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20 Dec

Before kids, Groundhog Day was a funny movie starring Bill Murray and that awful chick, Andie what’s-her-name. Now, it has taken on a very different meaning. Only now do I understand how torturous it was for Bill to live that same day again and again, not least of all because he was given chance after chance to get it right and still, he kept fucking it up. Oh Bill, I am feeling you now.

The hardest thing for me is the relentlessness of life with very small children. Of having to be the adult when, inside, I feel like running to my mumma. No matter how good a day you just had, it all gets swept aside for the new day. Yesterday’s successes don’t count. You’ve just got to do it all again. But this time, you do it with the knowledge that there’s no way you’re going to top yesterday.

So the slate is wiped clean – a great thing when the day you just had sucked arse and bullshit when you just nailed everything. It’s all gone. Whoosh! Although maybe not in your mind. No, in your mind, you’re still living out the glory of yesterday.

~

The 3 Year Old: “Mumma, wanna come play farm animals for a little bit?”

The Little Mumma: “Noooo, honey. I played farm animals yesterday. Remember? And I made the funny pig face and we rolled around on the floor giggling and it was a totally bonding moment of togetherness? Don’t tell me you’ve already forgotten we played together yesterday. Yesterday was EPIC!”

The Mister: “Babe, what’s for dinner tonight?”

The Little Mumma: “Hahaha! You’re such a kidder, honey! I made dinner last night. Oh man, that dinner was good, huh? And I had it in the slow cooker by midday. Good times. ‘What’s for dinner tonight?’ he says. Hahaha! That’s so why I’m with you, babe. Because you make me laugh.”

Of course, I have never actually had either of those conversations. Out loud.

 Good days. For me, a ‘good’ day means that I have ticked all the MUST DO boxes. There was food, people bathed, wore clothes, nappies were changed, used dishes were, at the very least, rinsed and stacked in the dishwasher and, if I was really hitting my straps, the kids and I may have smiled at each other briefly. A good day.

But in truth, a good day simply means I kept up. With the happenings of this one day. My head remained above water for the duration. But it’s ultimately a stand alone event. It cuts me absolutely no slack for tomorrow.  I still have a huge backlog of things I reeeally need to do. But crossing things off a mile-long To-Do list does enter into the good day equation. If I actually crossed something off the To-Do list, that would constitute an upgrade. That would be a GREAT day.

A good day is nice to have. But it doesn’t change anything. The reward is in the day itself. It has no bearing on the future.

Conversely, a bad day can haunt you for months.

So, I don’t know. Being a stay-at-home mum is…..boring. You know, sometimes, it just really is. And if the most you can hope for is a good day, a day where things didn’t go backwards, then it’s not always easy to find the rewards.

My biggest problem, as I have discussed previously, is that I just want to do so much. And so much of that stuff is seriously hampered by having two kidlets under four looking to me to be Mumma. Which is, after all, who I am. With two tiny ones, that is my gig. And the days I surrender to that completely, putting aside all other aspirations, are the days that are not just good but even nice. When I am truly in the moment with my kids, that’s actually really, really nice.

 

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RMTT #14 – The Buried Dreams Edition

9 Dec

With every ounce of my being, I love these little people. I made them with the love of my life, and we made them from love, and I love them. I do. I would not trade them for all the tea in China.

But maybe that’s because I’m not a huge fan of tea…

At the moment, they absolutely define me. One is three and a half years old. The other just turned one. So life is all about them right now. It has to be. And it should be. And day to day, that fills me up.

But I have just been looking at an old friend’s Facebook page. Years back, we took some acting classes together. We clicked instantly. (No, this isn’t another story about Kat Stewart although would you believe it, she does pop up later). Time marched on, I had a couple of kids and she is still hugely proactive in building her career as an actor. As rightly she should. She is extremely talented.

So I just watched her showreel – several minutes worth of clips of her best performance work. And it was brilliant. She’s gorgeous and fabulous and talented and her reel sells her wonderfully.

I was happy for her.

As well as feeling like I had a giant emptiness in my belly, as though someone had just socked me. Even now, as I type, I feel it creeping up into my chest.

I am filled with….what? Envy? Longing? Regret? I don’t know. All of it.

I was thinking about dreams recently. Not the kind you have while sleeping but the kind that grow like a seed inside you. In my twenties, I was good to my dreams. I believed in them, I fostered them and nurtured them the best way I knew how.

Having children was also a dream of mine. One I am very happily living out. But what of the other dreams?

“Having kids doesn’t kill your dreams. It buries them alive. With a mobile phone that keeps sending you text messages – “Hey, remember me?” “I’m not dead!” “Help me – I NEED to get out!”

I wrote that down in my notebook a while back.

Not everyone feels that way. Some people were born to be a mother and in becoming so, they fulfill their greatest dream. They are content.

For me, becoming a mother is a dream come true, too.

But I am, and have always been, a person with lots of dreams. I want to do EVERYTHING.

Ticking the mother box is awesome. A blessing.

But there are still so many other boxes.

So, I was happy for my acting friend. And overwhelmed by a sense of longing to be back in that world even in some small capacity.

But dreams don’t die unless you want them to. And with acting, the truth of it is that until I am dead, that dream can continue to have the potential to be fulfilled. In fact, as I get older, the talent pool is rapidly shrinking – most people get out if they haven’t ‘made it’ by the end of their twenties. But women in their twenties are the most over-represented demographic in the acting world which means it is the most competitive age bracket in which to be attempting a career. Being in my thirties may actually benefit my acting career.

So, there ahead in the tunnel, a light.

Of course, I experience residual guilt after these ‘episodes’. My kids are little gifts from above. Little bastards, too, sometimes but gifts. Treasures. And it’s hard to reconcile the overwhelming love I have for them, the joy that goes with being their mother, with the competing desire to be someone else, too, someone separate.

There is no answer to any of this. Tomorrow, these feelings will have subsided and I will still be a mum to two of the most beautiful little boys on the planet. And my dreams will be tucked safely away in my soul, waiting for a rainy day.

In the meantime, I suggest you watch this*.  And remember the name – Elke Osadnik. She’s going to be a star.

* Kat Stewart alert!

The Christmas Lie

29 Nov

 

I often follow blogs because they’re just so gosh darn pretty. The photography is sublime and perfectly captures the beautiful happenings of the blogger’s life. And I am a BIG sucker for the pretty, the aesthetically pleasing. So those kinds of blogs get me right in the sweet spot.

And yes, in some small way, I aspire to that pretty life. Even though The Little Mumma has built itself on truth-telling, even though that is the number one reason people tell me they love this particular blog, I still yearn for the pretty. And scheme about the various pretty things I could blog about.

So I started taking photos when we went to get our Christmas tree this Saturday just gone. I thought there’d be lots of opportunity to get some really great shots of the family choosing our first real pine tree together. And actually, I did get some really cute shots. And then once again, when we decorated the tree.

A picture is worth a thousand words. This we know to be true. But did anyone ever bother to question whether any of those thousand words were even remotely true? Because I can tell you unequivocally that the photos you see above are out and out LYING. It looks like a family, four adorables, laughing and revelling in the holiday cheer. But really, if it had a soundtrack, it might begin to paint a very different picture.

“No, LD, you may not take the photos. Because the camera is very expensive and you’re only three years old, that’s why! Don’t you dare hit the camera with that dinosaur. Don’t make me send you to time out! B, Zee is eating the tinsel! Stop Zee from eating the tinsel, B! LD, don’t wrap the tinsel around my neck. LD! I sa -aaccchhhhh, aaaccchhhh! Right, that’s it, time out! Time out for choking your mother! No Zee, we just put those baubles up, stop taking them down. No, Zee! No! No, don’t chew the electrical cord. B, unplug the lights! Quick, unplug them, Zee is chewing the cord. LD, they’re called Christmas carols and we’re going to listen to them and ENJOY it. I said ENJOY IT, damn it!” 

Betty, my mum, called me today. She asked me how the tree decorating had gone. I told her it had been a hellish nightmare and that we’d quit half way through and only once the kids were safely tucked away in bed did we attempt to finish it. She laughed and said something along the lines of “Kids ruin everything. They’re bullshit.” That’s my interpretation of it, in any case. And yes, many things I’ve so very much looked forward to doing with my kids and introducing them to for the first time have invariably descended into a whingeing, crying fiasco. With a couple of misleading photos to mark the occasion.

So, I think next time I’m looking at one of my favourite pretty blogs, I’m going to remind myself of what they’re not saying. Because the pretty blog, the blog as art, has an important place. I definitely want to keep reading them. As long as I don’t start beating myself up for not being them….

Playing Dirty

19 Nov

I have put up with a lot of shit from men over the years. Insensitivity, unreliability, crappy taste in jewellery. I spent years with a man who never told me he loved me. True story. My revenge – I never told him either. Ha! Take that!

Yes, I have made many (really dumb) concessions for the men in my life. But experience brings wisdom (right?) and so I like to think I have built up a fair catalogue of behaviours I deem ‘dealbreakers’. I feel I have earned the right to put some concrete rules in place. And I don’t think I’m being unreasonable.

For instance, young man vomiting into my cleavage? One hundred percent DEALBREAKER.

Unless, of course, that young man is my youngest man, my baby son, Zee.

After spending half a day on an emergency ward with suspected pneumonia, my tiny beloved coughed so hard the other night that he upchucked milk all over my chest.

Previously, depositing vomit into my bra was a definite dealbreaker. So was wiping snot on my top, wearing nappies (and expecting me to change them – eww!), interrupting my sleep multiple times a night to ask for a snack and ordering me to stop singing.

It seems I am back to making concessions. A LOT of them.

When I stop and think about it, I am kind of amazed. Because I don’t do germs. Or bodily functions. I love the idea of public transport from a green perspective but I find the reality of so much humanity squeezed into a confined space to be excruciating. Tramming it to work one morning, I witnessed a man blowing his nose – INTO HIS FINGERS. I’m not even joking. And that’s not the worst of it.

I wasn’t born with this particular phobia though. As a child, I used to love travelling and especially enjoyed checking into hotels along the way. I thought it was very glamourous, collecting toiletries and stationary as I went.  Now, I know all hotel rooms are just a UV light away from being a total blood and cum den – and of course, the remote control is covered in faeces.

So, the dirty, dirty realities of life have made me this way. That, and one too many episodes of CSI. So by the time I hit motherhood, it was any wonder my first nappy change didn’t send me rocking back and forth, dousing myself in rubbing alcohol. Just the  idea of B’s snot/piss/shit makes me want to hurl. Hell, I can’t take a swig out of a bottle my own mother has been drinking from. But my kids remain golden. There’s nothing they have done thus far that has triggered my phobia. I’d rather be elbow deep in my kid’s dirty nappy than let my arse cheeks touch down on a public toilet seat.  Motherhood is that profound.

So I’m making concessions again but they’re kind of nice. I sort of love that I’m not a princess when it comes to my kids. I am proudly hands on…… and hand sanitising like there’s no tomorrow.

 

From the moment they passed me his gore-covered little bod, I was in love.....

 

 

Idiot Box

17 Nov

I used to dream about the way my parenting would look. I was totally fun but strict when I needed to be and my kids respected the boundaries I set for them. Afterall, I was looking out for their best interests. Oh, and I was really thin and the kids never had snot on their faces.

Pre-kids and still fostering the dream, I was heard to declare,

“I don’t believe in children watching too much television. My children won’t watch TV until they’re at least 5 years old.”

Now, post-kids, you may be wondering how that’s workin’ out for me.

So let me tell you, in pictures….

 

i heart tv

i heart music - and tv

i heart getting dressed - and tv

i SUPER-heart giant tv

That was LD. And with his arrival, the dream died a very complete death.

But then along came Zee. It occurred to me recently that I couldn’t tell you what his favourite show is on TV. Because he never watched any.

Ah, you might think, look at The Little Mumma! She’s gotten her act together. Using this second chance to put some of her original parenting ideals into practise.

Proud mumma moment, right?

WRONG.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

I’m here to tell you that the kid who doesn’t like watching TV is the ultimate ball and chain. Exaggerating, am I? Well, you go ask Saucy. Her little fella was a serial TV avoider, displaying absolutely zero affinity for the moving picture. This meant he was looking for entertainment elsewhere. Namely, from his mother, Saucy. ALL. DAY. LONG.  Ball and chain, dear readers, ball and chain. I don’t have to tell you how Saucy feels about her second child’s preference for watching The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse for twelve hours straight. And if that child is now her favourite, you can hardly blame Saucy.

So my advice to my dreaming pre-kids-self regarding television addiction in infants is it’s never too soon to start. You have to nurture this addiction in order for it to reach its maximum potential. Consistency is key and for this, I suggest leaving the television on all day long and repeatedly placing the disinterested child back in front of it. And of course, when your child fails to move from their position in front of the box for half hour stints or more, reward, reward, reward! You’ll know you have succeeded when your child watches an entire movie and then requests for you to play it again. And start early otherwise you just might find your kid won’t watch any TV at all. And then, my lovely self, you’ll be fucked.

So it seemed I had dropped the ball with Zee. If there was no favourite show then there was nothing to stick him in front of so that I might do anything not involving him for more than 30 seconds. Lord knows I didn’t have kids so that I could interact with them all day. Jeee-ZUS!

But then, a breakthrough.

Success!


The Zig has started to develop a love affair with the teev. I still don’t know if I can pinpoint a favourite program yet but that’s okay. Maybe it’s better if he watches everything – you know, for variety.

And lastly, in photo, my idea of heaven. I don’t know where exactly my cockles are located but consider them sufficiently warmed by this happy snap.

My work here is done