Friday, February 15, 2013

FFS Friday: In Which Nothing of Note Happens

Well, it’s that time again, and what a week it’s been! Hooking up with Dear Baby G for a little whine therapy over my first world problems.

I ran myself into the ground this week, maternal guilt and a desperate need for a clean kitchen pushing me out of my armchair and into action... FFS

All this action has pushed me into a fit of fainting and/or spacing out due to lack of blood anywhere near my brain for the remainder of the week, meaning all my housework has been undone...FFS

I FINALLY got a replacement charger for my beloved TouchPad, meaning I can access all the eBooks I ordered then never got to read before I lost the old charger... No FFS There!!
Don't tell, but I may have smooched the parcel when it arrived.

As soon as I snuggled down to read one of these books, O realised what I was doing and bounced up under my chin begging me to let her plan Angry Birds...FFS

Because some days shutting her up is my main aim in life, I let her...FFS
Mini MOFO stole my happy

The TouchPad is on a HP operating system with no access to the educational apps and iPad or Android device would allow, so Angry Birds is the most stimulating thing I can let her play...FFS

I was then informed that ‘Aunty Mel’s iPad is better’, because it has the ‘Monster at the End of This Book’ app...FFS

The weather keeps forecasting storms, which gets me excited, but they never come...FFS

I deliberately don’t hang out any washing in case these storms DO come, so all our laundry is in a pile on the bathroom floor...FFS

Yesterday, I got a weeks’ warning for our latest rental inspection...FFS

Our storage room is waist-height in misplaced crap...FFS

And bedrest means I can’t do much cleaning...FFS

Might start looking for a new house...Oh FFS!!?!

Thanks for coming along for my weekly whinge...What’s been pissing you off this week?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Steely KinderMum Resolve

It’s a bit of a culture shock when you first become a LunchMummy, I think. By LunchMummy, I mean a mother whose child(ren) attend a kindergarten or school that require the sending of a packed lunch for every day of attendance.  It’s a new concept to me, despite occasionally being responsible for L’s lunches, and I’m learning as I go how important it is.

Since she was very small, O has attended a private daycare centre who supplied a lunch and two snacks a day, plus breakfast if your child was in the centre before 8am. This meant that, on most days, I could roll out of bed, take her straight to care and know that she was pretty much fed until dinnertime. Sometimes, I would do breakfast for her at home, but it depended on what time she’d arrive in the morning. I never, ever understood how lucky I was!

When O progressed to Kindergarten 3 weeks ago, I suffered a bit of a shock the first morning. I’m not used to preparing lunchboxes at all, and I really wasn’t inclined to. Add to that my exhaustion and you’ll deduce that poor O’s lunches for the first few weeks were pretty boring. Her kinder were very adamant at our orientation in November that foods had to be healthy, Healthy, HEALTHY. No sweet biscuits, no cakes, no chips, no crap. The lunch talk began to feel like a lecture, and I may have shed a tear or two as in my mind I realised that the expectations of these ladies were almost SETTING ME UP to fail as a Kinder Mum. 

Don’t get me wrong, I love O. I love preparing food, and making sure she gets the best possible start in life. However, no matter how hard I try, I truly, truly suck at organisation and preparation. Shopping lists and I go together like eggs and dynamite, and I’ve been known to visit the supermarket 8 times in a 7-day week to get ingredients together for various meals. When I do decide to be a domestic goddess and do a big grocery shop, exhaustion or disinclination hit, and I end up wasting a weeks’ worth of fruit, vegges and money. For me, it’s easier to fly by the seat of my pants.

‘But Tara,’ You’re thinking, ‘I remember you mentioning some pretty crippling OCD’. Why yes, gorgeous and elephant-minded reader, yes you do. However, people seem to have this habit of confusing Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder with organisational skills. They don’t go hand-in-hand as neatly as one might think. The need to have all my DVD’s alphabetised and my comedy, TV series and movie sections separated does not necessarily lend itself to a kitchen full of fresh groceries, an excellent meal plan (though I try) and home-baked snacks on hand for my kiddies at all times. 

O always eats well. Her lunches have always consisted of the vital components (fruit or veg, dairy, a sandwich and a special snack) but the dairy has often been a cheese stick, which I refuse to give up sending as she thinks they’re the business, the sandwich is mostly vegemite on white bread and the snack, more often than not, is one of those bars with a baked outside and fruity-jammy-puree-y filling. She LOVES them. The kinder, however, have made it very clear to me that they’re not so keen. In fact, they’re not so keen on a LOT of things, and most of their arrows seem to be pointing at everything I place in my little girl’s lunchbox.

Yesterday, I decided I’d had enough. One no-so-subtle hint too far pushed me over the edge, and I came home after kinder and cried for an hour and a half, convinced I was a shitty mother who was stunting my child’s intelligence and social growth with my lack of lovingly home-baked snackage. 

This clearly isn’t true, but I’m a less than rational thinker, so I steeled my resolve and put together a shopping list. Meals I could viably stick to making, their degree of difficulty almost nil but their nutritional value and likelihood to get eaten in my house quite high. I added to this a list of snacks that, again, were minimal effort for high reward. When B dragged himself home, spent, from another day dealing with douchebag co-worker, I dragged him straight out again to wander the aisles of the local Woolies for an hour, determined to get what I needed to become the epitome of Kinder Mumishness that I so want to be, just to prove to the thirty-somethings, the educators, everyone who is determined to shove me into the ‘shithouse young mother’ box totally wrong. I shan’t be staying there, thanks very much. One good habit at a time, I’m gonna kick my way out.

I know I’m doing nothing wrong. O eats and adores everything in her lunchbox, and she is the brightest, bubbliest, smartest kid I know. She’s had her finger on the pulse since the day she was born, despite breastfeeding failings, occasional treat lapses and the day I got to dinnertime and realised all she’d eaten was peanut butter from the jar and grated carrot. But it truly is time I got my ass into gear and worked harder at the motherhood thing. It’s time I stopped being a victim of Chronic Fatigue and pushed through to ensure she has everything she could possibly desire. And if, in the process, some people get the hell off my back, that’s not so bad either, is it?

So now I want to hear from you guys: What do you send your kiddies to school with? Has anyone, subtly or not so, made you feel like a shithouse parent, despite all the evidence to the contrary? And did you tell them to screw themselves, or work harder to prove them wrong?

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thankful Thursday: My Path

Every day of my life since I found out I was pregnant at 19, I’ve woken up as someone’s mother. I’ve woken up with my priority being my beautiful, bright, wonderful daughter.

I’ve woken up knowing that, no matter what my day may bring, it has a purpose. I’m her role-model, her protector, her occasional antagonist and her friend. I’m the one responsible for her well-being.

I love being a mother. I love that feeling of someone in the world who is mine to love, wholly, unconditionally and without pause. I love the selflessness of maternal love, the complete devotion to my little girl and her happiness and wellbeing.
Urgh.... please excuse the extreme boobage, I thought I was sexy

In my life, I’ve been given opportunities and haven’t always taken them. I turned down an offer to do a degree in teaching and have never, ever regretted that decision. I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher. And in the year I took off when I turned down my university offer, I met O’s father and formed the relationship that brought her to me. I’m not a teacher now, and I don’t get to spend my years ‘moulding young minds’, as it were. But you know what’s better than that? I’m someone’s mum. I’m soon to be someone ELSE’S mum. If I had been a university student, life wouldn’t have happened for me the way it has.

Even when my O is not with me, she is at the forefront of my mind. One or two nights a week, she stays in another house, for sleepovers with her Daddy, but this does not make me any less her mum. On these nights, I often peek in her room to check on her before realising that she isn’t there, or I wake and listen for her breathing. She is always at the forefront of my mind, as children should be to their mothers. 
Photo by the incomparable Jacqui at Miss J Media
So today, I’m linking up with Six by the Bay for Thankful Thursday. I’m going to be thankful for the opportunities I didn’t take (and the ones I did) that brought me down the path to motherhood. The path has been difficult at times, full of obstacles and sometimes painful falls. But it is the biggest blessing of my life to be a mother, and if you took me back to 18 and 19 years old, I’d do everything exactly the same (minus a tequila shot or 7)

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

It's been a bad day

Yesterday was what we call a ‘bad’ day at my house. This is a day where my mood is somewhere below ‘despair’ and I can’t seem to get a toe-hold. I do my best on these days to keep my head above water, for my little girl if nothing else, but yesterday it was particularly hard.

Unfortunately, I have some pretty severe depression and anxiety, along with a lovely case of OCD. This turns my brain into a melting-pot of hideousness, and some days are so bad that I get antsy. I can’t sit still, but I can’t cope with practicalities like cleaning or homework. I need to run away.

Yesterday, despite severe exhaustion, I needed to get out. I popped in my car and went for a drive for an hour (yes, this is so bad for the environment, but I’ve not driven at all for 3 weeks so it balances). When I got home, B was here for his lunch break, and I felt all my muscles tense up. I was 15-minutes out from kinder pick-up time, I needed that time to calm down so I wasn’t a mess when my girl got home. As soon as I got inside, B started yet another soliloquy on ‘Asshole Co-worker’, a man at work who doesn’t work, smokes while standing right next to my non-smoking husband, lies, acts like an arrogant SOB and generally makes B’s life hellish. 

I understand and have sympathy for B’s upset over Asshole Co-worker. He’s frustrated, and he’s a man with a short fuse. However, I’ve been getting at least 20-30 minutes ranting about this guy after every single work day, and quite often during lunch breaks also. That can add up to an hour a day (or more!) that I spend listening to complaints about this guy. I’m starting to get really, really mad about it and yesterday, when I’d needed the cooldown time, I snapped. I asked B if he had the time to come get O with me, to which he replied ‘no, I have to get back’ before continuing with his rant. I yelled ‘I’VE HAD ENOUGH’ and stormed out. I got into my car and screamed for at least a full minute or two, before going to get my little girl.

Every single day of my life, I work hard to put on a brave, happy face. My family deserve me at my very best, and it’s my responsibility to make situations happen where I can be that best. Yesterday, despite all my best efforts, I wasn’t at that best. That was all on me, because unfortunately some days it just can’t be helped. On these days, I only want for nothing to make it worse. I give O anything she wants on these days, because it keeps her sweet and happy, and I can cope. I don’t argue, because I don’t have enough control over my emotions to pull back. All I want from the rest of my family is minimal conflict. I want to be able to swim under that big, scary, overwhelming wave and surface on the other side. Yesterday, I felt like I’d managed to get under the wave and just as I was trying to get my head up, but B was holding me down.

I’ve been self-managed for many years now. I’ve never thought of myself as a ‘sufferer’ of my mental disorders, they’re just something I have that I deal with. I avoid medication like the plague. It takes away my personality, and I’m not ‘me’. On medication, I don’t joke with my daughter, I’m a less loving partner to my husband, I’m a zombie-lady who operates on autopilot, so I don’t medicate. The upside is total control on the good days and my bouncy, fun personality. The downside is that the lows are much, MUCH lower. Terrifyingly low. 

I ask little of my husband. Love, equality, a little financial security while I can’t work. Mostly, I ask for support. I ask him to help me in keeping my moods even, and I ask that he doesn’t exacerbate things on the bad days. Yesterday was definitely a bad day, and with this having been communicated, it made me hurt that he couldn’t pull back, as I do so often. 

I’m interested to know how this post strikes you. Do you have a mental illness? How does it affect your family life? 

I'm loving the fact that these days, I Blog On Tuesdays with Essentially Jess. Do you?

Friday, February 1, 2013

FFS Friday: In Which I Am Bland

 This may be neither interesting, nor funny. I'm blaming the change of weather (33 degrees yesterday, 23 today - it's cold!) and my lack of sleep.

B was home Monday, which I thought meant I’d have some help with post-party cleanup. Instead the day was spent on the sofa watching Fast and Furious movies... No FFS

However, this means my house continues to look like a bunch of preschoolers went feral here...FFS

Packed to the Rafters returned Tuesday with a miscarriage story...FFS

The pregnant woman was 12 weeks...FFS

This aired 12 hours before my 12-week ultrasound...FFS

My tiny person was all good and healthy though...No FFS There!!!

My darling husband managed to come home from work last night with 2 traffic fines for not using a seatbelt and using a mobile phone...FFS

Not even his personal mobile, the work mobile for callouts... FFS

He wasn’t meant to go to work today, he had a day off and he called to check in and was told he was needed...even though it was DEAD QUIET...Oh FFS!!!

Consequently, I now have to find close to $600 to pay said fines...FFS

Woke up this morning to an empty house... No FFS, normally

However, it is my birthday and I would have killed for cuddles from the man and the bubba...FFS

It’s cooled off here today, and I’ve realised I didn’t pack anything warm in O’s bag for her Daddy’s house...FFS

Starting to wonder whether my brain has fallen out completely... FFS

Linking up with the amazing Dear Baby G as always to whinge the frustration away.