I choose acceptance

I am a classic analytical person.  I (over) analyse absolutely everything.  When I say or do something you can rest assured I have played it over in my mind a good few hundred times.  I have pretend conversations in my mind preceding all major events.  I will ask and answer all the standard questions before a job interview and when I need to hash out an issue, I play what I need to say over and over in my mind to the point where I could recite my thoughts almost like a speech.  I also think, rethink and then think some more over everything from what to make for dinner to plans for the future.

A hard thing for someone like me to accept is when things don’t work out in reality the way they do in my mind.  There are so many variables over which I have absolutely no control and this makes me incredibly nervous.

This is where I have had to practice at and learn the art of acceptance, a concept which to me was always synonymous with defeat.  I mean why accept mediocrity?  Why accept less than your absolute best?  Why accept behaviour that goes against everything you believe in?  The answer is simple.  You cannot get everything right every time and you simply cannot take responsibility for the way others behave.  Enter acceptance.

While in my head my children’s behaviour is a direct reflection on my ability to raise them, the truth is, they are exposed to so much more than me and my insane ramblings about right and wrong.  They are influenced by teachers, peers, extended family, what they see on TV or hear on the radio and they are greatly shaped by their own journey through life.  Now while I can limit their exposure on many levels I am not a communist dictator and cannot, though part of me really wants to, keep them home, in a little bubble of sunshine, shielded from the real world.  Life happens.  People, and sometimes not good people, will affect my children’s perceptions and beliefs.  I can only hope my efforts to lay the foundations are sturdy enough for them to know and act on the difference between right and wrong.  While they are not perfect kids, not by a long shot, I see kindness in them.  I see how they go to great lengths to accommodate others and share and I am hopeful.

I think every parent has the same worries and concerns.  We all want our kids to grow up to be doctors or lawyers or accountants.  We all want them to be happy and successful and we often push our own unfulfilled hopes and dreams onto them.  At the back of my mind constantly though, something I am sure affects other parents too, is just, please, for the love of all that is good and holy, please let my kid not be an arsehole.

Ah yes, acceptance.  There are things I have learned to accept and thing I never will.  I can accept when people behave badly, I will not accept when this affects my family.  I can accept when people lie, I will not accept when they take advantage of good people when doing so.  I can accept criticism; I will NEVER accept people who choose to do so behind my back rather than to my face.

Things have happened, things have been done and things have been said.  While I cannot change how other people behave I can choose how I react and respond.  There is a law in science, that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, this may well prove true in the near future.  Based on things that have been said and done and lines that have been crossed, I have chosen a course of action.  One not based on revenge or retribution, rather one that stems from the voice deep within me screaming for me to do the right thing.  Doing the right thing and doing the easy thing is not always the same thing.  While I cannot control how people react to this I can choose my own response and this post for me is about drawing the line once and for all.

I will not spend another moment worrying about what has come to pass and the lies and threats that have resulted.  I will not worry that people (and I use the term lightly) feel threats however thinly veiled they may be are a classy way to address a situation about which they have one (emotionally subjective) side of the story.  I wish each and every person wishing me dead or worse many happy returns and wonderful sleep at night.  I am happy with who and what I am.  I am at peace with what I have decided and here and now I am telling you all I accept you are not behaving like good people, I accept you are judging me, even those of you who don’t know me at all, I accept that you are reacting to a situation over which you have no control and I accept I cannot change any of this.

I wish each of you, those I love and those I do not, the strength and the character to accept the consequences for your own actions.  My life is so, so much better than petty bullshit and that is what I am going to focus on.  For one thing this experience has taught me is that class is an inherent thing, as is pride and self respect and I am ever so grateful to my mother for loving me enough to instil those values deep within me.


In which I purge what has been bugging me

It is Friday morning and it is quarter past ten.  I have a lot of work to do, but honestly I have been very distracted.  This is not like me.  To be fair though, who can claim having their wits about them completely while nearly 30 weeks pregnant in the height of summer?

I was browsing news sites just now, something I do daily to catch up with current affairs and general happenings in the world.  Reading stories of children raping children, murder, corruption and general decline of human decency leaves me with a lump in my throat and a generally queasy feeling all round.

I am not perfect.  I know I say that a lot but I need to say it, to understand my own shortfalls and areas of challenge.  I can be moody, what woman can’t?  I can be rude, impatient, bitchy, opionnated, brash, subjective and human.  I know this.  I live each day with the guilt of not being the best mom and the guilt of not having stuck it out to forge a career in the financial industry when I worked so damned hard to obtain my qualifications and to make a name for myself.  I feel guilty for not being able to do more for more people, for not being more understanding and for allowing my feelings and emotions cloud my perception of things.

I am (perhaps overly so) emotionally aware of what is going on around me at any given moment.  Despite being well spoken and loud, I am actually scarily weary and often insecure.  I care what people think and say, I want to be liked.  Logically I know that not everyone will like me, my choices and my opinions.  I firmly believe in speaking your mind and in standing for what is right though, even if it means standing alone.  The world is made up of so many ‘fair weather friends’.  People who are around as long as the sun is shining.  It is when you are in your darkest hour that you understand the true value of a real friend.  I have a few people who fall into this category.  People who love me enough to be my voice of reason and tell me when I am wrong, people who believe in me enough to remind me not to give up, people who respect me enough to tell me when another has slandered me and people who are there through tears and giggles just for the sake of being there so that I know I am never alone.

Knowing this and feeling this each and every day that I am alive makes me so much more inclined to try and be a positive to the people whose lives I am a part of.  I try to encourage, I offer support, I listen and I am generous, not only with things, but with my times and my feelings.  I suppose this is why when I feel taken for granted it hurts so much more.  I will never claim to get it right all the time or even most of the time.  Fact remains, I try.

Recently an attempt at help grew out of control and fast became ugly and the thing that began to consume me.  I felt taken advantage, disrespected and generally stupid for having been naive enough to not see the signs. 

I know you are likely reading this.  I know you blame me.  I know what you are saying behind my back.  The truth has a way of coming out.  I am ok with who I am, with what I have done and with the choices I have made resulting from this period.  I am hurt that you never respected me enough to say the awful things you are saying to my face.  I am deeply saddened, deeply, that my attempts to help you and my sincere worry and care have been cheapened the way they have.  My heart breaks for other people who have believed your lies.  People who have given from their hearts and who have been badly hurt for having done so.

You have extorted money from people who believed your lies, using your child as a tool of solicitation.  You were welcomed into my home, my sacred space, and systematically disrespected every rule I had in place.  You paraded strange men through my home despite my having told you doing so would not be ok because I am particular about who I expose my children to.  You misuse and take advantage of my things, leaving dirty dishes lying around, and living in what can only be described as squalor.  To the extent that we received a formal warning from our landlady about mess.

You have no self respect, clearly, and little regard for everyone else.  You talk down to my children in a condescending tone when you have no right and no reason.  You make sweeping accusations about our chosen forms of discipline, easy when the only child you have at an age where it even plays a role was left behind while you fulfilled your own selfish wants.  You have no right to question or criticize something you have no understanding of, so back off on questioning my ability to parent my children.

Unlike you, I would NEVER, just not come home from work without having made proper arrangements for my child’s care.  Unlike you I do not have a blasé attitude about drugging babies to get some peace and quiet.  I have NEVER passed out drunk and ignored the sound of my baby crying.  I have never put anything, never mind casual sex, ahead of my children’s needs.  So go on then, tell another person how my children get beaten.  Tell them whilst you stand inside having left your baby unattended in your car during a heat wave.  Tell them while you smoke having left your baby in the care of my nine year old.  Scream it from the rooftops.  The crux of the issue is this, prove it.

I hope that everyone sees through you.  Sees how you took over R7000.00 from a guy and then slept with him, decided it was bad and gave him an excuse about a history steeped in alcohol and substance abuse not to commit to him.  Only to, a week later, start sleeping with someone else.  Ironic, isn’t it, how he was worth a commitment.  Your ability to manipulate and lie to serve your own selfish agenda leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth.  I hope, that through having witnessed your bullshit first hand that I can prevent someone else having to suffer.

That said, despite the fact that I am hurt and my heart is heavy, I am anything but a push over.  I want you to consider that actions have consequences and that, as adults, we are all faced with those consequences.  There are things that have been said, and things that have been done that cannot be taken back.  I will NEVER allow anything or anyone to threaten my family, any member thereof on any level.  Once that line is crossed it cannot be uncrossed.  Remember that.

I am past the point of wishing you well.  I firmly believe we get what we deserve in life.  You may think I am a ‘fat bitch’ but I am still a fat bitch who has the very things you claim to want for yourself.  This fat bitch wakes up next to a man who adores her every morning.  This fat bitch has supported and loved her children every single day of their lives.  This fat bitch has a home and has friends and has a career in which she is respected.  This fat bitch has the backbone to address you directly rather than hiding behind technology.  Also, this fat bitch has been pushed too far one too many times.

My father always told me that life’s wheel never stops turning, sometimes it turns quickly, sometimes it turns slowly, but it just keeps turning.  I live with the consequences of my actions and choices daily.  I reap the rewards of hard work and I pay dearly for poor choices.  Your wheel is turning still.

I don’t wish you well as I don’t wish you ill.  I wish you only everything you deserve, in abundance.


Quick catch up

Since I am totally not in the right frame of mind to put together anything more logical, I am once again reverting to bullet points to bring everyone up to speed on what is currently happening in my life, here goes :

  • I am in the process of applying for my maternity leave, this is really freaking scary and makes the fact that I am *actually* having a baby suddenly very real
  • I am not a graceful and happy pregnant woman, never have been.  I am currently walking like John Wayne and it has nothing to do with my, already large, belly.  Our princess has turned and the pressure of her head in my pelvis is causing the cartilage to stretch and soften.  In short, I now have sympathy for porn stars and cowboys.  I feel like I have been forced into the splits one too many times and am just uncomfortable.
  • Also, having never been pregnant in summer before, I am not loving the constant feeling like I may actually spontaneously combust.  I am always thirsty, seldom hungry and spend a great deal of time threatening that I will in fact turn into a puddle.
  • Work goes on, as it does.  I still have the same issues and have decided as a certainty, something has got to give following my maternity leave.  I will not complete another year is this department.
  • Monster and Princess, the older children, seem to have been watching documentaries on how to drive your mother insane, and appear to have, for once, followed through on instructions rather well.  They are testing boundaries, pushing buttons and I *know* just being children but the urge to cart them off to the SPCA to be re-homed seems to be occurring more and more these days.  Likely because I am tired, in pain and did I mention hot?
  • I have recently also chosen to draw the line where it comes to outside people and my family.  As a mother it is my duty to do what is best for my children.  As such I have had to put measures in place to protect our family.
  • That said, doing the right thing is not always easy.
  • Much as I would like to say people no longer surprise me, that would be a lie.  I get caught up in caring too much and because of that expect more from those I care about.  I would do better for them and so expect them to want to do that well for themselves.  I don’t know if that makes sense?
  • I am drawing the line, excluding negativity and intend to bring my brand new baby girl into a happy and loving space.  It’s nothing personal to anyone at this point, this, and my family just matters more.
  • People who cannot or will not take responsibility for their own lives are draining.  Like petulant children demanding attention for being brats draining.  I have been supporting myself and at least one child since I was 17.  I understand the burden of being a grown up and making sacrifices for my children and do not deal well with insinuations to the contrary, at all.
  • I will be sending invites to our welcome #BabyNB party out soonest.  I decided we are going less formal and more, bring the family and let’s braai and have fun.  I think this is greatly because this is more important for D than me.
  • I am both very excited and exceptionally nervous to bring home a new baby.  I wonder if I am in over my head, and if in fact four children are too many.  I do however believe, one more person in our already chaotic family would be fine.  Four is ok.  There will be no more until we are grandparents, which hopefully won’t be for another long while.
  • With the madness going on in my life though, I have been reminded how freaking lucky I am.  I have fantastic children, when they are not howling and making me homicidal, they are decent, helpful, generous, smart and darned cute if I say so myself.  I have a two year old and no terrible twos (eff off now Murphy) I have a fiancé, who absolutely freaking adores me, lucky lucky me hey?  And I have the most incredible people in my life (they know who they are) who just make my heart happy by simply being there.  I have love, understanding, support and so so many reasons to smile each day. To each person who adds to my happiness a heartfelt thank you!
  • So dear friends, while life is not perfect, mine is pretty darn great.  Those who hate are likely jealous, those who skinner likely have low self esteem and frankly being talked about beats being forgotten.