Camping and anxiety

We took the kids camping last week. I wasn’t sure how my two princesses would cope being away from WiFi and electricity, but they completely surprised me! They loved sleeping in tents and cooking on the tiny gas stove. Even when we got caught in a wind storm and one of our tents got ripped to shreds they treated it like a huge adventure.

Losing one of the tents meant that all 4 of us had to squish into the same tent, which would have been fine if it wasn’t for the hail and thunderstorms, bucketing rain and howling winds. And the fact that our tent is apparently not waterproof anymore. A year ago I would have demanded that we pack up and go home as soon as the first raindrop fell, but I surprised myself and enjoyed the chaos. I didn’t freak out when we got caught up the mountain in a thunderstorm and had to race back down to safety, I didn’t panic when the tent collapsed or when all our gear got wet. Instead we all just kinda got on and made the best of it. Honestly, it was one of the best family trips we’ve had in a while.

I don’t know if it was being surrounded by nature, or the fact that I’m so well medicated, or that I’m feeling so burnt out that I just couldn’t be bothered to care but I loved the whole chaotic experience.

Parenting woes.

I have decided that my next purchase is going to be a pair of noise canceling headphones. Or ear plugs so that I can stop hearing the kids argue about nonsense. They will be the best of friends, happy in each other’s company when suddenly, all hell breaks loose and they start screaming and screeching at each other. And at me. Cause obviously I have to choose a side.

It doesn’t help punishing them, all it does is unite them against me. So I’ve started ignoring them, or even better just hiding away from them. Generally they sort themselves out without any bloodshed. Parenting is hard!

It started with a dream

It started with a dream, I dreamt of a little girl running through my bedroom. 2 days later I had the results in my hands. I dreamt you into existence.

And then it started.

I read news reports about girls in a country halfway across the world, being abducted and sold into slavery because they prayed to a different god. Their stories filled me with horror. And then rage.

I heard about a politician who was trying to police women’s bodies, telling them that their reproductive rights did not belong to them. I became incandescent with rage. I stormed against the injustice that you might have to face one day.

The suffering of every woman became your suffering.

I will smash the patriarchy for you.

I will burn down city hall.

I will fight every injustice

I will claw my fingers bloody breaking down the walls that they construct to keep you down.

My love for you has no borders, has no end. I loved you from before your first heartbeat and I will love you after the last breath has left my lungs.

I will move continents to keep you safe.

The Three-nager

I dreaded the terrible two’s and I couldn’t wait for them to finish.  Little did I know that I would soon have a three-nager in the house.  LK rules our house with an iron fist.  When she doesn’t get her way she will calmly walk away and then start crying and slamming doors.  She also regularly tells KJ that she wishes that we were not born, cause then she will be in charge.  Her mood swings and tantrums are the stuff of nightmares.  But when she feels scared, lonely, or just wants cuddles she is the sweetest, cutest thing on two legs.

I know that she is simply frustrated because she doesn’t know how to express how she feels.  Her fears and frustrations are too big for her little body to cope with.  So she acts out. And we have loads of cuddles and hugs afterwards because sometimes words are not enough to ease her frustrations.

Fortunately, KJ has a big enough heart to understand that her little sister loves her very much, no matter how badly she may behave. The problem is that KJ has the vocabulary to annoy her little sister and then laughs at her attempts to retaliate.  The joys of having two girls!

If having a three-nager is so difficult, how on earth are we going to cope with a real teenager?!?

Pausing   

This morning I was reminded why quiet is so important. As I type this , I’m sitting outside in the Drakensberg and listening to the quiet while I drink my tea. With only the sounds of the birds and the occasional noisy child as a reminder that civilization isn’t that far away.  As a mom I often forget to put myself into a “time out” and just breathe. Not constantly worry about work, what  my kids are doing, that I’m somehow failing in my quest to balance my work, home, and family.  Lately I’ve dropped a lot of balls in my juggling act.  I have been working super long hours at work and completely neglecting my home and family.  It’s hard when you leave the house before the kids are properly awake and arrive home just in time for bedtime. 

One thing that I have realized the past year is that I cannot be a good mom if I neglect myself.  So this morning I have left the kids in the very capable hands of the Husbeast and am just taking a moment. I went for a run this morning, did my pole dance stretches, and am now sitting on the veranda and pausing my hectic life.  As soon as the kids get back I will resume my usual duties, hopefully feeling more refreshed and less like a mom-zombie 

The Joys of parenting

The Tomboy is teething at the moment. Such an innocent statement that doesn’t quite convey the horror of sleepless nights and the agony of trying to calm a screaming toddler down. A long time ago before I had kids I used to buy into the whole “parenting is easy” thing. That a teaspoon full of medicine will calm the savage beast. And that I would spend my weekends wandering around local craft markets or playing on the beach with my gorgeous well behaved brood. Instead I wake up covered in medicine and other unmentionable things (she likes to spit her meds, milk and mucius out when she thinks I’m not looking). We don’t eat out anymore, at least not at nice grown up places. My kids love to dive under the table and pretend that they are “camping”, The Tomboy likes to pretend that she is a dog and either licks your feet or attempts to lick the table. And lets face it, no family meal would be complete without WWIII breaking out.

I would not change it for the world. My kids might drive me completly insane but my life would be so boring without them. They spent some time with their grandparents recently and I could not get used to the house being quiet. We are so used to being in a noisy house that silence seems creepy. My life might not be what I had imagined, it is actually so much better.