Recently, I’ve been learning a lot about myself and not all of it is pretty. I am suddenly aware of a lack of patience, Which ruins time spent with my precious family. I just read this amazing quote that said something like “the things that are urgent shouldn’t take over from the things that are important” I’m learning this lesson all too slowly.
Yesterday was a prime example, I lost my rag with little bear over and over, even man cub got whined at when he wanted feeding and I had other things to do. I am becoming a bossy uptight grumpy mama bear because I want things to be just right. I do understand the irony, is that irony? I think it is - in saying that! I am becoming a control freak - I am searching for order where none can exist and trying to do and achieve far more than possible and as a result I end up depressed and stressed and missing out on what’s important - in order to achieve what’s urgent “no Little Bear I can’t play with you I have to … ( insert pointless task here) …”
This morning I find myself gazing into man cub’s eyes as he drifts off to sleep - as if for the first time really. Most of the time I focus on the bit of snot in his nose or the dry skin on his head - I feel like I try to convince myself that constant corrections of imperfection is my role!! When it really really isn’t - I convince myself that what I’m doing in this situation and those when little bear is trying her hardest but I still offer corrective advice instead of praise, is mothering when actually it’s smothering…
Literally strangling the joy out of life!
It’s a slow process don’t get me wrong - these things that trouble me aren’t things I’m constantly doing wrong but I’m worried that without positive change right now - without intentional decisive change - this may become the norm in my house and I don’t want that - I want a home that is anchored in love. One in which we all learn and grow together and feel nurtured.
It’s a big ask but today I start out on a new mothering journey, next time you come over I’ll be trying not to cringe at the (eternal ) state of untidiness in my home. I’ll be trying to not let it override my joy at seeing you! I will be repeating the mantra that “hands free mama” (who I probably mid quoted earlier) has used for a long time - “only love today”. I will be trying to enjoy just existing in those little magical moments with my whole bear like clan and not panicking about when the next nappy change is due or the next feed etc.
next time you see me - I will still be me but maybe a very slowly changing and growing mama bear version of me because I’ve got to learn to love me too. I’ve got to get a grip on this “mummy guilt” - that tells me I’m not good enough, must try harder, must do better - because when I relax and stop judging myself against these perfect unattainable standards - magic happens -
Like yesterday - yesterday must have been easily the hottest day of the year - I decided that since we’d been at home for a few days I needed to get man cub and little bear out! So the first task I’d given myself was the weigh in clinic - sounds achievable - but it was still pretty stressful, getting anywhere on time with two under two always has been. I promised little bear that if she was good at the docs we could go to the park afterwards for some fun. Bribery - cue mummy guilt! - bad mummy!!! But in reality it was more a case of - if you’re not well behaved at the docs I won’t be able to cope with the park afterwards. Why was I putting that on her? I shouldn’t have even mentioned it but anyway - I digress - so little bear was perfectly well behaved - she often is! So off we went to the park in the sweltering heat - with a man cub who now needed to feed - not surprisingly, he was probably thirsty but I needed also to be helping LB on the slide and the swing and everything else - cue lots of stress for me trying to keep everyone happy all the time when in reality LB was pretty happy anyway! Ended up only giving mancub half a feed cos the kids were coming out of school to the park and I couldn’t cope with looking out for LB whilst feeding MC so I decided it was time to go home - bad mummy! Mummy guilt rules! But LB reluctantly but still as good as gold got in the car and had some of her iced drink and MC starts yelling cos he’s too hot and still hungry/thirsty - and this is where I lose it because I can’t for the life of me remember how to fold the bloody pram up to get it in the car! There are parents everywhere and I’m sure they’re watching as my two poor children who are roasting in the back of the car have a complete melt down whilst I do the same at the pram, which - whilst I did eventually fold I then couldn’t get the wheel off like I needed to - in order to get it in the boot - I did remember then that I could put the air con on for them atleast - bad mummy! That took forever to remember - all I wanted was to get my little bears home safe and sound - I was losing it. Eventually I approached some of the parents there, it turned out I knew one if them through work - she very kindly and calmly helped me squish the buggy into the car and off I went. As I was driving I started to cry - cue LB “no mama, no sad, mama - mummy - no sad” - BAD MUMMY - not only can’t you work a simple buggy but also you then make your little one sad too by crying :(
When we got home daddy bear said “whatever happens from now till I get home is ok - don’t try and do anything much” so I poured some clean warm water into little bear’s own washing up bowl and put it outside - I chilled out - I put man cub outside with no pants on and that’s when magic happened - see pic! Beautiful, simple pleasure, the house is a tip - we were all hot and sweaty and I was in a rubbish mood but all of a sudden all that mattered was splashing about with my beautiful little bear!
So I’m going to try hard not to try too hard any more. It’s time for a bit of grace and a bit of magic :)