#819 What to be grateful for on Mother’s Day

They say ‘tomorrow is another day.’

But sometimes the crap feelings of the previous day seep into the next morning, and you are left feeling like the bad vibes just won’t leave you alone.

I was feeling pretty average this morning. After I swore I wouldn’t do anything to celebrate Mother’s Day for myself EVER AGAIN, my Mother’s Day presents told me that maybe, I was doing just fine.

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Sometimes, these ‘celebrated’ days are just too hard to handle. Polished and carefully selected social media photos make you feel awfully incompetent with any, sometimes ALL parts of your life, as you witness your immaculate family and friends, their children and Mothers and themselves, looking all smiley and happy and a picture of perfect family bliss.

They don’t show the tears. The fights that stopped just before the snap of the camera. The relentless arguing and disappointments that can precede the happy snaps.

Pretty snaps that, let’s face it, present a very brief moment in time. Often not at all a proper representation of life.

And yet, we still beat ourselves up over not looking as perfect as ‘others.’

Which is why, we must not worry about others and their social feeds. We find our own, real reasons to be grateful anyway.

We look for the simple things.

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The fact that mornings sometimes don’t start off too well, but we can still make something of the day, and turn it around.

The fact that we have family, and love, and also, great food.

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Some people don’t even have that.

Some people eat their lunch from a plastic container, their table the car park kerb, moving their life from street corner to street corner.

Some people are in hospitals right now, sick, alone and unable to move without assistance.

There are poverty-stricken children in the world right now, who have their sewerage pass them in an unenclosed hole, right near where they bath and feed themselves.

There are young girls being sold into sex slavery.

My sister told me that the frequency of ‘amber alerts’ that go off at schools is bone-chilling. Strange people loitering and hanging around the school gates, watching and taking photos of our littlies, trying to bait them over.

There are people, who don’t talk to their Mothers.

There are people, who don’t have their Mothers with them anymore.

And there are people, who want so bad to be Mothers.

Just because we may not know these people or see these things, does not mean it does not happen.

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So to have a day, where I was with my family, my loves, my happiness, spending cherished and truly special moments with them… my reserves were filled. My happiness was restored, and I felt again, that the simple moments with loved ones, are worth their weight in gold.

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#818 What Mother’s Day really means

You might think I am a day too early, but this has all happened after midnight you see. If you must, let’s call it Mother’s Day Eve.

Or just Motherhood, or Parenthood, right? Because putting things mildly, things went from crabby to horrific in a matter of hours tonight.

We were at a function on the other side of town. Baby girl had been better today, amazingly so, and so we went. She complained of something new though – her teeth. She said they were sore, and so on and on it went… from the car… to the reception… THE ENTIRE NIGHT.

We left as early as we could. She fell asleep in the car as expected. But then, woke up about 20 minutes from home.

And she cried and whinged the entire time.

At times she screamed. She whimpered as if having a bad dream. Her breath stuttered from crying so much. She was even hysterical.

What did we do? Well I tried to reason with her. I told her to stop. Ask her what was wrong. I told her I was there for her. I told her she had to calm down. I wiped her nose, and held her hand – while driving.

It barely helped.

So I did the good cop bad cop routine, and put on my angry hat and DEMANDED she stop crying. She was being ridiculous. She only cried louder. She was red and babbling and upset and no matter how angry I got, again, nothing seemed to help.

In fact it made it worse.

What was Hubbie doing? Well he tried. But let’s just say if she is not working with me, she won’t have a bar of him.

We finally got her inside the house. She cried as we walked up the driveway, after midnight, and I was sure her frantic cries would wake the neighbours and make them want to call the police.

The end of the night, had been a disaster. I was so upset. Is this what my weekend would become? Was this my lovely payday leading up to Mother’s Day? Did I deserve this wholehearted crap heaped upon me and my family?

Was this it?

I rugged her up and put her into bed, securing the blankets around her tightly. I sat close, and whispered to her as I gently stroked her head, to sleep.

“Shh, Mama’s here.”

“Mama loves you, always remember that.”

“I’m always here, whenever you need me.”

Her ragged breaths rose and fell, her small body shaking with every stutter, and as I made my strokes on her head more gentle, more softer, more deliberate, her breath evened, turned into whispered starts, and went silent.

Her body and the cold bed had merged as one, warming itself like a cocoon, and I could see from her face she was getting deeper and deeper. I sat there watching this peaceful face. This face that had made me so worried/mad/sad, and now all I could see in that moment, was love.

She had had enough of everything. She was over it all. She was tired. She just needed a break. 

Go figure. I had thought it was the teeth. All she needed was bed, my gentle touch, and my loving words.

A Mother’s work is not easy. It is trying and exhausting and it will make you cry from frustration as much as it will make you cry from happiness.

But when you watch their still and peaceful faces at the end of a long day…

You come to understand that the flowers, the chocolates, the gifts on Mother’s Day, mean nothing.

Because it is in these moments of reflection and tiredness, relief and grounding, that you come to appreciate what Mother’s Day is all about.

Simply, being a Mother. In every way, shape and form, through sunshine and storm.

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#816 Second Mother’s Day celebration at kinder

Winter had arrived early.

The cold snap was upon us. Icy winds and stay-at-home conditions meant all my running around after dropping baby girl off at kinder was definitely NOT what the doctor ordered.

The second half of the day was just as mind-numbing. A child getting progressively sick as the day wore on (I am not surprised anymore with all these grots at kinder), more freezing weather, a worsening mood brought on by stress and pressure and also, weird body feelings (please don’t let me get sick)…

Punctuated beautifully by a C U Next Tuesday of a job that meant Hubbie and I were scatter-brained and pushed to the limit this evening in trying to submit a form that HAD to be completed tonight… and it wasn’t even for us!

It wasn’t the best of days.

But the middle part, WAS. Because it was the Mother’s Day celebration at kinder day, so in amongst all of today’s crap, I got to spent some beautiful time with my baby girl, watching her play, and getting cute little gifts from her, to me.

What? What is crossroads?

Yes I like my eggs.

How often must I say I have work to do that she thinks, I actually like it?!

I must admit though, I ♥♥♥ that letter.

And my most favourite accessory of the day that I can take with me everywhere –

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Another Mum poked fun at the fact that our necklaces were so stunning, sarcastically speaking, and quietly I thought –

“I would actually wear mine out.”

It may not cost $100, and it may not be made from specially sourced and original jewels… but they were threaded by my baby girl’s hands, and that is more precious and prized than any store-bought item… 🙂

#808 The day is over/don’t listen to no one

Have you ever avoided something, or anguished over a certain future unavoidable event, to the point that it made you unwell? Stressed beyond belief? Incapable of rational thought?

Has anyone ever told you not to go to a certain place, because their perception of it was simply base and unfavourable?

Well this happened to us, and we still went. And it was the best time of our lives.

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Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge. One of the most beautiful places on earth ♥

Has anyone ever spoken badly about someone else to you, and painted a pretty crappy and shit picture of them to the point that you really didn’t wanna know the person?

Well, yes, this has happened to me too. Fortunately I give people the benefit of the doubt, in doing so giving certain naysayers no power with their hurtful words. Some of the most rewarding and happiest relationships come from listening to your heart and not taking heed of someone else’s words from their sad and displeasing life.

Has anyone ever told you about a bad experience they had… and said “it hurt like hell.”?

Well, yes. Yes this happened to me. And this person didn’t know at the time, but I was due to go through this exact thing. And it happened to me, today.

There is no greater realisation than when we discover that other people’s words, are just that… WORDS. Their experiences and points of view can be completely accurate and factual for themselves, and yet they can be so far from true for US, that it can be difficult to distinguish if at times, both parties went through and saw the same thing.

Went to the same holiday location.

Spoke to that same person.

Had the same awkward procedure.

Opinions can vary wildly, yet be completely accurate for both.

I was reminded of all of this today when I was delivered unscathed from just this procedure. I had built myself into the worst state possible, that I questioned why I was reacting and dealing with it all so horribly. Why? I had gone through worse! Was it the build-up? The not knowing what would happen? The horrible and endless possible scenarios?

Or was is the “it hurt like hell” remark?

I should know by now, really I should. This post is not just a gratitude post about all of my stresses about this day ending, but it’s a reflection and appreciation that all of our personal experiences, of people and places and things, vary so wildly, that honestly, it is perfectly okay if none of them are ever the same.

And that’s okay. That should make us feel better, not worse.

Honestly, NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER take anyone’s words at face value, please don’t. They are them.

And you are YOU.

And today, I was ME.

 

#723 Sick catch-up

Unfortunately for me, Hubbie did that second coat of polish today.

My cold has since progressed from just that, a ‘cold’ affecting my nose and throat region, to waking post-midnight with chills despite a comfortable overnight low of generally 17 degrees.

Today is the worst I have felt in a very LONG time.

Why me? I asked myself.

Why now? Was the second pressing question.

I didn’t have enough energy to think it through. I slept and lay for most of the day, when I wasn’t holding my head in my hands and taking Panadol.

But an idea did occur to me earlier in the day while baby girl was at kinder, and it made 90 minutes of my day that much more bearable.

You know how you always think of taking a sick day from work, just so you can catch up on stuff? TV shows, movies, reading, anything really that you would rather be doing than work?

I always have something to catch up on… in fact ‘our’ Foxtel Planner is about 99.9% full of my shows, yet to be watched… and one in particular has been sitting there for months now, just calling out my name, but its length felt too long to tackle in one go…

but not when you are SICK.

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I watched the George Michael documentary Freedom, the one he was a key figure in the production and creation of, but that he sadly didn’t get to finish before his death. It was intriguing to revisit those early Wham years and formative solo years, right up through his long Sony court case, the death of his partner Anselmo, and the succeeding album of it all, Older.

I got sucked right in and for a moment, forget I was sick at all… and I guess when you are listening to a life filled with the dreaded fear of Aids and death of friends from it, the issues of coming out to millions of fans (including your own family) and the often tumultuous side effects that can come out of being so famous from so very young an age…

Well I guess it puts it into perspective for you, doesn’t it?

Being sick on a Summer’s day (though so crappy) isn’t the worst there is, out there.

And so for that, and many other things, George, I’m grateful.

 

 

#658 My Girl

She sensed my mood and melancholy. She followed me up the stairs eagerly.

It wasn’t until we were on the bed, that she saw my face, wet. Her face mirrored mine within moments.

I calmed her down, though I should have been calming myself down. A stray tear rolled down my cheek, and she pointed to it.

“Tear,” she said. “Mama no cry… I get tissue.”

And off she went into the bathroom, only to come back and dab at my face with it.

“Thank you honey.”

“Better?”

“A little bit,” I said with a faint smile, mimicking her common phrase.

She then proceeded to try a variety of tactics in making me ‘better.’

  1. Kissing me 100 times.
  2. Cuddling up close to me.
  3. Being silly to make me laugh.

and then the clincher:

A game started, where I said to her “you’re the best,” and she responded “you’re the best,” and we were going back and forth for ages laughing and cacking up, until I said –

“Hold on. What if we’re both the best?”

But that wouldn’t do. Suddenly her Dad was the best. We roared with laughter.

“Are you stubborn?” I cheekily asked her.

“No!”

What an answer from a stubborn girl.

Only baby girl can turn my frown upside down, my sadness into laughter, and my tears into ones of joy.

She really is the best.