Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Failing Lately



I've been failing at life lately.

I thought a few days away would cure my bad moods, stress, anxiety and depression. I thought escaping was exactly what I needed. But it turns out that real life still exists back here. My kids still wake before five am, the washing still builds up, the floors still need sweeping and some super sad situations surrounding us have not disappeared.

I'll be honest, for the past few weeks i've found that my life has been completely out of control.

I am at the mercy of my children - they say jump and I do. Spinning in circles and dancing like a monkey upon their request.

I am also at the mercy of my emotions. My stupid, crazy mixed up emotions. Happy, sad, crying, roaring and laughing all in the space of one day -  i'm often astonished by my inability to simply 'cope' with life.

The balance is all out of whack and I have trouble seeing past the exhaustion to make sense of what I need to do.


Today, Dave came home early and we took the kids for a walk along the beach. They played  in the rock pools and threw fists full of sand into the glorious, majestic ocean.

Clarity always comes by the sea shore and there I decided that baby steps was the only way to move past this slump.

I'll tackle one thing at a time in the hope that I can look back to this place and see positive change.




* gosh, im so up and down. I look back over this blog and think 'geez woman, you've said this SO many times before'. I guess this is just life, hey. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's not.

 I promise i'm almost stable most of the time**.

**okay, okay. I promise i'm semi stable SOME of the time ;)





77 comments:

  1. You know, life and our homes aren't meant to be perfect......these are standards we set for ourselves. Good Mums have messy houses and sometimes clean floors.
    August is always dull and slumpy......just take baby steps towards a bigger goal even if it's just decluttering drawer by drawer......only clean the bits that are embarassing and sit down in your colourful lounge room and be grateful it has so much love going on......
    Have a lovely evening,
    Tania xx

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    1. What a heartfelt post. Emily, I feel I know you by just reading your blog and looking at your photo's. Us Mum's are our own harshest critics, I too feel like I have days like this and I can totally relate. Baby steps is a great start, a friend of mine has a great website/blog & facebook page that sums it up, it's called The Imperfect Mum. Have a look sometime and you'll laugh, possibly cry and find comfort, in knowing being a mum is the best and hardest job in the world. Keep on posting your fun filled colourful photo's and stories....have a beer or glass of wine too...(it often helps me).

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  2. We need to catch up. I am on your wave girlfriend.

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  3. Oh, I relate to this...it's almost worse when you look forward to a break so you can get your mojo and good humour back...and it doesn't work. So deflating. Seasons pass, and I hope this one passes for you soon, leaving the lessons of compassion and empathy that we learn through those times when we really feel like shit. Also, I'm sure you are doing so much of a better job than you think you are! Thanks for your honesty.

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    1. ohhhhhh yes, when it DOESNT WORK. why must that happen?

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  4. I know exactly how you feel, I catch myself out heaps and think, why did I just react like that? or why can't I get out of this pooh arse mood! Gahh..emotions, and hormones, hormones are a big part of it, and sleep, or lack-of!
    Pray and get out of the room when times get tense.
    You are not the only one Em ;)

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  5. So many people talk about babies being hard. I'm going out on a limb here and will say toddlers are the hardest. HARDEST. I have a 6, 4 and 2 year old and I can confirm from my small sample of children that kids that can walk, but not yet go to 4 year old kinder are hard work.
    But you do get there. Kinder is awesome, and school is even better. You will get there. Take care of yourself in the meantime. Love where you are Now. Marathon, lady. It's a marathon. God doesn't give you any more than you can handle. x

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  6. I think we all feel like this at times! Keeping a happy perspective isn't always easy! But take comfort in the fact that most of rarely keep it together all.the.time. ;)
    xoxo

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  7. It's mostly about the sleep and having kids that woke pre 5 am unravelled me too. The thing that got me through was exercise. We would all walk to the gym at 5 30 since we were up anyway, I would work out for 30 mins and the hubby and kids would play at the park, then we would walk home and start the day. Saved my sanity for 3 long years. Oh and garage sales on Saturdays as you can be the first ones there! Remember the days are long but the years are short. Finally this year mine both sleep until 6 am and the boy became much more civilized at 5. The 3.5 year has a good dose of witch in her unfortunately, yesterday it was kicking and spitting! melx

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  8. so there right now... thank you for sharing. love.

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  9. There comes this feeling sometimes that no matter how you do, the work never ends - which is true in a way, it's just sometimes that we want to have a real break from it all and change things to go in another direction. I know that feeling SO well. Emily - have you tried to meditate? I think that would be really good for you. Hang in there! You are NOT failing!

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  10. Hey lady. I hear you.
    I think I've come to the realisation that life is just. hard.
    Especially with little ones in tow.
    It's ok to suck, and cry and have meltdowns cos it's just hard.

    Hang in there. One day you'll have teenagers.
    Pray to our good God. He is a good listener.

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  11. You know what? You're allowed to feel shit. You are human. Your kids are human. No one is perfect. Stop setting unachievable goals for yourself.
    I understand completely where you are coming from. I am starting to unravel too due to hourly wake ups all night every night. I found myself becoming a not-nice person. The fella now takes the little fella in the morning for 1 hour so I can have some sleep and time to myself. It's not much but it is something! And feels great.
    If you feel you are not coping, there is no shame in going to speak to a psychologist.
    Look after yourself lady.

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  12. It is so hard when you have a break but it is just not enough...not enough to bring the all happiness back. And when you have little ones who demand doses of happiness daily!
    I too feel like I would love to take some time off from everything...but just don't see how this is at all possible!
    I take heart in the fact the spring is around the corner...soon even if Baby C wakes up at the crack of dawn, we can be outside instead of shivering inside...that is something to look forward to!

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  13. You are not alone with your feelings. I have yet to meet a mother who has not felt like this at some time or another. We put far too much pressure on ourselves to be the perfect wife, mother, friend, daughter, sister etc.

    You have a happy family and at the end of the day that is all that matters. That is perfection to them :)

    And yes, although it is no consolation now, one day you will have teenagers and believe me, they will NOT be waking up before 5am, more like 12pm and you will have all the sleep you need (except for the nights they are out at parties, clubs, bars etc... then you will have NONE until you hear that key in the door)

    Motherhood!

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  14. Hi Em, chin up lady! You have two beautiful healthy children. xxxx

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  15. I feel like this so often too, Em. I think modern life is overwhelming for many of us and we are a bit adrift inside our own heads. It's hard to keep on top of our own expectations. Go gently. x

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  16. I promise you Em that I have days like this too. But they pass. Lower your standards a little, be gentle on yourself and just do the basics. That 5am start is massive, dude. I am sleepy if jude wakes at 7. When you're feeling strong enough you might feel like doing a bit of reading about toddlers and sleeping habits (i have some lovely books i could recommend) so you can all have a bit more rest. It's really helped me to have more sleep.

    If none of this works don't be afraid to seek help from your doc, a counsellor or someone. You are so important and loved and special.

    x

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  18. Em, everything always seems easier with two people doing the parenting thing...I suffer bad when Nick is away. God bless those single mums.
    You'll be fine. This is life. And it can only get easier as they get older...that's what i tell myself anyway! Kisses from England xx

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  19. I feel you, sister. I'm going through a low patch too. I understand what you mean when you say you feel like you are failing life, I know that feeling. Please don't feel that you are alone. You are in a such a season of insane intensity right now. Your children are young and really, really busy! But think how different life will be in only two years? Zeph will be at school, Pip will be a girl not a lady baby and life will be different. Seriously, this time of your life is crazy. Moulding little people? 'They' don't tell you what a demanding and relentless task it is. I think you're right - baby steps is the way out. I did the same as you at the start of the year - a few days away. While I enjoyed it, it didn't solve all my problems, but the best thing that came out of it (and I think I've mentioned this before) is that I started a regular time of reading the Word and talking to our Maker and truly, the days that I don't (and there've been waaaay too many of those lately), I struggle to get through without shouting at someone. I reckon sleep needs to be a priority in your house. Research some methods to get the babes to sleep longer. We have a digital clock in the kid's room and Elliot knows not to come out "until there's a 7." And get yourself in to bed as early as possible every night - hard I know; I'm sitting at the computer at 11:43pm, so don't follow my example! Sweetcheeks, I'm gonna start praying for you, every morning. I'll pray that your babes sleep in! Love to you. x

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    1. Eeesh! Sorry for the essay!

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    2. I love your essays lady. Thanks for your prayers, like seriously, thanks!

      xxxxxxxxxxx


      em

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  20. The only thing getting me through at the moment is practicing gratitude, deliberately shifting my focus to the good things even if they are sometimes hard to find. Not to imply that you're being ungrateful at all, I just thought I'd share what works for me (sort of).

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  21. The ebb and flow happens, doesn't it? I am learning, after 33 years, that I just have to be still and wait. Do the things that nourish and be gentle.

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  22. Ahh, I really felt for you when I read your post. Life is so hard sometimes and those things, dirty dishes, an unorganised house or babies waking at silly hours (I sure know what that's like!) can all just add up and it can all just get so overwhelming and you just want to quit! Take each day as it comes and I hope things start to look up for you soon x

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  23. Oh how I feel like this sometimes and I don't even have any kids. I told a lady at work today how impressed I was that she managed it all with 3 kids under 4. She said to me ... I know I changed our sheets this winter but I couldn't tell you when and I've stopped putting the baby in pyjamas and just dress her in the next days clothes to save time ... Really hit me that we're all juggling no matter what the balls are. I hope things get easier for you soon. X

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  24. wow I don't even know you...........and I have to say I loved this post, honesty in its purest form, and like me I don't know what it is about he ocean but it calms me.....the only way I can describe it is I feel t home in my heart, thanks or sharing it reding it made me wanna pop over for wine + cheese or coffee + cake and just jabber lisa

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  25. It's never great feeling this way. I understand it I've been there, and to tell the truth I'm somewhat there now. Kids who wake before five. Heck kids that don't sleep through. Battling ups and downs in emotions and mental illness. All I know and have learnt is, it's lifetime happens. Don't fight it, let it flow in and out like an ocean, soon enough it will wash away the slump.

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  26. Chin up lady, to every down there is an up :) have you ever practiced yoga? Sounds like a perfect opportunity to start, find a studio and take a chance if you havent already xoxo

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  27. Oh this is most DEFINITELY life Em and it kinda makes me feel a little more normal to read about your crazy outta control state at present. I have felt like that A LOT this year. It's been a big year for ups and downs in this camp and just when I think we might be making some headway into normality... it all sort of caves in on me again. The distressing situations (and we've had a few) add to the gloom, but I do think at the crux of it, it's a loss of self, that is so hard to take. I keep going back to it, but it's the first time I've been 'unemployed' since I was 16. And although I am living the dream of what I always wanted to do, I also have this sense that I'm no longer in control of anything. So ridiculous, because in as little as 5 years when I'll no doubt be back on the treadmill, I'll be kicking myself that I ever whinged and moaned about this precious time. And still, I whinge and moan. Baby steps, Baby! That is the key xoxo

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  28. Emily...I know how you feel, my kids don't sleep either, Cove is a year old and I've been nursing him every 3 hours for a YEAR. Morgan still wakes once or twice through the night too, briefly but enough to disturb the wee sleep I do get. The house is a constant battle, my husband works too much, too long, I am by no means a clean freak like my mother was. More time cleaning the house means less time with my kids, but I hate the constant chaotic mess. Be gentle with yourself, get out with your mommy friends as often as possible, yoga helps me too, just wish I had more time for it, haha, isn't that the truth for everything. Dont worry about your blog or 'looking good'. Eating well and taking long walks helps me too, which is hard when your in a slump. Plenty of deep breaths too. Hang in there and 'this shall pass too'. Thinking of you and sending love. Lane xo

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  29. Emily...I know how you feel, my kids don't sleep either, Cove is a year old and I've been nursing him every 3 hours for a YEAR. Morgan still wakes once or twice through the night too, briefly but enough to disturb the wee sleep I do get. The house is a constant battle, my husband works too much, too long, I am by no means a clean freak like my mother was. More time cleaning the house means less time with my kids, but I hate the constant chaotic mess. Be gentle with yourself, get out with your mommy friends as often as possible, yoga helps me too, just wish I had more time for it, haha, isn't that the truth for everything. Dont worry about your blog or 'looking good'. Eating well and taking long walks helps me too, which is hard when your in a slump. Plenty of deep breaths too. Hang in there and 'this shall pass too'. Thinking of you and sending love. Lane xo

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  30. Baby steps are the right way. Things always get better with calm and patience :)

    x

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  31. Oh Emily, my heart goes out to you. I've been there. Small children (especially those who rise early/don't sleep that well) just take the life blood out of you. I don't know you but you seem awfully hard on yourself. Also, and I hope you don't mind me saying this - have you considered a mild anti-depressant? Nothing major, just something to help level out the extremes and make these intense days a little more manageable? I hope I've not spoken out of turn. When I was on SSRIs I and told people, I found out that many friend were on them/had taken them at some point in the past, and we were all too scared to say. Take care. xxx

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  32. I feel like this at times too Em, so you are definitely not alone. And I hate it when people say 'chin up, the kids are happy so you must be doing something right', because I know I don't always do things right and I know I could do things so much better.
    I might be getting a bit personal here, but have you noticed it's around PMT time? Myself, well I've noticed my moods are terrible at this time, and have got worse since having kids. I am on the hunt for some natural remedy to help because my moods are just insane.
    Anyway, thank you so much for your honesty and I hope those baby steps help you out today. xo

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  33. Sorry to hear you're feeling like this - the mumming gig is tough and boring and dull sometimes. I think it's also easy to feel like everyone around you is coping with things fine, but deep down we probably all have moments where we feel pretty low. I know I do. Hope you get out of the funk soon. x

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  34. oh, man. i wish i had the right words for this, but there aren't any! i have this failing feeling hanging around all the time, like something i'm desperately running from something, trying to keep ahead of it. i had a great weekend, a couple of days that felt like winning, then, bam! things toppled and the failing feeling caught up a little. i've come to the conclusion that i wouldn't notice the winning if it weren't for the almost failing days. oh- and lack of sleep is the most effective torture. what would you tell your best mate if she were to tell you she felt like this? Go easy on yourself? Let the floor get dirty and go out in the sunshine? how come we can give this advice but not accept it? i wish you well. sunshine and warmth, and sleep-ins.

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  35. Hi, I have to reply to this. If we are honest. WE.ALL.FEEL.LIKE.THIS!! Some of the time. (If you are feeling like this all of the time then that is very real and maybe needs addressing) but for what it's worth, I think that life is just busy. life is hard, it is a very precious balance. The days that you have great days, take a look and see if you can work out what is working! Try and do more of that! What CAN you change. Work out how you can change it! How could you make things easier....less stressful. I like the comment of the above post where they said "lower your standards". This is so true. Sometimes we just need to be kinder to ourselves. No two days are the same. Prioritise and do only what is absolutely necessary. The rest can wait! Do something for you! Sometimes we feel like everyone else has it under control but, we are only seeing the parts that they choose to show. Rest assured, you are not alone! Look how many people follow your blog, look at the smiles on your children's faces, look at the great family you have both created. You are absolutely doing something right. But guess what, you are human. The last time I felt like this, a very dear friend said to me do one thing. STOP and focus on the now. Not what is coming next and not what has just happened. Slow down and truly focus on now. It helps alot. Sleep helps alot too. I feel your pain with the 5:00 wake ups. Can you go to bed any earlier? Another thing that works for me is to cancel anything that I do not HAVE to do. Sometimes we just need some extra time in the day! Goodluck...I really hope you feel better soon.

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  36. So hoping that all the replies and encouragement from dear readers will help you see that we all feel like we're floundering and failing at times; hang in there, lovely - things will get better and brighter x

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  37. love your honesty. We all feel this way from time to time

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  38. I hope today's sunrise has brought some calm to your home em, even if only in your mind. find comfort in knowing we all feel like this from time to time, I am struggling a bit myself at the moment. I think that's life with smalls, there is so much joy, but it's so hard trying to balance it all too when they need so much of our time. be kind to yourself, you have two happy children, you're doing a wonderful job x

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  39. Hello! Thanks Em, for your kind comment on my blog the other day. I am glad you were encouraged. Yes - THE STORY! :) Well, I appreciate the honesty of this post. Don't we all fail? Yes, we ALL do. Except the Rock of Ages, the very One I was writing about in that post you commented on. My prayer for you is that you look to Christ - the unfailing One, and His Word. Psalm 119:25 is still a real, relevant prayer these thousands of years after it was written - "My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to Your Word, God!" That's the trust, most encouraging thing I can share. Praying for you now. Love from California.

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    1. P.S. This quote gets me EVERY time, and some things that you said brought it to mind - "My feelings are not God. God is God. My feelings do not define truth. God’s Word defines truth. My feelings are echoes and responses to what my mind perceives. And sometimes - many times - my feelings are out of sync with the truth. When that happens - and it happens every day in some measure - I try not to bend the truth to justify my imperfect feelings, but rather, I plead with God: Purify my perceptions of your truth and transform my feelings so that they are in sync with the truth." — John Piper

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    2. THANK YOU. I cried reading this, but they were good tears.

      xo em

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  40. Oh goodness, this is just being a wife, mother, woman, we all have these moments & they pass, we get more experienced at everything that makes us who we are & start winning again. Wishing you happier thoughts & a smooth ride shortly. I'm easing myself into mother-of-a-teenager role & while she's fantastic, i do remind her to show respect & appreciation for all that we do as a family (she's an uber athlete & academic, weekends are often moulded around her parties too!!) She gets it, but she's just starting this journey of growing up & understanding who she is. Sometimes i wish puberty would hit her (she 13, still no signs) so she can release some tension, but crying is always good, lets out so much more than we realise. Love Posie

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  41. oh I feel you Emily. I think you'd find that every mum understands & probably shares most of your feelings. Some days I'm so tired that I shock myself with my sudden mood changes. It's not a nice feeling to yell & 'roar' at the kids!! I just have to leave alot of jobs (very messy house!) in order to cope with the days. But it's the best job in the world & I wouldn't trade my kids for anything!!!

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  42. Oh man I feel ya! Baby steps is totally the way forward though xx

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  43. Love to you, Em.

    Best you get making lemonade with all those lemons!

    I think it was you who once said to me... it's all about seasons. Ebb and flow. Sometimes you cope, sometimes you don't. I know life is the pits for you at the moment but just know that you will come out the other side... xx

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    1. bloody hell thats some good advice, i must be awesome after all ;)

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  44. Everyone has said lovely things so far and I can't add anything except to say...Spring is coming. And although it may not feel like it, sunshine and colourful flowers - with the promise of letting the kidlets run themselves riot outside - is not far away. Many hugs. Natalie xx

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  45. You are only saying what we all feel sometimes!!!

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  46. go easy on yourself, Emily. This mothering business is a tough gig.

    Enjoy yourself on Saturday - so fun! x

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  47. I read this last night in a closed and empty shopping center where I had escaped to after another day at home with the kids under the pretense of picking up a few groceries. I understand fully what you are saying, mothering is an exhausting roller coaster of huge highs and crashing lows. Go easy on yourself (easier said than done), we are all in it together.

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    1. I do this too. If you see someone wandering aimlessly it's me. Hi! xx

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  48. I'm sorry its been shitty time lately for you. Life is just really hard some times isn't it! May you feel surrounded by love through this difficult period. OM xx

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  49. You can't fail at life!! You are wonderful even if the wonderfulness feels buried under all the 'stuff.' And anyway it's the greatest myth of our time that we as women should be able to be completely satisfied by the job of mothering. My youngest started school this year and honestly, a fog lifted. I love my children TO BITS but I can see now that in their young years I needed much more time away from them than I had. Please try to be kind to yourself about not feeling completely awesome...

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  50. ohh Em, it happens to most of us. some cope better than others but that doesn't define us.
    take one step at a time, let the dishes pile up, walk away from the laundry basket and enjoy the little moments.
    I look at my now 5 year old and long for those little baby cuddles.
    enjoy the precious times ♥ hugs

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  51. Your not alone. At one time or another we have all been there. Life gets rough and unmanageable at times and children and chores and bills can sometimes make things a bit more heavier and harder to handle. You are SO loved and SO beautiful and I just know that this will pass. xoxo

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  52. Wishing you clarity - I know the exhausted feeling, the living in a fog and seemingly never getting anything done. I try and remind myself it will pass. Maybe not tomorrow or next month, but hopefully in the not tooo distant future.

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  53. You're amazing. Thanks for being open and honest and raw. Your honesty lights the way for others, making us not feel so alone when we have slumps such as these too. I hope it starts to get better soon, one little step at a time.

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  54. Thank you for this, right now I am in the same boat, the highway of emotions & everything to go with it. But this is life I guess some days as mothers we can control it all while a few days out of wack.
    x

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  55. KEEP YOUR CHIN UP!! We all go thru those emotions....take a minute to stop and refresh, the kids won't die if you serve them lunch 10 minutes after they ask, the wash will still be there....I say this because I too am struggling with new schedules for school, a newer job and being a single parent...I have gone to therapy (which has been incredibly beneficial) and I NOW KNOW I need to just reason thru the moments I wanna melt down! YOU CAN DO IT!!!

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  56. Em, you've been through a lot. In your whole life, and also recently. Get out into the sunshine, and breathe it in. I hope you feel better. Kellie xx

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  57. Oi kiddo, you're hard on yourself, but brave too. This time is hard, raising and devoting time to raising little ones is hard, hard, hard. Joyful and rich and a grand learning curve too, but you do give yourself over to it. It's a ride and it has its ups and downs. At 38 I am the other end of that ride, dealing with dependent stay-at-home adult children (two of four still at home) and there's a little one on the way. I'm in my 30s, working fulltime in Sydney and can't even keep up a decent chatter on my blog let alone be a dotting grandma, but I'll roll with it. If there's anything you're learning, it's to roll with it. Deep breath, and keep rollin'. Hugs.

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  58. xx hang in there chicka, be still and know xx

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  59. I've been feeling a lot the same recently. But I bet if we asked our children and our husbands they would in no way see we are failing. These pressures we put on ourselves to be OK all of the time is not good. You WILL be ok. Remember though, to put yourself at the top of the list. Keep filling your tank, and go easy.

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  60. just going through your gorgeous blog and came across this.
    it resonates em...
    i wrote this http://www.m2matiz.com/blog/fortysix last month.
    i find myself on the edge if not in the black hole often.
    know you're not alone and supported by many here.
    i guess we wouldn't appreciate the 'ups' if there were no 'downs'.
    take care... mx

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  61. Wait so your kids are up till 5am? They probably can't sleep at night. Life has lots of happiness and sadness you need to hang in there. Most people think you do is take care of yourself. If you take care of yourself a lot of your problems will resolve themselves.

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  62. oh boy i needed to read this today emily. my 6 year old has smith magenis syndrome and one of the effects is a chronic sleep disturbance and extreme behaviours, she only sleeps a few hours a night so as you can imagine we are in perpetual baby sleep mode! I suffer a lot with sleep deprivation ( as do all the family) but still i want everything lovely and sometimes the mess, the laundry, the crap everywhere, the lack of beauty, the tired (oh so very tired) fog and the grumpiness makes me feel i am living in an alternative world. I read beautiful blogs with beautiful homes shot with beautiful photography and mostly i delight and am inspired but some days all i can do is weep! i adore your blog, its is one of those beautiful blogs that inspire so to read you too get there on repeat mode is like you crawling into my lounge to give me a hug! sorry if that sounds selfish but your honesty is wonderful xxxxxxxx

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  63. Go easy on you Em, I think you are anything but failing. Take one hour at a time. Sending you love and hugs. xo

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  64. You're not along and you're not failing.... if you are, I'm thinking 99% of the mothering population is too. Big love x

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Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em