Tag Archives: family values

And life moves forward

I miss her

have slowly been getting used to the idea that my mother is no longer with me. I have been fretting about our second child (still to be conceived) and worrying about how I will handle a new born together with DS and alone, without my mother. Our plan had been for her to come out for a period of time after the birth. I had hoped that it would be up to 3 months, but we had not spoken on the duration of the time.

So, I need to do this without her.

Add to that, my father has met a woman. A woman who makes him so happy, I can just hear the happiness bubbling out of his throat.

This woman sounds very special, and certainly worthy (!) of my fathers love.

I had imagined him finding a different partner at some time. In my fantasy, it would be a woman for him to go travelling the world, to see theatre, movies and concerts. To share the good life he was supposed to be able to share with my mother in their older years.

This woman is herself a mother to young girls (12 and 14, I think). She is 8 years older than me and significantly younger than my father. Which I don’t really have a problem with, her being younger. It’s more that it means she is in a different stage of her life from my father and by being with her, he becomes part of another family raising children. I am very confused about him becoming a part of a totally different family. I feel like I will loose him. And I feel like I am loosing any semblance of my family life that was left after my mother died.

My brother assures me that dad is much happier and has come back to life, so to speak. He was just going through the motions and not finding much point to life. So, for that, this new woman certainly has an important role to play in my fathers happiness.

Her and I are in touch via email. And she is amazingly open and honest with me, and I really do feel like there is a wonderful potential not only in her relationship with my father, but also with me.

Just right now, knowing that she and her girls are away in the mountains with my father, as both ‘sides’ get to know each other hiking, braaing (BBQ) and lounging in the pool makes me accutely unhappy. I do not know if I am ready to let go of the image of our family together as it was when my mother was alive. I do not think I have even fully accepted that my mother is dead. And now I am being forced to.

My parents honoured each other for 34 years and kept their fidelity. While that is not being threatened just yet, it is so hard for me to think of the family unit that I grew up with falling apart. It is just my memory of it for now, but that is shaken knowing that in the future, my father will no doubt join his life with this woman’s. And a new family dynamic will start.

And together in all of this, is my deeper questioning of my relationship with my mother. My trying to fathom who she was as a person. And in some ways being intensly angry at her for dying and leaving us with such a gaping hole.

Our last hike together up behind my parents home

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The car seat

I was more of this

I want more of this

I have been neglecting my blog recently. For a couple of reasons – the most pressing being lack of sleep. DS is pushing through his eye teeth, we have mosquitoes (that LOVE me) and I am trying to stop drinking coffee – which for some reason leaves me restless at night.

I also have been feeling a bit down. I had a rather traumatic incident with DS – nothing dangerous – just emotionally exhausting for both of us.

All my best efforts to avoid DS crying unattended were stretched when I found myself trying to get home from my LLL meeting, and him refusing to get into his car seat. On the way there, I had had to stop to breastfeed and had been late, making me slightly annoyed. Anyway, this DS not getting into his carseat opened a huge conflict for me. On the one hand I really needed the toilet and I was also hungry and on the other hand I had a child who was refusing to be strapped into his seat, arching his back and shrieking. I felt at such a crossroads as I had thoughts of “he is not a baby any more, his needs do not trump mine every single time” and “he obviously does not want to be in the car seat now, why?” and I gave in. I did what was easiest for me, and took us both off by foot to a cafe for lunch. While I was able to go to the loo and eat a sandwich, I was not happy to have gone so out of my way to get my needs met.

What was also troubling for me, was that I was getting angry at DS for not just agreeing to be in the car seat. Angry enough to force him into the car seat with rough movements and not so gentle words.

As I was walking to the cafe, I was thinking to myself that if I would just take a deep breath, it would help me deal with the stress of having an upset child, and it would help DS, as he would not be having to deal with the extra stress of a mother getting angry. This option held the promise of an easier time of it.

Only that it did not work. I could not keep myself level headed when again DS refused to get into his car seat. His crying really upsets me and my getting angry obviusly upsets him more. To my horror, I found myself just strapping him in and ignoring his cries and driving with a shrieking child who eventually fell asleep exhausted.

I really do not want a repeat of this incident. I know that this is just the beginning of me and my DS having to negotiate different situations where there is a conflict of interest, and I want to find a way that doesn’t leave either of us too fraught or traumatised.

I feel in myself the conflict of “he needs boundaries” “he needs to know who is in charge” with “how can I ignore his crying”?  I asked for some advice on MDC, and was given some good advice and mothers shared their experiences. A piece of advice that I am conflicted about it giving sweets/food. DH has proposed this as a way to get DS to comply – but I am not sure. Firstly, we don’t feed him sugar at any other time, and I am concerned I will have a hyper child in his seat. I also do not want him eating sugar for a reason, ie his health. And, I am not sure about giving him sweets as comfort. Argh, is all I can say right now.

Yesterday I did give him a rice cake and that worked well…..

I am sure we will find a way that works for us and is line with our values.

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So who am I?

This

This

Since I can remember I have had two images of myself in my minds eye.

One is a woman with long flowing hair twirling in a field full of flowers wearing a light cotton swirling skirt and a knitted cotton top, bearfoot and smiling. Somehow this image has captured wholesomeness for me.

The other image is of me in a suit with my hair tied up, face made up, nails manicured, high heel shoes and my briefcase in hand. I look much more stern in the image in my mind.

Both of these images have been equally appealing to me at different times, and I think also equally confusing, as they seem so contradictory. And I know that within myself there is a huge conflict about just who I am and what are my values and what values do I want to nurture in my family. Yep, motherhood once again demands of me to be honest with myself and be the best person I can be.

At the moment I am feeling like the flower woman is who I am at heart and the manicured woman is whom I sometimes feel I have to be in order to be respected (one day I’ll look at why it is just so important to me to be respected ).

Somehow, in my mind, the flower woman does not deserve the same respect the manicured one does. In the culture in which I live, image means a lot and free flowing cotton does not inspire the same respect that tailored suits do.

I guess this is essentially about me and my confidence in myself. Do I really care what people think of me? Can that be important enough to me to not be true to my values and the things that I hold dear? Why can I not be both flowing cotton and tailored suit whatever I wear?

Today I am in shorts and a nursing tank top. It’s comfortable and practicle.

I guess what I am trying to tell myself, is that I need to make peace with the fact that my family eats organic local food as much as is possible, that we clean our house with ecological products, that I am raising my child at home myself, that I have a healthy suspicion of all things modern medicine related, that I find sense in a Waldorf approach to educating children, that I have religious feelings etc etc.This is part of who I am and it isn’t working for me to try and pretend these things are not important to me when in the company of people who belittle these choices or do not understand them. Somehow I need to make peace with the fact that I am a little bit out of the ordinary in my choices, and not feel defensive or apologetic about it. That just is who I am, and others might find it easier to accept if I accept it in myself.

And this

And this

(I hope to move out of this stage of defining more clearly who I am and what my values are and be able to focus on actually building those values 😉 )

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