Archive for May, 2009

Sick leave

Oink oink…, I don’t think it is the swine flu but goddamn it’s the bloody African safari version of something that has bought me to my knees (and flat on my back in bed) this last week. Stuff the pigs, I’ve been sick as a dog and all in the lead up to our little soiree in wine country. More than pissed off. But hey, I’ve now passed it on to both boys who have both turned into their own version of Damian. And I’m leaving them tomorrow to sort it out with their grandmothers both of whom are staying here to take care of them while we are away. Yes, these dudes need two fully competent, mothers and grandmothers to look after them because they are FULL ON!

I’m trying to encourage a love- in with A at the moment because his behaviour has been beyond appalling in the last few weeks. It’s like his head is spinning so fast round and round and round all the time and he has not time to stop and check in on what the hell he’s doing. C has lost it and C has the patience of a goldfish. And he’s begun speaking to A in a way that I know does not serve the situation well. I can only figure that A has become this diabolical entity because deep down he’s trying to attract attention that he feels, for whatever reason, is currently lacking. My secret fear (and I have carried this with me since having the boys) is that this is true. That I don’t give him enough attention. That I’m too often distracted. That it’s easier to fold the washing than build a train track. That I pretend I’ve got very important things to do to avoid running in the park and helping him climb the monkey bars.

There I’ve said it. This fear looms large most of the time. It paralyses me and stupidly makes me self-conscious sometimes when I’m with either of the boys. I also have a pathological fear of not being liked and that too plays itself out in my relationship with the boys. How sad is that.

I’m trying hard to bring my attention to these fears and the way they manifest themselves on a day-to-day basis. Hopefully, then, I can make the most of this beauty I carry through my life in every moment.

Out and away

C and I have a weekend away at the end of this week. His mother is flying up from Victoria and my mother’s on board for a weekend extravaganza with the boys. Woo hoo….

We are tragically so excited it’s all we can talk about. Let alone the fact it’s a weekend away with friends in wine country. Pure delicious bliss.

Time away is always best in the anticipation I think. You haven’t yet realised the little empty space you carry with you, the sound of their voices when you call, the little things you see along the way you wish you could share with them.

But time away isn’t just for the potential enjoyment factor (although that’s awesome). It’s important for the recharging of the very tired batteries that work overtime in a family with two very young children. It allows you to experience that distance which makes ever fonder one’s heart. It allows you to just look at each other for a brief moment without seeing a child in the other’s face. It allows you to be you for a moment. With or without C, I am looking forward to being me for just a moment.

It’s in the eyes




So, what began as a coaching session about my focus (or lack thereof) on writing, ended up a complete meltdown about the pace and fullness of my life and the unsustanability of it all.

It made me realise that significant changes need to be made. Changes that C and I have been mentioning on and off for a while now without doing much about it.

I don’t think we’ve ever really sat down together (or even separately) and considered the significant changes having a young family brings. I mean, yes, in some ways it’s obvious. The sleep deprivation is obvious, the lack of social life is obvious, the numerous trips to the crappy plastic playground instead of nice cafe is obvious but what is really beginning to register, is the money you lose and the trappings it brings. We aren’t materialistic and in fact, often you have to force us to spend money. However, C always had it in his sights that our mortgage would be repaid by the end of this year, that we’d have bought another property (investment or otherwise) and that we’d always have one holiday overseas a year.

Uh-uh. Noooooooo way. They are the things that we just can’t achieve nor sustain and getting his head around this is hard for C.

This is all apropos of the fact that I’ve been working like a dog (and earning enough to keep these goals of C in sight). Putting in full time hours PLUS looking after the boy(s) 3 days a week PLUS traipsing out in the evenings to teach 3 nights a week…..and I’m done. I wonder why I can’t find the time to write??!!

So, after a productive and constructive coaching session with my mother (she’s an executive coach so it wasn’t just a tea and chat!), I had coffee with my manager yesterday afternoon and laid it out for her. So in a few weeks, there will be many welcomed changes round here. A is beside himself. He struggles when I’m not here in the evenings so it’s a win-win all round.

Except for the bank. And our purses. But they’ll cope.

How to do it the right way

A’s behaviour has been erratic lately to say the least. In the last week, I have found myself acknowledging quietly and privately that I don’t know what I’m doing anymore. I don’t know how to improve the bad stuff and encourage the good. Whatever I am or have been doing does not seem to be working.

He’s not good at regulating his emotions and I know at 3, he doesn’t need to be totally on top of it. However, I have noticed, now that we spend more time with other families from day care, that his peers seem to be able to cope with things, especially foreign and unexpected things or events, a whole lot better than he can. Sometimes it’s almost as if he becomes possessed by adrenalin and tears around hurting all around him. He’s especially prone to doing this if he’s tired, or awkward or feeling particularly insecure. That seems to be his modus operandi in such situations and frankly, it’s driving me MAD!

I’m finally at the point of acknowledging that I need help – be it in the form of child development books, of assistance from our local childhood nurse, our paediatrician or even our GP. I don’t know, I need some tips.

Anyone got anything to offer?

Sometimes he’s aggressive but again, this aggression is uncontrolled and not always manipulative. Sometimes he’s emotionally hysterical. Sometimes he tries hard to hurt S so that he gets a reaction from C or I. Sometimes he just drops into my lap, very quiet.

I want to help him. I want to make him feel secure enough that he doesn’t need to react with such extreme emotion and physical energy. I want him to know that it’s always more productive to talk about how insecure and upset he’s feeling than to act it out with aggression.

It’s making me tired and pretty deflated. And it’s almost harder by the fact that when he’s good, when he’s on, comfortable, feeling loved and feeling secure, he’s the dreamiest of dreamy little boys.

Sunshine and cleaners

So, I’m on the improve. Well, my mood is. You know, things find they’re normal rhythm again pretty easily. Everything feels like it’s slowly shifting downwards and then someone changes the gears and you start reversing back up again. Slowly sure, but up nonetheless.

I still feel sick and I don’t know why. I’d like to work that out.

I’m thinking of getting coaching for my writing. It’s like a drug (not writing that is). I know it’s bad for me and it only feels good (or at least easier) momentarily but then I feel total crap for not doing it. So, I’ve come to the point where I can actually admit I need some help and am voluntarily checking myself into a 12-step coaching programme. I hope I see the light soon!

Oh, and we’re getting the house cleaned by professionals this afternoon. Thank the lord. It  has become crazily overwhelming and made me feel like shit all week – how crap the house looks that is.

Anyway, due to the lighter note round here, I thought I’d share the following. You know, I attribute much of my shift back up to the inspiration I receive in the world around me. It’s up to me to seek it out because when I find it, it lifts me higher and highter. I am deeply grateful for this. 

listening to:

and LOVING it

coveting: this website. I love his work and his words.

reading: sweet read. I’m enjoying it alot.

looking at: this beautiful site. It touches me deeply. Grief (death) is something I actively avoid contemplating and I know that I need to be more open to it. The expansiveness that this guy demonstrates to the impending loss of his father is remarkable and meaningful.

eating:  this bread which just makes me feel warm inside.

watching: finally finished Series 2 of 30Rock (llliiizzz llleeemmmooonnn). Great laugh-out- loud amusement

As days go by

It is getting colder here. It’s hard not to feel a bit blah. C’s back is out so he lies around the house, under the quilt, watching ESPN ad nauseum. I’m trying to work and I don’t feel like saying much. That seems to bug him a bit. He wants entertaining. The boys have been at daycare and while it’s great to get some work done, I miss them. I miss their injection.

I feel tired from disrupted nights of wet beds, nappy changes and bottles. I’m doing it on my own. See previous comment about C’s back. I’m also writing all day for work and then traipsing off into the late afternoon wind to the train station to shuttle to the  dusty bowel in the west where I teach.

I’m also obsessively reading inspirational blogs where mothers post numerous photos of general family frolicking in the Northern Hemisphere sun. But it doesn’t scratch, it makes me feel better.

Ho hum. I want time for so much more in my life than I have now. I’m just getting that ‘me time’ urge that seems to plauge mothers. I feel guilty for that. Like I don’t really deserve it. Like I made my bed and now should lie in it.

All seems silly. Sorry.

And I feel nauseous. And I bit nervous.

May 2009