Thursday, 28 March 2013

pizza, parenting and playdough

The last few weeks in our home can be summed up in a statement I made to my husband earlier this week when he asked about the half decorated Easter eggs in the kitchen.

"I haven't had time for anything besides parenting!"

Which is exactly how I've been feeling. 

While I'm not comfortable discussing the specifics of the challenges which my children are facing here, I do want this blog to be a place where I document our lives. 

Right now we have really hard moments interspersed with beautiful sweet moments which enable me to keep "parenting". Because I do feel that despite the difficult situations I'm facing where I feel completely overwhelmed and under qualified as a parent; I do think that the efforts worth it when we witness these precious moments when I see the sweet little people our children are. 

Today I spent an additional 30 minutes at the table with Ethan because he wouldn't eat a piece of pizza.

I felt like screaming "Pizza?! You're a kid! Kids love pizza!". He could not make up his mind whether to leave the pizza or to eat it to get a piece of chocolate like he'd seen me eating. Unfortunately he saw me sneak a piece and when asked I said it was because I'd eaten my pizza...Oh how I wish I'd given him a square just then!

He then proceeded to have a full out tantrum because he wanted to keep his clothes on for bed. I tried the calm compromise of leaving his top on but he would NOT be reasoned with. This tantrum did not stop even after we put him down to sleep (with pajama bottoms and shirt on, his jeans had playdough covering them which was the rel reason I didn't want him wearing them to bed). 

It wasn't until a couple of minutes after the kids were both quiet that I went upstairs to check on them, having calmed down myself too. 

That's when I heard his cry-breathing sleep. 

If you know the kind I'm talking about you probably also know the instant mum-guilt associated with this kind of breathing. It's pretty much the disjointed breathing you get when a child cries, but without the crying. And it happens while they're fully asleep. 

It's pretty heartbreaking. 

So I sat with him and stroked his face and whispered how I love him. I told him how special he is to me and how sorry I was for being cross. 

His breathing slowly came back to normal sleep-breathing. And I thought about how I wish I could pick my battles better - or even know which issues would become battles later!

Although it's tricky for us right now to get our parenting right and adjust to out children's needs, I'm acutely aware of how easy we have it in so many ways. Although these seem like big challenges to us, I know that there are so many people out there who have far worse or who have far more difficult challenges than we do. 

For now, while my children sleep peacefully, I want to remember those sweet moments we share. 

Ethan thanking me for making dinner, after eating the aforementioned thirty minutes pizza.

Izzy telling me she loves me while looking up at me and smiling. 

Ethan writing his first letter. It was a "n".

photo credit:Andy

How excited Izzy was to tell us about the Easter bunny's visit to their classroom and how she wanted to show her little brother the footprints she'd found. 

That two days ago my nearly-three-year-old fell asleep while I cuddled him, then woke up slowly next to me smiling and touching my face.

I'm so blessed to share in those precious moments with them and given the choice I'd still deal with the tantrums, crying and challenges because I'd know that those sweet moments and sweet kids more than make up for it. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


I've been a mum for nearly five years now.

Like most seasoned mums I can proudly say that I can multi task to the max.

I am more than capable of making dinner, doing the dishes, homework and even some sewing.

I don't even have to think before tidying toys and clothes while building a "'normus" tower of blocks.

I'm able to check my emails, help my kids with their reading and sort laundry.

But in this work where everything is instant and can be literally at your fingertips. Is that really such a talent?

Every teenager (and most adults) I know can do lots of things at once. Being able to switch off or do one thing at a time can be hard now. I know I can be more productive with my time that one-task-at-a-time. 

But do I really want to divide my attention when I could be sitting for a few minutes watching my boy sleep?

Or spend time making the kitchen clean whilst cooking dinner when I could get my budding chef to assist me and create a masterpiece to be proud of?

All while she takes less than glamorous shots or my make-up free, hair wash free self? :) (and while my boy sticks up notes for us.)

So I've decided.

Rather than be proud of the many things I was able to do in a few hours - maybe the focus should be on spending that precious time with one of both of my kids. 

Or on being able to read a book without the tv on, or listening to a song without doing anything else. 

I think that I'd be more proud of being able to shut out some things while concentrating on just one thing.

I'm going to be a "uni-tasker".

And if it means that my house sometimes looks like this? I'll take it. As I'm sure it will be all too soon that he doesn't want to do "making" with his mummy. 

Monday, 11 March 2013

having children in our home

I've noticed something odd recently. 

It started off as few little things that I couldn't quite put my finger on. And now that a few of these things have happened I'm realising why and what it is. 

Like we have had a lot more time for baking. 

We go to the park and I sometimes sit back and watch my kids play. Often I'm the ogre or swing-pusher or post-slide-grabber. But if it's been one of those days I can take my children to the park and just watch them run.

Sometimes I'm sat downstairs and realise that I haven't heard any noise or been asked for anything in a while...and when I make that nerve-wracking trip upstairs no one is pouring talc over my bed or painting their brother's face with nail varnish.

They're just enjoying their own imagined world.  

The two most telling "things" that were niggling at me was that Andy and I had been on at least one date out a month for about a year...  

and that I was able to make the time to do my hair and make-up more often than not.

It was yesterday, mother's day, that I realised what it was that I just couldn't work out before now. 

We no longer have a baby in the house. 

We have two independent little people in our home. 

And although they take up my thoughts and time in an all encompassing way; it is not nearly the same as having a baby in our home. 

I don't pretend that our days are easy or perfect now. But they are days which have a different set of challenges than when my children were smaller.

I sometimes find myself lost at church because I have nothing and no one in my arms. 

It feels strange. 

I was miffed today when my manicure chipped after three days' wear - when for four years I'd hardly dared to paint my toes. 

And although I love having time on an evening to craft, blog or spend time interacting with my husband - I miss having that baby to hold. 

Andy said to me the other day that not every child was my responsibility. I'd seen a child asking for her mum in a shop. Knowing pretty certainly that her mum was stood right behind her (she was). But I had to stop and make sure that she was with her mum. 

I feel drawn to mums with crying babies. I feel the need to take them and give the mum a chance to have a break. To let her have some of that uninterrupted quiet time that I'm enjoying. 

Although I have gone through periods of being frustrated with this fragile body I have that seems to struggle so much with our beautiful, big babies. That won't ever allow us to have a house full of children; I remember how blessed I am to have a body which has brought our two children into our arms so far. 

Children who are so full of their own personality and desires. 

Children who can be so fiercely independent, yet so absolutely reliant upon me that I can remember their first few days and their new born smell all over again. 

I am incredibly blessed. I am enjoying the time I have now to bring up my precious children. 

I know that feeling of being handed my baby, and for that first time holding them outside your body. Being able to look into their soul and they into yours and realising that you already know them.

When I remember all I have been given, and all that I have, I know that I am blessed beyond measure. 

And I hope I never forget that.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

a few thoughts on motherhood

I find it hard to remember my life before children sometimes. 

And not just because I lost a lot of brain cells during childbirth...

Mostly it's hard to remember me back then. 

Not in a bad way, not because my children have made me forget who I am. But because I'm better because of my children. 

I knew little of sacrifice, real work and the pure joy of meeting your own child for the first time. 

I don't think it matters how old you are when you have your children. Whenever that happens you grow. 

If you allow it motherhood can and should change you. 

When I let it my children teach me how to love purely. They show me how to see things with new and unjaded eyes. 

To find joy in the littlest things. 

One thing I need to do more often is to slow down and appreciate the day. To live in the moment with them. 

To allow the difficult days to teach me patience. 

To remember that I'm not managing an inconvenience, but raising human being. They are little people that I'm responsible for.

To allow their tantrums to teach me how to communicate better.

I should be taught by them as much as much as I try to teach them.