This is my Sunday mornings for summer… The one three hour time slot at the moment when the world simply has to stop and I can just enjoy the salt, sand, surf… and time with my children. Real time with them. Salt water cures.
I don’t understand people – like, I really don’t understand them… I know this is a cliche…
I gave someone close to me a present – an awesome present in fact. Something i knew they would absolutely love. Cost a lot of money – which I knew would make them feel a bit uncomfortable – but figured the awesomeness of the gift, and the fact they are actually family, would negate the discomfort…..
So, the present arrived in the mail today apparently… and did not cause excitement…. It caused angst. Great deals of angst in fact. Enormous levels.
Text messages – numerous – why would you send this? why wouldn’t you keep it? I don’t understand…
I explained…. because I knew you would love it.
More angst – no… I don’t want it… I’ll send it back…. it’s made me realise what a terrible person I am and how bad my life is…
Me… ok… if you really don’t want it… it was meant with the best intentions… it wasn’t meant to make you feel bad…
Angst again… don’t worry about it! I’ll keep it! FFs… or find someone who wants it… or sell it… or just throw it away…. Don’t worry, I’ll sort it…
Then the FB posts started…. they are broken… people can go to hell…. start treating people as they treat me… Does this mean I’ll get an awesome birthday present in a few weeks? – maybe not the right response….
I know they are in a mess. I know they are hurting and confused and angry and and and…. but…. I am exhausted by it. It’s why I haven’t spoken to them in ages. They can’t see it. refuse to help them self. It’s everyone else at fault. And now, my gift has caused grief, and, I imagine, the story will have changed to make me the demon who purposely set out to hurt and cause despair….
So I don’t understand people. I don’t understand the people who take and take and take… I understand the need to retreat. I understand wariness of people. I understand self preservation when it comes to those close to us. But I don’t understand people who attack when I try to be there. Or who shut me out completely but expect me to always respond when they elect to converse. I am simply spent. I am struggling to find the energy for people who only want a relationship on their own terms and in their own time.
My children had chocolate for breakfast. Yes, take me to the square and flog me….
Actually, they had cereal and then chocolate. A chocolate eyeball in fact. They should be nicely sugared up for school today.
They no longer believe my stories. The man in the moon does not exist and the moon is not made of cheese…. I did not poke annoying children’s eyeballs out and they would look and taste like chocolate if I did… There are no fairies living in our garden and the fairy ring is just a bunch of mushrooms…
They are determined to prove that I am santa. I’ve explained that if this is the case, they’re in for a surprise Christmas morning because someone forgot to tell me and I have no money for presents… They’re not convinced. They are hatching plans and laying traps. Currently, they are planning to write to santa and put the letter in the mailbox without me seeing it. That way, if santa is real, they’ll get the right present. Hmmm… I have their big sister on the case. She’s offered to help them spell the words and be part of the trap 😉
The baby dragon laid a trap with her best friend last year. The friend lost a tooth. They secretly went to the mum’s wallet and wrote on all the notes… Lo and behold, the sneaky tooth fairy obviously stole the mother’s money from her wallet… The girls were not convinced. The mother has agreed that coins are more than enough for lost teeth in future…
Sigh… I am not ready for the fairy tales to end. For my pragmatic child to spoil the fun for her little brother either. He still wants to believe. I need a cunning plan. I managed it for the cynical big brother… So time for the thinking cap!
I am tired of thinking and saying this phrase. I love my children… but!
Of course I love them. Or is that nor necessarily a given? I do wonder at times… Especially when I consider my own parents. I know they love me…. or at least, I think they do… but!
Back to my own cherubs. I do love them. I truly do. They are my world and all those other cliches…. But!
I have raised spoilt brats. I truly have.
My upbringing was quite Victorian – raised with the rod, finances were tight, children were mostly seen and not heard.
My children on the other hand, have been given far too much on a silver platter. And now they are all princesses.
My eldest has gone away on a school jaunt for a few days. She’s going to have a great time, as well as come home exhausted. And moody… yay…. Of course, she needed money… Of course, she has left her clothes strewn across her bedroom. Of course, she has left several bottles of nail polish on the coffee table – obviously in the hope that her two youngest siblings will do their own nails and half the lounge room carpet?
Number two lives away…. but his sense of entitlement astounds me. If we go out to eat, he infallibly chooses the most expensive item. He only visits if I will take him places that cost money. He won’t spend birthdays and holidays with us unless there’s a great present involved…. and realistically, he’ll get that from me regardless, so he chooses to go elsewhere to get presents he wouldn’t otherwise have.
Number three and four are a pack. Twenty months between them, but they come as a pair. People meet them and often assume they are twins. They don’t look alike, they just have a crazy bond. They cost far less than their teenage siblings… but the entitlement is there already. They are insanely fussy about food recently. Oh, we don’t like that brand of yoghurt, milk, bread… Since when??
My eldest had the audacity yesterday, as she was chattering, to laughingly mention some of her friends who have to actually work… She didn’t notice the look on my face… so she continued…. It’s so funny! They work and they’re like ‘I don’t get paid til Thursday so I can’t go to the movies Wednesday’…. and I’m like ‘well, I just have the money in my bank account’…. That chatter didn’t end so well… I had a bad mummy moment…. We had a very firm (one sided) conversation about the fact she will be bankrupt by 21…. a very bad mummy moment….
A part of my brain is writing the eldest two off as a loss. Yes, I know that I can’t actually do that… but seriously – I have two more to get it right – can’t I just call it quits on the first two? The youngest are possibly salvageable….
Is this a symptom of society? Can I simply blame others? It would be so much easier and nicer to not take the responsibility… but realistically, that’s rubbish. Yes, it takes a village to raise a child, but it also takes parenting. Time to be the parent that is hated for a while…. but hopefully, ultimately, appreciated
But I have realised, that I need to be kinder to myself. It’s okay to forget sometimes… to make mistakes… to allow people into my life who take far too much… to give far too much time and energy to people who just don’t give as much in return…
Because eventually, I do remember…. and when I do, the door is so much easier to find….
More dreams…. More tears….
I was asked the other day if I missed the kids when they are with their dad. It’s become easier as the year has gone along – probably because it doesn’t happen often.
So do I miss them? Absolutely. They don’t talk to me when they are with their father. They are busy with the girls – their new step sisters. And seeing their big brother – he’s at boarding school, but is there when they visit. They love the noise and the mayhem.
But I don’t miss them as intensely as I did a year ago. Time? Or maybe just that I have them all the time, so the odd weekends without are a little more pleasant.
I’ll have 6 sleeps from Boxing Day to New Year’s Day. Six sleeps with no kids. They are all going – this never happens. It’s an enormous family Christmas with cousins and grandparents, so I’m insisting they all go.
I’m not sure about that one. It’s a family time of year, so I don’t know how I will go without them. I’ll talk to them.., but not seeing them?
In my dreams last night, I was missing them… But they’d decided to not come back. Always the greatest fear. So much fun with the extended family. The tumble of extra children. They decided to stay….
One has gone, breaking my heart… I truly don’t think I can handle a second or third going. And no, Universe, that is not a challenge….
And so it begins… It’s been a quiet year. Change of city to live in… Change of workplace…. No change to the career though. Still, it’s been quiet….
Can we talk to you? Please? It’s just that you are easy to talk to… We know you’ll listen… You’ll take us seriously…
And of course I do…
But it raises the question I’ve had for so long – is this really what I want to do anymore?? Yes, I’m good at it. Yes, I connect easily. But… It’s draining. Each day feels like I’ve been hit by a bus. Each moment takes so much of me. Every hour drains another day… Month… Year…. I truly don’t know if I have the energy anymore.
My father is the first to tell me this attitude is selfish. You wanted to change the world. You wanted to have an impact. You have the ability. It’s selfish of you not to stick with it and give it everything you have…
Is it? A part of me agrees…. But another part is just so exhausted…. But then, the new question is…. What will I do instead?