discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Sunday, 12 January 2014

C.T.F.D my parenting aha moment

























When we decided to have a child, it wasn't from a burning desire of parenthood that we craved, it was the sense of family and the adding to ours that was important, and my clock was ticking, loudly.  Our first baby was a golden Labrador, and I was smitten.  I thought it would take a lot to push him outside away from a bassinet and our 'real' baby, but it happened.  We fell in love instantly with our girl, but love doesn't pave the road of ups and downs of the new born roller coaster.  I think being well into my 30's didn't help either.  I was selfish, self indulgent, had a great job, great husband who allowed me my freedoms and I thought I could control and handle anything.  

I couldn't have been more wrong.  On so many levels.  

I remember being in hospital after a horrific labour (lets face it none are pretty) being terrified I might hurt her accidentally or drop her or miss a minute or forget to feed her without timing it or wash her bottom wrong, the voice in my head was in overdrive.  I wanted it all to be perfect and it wasn't.  If you don't already know, breastfeeding is hardwork, it is natural but that doesn't mean it's easy.  I was in a hospital and an era that didn't allow dummies and frowned upon formula.  Second wake up call was babies actually don't do as the advert says "sleeping like a baby".  In short, sleep deprivation is a bitch, it's used for torture for a reason.  I was very fortunate to have a supportive husband who was scared of the new born baby but was more than happy to cook for me, clean, do washing, grocery shop and listen to me through my tears.



Don't get me wrong, I loved my little lady. Dearly, heart-breaking love like I'd never felt.  But that crying and being out of control with a little person who you were totally responsible for and who depended on you for everything was so scary.  I was used to my dog, who didn't answer back, went out side and weed on command and allowed me 10 hours sleep a night, uninterrupted.  I'll own up to trying to be Super-mum, miss perfect, but it served no-one most of all myself.  



Fast forward almost 7 years and there are days I still battle with parenthood.  The problem for me is perfectionism and control.  I hate mess and I sweat the small stuff.  When I worked it was terrible.  My alarm would go off and I'd hit the ground running and shouting, barking orders like a drill sergeant to get out of the door by 8am.  Now I'm not working, I'm still nagging orders to get to school on time with a list of things that is needed for one school day.  But I'm trying to relax a tad.  But gee it's hard!

This year, one of my new years resolution is to try and not sweat the small stuff so much.  To let go of sweeping the floors each day and wiping the little fingerprints off the fridge every morning.  I had learned over the past few months the benefits of being mindful and living in the moment, but man I find it hard.  I figure I really need to walk the talk.  

Photo taken by Bek of  Bex Photograph 
One thing I really find challenging is playing.  I'm not sure why but I get hot and clammie the moment my girl asks me to play a game.  "Um, in a minute honey", "you start and I'll join you" but I rarely do.  Am I alone with this?  I don't think so.  I marvel at those families that can sit down and play scrabble or play schools without the need to do anything else inbetween.

I had a really big a-ha moment, Oprah would have been proud of.  I read a wonderful, if not funny article that's been flying around facebook. You can read the article here but be warned they do drop the "f"bomb, but the sentiment I'm running with....CTFD! Its's my new motto in my head "Calm the F#ck Down" and it refers to us parents not the children.  I've been instilling this CTFD attitude for a few weeks now, and wow it really is helping and working!  I'm working on lowering my expectations of how my house 'should' look and trying to concentrate on what is actually 'happening' and trying not to miss it.

I really am enjoying putting my super hero pants back in the knickers draw where they belong and living a more real mindful life.

Ciao, Jan

12 comments :

  1. Great piece! What you describe so beautifully here is what we think is expected of us and how we are led to believe that everyone else has it all so "together", yet we only have to scratch the surface to see how much everyone is struggling. Modern life appears to be all about striving - being perfect, having everything, being a 'success' - rather than about simplicity. Yet it is the simplicity that brings true happiness - and your blog is a great reminder of this.

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    1. Thanks Carol, you have also summed it up beautifully. Jan x

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  2. A beautiful and honest post Jan. She looks adorable! I am the same about mess and to add to things, hubby loves mess so I'd be barking orders left, right and centre!

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    1. Oh Lorraine, you are doomed if Mr.NQN is a messer!! :D

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  3. It is all true...........it is wonderful and can't be (excuse the french) bloody hard as well. I am the cranky mother at the moment and feel like all I do is bark orders because the first 2-3 times it is said it is irgnored and it is really annoying the hell out of me. I mean........I've just spent 10 minutes making lunches (for you precious children) you could at least have the decency to stop what you are doing and come to the kitchen bench. Read Ali Edwards post (she's a scrapbooker in the USA who has great projects December Daily and Week in the Life). She has also just written about "being present" and I'm guilty of that as well. I do know one thing when you spend quality time (playing a game, throwing a ball, playing UNO or reading a book or being read to in the case of the 10 year old) I notice that their behaviour improves. Usually they want something when I'm in the middle of cooking dinner with pots and pans everywhere and the stove on so that's really hard and I want to be attentive but being in the middle of that it's hard. We have played UNO after dinner but I know I should be doing more with them as they are going back to school in a couple of weeks time. I think even if "after I fold the washing or sweep the floor we can sit down and play your game for half an hour" it's not too much too ask. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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    1. Oh Kathy, you are a gem....I can tell you are doing your best as you are even thinking about not being 'present'. Kids need to know we can't do everything they ask for as well...but I agree, when you just give them your attention for even as little as 10 minutes, their behaviour improves. It's the hardest job going so we need to ease up on ourselves.....sending you lots of patience and strength!! Jan xxx

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  4. I know that keeping things running in a smooth and orderly fashion is important.
    But you are so right about not sweating the small stuff. I gave that up between child #2 and 3. Besides I like to have a giggle and think what I might want written on my gravestone; it is definitely not "she always had a tidy house".
    P.S I think everyone should have CTFD tucked away foe when it's needed;)

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  5. I love that Lana...who seriously wants to be known for the tidy house? Jan x

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  6. Great post! I agree completely! During and after having 4 boys in 4 and a half years I absolutely had to let go...of a lot! I'm finding now that my youngest is 3 I'm in a whole new place. More organised but not stressed out about it if that makes sense? It will all get done, if not today then tomorrow. I also have the boys help out around the house so that we can spend the family time together. They know if we work as a team we are more likley to have the game after dinner or the swim in the lake. If they ask me to make cookies or muffins then they stand with me and help so we all win! This has taken me a lot of time to get to and I still have my battles - funnily enough with my oldest more than my younger ones, but I know that I need help with those daily, ongoing, repetitive tasks so that I have the energy to connect with them and have fun. We're all different though and sometimes it takes time to work out the right balance for us. One thing for certain though is that they teach us so much, more than we could ever have imagined!

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  7. Don't they ever Kristie...wow you must be busy with 4 boys in 4 1/2 years!!! Thanks for taking the time to comment :D Jan x

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  8. I am assuming you have read the book 'Go the F*** to Sleep'!!!

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    1. hehehe yes I have Momma-lana, yes I have!!! Very helpful and funny :D

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