Sunday, February 28, 2010

Two Revelations



I had a big Moment of Clarity this week. One of those who-the-hell-do-you-think-you-are-kidding, (certainly not yourself), get-a-grip-on-reality revelations.

PFFFFT! Just like that, I am breathing easier. Just like that, I am present in the conversation with the middle kid, over what it really means to be poikilothermic (look it up, I had to). I’ve also rescued overdue school permission forms from bottoms of bags, called siblings about Dad’s birthday, hung out with my Granny, washed the fairy costume. I even, almost, had a bright idea while in the think tank (shower), for the first time in forever, although that was interrupted by a potty training someone for reasons best not described.

There is no beating about the bush: I am a WIMP, I am a WUSS. I have backed out on a commitment. As I sidle away, the relief is palpable – and so is the word PANSY stamped across my forehead. I, mover of heaven and earth to achieve the deadline, have gone SOFT.

So there’s that, and there’s also the moment a few weeks ago, when the smallest kidlet had a first ‘practise’ at the childcare centre. As I walked away, I was hit with another revelation: Holy heck! I am ab.so.lute.ly accountable – to myself!

Even though the Mr and I juggle an irritatingly unpredictable work/parenting schedule, handing my youngest, my last baby, over to others for care, I finally, really and truly, ‘got’ my separateness from my kids. Does that come within spitting distance of any sort of sense? With space to see from the sidelines, momentarily unembroiled in the day to day juggle, I understood that as well as being everything for my family, I also have my own shoes to stand in. Really stand in. Not just token, lip-service, going through the motions standing in. I want to be walking into that room of mirrors, proud and as tall as 153cm allows, while I stand in my shoes: mum, wife, individual.

Slow on the uptake, I still view my professional capacities, the same as I did before kids. I still secretly think that I can pull it all out of the bag. I still privately reckon that determination and tenacity and making your luck and four in the morning brainwaves will push me over the line.

They probably will, but the price is a hell of a lot higher these days. All nighters in your mid twenties are a whole ’nother kettle of fish when you’re nearly in your forties. That’s the least of it. There are the other curve balls that pass by a distracted me. Clocking that a kid needs help with reading and another more sleep and a bigger hug at bedtime and if the fairy dress doesn’t get washed and ready for morning then a small world will fall apart, especially since it was promised for TODAY. That it’s much nicer to crawl into bed at the same time as the Mr, muse over the days events, rather than detect the faint whiff of too-late-to-bed-again disapproval in his turned away. That my Granny needs her family. That I need my pals. That I’m not the same as fifteen years ago and currently off on some kid-rearing sabbatical. That I’m a work in progress.

After all that previous exhilaration at the notion of a big challenge, I am no longer part of the Melbourne Stitches and Craft Show. Except for that part where I am there with bells on, cheering wildly for everyone else.



Meanwhile, this weekend, my eye drifts often to this screen. Secret swap stuff. Waiting for a Monday opportunity. I’m beside-myself-DESPERATE to get printing.

47 comments:

CurlyPops said...

It's so hard to pull back and realise that we no matter how hard we try, we just can't do everything (even though we grew up in the generation where that was drummed into our heads).
I'm very glad that you are now able to take a big sigh of relief, and concentrate on those that are important to you in your life (and maybe even get some more sleep).
I'll be joining in with you cheering from the sidelines... maybe we should craft ourselves some pom poms?

Christina said...

It makes me think about how much time we spend trying to please other people before we realize that pleasing ourself is just as important. So glad it is no longer a weight around your shoulders. How wonderful and scary to see your last baby in childcare. Hope the rest of the weekend is wonderful and you get to print your heart out! :)

Mel said...

Ahh yeah ... I can hear that sigh of relief again! Love it! Good for you. Enjoy that screen tomorrow without (or with one less) deadlines!

xx

ELK said...

tania . you know what is needed at this moment . give yourself a big pat on the back for that . each "season" in life needs to be tended .

yardage girl said...

Good for you - we all have those moments - some with far less successful outcomes than yours. Enjoy the printing for the sake of it - no pressure - just fun. Life is too short for feeling crap. Nic xx

crzylady said...

Yea for saying no! Saying no is a big lovely thing :) I have been smiling lately when no pops in my brain and I don't feel obligated to say yes anyway... to just say no *big deep breath* and angels sing.

Kate said...

Whew, good for you! Isn't it amazing how those too many commitment decisions are so hard to make but once made they seem so obvious. Its funny this space in time when we have been pregnant and breastfeeding and parenting for the best part of 10 years and now we have a bit of space for ourselves we think we need to fill it quickly. I keep on making plans for side lines for the farm, online selling and huge crafty project. I've got to learn to say no a bit too. BTW how ever do you wash a tutu? I've had a couple on the floor of the laundry forever. X

thornberry said...

Oh yay for you Tania - and there is nothing wimp, wuss, pansy or soft going on with you! I see courage, clarity, and the recognition of realities and priorities. I am going to read this post over and over, because I think there is a great deal in it that I need to learn from at the moment. Thanks for sharing your revelations.

Stomper Girl said...

I have the same think tank as you! Sometimes it takes a while just to get the headspace so that you can reach these epiphanies, so I'm really glad that your head is clearing. Such a load off when it does.

I'm doing my swap stuff today and taking to heart the words of advice given me last week : Don't overthink it. So I dived in and so far, so good.

One Flew Over said...

I bet you are walking with a spring in your step. Good work Tan...relief is one of the BEST feelings in the world xx

m.e (Cathie) said...

ohh yes, those late nights are a totally different thing nowdays.
don't let that mother guilt get you down.
enjoy those simple things as you know from kid experience that they never stay little for too long.
...mmm...breathe ♥

Tas said...

So many of your thoughts mirrored mine. It is a relief when you can focus on what is important to you, make decisions and let go then move on. Well done.

Liesl (Hoppo Bumpo) said...

As that great philospher Kenny (Rogers) said ... you gotta know when to hold em, know when to fold em, know when to walk away. Its often the harder, more courageous decision to walk. From one mum to another ... good on you. There's always next year or the one after or the one after that ...

Melanie Gray Augustin said...

Oh Tania, your revelations are inspirations to me right now. You're a courageous soul, and sometimes "no" is the hardest word to say. Enjoy your nights of going to bed at the same time and the focus on your family.

Jo James said...

Good for you for letting yourself off that big ole hook!

Kirsty said...

Spewin that Liesl got in before me!

Just so enormously proud of you T.

A Peppermint Penguin said...

Go You.

Meagan @ecoMILF said...

Wise choice. I can feel the sense of relief (and bitter sweetness) in your entry. Enjoy the few extra moments while you can, I;m sure you'll figure out a way to fill them up again... or maybe I missed the point. You are probably still in over-load mode. All the best. xo m.

Christie said...

sometimes the bravest thing you can do is say NO & accept that you cannot do everything, especially when you may be a teeny tiny bit of a perfectionist & therefore wanting (needing?) to do everything perfectly.

i think it's a good decision

willywagtail said...

Sounds like an epiphany to me. I always like to see people come to the realisation of the need to cut back BEFORE their life has gone over the edge. Well done. Cherrie

Maggie said...

good for you! I know that feeling of relief, it's awesome.

beck said...

Great post Tania! I'm feeling your relief all the way up here in the hills. What an excellent decision, I made a similar one recently too. There is only so much of you to go around and you deserve to keep some for yourself as well! Put the kettle on and have a sit, look out the window and do a bit of day dreaming, ok? Big love to you xo

Kylie said...

Damn! I was going to quote Kenny too! The Mr was teaching the youngest how to play poker the other night and I was singing in the background as if this was all she needed to know! ;)
Now, YOU... You are amazing, do you know that? Don't expect too much of yourself too quickly though. For now it's enough, I think, to know that you are not defined solely by being someone's wife and the mother/daughter/granddaughter etc of others. All these lovely people will always need you, especially the kids, but you have to nourish yourself as well.... I'm thinking of the backlash of feminism - having it all so frequently just means doing it all!
So happy for you Tania :) Kx

Gina said...

xxx

peppermintpatcher said...

It's funny how each stage of our family lives can cause us to stop and re-consider how we define ourselves. Our relationship with ourselves is often the most complex one that we have.

Mookah said...

Aaaah....as I read your post I realised I took a deep sigh and let my shoulders relax.

Wimp, wuss, pansy, soft. I don't think so. BRAVE is what you are, for recognising a need to take action, and taking it.

mrs smith said...

I am with Kenny. Great conscious-decision making Tania. It has inspired me.

I love what you write about being 'a mum, wife and individual and "walking tall in your shoes" - that elusive balance that we are all trying to experience even if for a fleeting nanosecond. Sigh, it's so worth readjustng for, non?

Leonie Guld said...

So....how'd ya feel!!!! he he....Congratulations! Breathe love Breathe xx

flowerpress said...

So beautifully expressed! I think a lot of us know those feelings too well :-) Not wimping, just defining your priorities.

Lola Nova said...

Wonderful post. I've just had something of the same...and felt the big breath of sweet relief along with a small pang. Ballerina and princess dresses have been washed, though one one yet mended - still I do feel there is progress being made along with cookies.
So good for you and can't wait to see the printing!

Cas said...

This was exactly the post I needed to read this morning.

Go you good thing :)

heather said...

i applaud you for lightening your load. hurrah. you know it you feel it when it needs to happen. and yeah, we really are our own people!! however convincing the little ones might be that we actually belong to them, we don't. not any more than they belong to us! it's crazy how long it's taken me to realize this. and i still forget.

Jodie said...

As much as I wanted to be neighbours with you at the show, I soooo understand where you are. The relief must be heaven!

Umatji said...

sot not a wimp or a wuss or a pansy but I like your use of the word pansy - should be more of it (in the right context of course).
Someone said to me - its not that you are unreliable it is just that you can reliably do a lot less.
wise words.
big love
x

Lauren said...

I've had one of those moments too. Its a wonderful relief when that weight is lifted. Glad you have some space to breathe. x

Cathy (Tinniegirl) said...

I love this post T and all that's in it. Not just the decision to make a change, but the realisations about who you are and what's important.

I hope that you enjoy every moment of the relief, and come to realise that you're not a WUSS, PANSY or WIMP. There is so much strength in knowing ourselves.

Sandrine said...

I agree fully with Cathy comment no wuss thing at all!I "clap" for the woman, wife, mum, blog friend (hehe) that has made a decision in line with what matters for HERSELF!Good on YOU lovely lady!
PS: BREATHE very vital!

Peta @ Pippiwillow said...

When you give of yourself constantly often here is no wax left let alone wick to be burning at both ends. 'No' is an empowering word Mrs and I hope you adorn YOUR shoes and wear the role that you choose with pressure-less ease. ANd exhale........ Peta

brownhairblueribbon said...

If there is one thing you ALWAYS are it is bells on cheering for every one else.

It is funny that in society it is always family and close friends that we let slide and public things that we complete etcetc.. Good on you for taking the hard way - the notatallwimpy way..

ooxx

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

You already do a startling amount so well !
Perhaps a good idea to relax before you become like the word verification . .. stmoxqz .

Loz and Dinny said...

Ah aaaah aaaaaaah - how good do I know this all feels. Well done you - I have no doubt that being the fine work in progress you are you are just displaying delicious wisdom rather than wimpiness. Going soft feels so good - who ever said a washboard stomach and sailor's biceps ever performed better in a all encompassing hug. Viva la soft xxx

Cute as Buttons said...

A Pansy has such a beautiful, complex, bright and vibrant centre. I've never understood why it isn't a compliment, to be honest. I think your decision is courageous and wise. I admire you even more because you made it and shared it. It had echoes around this house, too. I'm having my own numinous in light of your sharing. Good on you! Stop and smell those pansies - or at least look at them. Lisa x

Angie said...

**sigh**

Good call Tania.

While I didn't have a Moment of Clarity, I just slowly realised lots of late nights did not make for a happy mama. And if I'm not happy, aint NOBODY happy!

You're an inspiration.

Cindy said...

Now you know I do enjoy your blog but this one Missy - a PANSY would be the one that would of contiued on regardless of the fact that it wasn't feeling right. They wouldn't of contemplated the idea of saying 'no I don't want to do it'. So not true.
Hope you are enjoying walking around with those free shoulders

Suzy said...

Ah, I had a moment like that this week too. Glad I'm not the only one. I forget that when I was at uni and pulled crazy all nighters, it didn't matter if I got sick the next week or spent all day in bed. Whereas now I have to get up, cuddle, feed and entertain small people. And mental health is more important than it used to be.

xx

62cherry said...

coffee soon local lady??
i love how you express yourself
well done on making the decision

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