For the people who think their kids are better than mine…

… I don’t agree.

I think most of you have kids with issues, too…

I don’t always like your kids either…

I definitely don’t think you deserve the perfect parent award…

I think you duck it up just as often as I do…

I just think my kids and I are more real than you.

Because you see…

my kids have another house to live in, but they still choose this one…

My kids have another parent to choose, but they still choose me…

My kids have issues, but we are aware of them and we face them head on…

Now…

How many of you can say the same??

So whilst you sit in your castle and mutter concerns over my parenting and my kids… I’d really love to tell you something important… I truly, genuinely, don’t care.

I love my kids. I like my kids. I actually like the craziness of each of them, the real ness and the quirks. But most of all, I absolutely love the fact that my kids feel safe enough to be real. To tell me the truth – even when I don’t want to hear it. To tell me their thoughts and fears and all the things I really don’t want to know. They know they can tell me. They trust me with their fears as well as their dreams. With their truths and the chaos inside their heads. They know that no matter what… and they actually know this deep in their souls… they know that I might not like their choices, the path their on or even the person they’re angling to be right now… but I respect their right to be themselves… and I trust their ability to make those choices and to learn and to grow from their mistakes… and above and beyond it all.. they know there is nothing on this earth they can do that will stop me loving them unconditionally.

So you can judge and you can sit in your alabaster tower… but I’m here with my kids and I hear them… truly hear them… can you honestly say the same? 😉

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A friend keeps telling me to find what I am passionate about… but the problem with this, is that he won’t seem to listen to what I tell him…

If I were to post on social media ‘What’s my #1 passion?’, 95% of people would respond with ‘reading’… because I do love reading…. but reading is an escape. Reading has always been an escape. It’s never been a passion.

So what am I passionate about? I’m passionate about life.

Apparently that doesn’t count.

Ummm… yes, it does.

Because he’s wrong. Most people aren’t passionate about life. Most people go through the motions. Most people die at 25 when they get that mortgage or find ‘the one’… when they begin to dig those pickets into the ground and to settle for the safe path that lets them simply exist…

But I want to live. I want to shout at the sky and laugh at the wind.

I have excuses not to do this of course. Four of them. Some people call them children 😉

But they are simply excuses to exist. Excuses not to take the chance and to live my life. Excuses to simply exist.

I watch so many friends, content to exist… and i wonder what it is that means I cannot. Why can’t I be happy to leave those pickets in place. To have the mortgage and the career and the 2.2 kids and the family dog…

Why do I want so much more???

Because we have one life. One. And I want to teach my kids to grab that damned bull by the horns and to ride it til you fall off. I want them to know that you do not need to follow society. To stay in the safe choices you made because you’re too damned scared to shake the shackles.

If one more person tells me they’re staying for the kids… or because their partner is a nice person… or because…

Because they are scared.

Because life is incredible and frightening and OMFG, I get it! It’s freaking hard! It freaking sucks some days. There are days when that tunnel is so damned dark that I can’t believe there will ever be an end and I’m not sure there was ever a beginning…

But then I remember something… I’ve never been afraid of the dark. And I’ve never been afraid of the storms. And I sure as hell am not afraid to live my life and to go out with a smile on my face. To be lying in that bed at 95 remembering that time when… rather than wishing about that time when…

Mummy shaming…

Some days, being a mum is the hardest thing in the world… and I wish I could go back in time and change it all… but most of the time, it’s the greatest blessing of my life.

I’m tired of the constant judgment and the constant input. I’m tired of the fact I have to do so much of it on my own. I’m tired of having to always be the one to argue about showers and teeth cleaning and eating something sensible and cleaning up their room… and I’m tired of teens and their attitudes and their complete lack of gratitude.

But I love the snuggles and the smiles and the need to tell me about their day… the breakfast in bed after a tough night… the giggles and the secrets… and those amazing moments when you see them succeed… or the teens have blinding moments of adult-ness.

I’m sitting with my laptop, enjoying the peace of a day at home with no-one for the first time in what seems like forever. Listening to the renovations next door, the washing machine beeping insistently, and Spotify blasting whatever random playlist I selected this time.

I should click over to my work tab… or I should hang out that washing… or do some housework… exercise… garden… All those shoulds life hands us… But I’m sitting on my bed with my laptop, contemplating a nap or reading a book… so completely decadent in a world that glorifies being busy.

Yesterday, I dropped my kid at school… watched so many dads dropping theirs off… and as the sadness for my own children coursed over me… that they’ve never been so blessed as to have a dad who would drop them at school each morning… the guilt that I chose a dad for them who would never do this… as all these feelings washed over me… through me… the radio began a segment on mum shaming – mums who criticise and condemn other mums for not meeting all those expectations, for not being them.

I know there are mums who complain about me stopping for thirty seconds in the No Stopping zone to let my kids out each morning  – a good mum would park and walk their kids into the school… but would they? Wouldn’t a good mum teach their kids a little independence? And wouldn’t a good motorist move along quickly rather than parking and chatting for 45 minutes each morning so we are only left with the No Stopping zone? The radio prattled on… some mum had written something… a blog? An article? Something… about the shaming… that she doesn’t dress well enough, doesn’t drop her kids to school because she leaves for work so early, that she never sees her husband so a divorce is imminent, that she places her career before her kids…

Ah… the judgment! So as I sat in sadness, reminiscing that my kids deserved a life which involved someone other than their mother doing everything, this poor mother sits in judgment for not doing everything…

When did we get to this point? When did we decide that if you aren’t doing it my way, you’re doing it wrong? If you aren’t doing everything, then you might as well be doing nothing. But this is the really crazy thing… All these mums I know who care about my thirty seconds in the wrong parking spot, who think my kids have lunch orders too often and their lunch boxes just aren’t healthy enough, who comment that my kids don’t do homework and that I apparently wear too much black… all these mums… all these people… the well meaning family members and friends…

They don’t understand…

I stopped caring such a long time ago about what they think… What bugs me now is just that they feel the need to let me know… just being helpful of course… doing the right thing… But I’m sorry people – just what are you actually doing to help? Come back to me when you want to have a coffee and hear me rant about the 17 year old who thinks the world is just so damned hard, or the 15 year old who thinks his opinions need to always be stated, the 10 year old who smiles sweetly as she does exactly what she wants, or the dragged up 8 year old with a heart of gold but the stubbornness to try a saint…

I stopped caring when my world shattered and all I seemed to find… no matter which way I turned… was judgment. No help. No shoulder. No bottle of wine and clink of crystal to deal with the heartbreak.

Judgment.

All the failings as a mother. As a wife. As a friend. As a daughter. As a sister. As a basic person.

I can list them all for you. Tell you my flaws in detail. You can’t shock me with them – I’m well aware. But you don’t understand… none of it matters. When your world shatters… it’s the one lesson you walk away with… I survived this, and I can survive anything. I survived this on my own, and I can survive anything on my own. There is nothing you can possibly do that is worse. Absolutely nothing. Your judgment means nothing. A fly that simply won’t leave. Yes, I’m aware of it. No, I don’t care. Because all those things that matter to you… all those foolish rules and regulations that make everyone the clone you need them to be… that judgment that simply validates your own position in society… Absolutely none of that matters.

I am a mum. Sometimes I adore my kids and sometimes I want to run away. I screw it up royally far too often, but occasionally I seem to get it right… and at the end of the day, they’re all still talking to me so far, so I guess I’m doing okay….

First post!

This is the excerpt for your very first post.

I have started this blog so many times…

The story comes from my now 10 year old Baby Dragon (yes, my children are all from days of yore). She was listening to Peter and the Wolf one day when she was maybe 2 or 3… there’s a part where the narrator is describing the instruments and what they represent… and he said “and the duck, by the oboe…” to which she piped up – How silly! Ducks don’t have elbows!

One of those gorgeous kid memories… at the time, I needed a title for a blog and that became it. This blog has passed through many themes, but ultimately, it has always been about my kids…

So here I am… once again writing my first blog post.

I’ll see how I go once more writing a mummy blog – as trite as that seems to be in this world… This is for me. Maybe for my kids one day.

I have Miss Princess, who wants to be a Belle, but is secretly a Merida – currently 17 and just finished school last week – already struggling with the realities of life – that if you want money, you need to work… and that can actually mean 5 days a week… and that you can’t just be too tired… or skip it and go to the beach or shopping… Ah… life…

Fifteen year old Master Knight who enjoys telling me all the things I do wrong – he’s helpful like that. He’s my extremist. Going through life with a strong sense of right and wrong, black and white… hacking at anything in the way to protect what he thinks is right… not always realising, or being open to the idea, that maybe he has it wrong… or maybe there is grey…

The 10 year old Baby Dragon breathes fire when you least expect it. People tell me she’s a garden fairy, skipping through life in the flower bed… but they haven’t seen the twinkle in the eye… felt the stillness in her breath when annoyed… This one is my sleeping dragon, lazily watching the world with a half opened eye… until you poke and prod her enough… then, snap! You are burned to a crisp, bitten in half.

The Wizard is my dragged up fourth child… currently 8 years in age… He doesn’t follow the rules, and doesn’t deign to even argue them with you. He simply creates his own rules and his own magic.

I am mother dragon, of course – protective of my brood… but the moniker was actually given by their father who referred to me constantly as the old dragon to them… I twisted it so long ago… Who wouldn’t want to be a dragon?!? Who wouldn’t want to soar above the world, snapping in half or burning to a crisp, anyone who annoys them?!? A dragon is never, ever an insult. And so… our characters were sorted… and the personalities seem to still sit well…

It’s funny how the universe just keeps delivering… Once you stop forcing it :p 

I find people come and go… A simple ebb and flow… And I’m enjoying the shifting sands…

There is a part of me that longs for some of the connections of my past… It’s such a deep yearning… But I let the memories slide, slipping through my fingers… 

Because my world is full… My days and nights filled with love… Threads weaving together… 

That is my zone most days… Simply living now and enjoying the amazingness life has to offer… A part of me misses the passion, but so much of me is simply enjoying peace for a while…

And I miss some of the people from my past with such passion… For such a long time, I was searching to replace those connections… Finding others to fill the gaps… But, of course, that’s not possible… And I’m okay with that… Because the people with me now create new threads to weave through my life… And whilst their colours are not always as vibrant, the sturdy fabric warms my soul… 

I don’t have the energy to be annoyed with people for too long anymore… Those that hurt me, deceive me, betray my trust… All that negativity seems to flow away so easily, too… Frayed threads… Some will mend… Some will simply taper off… Others will leave a snag… 

I am watching the fabric of my life weave around me… Twisting together threads that tangle through my fingers… Watching others entwine themselves… And the universe seems to constantly deliver the colour and texture I need each time… 

Years ago, I had a couple who were friends of mine. Actually, they’re still friends of mine and married now… But this story is set 20 years ago and they were dating. 

He and I would argue. Two headstrong people refusing to back down. Who knows what we argued about. Anything and everything. Back when we were young and new the black and whiteness of life. 

He would tell my friend she had to choose. Him or me. So she would sneak out, telling him she was out with other friends, and we would only see each other every other day rather than every day. 

And I would be fed up… Sometimes furious… Because as I would tell get over and over, I would never ask her to choose. 

Friendship isn’t based on maybes. It’s not a case of – I’ll love you forever, but only if you do and say what I want… I don’t place criteria on my friendships. Actually, I do… Don’t set out to hurt me or the ones I love. But that’s it. 

We no longer argue, this guy and I. Maturity, world weariness, acceptance of differences… Who knows. He still occasionally irks me and I’m sure I infuriate him… But we let it slide. 

And I find, as the years fly by faster and faster, that I no longer have the energy to fight for people to stay in my life when they don’t want to. I want them here. That is a certainty. But I have learned, my greatest lesson thus far, that you cannot make someone love you the way you want them to, no matter how much you desperately want it… And that even though they don’t love you the way you want them to, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you with everything they have… So I accept their words. I accept their heart. But I don’t have the energy to fight with them to stay if they really want to go. 

My truth…

I hate fighting with the people I love… and I can’t vent about it here because I know you will read it… and I don’t want some passive aggressive war aimed at inflicting pain from behind a keyboard…

I don’t want to hurt you.

I adore you.

But…

and this is the bit you will not stop and listen to…

You are not here.

You have made your choices, and I have come to terms with those…

But now you have to let me move on with my life.

Ultimately, this is love…

I want to meet someone and fall in love. I want to have a future with a maybe. I want passion and adventure. I want to fall in love! With someone who loves me, too. I want someone who makes me a priority in their life. Who is there for the good times and for the moments when my world is crumbling. I want someone who I can call at 3AM. Someone I can introduce to my friends. Someone I can tell my hopes and dreams to. Someone I can wake with in the morning.

And maybe that someone won’t be forever… but maybe they will!

But I want to try. I want to have that experience. I want to have that maybe.

And I am greedy… but so are you… because I still want you in my life. I don’t want to lose you from my life again…

But you need to let me move on… you need to let me fall in love… and you need to be happy for me…