I read a line by Steve Biddulph last night which really made me think ...
'you are parenting for yourself'
Tis true dat. As in, we wanted to have children, it was our desire, part of our grand plan for life and whilst I believe that babies arrive to the parents and at the time of their choosing by some hand of fate or destiny, it was us who put the idea into motion.
So I would do well to stop and remember those wise words when I'm feeling hassled and like they are bickering especially to push me over a certain edge each day - this was for me, so that I could journey down the motherhood path, so get on girl and mother, deal with it - no one said it would be easy and I couldn't imagine living through my life without this opportunity.
Thinking further to that and watching myself like a fly on the wall one would be forgiven for thinking I'm more housekeeper than mother these days. Yes, I accept a certain amount of that goes with the territory, they are messy little buggers after all, but wow there sisters ... there's a serious imbalance to address when the little ones are bored again because I'm cleaning or tidying and lo - that brings us to another well known fact I'd do well to remember: children play up when they are bored! Negative attention is far better than none. If mine are playing up more often than not then it must be me, my focus is not in the right place.
I take a moment here to remember the mother of a good friend of mine from childhood who renounced housework in favour of a nap with the little ones in the afternoon or a glass of red wine and poetry of an evening. And it's Steve Biddulph again who says give up the idea of a tidy house - there's time for that when they leave home. He says give them interludes of time where you are 100% focused on them instead of being distracted by something you just have to get up and do. I guess those things are infinite if you let them infiltrate.
I never did master the art of juggling when I was a kid, though I tried often. Two balls yes, 3 balls no and now I have more than three metaphorical balls on the go what with the kids, the house, work, my relationship with Cliff, mindfulness practise and all the other things that make me me (what are those again?!) I can't keep them all in the air rotating equidistant in synchronicity they keep falling and hitting me on the head.
So balance my friend ... a thousand times - where art thou?
Today was for them though, the bairns; twas the last day of the school holidays so I took them to the museum, out for cream teas and for a big romp around in the park. They were mostly happy, perhaps Zander is tired and emotional knowing tomorrow he is back at school and his rhythm will change again.
Now I'll hunker down on the sofa with them and drink a big glass of red wine before cooking a hearty risotto, do a little obligatory cleaning, then loose myself in the lyrical loveliness of Mary Oliver.