Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cutting Some Slack

I've been going through a rough patch recently. The fact of Steven basically being away since May, illness and some family issues have found me on a really low emotional ebb.

I find it so hard to be honest about my feelings, ever since Darcy I have somehow shut down a part of my personality that allows me to feel freely and share those feelings with others. The lower I feel, the more I smile. It's a double edged sword, I can go on with my daily life without others suspecting my crumbling insides but it makes it hard for people to believe how bad I am feeling when I do admit it. Even my GP looked suspicious when I told him as I was not a crying mess, my children were dressed and my hair was done. It does not negate my depth of despair inside.
Anyway, in light of that confession, this morning was starting off particularly badly - Cameron had pulled every piece of clothing he owned out of his drawers and strewn them around the house, Anna-Jayne had the runs and therefore had to stay home from school and Poppy just wasn't her happy self. I made pancakes for morning tea and had lost my patience as they had all wanted to 'help' which ended in a smashed plate, sticky maple syrup floor and even more mess to clean up!
I sent Jaynie to her room to watch a DVD on the laptop and while Poppy was in there with her, I sat down with Cameron and did some drawing. I consciously made myself sit on his little stool, getting right to his level and made myself interact even though all I wanted to do was be alone. We had discussions about Transformers and Daddy being at work. While he was reaching for a texta, his hand deviated to rest on mine and give me a little rub. A cheeky little smirk later and he was back to drawing.
Then when he decided it was time for a TV break, I took Poppy into the shower with me. Again, making a conscious effort, I sat on the floor and drew shapes with her on the steamy shower screens and filled cups with water, tipping them into the next one. She looked up at me, her big blue eyes fixed on me and I just felt so loved and okay. Her little skinny arms around my neck and her little bum working its way to find a space on my lap was better and more fulfilling than I could ever imagine feeling today when I woke up.
It dawned on me that my kids don't want a 24/7 entertainer Mum, with a hundred organised craft activites and constant interaction, they only want snippets of my 100% time. Snatches of 5-10 minute blocks, a small activity together, a little laugh and quick stolen cuddle.
Suddenly I felt a huge weight release off my shoulders. I always feel as if I'm not 'good enough'. The house is not spotless, there is washing to do, the kids fight, I don't take them to the park every five minutes or make playdough everyday. But I do try. And they love me for it. I need to let it go and cut myself some slack. I hear the niggling voice inside my head say "cutting yourself some slack is an excuse for being lazy" but today I will ignore it.


Heids said...

Thank you for sharing...I understand the worse you feel the more you smile syndrome...

Sounds like you had some special times in your house today that can only ever be had when a mum does cut herself some slack.

You are their mum and you will always be good enough but days like today show you are exactly what they need, just the way you are.

Prayers and hugs.

Andrea said...

Leah you warm my heart with your words of love for your kiddies.

I know that I get like this too, feel really slack aboutthe type of day we are having, and then taking just a moment with Ellyse canmake all the different. Your words will ring true with lots of us mums I am sure.

You will forever be the best mum your kids could have and they will love you for it. From what I know of you, you provide a home full of love and fun.

Look after yourself.

Xiola said...

Gosh Leah, you made me cry! Thanks for sharing your feelings so openly. It's really going to help me today when I just feel like I need to be alone. I'm off now to sit with my boys for a bit.:)

Sue said...

That post bought me to tears, especially the last 2 paragraphs.
You have given me strength to keep going and appreciate those little moments, and not to try to be everything always.
hope you have a great day :)