To be grateful January 22 2016
I had an epiphany of sorts. In the middle of hanging 22 loads of holiday washing (seriously how do we still create so many dirty clothes when everyone is just wearing swimmers 24-7) and ranting at the children for tipping out yet another box of Lego, I stopped. And thought. Everything is good in my life, yet here I am absolutely berating the ones I love most for something that matters not at all.
We are all healthy. We are free. We live in a beautiful place surrounded by even more beautiful friends. We don’t want for much. What we do want for we actually don’t need (a few nights in a tent showed me exactly how little we all needed to be happy – each other).
So this year, I want to be grateful. I want to appreciate just how incredibly lucky we are to have this lot in life. To live in this age, to be raising future peoples in this world. And so I want to do more with less. Own less, but live more yada yada yada.
Promise this is not another ‘live better’ slogan on a yoga t-shirt, that is only ever worn to the supermarket. But I have this niggling little bug in me (not gastro for once thankfully) that is saying I have the chance to do things a bit better than I did before.
Elsie has been having a potty party this month. The time for the toilet has arrived. While I whittle the days away waiting for her to do a widdle, I have been culling stuff. And nagging her to go to the toilet … over and over and over and over. I have gone room to room choosing essentials, treasured items and mostly things that are well-made and well-loved and removing the rest. I would probably have filled a skip bin with the amount of stuff that I have chucked, yet the kids haven’t once asked for any of it. They haven’t even noticed it’s gone.
And I didn’t just stop there. Nine pairs of shoes in a box buried under a kilo of dust under my wardrobe – gone. Last worn before children, when I could walk in heels taller than the average sky scraper. When I thought I needed such accessories to make me look beautiful – even though I stumbled like a drunk giraffe every time I tried to move. Don’t get me wrong I still love a good pair of heels. But I prefer one or two good pairs, to dozens of multi-coloured, multi-storeyed pairs that look like they best belong on a platform… possibly with a pole.
I feel cleansed…. Not in a lemon-detox way, but in a way that has me calmly (sort of) approaching the year ahead. The mantra: ‘I am a busy working mum and I am going to keep my shi* (insert swear word) together and rock it’. And I will remember to laugh. And I will have waterbomb fights. And I will still build cubbies and smuggle biscuits for breakfast.
Yet things are going to be different. Two at school. One in daycare. Me at work at least two days a week. This is not the relaxed-mum-with-milkshake-in-hand picture I had in my head. It is not how I have done it in the past. But for now it is the way it will be.
I am trying to put my career back on track before the horse is well and truly at the knackery. Still not sure if I am that keen, but have to give it a shot so at least I can say I tried. Unfortunately that is coming at the cost of a few after school treats and those wonderful hugs you get at the school gate. I am not saying I am special, I know millions do it everyday. I am just adjusting. And I think these days it is our right, and really our responsibility as mother’s to speak up when we are unsure about things. Or they scare us. Or we just need a bit of support.
I am unsure a lot of the time. I try to give off a very different image though. I like it to be gleaming. A picture of family perfection, rosy cheeks and just baked sweets cooling on the window sill. Although in honesty I race around like a headless chook when I see headlights on our driveway, throw clothes on the kids in a crazed state, dust a cake with icing sugar as visitors walk up the front path and shove everything else behind the bedroom door when they are looking at the garden… I rarely feel like I have got the hang of this business and I know I am not the only one.
But for all that chaos and confusion I want to be grateful too. We are making tales. Every day. And it is our story.
But there are oodles of good stories out there. And quite frankly I reckon I have talked about myself enough for a while… Honestly, I am thankful you are still reading! So I would like this year to share the stories and wisdom of some of our fellow mummy masters. The genius-genies in heels/boots/slippers/thongs/barefoot and pregnant who are also treading the merry path of parenthood. So stay tuned for some inspiring tales, from some super mums I am super lucky to know, and some I can’t wait to get to know better.
PS This new euphoria has clearly overcome my common sense because otherwise there is no way I would normally submit swimwear shots of myself… Especially post a whole Christmas ham and 252 summer sausage sizzles… But I am grateful for a summer filled with swimming, celebrating and relaxing with the ones I love best… champagne, cellulite, and chafe included.