24 January 2011

A bare minimum

This weekend has been stressful. We did that thing again where I think a bill has come out and it hasn't and the money gets spent on food and new wellies for the baby and... Our phone and internet were cut off for three days. Again. I feel pretty incompetant in the Grown Up Managing Life stakes. Plus, family stuff going on, well, just imagine that bit, OK? ;)

Sunday evening we did our usual early nights, thorough tidy around, clear the dishes and prepare everything for the morning. So this morning started off so smoothly and blissfully. Alas, by the time we got past circle time and into an activity, one of the big ones left the kitchen door open and the baby made snow with the last of our soap flakes.

After cleaning that up, my mum rang, and I cried on her a bit. Can't things be simple for me, ever? I feel like it's a fault in me, not in how things are, because doesn't everyone else cope with this normal everyday stuff? Mum suggested that she take the two big ones out for a walk. I had a better idea.
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The disgruntled face here is because she wanted the camera!
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This afternoon I sorted my kitchen junk drawer, started to clear the hall, and made pizza and cake. The girls helped, a bit, and played some more, and listened to some more Storynory, and... We are OK.

I think, if I can "just" get us out in the fresh air every day, provide regular snacks, take deep breaths, keep this home environment useable, read to them, and pray without ceasing, what could go wrong? It doesn't look like a tall order written down (well, most days it doesn't look too bad) but between the desire and the action there is this gap. What I want to accomplish and what I do... This is life in the gap, I suppose.

Can I hold in me the tension between what I want and what I am capable of? Can I be imperfect, fully and joyfully? Can I let go of should and ought, yet still have ideals, still believe in doing better tomorrow than I did today? Tonight I need to let go of those questions, go light a candle and take a bath and wash away today. I'm so grateful though, that for everything that felt wrong with my day, there were those moments - on the green under the grey, walking in light.


  1. Oh how I know that feeling, of being the only one who can't manage to get the house vaguely clean, of both the girls actually dressed (in something other than wellies and fairy wings with pj's!), or dinner made without someone in tears! I think most mums feel that way at least some of the time. I'm trying to learn (and not always suceeding) that imperfect and joyful are possible together, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't but I guess accepting that is half of the battle. Hugs to you all Clair xx

  2. I sympathise, I really do.

    I can't speak for other but I don't cope with the every day stuff all the time. Sometimes it's all I can manage to make sure that there is food and clean nappies.

    More positively, I love the photo of you and Rowan, she looks so snuggly. Is the hat one of your makes?

    And when did Jenna start looking so grown? So beautiful.

  3. Thankyou. :)

    The image of your girls in only fairy wings and wellies made me laugh, Clair. That counts as a good day here too lol.

    And Jenna IS looking so grown up, every now and again I wonder when this young woman arrived. Rowan's hat was one of my very first knits, though the back is crochet - it was made with oddments of organic merino that I bought for £1 a ball! :)

  4. Dont feel too bad about getting down at times.Sometimes life gets really hard and weights us right down.Its good you had your mum to talk to...afterall what are mums for(And goodness knows my mum has had a few tears this year alone to deal with from myself!)?I know when it comes to bills we stress, things seem to be getting more and more expensive out there and add up.But your right, getting out can help, having small snacks can make moods more even, just knowing others fell the same at times, it can all help.And it dosnt hurt to get it out there either like you have done.Try to breathe deeply, you will get through this and life will have many good things instore (without the stress of money, bills and bs its pretty good)

  5. Oh Sarah, I remember those times so well.... then when your girls are grown (like mine would like to think they are) you want the times when they were little. I've had such heartache and feelings of failure as a mother these past few months, Lily started at Landau in September by November she couldn't stand it anymore and just left. It has left a giant hole in my pocket and an ache in my heart ~ i never thought i would stop crying. Not because Lily has left school but because i feel a failure as a mother, the think society dictates that all children will go to university these days. There is just no help for a 17 year old .. no one wants to employ them, give them a break in any way. Lily is selling stuff on etsy ~ her own designs... she wants to have her own business but nothing is available to anyone under 18.

    i commend you highly for bringing up your children the way you do.

    hugs mandy x

  6. Oh wow, Mandy please tell Lily I so so understand. I left Landau after my A/S levels too, the equivalent of 2 A levels but then as now nobody really understood what an A/S level meant... I worked in a tiny Tesco store for two years until I had Jenna. The repetition and minimal hours of shopwork helped restore some sense of coping in that time. The pressure was meant to push me to do something Great, but I ended up with a deep need to do something Different instead. ;)

    Neither of you failed. You just succeeded in a different way. I'm so glad she had the strength to know it was the wrong place for her, and the drive to go be herself somewhere else. I hope she gets a break. In the meantime, please pass on her link and I will direct some traffic her way if I can. :)

  7. You are a very sweet lady, thank you so much. Lily has much the same philosophy really, she doesn't care about money, she wants to do something and be out there and be different. I guess no matter what happens with our children, we will worry and be scared for them.

    lily's blog address is http://frillyunderwear.blogspot.com/
    and she is on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheOctopodeFactory


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