Mid-Mummy Meltdown

When you have a newborn, you spend weeks or months spending a lot of time at home. You’re tired but you’re learning about yourself and about your baby all the time and the months fly by.

As your baby grows up. You make friends with babies the same age. You get out and socialise. Coffee and Cake watching your babies learn to roll over, talk, share, climb playgrounds as they grown up. 

Life has a routine, food shopping on monday, swimming lessons on tuesday, mothers group on wednesday, daycare on thursday, other girlfriends on friday etc. There is quality time with the kids, time spent out as a family, time spent out with others and their kids. 

When you and your friends have more babies they all fit into that routine more or less. There’s probably a little bit more, home by lunch so the bub can have a nap, but otherwise life is grand. Everything is good with the universe…

Then before you know it. You’re half way through their forth year. This two day a week Kindy thing is nice but all of a sudden you’re looking to next year and you won’t see your baby 5 days a week. Your other child or children, in my case a 16 month old boy, won’t see his big brother 5 days a week!  Friends are heading back to work after enjoying 4 years at home and it dawns on you that life is about to change in a BIG way.

This is the reason for my ‘mid-mummy’ meltdown. I feel like my role as mother is being challenged. Jayden is learning all sorts of things now that I haven’t taught him. He doesn’t need me as much, and delights in telling me. “I don’t need your help for this Mum, I can do it myself”  I relish his new found independence I do… but I am realising that from now on his need for me is only going to lessen. He’s going to go to school 5 days a week next year, fill his brain and become a ‘real school boy’ and there’s nothing I can do about it.

So I’m holding on to the next 6 months with both hands. Enjoying the chatter and even the arguments between my babies playing together, because next year there’s going to be a lot less of it. Trying to get my business venture off the ground so that I can be sure of staying at home to raise Taj. Sure of doing the school drop off and pick up and still have some money.

I know that this next phase of our life is going to be great as well, just really truly different, and I never was much good at dealing with change!Image

 

 

Lost in my head

Feeling decidedly up and down
My life feels full to the brim
Yet empty of something

On top of the world at one minute
lost in my own thoughts and dwelling where
thoughts should feel no need to dwell.

Feeling grateful and thankful for my lot
Then guilty and saddened that it doesn’t always feel enough

What a funny thing is life
When teeth can reach to the depth of your heart
Tear you apart
With no root to trace you back

When a tear running down your face
Feels like a disgrace
How dare you cry
What right have I?

When a twinkle in a loved ones eye
Sets your heart alight
You might take flight
If they weren’t there to anchor you.

Whether I’m lost
Or right at home
My emotions have a tendency to roam
And leave me questioning my place
In space
In this atmosphere
Do I belong here?

There’s things I love
I can’t get enough
Of cuddles,
of tea,
of cake.
Of these things with friends I could indulge all day
And I might never cope if you took one away
But there are more than just those few

I love text messages out of blue
that make you smile
Someone’s thinking of you.

I love group hugs with my boys and my man
One strong unit I hold in my hands

I love waking-up cuddles from my baby boys
Rubbing their eyes, still warm from bed
Watching dreams slip out of their head

I love high school memories of my best friend
Of a simpler life that didn’t feel simple then

Of a lazy day
When there’s not much to do
But someone would love to do “not much” with you.

I love a good book and a nice warm bed
I won’t lie down, just one more chapter instead

A great recipe that everyone loves
Serving it up
Hearing a hush.

Showing off my kids and feeling the pride
Swelling up from deep down inside
I made them, they have grown from me
And already they are more amazing than I ever dreamt they’d be.

So isn’t it funny with so much to love
that there’s a tiny spot that feels so blue
Frowning and disapproving of things I do.
I will fish you out one day
This malignant thing that wont go away
I will stop listening to those who bring me down
I will love what I love and put my foot down
But until then I’ll have to just be
The up and down head case
That is
Me

Words are my friend….

I’ve been thinking lately (dangerous I know) about how often I use “text” to communicate with people in my life.

I have a very dear friend in Queensland who I only speak to via Facebook or text or email, but we “speak” just about every day.

My Mum who I can’t see every day but who I will endeavour to beat in at least one game of W.E.L.D.E.R wars if it kills me!
My cousins and other UK family are all just an email away
My best friend on holiday at the moment but at least I can still feel connected to her with 5 minutes of typed conversation each day.

But how real is it all?

Since it’s text you can confide in each other more freely than face to face when you might feel embarrassed or intimidated whichever the scenario. In a text there is no one to interrupt you when you are making a fool of yourself, you can’t cough to cover up a silly comment or cheeky one liner that seems inappropriate the second you press that enter key. It’s there to stay baby like it or not!!!

For all those above people it’s fine, but I SHOULD call my other best friend more often. We’re in the same time zone for god sake! And saying hi via text once a week is great (at least we’re keeping in contact) but if we were chatting I KNOW we would have a lot more to say to each other.

I SHOULD call my mum more because texting things like “haha good word Mum” in words with friends does not conversation make!

And don’t even get me started on the people who I only interact with by reading each others Facebook statuses!!!

I have people in my life, let’s call them acquaintances because I don’t have many friends (you’ll see why in a second) who I liked very much in life (you know that thing where you look each other in the eye and speak about, mundane things like work, and the weekend) but now that I see their miserable Facebook statuses day in and day out I just don’t like them much anymore…. (I should have had a spoiler alert. If you don’t already know…I can be a bit of a bitch….)
Don’t get me wrong. Whinge a bit when you’re having a rough night with the kids (I do – I assure you) or if your boyfriends being a pain or if you’ve got a headache even…. But just try to avoid consecutive nights of utter negativity!! Words are communication and you are communicating to me that there is nothing positive in your life to mention on these 10 consecutive days and surely that can’t be true. Its just that that’s how you are looking at it Facebooker, shake it up a bit and throw a “I love…” or a “I’m thankful for” in there every now and then.

Im all for technology and electronic communication but I feel like its gotten in the way of things. All too often I’m flicking off that text message without ever considering having a phone conservation.
I was shocked while gossiping at Kindy gym like a pair of 50 year old housewives with my BFF, the instructor came out commented while looking around that EVERY other parent is on their iPhone in their own world. What’s wrong with talking? Making new friends? Talking about the weather even!

I guess what I’m thinking in my round-about way is that I love being able to talk to all of those people while I can’t be with them, but it doesn’t substitute for having them there. And I would give up all my gadgets in a flash if I could have a cuppa and a cuddle with any one of them right now.

Words are our friend … But be careful of the TEXT.

Down the rabbit hole

Gosh I never realised how much my newest obsession would take over my life!!
If I’m not baking or decorating cakes, I’m researching techniques, watching YouTube tutorials, flicking through endless Facebook pages of fantastic out of this world cakes, testing recipes and yes … More than a little eating cake too!!

I feel like I’m falling down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland and discovering this amazing world I never new existed.

There are times I doubt my abilities, usually half way through a cake when I remember that no one has taught me anything and I’m really just making it up as I go along, but boy is that a fun thing to do!

I’ve made some lovely “cake friends” been inspired on infinite levels, but I think the thing that’s made the biggest impact on me…. Is that when I finish a cake, I look at it and think “I made that” and I am CHUFFED!! I haven’t felt like I was good at anything since … Who knows?

I love my life and my kids, but having a little mini achievement in cake form every now and then has been good for my confidence and good for my soul! Don’t get me wrong, I’ve still done those 6 loads of washing, emptied and stacked the dishwasher an obscene amount of times and cooked meals too but in between all that I’ve made something to be proud of and that’s rather cool.

So here’s a few of my latest cakes. As I fall deeper down the Rabbit Hole.

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Are my devices dictating my days?

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It’s nearly 10 at night, my boys have been interrupting my sleep most nights lately and I’m tired…. But I’m also trying to sort something through in my head and I’ve found this to be a really good way of doing that… So here goes.

Today I spent 3 hours at a shopping centre.

My 4 year old was at Kindy today, and my friend and I decided to do the grocery shop in tandem. 2 grown ups, 2 kids, possibly easier than each doing our own separately. Definitely more fun.

As often happens with us, we got distracted. Shopped a lot, spoiled our kids, had a cup of tea and shared a muffin, and finally got around to food shopping while causing the average shopper to look over at us and frown..”why are these two grown woman laughing and having such a good time at Coles?”
Which we thought was quite hilarious but I’ve been thinking about it all day….

Why?

Well, today I went grocery shopping, spent time with a friend, and my baby and had a great time. Nothing too crazy about it…. So why isn’t every day like that?

My name is Tanya and I AM AN ADDICT

Not a substance, not alcohol or even smokes…. Im a technology junkie….
It must stop.

Today I was in the moment. Even though I did get a bit frustrated as the hours (did I mention it took 3.) ticked by. That was only because I knew poor Taj was going to be lucky to catch an hours sleep. Mostly I was just happy to be there, at that time, with those three people.

Stay with me….

When I’m at home, it can be quite different. I must admit my devices are my go to thing, when I’m frustrated with the kids, I pick up my phone and txt a friend. Could it wait until I next see them for coffee and a chat? Absolutely. Does it? No….

When the kids are having lunch (yes I’m ashamed of this one ) I more often than not, grab my 5 minutes quiet time with a cup of tea and my iPad. I play a game of words with friends or draw something, I catch up on some adult goss and ogle some inspirational cakes on facebook and then get back to the mummy and housewifery and cake making jobs I have to get to.

Am I saying I’m a bad Mum? No I’m not. I still feel confident that I am a good mum to my boys. Am I as good a mum as I can be? No. Am I a present Mum…. Not all the time no… And thats where things are going to change.

My husband and I were in the lounge room the other day. Our 1 year old was up past his bedtime (again) and I was waiting for him to burn out before giving him a breastfeed (yes… Still… But thats a whole other blog) and try him back in bed. So it’s 8 o’clock or later… I’m playing scramble with friends on my iPad. And Mr T is throwing a balloon around the room. Am I paying him attention… No not really (8 o’clock, surely that’s me time right?) and Taj walks up and hits me square in the face with a balloon. And my husband says “yeah I agree Taj, your little brother iPad is getting more attention than you tonight. ”

I HATE to admit this. But he was (a little bit) right. Sure it was late and I was tired and frustrated, but does that give me the right to not be present? How many funny things do I miss my 1 year old do, how many conversations have not been had with my 4 year old, or have I missed hearing him have with his brother (or a batman action figure for that matter) or not had with my husband (only during ad breaks of course)

If being present makes grocery shopping fun, does it make cleaning the toy room fun? Am I going to get all spoon full of sugar happy with the kids in the morning when I’ve packed my phone, iPod and iPad away?

I’m not saying I never spend time with the kids. I do. Lots of it, we still make things, and cook together, jump outside, play cubby houses, but maybe we don’t do that enough, maybe those times when I sneak off for a cuppa and ”my fix’ something really magic would have happened with the 3 of us and I missed it. MAYBE and heres the kicker, maybe, I can be the person that makes people frown and say “why is that grown woman having so much fun” all the time. Because life is pretty fun, and having friends, and kids and (most the time) a husband is pretty great, and if we weren’t rushing around trying to get things done, or trying to get “me time” or whatever other reasons we have for not being entirely present with those who we love the most, we’d find that
THIS MOMENT, RIGHT HERE, WITH THESE PEOPLE IS ALL THAT MATTERS…

Sometimes it’s hard to judge ourselves as mothers. It’s a tough gig and sometimes you take whatever help you can get. I have a friend in qld who I really only talk to on my devices. Our friendship would not exist now without reconnecting on Facebook and chatting on words with friends and realising we have similar values and beliefs. There were days when I was getting used to being a mother of two where those conversations were a lifeline.
Now, though, the devices have become a lifeline… And I’m not evening sinking.
I have some really good stuff going on at the moment. My life is good, My kid are fantastic and I want to be present for them.

So it’s time to ease up on the technology…. Less iPad and iPod and More I paint, I play-doh, I play and I pretend.

Im not saying my devices are evil… Maybe just that excessive consumption may be harmful to your health.

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Roller coaster rides

Things have been a bit crazy around our house lately.

It’s our first school holidays, our younger boy, Taj, just started walking and their Nana came and spent a week here for Taj’s first birthday.

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None of these things in themselves turn your life upside down but all combined with being a crazy cake lady, it makes for a pretty full on couple of weeks. First of all, Taj turned one…. Being the crazy cake lady that I am I set myself quite a challenge. A 3D treehouse based on the raa raa the noisy lion cartoon. The kids actually behaved themselves and I managed to get the cake done in a day. I am unbelievably happy with it.

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That day I had baked a giant carrot cupcake and a dozen carrot cupcakes, so when may husband went to pick my mum up from the airport I couldn’t resist and threw together some matching raa raa cupcakes a for his party. (I am such a sucker!) its amazing what you can achieve when the kids go go to bed and stay in bed!

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Having my Mum here is so nice, she adores her grandsons and they adore her. Especially Jayden who has cottoned on to the concept that nana doesn’t see him all the times so will buy him pretty much whatever he wants.

He has been asking for about a month for a toy that shoots spiderwebs like spiderman. When I said no for the hundredth time he suggested that maybe Nana might like to buy it for him.

When we walked into the shop my 4 year old led us to the toy section, then walked up the aisle scanning the bottom right corner of each shelf until he found it. He didn’t ask for anything else. That was it. We paid and he was a super happy lad… Until 5 mins after we opened it but that’s another story!

The day after mum got here, I got up early and finished the giant cupcake

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Then we had Taj’s first birthday party. We are a lucky family and have such amazing people in our life, it was a very low key but special day (cake went down a treat too!)

We also managed a 70th birthday party, an evening at the Theatre. Mary Poppins the musical. If you get a chance to see it you simply must!, a few cup of tea dates, a trip to the zoo and I also made this cake

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When mum goes home I always feel a bit low. It’s so hard not knowing when I’ll see her. Jayden also gets more demanding. Nana played with him WHENEVER he wanted! so surely mum should too. Taj started walking this week as well, and that’s been the biggest drop on my roller coaster! I’m so proud of him… But he seems to be so excited that he can’t sleep at night. I’m spending a few hours settling him in the evening. A few times it’s been midnight!!!!

I’m feeling pretty frustrated about how little quality time I get to spend with Jayden with Taj being so demanding at the moment. Jayden and I were so close when it was just he and I, now there’s very little time to do things together without Taj coming in and fighting for my attention (he has a short temper and makes things quite difficult!) plus he’s a school boy now and that is definitely becoming evident. He’s always asking to play games rather than play with his mum.

So I guess what I’m getting at, isn’t it funny how you can be on top of the world one minute and feeling so flat the next. I’m sure getting some sleep will help… But how does a 1 yr old wield the power to affect an entire family dynamic? WHY has my boy who has slept through just about every night since 6 weeks old decided to defeat me? I’d be pretty lost without my great friends to vent to that’s for sure. That has honestly taken me 4 hrs to write in between all my Mummy jobs and I am shattered!!!! So thanks for that my blog diary :-) I feel better now!

Best mates

Friendships are a tricky thing.

When is someone you know, a friend (no a Facebook friend does not count) when does a friend become a best friend…

Growing up, we moved around quite a lot. We moved from England to Australia when I was 5 years old and I left everyone I knew behind. Friends and family.

My Mum and Dad split up when I was 10. It wasn’t super traumatic, just sad. We lived with Mum but visited Dad and had friends at school, friends at Dad’s house and friends at Mum’s house.

A few years later, my Mum met a man and it was decided we move from WA to QLD. The man who would be my mums second husband had family there and my brother and I were pretty excited about living on The Gold Coast with permanent access (so it seemed) to the themeparks.

That move was harder, I had friends at a school and even though I could keep in touch while on our holiday access visits with Dad it was bound to be hard.

From 11 until the end of high school we stayed in the same area but for some reason I never seemed to hang onto friends. I had a new “best friend” every year, lots of friends in between and didn’t really mind.

I’ve always been a very honest person, and a bit of a nutter (my grandma would call me eccentric) and most people find that hard to deal with in the end!!!

Many of these friends, although not my best friends or even close friends I am still in contact with. Some are lost forever in the sea of time past and misspent youth that is remembered far longer than it was actually lived. My senior high school year is filled with more memories than I believe actually fit in that one year!

In 1999 in year 9, I was good friends with a girl, Katie, she continues to be one of the funniest people I’ve ever known. Katie had a best friend, Amie, and when I started sitting with Katie at lunch (the early high school equivalent of moving in, it seemed) I met Amie and loved her straight away. She was quirky and cute and honest and fun.

Amie was soon and continues to be my best friend. Amie is “Aunty Amie” to my kids. She is my husband’s Drinking buddy and she knows everything about me it is worthwhile knowing (possibly that’s not a lot) she’s been there for me through every important aspect of my life and even when I throw a curve ball at her she says things like “I’ll support you whatever you decide to do” which really is just amazing!

Amie has other best friends (Katie for one) but she manages to be there for me in entirety when I need her to be.

She is the only friend I’ve never fought with. The only friend I’ve managed to hold on to and not alienate over consecutive years and truly one of the most important people in my life…. (and she’s single which is unfathomable to me!!!)

Friendship has always seemed like a taboo thing to me. For a long time (ok if I’m being honest – still) if I find someone who I connect with. I grip on really tight with both hands … And eventually suffocate them…

My Mum got let down by a good friend when I was young, I struggled with friends growing up and who knows 100% why, but I’ve never felt like I deserve friendship. Or the happiness that a really good friendship brings.

Since I’ve become a Mum. Friendship had taken on a new meaning to me. I look at my sons and I hope they will have a friend, they grow up with, someone he can share with, fight with, tell secrets to, hide from, and love. Other than each other of course.

This year though, I’ve been completely taken by surprise by making another Best Friend. Yes, that’s right, I in my bitchy bubble, apparantly get not one but two best mates! Go figure?

And I tell you what. Making a best friend when you’re all grown up (I’ll be 27 this month) is bloody weird! I’m constantly second guessing myself. I think of something funny and go to send a message and then think, stop harassing the woman, and then think, nah it’ll give her a laugh. Send it and then think …. Shouldn’t have done that… Must not message again until Tuesday! Lol. (she tells me I think too much and I know it’s true) I must be the only person on earth who acts like this.

I’m also a super affectionate person. I’m a cuddler. If it wasn’t socially unacceptable I’d cuddle for 5 minutes rather than the 5 seconds at the door! Lol. I like to give gifts, that let the other person know ” I was thinking of you” Once for Aims, I put together a little photo book of pics of us, and the kids and why she was so important to us…. Amie loved it, and I knew she would but now with BFF2 (have to work on that… ) I have to rethink my gestures… Sweet or scary? Touching or terrifying? Cuddle or Crushing? You get my point? Haha

Maybe the thing with best friends is that, it doesn’t matter what I do, it’ll sort itself out. I know if I did suffocate, scare or shock either of these amazing women they’d waste no time in letting me know. I know I can tell them anything, I don’t need to apologize to them for being me, I will be there for them no matter what, and love them no matter what. And that is something so special!

I haven’t written a blog in months but thinking about friendship seemed a good thing to come back for.

My long enduring friendship with Amie. 13 years, nearly half our lives
And this new friendship which makes me smile and blows my mind how important she’s become to me.
And the best part, about my “new best friend”: my best friend’s son, is now my son’s best friend!!!!

May you all be so lucky to have such great friendships. I’ll be treasuring these two with all I have :-)

Until next time … Tanya