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In Your Face

I am large and she is small. While I tend to her needs these days, I am stooped down often sitting on a stool while I’m dressing, diapering, buckling, or scolding her. And I’m right in her line of fire. I am the sight-line, the moving target for her assault.

Toddlers are spastic. They get excited when they eat sugar, are cold, or have to pee. And when they’re excited, they are likely to mess with and shriek at whatever’s in their face. Which means me at bath time, me at diapering time (now done while she’s standing up out of respect), and me whenever I have to lean over to buckle her into the car seat. In Your Face on Shalavee.com

When we are face to face, apparently it’s an invitation to poke at me, shriek at me, cling to me, or whatever other action suits her mood. The other day she bit my butt as apparently my butt was right at her eye level. She’ll squeeze my cheeks (face), puts her hands down my shirt, and now has suddenly taken to assaulting me with kisses.

When you have children, you already give up your privacy while peeing. And considering the lack of privacy they have when they’re diapers are being changed, I guess turnabout is fair play. I remember when Eamon was about this age, he came home from his daycare and told us that the teachers had taught him about “persable space”. We still use that phrase. We still don’t truly respect it.In Your Face on Shalavee.com

So my thought is that soon Fiona is going to need the same talk about personal space and permission. Because however I ask her to respect my body will teach her to tell others to respect hers. While she is terribly cute, she’s also most annoying pointing her spastic attention cannon at me.

Until she says very sweetly “You’re a very good Mommy”. Where does she get this stuff?

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

The Relentlessness of Motherhood

My go to word in describing parenting is relentless. My baby daughter, ungrateful and miserable, can cry at me at least ten times today, what feels like 70 percent of the day, beating me down further and further into defeat. The relentlessness is daunting.

You’re review is in. Fifty percent of today will not meet with her satisfaction and, according to her, you suck at parenting.

My top seven words to embody my experience with motherhood are:

  1. Chaos
  2. Temperance
  3. Perseverance
  4. Relentless
  5. Confusion
  6. Patience
  7. Exhaustion

All problems could be solved, you think, if only I had their money or their family. Those people with their 5 extra family members to spread out the stress of the 16 plus hours a-grueling-day of care-taking and giving. If only I had their time and money to buy nicer clothing to cover up my ever-widening butt until I could hire that trainer to help me widdle it down. For now, I wear my ill-fitting sweats, placing my greying thinning hair into something up-ish. My nails and cuticles dry and ragged for lack of care. I have that look of survival and neglect. That wild look that says I’ve thought about fleeing in my fantasies. The dull look of disbelief that this will get better no matter how many times people insist it will. Beaten and hopeless is all the rage in the truthful Mommy circles.At the grocery store years ago on Shalavee.com

If only I had the money to buy a SUV that I could comfortably load and buckle my child into without having the rain soak my back. Then I’d slip into the front seat and drive smoothly away to drop my privileged child off at that member of the care-taking team whose day it was to take them. Or I’d hire a housekeeper/child care-taking person as a stunt double so I could escape and make art or do lunch or have beauty salon time. Where’s my miracle money? My large ever-loving family? Where’s my get out of hardship free card?

No I won’t be looking forward to “taking care of myself” with a kale and flax smoothie tonight. Instead I’m thinking of making pasta with gravy, cheese, and deep-fried potatoes and a side of beef so that I can feel an ounce and moment of comfort that I never feel in my day-to-day existence. Wash it down with a 12oz glass of Shiraz and pray I can stay awake to watch any escapism television.Baby Fiona on Shalavee.com

Why is it wrong to want it to be easier than this? To want the release of the hardship and grinding daily agony. I want to feel light and unencumbered. I want privilege instead of lack. I want a child who doesn’t make me constantly feel like I’m failing her. I want to stand here in the winner’s circle and not the survivor’s circle. Like my mother did. Like hers before her. Because deep down I don’t believe there’s any other way for it to be but hard.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter orPinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

My Color Purple Story

One of my very favorite movies that I haven’t reseen in a long time, The Color Purple, has one of my favorite scenes of all time. I’ve mentioned this before but here I go again. Oprah Winfrey’s character Sophia Butler was spirited. After she is struck down and jailed for her spirit, she’s deformed and in the service of a neurotic white woman named Miss Millie who is loathable.

In this scene, Sophia gets to go see her family again and she drives herself there with Miss Millie in Miss Millie’s car. She arrives and is overjoyed and ready to get out and visit and hold and love on her loved ones. But Miss Millie can’t drive the car away. She gets upset by the happy children jumping about for Sophia and grinds the gears. And melts down.

Fiona and the purple asters on Shalavee.com

And just that quickly, Millie has to get back in the driver’s seat of the car and take care of Miss Millie like she’s a child. It’s the most heart wrenching scene. This is the scene I think of when I attempt to create and be in my happy zone only to be ripped from my train of thought and interrupted by a two-year old.

This is exactly why I don’t usually attempt to do anything. But as I said that first day of the challenge, a little bit is better than nada. Because there’s just nothing else to choose. Choosing to not create is unacceptable. Or should I say, choosing to not create in the craft room because Fiona is there isn’t reason enough.

And maybe the next time I will just be a bad Mama and put her in front of the Television. Duh.

I think it pisses God off if you walk by the color purple in a field somewhere and don’t notice it.
Alice Walker,
The Color Purple

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here.Yesterday’s post? Go here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Day Two of the Creativity Bootcamp

Second Day of the Creativity Bootcamp challenge. This morning I was granted a blessed 30 minutes of journal writing time to myself before my little redheaded early bird began with her morning “Mommy” chant. Tried to stay up the night before and write but too sleepy.

I chose to take myself to the gym first thing today. Battled steady rain juggling an umbrella and 35 pounds of girl in and out of truck multiple times. Drugstore, the gym, and the grocery store for milk. And by the time I got home, showered, folded laundry, and ate lunch, it was one o’clock. Fiona at the grocery store on Shalavee.com

I knew and dreaded as I headed in to the craft room with Fiona, it was again going to be That thing (see first day’s post here). And yes, she quickly commanded my attention, climbed and teetered on my stool, grabbed things, and then called Mommy twenty times while I was standing right next to her just because she knew it was irking me.

But I made stuff. Just standing there proving that I could do it. Despite. Perseverance even as I was irked. Proving that the disability, in my case a toddler, doesn’t have to define you as incapable. In fact it makes what you’ve created even more amazing. Day two creativity bootcamp challenge cards on Shalavee.com

I’m hoping for an actual break from small people on Saturday so we’ll see. To truly get a groove on in my creativity. I don’t want to sound monotonous as this post for thirty-one days in a row challenge continues. Just gotta get a groove going and consider how to spice all this up.

Thanks for following along!

Wanna see the whole month of posts? Start here. Wanna see yesterday’s post, go here.

If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

Summer’s Stutter Start

I truly had no expectations for the start of Summer. I was having a rough time anyway and didn’t want to predict it getting any rougher. But it still did. The same day that school let out, the two-year old got sick. And the next day, my husband had a tire blow out on the major highway. I then found out I’d allowed the children’s insurance to lapse and there I was in the strike zone again.

Worst of all, being underneath a sick and tantruming toddler for the next 7 days meant there was just no room for me. sick girl is still cute on Shalavee.com

I like having time and space to myself to create and feel productive and whole. In the absence of that, I feel ‘less than’, angry, and hopeless. Fed up and exhausted from the perpetual waking up of the child and the sudden relentlessness of my life, I felt shameful moments of rage and desperation and behaved in a ridiculously dramatic way to show to my husband that I in fact couldn’t handle all of this as well as he thinks I can.

I then explained that my mommy brain thinks I have to be watchful of the children 24/7. This consciousness ensures they’re kept alive but wears me out and could he please know that I do this and step in and say he’s got them for a while even without me asking? He may or may not have heard this but it was me saying something out loud. I need to hear myself say that I’m allowed a break.Rocking chair hug on Shalavee.com

My constant irritation by everything was exactly the opposite of the feelings of bliss and ease I’d had with my family on several weekends in the month before. What’s the difference I wondered ?

And as each day played out and eventually her health was restored, the insurance was renewed, the car was being repaired, and Mark’s work evened out, I began to feel better. And watching moments of tenderness between my children filled me with the gratitude I was missing. And I knew the spell had passed.

And then I knew what the difference had been.

Faith in my life. Faith in myself.

 

My family on Shalavee.com

When I thought about what really tweaked me during those really hard days, it was the belief that it would always be bad. My anxiety was climbing as I was silently predicting a future that would have me dealing with this stress perpetually. And I’d always be handling it alone. These wrong thoughts are called cognitive distortions. They are lies that we tell ourselves and then, when we feel the feelings of sadness, desperation, or depression, we say that the thoughts must be facts then because the feelings make them feel real. But they don’t. The distorted thoughts are the cause of the yucky feelings.

What I tell myself I believe.

I had myself believing I would always be alone, never have the help or support I would need, and that mothering a daughter would be the hell everyone has ever warned me about. But the truth is that phases ebb and flow. Bad spells come and go. Kids get sick and better. My support system was on vacation that week but they would return again.Siblings on Shalavee.com

What’s most important is that my kids don’t get the idea that I doubt my abilities to parent them. I spend quality time with them and they know that they’re loved. The sickness behavior screws it all up for a week and then it’s as if it never happened. And no, mothering doesn’t have to be the only thing that ever defines my worth. But I better get hopping on stuff that invests my talents for me and my hope into the future. So when the next tantrum and the next bad spell happens, I know I’ve invested in my goals and my getaways and my hope for my future. And that I’m not alone. That I’ve got my back too.

And If you enjoyed what you read, subscribe, via the subscription box in the sidebar, to my thrice weekly posts via your emailbox. And visit me on Instagram to see my daily pictures, friend me or like my page on Facebook. Or come find me on Twitter or Pinterest too. I am always practicing Intentional Intouchness so chat at me please. I live for conversations.

And, as always, Thanks to you for your visit.

 

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