The sweet & sour of the school holiday rhythm

School holidays have their own rhythm.

Don’t you think?

It’s snuggles and sleepovers on the lounge room floor in front of the heater,

After staying up too late watching late night movies.

It’s the piles of laundry that get done if you remember to do them,

And the hours pouring over recipes on Quirky cooking because you have the time to think about what you are going to feed your family,

Instead of just trying to fit it all in between school drop offs and pick ups.

It’s leisurely and lazy and there’s a settledness that comes over the house,

If you choose to accept the rhythm of it all.

If, you do.

Often I’m the mum who’s trying to fight it, rather than surrender to it.

To herd everybody back into routine, and order and beds made before they get out of them… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Because there’s also theย ‘what can I eat?’ and ‘I’m bored’ a hundred times a day,

And the kitchen that is always full of dirty dishes and an empty fruit bowl,

Or the bedrooms that are constantly in a state of flux,

With things strewn across their floors because two out of my three little humans like to change their outfits 5 times a day…

And perhaps it’s this that makes me want to recalibrate things in my house and around me,

Like cleaning out the pantry cupboard,

And vowing once more that I’m going to stock up on rapadura sugar and almonds and berries and cacao,

Instead of chocolate and cakes and sweet and processed snacks.

But you know what?

Before I know it, they’ll be grown up and leaving home…

Then there won’t be the nagging and asking for something to eat,

Or the piles of laundry and wishing the house was cleaner….

Because it will be quiet and empty,

And different.

For now, I’ve taught myself to love the mess and the nagging and the unstructured days,

And to simply go with the flow and love the moments.

I have also just found out that my uncle has stage 4 cancer and once again,

In the midst of tears and the shock and the unbelief,

There is a sure as fire need in me to make sure I cherish my now with every single bit ofย  my heart,

And to not wish it away or try and make it perfect.

There is no perfect in this life we live.

There are just moments that are profound if we choose to let ourselves see the glory of them…

Happy school holidays my friends.

I hope you find the joy in each messy, out of routine moment and find your rhythm.

Cate x

Cate is a singer/song writer and Founder of the Inspire Collective โ€“ a creative movement whose mission is to inspire and connect women to discover their purpose, embrace their passion and live with courage and creativity.

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Dear Mum – You’ve Got This.

On reflecting this Mother’s Day,

I arrive at the destination feeling like I’ve just made it over the line.

I’m not the world’s best mum,

Nor am I the worst,

I reckon I sit somewhere in the middle.

Always measuring myself up to what I didn’t do,

How I didn’t remember,

Rehearsing the moments I let the team down.

When I didn’t remember to buy bread.

When I reneged on a promise because I was too tired.

This mum business is hard.

Some days I feel like a complete and utter failure,

And have to manually pick myself up off the floor (sometimes literally)

And will myself to get back on the horse.

This perfectionist mother goes to bed often wishing the day had been different.

That I’d done more.

That I’d cooked better.

That I’d listened more intently.

That I’d stayed longer scratching his back at bed time.

That I’d danced her Edu dance moves with her.

That I’d been kinder, stronger, more patient, less emotional, more fun, less naggy, less tired, smiled more, comforted more.

The woman who wears a hundred hats in one day is a mother.

No wonder we feel deflated, (dare I say it sometimes downright depressed!)

When we hit the bed at night thinking of all the ways we have failed our kids,

Instead of thinking of all that we have done right.

‘What did I tell you?!’

The nagging,

The constant voice of reprimand and to-do’s and don’t do’s that fall out of my mouth daily,

One after the other.

Things always getting broken,

Left unfixed and messy.

I had been promising to get paint on the walls of my son’s bedroom since his 8th birthday.

He just turned 10.

And the worst thing is that this one doesn’t complain.

Small hints and wishing he had a different colour on his wall, mum,

For two years,

But no pressure, no tantrums.

Not from this one.

I had the day off.

I went to Bunnings and damn it,

I bought the paint.

Taubmans Granite Gray.

Got it home and before anyone could tell me I chose the wrong colour or I could get side tracked,

I slathered it all over his wall,

Like a declaration that there was no going back!

Finally I had made it.

As I sat on his bed watching the way the light hit the fresh colour on his walls,

I had a moment.

I felt like the mum who had got it right.

I’d made it and I was going to soak this little victory up.

Why did the battle to get there take so long and what the heck was all the guilt about?

Failure as a mum is so ready to hang its wretched cloak on us.

Why is it so hard to give ourselves a break?

Why the bartering in our heads that argues we are not doing enough?

Some days I want to give up.

Other days I want to kick it back!

‘Every day is a new beginning.’

It’s a wall plaque that was demurely hanging on the hallway to my kids’ bedrooms,

Kind of like a shrine of remembrance to all…

(That was, until the kids hit it down with the soccer ball last week and it smashed…)

It was a reminder that no matter how defeated I may be feeling in the motherhood arena,

That I have the opportunity to start strong again every morning,

To pick myself up again.

No matter how much I feel like I’ve lost my mothering ‘mojo,’

I boldly declare to myself in the face of the crap that flies my way,

That I am able.

I am equipped to be their mum because I love them like no one else will.

I have got this!

‘No kicking the ball in the house!’

Were my final words before bed time tonight.

I have said them before and I may say them a hundred times before my babes fly the coup and leave this temporary place that they now call home.

I may have screamed it.

Oh well….

Haha.

Tomorrow is another day.

Cate x

 

 

Release from ‘mother guilt’

Release from mother guilt. Who are you and what makes you tick as a woman and mum. I’d love to hear your responses. Cate x

There are very few days where I go to bed at night fist pumping,

“Yes, I nailed it!” as a mum.

Most days I crawl into bed wondering how I could do better, counsel better, be more present, be more this or that.

Today, as I was fielding a series of 6 rapid fire questions,

In the space of about 20 seconds,

From my 9 year old,

About random, inconsequential things,

As I’m trying to negotiate an intersection and peak hour traffic,

‘What time is it?’

‘What are we having for dinner?’

‘Can I go to the park with my friends because they are going to be there and they said I can play with them.’

‘When does Jude come home?’

‘Is he in Canberra or Sydney?’

‘I need to go to the toilet…’

I realised something about myself that took some of the guilt away.

I am not one for small talk.

In fact, my personality (INFJ) says that I yearn for solitude.

Small talk is one of my pet hates.

As an INFJ, I am energised by spending time alone,

By thinking deeply and by working through complex and abstract thoughts.

I am enlivened by deep, authentic communication,

Not menial things like how many minutes until this or that,

Which is a large part of what matters to my son right now in this phase of his life.

The fact that I don’t get into what he’s talking about

Doesn’t make me a bad mum.

Do I try to act interested?

Do I make eye contact and nod and answer his questions?

Yes, yes and yes.

But am I truly making a heart to heart connnection?

No, not in that moment.

Does it matter?

No, it doesn’t.

I don’t have to love the questions,

Or feel terrible because I am not ‘engaged,’

Or enthralled at every word my child speaks to me.

It’s ok not to be ‘connected’ or present some of the times.

The point is, I am there.

I love them deeply and care for and show them in many ways.

They have a clean house to come home to.

They have a mother who is able to work at the same school and who gets to see them when other mums don’t have that chance.

They have a mum who is paving a way for their heritage, by leaving a legacy of song and word and strong demonstration.

They know I am trustworthy, compassionate and kind,

And they always have somewhere they can run when life gets crazy or scary or too much.

They might have a mum who would rather retreat into her bedroom to write or to catch a moment of silence,

But they also have a mum who is good at scratching their heads and wiping away their tears with tenderness.

My personality type makes up 1% of the population.

Yes, I know, I am a rare species.

๐Ÿ™‚

I think that’s why I’m still in many ways trying to work out how I function

And why my husband looks at me strangely sometimes.

But the point is, when you understand who you are and how you are wired,

It releases you of a lot of the guilt that you tend to experience,

Especially as a mum.

Why don’t you see who you are.

It helps settle some of the ‘mother guilt.’

Apparently this is me.

The Advocate, Confidant and Protector.

I am a man and have white facial hair.

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Cate x

The personality test is attached below.

I’d love to hear who you are and what makes you tick as a mum.

Enjoy x

Personality Assessment – Enjoy (16 Personality Types)