life in the fast lane

Guys, it’s been a while. I’m not going to launch into apologies though because I’d therefore be setting a terrible precedent and would likely have to begin posts that way every time given my lack of consistency here. Let’s just all acknowledge my blogging has become very sporadical, and then none of us will be disappointed. I’ve also got weird things going on with photos on the blog which I haven’t had time to investigate so many apologies there.

Moving on. I don’t even know where to start really, so much has been happening lately, hence my disappearance from this space. Mothers who work: please come to my aid. I am falling to pieces in my new life. Don’t laugh, but I really don’t think I’m cut out for employment. Do you hear me? Seriously, working and parenting and maintaing some semblance of a life of my own – um, slightly unrealistic people!!! Whoever put this idea into my head that I could do it all, please stand up now so that I can have someone to blame other than myself (and possibly throw something [soft] at you)… and my husband… who really would like to get out of the line of fire right now (sorry KB).

Basically I’ve got my knickers in a knot and they have become rather tight. Most of you know I’m not terribly organised… and that was when I was a stay at home mum. Now I’m a working mum and my life is a complete shambles. It is literally raining down around me in the form of dirty laundry, upset children and unmade beds… all my cooking, sewing, whole foods, meal planning, tidying, being-on-top-of-things, hanging out at the park, going with the flow, wearing thongs (flip flops) type lifestyle is currently ground to a complete halt.

I spent two hours last night washing dishes, and the house is still a mess.

I put on three loads of washing today and still had to step over laundry to get to my lounge room tonight.

I mopped the floor last night at 8.30pm (on a Saturday night… joy) and today it is covered in muck.

The girls and I went down into the backyard this morning for the first time in over a month, and it was – quite literally – a jungle. There were a number of dandelions which were taller than Birdie… she’s four and a half. (I pulled them out?)

Even when I do make an effort, life seems to overcome me.

When I think of the term ‘working mother’ I think of a lady with her hair pulled back (neatly), wearing a black (or navy) blazer, smart shoes and a crisp shirt or blouse of some description. She gets home to a house with tiles, and most likely a foyer or entrance area where shoes, coats and keys are neatly and minimally placed. She has planned her meals for the week and she has one of those island bench thingys (cleared and clean) in the middle of her (tiled) kitchen. The children wear clean clothes (possibly ironed) and have places to put their various things. A place for everything and everything in its place. Is this what you think of?

I asked my Mum the other day, “Do you think I’m dirty?” She laughed and said no, but there was a slight hesitation and I’m fairly confident she was lying.

I’ve noticed most motherly type blogs give advice on how to do things and get things right. I fear I am continually leaning in the opposite direction, begging for help and advice myself. Nevertheless, in my heart of hearts I know that there are other messy, disorganised mothers out there who tirelessly blame their creativity (ha!) and fun loving natures (ha!) for their lack of coordination in the home, and that they are still brilliant mothers. If I can’t become the mum in the blazer with the kitchen island, I only wish I knew how to sit more comfortably amongst the dirty washing in my moth eaten t-shirt.

Any words of advice, commiseration or camaraderie would be warmly accepted.

news in dot points

* I ran my first workshop for teachers the other day at the not-for-profit I work for. One of the teachers fell asleep.

* My step-grandmother passed away a fortnight ago. At the funeral, my sister (who has Down syndrome) snuck in on the private family viewing and then proclaimed loudly to me that the body looked like a zombie.

* I booked a surprise family weekend away in Gippsland to celebrate our sixth wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks. When I excitedly showed Birdie photos of the house we are staying at she proceeded to burst into tears and said she would miss her own bed.

* I thought it was about time I did something motherly and domestic, so I decided to vacuum. Then I vacuumed up a sock and now I can’t vacuum any more.

* The Pixie was having a wonderful time in the bath, KB and I sat by the side of the bath talking after a long day. It took us a few minutes to realise that she was studiously playing with a giant turd of her own making. Birdie then hysterically tried to get away from the poo and it chased her around the bath.

That’s all my news of late.

Hope you’re all having a fabo weekend with your families xo

being all of the things

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mother

wife

friend

person who cleans things up

person who folds things

organiser, sometimes

writer

maker and creator of things

person who likes to be in nature

person who files things and pays bills

person who enjoys some time to themselves

person who wants to learn new things

striver to achieve, something

I read a book recently that aims to help you find out what you want to do in life, and how to achieve it (thanks CR + SP! I love it). It’s great book and one I will refer to often. I had to write a list of all the things I wanted to do and be, and although it was different to this list, it made me realise that you don’t just have to be one thing in life.

But if that is the case, how to fit it all in? Going back to work, life just feels like such a struggle and a juggle. It feels a lot like survival, setting out each day just to get through it and maybe even be slightly organised for the next. My girls are cross, Birdie in particular. I’m tired and KB is just as muddled as I am. Washing is literally climbing the walls, the dog is depressed and on weekends we are all just falling in a heap. I feel as though I am so many things, good things, but at the moment I’m spread so thinly I’m just dipping my toes in each area. There is no immersion.

What is this all about? Am I conforming to the way of the modern family, just going along and doing it because I sense some expectation about the way my life should look? Or do I genuinely want to be here in the midst of all this, paddling around, doing lots of things but never quite reaching 100% in any of them? And if I wasn’t doing this thing – these things – what would life look like? What could it look like?

I love so many of the different aspects of my life – parenting, working, the outdoors… just not all at once. All at once it feels overwhelming, chaotic and dull. You might be imagining me typing this from my studio, looking out a white washed window into a forest, my face pensive and thoughtful. In reality, the lap top is currently on the kitchen bench, I’m typing single words, phrases or sentences at a time, in between making lunch, tidying, vacuuming and playing princess fairies with Birdie.

Balanced? Not so much.

oh to make

Screenshot 2014-08-14 13.26.20With all the craziness of starting a new job, finding our feet, and creating a new rhythm in our lives, to be able to continue with some making here and there truly is a blessing. The ability to be able to move my hands this way and that, twist the wool and feel it sliding through my fingers. Oh! Immediate stress buster. Therapy at its best. 

the time has come

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“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax—
Of cabbages—and kings—
And why the sea is boiling hot—
And whether pigs have wings.”

This is my last Sunday on maternity leave. I’ve been stuck in a bit of a vortex of my own making, swirling around with all my thoughts and nasty talk and uncomfortable emotions. It’s a familiar little place, but one that makes me squint my eyes and feel a bit cross to be in.

I went out for dinner on Friday night with a bunch of women (both mothers and non-mothers) working in my sector and left feeling really pumped (thanks guys). Then last night I tossed and turned until after midnight, wishing for my life to go back to maternity-leave-normal. To wake up this morning knowing I had a full week, month, year, ahead of being a stay at home mum.

This has basically been the theme of my last six weeks, since I was offered this new job. I was beside myself with excitement for about… two minutes… and then began my slow downward spiral into absolute panic. And back again and around and around and here and there and back to the start again. It’s been a blessing to have the time to get babysitting sorted (the last piece of the puzzle came together just this Thursday gone when Birdie was offered a childcare place on the one day I needed – after being on the waiting list since January – PHEW!) and it has also given me some lessons in positive self talk – and many an opportunity to practice. But now I’m ready to stop flailing around, and get into my new part-time-work life.

So here I go. Round two Back To Work. Action.

*pic above is of my three lovely mother’s group friends, walking ahead of me along a little coastal track on our first girls’ weekend away together a few weekends ago.

slow and steady

IMG_0696Pottering now, doing the slow and steady clean up between children going to bed and finally being able to sit down. This time is typically dotted with the big and the little wailing intermittently, one hitting her knee, the other hurling a dummy out of the cot. The first one needing to go to the toilet, the other missing her while she is gone… for two minutes… The time when the special teddies go missing and one cannot possibly even consider or begin to contemplate sleeping without that particular teddy (which is a different teddy to yesterday, by the way, but special all the same according to the source).

It’s the time of day when no one is really equipped to deal with any situation that arises. Least of all me!

We started reading Black Beauty the other night, and tonight I swapped it for one of the Winnie the Pooh novels, thinking it was more age appropriate… I mean, it’s nice reading classics but honestly… between Black Beauty and Enid Blyton’s short stories… anyone care to comment? I thought Birdie would be happy with the swift exchange, but no. She wants Black Beauty. Tears, yelling, etc. We finally sat down to read a chapter of Winnie the Pooh and she was fairly happy with the content. About five minutes ago (half an hour after reading books) I heard her yelling and thumping her pillow from the bedroom. I went in to find her in a furious dialogue with herself about how she doesn’t like Winnie the Pooh and that she really just wants to read Black Beauty NOW! Thump, thump, whack. The Pixie sat watching from her cot, highly entertaining stuff it seems. It was slightly reminiscent of Gollum and his Precious, just to give you a clearer picture. I cowered in the doorway until it seemed safe enough to enter and talk. Crisis averted.

Now she is out again, she wants more food, despite having sat at the dinner table for forty-five minutes refusing to eat.

Sigh. If someone invents a patience pill, please contact me.

mothering daughters: it begins

I was brushing Birdie’s hair this morning. She stood in between my legs while I sat on the couch. I could see her poking her thigh with her finger while I brushed.

“Am I skinny?” She asked.

“You’re perfect.” I replied.

“But I can see some fat here,” she said, poking her upper thigh.

“That is not fat, it’s just part of your body. Your body is perfect and has everything it needs. If you didn’t have that bit of body, you’d only have a bone and when you tried to walk with only a bone you’d fall over, ” I replied: stupidly, awkwardly, long-windedly. She seemed to accept this answer and think it was quite the joke. She went on laughing about walking around with only a bone for a leg and falling over.

I remembered someone telling me that their daughter started worrying about her weight when she started kinder. I was gobsmacked. Kinder? Are you kidding me? I don’t remember noticing anything in particular about my body until high school.

I am probably reading a lot more into Birdie’s comment than I should. Perhaps it was just a flippant comment that meant nothing to her, yet to me held a tsunami of undercurrents about our culture and society, materialism, body image, questions about whether or not I’ve been making comments while getting myself dressed that she has picked up on, ra ra la la ha bla.

It has reminded me that I am a role model – the main womanly role model they have. They see how I look at myself in the mirror, they hear the things I might say about my body, or about how a piece of clothing looks.

It’s been a good opportunity to think about what I do and don’t want to pass on to my daughters when it comes to body image. A lot of food for thought…