A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.
Belly :: (and Flynn) Kicks.
Flynn :: Face stuffed with something cinnamon.
Wyatt :: Poised to leap off the edge of the bed.
Harry :: Another one avoiding haircuts. So long as he doesn’t mind the knots being tackled, I don’t mind.
So, all of what I write here is honest, of course, but at the same time, it’s also just partial. These are moments, thoughts, days, but at the same time, never the fullness of any of that. I get that. So the dilemma is that the part can be (inadvertently) taken to represent the whole (which obviously, it doesn’t). If you’ve been a reader here for a while now, you’ll know that along with the gloriousness of motherhood, I also talk about the messiness and the toughness of it too. (Incidentally, I think I need to go reread that post about when things are tough, and also this one on how we cope, as Ivan is away for about three weeks at the moment, and I suspect I’m going to need it.) However, (where was I?? Oh right), however the vast majority of what I post is the good stuff. And by good stuff, I don’t mean heightened hoorah stuff, sometimes it’s just the ordinary stuff, but in a way, that is good stuff. It’s peaceful, content, assuring stuff.
Anyway, the one-sided-ness was brought home to me last week. After I posted this, a dear friend of mine wrote to me wondering ‘how I did it’, and shared her frustration with how who she felt she wanted to be as a mum, and how she actually felt she was, just wasn’t marrying up. And I so relate! I think most of us have moments of this. Or months. Motherhood or not.
So this week, along with some beautiful moments (hands on the belly? Love! Especially when they’re Harry’s, as he is aware enough to feel for limbs and kicks and gets a kick out of that, ba-dum-ching), I also wanted to add a few other words. Stuff that doesn’t get photographed.
Like how lately I’ve been feeling the weight of many children. Not that they’re weighing me down, but sometimes parenting one child can leave me feeling like I’m not able to give the others what they need/want/what I want to give them. And yes, I know there are many positives to them having one another, but it doesn’t erase my feelings. (And of course I absolutely chose a large family, but that choice doesn’t negate the challenges).
Like the other night when I was just so exhausted, that instead of reading books and spending time with them, I sent the kids to bed waaay early. Like six o’clock early. Our youngest can be a force of nature, and I was shattered and spent. I felt I had nothing left for the other two. I’ve been feeling this way more than I’d like lately… After I’d had about twenty minutes of relief, I just wanted to go and get my eldest, bring him out again to spend time with him. I wanted to erase the message that I was positive I had given out that I didn’t want to be around them. But they were all asleep.
The night before, Flynn had taken and hour and a half to go to sleep and so I love you boys, sweet dreams was replaced with cranky, snappy mummy who when the kids were finally settled, felt equal parts relief and what an awful mother feelings.
Motherhood is often like that. Equal parts loving and loathing the very same moments. So I bring you this story of #honestmotherhood, not to say motherhood is awful (far from it!), it’s just not always what we had planned or thought or expected. We don’t always share the fullness of it, the contradictory and fragile nature of it, so I’m sharing with you.
Those early bedtimes and less time with my kids became a feature last week, as I strove to avoid completely becoming someone who I didn’t want to be. And where I failed, thankfully the days were full of second chances to show love. But even so, it was a compromise. The kind that motherhood, and life and such are made of, yes, but still…
But still. It is what it is, yes? So while we celebrate the hoorah moments, and muddle our way through the messiness, toughness and muck, we also, in the meantime (in the most days time), relish in moments of gentle quiet, everyday sweetness and peace. And give thanks.
How do you make peace with all your compromises? Or have you found a magic formula to avoid this? Do tell 😉
(Linking up with Jodi, from Practising Simplicity).