Thursday, August 29, 2013

Restorative


For the past couple of weeks, Elke has woken every two hours around the clock. Day and night, night and day. She has needed feeding, settling, shooshing, rocking and patting - in short, she's needed everything I've got.

I've been the shouty mother. Relying on Zeph and Pip to tow the line so that our home can continue to function. They've been feeling the pinch, I know 'cus I can see it in their behaviour.

In an attempt to break the cycle I declared today a P.J day and at 9.30am I actually got Elke to sleep and successfully put her down (HUZZAH). 

As I walked down the hall from gingerly placing the baby in her cot, I could hear the kids gathering their drawing supplies and setting themselves up at the table. With two hands free for what felt like the first time in my life, I joined them. 

There we sat at our filthy kitchen table covered in texta and solidified weetbix and drew. A pice of paper each, a collection of pencils and an almost dead bunch of tulips. A little conversation, a pinch of still life sabotage (those wandering little hands) and two deliciously cheeky children.

We stayed there until every pencil was blunt and every true, rich colour was brown. Those few moments around the table with my first born and his middle sister were fabulously restorative for me. For them too, I suspect.


Oh my big kids, how much I have missed having time for you. I've missed listening with undivided attention to your ridiculous stories, I've missed cutting your sandwiches like I care about their shape (only squares please, mum), I've missed rescuing you from the highest limbs of magnolia whilst pretending to be superman and I've missed your tiny little hands in mine as we walk together. We've been running lately, but I promise we'll walk again soon.


24 comments:

  1. Thanks Again, Em for this reflection. This is my life at the moment with a 4 month old and a 2.5 year old. I love your last line. I have beaten myself up mentally so much lately because I feel like I should be able to be supermum and give each one the same amount of attention. I'm just normal :)

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  2. Lump in throat. What beautiful words.

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  3. How well I remember those early days with a newborn and two children who I felt were neglected (but who honestly just felt enriched by another little person in the home). x

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    1. You know what Bron, I can just see the bond between all of them- it's forming before my very eyes and Zeph is the strong leader, bringing the girls together. It's really lovely. The more they grow, the less I am the centre.

      xo em

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  4. Yes it sounds pretty full on............... I do love the paintings of the bumpy vase and flowers.........and we too have pj days on holidays as well (as mine are in school). Sometimes life makes you just "tread water" when in fact sometimes a little bit of "floating" can ease the pain and do you the world of good. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia

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  5. Beautiful photos and artwork - I'm always so envious of the effortlessness of your photography

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  6. Beautiful post em-you are doing a fab job, and we too had a quiet pj day, and the kitchen/mess/washing/garbage was left whilst we played and napped, funny thing was I felt no guilt and the kids had a ball, one day at a time, love the images and reflection in your posts, so true and real xx lisa

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  7. So beautiful. This post reminds me to slow down and pay attention to my older girl. Real attention. While I am busy trying to look after baby's needs, she sometimes gets over looked. What a lovely, simple way to spend time together. (My daughter is called Elka. I love the name with a passion). x

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  8. Em my Blake is the same as Elke right now. I'm so thankful that my hubby has finished his 4:1 FIFO contract & is home for longer than a week. Not great for the bank balance but good for my sanity & great for my bigger kids!
    Here's hoping you get some more hands free time soon xx

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  9. so nice you got to enjoy some time with your "big" kids. I'm sure all of you needed it :)

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  10. This made me cry. My biggie thinks I love everyone else more than him at the moment. It's hard to assure him otherwise but I'm trying!
    Mothering is a tough gig.
    xx
    (beautiful photos!)

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  11. Beautiful. I have been there too x

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  12. How beautiful. YOU are a great mum x ps tidy art skills gurl! :)

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  13. While I know it helps little to hear it, there are many others who've walked the same walk and kids who have come out the other end okay. You can only do what you can do, and kids are surprisingly adaptable and tolerant. You sound like an amazing, giving mother. This Groundhog Day won't last forever!

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  14. I know this feeling, like you are always yelling, and if your not yelling you are whispering in the hope of not waking the baby. My baby aint so baby anymore, Indi is 13 months, but doesn't sleep well at night. 3hr stretches are long enough for her, and im still tired... But she isn't, go figure!

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  15. Em, it'll get better It may not feel like it but it's for a time. Winter has not been easy on the wee ones. I've held Tully for three sleeps today and have become really good at one handed drawing with miss 3. You're doing great. X

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  16. I felt this exact same way today. My baby is the same way and firstborn is feeling it. Thanks for making me feel like I'm not alone in this craziness

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  17. Oh, Yes... I remember all too well. In the month we had our 3rd child we had a new; car, job, town, house, baby ..... and everything else you can imagine. It was HUGE. That little tike, our third born, turns 6 on Monday. Oh my!! Now with our youngest (and 4th) two years old, it seems a lifetime ago. But the times I treasure most are the days like you just described. The few minutes here and there when I just let it all go and enjoyed the company of my delightful little children.

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  18. It's the little things, isn't it? Beautiful post. You will walk again. Promise. x

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  19. Dried wheetabix is like the strongest substance know to man! Fab drawings by the way.

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  20. Good on you for seeing the moment and sitting down at the table. That is often the first and hardest step I find. Sitting. Not rushing. Being present. Bless your little family! x

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  21. I love most of all when I can relate to your posts, my own little life is much the same! It makes me smile to know that we're not alone x

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

xo em