Sometimes parenting can pull you until you are stretched out thin and taut like an elastic band, ready to spring back unannounced at any second, stinging the hand which got in the way by mistake. Ready to snap. Exhausted. Torn in different directions.
That's how i feel tonight. A day of one child sick with fever and a bad cold - needing to be carried everywhere, incessant coughing and a little throwing up in between. Needing Mommy by her side. All day long. It's lovely to be needed. Flattering. Some of the time. But in small doses maybe. And then the second one decided it was the perfect day for two-and-a-half hours of solid crying, tantrums (the rolling on the floor sobbing hysterically kind) and fighting about e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Everything I said caused the lip to crumple and more tears to erupt and a wailing noise to sound. He could audition as a fog horn. Seriously. A never-ending supply of tears and screeching. From a fight over which room to eat snacks and watch TV in, to more arguing and rudeness over homework. Even a bath to calm down, did nothing of the sort. It just went on and on and up and up. And today none of my tricks to divert or calm or change focus worked. It just escalated. Like being on a runaway train. Until, like the old woman who lived in a shoe i took away dessert half way through the eating and sent him to bed. Very early. And when i came back downstairs the other one was curled up asleep on the couch, exhausted from being sick. Or just from all the yelling. Possibly both.
My first post of the new year and i have been thinking of all the things i wanted to say. The new online courses i started - altho they are going a little shakily due to unplanned interruptions (aka paragraphs above). My new years resolutions. And actually a few days ago it was the one year anniversary of starting this blog and more than anything I have been feeling like it's time to call it quits and stop writing. It seems that everyone and her / his dog has a blog, at least here in the States it feels to me like that's the case . And seriously, how many Mamas talking about their kids and creative lives does anyone want to read about. I was thinking that I should just graciously bow out and leave the stage for all the other amazingly talented and successful or at least funny, bloggers and designers and i-have-my-life-all-together Mamas out there. But then maybe not yet. Because I am so grateful to those of you who subscribe to my posts and who read my scribblings and leave a comment now and then. Thank you. You make my day. And it's OK for it not to all be perfect. In fact it would be boring if it were. I battle with this one. Quite a lot. Being a perfectionist at heart. It is hard. Like parenting.
We are not a perfect family. I struggle. We struggle. We laugh along the way but we also fight and yell and get so completely caught up in tangles and knots. We cry. We wonder if we should have married other people. Then we are so glad we didn't. Then we wonder again. That's how it goes. We love our kids but sometimes we fantasize about boarding school. And then we cannot imagine spending a night apart from them.
Sometimes I am SuperMom and I am creative and positive and funny and the bestower of best treats and surprises. And other times I am a little scary with wild hair flying and feet stamping and determined to get her way. The old woman in the shoe rears her head. But then they are asleep and the day is over and there might be a glass of wine and a little downtime and tomorrow we get to try again. Because that's the thing. We get to keep trying. Knowing it's not always going to be postcard-pretty-as-a-picture perfect. And the people who say it is - well I've never really believed them and give me gritty over perfect any day .... it's OK for things to be a little messy and confusing and not always having the answer, and a bit of a struggle. Sometimes we do get stretched to our maximum - STOP, i'll snap, it's too far you are pulling. But we don't break and we don't tear - not too much anyway. We bounce back (eventually) and we gather ourselves back into shape and we ready for battle the next day. Or maybe we're pleasantly and oh so happily surprised when there is no battleground at all and instead we are given a hug or a tiny smile and the world is right again.
Wishing you balance and love and a huge amount of laughter in your own life and stretched-taut-elastic-times.