Monday, July 1, 2013

Farewell to Endless Togetherness




I've now completed two weeks of solo stay at home parenting with 3 kids - my first weeks as a mother of three without Dave right beside me.

Prior to that we had 6 weeks of togetherness as a family. That family time was deeply rewarding and satisfying, providing Dave and I an opportunity for reflection and the chance to look ahead at what is to come.

Having a caesar meant that I had, by necessity, the opportunity to sit back and observe my children interact, play and sleep rather than being hands on 100% of the time. If they had needs beyond a very tender cuddle, they needed to direct them to Dave. It was beautiful to be able to simply watch them love life rather than trying to micro manage their every move - fulfil every request for a cup of warm milk, wipe every bottom and clean up every spill.

Without the endless responsibility that comes with being the stay at home carer, I was reminded of the pure joy that is parenthood.

Those weeks taught me more about who I want to be and how I want to parent.

I want to laugh more, raise my voice less and actually ENJOY my small people, not just manage them. They are funny individuals in their own right. Yes, they reflect Dave and I in more ways than we care to mention but they also have their own outrageous humour and idiosyncrasies. Their own hang ups and sensitivities.

As I observed them I witnessed how much they love me - with the same unconditional love that I have for them. While I was unable to lift them up for cuddles I saw them climb up to the bed or upon the lounge to snuggle in with me, tenderly ensuring they didn't hurt my stomach (they could have been more careful of the boobs though- gosh milk filled breasts hurt!), their head nuzzling into my chubby neck.

While some mornings I am daunted by this task of mothering 3, I am trying to remind myself that what really matters is that I spend quality time with my small ones. That they are happy, nurtured and content. Not that my house is clean, that dinner is cooked or my inbox empty which is just as well, cus they rarely are.


 It was sad to farewell endless days of togetherness, sleep ins (for me) and hot lunches and while solo parenting is frustrating and exhausting it truly is deeply gratifying once the rascals are in bed.

27 comments:

  1. Beautiful post. Sometimes it is so hard to keep in mind the importance of enjoying our kids and life, and not simply managing it. Good thinking points...

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  2. Needed to read this morning, as I'm in complete survival mode today. I'm 33 weeks pregnant, my two years old is very sick at the moment, my four year old on the mend. I'm running on fumes that live off fumes with three hours broken sleep, I'm feeling so sick, so tired, so........

    I will be having a c-section with this bubs (my third one, complicated reasons) I guess this best all seen as a trial run before bubs is here, because hubby will only be home for one week.

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    1. Trudie, I feel for you my friend. The weeks ahead will be beautiful and hard. I'd love to send you an email if you wouldn't mind giving me your addy

      xx oo em

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  3. What a lovely lesson in kindness! I had a similar experience with my recent acquisition. That time to rest--a different kind of resting, I know!--and gain a different perspective is so valuable. As parents we do the best we can with what we've got, so it's important to restock what we've got as often as we can! xx

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  4. That is a lovely account of your time with your children whilst recovering. I think we all try to "manage" our children & lives too much. We are on holidays at the moment, and the apartment is an absolute tip, as I've just let it slide. Guess what? Noone cared, and the world didn't cave in!!! We've had dreadful weather, but the kids have just loved being with us all. Even sleeping arrangements have been lax............I've had a 5 year old with me in our bed, and the 9 year old has had my husband with her in the kids room. Not sure how that happened, but................p.s: it's 9.30am and I'm still in my nightie!!!

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    1. I like your nighty wearing ways Amanda! Any way to postpone putting on a bra is okay with me!

      Enjoy your holiday

      x

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  5. That is also something that I am wanting to be more mindful of. I want to sit back and enjoy more of the hilarity that comes out of their mouths and less of the naughty things that tend to make my voice rise. Xx E

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  6. such a beautiful post...and one that i really appreciated hearing as my c-section is booked for next friday and i have a 22 month old at home with me every day. my husband is really looking forward to spending four weeks at home with his daughter to look after her, and after reading your post, i am looking forward to observing too. :) thank you.

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    1. Oh best of luck m'lady. My first two are 22 months apart- SUCH a truly wonderful age gap! Don't be naughty like I was and lift that toddler though!! One pick up and you're back about 3 days of recovery!

      I'm thrilled for you and your family that your husband will be around. Enjoy the bliss, because it truly is blissful!

      SQUEEE!!! baby!

      xo em

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  7. i know you'll rock it.
    in fact, you should def go for #4 ;)

    xx

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    1. SET. IN. STONE.

      ehum. just need to convince dave!

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  8. Hubby and I had a chat, and I had a tear at about 6:30 this morning about missing togetherness - would love him to be home with me each day - both working a Squiggly Rainbow. I'm tired of a shift-working husband, thankful the blessing it brings too - can relate to this post! xx

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  9. A lovely post that has reaffirmed things for me.

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  10. Our youngest X 2 (twins) are 3yrs at the end of Aug - and I still get sad some days when my hubby goes off to work. Our eldest is 5yrs in Aug and he starts prep next year...I sometimes think that hubby is missing out on what time we have left before he disappears 5days of the week. Which is why we make full use of our weekends. Family time is more than just special x
    www.crazyspeedylove.com

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  11. There is something quite reflective about not being the centre of the family. It's wonderful to take a step back and think about it. Now, to do it. (I reckon that's the hard part!)

    All the best as you begin being the centre again. xxxx

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  12. Exactly what I needed to read.
    Thanks Em,
    Ronnie xo

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  13. What a lovely post. Helping three young children to grow up happily is a hard job, but one we are so privileged to have. I'm a big fan of neglecting house work in favour of more fun stuff!

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  14. Great post. I'm a solo parent and there are some days where I just want my daughter to get to bed right that minute (at 2pm - or earlier!) so I can just relax! But as soon as she does something cute or sweet, all I can think about is how I've created this amazing (soooooo frustrating) individual xx

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    1. Much respect to you Jade. No doubt you two have a strong bond.

      xo em

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  15. This is one of my favourite posts em! Everything rings soooo true; it has been such a busy household here, with many up coming changes and often {more than I like to admit} I am often distracted (answering emails, checking work things, folding washing whilst my daughter wildly unfolds it!) to really sit back and enjoy the munchkins, and when hubby gets home, put work away and enjoy each others company (even if that means leaving the dishes in the sink for later!) you are a wonderful writer and convey the emotion so well xx lisa

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  16. THANKS Em. Clearly you struck a deep chord with me and the 15 above. 'Enjoy more, manage less' , my new mantra.
    Liv x

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  17. Beautiful post Em, admittedly my first here but to quote Arnie I'll be back. I try more and more to be 'in the moment' with Max to stop letting my mind wonder and just enjoy the small moments of connection we have. It's always good to have a little break from the routine of SAHP'ing to stop and take stock. I also leave this post with beard envy

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    1. Hi Matt! What is it with men and beard perving? Dave does it too! We have many a hairy man in our lives and I can tell you, Dave's beard is NOTHING!

      em

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  18. You are just so beautiful Em's and I adore this post. Children love with their whole heart unconditionally. Precious daily memories to hold onto for sure. xx

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  19. What a beautiful reminder to love and cherish our children instead of micro managing. I'll be taking that on board, and it should be a bit easier now that summer holidays have started here. Just tonight, they finally got to bed at 9.30pm and were still awake an hour later....but giggling and adorable! I'm glad you got the opportunity to reflect and decide what kind of parent you want to be!

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

xo em