Being an aunt

I really would have made a better aunt… I could hand them back when I have a headache, or I’m tired, or I’m just feeling selfish… I could swoop in with awesome presents and energy, take them for amazing outings, give their parents a break… I’d have been such an awesome aunt…

Of course, I’m a pretty ordinary aunt in reality… I blame my own kids. They take so much time and energy… Or maybe I should blame the parents? It’s always easy to blame the parents.

The truth though, is that I’m also a pretty ordinary parent… My kids are dragged up. They used to be raised. Back in the beginning when I had energy and inclination. Nowadays, I’ve been doing it forever… I skip the bedtime stories some nights (I never did that for the first two). The kids eat junk food (the first had yoghurt and sultanas for treats). Sometimes they have cereal for breakfast (actually, that happens a fair bit lately). They certainly don’t have 15 different fruit and veg each day… We do almost no organised sport, and even when we do, we forget to go… Or we’re late…

But basically, over the years, I’ve realised that all the rules and control really don’t matter. The first is addicted to junk food (making up for lost opportunities). She also chooses to do no organised sports or activities. The high flying, all rounder is living the teenage life of shopping, friends, parties and food – and that’s it. All that hard work. A waste. She doesn’t read. She doesn’t come first in exams. But!! She is incredible. She is still an all rounder, but she chooses for herself. She is amazing at anything she chooses to be. And that’s the thing – it’s what she chooses. She told me a couple of years ago – mum, we don’t have to do everything… And it clicked. We don’t.

So, I’m a terrible mother. The rule book was lost some time ago. My children are not disciplined to within an inch of their sanity. They have an eclectic selection of food groups. They run wild through the sand and dirt. They are often barefoot. Regularly covered in dirt and mud. Watch far too much tv and kick butt at computer games. They don’t read and they don’t do homework. I think we’ve well and truly shattered the carefully crafted illusion of sheltered, structured life on the northern beaches… But (there’s always a but!), they laugh and they yell and they throw things to and at each other (Right now, it’s hot and they’re tired and it’s definitely ‘at’)…

The grand plan? I’m going to write a book on how not to parent. Four guinea pigs to work with. Should be a best seller 😉

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Being ridiculous…

Two personal whinges that are dominating my thoughts this week… Pure moping and self absorption….

Firstly – a complete feeling sorry for myself moment. I am always there for people. I drop everything when someone needs me. I’ve packed up newborns and driven hundreds of kilometres to be there – packed during the phone conversation – in the car as I’m saying goodbye. Middle of the night. 3am knocks on the door. My phone is always nearby, even when I am completely over the world – not because I need the world, but because people know I am there when they need me. But… When I need them… They seem to disappear. Of course, they swear they are ‘there’… But the messages go unread and the calls unanswered… There is not a single person in my life who is there for me when *I* need them – not simply when it’s convenient… And yes, it’s unfair of me to expect them to be the kind of friend I choose to be…, but damn… It would be nice if there was just one person who would be guaranteed to make the effort at least…

Gripe 2. This one is messing with my head for a different reason. The manipulative ex. It’s always subversive. The hints that the kids will leave me. That they will ultimately hate me. Sounds foolish… But it’s not. Because one already has. The one I thought would never go. The one who, a year ago, couldn’t sleep at a friends house because he missed me too much. He’s already been manipulated. He’s already a complete mess… And now… Their father is working on the next. Subtle. Subversive. And I am fearful. Because it’s already happened once. Because he knows how to get inside your head and doubt yourself. Doubt everything you *know* is real. Even when you list the facts logically, he still makes you doubt… And I’m the intelligent adult.., what hope do they have?? But the thing is… It affects my parenting. I doubt my decisions. I hesitate to enforce rules. I don’t want to be the grumpy parent. I don’t want to play bad cop. He gets to waltz in once every few weeks and play favourite uncle. Lavishing gifts and fun outings. Playing the fun parent. No real rules or discipline. Enough comments to undermine. Just enough. So this one leaves me fearful… Makes me doubt myself… Makes me want to run…

These are my gripes. My woeful state of mind. My completely self absorbed whinging about issues of my own making. Issues that I know only I can overcome. Issues that I know are in my head. Being ridiculous.

Dreams, dreams and more dreams…

or nightmares really…

They are exhausting me… There’s no logic to them. Pure madness at times. Vivid. Every sense on high alert. I can’t shake them in the morning… pillow wet with tears and heartache… heart racing in terror… a combination of every sense, thought and feeling… all of them extreme.

I usually compartmentalise well… Focus on where I am. Who I am with. What needs to be done…

but I can’t shake these. Last night I kept returning whenever I closed my eyes… until eventually I gave up on sleep altogether…. I am still falling this morning… plummeting… spiraling…

I need sleep. Unbroken. Dreamless. My mind is frazzled. Something needs to give… quite possibly, my sanity…

Dreaming and driving…

I drove over Gulliver last night… A giant leg in the centre of my lane. Luckily, I manoeuvred the car so the leg went between my tires….

Dreams. I’ve had so many of late. Every night I wake, my heart racing, my pillow wet with tears.

Last night, my dreams came earlier than planned. A variety of snippets. Vaguely registering in my mind… the flash of a truck’s headlight gave me a moment’s pause….

But it’s the cold light of morning that registers finally… I hadn’t realised I was so tired. I hadn’t realised my brain would not register, even with all the clues, that I needed to stop. Fatigue is subversive. Sneaking up on you… My brain was dreaming. My brain knew it was dreaming. But still… It didn’t actually register to stop….

Dreams

My dreams over the last week have been insanely vivid. It’s been a very long time since they’ve had so much texture, smell, taste…. emotion. I’m exhausted. My head is splitting.

People dying… People hating… Last night, someone had hired a hit man and I spent the hours either just ahead or just behind the people trying to find me. No escape. Ultimately…

The dreams are interwoven with my reality. Threads of my life are so embedded that I can’t shake the feelings in the morning. So, today… I will look over my shoulder constantly… jump at shadows…

Perhaps there is an omen in these? Or perhaps it is simply deep seated self doubt? No idea… but I am exhausted and my head is still splitting….

Bucket list – seriously?

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Who adds this to a bucket list? Seriously?

I would add – sleep til noon (tick). Stay up all night (tick). Convince your children that AM hours are not real (still working on this one).

At no point in life will I ever add – become a morning person.

I’ve managed 7AM for my kids on most days. The teens don’t surface for a few more hours yet.

Hunger seems to be the driving force for them all…. Perhaps if I leave a bone beside their bed?? Or convince them they really can pour cereal and milk themselves? Hmmm….