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The Birds & The Bees

“Mummy? Where do babies come from?”

Honestly, the first time Princess asked me this question, I lost the plot. I have always had an open and honest approach to parenting, and always vowed that I would answer questions with accuracy and the correct terms. Don’t get me wrong – I, of course, would keep it age-appropriate and divulge information on a very much need-to-know basis.

And so, when I was asked, “Mummy? Where do babies come from?”, I disappointed myself by losing the plot in a fit of giggles. Literally.

The conversation went like this:

Mummy? Where do babies come from?

He he he he he. *chortle* well you see there is a man and he *giggle* and the lady *tee hee hee* and then *snigger* and *blush*.

I know. I’m shaking my head at myself. Honestly, Mrs T.

Anyway, I think we got there, and I think Princess has enough information to satisfy her curiosity. Which, by the way, is very little information indeed. A man has sperm, a lady has eggs (but not the kind you have for tea)(and much smaller) and the sperm mixes with the egg to make a baby that grows in Mummy’s tummy. Boom. Baby.

BoyChild has never asked and, to be honest, I don’t know if he ever will. He has his “diddle” and his sisters have “bagymas” and that’s about as far as his fascination/curiosity goes. He’s far more interested with Minecraft.

When I was a child (precocious second child of four), I don’t remember there ever being a time when I didn’t know about The Birds and the Bees. My mum has no clue how I ever found out, and was horrified to hear 4-year-old me explaining to my 6-year-old sister how “men park their limos into ladies garages” and “men put their snakes into ladies bushes”.

I can’t even. My poor mother.

And that brings us to a pleasant Wintery evening a few nights back. The older two kids were in bed and Mr T was away on business. I was pottering around the kitchen while BabyGirl played happily in the living room.

“Mumma!” she called to me. “Mumma! Come see Anna (from Frozen) give da man a ’tiss”

I just. I can’t even.

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Action Man!

Now, I don’t know about you, but that looks like more than a ’tiss to me. A front bottom ’tiss, perhaps.

I won’t lie. I laughed. I left the room and laughed and laughed and cried and wiped my eyes and took the photo and sent it to my husband and a friend and then my sister and I laughed and I cried and I laughed some more. Then I took a breather and started all over again.

Smooth parenting there, Mrs T. Top notch.

And then, holy heck, the commentary.

“Oh hello Anna, you are my best fwend”

“I know that but I bery, bery tired”

I die.

I am 99.8% confident that BabyGirl has not witnessed this occuring in real life. And I am certain that it was completely innocent play. And I am 600% glad that her older sister was not around when it happened. And I am 1,000,000% sure that I probably shouldn’t have laughed so hard.

But, kids. They have this awesome innocence about them – she was playing a game and, I like to think, happened upon a scenario that mimicked adult behaviour, not deliberately but rather by accident. And, I like to think, by not telling her it was naughty or yukky, she left that game thinking of it no differently than if she were sitting the dolls in the toy car, hooning around the kitchen with two My Little Ponys in the back.

I can chalk this up on my list of Parenting: Expectation v. Reality. Not how I thought I would react, but not entirely, completely terrible. I hope.

And now, I brace myself for the day BabyGirl starts explaining to her big sister about men and their limousines …

 

 

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Take a Freakin Break

Hey, ladies?

Yes, you! The mum with three kids hanging off her. And you over there, that mum with five kids who are sick this holidays. And, of course, you with the one kid too.

All of you. All you mums who are tired and exhausted and nearing the brink of total, catastrophic meltdown.

Yea, you know who I’m talking about.

It’s time. It’s time to stop what you are doing, walk away from the laundry. Put away that vacuum cleaner. Put down the saucepan (and make sure to switch off the oven too, because fire).

Mum Guilt. Post Natal Depletion. Toddler Drain. The Mad Army Of Little People That I Made.

We hear about it all the time, so we know it’s a thing.

But that doesn’t mean that it has to be a thing.

I mean, let’s be honest here, ladies. Can I be real for a minute? Yes?

The guilt will always be there. I’m no fool. I know such things.

But, here’s my point in this splotchy and random rant today.

We, the Mothers of the World, need to TAKE A FREAKIN BREAK. And, even more so, we need to do it and NOT GIVE A CRAP NOR APOLOGISE ABOUT IT.

I know, it’s hard. I am probably the most guilty of all the guilty people when it comes to never switching off, and putting the kids (and the husband) (and the dog) (and the neighbourhood cat) above myself and my needs. I get something ridiculous like 4 hours sleep per night, and a lot of that is spent having weird dreams about my kids and husband and cheese. I juggle 600,000,001 things per day, none of which are self serving.

So, I get it.

But – NO.

When you fly in an plane, and you sit in your seat and get ready for that all-important safety message, what does the flight attendant say?

Other than “Count the rows to the exit, the nearest exit may be behind you”??

“If oxygen masks should fall during the flight, please make sure yours is on before assisting others”.

And now, a show of hands please – how many of you Mothers out there (and parents in general, tbh) would put your own mask on before you put one on your child?

Yea.

But you have to, because that’s what they said.

Today, I lay down a challenge for all the Mums of the aforementioned list.

Let’s start small. Once, just ONCE this week, I would love for you all to apply this to everyday life. Not the oxygen masks bit, smarty pants. Unless you are on an aircraft and the oxygen masks do happen to fall, in which case, shit, do your thang!

But no, I’m talking about applying it to our everyday, chaotic messes that we call daily life.

I want you to take a moment to PUT YOURSELF FIRST.

Tell your husband, the kids are here, they are fine, I’m going out for tea. And gather your faves, your squad, your besties and go out for dinner. Or get together for a stitch and bitch. Or go to the movies alone. Anything that is 100%, entirely for YOU. You, you strange beautiful woman.

Men don’t get the same guilt we do. I don’t know why. But they don’t.

The thing is, what good are you, as a mother, as a wife, as a person, if you have reached a stage of blowout? What good are you to yourself if you are too tired to think, too tired to exist?

What good are you if your health starts to suffer while your kids thrive?

This is something I have learned the hard way this past month. And I’m still learning. And I don’t have the answers. But what I do have, is a plan. A plan to take time for me.

My life is so damn busy, I’m effectively working three jobs while raising three kids. I have reached the point where my health is suffering dangerously. So something HAD TO CHANGE.

I’ve started small. Scheduling in “me time” in my week. Extending my daughter’s preschool hours so I can have an extra hour to focus on me. And not feeling BAD ABOUT IT. And, even more so, not scheduling anything into that time! I also treat exercise like an errand. I “book” it in on my calendar, so there are no excuses.

I read. I have a book and I am forcing myself to take the time to read it. Even if it’s while I sit on the loo, it’s reading something that has more than six words per page.

I take showers and I *gasp* lock the door. Or sing so loudly I can’t hear the kids yelling at me from the other side of the glass shower door.

I am learning to unapologetically put myself first occasionally. Because I had to. Because I was a fast sinking ship and I needed to make a change quickly.

 

So there it is. I reiterate, I am setting the challenge for all y’all. Take some time for YOU. Make the time. Don’t feel bad about it. DO IT.

Because your kids need you. Your husband needs you. Your family and friends need you. YOU NEED YOU.

I need you.

 

 

 

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If I Die Tomorrow

If I die tomorrow, just know that you were loved

From the very first moment I saw you

From the very first moment we touched

If I die tomorrow, please remember that today

You made my life completely real

You made it worth the wait.

I have no plans of going

I have every intention to stay

But you will learn as time goes on

Life works in its own way

So if I die tomorrow, I need to know for sure

That you will all be fine with things

If I am there no more

 

Please look after Daddy

He’ll need to have you there

Teach him the difference between dresses and skirts

And be patient when he brushes your hair

To my daughters – become strong, confident women

Have manners and empathy; be kind

Whatever you choose to become in your life

Just know that I really don’t mind

And to my wonderful son as well

Have empathy and integrity too

And, as with your sisters, choose your own path

Decide what it is you want to do

Because all that I wish in the depth of my heart

All that I want from you

Is happiness, love and a nice big fat smile

And a family who is there with you too

Of course, I have no plans to be gone tomorrow

I plan on seeing you grow

I will watch you get bigger and learn from the world

As you realise the things that you know

And when you are old and grey I’ll still be here

Naggingly proud as a plum

I’ll embarrass you lots and huggle you more

And be right there, front and centre, Number 1

And you’ll be like, “gawd Mum just leave us, geez!

We can’t have our fun, let us be!”

And happily I’ll retreat with a smile

Knowing deep down YOU STILL LOVE ME!

Whether doctor or lawyer or parent-of-three,

I honestly don’t really care

As long as you live long and happy

As long as you know we are here.

But, if I die tomorrow.

Just know that for every day

You were loved more than ever,

Hugged more than ever,

And I will never change a thing

Not one little thing

That makes you, my children, that way.12495155_10154044942357292_7050557721886405161_n

 

 

 

 

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A Blue Bath Kind Of Day

Last night, my husband worked a late shift. By the time he got home, two kids were asleep in bed and the third? Well, she was jumping all over me, being a general go-the-heck-to-bed-pain-in-my-bum. Nothing new there.

Husband came inside and asked me how my afternoon had gone.

“Well!” I told him. “Since you asked …”

I instantly saw the regret in his eyes, the panicked, dammit why did I ask ….

Because you care, husband. Because you care.

I immediately delved into a long novel, barely coming up for air between sentences, about how the kids had been a constant symphony of whinging all afternoon and nothing was right and I was entirely at fault through their eyes the entire afternoon and the crying and the yelling and somehow they all managed to injure themselves all at the same goddamn time and I couldn’t possibly comfort all three at once and that was my fault too and I hadn’t had a moment’s peace all afternoon not even when I went to the loo because they all needed something NOW and I couldn’t keep up and WHY DID WE HAVE CHILDREN and thank god at least two of them are asleep now but this one still awake holy shit don’t get me started on her and what she did while unsupervised in the bathroom for five minutes and the tantrum she threw on the way home oh my lordy I filmed it because otherwise you wouldn’t have believed how epic it was …

And then I stopped.

And I heard myself.

And I said, “Wait. Cancel that. Ignore what I just said. Start again. Ask me how my afternoon was ..”

“O … kay …” my dear husband replied, thinking right-o, I’ll play along … 

“How was your afternoon, dear?”

“It was good. Not great, but hey, it’s Friday and the kids are tired. Once the kids got over their initial synchronised injuries and subsequent tears, all three settled onto respective electronic devices while I pottered around doing housework and like. There were a few squabbles over the iPad but they actually sorted them out together, with minimal injury. I cooked tea and when I called the kids over to the table, all three came over without hesitation or argument which is rare! And we ate our tea together, and talked about what made us laugh that day.

After dinner was cleared, I said it was bath time and BoyChild said he felt like it was a blue bath kind of day. I thought, you know what – it is. So I grabbed the blue food colouring and the kids played in the bath for long enough for the water to start to go cold. After wrapping the kids like babies in their towels then tickle-monster-ing them into their pjs, we read stories on the couch.

At bed time the older two went without a fuss, and were asleep before too long.

All in all, not a bad afternoon, all things considered”.

And there it is.

A slight change in the way you think can have a massive impact on so many things. It’s human nature to sway towards the negative in a situation, and it certainly wasn’t a fantastic afternoon, but it wasn’t entirely disastrous either.

I need to take a leaf out of my own book sometimes – perhaps sit down and ask myself, what made me laugh today? What was something that made me smile?

Because there will always be something, even if you have to look a little harder to find it some days.

And then, I showed husband the video of the Epic Tantrum of ’16, because let’s be honest, it needed the air time.

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