Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Life in a tornado

So I looked at my blog today for the first time in six months and found this draft post. I wrote this towards the end of last year. Not much has changed apart from it being winter now. Here it tis'...

It's 10pm and I'm slouching against the pillows in my bed, laptop laid out in front, fan whirling overhead. It's a warm Friday night. Just an hour ago I was sitting in the car parked outside our house eating potato chips in the dark. It felt so silent and peaceful. Just the sound of chips crunching and the street light illuminating the large patches of overgrown grass surrounding our car.

I crave peacefulness, silence and calm. The days are so busy. So rushed. So hectic. So loud.

From the moment I wake there are kids fighting over chairs in the kitchen or who gets to play with the baby first. There's frantic searches for socks, library books, missing lego heads and a packet of baby wipes. There's demands for vitamin C and more Weetbix.

The kitchen is a tornado of school / preschool lunch-making and breakfast cleanup. A flurry of cling wrap, cheese, peanut butter, and cereal slowly setting into a cement-like substance on the floor.

The children take turns in fighting, having time out and playing alone. Hurtful words are thrown across the room between the older two; "stupid girl", "I hate him!", "you're a poo',  "stop it!", "Mum! Help! Finlay keeps touching me", "I'm going to cut your head off."

Yes. The last one is a little scary.

My head feels fuzzy, my ears are exploding. It's the morning mix tape of squawking tiny children needing to be fed and discplined.

Life with three children is still a shock to my system. A couple of months ago I had enough. I ran out the front door with the baby and just stood at the edge of the pathway to our garden. Silence. Blue sky. Green grass. Ants climbing over my toes. Baby dribble.

Breathe.

Back inside. Face the chaos. Try and be an adult and work this one out. I am meant to know what I am doing right?

Sometimes I just don't know. I really don't know. I read books and hundreds of online posts on parenting. I read the kids books on identifying their feelings. I use time out and sometimes we just talk it out. We have star charts for jobs and positive reinforcement. We have "family time", special Friday night movies. I buy vitamins that supposedly boost my children's immunity. I ask friends and grandparents for advice. I ruminate, I worry, I whinge and yet I love them with every fibre of my being.

I may not know what I'm doing most days but I know that I love them. I love them with a love that makes my heart ache and my stomach feel hollow. I may be prone to biscuit-based bribery, breastfeeding babies to sleep and even co-sleeping (gasp!). But in all the ways I mess up or don't follow the parenting manual I make up for in kisses, cuddles and silly songs.

Life is extraordinarily busy right now and there is barely any "me time" yet I feel I'll look back on these years and think they were simply the best. They'll be plenty of silence and peacefulness to come...in maybe another 30 years.

For now,  I'll just embrace the noise.