Sunday, 12 May 2013

Being a Mum on Mothers Day

Today is Mothers Day here in Canada.  I think it's also Mothers Day in Australia and the UK too.  Weird that Mothers Day is the same day, but not Fathers Day. 

Anyway - I'm digressing and I haven't even started.

I had some ideas about how events would pan out today.  It started with a sleep in, included coffee and cake with a friend, progressed to more cake with Dan and Kalani and ended with a champagne and cake finale.

It was quite different. 

It started with a very early start after less than 3 hours of broken sleep due to Kalani having yet another stomach bug.  There was a lot of cleaning up and cuddling and quiet, go-to-sleep-now storytelling during the night.  

So - not much sleep, definitely no sleep in, no meeting up with friends or having some selfish 'me' time.  Instead today consisted of a lot of sitting on the couch, cuddling a very sick little boy and watching endless episodes of animal rescuers and pirates.

But, you know what?  It was a perfect day.  Obviously not the sickness part - that sucked - no, it was the reminder of exactly what it means to be a mum (to me at least).

It means holding his little body upright as he's ill and gently lying him back down again when he's exhausted himself.
It means wiping his hot head and hands to bring relief from fever sweats.
It means cuddling him close to warm him up.
It means making up hour upon hour of nonsensical stories to keep his mind off how awful he feels.
It means lying awake next to him so that as soon as the sickness starts, a bucket will be placed in just the right place.
It means going slightly insane after watching 17 back to back episodes of Diego and his manic cousin Dora.
It means giving my whole heart to a small little boy and knowing that there isn't anything I wouldn't do for him.

I'm glad I was reminded of that today and didn't get too caught up in a chocolate frenzied madness.

Yes, being a mum is hard, and takes oodles of time and patience and self sacrifice, and can be unbelievably messy.  But, lying next to Kalani tonight, watching him succumb to an exhausted sleep, I knew that I wouldn't trade last night and today for any other time - even a fancy shmancy get-dressed-up-and-party-party-party night.  Nope, I'm glad I was exactly where I was.

Now, where'd Dan hide the chocolate and champers - it's time for some madness ;)

Friday, 29 March 2013

1, 2 ... 3

I don't have many tricks in my 'How To Get Your Toddler To Behave' bag, just 3: 

- Yelling
- Screaming
- Bribing.

However, I've just discovered a new one ... "Counting to 3"

Seriously - who would have thought this works, but it really does. 


Kalani drops his bowl of crackers all over the floor.

Me: Kalani please pick up your crackers.

Kalani: *blank stare*

Me: Kalani, PLEASE pick up your crackers from the floor.  They're going to make a massive mess and then I'm going to go crazy.

Kalani: *starts to walk away*

Me: Okay, I'm going to count to 3 and then ... *meaningful look*

Me: 1

Kalani: *looks a little worried*

Me: 2

Kalani: *quickly starts picking up the crackers*

Me: Thank you *whew*

Now I don't really know what happens if I get to 3.  My backup plan is to drink a glass of wine very quickly, take some deep breaths and then pick up the crackers myself while cursing the bloody mindedness of toddlers under my breath.  I wonder what Kalani thinks would happen though.  Toddlers have pretty crazy imaginations, so perhaps he thinks that a dinosaur will appear from the fridge and eat his toes.

Hopefully it won't give him nightmares.

Whatever.  It works.

For now ...

Saturday, 23 March 2013


Kalani and Dan are upstairs having a nap, and I'm downstairs, sitting on the couch with a cup of tea.  It's quiet and peaceful, and even though I'm surrounded by laundry that needs folding, groceries that need to be put away and a toy explosion, I'm not moving.  I'm retreating into myself for a few minutes and enjoying just being.  

This kind of thing doesn't happen very often, does it?  The opportunity to just sit and be.  It's nothing to do with your situation - no children, or 3 children.  Full-time worker or student with an evening job.  Retired grandparents or studying teenager.   Whatever your life is like, it's always full and busy and there's not that many times in a week, let alone a day, that you get to just sit.

So that's what I've been doing.  Liffey meditation.  No list-making or planning what's going to happen next in the day.  Just nothing.  And it's lovely.

For a little while.

And now I can hear some stirrings from upstairs.  A rustle and a thump as Kalani climbs out of bed, up and ready to play.  And I'm glad to end my alone time and get back into the bustle and chaos of Life.  Recharged and content.

Happy weekend peeps. 

Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Will Power?!? What's That?

I have no will power.

Not an ounce.

This sucks for many reasons.  One of the main reasons is that I really want a smoking hot body, but for this I know that I need to do two things: exercise and stop eating chocolate.

Soooo exercise.  Every day I tell myself that I'll do an 'Awesome Abs and Beyonce Bum/Arm/Leg/Everything' workout after Kalani goes to bed.  And then every night after Kalani goes to bed I end up: going to bed as well because I'm exhausted; tackling the crazy laundry pile or drinking wine in front of the tv.  More often than not it's the latter.  So, I then tell myself that I will DEFINITELY get up at 5:30 the next morning so I can work out then.  Definitely.  I even set my alarm before I go to sleep - THAT'S how committed I feel.  And then, at around 2am when I'm woken up for the 10 millionth time by the cats/toddler/bladder, I accept that there's no way on earth that I'm getting up at some ungodly hour of the morning when I could stay in nice warm bed instead.  And so I reset my alarm (which is an interesting exercise in the dark) and get up at my normal time in the morning just as unfit and unsmoking as I was the day before.

The other way to (apparently) lose weight is to eat well.  Hmmmm.... Well I DO eat well, I eat chocolate very well indeed thank you!  I always tell myself that one biscuit is enough, or just one slice of cake is more than adequate.  And then, just like magic, it's all gone.  All the biscuits AND the cake and even the chocolate chips that I pretend I buy for baking purposes..

So you can see that I have no will power. None at all.

Which brings me to the main point of this post.  Kalani.  He still wakes up every night.  Not just once, but a few times.  And pretty much every time he wakes,  I clamber into bed with him, give him a cuddle to calm him down, and then always fall asleep cuddling him.  Some nights I wake up in his bed and can't remember getting in.  And it's more common for me to wake up in the morning in Kalani's bed than in my own.

Now none of this is because I think that toddlers should sleep with their parents - not at all. I think Kalani should sleep by himself.  And every night before I go to sleep, I tell myself that tonight I will just comfort him with a little back rub and soothing word, and then return to my own bed.  But it never happens that way because I have no will power and choose sleep over the right thing to do every time.


I don't really mind too much, because pretty soon he won't want me to kiss him or cuddle him or stroke his hair and rub his back.  That will be way too uncool.  So instead I accept the inevitable, and don't tell myself off too badly.  Instead I cuddle his small warm body into mine and enjoy these moments while I can.

Now... where did I put those biscuits?  Oops - they're finished already.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Sleeping with Liffey

My dad told me a story once, about his dad.  My poppa.

When Poppa was a little boy, he used to go to sleep lying on his back, with his arms straight by his sides.  As if he was standing to attention.  Because he wanted to be a soldier, so he practiced every single night.  Poppa ended up having a career in the British Army as a Brigadier.

So ever since I was quite young, I've believed that the position you sleep in morphs it's way into reality.  Sort of a "You Are What You Sleep"

So, keeping that in mind, here's a small excerpt from my brain as I'm trying to get to sleep ...

Oh, so cosy.
Mmmm.... cosy.
I love these flannel sheets - I'm really glad I finally got some.  They really make a difference.
Mmmmmmmmmm..... cooooossssssyyyyyyy....

My arms are crossed over my chest just like vampires and dead people in coffins.

Okay, calm down Liffey.  It's just a comfortable position to lie in.  Just put your arms by your side and stop getting upset.  
Okay... I'm relaxed.

Mmmmm... cosy.
Yup - definitely glad about the sheets.  
Glad about the hot water bottle too - this country is cold.  

Brrrrr - okay, don't think about the cold.  Imagine you're on a warm beach, and you can feel the sand between your toes, and ....


Sooooooo coooosssyyy.
Sllllleeeeeeeeep ......


Yup folks, a night in bed with me is far from boring!

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Sunday Spirituality

This afternoon Dan took Kalani off to visit his family, and I stayed at home.  To do some work (the bill-paying kind) that I needed to get done by Monday.

Anyway, it only took an hour or so, and after I'd finished I looked outside at the sunshine and the newly fallen snow, and decided to go for a walk.

Best idea I've had today.

The sky was a brilliant blue, and the sun was bright and warm and optimistic.  The snow on the track was just the right kind of snow for walking in.  Fluffy and not too deep.  Everything was covered in snow - white and clean and fresh and new.  The birds were singing and chirping and having little afternoon parties in the trees.  The stream gurgled loudly beside me.  The people I passed were all happy and I even made friends with a cute little dog.


I really needed this walk - the last few days have been pretty crappy, but today has made me feel like a new person.  I came back happy and content and a little bit sweaty since I'd put on way too many layers (I tend to over-compensate for the cold).  I really felt like I'd shed all the negative, poo-buminess of the last little while and I'm ready for whatever comes next.

Happy Sunday people. 

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

No Free Time

One of my most common rants to Dan is about how little free time I have.  Particularly in relation to someone else who has kids.


"Blah-dee-blah says that SHE doesn't have any time to do anything, but she doesn't work full-time like I do."

and ...

"Dum-dee-dum says that SHE doesn't have any free time, but she manages to read for enjoyment.  I haven't read a book in 6 months"

etc. etc.

And then tonight, as I was reading Kalani his bedtime stories while mentally working out my to-do list for the evening (sort out the mountain of laundry, clean kitchen, break up cat fight, pay bills, attempt to spend time with husband), I realised that I've never thought that I've had enough time in the day to everything I want to do.  Even when I was young I probably wished there was more time to play.  And even a few years ago (pre-Kalani) I filled my time pretty effectively.  Back then it was a little more me-oriented: going to the gym, going out with friends, levelling up in WoW.... *cough* ... still, I was busy.

And then, to really put things into perspective, I think about some of the other mothers I know.

One has to work every evening after her baby goes to sleep.  No free time there.

Another has 2 boys under two - one who doesn't sleep and the other who doesn't stop moving, and climbing, and running... all day, every day.  No rest there, let alone any free time.

And yet another is studying full-time with a 1 year old baby at home.  

So what I'm trying to get at, in a very long winded way, is that it doesn't matter what your situation is.  None of us have enough time in the day to achieve everything that we want to.  

And one day, 20 years from now, when Kalani has moved out and the house is quiet and empty and I'm finally finishing the book that's been on my bedside table since last August, I'm going to look back at this time and wish that my life was still as busy and full and free-time deprived as it is now.

Life is good my friends, crazy busy... but good.