It’s ok

Actually
It’s so totally ok
That I’m tired

It’s a massive job
Being a human

It’s a massive job
Being a parent
To small humans


The world is in utter turmoil


So much doesn’t make sense


Our innately, exquisitely intelligent children can see this so clearly


And they know


They know how to pull us back to the truth of our reality


They know how to pause in wonder at
birdsong, starlight, new fungi


They know how to play


They know how to feel


They know how to take their sweet time



What they don’t know
is how fucking uncomfortable it is
to be stretched across the chasm of their knowing of what’s real
and our adult bondage to
the bullshit reality of late-stage capitalism



It’s so totally ok that I’m tired

Copyright 2021

The joy of poo blur

The household toddler has had a visit from gastro this week. That meant being woken every two hours for two nights in a row by a fevering child, living in a blur of repetition of toilet checking, bottom wiping, hand washing, administering water and offering dry foods, and surrendering to dropping all plans. It has meant losing wages whilst still paying for unused daycare, and having the tv on way more than usual.


On the back of all this, yesterday I sat 2 adult naplan exams, complete with overcoming the stress of the power point not charging my lap top, my mouse stopping working, and the remote proctor not being able to access my camera, resulting in a 45 minute delay to my exam start time. Somehow managed to get a delicious evening meal on the table, and little one is on the mend today.


Yet the biggest challenge for me was helping her to put on the tiny gardening gloves that she was insisting on wearing for our walk this morning.
She also brought a cushion “in case I fall over”.
So of course one block into our walk, I’m carrying a pair of gloves rolled up, a cushion, a hand full of lillipillis, a few flowers, a bagged dog poo, and the lead of our 40kg old man. All in one hand to keep the other hand free to hold hands with little to cross the road.


A young woman jogging freely in the other direction with both hands free and ponytail swinging, smiled at us.
I thought, maybe she looks at us and wishes she could have this moment.

I am having this moment. This is what life has given me right now. What a joy.

De-ode to decaf

Oh Decaf.

Am I the one for whom you exist?

No caffeine from you will pass through my tits

For wakefulness you shan’t be blamed

Nay, nor thanked…

You’re a bit like chocolate incense- nostalgically reminiscent of the real deal, but not a spot hitter by any stretch

Breast is best breast is best

yes yes yes

yes yes

yes

yes

I absolutely get behind the list of benefits

But

I challenge anyone to forego BOTH sleep AND coffee, then tell me “breastmilk is free”.

It’s not.

Ode to Lady Grey

Oh subtle maiden, so light and ephemeral… are you even real?

Who was your namesake, that you are such a simple pleasure, in your blue Twinings paper gown, with an arousal so light that you tempt me a second time?

Today’s early start and less than well child take their toll as the afternoon wears on.

I urgently scrape the wet side of the last piece of Turkish delight through the icing sugar, hanging out for a hit of false zest.

Water, some nuts, perhaps a meedjool date – I know what I ought to do. And I do these things earnestly, I do. And in addition I crave my fragrant mistress, who seems to promise that she’ll never tell.

Please don’t, my afternoon darling. Don’t tell those neural pathways of the night that we have trysted so late in the day. Our romance depends on your discretion.

For you serve me not well as a morning friend. Not even your husband The Earl will do as a prelude to that exotic dark beaned stud who visits just once a day.

No. Your place in my heart is discrete as it is discreet. My 3:00-5:00 pm liaison. And in that window, I adore and revere you.

But ’tis on days such as these that I may seek your pleasure double.

And if I dare, and I know you won’t dissuade me; how can I know that you will let my True Love, Sleep, wrap her most sincere arms around me when I seek my nightly rest?

How can I trust you not to jostle with her, taking me in rapidly changing directions through diary entries past and future, through refrigerator contents, choreography ancient and yet unknown, through band names, song lyrics, childhood wounds, current concerns… oh light touch you may have; but I know your secret depth.

As I know what you give me in this moment; as the stretch in front of me gapes wide, alluding to another walk, (this time with teapot, unicorn, and boots on the wrong feet), more trampoline bouncing, some kind of cobbled together evening meal and the epic bath book etc end of things… of course I need your sweet whisper of courage.

The bergamot on your breath urging me to recall my optimism at sunrise; your warmth in my mouth softening my every cell to continue my gracious surrender to every moment’s gifts.

Your soft lips brushing mine, with a lightness even more delicate than that of your notoriously gentle husband. Oh my treasured friend, you know I favour you above herbal remedies, or excess sugar, or the sensible option of a protein snack.

So please, as we repeat our most adult dalliance within minutes of the last sip, I beseech you, as the kettle steams in anticipation of our second kiss of the afternoon; betray me not, as I lay me down tonight.

Let me find slumber deep and sweet, and your place in the front of the drawer you shall keep.

The Dawn Chorus

“Mummy! Where are my toes? Where’s Garden Bunny? Where’s my orange blanket? Where are Mummy’s toes?”

We are going through a phase of 4:00 am existentialism.

It’s ok. I quite enjoy the window it gives me into the workings of Little One’s blossoming mind… although, I am glad that my strategy of hugging her quietly through her musings seems to shorten her wakefulness, rather than turning it into a full blown discussion by responding to her queries.

Such a relief really, when she drifts back off to a peaceful sleep and I kiss her soft curls and listen in wonder to her easy breath…

And then: here come the thoughts.

And then: here come some more.

And now: here come the thoughts about how I’m having thoughts and therefore must be awake… and could be asleep… and would be better off asleep…

And there ends any chance of me getting back to sleep.

I have a bag of tricks to dip into at such times – yogic breathing, body scan, counting backwards, ‘lying down meditation’ (you know how when you’re in sitting meditation you sometimes drift towards zzz – trying here to transfer this phenomenon to horizontal plane)… anyway, there’s something about that time of day, when the trees are still still, and you know that even at the coast the first glimmer of light hasn’t yet hit; but if the brain is awake, it goes into alert. None of the tricks seem to work.

I can still relax and allow my body to rest; but am I really getting the true level of replenishment I need to keep up with my daytime self?

Today, I’d wondered this for long enough that I had begun to tune in to the very beautiful sounds of the day awakening.

I could hear the trees starting to breathe more deeply as the birds began to rustle themselves awake and whisper to each other that the light was changing.

I could hear morning dew twinkling.

I could hear the low clouds that had blanketed the night thin themselves out and release a gentle morning rinse upon the earth (and my clothesline of nappies).

I could hear twigs and leaves drop to the ground as the birds got more active.

And then the singing.

So much singing. With such jubilance and clarity. I was inspired to get up and see if I could magic up a cup of tea to enjoy while it was still hot.

Oh the light!

I’ve long considered my sixty year old Rose bush at dusk to be my absolute favourite play of light. But today was pretty freakin special.

All my lying down meditation had me well primed to really soak in the wonder of how every single day the sun comes up.

I watched, from my corner lounge in the corner windows as the golden glow rose up from the east, easily visualising the glimmer it would now be casting over the ocean.

I breathed deeply, integrating into all my cells the gratitude at having this delicious solitude; just me and the dawning day.

What a sublime treat.

Inside the house, my old hound snores, all is quiet from the children’s bedrooms. Incense smoke unfurls, and my tea cup is warm in my hands. This is it.

The very here and now.

“Mummy where’s Garden Bunny?”

Little footsteps carry a little voice down the hall towards me, and the moment I am in is richer even than the one before, as I scoop up a bundle of pyjamas and golden curls and we snuggle into the bliss together.

Lucky lucky me!

(Written in thirty second spurts throughout the morning, long after the sun and Little One had risen).

More Toast?

“More toast please Mum”, I reply.

Aah. Breakfast in bed. My once a week special treat. Babydaddy does a sleepover and I get to have a leisurely morning while he gets to see what it is that I do on all the other days. In theory. But if that’s how it’s gonna fly, there’s a whole lot of ground work to lay. And who’s gotta lay it? Mother hen, that’s who.

Congratulations and hooray for all the women out there who have intuitive partners who really truly share the load. I understand that there’s a possibility of not being the only one to carry the responsibility of doing all the thinking, and I promise that there are times when I really truly have a go at letting go of the reigns; but the reality is, that when I make myself a tray of tea and toast and quietly bring it back to bed, I am still the mum.

And if I want to enjoy peaceful, quiet time, I have to earn it.

I have to explain to the other adult that on all the other mornings I am up with the toddler and on the go, responding to her needs, keeping us on track, and getting us out the door on time.

This includes, and is rarely limited to – having the kitchen cleaned before bedtime just in case I fall asleep with Baby (best case scenario for my ongoing mental health, given the early starts and broken sleep, not to mention mega sleep debt), making sure I’m showered, have taken my magnesium & brushed my teeth, have tidied the living area ready for a fresh day, have set up an ‘invitation to play’ for the next morning, have prepared her lunchbox if it’s a daycare day, and have applied my moisturiser whilst saying to the mirror “I love you, I see you, you are great”. So that’s the night before.

In the mornings, I have to be organised with keeping Baby happily busy if I don’t want to be followed to the toilet, or I just have to accept that having things brought to me in that tiny room is a part of this stage of parenting. The luxury of closed door toileting, long showers, a leisurely coffee… these are things I have forfeited for a child who feels connected and secure. For now, because she is still very small.

So, on my ‘morning off’, my idea is that I get a chance to replenish so that I can keep going on all the other days. I’m lucky as a single mum to have this weekly chance.

But if Babydaddy wants to go to the toilet and shut the door, Baby knows where to find Mum. If Babydaddy wants to have a shower, same. If Babydaddy didn’t get organised with lunchbox the night before, Baby needs to be entertained while he does this at his once a week leisurely pace. And if there was no ‘invitation to play’ set up the night before, then keeping Baby entertained takes more.

As Mother Hen, is all of this intrinsic? Hell no. How I manage sustainably comes down to acquired skills, thought out systems, and practised rhythms. Yes, there is an organic natural flow, yes, there is a lot of intuitive loving awareness, yes, I’m a bloody great improviser and a fast thinker and can operate in the kitchen like one with many more arms than I have.

But at the end of the day, and at the start of the next day, and in the seemingly endless, relentless cycle of keeping on going in a home that is ordered enough to support a developing sense of security, it is my presence and preparedness that keeps me going.

Because this job needs me to keep going.

And that’s why, when, on my ‘morning off’, Baby has come wandering and found me, and nobody is protecting my solitude from outside my bedroom, and she sees me with my tray of tea and toast, and asks for a bit, and then a bit more, I respond with loving gentle parenting. Because that’s easier than getting up to knock on the toilet door to explain all of the above.