Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Some days

Some days I wake up sad. Nothing happens to set it off, I just wake up that way. I sit in my house, and stare at the walls for hours. The dishes sit unwashed on the bench, the dirty washing sits on the floor. I think about moving off the couch to do some housework and it puts me in a strange kind of panic. I don’t want to eat, I don’t want to get dressed, I most certainly do not want to talk. If the phone rings, I won’t answer it. If someone comes to the door, I’ll pretend I’m not home. I want to be alone, to feel sad and lonely alone.

There’s a rational part of my mind, a kind of inner commentary, that knows this is a bad day, and knows at the same time that if these bad days keep happening, I’m going to have to go back on medication. That part of my brain that’s self-aware, always quietly monitoring the freak-outs, the mood swings, and the headaches, ready to sound the alarm if the bad days stretch into weeks, or if I sink too low. The part of me that’s always trying to weigh things up and recognise when the scales tip.
I want it to be quiet. I want the rational part of my mind, the part that’s trained and cautious, to just give in and let the sadness engulf me, take over, and be all that there is. But at the same time, I’m so afraid that it will.

Some days I just wake up sad.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Feeling the need to remind myself...

He won’t always want to sleep in my arms.

He won’t always cry when I leave the room.

He won’t always want to suckle for hours at my breast.

He won’t always want to share my food.

He won’t always need my full attention all of the time.

He will grow older, more independent, less aware of me.

And then, as exhausting, frustrating, difficult as it is now, I will miss these days.

Friday, February 17, 2012


I’m going through a time in my life right now, one of those uncomfortable stages where I’m focused a lot of the time on how uncomfortable I am, stretched too thin yet wanting more. I feel as though my life is at a standstill, while others around me are moving forward, climbing higher, growing larger and increasing their capacity. I, on the other hand, have put my study on hold to free up my time to sit at home and breastfeed all day. I don’t even know how long it’s on hold for; maybe I’ll never go back to it. It didn’t exactly work for us anyway, trying to work around my assignments and exams, and there were times when I knew that we were hanging by a very thin thread, and each new semester I was signing up for fewer and fewer papers. Now that I’ve stopped, I don’t know if I’ll get around to starting again.

A week or so ago I looked up my old blog from ten years ago. It was...uh...interesting, reading through those posts from a time when we had just 2 kids, then 3. I found myself cringing at parts of it, laughing at others, but mostly it was an emotional journey down memory lane. I’d forgotten a lot of it, and was glad I had taken the time to record it. What struck me most, and has been playing on my mind ever since, is just how much I was achieving at that stage of my life. I was working for a wonderful church. I was writing things that were being printed. I was making music that people loved. I was attending Bible College. I was busy, and oh so satisfied at the end of every day. That’s not to say that I’m not busy now. I’m always busy doing something. But I don’t feel like I’m achieving anything that makes me rest my head on my pillow every night feeling full and satisfied. I go to bed at night worrying about things, praying and making plans for the next day. Plans that usually involve making up for something I didn’t do, or did badly today.

Yesterday, while standing at the supermarket checkout, I picked up a magazine and as I was browsing through the pages I came across an article written by a friend of mine. It was a good article, and not totally unexpected, but as I looked at her name written underneath the page’s title, I was overcome with a sense of failure that filled every part of me. I could feel it taking over my mind, churning my stomach and filling my boots, until I closed the magazine and slipped it back on the shelf. I didn’t buy it, not because I don’t love my friend or feel proud and happy for her, but because in that moment I was acutely aware that I’m not contributing to the household finances and so how can I justify a magazine purchase? I had failed at life, failed my husband, failed my family, and now I was failing my friend. But worst of all, I had failed myself.

I felt heavy and sad as I went through the checkout, filled my car with gas, drove the short drive home. And as I rounded the corner into my street I spotted my gorgeous girl sitting outside on the grass verge at the front of our house. Just sitting there waiting for me to come home, and when I called out “hello beautiful!” she jumped to her feet with an excited smile. She was beautiful and messy with her toothless smile, and for a second I was able to take my mind off the things that I haven’t been doing and focus on what I have been doing lately.
I’ve given up medication, coffee and foods that I love to grow, nurture and feed a healthy and happy baby boy.

 I’ve been teaching a 7 year old girl to read more quickly, write more effectively, try new things, be a good friend and dream of beautiful things.

I’ve been helping a 10 year old boy work through changes in his body and personality, teaching him how to communicate better, building in him an awareness of the world around him.

I’ve been helping a 13 year old boy settle into high school, talking him through ups and downs with girls, guiding him towards making good choices and creating opportunities for him to exercise freedom.

I’ve been supporting my husband in a new workplace, and a new job, being there as he talks it through, someone to bounce ideas off. I’ve been encouraging, advising, loving as he finds his place in the world, helping him to realise how amazing he really is.

I’ve been building a safe place for the people in my care to move forward, climb higher, grow larger and increase their capacity.

Cooking, cleaning, laundry, homework, breastfeeding, carpools, grocery shopping, dusting, vacuuming, tidying, sorting. It all amounts to something greater in the end. Each tiny piece of the puzzle is as important as all the others because without it the picture is incomplete.

I came across this post this morning from BeautifullyRooted. It was like manna from heaven. As I took the words in, I felt my heaviness lift. I know these words are anointed and I know they’re for me as much as for anyone else.
I need to love my life for what it is now. I need to stop focussing on how things used to be, and I need to stop living as if my life hasn’t started yet, because “it is beautiful... even in the waiting.”

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I’ve always thought the best thing about babies playing is the way they find the most ordinary things captivating.

The sound of a bee buzzing by. The sun filtering through the leaves of a tree above your head. The feel of grass under your hand and between your fingers.

Ordinary things that are around so often you don’t even really notice them anymore. Babies notice though, because the world is all new and fascinating.

And so you notice too, because you find their fascination so beautiful, and you find yourself watching that bee landing on that flower and you notice anew the texture of the grass under your palms and how it feels like nothing else.

Newborn Christians do the same thing. They take joy in those aspects of the journey that those who’ve been on it longer don’t really notice anymore. The music, the scriptures, the church services.  Things that have become routine and boring to some of us are new and exciting to those experiencing it for the first time.

We can learn so much from those who are younger than us. I don’t think we were ever meant to stop marvelling at the things that enchanted us when we were new.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Blogging Mojo

After reading Simoney’s latest post I had two immediate thoughts: 1. I have most definitely lost my blogging mojo and 2. I miss blogging.

Simony suggests some reasons why someone might have lost their blogging mojo. I could relate to...well...all of the above. I’ve been in a bit of a slump. Things got hard, really hard, for a while there, and I didn’t have the heart to blog from such a dark place. Then, I was pregnant, and exhausted most of the time. Then came baby, and he was so amazing I couldn’t bear to spend any time away from him.

I told myself ‘I’ll get back into it in the school holidays, when I have more time’. Then, with the chaos and craziness of having 4 kids at home, I told myself ‘I’ll blog more when the kids go back to school, when I have more time’.

A major problem for me is: I find it hard to see my life as interesting. It actually hurts me to say that, but it’s pretty much the truth. I’m a stay-at-home-mum. Not that I resent that, after all, it’s the choice I made and we’ve sacrificed a lot so I could do this. BUT it does mean that my day to day life, on paper, isn’t exactly riveting. My day tomorrow will be spent doing pretty much all the same things that I did today. And the day after that, and the day after that. I get up in the morning, do the mad morning routine to get three kids off to school, then come home and breastfeed the baby for hours on end. In between feeds I do laundry, dishes, cooking, and cleaning until it’s time to pick the kids up from school and start the mad afternoon routine of food, homework, showers and bedtime. Once the kids are in bed, I breastfeed the baby for hours on end, until he finally falls asleep for the night, sometime between ten and midnight, and then I get to go to bed myself and have broken sleep before getting up the next morning and doing it all over again.

A lot of the time I don’t blog because I feel like I have no reason to. But equally, I feel like I have no reason not to blog – I love this stage of their lives, and I don’t want to miss the chance to record it.

I actually started blogs for each of the kids, to keep the extended family up to date on their happenings, and it’s amazing how keeping a blog for them has forced me to find the things in their day that are extraordinary and lovely, and worth writing about, just so they can look back at the end of the year and know they were amazing and beautiful and fun and interesting.  Surely I can do the same thing for myself?

 Within the boring daily routine, there are actually a lot of big things going on for our family right now. 2012 is promising to be an amazing year.  Hubby’s sister is pregnant with twins, due in a couple of months. She will have four under 4! Exciting stuff. His brother’s wife is also pregnant, with their second child. And my own beautiful sister is pregnant. I am so ridiculously excited about this, as is anyone who knows my sister. She has wanted a baby for years and years, and has been pregnant several times, only to lose the baby at an early stage. Each one was heartbreaking, for all of us really, but for my sister and her partner it has been the cruellest heartache imaginable. Shortly after Froggie was born (my sister was present at his birth) I started praying for my sister to have a baby. I mean, I’ve prayed for her before of course, but this was different. I mean, I really started praying, for her and her children. I think what motivated me the most was the sense I’d got from her that she had given up hope. To me, there’s nothing more sad than someone who lacks hope for the thing they want the most. And I know a lot of people who were infertile, terminally ill, unable to carry a viable pregnancy, or deemed ‘too old’ to bear children, who went on to have kids anyway. God will always have the final say. He alone can give and take away life with a simple word from his lips, yet the medical profession so often gives it a try. So it’s a major miracle, because this time around, she’s made it to 13 weeks and baby is healthy and strong. I really cannot get over how amazing this is, and how excited I am for the weeks and months to come. My sister asked me the other day if I would be the baby’s godmother. All I could do was cry.

My other beautiful sister, my younger sister, is getting married in 7 weeks time. We’re off to Christchurch for the wedding (please, let there be no earthquakes) and it will be the first time since we were kids that all of us (the siblings, that is my brother, 2 sisters and I) will be together at the same time. I can’t wait!

Other than that, my oldest boy has just started high school, his younger brother is in his last year of primary school, and our princess is no longer in the junior school. And the baby is sitting, rolling, waving, clapping, talking, laughing, teething, eating, kissing, dribbling and all that fun stuff.

So really, though I have no reason to blog, I equally have no reason not to blog.

So thankyou, Simoney, for writing a post that made me think, because even though there isn’t hundreds of people out there staring in despair at their computer screens waiting with baited breath for my posts, I started this thing for me, and I need to come back to it, to find some joy in my boring, ordinary life, so that at the end of the year I can look back and know that my days were filled with something interesting and fun and worthwhile.


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