Caroline

I am adrift
I am echoing within
I have lost

We have lost
Our village is one less
A voice is now silence

Wise
Gracious
Beautiful
You were these things and are

Mother
Friend
Always

Passing, leaving and staying
Your gift to us will remain
Where once strength was given in your words
Now it is in the bond we all share

Tired

I want to have a massive whinge/rant, but I know that no one cares. But here is the question; what do I do with all the pent up stuff that’s stopping me from sleeping, thinking straight or just being a person other people want to be around.

So, non-existent reader you’ll have to do. Except I can’t say what I really want to because then I will no longer have a job.

I want to put a plea out there on Facebook, but most people will just laugh at me, and I don’t really want to be vulnerable. So I’m just going to keep running on low.

Choices and Opinions

After some interesting interactions with other mums, I’m trying to come to terms with the ‘mummy wars’. Here’s what I’ve got so far:

As 21st Century women there is a huge external and internal pressure for us to have it all and do it all. And this includes in a rather significant way motherhood. We expect ourselves to step into the role of motherhood and be able to just do it and succeed. We then spend a lot of energy in trying to do the right things and make the best decisions, to be able to be a average/normal/perfect mum. We invest a lot of ourselves in the parenting choices we make.

I’m suspecting this makes us firstly very defensive of our choices. We put a lot of angst into making them and someone just saying they did something different can feel like criticism. We are invested emotionally and don’t really want to consider an alternative once the decision is made because it hurts. Secondly it tends to give us a missionary zeal at times to tell others what we do, because if we can convince others to do it our way it validates our position and reinforces our rightness in choosing our path. Most of us can do this reasonably nicely, but there are women who feel the need to tear down the opposing view to build their own. Thirdly somehow all the decisions seem to take on equal importance. Guess what, the decision to not use a seat belt at all with your kids is not on par with the decision as to if you are going to use a jolly jumper. But somehow our brains don’t get that message, and we feel just as judged for both decisions.

I’ve been trying to work out why we care so much about the decisions other people make, to the extent that there are so many impassioned posts on various forums about the choices of others. And women getting so defensive. Unfortunately our social media world has added mob mentality to the mix.

I’m just trying to work out why people care about the parenting decisions of others when I know they are trying as hard as I am to make the best decisions for their child in their own family context. What I want to do is act out ‘I disagree with your decision, but you are an awesome parent who is parenting your kid in the best way possible for your family’, in a totally non-condescending way as they are doing a great job.

My soapbox

I love my little soapbox
It comes everywhere with me,
It lets me climb up on it
And loudly lecture thee.

I keep it in my pocket
To pull out when there is need,
But look, there is nobody
To listen to my creed.

I like to think my voice
Is special, do you hear,
But I think I should say sorry
Since I’ve caused many a tear.

Some have cried in laughter
At the ideas that I have said,
But others have not, and so
I really should just go to bed.

Mess and time.

boot

So I decided to clean out my car today. I usually do this when I can’t find something or need something that I had taken with me. Like my hairbrush, so I could do my hair as we could be running late.

The very full basket of washing came out of the boot – just the boot – and I had already thrown out the rubbish and the ‘stuff’ was out of shot, ie. the nappy bag, the spare nappy bag and a child sized shopping basket full of drink bottles. What you can see in the boot is all the crap from the cabin that I moved there to sort after I had emptied the boot.

I realised as I looked at the pile of stuff, I felt no shame, there was nothing moldy or rotten or stinky. It wasn’t my fault, or that of my husband (who by the way is the stay at home parent, so one could argue this was his job) One day I’ll/we’ll be on top of this stuff, but not right now and that’s fine. We have two small people who need us to be present, they don’t care if the car is impeccable. A time will come when this won’t happen. We won’t always need a nappy bag, car trips longer than 10 minutes won’t always end with at least one child asleep, and if nothing else one day Berry and Buzz will accept payment to clean it for me.

Guilt and other biscuits.

Not really sure what the biscuits are for but here are my musings for the day. I heard recently that teachers are the second largest group of people who feel guilty (with mums being the largest). It was pointed out that teachers are often hesitant to change things. Not because they think they are always right, or that they are lazy, but to change the way they do something means accepting that what you were doing was not the best way to do something. This leads to guilt about not having done the best for previous students – because really the vast, vast majority of teachers really do want what is best for students.

Then after hearing my husband come out with basically the same idea in a totally different context (and I didn’t talk to him about it), I got to thinking about the largest group of people who feel guilty. Us. Mums.

How many times have you changed the way you do something like feeding or sleep, to have a huge improvement. And then feel guilty about what you were doing before. Chances are that you were actually doing the best job you could and had started doing what you were doing because it met the needs of bub at the time. I’m not going to be so asinine as to say don’t feel guilty. But embrace the guilt and take a positive message from it. You really care about doing what is best for your kid, and you didn’t want them to not be getting the best deal for even a minute.

I really had to tell myself this message when we recently night weaned Monster. All of a sudden his wind was better and he stopped having super loose stools, turned out that all the feeds overnight were giving him lactose overload. And I suddenly felt soooo much better too, and became a much more patient person. So the guilt kicked in, I had been doing the wrong thing by co-sleeping and feeding overnight. But wait, when we started it was because he was waking in his cot overnight (from hunger as he was only almost 6 months old, and missing me as I had gone back to work), and I was turning into a zombie. It was the right thing at the time, and probably saved me from having a car accident from a microsleep. Thinking about it, I was feeling guilty because I wanted the best for him.

I also wonder if it is this guilt is the root of the ‘bad habit’ language. We naturally regret doing anything that we subsequently perceive as having been the wrong thing, and so what we were doing becomes a bad thing we started. See the positive. You’re doing the best for your child now, with the most up to date info at your disposal, just like you have been all along. Don’t feel guilty, feel glad you have a child whose needs are changing as they grow up into wonderful individual human beings.

What kind of mum am I?

Made hot wheat packs for the first time tonight and it really got me thinking about why I make things. Am I doing it because it is cheaper (and in this case it is, I can make 6 for less than the cost of buying one, and they don’t stink like lavender.) Or am I trying to keep up with the Pinterest set.

I see the pins of lovely things. And I start to figure out how to make them. I see all the WAHM stores on FB and want to make that stuff.

I have an almost full time job, that pays a decent wage. Why do I keep trying to figure out how I can make money selling stuff I could make? Berry has more and more items that I’ve made after seeing them on the net that hold her interest for a very short while. Why do I think our lives need all this crap.

Where is the message coming from that I should be able to do handcrafts like my grandmother to be a good mum, alongside all the 21st century stuff? I know I am not alone. Things for the kids should look handmade for some reason.

At least I am warm now.