I'm a 3536 37 38 year old mother of 3 who needs a break - physical, mental, spiritual or financial - I'll take what I can get. My husband says I work too much and I should chill more. Whether he's right or wrong, my life is what it is. I'd love some more "me time" to read, write and shop, but I never have the time to take it. So this blog is my "me time" and it's ALL ABOUT ME.
I think what Ashley
and I disagree on is whether moms have a right to complain.
ďPut yourself in one of
your children's shoes. If your mom complained about the mundane things such as
combing your hair or fixing your lunch, what kind of message would that send to
you? Self-sacrificing our time (and that dazzling social life) for all these
necessary things shows our children that we love them.Ē
What I get from her comment is that moms
donít have a right to whine. Weíre not allowed to say we donít enjoy something
relating to child-rearing. We should uncomplainingly sacrifice all our time to
serve our families.
I donít agree. I watched my mother immerse herself in the
mundane for 20 years. She never complained. Ever. To anyone. It earned her a breakdown,
serious enough to land her in a psychiatric hospital.
What I learned from
her experience was to always be in touch with my feelings. I donít think my mom
even complained to herself. Which meant she wasnít sure about how she felt about
continuously serving at all times.
So I complain. I
whine. I sulk sometimes.
However, I think you
misunderstand, Ashley: I donít sit around complaining like an 8 year old to my
kids about how irritating it is that I have to make them supper. I wait until
theyíre in bed and then I complain to the internet. Totally different audience,
totally different purpose. I complain because Iím a real person, with real
feelings, and sometimes I donít like doing the necessary.
Not that Iíd ever
neglect the necessary. I just like grumbling sometimes.
Aaaaand just when youíre
feeling all smug and happy about your blog, along comes this comment in answer
to my ďMissing: 1x social lifeĒ post:
ďI thought "your" life was your family when you had one.
Being a mother is one of life's biggest blessings but we miss it so often
because our culture makes us think that we need all these other things to make
us "who we REALLY are", or were meant to be; a job, a social life,
etc, etc. These things aren't bad but they make us discontent with our
situation that so many would give up all these other things to have. I wish
more moms would find satisfaction in the mundane work that's necessary to raise
up children. It's the little things in life that seem so insignificant that
Ashley, I get what youíre
saying. Believe me: I appreciate my status as a mom. I tried for more than 3
years to conceive James. Iíve been pregnant 6 times and I have 3 live children.
I love, appreciate and cherish them.
However, I donít cherish
the mundane. Not that I dream of being one of those creepy Mrs Americas
(because I live in South Africa, but also, just a little because entering
pageants when youíre a mom Ė or at all - is, you know, creepy and twisted). Not
because I want to be famous and known as one of those socialite-types. No, not
for any of those reasons, but becauseÖ. wait for it, because this is profound:
I donít cherish the mundane.
Just in case weíre not
clear, here it is again: I donít enjoy cooking. I donít enjoy tidying. I hate
routine. My favourite reading matter isnít school notices. My idea of the ideal
Friday night outing isnít a school Bingo evening. The ďlifeĒ I was whining
about in my ďMissingĒ post isnít a fantastic career, or a dazzling social life.
No, what I feel Iím missing out on now that Iím busy with the mundane all the
time is a rich intellectual life. The chance now and then to read a good book,
to be creative, to write and think about something other than how to palm off
raffle tickets and what kind of spread to slap on todayís sandwich.
In case I still havenít
been clear enough: I donít hate my children. I hate the mundane. I know itís
the little things that count. Like the 10 minutes I spend in bed with them in
the morning. Or the time Hannah and I spent last night at a belly-dancing
lesson. Or laughing at one of Jamesís not-very-funny jokes. Itís the little
things like that that I cherish. Not the mundane.
Iím thinking of moving this blog over to Typepad. Whereas
Blogdrive has served me so well over the past few years, I think Iíve outgrown
it. I want to be able to do a little more than the free package can offer me
and Iím not willing to progress to a paid subscription.
Iíve started moving a few things over to Typepad. Go have a look and let me know your opinion. Iíve signed up for a free trial, which
expires in about 10 days.
The most important question of course is: would you follow
me if I moved? There doesnít seem to be an easy way of migrating my posts from
here to there, so Iím just going to leave an ďIíve movedĒ message here and a
link to old posts there. Do you think that would be adequate? Iíd hate to lose
my (two) regular readers.
Been a lot of
negativity about my mothering skills around here in the last few posts. For your
enjoyment, hereís some self-praise:
Iíve been meaning to
move Jonah out of our bedroom since forever. James moved out when he was about
18 months old and Hannah took a little longer. Neither of them stayed until
they were 2. Yet there Jonah is, sleeping in the cot next to our bed, and most
nights, waking us up or crawling onto my head in the middle of the night.
We have a tiny house:
3 bedrooms, but the 2nd and 3rd could actually be one
small bedroom if you knocked down the wall. Hannah and James each have their
own room and there really isnít space for Jonah.
The solution I came up
with was to buy double bunks and put the boys in together, until James got too
old to share with a younger sibling, or we moved out to a bigger house Ė
whichever came first.
But how to afford
double bunks? The prices ranged from the really basic (ie -ugly) at R900 to the
designer (ie Ėunnecessary) at R4500. Whatever: we could afford neither R900 or
R4500 or anything in between.
So I wrote an article.
And then I got it sold to a magazine. And then I got paid. And then yesterday,
I went shopping, bought the bunks, had them delivered and assembled and set up
Resourceful mommy? I
(Link to magazine to follow when the article is
published in August. Whoo-hoo!)