One thing I am learning and becoming all too aware of as my daughter grows is that motherhood is messy. It’s messy in a literal, physical sense where there are always sticky hand prints around, or toys in the wrong places, or mud trekked in through the house via the soles of little shoes. I am ok with that side of messy. Yeah, I have to clean up the same thing a gazillion times, but still, I can cope with that.
There’s the other side of motherhood that’s messy though and not so easily cleaned up-the emotional side. Ever get those days when everyone just falls apart? Voices rise, tears fall, harsh words come gushing out, doors slam. The mess is nasty, and hard to sort through. It puts cracks in relationships, builds barriers and everything is stressful.
We have had so many of these messy days lately. Developmental changes have brought new challenges for both of us as we try and figure out how to live harmoniously with each other, with our needs and our personalities. Miss E has been fashioned by God’s good hand into a very independent and strong character. All the qualities that are such a difficulty for me right now as her mother, will, one day, stand her in good stead as she ventures off into the world alone. But it’s getting from here to that point that is proving difficult. It’s a fine balancing act and a skilled dance as we figure this whole thing out together, and often we get it all wrong. We fail to understand each other. We fail to communicate with each other in loving ways. We fail to choose loving reactions. Yesterday was one such messy day.
On these messy days, I am thankful for two gifts: GRACE. Grace to try again. Grace to start anew. Grace to change. Rich, abundant grace. Where would we be without it? NATURE. Our happy place. A therapy for the soul. A place we can go together to ease the stresses and rediscover our way on this journey. There is colour therapy given via the flowers and the greenery, music therapy from bird song, the wind, water passing by, raindrops falling. There is peace, time to reflect, time to reconnect. Grace and nature: our balm to soothe away the strife. How do you cope with the messy days of parenting? How do you reconnect with your child?
As I write, I am waiting for Mr P to come home early. He shouldn’t be coming home early, except that our poor dogs are trapped. At night time they sleep in our garage as they hate being in the house to sleep. They enjoy cozying up in their crate together in the garage and are happiest there. During the day when I want Miss E to have some time in the garden, I cannot have the dogs out at the same time. it just doesn’t work. They are in the paddling pool, walking through her painting area, eating any sensory play materials, and often knocking her over. We are in the process of sectioning off the garden so we can all be out at the same time, but have some boundaries!
Well, today like other days, I have popped the dogs to bed for a little while so Miss E can enjoy the garden dog free. After we were done at it was time for lunch, I went like normal to let them out and give htem their treat……..the garage door wouldn’t open. I pulled and pulled, but that thing wouldn’t budge. It’s stuck at the top and the top hinge is somehow broken, so no amount of willing it to move helped. I also don’t have the know how or strength to do anything more. So that is why Mr P is on his way home. They have now been stuck in the garage for 5 hours. A mega great walk is due to them upon their release!
So that is the first bad happening in the Mummy’s Heart animal kingdom. Miss E was super tired after a very long day yesterday and a very late bedtime so she wanted to go to bed early. She has some fish in her room and before bedtime the fish get fed. I dropped some food in and went off to get Miss E her toothbrush. When I looked at the tank again there didn’t seem to be much excitement about the food I put in, so I had a closer look. Only one fish was eating. I looked and looked for the other and couldn’t see it. This is nothing unusual as it likes to hide in certain spots, but I checked all the usual spots and there was no fish. Then I spotted it, stuck down the side of the tank between and ornament and the tank wall. It had taken to going down there lately and clearly this time it had gone too far and managed to get wedged there. And so, along with the trapped dogs, we have a dead fish. It hasn’t been dead for long as I saw them both alive this week, but this awful heat has meant that decomposition has already begun.
It’s a horrible day. The first time the dogs have ever been trapped and the first time one of our pets has died. It is already sad and Miss E isn’t really at an age of comprehending, but I dread the day when she is a bit older and any one of our remaining troop dies, especially the dogs as she adores them.
Hurry home, Mr P!
This week started really well. Monday was bank holiday and I got 8 loads of laundry washed, dried and sorted. That makes me one happy person! I hate having laundry hanging round the house drying, so fantastic days like Monday are great. Plus, nothing beats the smell of laundry that has been hung out to dry in the fresh air…bliss! We also went car hunting as one of our cars has died.
In the afternoon we had some fun in the sun at home. More on that another day, but here’s a little photo.
Yesterday (as it’s now after 3am on Wednesday) was a good day too. We were up, breakfasted and washed and dressed by 7:30am. In an hour and 15 minutes, I had vacuumed, mopped and cleaned the bathroom (the joys of my routine to keep me focused as, before, this could have taken all day). Miss E went down for a nap again at 9am. I finished up our Abel & Cole order for the week and did a bit of crocheting in the sunshine. Miss E woke up at near 11am and we got ready to take the dogs for a walk. They enjoyed that immensely and were so well behaved. Usually, we have issues of them pulling quite a bit in excitement. Once home, Miss E had a snack and I prepared the sauce for the homemade pasta we were going to have later in the day. Mr P had made the dough the night before, so I just had to run it through the machine. I then set up an invitation to play outside. We were supposed to do arty things and I was just going to set up some paper and crayons etc inside, but as the weather was so nice, we went outside to do “art”. After she was done with that we read some stories outside too.
invitation to whisk up some soapy bubbles and do some mark making with water
concentrating so hard on her mark making, bless her
After our lovely time in the sunshine, we came in and I made our pasta while Miss E took gerbil food out of its bag to place on the shelf above, which of course ended up all over my nicely vacuumed and mopped kitchen floor. Thank goodness for two dogs who clear up pretty much all food stuff! Miss E then had free play inside til it was her bathtime and bedtime. So it all went pretty well, until about 3pm when I started to get the worst headache. Since Friday I have had a sore chest which developed into the starts of a cough by Sunday and yesterday morning I woke up with a pretty bad chest and a cold as well. That has now developed into the flu. Poor Mr P had to go up into the loft to get the desk fan down as I was sweating away in bed. I have since got up as I can hardly breathe lying down. So I am sat aching and sweating and feeling generally miserable on the couch while blogging at 3:30am….that’s a first! Miss E is also having some very unsettled sleep I can hear, so it looks like Wednesday is set to be a very low key day!
This week, I wanted to get on with planting some more vegetable seeds as time is slowly but surely ticking away (how is it May already?!). I have a huge stack of egg cartons sat on a shelf in the kitchen and knew these would make perfect little seeding trays. I separated the lid from the bottom, pierced holes into the bottom of each little egg section for drainage and then set that back into the lid. We took our tuff spot outside along with the egg cartons, compost and some spoons etc and we enjoyed some fun in the sun. It was just what was needed after an extremely hard morning.
filling the carton with compost
it’s serious work
abandoning the spoon in favour of using her hands
I wonder what will happen if I just tip this carton upside down
hopefully lots of lovely veg will come from this
As always, click on the link button at the top and check out what other fun children have been having this week.
All our seeds arrived last week, so we spent Saturday and Sunday afternoon down in the vegetable garden, clearing, digging and planting. I only got to plant potatoes and they took up two beds on their own…..I think I may have gone slightly overboard on potatoes!!!! Miss E really enjoyed getting stuck in to all the dirt and mess. She helped to plant the potatoes by taking them and firing them into the trench. 🙂 This week in the evenings we spent a few hours down there as well with Miss E joining us via her monitor. We’ve managed to plant some carrots and cabbage and Mr P dug out some more plots, but were hindered from doing too much due to the really strong winds we have been having here as of late. I’ve also planted some courgettes and corn inside using our cardboard egg cartons as it suggested they be started off inside in warmer climates and then get transferred outside. Maybe we will get some time this weekend to plant more, but these are a few snapshots of how it’s been going.
lots of lovely seeds awaiting planting
investigating her own little dirt garden while we sort the veg plots
Enough of my little garden, what are you up to over here?
a new place to wash hands it would seem
clearing more ground
helping with the planting
ensuring our newly planted potatoes are well watered
If anyone has tips for humane and ecofriendly ways of keeping pests stuch as slugs etc off our veg, I would be most appreciative 🙂
When we bought our house complete with large garden, we had always dreamed of growing our own veg and digging out some plots. The first year we were here, I made a start and then took a teaching post then became very ill, so it came to a standstill. We got some potatoes and nice courgettes and a few chillis, but that was about it. Then I was pregnant and super ill. Last year, we fenced off a section at the bottom of the garden where we want to grow the veg and that was all that got done. We really want to get a move on with it this year. So my husband’s been hard at work, clearing out bushes and trees and digging out the plots. I’ve ordered potato seeds from Rocket Gardens and the rest of our seed from Real Seeds. So this time there’s no turning back!! Hopefully, we will have lots of lovely vegetables to eat in a few months time and our daughter will be able to grow up understanding how food grows and the right conditions that it needs to grow before it gets to the point of landing on our plates at the table. Exciting times ahead! Have you ever grown your own vegetables? Any hints and tips for getting started?
For her birthday, one of Miss E’s little friends got her a Suttons grow your own sunflowers set (Not entirely sure that was the correct name!). We planted the sunflower seeds in the pot and followed the instructions. Eleven grew, and, as happens with sunflowers, very quickly needed new homes. My husband and I aren’t very good at following through with tasks like repotting plants and often things die. And, for a while, it looked like these sunflwoers might be facing the same fate. I was determined they wouldn’t and finally we remembered to get compost and pots.
I could have done the task while Miss E was having a nap, and it would have been quicker and cleaner, but they are her sunflowers, and I wanted her to have the experience and start learning about plants and caring for them.
checking out the flower pots
Miss E took this taskvery seriously indeed. She is currently developing her skills of transferring objects from one container to another, and so this gave her the opportunity to transfer to her heart’s content. She was very serious and engrossed throughout apart from when we were patting the compost down around the sunflowers after placing them in their homes. Then sh ewould break out into giggles and pat down the soil with a “bat, bat, bat!”
Miss E did need a change of clothes at the end of us as the compost clung to her and my kitchen floor needed sweeping, but the sunflowers got repotted, and we had a lovely time together.