A love story twelve years in the making

Exactly twelve years ago right now I was as anxious and terrified as I have ever been in my life. I was sixteen years old and in roughly the twentieth hour of my first labour. I had waited for this moment with equal measures of fear and excitement. After almost twenty two hours with one screamed expletive and a big push you arrived in my life all angelic blonde hair and blue eyes.

From the instant I held you and saw your eyes squint to look at me I knew, without a doubt that you and I were soul mates. You came to me when I needed you most and filled every void that existed in my heart.

Haedyn, today is your birthday, it marks twelve years on our journey together. Sometimes it feels like you were a baby just the other day and others I cannot remember a life without you in it. We have grown up together you and I. We have faced some really tough times and had some really happy ones. I cannot think of anyone I would rather have taken the journey with.

I want you to know now and forever that though you were not planned there was never a moment you were not wanted and loved. Your existence has made me who I am and driven me to always want more and to be better.

I am so proud of who you are, of your generous spirit and boyish charm. You are always looking out for the under dog, always standing up for the defenseless and show a maturity beyond your years.

I hope you never lose your lust for life and all things adventure. Keep climbing and jumping, keep kicking and catching.

I love you beyond what words could never describe and hope we have many more celebrations to share. Happy birthday my big boy, my first love and my reason when everything else seemed bleak.

May this next year bring you much joy and we edge ever closer to the teenage years.

I’ll love you until the stars don’t shine.

Mom

xxx

I may actually welcome a zombie army right now…

…that way my sole focus could be on surviving.

I saw something on Facebook earlier, I do not remember who posted it, where Emma Thompson was quoted as having said working women cannot be good mothers. There goes that idea then I suppose I will never be a good mother. Thankfully I am just logical enough to think providing basics like food and shelter outweigh my need to be a tree-hugger hippy mom who is all about crafts and kumbaya circles. There is a place for these types of moms, my family is just not the place.

Having four children means that at any given moment you are put in a position where you need to prioritise. One child’s activity may well trump another. A sick child may mean less help with homework. Exam time means the little kids get a little less of my attention. During dinner prep no one should reasonably expect anything from me as my sole priority for that time is getting dinner ready.

I have not had a haircut in over a year. I do not know what me time is. I dream about pedicures and movie dates. Realistically I cannot find the time let alone justify it when so many people always want something. Laura posted about how she copes here, the truth is I am jealous of her organised nature. I wish we had a granny who could/would help to give us a break. The only time we are ever alone as a couple is when we go grocery shopping. The only time I am ever alone is the five minutes it takes me to shower or use the toilet and even then often D will jump into the shower when I am about done to use it after me and Kyra does so love to join me in the toilet to detail, LOUDLY, what I am doing *sigh*

I have a full time job with its own demands. I have been back and forth between medical professionals with my mom in an attempt to get a real diagnosis and believe we may now be on the right track. I have tried to buoy her through her lows and reign her in on her highs. I have two kids getting ready to write exams, a four year old who is constantly threatening to kill people with anything from a teaspoon to a Sherman tank and a toddler who doesn’t sleep and when she does it is in our bed. A fat dog named Daisy who is more a cat/baby hybrid than an actual dog. She has a taste for chicken and doesn’t eat much else.

Somewhere in all the busyness of the last while I checked out of reality and spent a week watching nothing but Grey’s anatomy and Gilmore Girls which is not great when you are feeling a little down. I honestly think I can comfortably say I have been depressed for the first time in my life. I have had zero will to do anything. I am fat and miserable and feeling very sorry for myself in general.

That said today I woke up early and shook of the remnants of the ‘woe is me’s’ and have started to take more positive steps toward getting everything back on track.

I do not have an answer like Laura does. For now I am just bobbing around in the ocean taking deep breaths each time my head breaks the surface. Maybe soon I will be able to keep my head above water but for now I will take what I can get.

A few things about stuff

So for the record, this mom thing, its freaking hard. I feel like I am constantly fighting some or other battle with or for my children. I know when you have four children it seems remiss not to expect it.  Still I am hoping and crossing fingers and toes for some normal average times.

Neither Haedyn or Mycaela got great reports for their first terms. I did not expect them to either. I tried a new approach with them this term, the idea that they alone are responsible for their studies and resulting marks. Clearly not a method I am willing to test any further. My children apparently (and I knew this deep down) need policing. Now I am naturally academic, I never battled with school and still learn things fairly quickly so helping two people who often just don’t get it tests my patience and maternal ability to its very limit. They are both now attending extra lessons and having their homework closely checked to see if micro-managing their school work boosts their performance. 

Blake is going through a very difficult phase right now, testing boundaries and refusing, snot-crying, full-melt-down tantrums and declarations of hatred for us, refusing to eat vegetables. This presents a challenge as maybe one in every fifteen meals I prepare does not have any vegetables. Oddly enough he loves salad and does not for a moment believe that salad is a vegetable. He seems to have become very bossy and sometimes ugly with Kyra. This is not okay in our house so presently Blake can be seen apologising to a sibling or pet at least five times on an average day and spends a fair amount of time in time out. I keep reminding myself it is just a phase and I recall clearly the older two going through similar phases. It is still somewhat frustrating to be told you are the worst mommy in the world because brocolli.

Strangely enough, Kyra, the two year old, who should be a nightmare is my easiest and most pleasant child. She is always smiling, always happy. She eats well and sleeps well (even if it is in our bed most nights). She is always dirty because she loves to be outside in the dirt and mess and frankly that’s okay with me.

I am also on a mission now to get rid of the extra weight that the last twelve years and four babies have added to my body. I have made adjustments to my eating plan and am joining a new gym. Let me just say that people underestimate the psychology behind the process. I still battle with convincing myself I am worth the effort and that I deserve to be healthy. It is very much a process and I am working on it a little bit at a time. I am also very aware of my hormonal issues and am eating to fix these things without resorting to drugs. It did not take me a month to get here so I know it will be a long journey to health but I am taking those first steps now.

I am doing my very best to focus on D and the kids this year. To do my job well and make money so we can better our lives and to be more present to those who matter and need me most. I know I have not been a great friend but would sincerely like to change that. I need to make time to connect with people more. The right people. Family from this point forward is the six of us, our nuclear unit. Everyone else matters in various ways at various levels. Suffice to say D’s family no longer feature at all. Sad but true. No room for people who try to bring us down.

Things have been super crazy for the longest time but with a little of the right effort and a lot of determination I know this year is going to be the best yet.

On self-esteem or serious lack thereof

Last week was a tough week for me. Everything was going just fine until a little argument caused D’s brother to finally say out loud what I have suspected  (known and pretended not to) that essentially I am not good enough for D.

I did not grow up with money and yes the shock/horror I fell pregnant at 16. I was never popular or particularly remarkable in any way. So this apparently puts me in a lower category because their dad worked really hard, they lived in a big house and drove fancy cars. They both played sport and had the right friends and were given all the best opportunities.

Bu 19 I had two kids, an abusive drug-addict boyfriend, no confidence and no real relationship with my mother and a dead father.

For the last 10 years I have made every wrong decision a person could make. I have trusted the wrong people, forgiven too easily and not forgiven when I should have. I have gained more weight than healthy and I know its just the facade I hind behind. While I am just fat and ugly and all full of self pity no one expects anything from me.

Being with D changed a lot of that. I trust him more than I have ever trusted any one person. I fear nothing when I am with him, fear has governed my life up until this point. Fear of being alone, of not being good enough, of failing as a mother, of what happens next and just generally fear of getting comfortable for fear it would be pulled out from beneath me.

We had a fight, D and I, a few weeks ago, that brought every issue we have had to a point. We were forced to examine whether being together was in fact what we wanted and if we saw this working for the next 50 years it was a very hard, very real conversation and we realised through probably the toughest fight of our relationship just how much we love each other and just how committed we are to making this work.

Then the fight where I was not initially involved but ended up shouldering the blame for the entire problem anyway. I don’t care that he directed his anger at me, I don’t care that D’s family don’t like me and I don’t care what they accuse me of. What stings is the idea that I am not good enough. I consider standing holding D’s hand while he was being given pethadine when he had kidney stones. I remember holding him tight when he sobbed at his brother’s wedding through the pain of not having his dad there. I remember every night we lay awake laughing and joking like teenagers. I remember the look on his face when we met our daughter and I know I love this man with everything I am and would give him everything I have just to see him smile. How can that not be enough? At what point did my everything come to hold no value?

So yes it was a hard week, I cried a lot and was angry a lot but D has stood by me and defended me and comforted me. It hurts me deeply to know that it has cost him his relationship with his brother. I can’t help but feel if he is being forced to choose, he should choose his brother and mother. 

I think I need to reclaim my self-worth this week. I have chosen to exclude these people from my life moving forward. I encourage D to make peace and be ok with his family but for me its the end of the road. I do deserve better despite not having been a model citizen thus far in my life. That said I have owned my every mistake and l have lived through all my decisions. I can deal with being judged because frankly it says more about them than me.

What D and I share is rare, it is that once in a lifetime, amazing thing that not every person gets to experience. I could not love him more if I tried. I imagine those who don’t understand will always judge.

It was a tough week but I maintain character is built from adversity.

Insanity prevails

I find myself at least once a day uttering (mostly to myself) that I am too old for this shit. How old are you then I hear the chorus sing-song to me. I am twenty eight. To be met with ideas that I am a spring chicken (I don’t have feathers thankyouverymuch) or I am still a baby, to which I say fuck you very much. I get the whole age is just a number malarky also but if age were measured on experience points like video games I would be closer to three hundred.

I have been a mom for twelve years this year (eeeek). I have changed nappies and done snot and vomit and fevers and tantrums and homework and nosy family interfering for twelve years. So those of you who are forty and have a five year old actually have some ‘age’ advantage on me. Yes sure I don’t have wrinkles or grey hair or have use just yet for a zimmer frame but dammit some days I feel like I belong in an old age home. Those feelings generally surface when I am hiding in the bathroom with the light off so no one knows I am there.

This parenting thing is just not glamorous or cool. I secretly curse all the super-organised, home-school, cupcake- baking, craft -doing super moms. I hate you because I just cannot be you. My toddler is a wee bit on the wild side, the red nail varnish hand prints and scribbled crayon drawings over every surface in the house is testament to this. My four year old is dangerously obsessed with zombies and death and has a bit of an attitude problem. I once told him I was going to smack him. He told me I would have to catch him first and sped off into the garden. Yeah I am totally winning right?

Mycaela just doesn’t care, about anything. She doesn’t do homework, she is always in trouble at school. She doesn’t do chores, she hurts her siblings and she refuses to talk to anyone about anything. I am moments from shipping her off to Abu Dhabi express. Haedyn is at that fun pre-teen age where my every instruction is met with heavy sighs and many questions, following which he usually does the exact opposite anyway. I think he may be grounded until his twenty first birthday at this rate.

Then of course I am still expected to be an employee, fiance, daughter, sister, friend, employer and person. I am not sure I have the energy to maintain this facade of sanity.

So if you happen to see me hanging around with unbrushed hair licking a lamp post or something, just smile and wave 🙂

Well hello there

So hi 🙂 Welcome to my new space.

I have so much to write about and just no real inclination to organise my thoughts enough to actually put them down in words. This is just a little post to let you know I haven’t gone mad and been shot just yet.

I’ll be back soonest.

xxx