Thursday, May 9, 2013

Slowing down

I wrote the below post a few weeks ago, but I didn't publish it because things seemed to calm down and get better. And it did. For a while. But this week has been a bit of a tough one, for all the same reasons.

What it has proved to me is that my instincts were right. We do need to slow down, calm down, and guide gently. Because when we did it, it worked.

I needed this reminder for myself.

Lately, I am overcome with an almost suffocating feeling that I - that WE - need to slow down.

We are busy people, like everyone, these days. We juggle parenting, playing, working, kindy, chores, tasks, meetings, classes, obligations, appointments, shopping, cooking, sleeping (or not), responsibilities and more. A lot of it is simultaneous. And parenting is so all-encompassing isn't it? It takes all your energy, all your love, all your patience, all your strength, and all your resolve to raise tiny humans the best way you can.

I'm exhausted. We all are. T's work is relentless, the hours inhumane, his days never-ending. I don't know how he does it. And now he has to travel away regularly for the next who-knows-how-long.

I am shouting too much, hurrying too much, trying to do too many things at the same time, and doing none of them well. I have a constant low level of panic - just there - just below the surface. And when it decides to rear its head, it's invariably in the middle of the night, in those long dark hours when the house is breathing its gentle sighs of sleep.

Our tempers are frayed, our patience well and truly tested, our souls hurting. We are drained.

Hamish needs us. We need to slow down for his sake. We need to be patient and kind. We need to not rush him. He has to trust that we'll give him the time and the space to do things in his own time without feeling like we're pushing him.

Rocky needs it too. His mind is like mine. It runs at a million miles and hour and I can literally see him spinning out of control before my eyes. He is having more tantrums, he is manic and hyper, and his usually benign quirks are fast becoming more problematic and more obvious as he tries desperately to control his environment.

They are waking at night again. They have started fighting meal times and bed time. Running away at the shops, and at parks.  Fighting with each other, and with us.

Weekends have become endurance events. I have been willing bedtime to arrive. Dreading going out. Feeling overwhelmed by the huge number of domestic tasks on the to-do list and too tired to do anything about it.

Yesterday morning, as we were late - again - for kindy drop off and work, trying desperately to convince the boys to eat. FASTER!, get dressed, PLEASE!, STOP SCREAMING!, clean your teeth, QUICKLY! get in the car, NOW! NOW!, I realised how bad it had become.

They were showing me, in the only way a three year old knows, how much they desperately need me to slow down. They simply stopped cooperating. They froze. They refused. They were defiant. There was screaming. Oh, the screaming. There were tantrums. There were tears. From all of us.

It was awful.

And unnecessary. So uneccesary.

It's like they're somehow overloaded and exhausted at the same time. Spinning out of control and unable to do anything about it.

I feel sick in the heart. I am their mother. I am the adult. I need to fix this.

And I will. Softly, gently, and with love. It is the only acceptable way.

Last weekend, we went to the Maleny Dairies. It was a wonderful day out. The boys fed baby animals - calfs and kids, rolled down grassy hills, ran until they could run no more, ate a picnic lunch beneath an ancient tree, and slept on the way home. It was a heart-lifting day. Soul quenching. And just what we needed.


  1. You will get there Jen, slowly, baby steps. None of us ever have things 100% under control, there's always too much to do, too little time and it's our little ones who remind us that often simpler and slow paced is best :) After returning home from almost two weeks worth of holidays last week and desperately trying to catch up on laundry and house work, Grace said to me, "Mummy, do you want to sit down and draw with me?" When I replied, "Not now, I have to finish cleaning" I stopped dead in my tracks horrified at what had come out of my mouth. Hope the boys behaviour and your days pick up soon lovely xx

    1. Thanks lovely Amanda xx I think that's what I had too - a standstill moment of horror when I realised that actually it had nothing to do with them, and everything to do with me. They are such beautiful boys and they deserve a mum who is present with them. I hope you had a beautiful holiday xx

  2. Hey lovely, just trying to find your email so I can drop you a message. It's too long winded to post here. Or drop me a line at alittlebitcountrynz(at)gmail(dot)com. xo

  3. I agree, we all do need to slow down.

    I hope this is just a phase for your family and the boys's behaviour starts to change soon.


    1. Thank you xxx I think their behaviour will change as soon as mine does. I'm committed!! I just caught up on your blog, and I hope you are ok. xxx


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