Luxury

My life of luxury still stands but the luxuries have changed. What was once over seas holidays, crumpled up grocery receipts, invisible price tags and disposable incomes have now been exchanged for local camping trips, humble expenditures and tiny smiles. My greatest luxury of all, one that I cannot afford to take for granted as it slips through my fingers with each tiny milestone and each overdue bill, is time.

On the days when I spend more time trying to discipline than cuddle, taking than giving, shushing than laughing, it is hard to see the luxury; to remember that in-between all of those annoyances and hard days, if I were at a paid job Monday to Friday then I would miss all the in-betweens, those beautiful precious moments that happen more often than not but also only happen once.

This unpaid job of motherhood is self-sacrificing on every level but just as equally self-sacrificing if I was a working mother. I’ve done both. I’ve been the shift-working mum whose hours operated outside of daycare hours, therefore never being able to do the drop off or pick ups. I’ve come home when my child is already asleep and left before they have woken; I’ve gone days without actually seeing my child awake. I’ve slept all day on week ends and worked on major holidays, I’ve been the second to tend to my child when sick instead of being immediately at their aid when it is me they needed most. I’ve slept at work to gain more awake time at home and I’ve chastised myself enough to ensure that I felt as bad a mother as I thought I was being. I missed my sons first roll, crawl and probably a whole bunch of other milestones that the daycare were too nice to tell me about. Quitting caused just as much guilt, thinking I was letting my family down by giving up an income that provided us with luxuries most could not afford, guilt for not being able to ‘do it all’.

Right now the sleepless nights and demanding toddler are my luxury because I don’t have to rush out the door to work with match sticks in my eyes, instead I bundle the kids in my bed and we make it through the day together; laughing, squabbling, trial and error. I get to see my son interact with his baby sister and together we wait to see her roll and crawl for the first time. Together we wait for dad to come home.

My life of luxury still stands but the luxuries have changed. The wine might be cheaper and the holidays shorter, but the time I have with my babies now will eventually be swapped with office politics and coordinating school drop-offs with my husband, questions of who finishes work first and who is putting on dinner.

This unpaid job of motherhood is self-sacrificing but the luxury of having the opportunity to do it is the greatest luxury of all.

T

Ruthlessly Me – Mothers Day Pt 2

Today was my greatest mothers day yet. I was ruthless. I took every opportunity to get and do what I wanted. Waking up to the perfect seasonal gift of new pyjamas, love and cuddles from my children and of course the traditional bacon and egg breakfast cooked by my ever loving husband…can’t really ask for more than that…and so I didn’t ask….I took.

I put on my running shoes and headed for the door, this time not bothering to ask my husband if he minded being with the kids while I go for a run. Not that it’s essential that I ask or really that he would ever say no, but generally I ask out of courtesy and kindness. Today I bypassed the pleasantries and strolled my pampered ass to the street and ran.

I really didn’t want to run. I wanted to stay in the warmth of the shower and then crawl back into my pyjamas. Although the goal had been set to run ten Kilometers a week and there have always been more excuses not to achieve a goal, then there has been to follow through. It hurt. Still tired from a restless nap after the 3am feed and knees that wanted to give out, I ran. I turned the music up loud, breathed in the salt sea air and I ran. I thought about what it meant to be running. How every step meant I was doing something for myself, taking time for me and using that time to achieve something that for whatever reason seems important. I thought about how much better my day would be after knowing I had reached my goal. I thought about the extra calories I was going to happily consume in my afternoon wines.

Before I knew it I was back on my doorstep, walking in to my little boy who somehow managed to fall on his balls and get a blister that is no doubt going to sting when he pees. As I iced my knees to the sound of my whimpering toddler begging to play on my phone, I submitted. I submitted my phone, laid my head back in the chair and thanked myself for not giving into procrastination this morning, for taking that well needed 30 minutes to myself, refuelling me for the inevitable whinging, whining and complaining that come with a sick toddler that has just blistered his balls.

I took respite in the fact that my baby girl was having a massive sleep that meant my husband and I could take turns trying to distract our toddler and make faces at each other that screamed, ‘lets invest in a nanny’, ‘whose idea was it to have kids?’ and so on.

There’s still time in the day for more demands, all of which can be delegated from the comfort of the couch in my warm pyjamas with wine in hand, plenty of time in the day to be surrounded by toddler tantrums and baby poo. This Mothers day however, has taught me to be ruthless with my time both in giving and receiving.

T

Wish List – Mothers Day Pt 1

I’d just like to say……

I’m torn between “thinking” I want to spend mothers day fluffing around my husband and children in some new funky self exploration free play park with a coffee in one hand and a camera in the other, living Kodak moments or, showering so that I can get dressed in my requested gift of new winter pyjamas and sending the family on their own merry little way while I crawl back into bed to finish reading a book, dozing in and out of consciousness only to wake around midday to pour myself a champagne and await their return. The choice seems obvious, blatantly BAM in your face obvious. I’ll miss them if I send them away, but not enough to not send them away. I’ll think about them nonstop, until I do stop. I’ll wonder if they’re thinking about me, which they most certainly will be, because they love me.

I define Mothers day as the day to celebrate all that a mother does and it should be up to the mother to decide how that celebration should operate. But still I’m torn, because I want it all. I want to wear my snuggly new winter pyjamas in the park with champagne in hand, watching my children frolic without having to actually answer to them as they say Mummy, Mummy and Mummy. I want to fall asleep under the sun on a picnic blanket and wake up to chocolate-coated strawberries while the husband packs two sleeping children in the car for a quiet journey home. (Not just any two kids, our kids.)

Forever wanting it all, only to consider that perhaps I already have it all. It feels like mothers day every time Orlando says ‘I love you forever ever ’, it feels like mothers day every time Hazel sleeps four or more hours and it feels like mothers day every time my husbands tells me what a good mother I am.

But I still expect champagne and pyjamas…it is Mothers day after all.

T

 

 

 

A Day In The Life Of…….

I didn’t start my day with sun salutations and blessing the world for another day.

I didn’t count back from five and shoot myself out of bed like a rocket ready to take the day by storm.

I didn’t drink a glass of cold water to kick-start my digestive system and shake my body alive.

 

But I did insist on a morning kiss and cuddle from my son, a must I never waiver.

I did let him try coco pops for the first time in an effort to distract him from wanting Jam on toast. (Sugar swap)

I did get on my hands and knees, pregnant belly bumping the floor, as I wiped up spilt milk covering the couch and floor.

I did add extra milo to my milk.

 

I probably won’t fold the laundry today.

I probably won’t empty the dishwasher.

I probably won’t prepare dinner.

I probably won’t talk to another adult today.

 

I probably will nap after lunch while my son watches his Ipad.

I probably will make some excuse as to why we can’t go to the park.

I probably will use Facebook to stay connected to a world of lies, misery and misfortune.

I probably will use my heavy belly as an excuse for all of the above.

 

I know, that I will do this all again tomorrow. Some parts better than others.

A ‘did not’ might become a ‘did’ and a ‘probably not’ might border on ‘maybe I will’.

Motherhood

Unpredictable pleasures

Some days, most actually, you just can’t predict them.

You can’t predict they’ll finally eat a breakfast you’ve suggested and even ask for a second serve, politely.

You can’t predict they’ll believe your lies about there being no lollipops in the cupboard, the ones that magically appear after lunchtime.

You try to suppress the shock and excitement when they think sitting in the trolley for the entire grocery shop is a good idea and when they actually stay asleep from the car to the bed.

The daily grind isn’t always dressed in four walls and a desk. For some, it’s dressed in tiny clothes and waves around a cheeky grin.

I’ll take every unpredictable pleasure I can get.

 

Book It In

I wrote this under the strong influence of wine because my conscience kept telling me that nobody was going to read a piece about book club. Well maybe it’s not about who reads it, but more the fact that I needed to write it, because I’m a passionate advocate of reading and connection. People should read. Children especially should read. For fun or for education, reading is the gateway drug to knowledge on a euphoric plane of something outside of us. (No, I do not condone children taking drugs.) (insert eye roll here).

People should connect on any level that best suits them. These days its mostly behind a small screen at our finger tips but for some, those that aren’t tech savvy and still enjoy the feeling of paper between their palms and people face to face, it’s all about books and connecting on a physical level. It’s all about Book Club Baby!!!!

I implore you…

Read fiction, so you don’t have to be in your own head all the time. Allow yourself the opportunity to delve into something totally relatable and laughable, or unimaginable and mysterious. Sometimes, our busiest days, days of laundry, traffic lights and phone calls, are the days we need our fiction the most.

Read non-fiction: at the very least just to learn something. Read it for an opportunity to find or enhance your level of compassion and understanding, to walk a few pages in someone else’s shoes, to be warned or to laugh so uncontrollably at the mishaps and misunderstandings of others. To travel, learn a new culture or language.

Read a memoir and find yourself coming out the other end being able to better understand or help a friend, to ask more sensitive questions or to simply relate. Even the saddest stories can make you laugh with appreciation.

Read a self-help book, (not my fave) but hey, we could all do with a little self-help, a little self-love and a little “me” time every now-and-then.

FFS read a comedy!! Force yourself to laugh if it’s the last thing you do. And you can read any of the previously mentioned genres to do that.

Don’t rip the comic books away from your children, or the books about boogas and farts; they’re reading. Don’t scoff at your mates that read romance novels: being able to orgasm just by reading, (no pictures) I applaud both the reader and the author. Don’t walk past the top ten most recommended books because out of fear you are conforming, they all do the rounds and the chances are they are actually good. But in saying that, don’t forget to wander: wander through the aisles of book stores, libraries, news agencies, second hand stores or even a friends book shelf, there is some amazing stuff hidden behind those with big colours, shiny covers and fancy advertising. The best books I’ve ever read were by word of mouth.

But I’m here to talk about book club. Do it. Join it. Create it. Reading a book is one thing but being able to take something that is usually an individual experience and turn it into an event of connection, communication, learning and enjoyment…well…what’s better than that?

We live in a world that is connecting us so deeply with technology that we’re forgetting to connect physically. And you know what, that is ok. But when it comes to good conversation, I like to do it in person; when it comes to drinking wine, I prefer social over closet (most times); and when it comes to delicious snacks, I like it when someone else makes it.

When people think of book club they think of old ladies and for some unknown reason I’ve noticed, knitting. When I found myself in a situation where I knew no one and I had no friend of a friend to connect me to other humans, I joined a book club. Book club gave/gives me a short term, achievable goal in a realistic time frame. It gives me something to look forward to once a month. It allows me to drink wine, eat snacks and indulge in good quality conversation without my toddler tugging at my arm. I can be an adult and use my brain and my personality……I can be myself.

So I urge you,buy, rent, borrow, download, swap, exchange or even write a book. Read, listen or be told a story. And then take it to book club and talk about it. Use the easily attainable book club questions for that particular book to prompt your discussion and go for it. The flow will come naturally. The uneasiness of meeting new people or discussing something outside your daily routine of a nine to five office job or wiping your child’s ass and crying into your coffee cup, will disappear within seconds of someone asking ‘So, what did you think of the book?’

 

 

Backfire

She uses words like ‘Ephemeral’ and ‘Poignant’: Never correctly and never in the presence of the perceptive. Therefore assuming everyone else is stupid.

The irony