A peacefulness has befallen my frazzled soul as I sit down to write this. The calmness is refreshing, healing, rejuvenating. I can feel myself relax and come to accept the morning that has gone and the day that is to come.
I had one of those mornings. You know the type – the ones that are hard to explain why they’re hard, that perhaps only another parent would really get. Those mornings when everything goes haywire and all possibility of an organised, constructive day dissolves into nothingness, like a fraying safety rope one can’t quite grasp or a ray of sunlight on a cold day that doesn’t quite warm the heart.
My morning started with yoga. It went well. So far so good. Then shower and breakfast. Little Star is starting to make her independence known. She wants out of the high chair where she throws her fruit on the floor (does it bounce?) and onto my lap where she throws her fruit on the floor. She grabs my spoon, the rockmelon I’m eating, my coffee and spreads yoghurt everywhere. I let go of the flash of impatience which threatens. Not to worry, I’ll just wipe it up when we’re finished eating.
But Little Star is finished now. She needs her milkies. Her face and hands are quickly wiped and she’s lulled into a drowsy contentedness on the couch, in my arms, safe, warm and satiated. She’ll nod off soon. It’s a little earlier than expected but so be it. We walk tenderly to the bedroom, she rouses slightly and I continue feeding her as she drifts safely into slumber. A long process but I cannot bear to wake her.
I begin placing her in her cot and our peace is destroyed by Leczy walking in, making a racket, wanting to be close to her mum.
For me, today, it is just outside my tolerance levels. Little Star is awake and she won’t be resettled. I get angry. I’m so angry. I’ve had enough. I yell at the dog as she looks at me with those big eyes, her ears pulled back, her tail moving back and forth and her head low. It’s already 10 am, there’s fruit and yoghurt over the kitchen floor, the chickens have not yet been fed, the fire has gone out as I cannot nurture it and breastfeed a baby at the same time, it’s cold, there are seedlings about to die as I cannot seem to just get them in the ground, there’s a load of wet washing sitting in the machine I haven’t been able to hang out for two days, there are toys all over the floor, Little Star needs a bath and there’s a meal that still needs to be cooked.
It was supposed to all be done by now so I could get on with my day, so I could connect with my daughter, so that I could do something productive, something more than just maintaining a house. Who can find fulfillment in perpetually tidying? Where nothing is ever finished? Where life just circles and circles and circles around the elusive idea of a completed task?
This morning hasn’t been perfect – later as I clean the kitchen and cook the meal I wanted to with my daughter strapped to my back I realised I’d forgotten to feed Leczy.
Enter guilt stage left.
Little Star is sleeping peacefully now. We’re getting warmer as I’ve finally gotten some wet wood to burn, the chickens are fed, the eggs collected, the kitchen is clean (enough), dinner is cooked, Leczy is fed (I’ve apologised to the doggie with cuddles and scratches around the ears), Little Star is bathed and the wet washing is heaped in a laundry basket – one step closer to being hung to dry. The seedlings are still in punnets stretching for sunlight, and there are still toys all over the floor.
I am learning to be okay with that. It’s not perfect, though often times I find the need to revel in the imperfection of daily living. Relinquishing to the chaotic crazy playfulness that parenthood brings.
So, my fellow mums and dads how do you do it? How do you take it all on and keep your spirit? I’d love your comments.