Sunday, 17 November 2013

Motherhood right now

A glorious few days spent with Liam's family in a friends garden.

The night "the storm" hit I stood in the rain while Liam tried to bustle a sleeping Queenie into the car. The street was empty and I'd just been woken from a sleep on my parents sofa. I felt groggy and the rain was cold, refreshing. In that moment I felt washed down and as if awoken from a hazy dream. The lights were reflecting in all the streaming water and it was sensational.
These past two months has been hard. The gruesome sickness has gone, but is replaced by even more tiredness. And just in time for the arrival of the 18month tantrums. Many days I felt unable to do little more than make a saucepan of porridge. Our little miss valentine has been really full on. Some days she will be happy to play alone but generally she wants someone to see the tower she's built, sip her culinary experiments or read her book after book. I felt like me being so useless were only encouraging the tantrums more, and I was at a loss of how to deal with them.
When we first got married we decided we didn't want to have a television, for our benefit but mainly for when we start having children. Before now she'd watched very little. But I've had to let things go a little for the sake of a few moments sanity. I now allow her to watch a couple of episodes of Abney and Teal on the iPad while I grab ten minutes to cook or clean or sometimes to just stop her climbing all over my aching body.
Many days I felt as though I'd been crying for hours with tiredness and fears of not knowing what on earth I'm doing.
Fortunately October drew to a close and with it this negativity. I believe in that quiet moment in the rain God met with me and washed off all the sadness so I could see clear again. Since then I have regained energy, motivation and positivity. I'm very happy. Loved up to the eyeballs and all those blues have vanished into the rain water. 

I know I'm blessed with so much, I'm surrounded by a strong support network with my parents and younger sisters only too happy to take Queenie for an hour to the beach. And of course I'm so fortunate to have a brilliant husband. Liam's been great. When he returned home to a sniffling mess still in her pyjamas, he'd give us a kiss, stick something in the oven, and takes Queenie out for a walk in her Wellies so I could have a little time to get my head straight. 

More and more I am realising the incredible role that is motherhood. It's hard, really really hard. I'm in awe of my own mama who brought up all five of my sisters and I. So often we are sold images of perfect mothers with happy clean smart children, who can juggle a business, home schooling and cooking delicious meals in time for her husband's return home. But more and more I'm beginning that it's not realistic. At least not for me, I'm not built that way. I'm naturally very messy and it's taken a lot of work for me to be as organised as I am. But I like the way we are, Queenie is still beautiful despite often wearing mismatched clothes and the constant matt hanging from the back of her hair, reminding us of what a wriggler she is in bed. Meals aren't always at the same time and we share the cooking. And it doesn't change anything. We are all well fed (queenie's paunch is evidence of that!) and dinner time together is what's important to us. Slowly I'm able to steal away more snippets of time to work on building up an illustration business. Liam takes Queenie to feed the ducks and instead of battling the multitude of housework, I might indulge in some painting or write something towards a blog post. Besides, we all know the to-do list, once ticked off is always replenished with more jobs for us to steal away an afternoon.

I encourage mums (and everyone else in between) to work out what things are really important to you and make sure those things are fitted in and the rest of life can work around it. 
What do you think about that statement? Am I being too idealistic? What things are important to you or your family? I hope to get along to see this exhibition about motherhood.


  1. I think house work can wait
    Besides its only there all over again, 10 mins after you finish! Toddlers are incredibly challenging! I think we all do good and our best at that moment in time. I don't think beating yourself up over a lazy day or a missed something is worth it. Enjoy each day as it comes. They grow so quickly. I can barely remember anything I did with my first when I was pregnant again. I think being pregnant and having a toddler is harder some days than newborn and Toddler!

  2. Holly this is fantastic and true. You often find those women who "do it all" have a legion of helpers behind them. I don't think you are being idealistic I think you are being realistic. I struggled with why I couldn't do it all when so many people, mainly those I came across on the Internet, could. Gradually they started posting about thier amazing support, cleaners, assistants, au pairs or how they put children in a playpen or in front of the telly while they worked.
    Now Mia has started school I am stunned by the ability I now have to achieve things which seamed impossible before and the speed tasks get done. I miss them like crazy tho. I've come to the conclusion that if you get the opportunity to do your illustration and it builds you up, rather than draining you with frustration. Do it. If not give yourself a break, the time will come. I struggled to try an earn money for the family. God has shown me to trust him and he will provide. "Rest in The Lord and wait patiently for Him". (Ps 37 v7)God will give you "wings like eagles" at the right time.
    Ps you looked blooming beautiful yesterday at church and very "st Ives".

  3. I, todAy, looked through your blog back to this post. it is a beautiful blog and you seem like a beautiful soul and good mum. I'm happy to see and read here. I feel like we'd get along. blessings in your coming pregnancy.