Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Just like mummy

I love school holidays. It means Lynden is home and we are all together. It also means that at times I might have some one on one time with one of my big kids while the other one is off with Dad somewhere.

Today Jessica and I had some time to just hang out together. It is a taste of what life will be like next year when her big sister Em, is at school and Ben, asleep.

Jessica is my shadow child. She likes to be near you and doing things beside you all the time. She doesn't have to be entertained by you, just near you. So when I sat at the bench to have a cup of jo today, of course she wanted one too. So cute!

And then there were six!

Last weekend the amount of children in our house doubled. No, we did not all of a sudden pull a "Brangelina" and procure three adopted children out of thin air. The additions came about because our very good friends asked us to babysit their three boys while they went away.

Why is it that when we babysit other people's children we give them the best of ourselves and when it comes to our own children, they often get the cranky leftovers?

It amazes me how much patience I can have for someone else's children. They can ask endless questions and they are all answered with a smile. They can ask for food ten times a day and I am happy to oblige. They can ask for me to put this together/take this apart/stick this here/help me there and I am happy to do it every time.

It amazes me that I sat down with everyone at lunch when often I am still standing at the bench cleaning, making the next round or doing who knows what while the rest of my family sit down and eat lunch together.

It amazes me that I could play games and read books endlessly when I am quick to get it over with when doing it with my own children.

I will admit that I was nervous about having six kids in the house but the weekend was lovely. I took the time to play with the boys and thus with my kids. I took the time to make special morning and afternoon tea that they all enjoyed. I took the time to sit and chat with them all which was fun.

I also enjoyed watching my wonderful husband give and give and give of himself. He is a fantastic father and was a really super adoptive father to the boys over the weekend. He tirelessly played xbox and board games and took the kids swimming for hours and then spent a couple of hours putting together our massive Thomas train set with five "helpers". He has the patience of a saint!

This would have been a very hard time if the three boys in question weren't such lovely, well brought up boys. Their parents should be very proud of them. Their parenting efforts made having them in our house a joy.

It's an honour to be entrusted with someone else's children. I really hope they went home feeling loved and cared for and a part of our family.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mamma, change your attitude!

My kids really like music and they have some exposure to music with Lynden and I leading song worship at church sometimes, Daddy playing guitar, trumpet and French horn, Grandpa playing violin and Grandma playing piano.

The girls have been learning about various instruments with Lynden via general chit-chat and they have been desperate to go to a concert.

And so that is how I found myself sitting in a busy auditorium with three kids watching The Advent Brass Band perform last Saturday night.

I must confess that when Lynden told me he wanted to take the girls to the concert I wasn't very keen. I actually wanted to shelve that idea in the "one day" file and never really think about it again! My lack of interest stemmed from the thought of trying to keeping three kiddies happy in a concert hall where others have paid good money to sit and enjoy a concert. It sounded like the night from hell to me. I would have used Benjamin as an excuse to stay home part of Em's excitement was the fact that we were all going as a family.

Because I attended with such a negative vibe, the night was going as I expected. Benjamin was squirmy and cranky as he wanted to be asleep in his cot, Jessica kept dropping things and I was having to find things in the dark and Emily kept asking question after question. I felt frazzled and annoyed!

During the 2nd half I found myself beginning to relax. Ben and Jess fell asleep and Emily's questions lessened and I really started to enjoy the performance.

On the drive home I was thinking about my attitude. I had originally wanted to put the whole event in the "too hard" basket but my wonderful husband wanted to embrace the idea and create a great memory and learning experience for our kids (must be the teacher in him).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Never alone!

I really struggle being a mother. I am not some hard-core career woman who is missing her job because when I used to work full-time I dreamt of the day I would be a full-time stay at home mother. So why do I struggle so much?

The truth is that I am really a loner. I learnt when I was living in a share house with six other people in London that I really like my own company.

Even as a new bride I liked my alone time. Lynden used to go out on Wednesday nights to a band thing and I used to look forward to that night. It was one night a week I could veg out and do whatever I wanted alone!

So the struggle for me as a mother is that I am rarely alone. This has been the biggest shock of mothering to me. When it was just the two girls I did have some alone time but now with a baby in the house again these moments are few and far between.

At lunch today I had a baby in the highchair crying out for food, Emily asking me to get her something and Jessica making loud noises about something too and all while I was trying to get three different meals ready (one baby meal, one gluten free meal and one normal meal for Jess). I felt very frazzled and told Emily she had to learn to be patient.

Sarah, my very wise friend, calmly proceeded to ask Emily a set of questions.

Sarah, "Emily, are you a big girl?"
Emily, "Yes"
Sarah, "Can you do things all by yourself?"
Emily, "Yes"
Sarah, "Can Benjamin do things all by himself?"
Emily, "No"
Sarah, "So do you think mummy has to do things for Ben sometimes before she can do the things you want her to do for you?"
Emily, "Yes, because Ben can't do them himself"
Sarah, "That's right, and because you are big do you think you could get down and get that thing by yourself"

And then Emily did get down and help herself as she should have probably done in the first place. Now why didn't I think of that? Why didn't I come up with that lesson? The truth is that I didn't want to teach a lesson, I just wanted quiet and peace and to be alone at that very moment...

I know I am a good mother and I know my kiddies love me and that we get through the day quite well most of the time but I think I will always struggle with the lack of alone time and the severe lack of head space.

One day my kids will be all grown up and I will have that precious alone time that I currently crave in abundance. I am sure I will look back on this picture with longing and wonder where did the time go.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Butter wouldn't melt...

I am currently reading this fantastic book called, "A pressure cooker saved my life" by Juanita Phillips. In it she talks about the exhaustion caused by a new baby and broken sleep.

In fact, she says that sleep deprivation was an approved torture technique used in Guantanamo Bay but the rules (rules for torture - who knew?) were that the tortured detainee must be allowed four consecutive hours of sleep every 24 hours.

Oh man, that is more hours of sleep in a row than I get at present!!

This morning when I woke up after another night of too little sleep I had decided to call this blog entry, "The tortured sleep".

Obviously I didn't.

Last night I stayed up a bit too late doing my own thing after the kiddies were all in bed. Just as I turned out the light Ben started to cry. I went and settled him and after about half an hour the house was totally quiet again and I could relax and finally fell asleep.

Not long later (1:06am according to Lynden's bedside clock) I was woken up by Benjamin again. After feeding him I took myself back to bed again hoping to sleep until morning.

A bit longer later (4:26am - Lynden's clock) and I was up again to a crying baby. He didn't want to settle so I decided to bring him in to our bed to see if we could both go back to sleep together.

Finally at a bit before 5am Ben was placed back in his bed and I went back in to a light sleep until morning.

It is now 5:00pm and I still feel so tired...While Ben hasn't been his 100% happy self you can see from this picture that the night really hasn't affected him too badly. Hence, the blog title!

Here's hoping for a better night's sleep tonight.

PS. What do I do on Thursdays? Anything I want to (that needs doing, that Ben will let me do etc..).

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hide the scissors!

I have been trying to decide if I will do the picture a day challenge or just a random daily posting from the day...I think at present it will be random postings with a picture if appropriate!

Emily and I have been discussing getting her hair cut. She has very fine hair but she also has a lot of it so it gets very knotty and is a nightmare to comb and style (ask Sarah, she will tell you this is true!). After much discussion the decision was made, Em would get a bob!

Jess' hair is very different from Ems. Her hair is thick and curly and yes does get knotty but the knots can hide in the curls so not much has to be done to make her hair look nice. I have tried on two separate occasions to get Jess' hair trimmed but both times have ended in tears with very little hair cut!

Today both girls were keen so off we went.

Emily had her cut to the tune of, "When is it going to be my turn, the hairdresser has been cutting her hair all day!". Em finished with a lovely layered bob and then it was Jessica's turn.

I had prepped the hairdresser that it might be a sit and pike-out situation but no, Jess was ready for a haircut. She loves her hair and loves her curls but when the hairdresser had finished trimming her hair the waterworks started.

Not just waterworks! Kicking and screaming also ensued.


I am so sad because Jessica's hair long is lovely and Emily's hair short is lovely. Why can't she be happy being different from her sister?

After bodily removing Jess from the hairdressers and placing her on her bed at home (all the while to the screamed exclamations typed earlier) and 40 minutes of tantruming later, Jessica came out of her room and apologised for her behaviour.

At the end of the day she still wants her hair cut short but has agreed to wait a while and see if she still feels the same. She will hate having her hair short, I just know it!

The long and short of it is (sorry about the pun but it was out there so I had to do it!!) that mummy has already made the decision and she is NOT getting her hair cut short but she doesn't need to know that....I have already been around the house and gathered every last pair of scissors and put them up high just in case she decides to take matters into her own hands.

My Emily looks so grown up with her new haircut and best of all, she loves it! Here's a picture.

What fun it is to share the "exciting" happenings of my day with whoever is out there reading this!

I live for Tuesdays and Thursdays!

Finally, I have created a blog! Kym, you are the inspiration.

I have a confession to make. I live for Tuesdays and Thursdays. Once upon a time BC (before children) I used to live for the weekend but now AC (yes, after children) I live for Tuesdays and Thursdays as they are the days my beautiful girls go to childcare.

Do they go to childcare because I work? Hmmm, how to answer that? I don't leave my home to go to a place of work that pays me a wage but I do run a home, look after three kids and a cat and run a small business from home but that isn't why they go to childcare.

The simple truth (and I have decided that this will be a blog of truth) is that my children go to childcare so I can have a break. They don't need it for socialisation or education etc but they need to go so I stay sane.

The truth is, I am a better mother because they go.

What do I do on Tuesdays? I will tell you what I do on Thursdays when Thursday comes - stay tuned. Well today I changed my stale sheets and I confess they were overdue. I washed three loads of washing, folded and put away two loads of washing, vacuumed and mopped the floors, cooked two meals (tonight's and tomorrow nights), did some Belly Beat work (check out my business ), met my favourite girls for coffee (Sarah and Fiona), did some shopping and of course fed and played with my baby boy.

But today I did something I have never done on a Tuesday before.

Today I had a massage!

It was bliss. Sarah came over while Benjamin was having his nap and I went off and had a one hour massage. One hour of total peace and quiet. One hour of total relaxation. One hour totally to myself. One whole hour...

I wish I could say this will become a regular Tuesday thing (like the mopping and meeting the girls for coffee) but I can't see that happening. However, it was the highlight of my day and such a wonderful treat.