Monday, November 26, 2012

REAL





Sometimes parenting is like magic. A warm breeze blows from north while the sun shies upon our backs with just enough strength to turn our skin brown. Our children play happily with clean faces and freshly ironed clothes.

Other times, it's just hard work.

Usually, our children are sweet sugar to our tongues. Their cherub faces, wide eyes and tiny hands provide constant delight while their mis pronunciation of words proves endlessly endearing.

Other times they are vinegar (maybe apple cider vinegar, to be fair - they're still a little bit sweet).

This weekend we've had our fair share of apple cider vinegar from our two. Dave and I are exhausted beyond comprehension, making it difficult to get along with anyone- let alone each other.

Our days have started well before the sun is willing to rise and the children seem to have done nothing other than bicker, cry and make a mess. Not just any mess, a huge mess- in every room. We've stomped around the house in filthy moods with scowls on our faces. We've fed off each others misery whist trying to ignore responsibility and reality. The screen doors were left open and the flies joined us in the house.

Perfect.


Sometimes it takes a couple of days of poor behaviour (from everyone) before we can regroup and begin again.

Today, we began again.


As we approach the silly season Dave and I are reminded that it's our job to give our kids the best opportunity to succeed. We need to ensure that we put them first and make their needs our priority. They need to be well rested, well feed and firmly disciplined. They need to know the boundaries and expectations. They need to know they are loved, unconditionally.

This week we will move forward as a family. Patience, gratitude and forgiveness will be at the fore front of our hearts and minds. Our voices will be raised less often and our knees will be bent more frequently. We will meet our children at eye level and speak to them as we expect them to speak to us.

Slowly and intentionally we will demonstrate kindness, gentle touch and self control.

At times we will fail. But we will begin again, again.





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38 comments:

  1. We have had a lot of apple cider vinegar of late too. I love that you are so honest about this. New starts are a blessing and thankfully our kids are resilient. xxx

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  2. There's always ebbs and flows aren't there? Sometimes I think that the world of blogging makes mums even harder on themselves because there's an expectation of loveliness ... but it's not always lovely and the fact that families weather storms together even when the storms come from somewhere within them - that's the true lovely. The unconditional love that means there are and always will be, times to begin again...and again and again. xx

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  3. I'm in the same boat. I hope its headed in the right direction. As I was taking Ruby to her school orientation I was reminding myself that there is only about 8 short weeks before she will spend her days there, and not here. Patience, gratitude, forgiveness. Tomorrow is a new day. xo

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    1. Oh gosh, I just re read this and it sounds like I don't want her at home, so not the case!

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  4. Oh yes my weekend was a tad like yours. At least tomorrow is a new day and cute smiling faces to awake to is a great start to a better day ;-)

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  5. Thank you for your honesty, its very reassuring to hear that we arn't the only ones. Bless you.

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  6. Did you hear that? That was a big chord being struck. Thanks, you have eloquently summed up my parenting experience of late and I actually feel a little reprimanded. Our kids, after all are looking at us to learn how to behave. So yes, talk to them how I would like them to talk to me. Well said. Blessings Fi xxx

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  7. we have been finding life like this too lately. Its like a bit thick cloud. Which now lifting makes all those times seem silly. But still its so hard when you are in it! xx

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  8. VERY real, appreciate the honesty. Especially after a Vinegar weekend of my own.....definitely White Vinegar....nothing sweet! Hehe!

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  9. Beautiful Emily. Heartfelt and true. I might need to keep these words somewhere so I can reread again when I'm feeling so wretched. Especially love the knees being bent more frequently... I'll wake up tomorrow chanting: I will bend my knees for them today...

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  10. Gah, my kids are still like vinegar sometimes, even more so now at this age when they seem to love stirring each other up. They drive me crazy sometimes!! And the mess! Argh!

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  11. I remember once travelling on a train with my eldest son. He was about four, and was in one of those 'playful' moods. An elderly lady leaned accross the aisle and said "what a lovely boy." I said "He's hard work sometimes." To which she replied "That just means your'e doing the job properly." I've never forgotten that. Sometimes being a parent is bliss. At others it's gruelling. But I take the rough with the smooth, and forgive myself as much as I forgive them!! x

    Lovely blog. x

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  12. you so described my last week. i'm trying too...its hard. keep it up.

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  13. We had a tough weekend too...and today wasn't much better.
    It can be so hard.
    And when it is hard it is difficult to see that it can also be great.
    Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day...a great day!

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  14. Such heartfelt, wise, gentle, loving words! We are always learning and you're so right to be beginning each new day with this wonderful mindset. Thanks so much for sharing your world. Enjoy those beautiful babes of yours....even vinegar has its uses.

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  15. yep. all that. and dog poo tracked through the house. i had to remind myself over and over that my babies are not on a personal vendetta against me. i do the same, reach a point where i say 'that's it!' in a high pitched manic mama voice, and we just stop and break the scene. go to the beach or something. get into something really tactile or grubby. just remember that my kids are learning, and so am i! be kind and gentle to yourself, and I agree with the lady in Leanne's story- it's only hard because you are doing it right. :)sarah

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  16. Great post, just what I needed to hear. It is hard to remember sometimes, especially on little sleep and early starts.

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  17. Beautifully said! So honest and true. Every family I know has a fridge full of Apple Cider Vinegar. The trick is trying to remember how to turn it into something else. Lovely post! Thank you for once again for being so honest and not 'sugar coating it'!

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  18. Shall we blame the end of year?! I know we are all exhausted and feeling particularly frazzled and vinegary! It's lovely to know we're not alone!

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  19. Oh this was so us on Sunday. We escaped to the beach to try to escape the foul mood. It half worked.

    I like your notion of raising voices less and bending knees more, it is so true. The wonderful thing about the difficult days is that the very next day there is chance to have a good, sunshiney day.

    x Laura

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  20. Well-said lady! Sounds just like life around my neck o' th' woods. I have 2 boys – a 3-month-old and a 2.5 year-old. I love them dearly, but the past 6 months have been punishing. It's always good to be reminded that the situation is not unique to myself! I'm really looking forward to the Christmas break when my husband will have time off for the first time ALL YEAR (he hasn't had a single day off during the life of our second son)!

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  21. You speak the truth, missus. It is a hard thing. You know, it's so helpful to read this and to know we're all going through the same stuff. It can be lonely thinking you're the only one!

    Still managed to make it all look beautiful, too :)

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  22. Thank you. A well needed reminder as I'm currently right in the middle of 'vinegar' :)

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  23. oh, you made this pregnant woman tear up. This was just what I needed to hear. I haven't been feeling the best and my 21 month old has entered the dreaded hitting phase (all the time over every little thing). Like you I will regroup, bend down to his level and speak to him calmly and with kindness. No more snapping and loosing my temper. Have a great week. Claire

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  24. The biggest challenge is recognising the need to re-group and re-focus, an important reminder as we get caught up in the busy at this time of year, thank you..x

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  25. lovely post Em. You are not alone... we have our share of these days. The more I parent the more I learn that children thrive on rhythm - change anything and we end up with chaos, keeping things the same and being their rock results in happy children here. .At the same time our modern day lives mean this is not always possible...balance :) Wishing you a wonderful week x

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  26. Lovely Em, we all need this reminder. + I love that you had the camera handy to take a pic of this x

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  27. I hear you Emily! Our kids are getting tired at the end of a long and busy year. they are temperamental and have different needs and well are different ages and play differently. it usually does involve a lot of bickering but when it all goes sour it's a horrid feeling. I love the phrases you used to embark on re-grouping as a family. We did this about a few weeks ago after a similar weekend you guys just had. Patience, guidance and big bundle of love and support and you're right to go. And a big stack of pancakes on sunday morning didn't go astray either!

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  28. great reminder for this time of year.. everyone in our household has been grumpy, tired and just a little over it lately. time to start again!

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  29. oh man, I love it when you keep it real. I've had an exhausting few days with mine too. I reckon she keeps off my tiredness & grumpiness & it becomes like a vicious cycle! hopefully we all wake up happier tomorrow!!

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  30. Nice one, I have experienced it personally. Frankly saying its a well presented post.

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  31. Great post! I'm not a mom yet, but I will definitely keep this for future reference, haha. It's very good advice. With all the lousy parents I hear about all the time, you seem to be a breath of fresh air! It's good to know there are still good ones out there! Best of luck with everything, and Happy Holidays!

    Sarah
    http://skylarinc.blogspot.com/

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  32. Lovely pics!!!

    aliceinbo2.blogspot.com

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  33. so true and so well put. every night when I see my sleeping babies I make similar resolutions. Tomorrow is such a great blessing.

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  34. So love your honesty... "life's been a little bit too 'real' lately" made me laugh out loud, how it sums up the week we've just had as well. You're teaching your kids about the reality of life rather than hiding behind the 'everything's perfect' facade this generation only knows too well, keep up the awesome work! Anna x

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  35. Darling girl, I hear you.

    It's exactly the same at my house right now too.

    Weeks of bliss and routine, followed by days of darkness, tears, yelling, fighting etc.

    Fall over, get up, fall over, get up. I try and never stay down too long.

    xx

    PS: I'll be meeting your pretty face at the Life Captured Workshop in a few weeks! Excited +++++++

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  36. Kneeling and beginning again - I need to do that too!
    Good luck Em
    x

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

xo em