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Articles tagged with: Emotions

{The Ordinary Moments 14} #39 'This Is Motherhood.'

on Sunday, 19 October 2014.

On Friday afternoon I got the girls up from their nap and within minutes they were both screaming.  Not just crying, or having a tantrum, but really really screaming, which in itself is pretty rare for both of them.  LL eventually calmed down, but poor Mads carried on sobbing, while clutching her ear in pain.  I tried to reason with her, to cuddle her, to comfort her, but nothing was working.  After realising she wasn't going to settle, I rang the emergency doctor and headed down there to get them to check her out.

I rang my Mum in slight despair at the noise and stress of the situation, and on hearing Mads and LL crying in the background, she came to my rescue.  She sat with Mads on her lap, holding her tight, doing her Grandma duties, while I cuddled LL.  She came in while the doctor checked them over, and after diagnosing both with bad coughs, high temperatures, and poor Mads with a severe ear infection, she took me to Sainsbury's and bought us 'essential medical supplies' such as antibiotics, ice cream, ice lollies, diet coke and sweets.  

She then came back to my house which I had left in a hurry and in a complete state and she cleaned up around me while I cuddled my poorly ladies close on the sofa.  She got on her hands and knees and scrubbed a rather disgusting cat poo off my carpet (thanks Walter!), she changed the litter tray, she hoovered and she helped me sort out the girls.  She pottered around for an hour or so, before giving me a cuddle and leaving us to it, as Mr E was out for the evening.

As I lay in our bed a little later on, my arms tightly round Mads who was whimpering and crying in her sleep, while playing with my ear as she so often does for comfort, I thought back to my Mum.  Those simple gestures, those things she does for me day in and day out, that show us just how much she cares.  How she comes up to my house and grabs a load of my washing, takes it back and irons it just to help me out.  How earlier in the week when we were all feeling under the weather she told us to come up to hers.  She helped the girls paint while I sat back, had a break and ate beans on toast.  How easily it is ingrained in her to take care of us, even now.  How these things are so small that sometimes I don't even notice them, but that when I take a second to think about it, I realise just how much she does.  

This is motherhood.

It's not always plain sailing.  It's not always about picture perfect photos, happy days out and ticking off milestones.  It's about having that instinct in you to know when your children need you, whatever age they are.   It's about the simple things, the ordinary moments and the little gestures.  And as soon as you take that little person in your arms the moment they are born, you learn what it is like to love someone unconditionally.  Through the amazing times, the rough times, the ordinary times and the day to day times.  

We have had a fair few moments like that this week.  Moments where I have felt this raw emotion that comes with being a mother.  Like when I was cuddling in bed with Mads, letting her play with my ear pretty much all night long even though it actually hurts a little sometimes and meant I couldn't sleep.  Or realising a poorly LL had fallen asleep on me and not moving for an hour because I was relishing that feeling of having her so close to me.  It's these moments, that technically are supposed to be tough, that are genuinely the sweetest.  To feel that satisfaction and utter love that comes with being the one my babies need.  That I am the one that makes it all better.

Sometimes I think about how fast the time is going and it almost takes my breath away.  It makes me feel so sad to think that one day my girls might not need me, or that I might not be their whole world.  The thought of it makes me get tears in my eyes and I will the days, months and years to not pass so quickly.  But then I think about my own Mum.  About how she would drop anything to look after us.  All the simple, little things she does to help us.  About how at thirty years old, I still need her.  And I know that she is there.  She always was.

I hope one day my girls will look back and remember not only the big holidays, fun days out, or exciting times.  I hope they will remember the ordinary and the not so good ones too.  How I held back their hair as they were sick, how I cuddled them close and held them as they cried.  How I would do anything for them and about how I loved them unconditionally.

Because that is motherhood.

 

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{The Ordinary Moments 14} #38 'Far More Happy Moments...'

on Sunday, 12 October 2014.

I've found this week pretty hard.

When I type those words, I instantly want to delete them, to write about something else, to stop being so dramatic.  I am well aware that my 'pretty hard' weeks are pretty flimsy and mild in comparison to other people's 'pretty hard' weeks.  When I type those words, I feel like a fraud, that in reality I don't have any right to complain, or moan, and that I should feel thankful for what I have.  I know how lucky I am, and then I feel cross with myself for feeling this way.

It's not been anything in particular that has made me feel like this.  The girls have on the whole been pretty good, bar the usual typical moments of strops, inevitable tiredness, or brief difficult ten minutes that come with parenting a three and a one year old.  In fact, I had a lovely day away on Wednesday, (more about that later this week) but for some reason I haven't been able to shake this mood I am in.

One major reason is that I have been poorly.  It's not something I particularly write about on this here blog of mine, but I have been suffering on and off with horrible episodes of sickness and cramps for months.  This week it has been particularly bad, and on Thursday after a few nights of restless sleep, I was left feeling tired, grumpy and a little anxious.  I let it build up, had a good cry and then felt better for it instantly.  

And that's the thing.  Sometimes it's good to feel a little self indulgent.  To have 'one of those days' even though you know how lucky you are.  To have a cry, or a moan, or be a little over dramatic.  To accept that you are being silly, or a little over the top.  To know that deep down, you have it pretty damn good.

If you don't ever feel a little emptiness from time to time, for whatever reason, then you wouldn't ever know the satisfaction of feeling full again.  So on Thursday, when I was feeling pretty ill and rubbish, we headed outside just for a little bit to get some fresh air.  To brush away the cobwebs and that feeling you get when you have slight cabin fever.

Seeing my beautiful girls, walking hand in hand, in their matching outfits, was enough to snap me out of my funny old mood.  

Because for all those 'pretty hard' moments?

There are definitely far more happy ones.

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{The Ordinary Moments 14} #31 'Half Glass Empty Half Glass Full'

on Sunday, 24 August 2014.

*Disclaimer- this is a bit of rambling post on motherhood that doesn't really make much sense, but my emotions were all over the place this week.  You have been warned!*

 

I have a tendency to let the mundanity of life catch up with me sometimes.  Occasionally the constant nappy changes, the endless making lunches or lugging two small people around the supermarket with one running off and one refusing to sit in a trolley, will result in me feeling a little bit out of sorts.  I will pace around the living room waiting to hear the front door open and see my husband arrive home from work, just to get a little break from the constant demands of motherhood.

At the back of my mind, I always deep down know how lucky I am, how blessed I am to have the opportunity to work from home and be the person who looks after my girls the majority of the time.  Of course I know that, but sometimes the intensity and mediocrity just catches up with me.  Because let's face it, being a parent is hard work.  It's relentless, from the second they open their eyes in the morning until well after they have gone to sleep at night.  Making sandwiches, the nursery drop off, running their bath water, tidying the toys after they are in bed- we repeat so many moments in motherhood we could probably do them in our sleep.  They become routine.  They become day to day life.  And sometimes that day to day life gets a little stagnant, or a 'bad day' in the life of a three and a half year old learning to express her emotions can throw it all off kilter slightly.  You can feel like your glass is half empty even though you know deep down that couldn't be further from the truth.

But then I also have the other kind of emotional moments.  These happen once in a while too and they are even harder to describe.  My husband has a tattoo of the yin and yang symbol, I don't hugely like it to be honest (it's very late 90's sorry Mr E!) but it was done another lifetime ago.  However recently I have been thinking about the meaning behind it and how in a way you can relate it to the feeling of motherhood.  How opposing or contrary forces are actually interconnected and complementary to each other.  Amazing and beautiful moments, followed by difficult or sad ones.  Ordinary days where everything goes right followed by ordinary days where it all feels just feels a little bit challenging and hard.  

This week I have felt so teary.  But not teary in a sad or unhappy way.  Just emotional with the intensity of it all.  Emotional because I feel lucky to have this mundane, slightly boring life.  The slightest thing has set me off, whether it's a sad song, saying goodbye to my grandparents, or even cuddling my biggest girl who clung to me in our bed in the night after being sick.  As she lay with me, I felt this raw emotion so strong that it made me cry silently into my pillow. I find that being a mother is loving so deeply that sometimes it actually physically hurts.

There's this fear deep inside me that I don't even like to think about let alone put into words.  I imagine all mothers have it from time to time.  Most of the time it lies dormant, always there but hidden, a passing thought in the midst of a busy day.  But sometimes it pushes it's way to the surface and it can consume my thoughts.  It may be something on the news, something that has happened to a friend of a friend, or even god forbid someone you know.  A glimpse into someone else's anguish and despair.  The fact that life can change in an instant.  And these moments will always make me sad but occasionally they will floor me.  The thought of anything bursting my happy bubble of ordinary life.  

Because Motherhood is so much more than making sandwiches, the nursery drop off, running their bath water, and tidying the toys.  Underneath the routine and the structure, there's the deep rooted  intensity of loving someone so much that it can completely change you.  That you can have days where you feel like crying for absolutely no reason because you feel so overcome with emotion about how lucky you are.  Sometimes the best way to process that is just to carry on, to go about your day to day life- to play, to teach, to discipline and to make memories.  And it goes back to the Ying and Yang theory, for all of the worry, fear, guilt and mundanity, there is happiness, love and gratitude.  Those complimentary opposites constantly interacting and balancing each other, not being able to exist without the other.

You need the odd bad or challenging day to fully appreciate the good ones.  Sometimes I need a good cry, or to go and pick my children up from nursery early for a cuddle, or to really sit and closely watch them on the sofa eating an after nap biscuit to remind myself that ordinary life isn't always easy.  That motherhood isn't always easy.  We may be incredibly lucky but that everyone is allowed to feel like their glass is half empty on the odd occasion.  

But that deep down you know that it is in fact full to the brim.

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Intense.

on Tuesday, 20 May 2014.

It's approximately ten past eight in the morning and there are big salty tears running down my three year old's rosy cheeks.  Her little face is screwed up in some form of anguish, her mouth is open wide and she is wailing.  Loudly.  I know that it is early, but I glance down at my watch and note the time regardless.  Ten past eight.  We have been up little less than an hour.  And already I am thinking 'This is going to be a long day.'

This particular meltdown was over the fact that she wanted to wear her leggings rather than her shorts, but to be honest it could have happened over anything really.  She is tired, I am tired and the day hasn't even really begun.  I feel defeated, like I am fighting a losing battle...that the day isn't going to go well, yet it hasn't even really started.

There's only one word to describe it.  Intense.  

Before you actually become a mother you don't really realise just how enormous it is going to be.  Of course, you know it will change your life, but you don't really factor in that intensity.  The exceptional highs and the exceptional lows.  And all the little bits in between.  

You imagine life to be a little bit like something out of glossy baby magazine, you walking round in trendy clothes with a full face of make up and an immaculately clean, pristine baby cooing happily in their buggy.  You imagine the trips to the seaside, the cute little baby clothes and the euphoric feeling of bringing a little person into the world that is part of you and the person you love most.  There's the thought process of plenty picture perfect moments of delightful scenes of motherhood.

Which of course there is.  There are those 'pinch me' moments where life is exactly how you want it to be.  Where you feel like you are walking round in a dream and this is all you ever wanted.  Where you can't quite believe that you are lucky enough to be known to these two little people as 'Mummy'. There's the cuddles, the kisses, the lying together and reading a bedtime story...the little ordinary moments that are everything you wanted and more.  Motherhood is powerful, extraordinary and a complete and utter blessing.  

There's also the other side that you don't read about in the magazines or learn about in the baby books.  Of course, there is the raw intensity of loving someone so deeply it actually hurts a little.  Of being afraid of the 'what if's?'  The fear of something bursting the little bubble of family life that you are so happy to be a part of.  Or being constantly anxious or worried that you are indeed doing a good job as a mother.  That you are getting it right. Those are the big emotions, the ones that can knock you sideways and take your breath away in a second.

But there's also the other intenseness, less fierce than those large emotions but powerful all the same.  And that's the intensity of day to day life.  Of being the person they shout for in the morning the second that they wake up.  Of being responsible.  Totally and utterly responsible for shaping these two innocent little people into who they were meant to be.  Making meals, reading stories, putting them in their car seats, teaching them, guiding them, wiping way their tears, caring for them, loving them...the list goes on.  It's all consuming.  It's exhilarting but it is exhausting.  It's incredible but it can be frustrating.  It's the best thing ever but it can push us to the limits.

It's intense. 

And just like there are days when you feel you have it all under control, there are those days where you feel like you don't have it figured out at all.

Sometimes you need to wipe away those tears at ten past eight in the morning, plaster on a smile and think that today will not become 'one of those days'.  Sometimes you need to go out and just let off some steam.  Blow away the cobwebs and the negative thoughts.

Sometimes it just really doesn't matter if you all eat far too many chocolate digestives and then they don't want to eat their lunch.  It doesn't matter if you then all have an ice cream on top of that as well.  A big Cornetto, not even a child friendly Mini Milk.   It doesn't matter if they get mud all over their new shoes as they really want to jump in that dirty puddle.

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Sometimes the only option is just to embrace it all and laugh.  As if you don't then you may cry.  And laughing totally is the better option.

And then that laughing becomes genuine as you see little faces enjoying the most simple moments together, the pure and innocent smiles plastered across their rosy cheeks.  The way the swings make their little curls blow in the wind and they get breathless from a combination of excitement and giggling.  

And that intensity comes back again, but this time it takes on an entirely different form.

Intense happiness.  

And that feeling that even though it can be the hardest job in the world at times, motherhood is most definitely 100% worth it.

 

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