off my heart. I only hope the next time the cloud descends I remember this wee epiphany and revisit this post before I beat myself up too badly.

Sweet dreams little LLC. Thank you for making me your mamma once again x

Reflecting on Year 1, v2.0

My how our world has changed in 12 months. As I count down to Jaxon’s first birthday I’m looking back over these twelve months and all the ways I’ve grown and shrunk and failed and succeeded and changed and stayed the same.

Motherhood is a crazy, tough, beautiful and strange journey that I am fortunate to be on. I’m grateful every day but I also get angry every single day. 

My kids amaze me and infuriate me. They bring out the best in me and five minutes later they bring the worst of me out. 

We struggled to have kids and so feel exceedingly lucky to have them both. But at the same time I sometimes want to run away. 

I know so many other mums who would nod along as they read this with bits and pieces, or maybe all of it, and they are my village. They know. 

Motherhood is a privilege but it’s like that saying, ‘with great power comes great responsibilty’….sometimes the privilege sits so heavily on my soul and my heart but it really is true when they say it’s the hardest and best thing you’ll ever do, and that these tiny humans, despite their interesting moments, really do make it worth it x

I think I should have been a vet, not a mum


So sheets and doona covers can go in the dryer, right? As I shove those two items into my dryer I realise I have no idea if I am supposed to tumble dry them. It’s one of many housekeeping fundamentals that still eludes me. I feel like I should know – as a woman and a mother and a primary housekeeper – but I have no fucking idea. 

It’s like nappies.  I Googled how to correctly change a nappy. Everyone else seemed to just know and I was too embarrassed to ask so thank the Internet for trusty Google, YouTube and wikiHow. 

I’m so clueless on so much house/baby/kid stuff yet put a dog in front of me and I have all sorts of useless information I can spout. Today I had a word to a friend about her beautiful new staff puppy (something very not right about her hips or knees) yet I can be oblivious to the most apparently obvious housey type stuff.  I can’t wrap my head around schooling  (when they start, how often they go) but I can tell you what breed of dog will likely suit your lifestyle. 

I remember all sorts of medication and what it does and how it works in the body but I forget how to make pancake batter. 

I think I should have been a vet. 

What kind of mamma are you?

God, as if just the day to day challenges of parenting weren’t enough, there’s also the prolific articles, blogs and trends of parenting types / styles to make us question our every move.  Tiger, crunchy, scrunchy, silky, helicopter, free-range, lawnmower, attachment and even dragon are types of mums…. and then there are (apparently) wolf and panda dads.

*insert eye roll here*

Anyway, during my (nearly) 3 years in this mamma role, I’ve questioned my ‘type’ of mothering style many times and I’ve finally come to a conclusion. I know exactly what type of mum I am, what it means and I’m ready to confess: I’m an Every Mum.

Yep, you read it here first. I’m an Every Mum. This type of mum can be crunchier than coco pops, silkier than tofu, hover more than a hovercraft and be wilder than a tiger.  We can advocate breastfeeding with passion whilst preparing a bottle of formula for our babe. Co-sleep at night and go to work during the day. Make our own baby food and give our kids store brought snacks.

I’m an Every Mum because no two days are the same, no two kids are the same. No one approach is 100% correct or without failing.

My kids need my protection in this crazy, sometimes dangerous world but they also need to learn to sort out their own issues and to take responsibility for their own actions. They need good, wholesome, natural foods and they need to be able to eat and run sometimes. They need to not overuse antibiotics or pain relief and they need to be vaccinated. They need breastmilk as much as possible and they need formula to survive when there isn’t enough breastmilk, or any breastmilk. They need understanding, love and leeway as they learn to be little people and they need discipline and guidelines and boundaries as they learn to be members of the village.

My style of parenting is to always keep an open mind, never say never, and not be afraid to follow my gut or my mamma instinct no matter the opinions of others.

Well – full disclosure – that is the parenting style I am aspiring to. Inevitably, I sometimes doubt myself, and I have been close-minded about things in the past…. but I’m trying and I’m always learning and evolving.

mystyle

So yep, I’m an Every Mum. And if that’s not on trend, or recommended by the leading Paediatric Association or the famous mummy whisperers… well, that’s ok by me. As long as my kidlets are happy with my Mamma Style, I’m happy with my mamma style.

x S

Woo for International Womens Day !

Today is International Womens Day. What does that mean?

To me it’s a reminder to take a moment to appreciate how lucky I am to be a woman. To have be raised by a strong woman. To be raising a strong daughter.

To have been given the gift of creating life, not once but twice. 

To be guided by love and emotional intelligence in how I live.

To have compassion and maternal instinct at my beck and call. 

To have a wonderful, huge sisterhood on my journey with me in this life.

Being a woman in itself makes me no more or less a person than any other but for me, being a woman is so very awesome.
Women are awesome. To all the women in my village, YOU are awesome. Keep shining and take a moment today to appreciate yourself.
x S

Meanwhile it would be nice to just be able to stand to pee casually anywhere 😉😉😉

In the words of the BEP: Let’s get ridiculooooous!

stick figure

I could write about so many things tonight. About how, this morning, I cried like a baby after I dropped my little girl at daycare because she was so upset. She just wanted to stay with me and I wouldn’t let her and it broke my heart. Or about how, mid-morning, I had a real epiphany during my therapy session and made peace with another facet of myself. Or, about how, at midday, my little baby boy decided today was the day to start crawling and what a bittersweet moment that was (last baby syndrome, come at me!).  All these things were big events in my day and meant a lot to me.

But there was another thing that happened today that I think needs to be talked about more than these moments of mine. Well, a lot of things happened today that need to be talked about more than my shit (Donald J Trump, I’m lookin’ at you, chump!) but one thing was pretty close to home and really pissed me off.

The Committee for Melbourne is “an apolitical, not-for-profit, member-based organisation that brings together over 120 organisations from Greater Melbourne’s business, academic and community sectors who have a passion for shaping Melbourne as a leading global city” – I copied that from their website. Sounds pretty good hey. Misleading.

Today, there were a lot of headlines splashing about that mentioned this group, and their latest crusade, a worthwhile battle being fought against systemic discrimination, oppression and abuse of women, by the little green and red men that live in the traffic signals at various intersections throughout Victoria.  These little green and red ‘male silhouettes’ are constantly promoting ‘unconscious bias’ against women. So the battle is on and this unbalance,this injustice, this immensely important issue is being tackled by changing some of the lights (starting with ten, on the 9th March) to non-male stick figures. This crusade even has a name.. project Equal Crossings. So it must be legitimate, right?

I thought it was a joke, but I’ve done some research and it appears real. There is actually a group of seemingly intelligent, potentially useful members of society using their influence, power and money to get a stick figure light changed to a stick figure with a triangle ‘skirt’.

Cause, obviously, there are NO other issues for women that are more worthy of their time and effort.

There aren’t women dying every week at the hands of their partners and ex-partners. There aren’t women and girls suffering horrifying abuse and assault every day at the hands of family, friends or strangers. There aren’t women denied education and basic freedom and rights based on their gender.

No – lets focus on a stick figure that I can almost guarantee 99% of people have never, ever, EVER looked at and thought any less of women in general because of.  Most people probably don’t even identify it as male, because, after all, its a goddamned coloured light stick figure.  

How does this shit even make news?  How politically correct and utterly ridiculous is the world becoming when THIS is an actual thing?  Do we not have bigger issues that, as a society, we could focus on?

How about addressing the widespread and horrific abuse of young children in many communities around Australia?  The rise and rise of domestic violence? The ever-increasing number of individuals addicted to the drug Ice?

Poverty, disease, abuse, violence. Issues to be tackled and victims to be raised and saved. If you have a yearning to make a difference, there are plenty of sad and cruel and unjust things happening every day that you could turn your energy towards, lend your heart, hands and mind, work with others and try make a change for the better.

And please don’t tell me that this petty, worthless, costly, PR stunt change is about tackling sexism at its roots….what a crock of shit. I’d love to hear from anyone who thinks that a stick figure – who, for the record, could easily be a female because **shock horror** women can wear pants!! – on a traffic light who they perceive to be male has actually promoted gender inequality…. I really would. Hit me up. I’d love to get into that discussion with you, and then we can move onto vaccinations causing Autism and other bullshit, attention grabbing, unsubstantiated politically correct hogwash talk.

Seriously.

Mamma-ing

As my son screamed today and I automatically assumed the position to soothe him  (hold him in a cradle hold and bounce up and down by doing mini squats) my husband looked at me super intensely. So intensely that I said to him “What?”

“I was just thinking – you are such a good mother,” he said. I swear his eyes were a bit moist (but that was likely the sleep deprivation). He just looked like he wanted to grab me but of course didn’t due to the screaming infant in between us.

It was so awesome for him to share that thought. It made the burden a little lighter, made me feel stronger, made me feel loved.

I think I am a good mother, too – at least in so far as how I parent. I do a good job and put aside the way I’m feeling when I need to, and I get their needs sorted.

I just wish I was a better mother in terms of liking motherhood more. I love my kidlets but I find motherhood so crushing right now. It’s overwhelming and takes everything I have so that, when I finally have time to be me and think of me and do things for me, I can’t.  I have nothing left to give myself. I feel hollow and empty and hopeless. And I blame motherhood. And maybe PND a bit (I hope).

I know women who love motherhood and being a mum and I wish I felt that.  I love my tiny humans fiercely but I struggle with being their everything. It’s so humbling to be so needed but so overwhelming too.

One day I guess (I know) this level of demand will ease and I will find parts of me again. I still cherish the night hugs and the kisses and the little arms wrapping around me, I’m not wishing them away. I’m grateful for all I do have and I know how wonderful my life really is…I just look forward to the time when I enjoy it all a bit more.

I’m trying to be proactive in being happy, to stop giving my time and energy to negativity, to take deliberate steps toward happy times, recognise things that make it all feel worse, plan things to look forward to, change things that make me unhappy, remove clutter from my life – all areas of my life, physical and mental clutter! I am the biggest ‘tool’ I have to get to a better place and I need to keep remembering that.

To any mamma out there feeling this way, at least know this: you are not alone feeling this way and it doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you as a person, woman or mother. Be strong and keep on keeping on.