Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday thoughts

Its friday.  Hear the huge sigh of relief.  Last weekend was wonderful in that we had my mom in law up to spend the weekend with us BUT it was also really crazy.  She is one of 7 children and they all live in JHB so we had to make a plan to see them all and squeeze in the valentines day disco for Gabriel on friday night, Jason's 10km run and a visit with her other grandchild.  So i got to Monday exhausted and then Seth decided to get ill.  He has only started to get better now.  I am at the point where i would much rather be sick then have the kids sick.  They are so miserable when they are ill.  They wont eat.  They wont sleep.  I put them into bed with us and then i dont sleep.  Moms, you know the drill.......

I have also had a difficult week emotionally in that i am worried about my older son's speech.  When Seth was born Gabby was three and he developed a stutter.  I took him to the speech therapist who told me that she thought it was as a result of the stress of the new baby.  After a couple of months it went away and would just hover under the surface.  When he was tired or had a rough day he would struggle over a couple of words.  When he started school in January his stutter re-emerged big time.  I know that starting school has been very stressful for him.  It has started to get a bit better but i am really worried about it.  It also upsets my husband no end because he has a stutter and has his own issue...  I have booked him in to see the speech therapist for next week.  But like all things related to my children my first response is almost always guilt.  When something goes wrong with the kids i always feel like i should have seen it before hand, done something about it, sorted it out.  Not altogether healthy but i really cant help it.  Thankfully Seth is speaking more and more as that was a whole other source of guilt.  In my daily work as a social worker I come across parents who just dont care about their children.  They dont care whether they eat, sleep, attend school, are in danger etc.  Besides the anger my most overwhelming feeling is total amazement that they can actually live the guilt involved.  I have times that no matter what i do, i think that i should be doing more and what i am doing is just not good enough.  Of course there are only 24 hours in a day so invariably it is me who gets squeezed out.  My husband really is a good dad but he just does not get the guilt thing in the same way as i do.  In a way my view really translates into unconditional love and devotion because if something is amiss with the kids i never ask "what is wrong with them?  but rather "what is wrong with me?"  Which i am sure brings a whole new bunch of hang ups.  Why is parenthood so damn complicated.

Of course this is all made worse by being a working mom and being aware that no matter what you are doing right now something else also needs to be done.  So while you are at work you wish you were at home and while you are at home you are thinking about work.  Crazy.

This is not really a bitch session but just an attempt to make sense of my crazy space right now....

But the good news is that this weekend is quieter.  We have the exciting family event on Sunday that i will tell you about next week.  But the rest of the time is pure R and R.  Which we all need.  I sensed the tiredness in the W clan this week.  I think it calls for complete vegetation to overcome it....

Thanks for listening!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

happy thoughts

  • Children getting better and hubby getting home tonight.
  • Homemade cookies that are saying "eat me Al....".
  • Some time off this afternoon to go and pop into my favourite second hand book shop where i always find serious bargains and leave with a forest.
  • A day where i actually get to sit at my desk for two hours and slog.  My emails are weighing me down and i need to clear out!
  • The excitement of a family occasion this weekend.... details to follow!

Monday, February 15, 2010

I ....

  • am at home with a sick child.
  • tired after a good weekend with my mother in law.  She spent three days with us and the boys loved her being around.  Seth even let out a bloody curling howl when she had to go.
  • is having a bit of a maniac creative block, which is caused by having too many projects that she wants to start right now and thus feeling overwhelmed.
  • was proud of getting her butt to gym even in the midst of the crazy weekend.
  • but was still tempted to buy a custard slice today and take it home with her and eat it.
  • watched "overboard" with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel and loved it.  Old movies rock.
  • is a bit stressed that hubby is going away for two days tomorrow leaving me with the abovementioned sick kid.
  • Feels like good school mom after helping to sell food at the valentines disco on Friday night for gabby and making home made flash cards to help him with his ABC's.  The disco was a blast.  It was still purely dancing with your friends and no yucky girls!  How i see that changing.....

Thursday, February 4, 2010

bright moments in the midst of mundane madness

As a mother of two small children i find that most of my life is just about satisfying mundane madness.  I wake early and crash late and fill the hours in between with hundreds of little tasks that are all necessary for life in the W family to run smoothly.  Small children require constant care, then i work a full day (while constantly mentally tracking my kids day:  Oh!  Its 10am so Seth will be having snack right now at creche and Gabby will be on 1st break....)  On the whole i love it.  Domestic life is largely bliss for me, i need to admit.  Of course that does not mean that it does not drive me crazy sometimes.  Especially domestic work!

But this year, as a result of my conscious refocus to put my family first i have found myself seeking what i call my bright moments in this mundane life.  When you have small children you have to be on the look out for your bright moments, because just like kids they are fast and fleeting.  But when you spot them, grasp them and really savour them they can be mind blowing.  In the last couple of days life has given me a couple of them and i have made sure to grasp them...
  • I love my kids right now.  Okay, maybe that is not the right term as i always love my kids even when they have devil horns firmly on their heads.  I am ENJOYING  my boys right now.  They are cute and fun and loving and fun.  I am proud of them and think that they are shaping up to be pretty cool people.  People that i would want to hang out with.  I like it when we have quiet special moments.  Last night Seth fell asleep early and i was reading to Gabby on my bed.  Suddenly he turned to me and asked:  "Would you swop me for any other kid?"  I replied: "No, not even if he was made of Gold!".  Which pleased him no end.  He threw his arms around me in total joy and said:  "Thats cool!".  I love this kid!  I love Seth perched on a stool staring at the toaster so that he can watch the toast pop up while shouting "Pop!Pop!".  I love his spiderman obsession and the long conversations that he has with his toys.
  • I love my hubby right now.  We are revived by the reconfirmed commitment to go to Australia together.  I love that we still have a spark and that we are such good friends.  I really count my marriage as one of my greatest life gifts.  This man fills my soul!
  • Yesterday i heard that my best friend may also be coming to Australia.  She is like a sister to me and i cant tell you how amazing news this is.  They had applied to go to Canada but where declined and have now decided that Australia is the way to go.  We have been friends for 16 years and we always said that we would outlive our husbands and keep each other company in our old age.  This makes the whole process more bearable for me.  Our children call each other cousins and they really are like family to me.
  • I am feeling so good about work right now.  I am back where i fit and the work is exciting for me again after my 8 months absence.  I really am a social worker by heart and nature and even though i enjoy management that is really where my passion lies. I would much rather be in operations then in the boardroom.
  • And finally, this weekend i have a wonderful date planned with my gorgeous hubby for his birthday.  We have dinner and the theater followed by drinks.  I am looking forward to having some quality time with him.  Thanks to my great cousin for baby sitting.
So at the risk of sound smug and painful, life is really good right now.  Mind over matter.... If you dont mind, it doesnt matter!


Monday, February 1, 2010

Moving on up...

Well, what a couple of days.

18 months ago we decided as a family to relocate to Australia.  For a number of reasons but chiefly that we wanted an adventure, wanted our children to have a more sophisticated childhood and wanted them to have a more global experience of life.  We also believed that this move would offer us a better quality of life in the long run.  We went at it all guns and did a lot of work.  We paid an agent R15 000.  We collected all the documents (which let me tell you with South African Department of Home Affairs is no little feat!!).  We did our international english tests.  We got Jason's qualifications assessed.  In December his assessment came back positive.  The Australian government would in essence take him and we then needed to lodge our forms.

However a little strange thing happened to me about the same time.  I started having some serious doubts about the move.  Not because i dont believe in the reasons why we are doing this or think that we shouldnt but just because i am a terrible, terrible creature of habit.  I am a real home body and struggle with change.  Also our life here is very, very good and what if our gamble does not pay off.  When i raised this with hubby it caused some conflict between us.  He is a true free spirit and is relishing the adventure.  He is already planning his surfing and camping trips with the boys.  I am sure he can already see himself sea canoeing on the pacific!  So i found myself a week ago having an arguement with him about it.  It started off civilly with him giving his views, i giving mine and got progressively more heated.  Until he, in frustration stopped and said to me:  "Do you not understand... You are the only person that i need with me.  If i have you and the kids with me, i will be fine anywhere.  We can make this wonderful!".  And i knew in that moment that he was right and just stopped fighting.

The thing is that i want an adventure.  I am turning 33 and dont know if i can say this is okay for the rest of my life.  I know that we can start over.  I know that on a work level.  I know that we will leave with a good financial nest egg.  I know that i can find a new house, car,ship over my special things and make a home there.  So i said:  "Okay, submit the forms.'.  So they go in next week and then we wait.  We may have the visa in 6 months.  But we dont plan to move immediately.  (More on that later....).

I love my family and am so sentimental but i also know that my marriage is very powerful.  I have followed my husband to another town before and it worked out fabulously for me.  We have always made a good team, hard working, unshakeably loyal, kick ass.  We have a special connection that keeps us ticking along amazingly in a quiet way and he is the only person in the whole world that i would do this with.

So watch this space.  The forms are going in and then.....

Right now i am going to concentrate on dreaming of the Pacific waves outside my door and golden Australian beaches.... which is a grea thought on this horrid grey Johannesburg day...