So I've been losing my God Damn Mind a bit of late. It's this mothering gig. It's quite smothering, if I let it be. I get no break. I just get more shit piled on my 'to do' list like I'm some crazed prozac popping happy '40's housewife who just can't get enough of silk stockings, baking for her kids and standing with a cocktail for the husband at 6pm at the door.
Problem is, of course, I wasn't born til the late 1970's, I don't know how to make a man's cocktail, I hate wearing stockings and when I bake, the kitchen needs to be empty of kids or I can lose my mind. So yeah, haven't blogged in a while. But, I decided, with a bit of Calamity Jane's inspiration, to let ya'll know that crazy has a new postcode - and it's right here, some days!
See, I was raised by wolves for the most part. Amanda Blake-Soule is a heroine of mine, but she'd probably be horrified by my meltdowns if she ever heard one, and up until recently I thought I was alone. In fact, until CJ's blog Apronstringz, I was pretty frikkin sure that I was the only freak in the playroom. That all the other stay at home mums had their shit firmly moulded in to a pile and sprayed with scented vanilla to make it not just look good, but to create more atmosphere in the room.
But now I'm starting to realise that I'm not alone. That every mother worth her salt is going to have reactions to the massive changes that mothering brings. That occassionally losing my shit, and then apologising for it, isn't the devils right hand. You see, before I had a family, I travelled far and wide across Australia. Alone. It was just me, the road and a two door daihatsu charade called Tennis that cost me about $800, my fairy cards and my journal and what ever fit in my backpack. I only moved on to attend the next gig for an entire summer of music festivals where I saw such amazing musicians my heart truly soared. And yet here I am, only 7 or 8 years later, and I can barely remember my own name sometimes. So I thought I would put in a couple of tips of my own, of what I do to keep myself from falling in to an abyss of self-loathing and try to stay on top of being a 'good' mum.
First of all, I tell my kids I love them and that I'll see them in the morning when I tuck them in to bed. No matter what, I love that being the last thing I say, especially to my son, each night when I turn out their light. It means to me that I'm looking forward to tomorrow with them, that no matter how today may (or may not have) gone to hell in a hand basket, there is hope for tomorrow, especially considering I can't wait to see them again.
Second, I always try to have something - anything - for us to all look forward to. It doesn't matter if the whole week is a mash of crap jobs and catching up on housework, if I can remind Ethan that on saturday it's family movie night and we get to eat junk and watch a cartoon movie, we're already feeling optimistic. We recently missed the fella's birthday, because he was working. But the day he got back, while he was sleeping off night shift, we made a paper chain of coloured in paper, set the table real nice and made his favourite meals. We'd wrapped his gifts, written in cards and put them as the centrepiece ... then I had to set the timer to stop the kids busting in to the bedroom and yelling 'happy birthday' two hours too early. Ethan had looked forward to it for the whole two weeks his dad had been at work.
Third, I soooooo try to stay away from this evil-doin' internet during the day. It's the devil, ya know. The frikkin devil. This laptop lives on my kitchen breakfast bar, and my daughter has started to cry - actually cry a cry of what sounds like "ooooh, nooooo....you don't look at me when you're on that thing" - when she sees me turn it on. So I've been weaning, slowly, my grip off of the nets during the day especially. And before I know it it's already 5pm and then there's absolutely no point turning it on til they're both in bed anyway (Arsenic hour here is about 4pm til 7pm, every one's tiredness starts to get to them and it's the dinner/bath/bed routine). So as of tomorrow, no computer on during the day at all. I'm even kind of promising myself that I'll check in here when they're sleeping.
And my final thing to do, and also the reason I'm planning on checking in here at least every couple of days for a while, is that I need to remember I love my kids. I really do love them. There's no one else on the planet that I feel this way about, no one else that could be locked in a house with me that I wouldn't chew the heads off after this much testing and pushing. I love them like nothing else that has ever touched my life. And the focus of this blog from hereonin is to focus on at least one loveable thing that has happened from my kids that day. To tell you about it, even pop a picture in if I have one. So here goes....
Today Ethan came out to the kitchen with his new little cups and saucers, asked me to hand him down the drinking chocolate (Milo) and proceeded to grab out the milk. There were two cups, and two saucers, and he made himself and Alice a cold chocolate milk in these tiny little cups. That little boy, so utterly four years old, without prompt or hesitation, made them each a little drink, served it and made it with love.
And I can't even remember teaching him that.
That's what I love about him so much - his compassionate heart. It's almost like he knows how good life is, and doesn't want any one or any thing to miss out on his good life. So cold chocolate milks in tiny cups on saucers for everyone to celebrate.