Things and stuff

So I have been so busy and not really in the right space emotionally and it has kept me from posting on here. So much has happened and so much is different I don’t really know where to start.

So we moved out of my mom’s house. She left for work on Friday morning and came home to us and all our things having been cleared from her home. I know it seems really harsh and have been told more than once by more than one person that I handled it poorly. To be fair though I did it to avoid another fight. One can only be told how selfish and useless you are before it becomes tiresome. The truth is my mother and I cannot have a relationship. I am done fighting for approval and according to her she is just done. Shit happens and onward and upward and all that.

I have mourned my relationship with her and made peace with never seeing her again. I can imagine all the gasps of horror and the chorus of the is your mother retorts. Sigh. I am past it. This has been the single most negative relationship in my life. The one that always leaves me feeling less than. I asked my mother when I was ten if the thought I was pretty, she could not say yes the best ache could manage was average. The truth is she has been through so much in her own life. She is so damaged I think to the point of not understanding even how negatively her inability to love me has affected my life. I don’t blame her anymore. I hope the van forgive those who hurt her and find some peace for herself. It cannot be pleasant to live with the burden of so much anger and hatred. I hope she is happy. I hope she does well. But fact remains it is no longer my concern. I have said my goodbyes so there will be no agonizing over whether or not to attend funerals at some point in the future. It will never be my loss to mourn as I have done my mourning now.

So much morbidity right? On the positive side I have started a new job. I am now working retail which is not without its own  set of challenges but I do so love what I do and the brand I represent. There may be an even bigger and more exciting move in the new year but only time will tell. For now I am loving that I get paid to talk to people.

On the home front our new house is fantastic, I absolutely live having our own space again. Everyone is calmer and happier than they have been for ages. Dare I say it, the kids’ behaviour has even improved. Hell even the nanny is happier. It is without a doubt what we had to do for our family.

Haedyn is still totally mad about sport and he Ian doing well at school as well. Mycaela has done a complete turn around and is now getting more merits than demerits and her work has improved ten fold. I feel like shaking her teacher and saying I told you so. But won’t.

Blake is going through a bit of an adjustment with my new work hours and this morning would not eat anything unless I made it. For now we are just being extra patient and giving him list of extra attention. He really has never been difficult so it’s hardly an issue.

Kyra is finally rolling over and can sit but doesn’t last long and she constantly wants to move so flops over a lot still. She is as sweet and lovely as ever and my only complaint is that she is growing up way too fast. I swear new borns and baby bumps make me want another baby and it’s utter madness cos I truly don’t want another baby. I would love to be a surrogate before retiring my baby factory but only for the right person under the right circumstances.

Anyhoo, enough of my rambling. Please excuse poor spelling as it is my first post from my touch screen phone and it’s a learning curve.

Till next time x

The wheels don’t go round, they fall off!

So yesterday the wheels fell off a bit for me. It marked twelve years since my father died and honestly I sometimes miss him so much it is a physical sensation. I know he would have completely adored my children, they would have made him so proud. The fact that my mother could not be arsed to realize how wonderful they are makes it that much worse. A lot happened yesterday, not least of all D forgot it was the anniversary of my father’s death. I may have let that slide if I didn’t remember the date his dad died and make a big effort to be supportive every year. I was not feeling much love for him last night.

Now a confession. I have been walking around telling people I don’t care. I don’t care that my mother hates me, I don’t care that things are crap right now, I don’t care that I get treated like a lepper at work, I don’t care that people are selfish and inconsiderate. Truth is, I do. I care so much that my chest is tight and I feel like I am never more than moments from losing it completely and just having a nervous breakdown. I can’t though. My job is to keep shit together for my kids and for D and for myself to a large degree.The fact that I can keeps me sane and makes me want to bang my head on the table in equal measure.

I get that reading my blog may lead you to believe I am neurotic and completely unbalanced when the truth is that in person I am the most even tempered and calm and happy person as a general rule. I am really good at the whole happy façade and I am often told how idyllic my life looks from the outside. If only those people could see my in the morning in my mismatched pyjamas, baby drool hanging from my unbrushed hair, no make-up to hide my bad skin, while yelling at D and swatting a wayward child and trying to check Twitter all at once. Sigh.

I am very much in limbo right now, but this will make more sense in time, when the things that need to happen do and I have an actual story to tell. I am stuck between old and new right now, anxious, unsure and more than a little scared. I know things will work out, I have absolutely no doubt but the getting there is a nerve wracking process.

I know I am rambling and for this to make sense there is so much more I need to say (write) but for right now I can’t for numerous reasons, not least of all that arsehole Murphy who lurks whenever I get too confident about something good. Soon the pieces will fit together and it will make sense.

I just feel like my mind is too loud right now. I am constantly three thoughts ahead of myself even. I don’t know what or who needs more of my attention and at times I just want to scream to calm my own internal dialogue. Maybe I have finally cracked? Is this what crazy feels like?

I want to be like the mom on the cereal ads, the one who lovingly looks on as her children eat their breakfast, not the ranting lunatic moaning that what I have given them is all they are getting and they WILL eat it because they HAVE TO eat before school. I want to be delighted about Mycaela’s friendship with Kwezi instead of thinking my child is being brainwashed by an eight year old know-it-all. I want to tell Haedyn to kick the little shit who calls other kids names in the nuts so hard he will never have children instead of telling him some children are just mean because they are jealous. I want to want my own life more right now.

Truth is, all I want is 24 hours of solitude, silence and chocolate. Too much to ask?

Monday ramblings

I must be the only person on the planet who looks forward to Monday like it is Christmas. Our weekends of late have been the furthest thing from pleasant for the last two months or so. With the atmosphere with my mother we end up holed in our bedroom with little more to do than stare at the tv. As I am sure you can well imagine, this close proximity and lack of freedom does tend to heighten the ‘fight about petty crap’ senses. It has been rough, I do wonder sometimes if we will actually still love each other when this is over.

I don’t want to spew details of the situation with my mother, suffice to say however I do not give a hairy rat’s arse how she treats me, I am over it, I am beyond caring and I have wasted enough tears and angst on that specific issue. What KILLS me is her indifference and sometimes nasty treatment of my children. They are her grand children yet she has described them as mistakes and the worst thing I ever did to my family. Yes. That folks is why she has gone too far this time. My ten year old told me the other day that he thinks he understands why some children are mean even though they have lots of nice stuff. Intrigued I asked him why he thought they were mean. He told me maybe their mothers treat them the way granny treats me, and they are mean because they are sad. My heart broke, knowing that I have exposed my child to this level of nastiness.

Now for all my faults, and I know I have many, I have as far as is humanly possible tried to surround my children with love. The fact that they now are experiencing the same worry over wondering why someone doesn’t love them that I did has made me realize that this influence is no longer welcome in our lives. Grandparents are supposed to dote on and adore their grand children. Now I understand it is different because my kids have lived with my mother for so long at intervals over the years. My feelings remain the same, they are just children, children are naughty and they deserve better than to always be yelled at and looked down on. They deserve better and will have better. I will make sure of it.

It brings home to me the idea of how relationships evolve and change all the time. My mother and I have had periods where we have gotten along really well, but there is always this vibe boiling beneath the surface. I have never shared my most intimate thoughts with her. There are a thousand things she doesn’t know about me or my life and she never will. She has no idea the things that have happened to me to make me who I am. My older sister and I used to be best friends, these days she is like a stranger to me. She has no time for me and often I feel judged by her. I feel as though she only sees my mom’s side of everything and she feels I am the one who is wrong. That is ok, another progression or evolution of a relationship. I know she has been through a lot and she has a lot going on in her own life, I truly do understand. That doesn’t mean I don’t miss my sister. My younger sister and I recently made peace, we are not exactly braiding hair and talking about boys but we are talking, it helps me feel like we have grown up a bit. I think with everything else I am now ready to let go of the past on all fronts. I need to forgive her and myself for everything that has happened. It is just time. My brother is a different story. I am not ready to even begin to explain my feeling around him, suffice to say he and my mother have been lumped into the same category for now.

The evolution of my relationship with D is quite something. It is the single most normal and ‘grown up’ relationship I have ever had. We argue and disagree but we always come back to loving each other. We are comfortable and open with each other. Honestly, I have never been so honest with anyone, ever. He loves me despite my imperfections, he weathers my moods and smiles through the hard times. He holds my hand when all I want to do is give up and he believes in me when I can’t find the strength to care. I know we sometimes take each other for granted, I think it happens when your life is as full and crazy as ours’ is. I always know though that he is my safe place to go at the end of the day. He always knows how to fix things for me and as lame as it sounds he keeps me grounded. He reminds me to let go sometimes and is the calm to my frantic, the laid back to my control freak and the honest to my sarcastic. We balance out so well which makes parenting, running a household and basically just building a life together so much easier.

Relationships are hard. I wake up every day and have to choose to love him. I have to choose to work at what we have and I have to do the work. I often see people who say they are tired of being single and find myself wondering if they know how much easier it is. Then at night while I moan about my day with my head on D’s chest while he rubs my back and makes all the right noises, I realize what they miss and why they want to be involved. I wouldn’t change what we have for anything, it is not easy but then nothing worth having ever is.

Right now things are a bit tense and life has not been all moonshine and roses. I have no doubt that this will change. Things will get better. I will do what I need to do for me and for my family. I need to get over whatever sense of duty or guilt binds me to my mother and make decisions for my children so that I can break the cycle and prevent them growing up feeling inadequate. They are perfect, to me anyway, and I never want anyone to let them believe otherwise.

So folks I have to believe, if only for my own sanity, that from here it is onward and upward.

 

Failing at life

I am having the kind of day that has me feeling as though I am failing at life. My morning started  with being kicked in the back by Blake who had snuck into our bed at some point during the night. Okay. Not the end of the world. Get up, wake kids, make breakfast and school lunches. Mycaela doesn’t want breakfast, follow argument on why she needs to eat before school, enter sulky face. Storm out of kitchen, now less than charmed, walk right into mother, suffer evil glare for mere existence, escape to bedroom to find clothes for the day. Follow shower, talk to baby, get dressed, chase kids to brush teeth etc. Time to do Mycaela’s hair and I notice, for the second day now, she is wearing a dirty school shirt *sigh* I ask, why if she was asked yesterday, when I let her go to school with a dirty shirt as I am lazy like that sometimes, is she wearing a dirty shirt AGAIN today when she has clean shirts in her cupboard. She glares at me, no answer, just glares. Crisis this child will drive me to drink I swear. This lead to me wrestling her into a clean shirt, while she cried and acted the injured party. I believe there was a threat about being wacked with a hairbrush and being given a reason to cry. I get to the point where it is now time to brush and tie up her hair. Why has your hair not been brushed I ask, again to no response. My resolve cracks a little more and she is told if she cannot look after her hair it will be cut short like Haedyn’s.

 

After all this it is now 6am, yes folks, 6am *shock* Time now to heard children out of the door, hand littles to nanny and get on the road. Tell nanny to please not do washing as the electricity is low, I have already spent an insane amount on electricity so feel either the mother or brother should have a turn to buy, and tell children to start heading to the car. Haedyn has decided today is a good day to take with him the entire contents of his bedroom. There were pillows for a sleep over, a cricket bat and soccer ball and some bags and other random paraphernalia, he was so loaded with crap that he actually got hislef stuck in the front doorway. Queue rather heavy sigh from me and less than polite mutterings under my breath while pushing him out of the door. It then of course takes him an age to get into the car and some more harsh words about just where he is shoving all his stuff. Side note, the back shelf is not an ideal place for a bag when it blocks the view from the rearview mirror. Already edgy, I get in the car, finally, and we are on our way.

 

Drop kids at the aftercare teacher’s house, who will drop them at school at a more appropriate time, spend a few minutes silently seething at D’s serious lack of sensitivity over a conversation we had briefly. Try my level best not to smack him upside the head while he keeps talking the biggest load of crap to fill the silence. Meh. Log onto Twitter on my phone, click on a link to a blog that literally has my crying until I cannot breathe. Enter another inane argument with D. *Sigh* Put on make-up and do best to send off ‘I do not want to talk’ vibes. Stop at petrol station to buy headache tablets. Get to work. Start working at twenty past seven, while watching my tea turn cold.

 

Notice that though we start work at 8 am, no one logs in until wells after nine, seethe quietly at my desk. Listen to very loud conversations in languages I do not understand all around me. Feel like I am working in a taxi rank. Get customer’s details from marketing, call customer, get told how useless our company is. Deal with irate customer, I actually agree with what he is saying. Send email to powers that be to rectify situation, this was at 9am, I am STILL waiting for a reply. Witness high levels of apathy and incompetence in department.

Listen to colleagues discuss everything from the Anthony Hamilton concert to their sex lives, loudly, inappropriately and in vernacular, with enough English for me to get the idea all the while wondering why I am the only one doing any work.

On that note I may be leaving this department shortly, but another post for another day.

Have stilted, luke warm chat with D on Whatsapp. Almost feel guilty for not liking him much right now, remember he has been a dick lately and resort to resentment over guilt.

It is now half past one. I have managed one break, which was a whole five minutes to make tea. I am in the worst kind of mood, now improved my one of the “ladies” in the office having taken her second hour long lunch break for the day. I am tired of doing all the work, I am done listening to them carry on like this is a social gathering and not a work place, I am angry and their lack of caring and professionalism and I am generally well over this place right now.

 

I am over fighting with my kids, done wishing D would catch a fucking wake up and be less grumpy and more considerate. I don’t feel like pretending to be nice to anyone and most of all, and this is why I feel like I am failing at life, I feel really fucking guilty for not feeling all warm and fuzzy and grateful for what I have.

I want my baby back

No apologies for not being around I find it trite and insincere. Life has been busy and hectic and I have been keeping with the whole if you have nothing nice to say, rather say nothing at all. Yes. Well. Last week started with both Kyra and Blake being very sick, think anti biotics, nebulisers and a lot of snot. I spent Monday and Tuesday home nursing my two babies. By Wednesday they were back to being happy and smiley and I felt as though I had been hit by a truck. Today my chest is still tight, I am still coughing and I have no voice. I am hoping my voice returns soon as my job involves a lot of talking.

 

On the home front, things remain the same. My mother still ignores us, we still generally keep to ourselves. It is miserable and no way to live but it will reach a head, possibly sooner rather than later.

 

Now the real stuff. Why did no one ever tell me just how hard being a mom is? No one tells you when they hand you a cherubic little bundle that that same bundle will break your heart, frustrate you, be your biggest achievement and still be the thing that you most feel you have failed at all at the same time? Why the hell do we think colic and reflux and getting up at night are hard?! I hate to break it to those with kids five and under but THAT is the easy part. It doesn’t get easier. Hell give me 21 years worth of nappies and bottles and cute baby cuddles over the actual each age to 21.

 

Those who follow me on Twitter will know that last Monday we experienced and incident where Haedyn took D’s Blackberry, without permission and he lied about it. My heart still constricts a little thinking about it. They were leaving for school/work and Haedyn took the phone out of the bag and put it into his pocket. D called his aftercare teacher to ask her to check whether he had the phone. He lied to her about it being a friend’s phone and he lied to us about having it when we asked. When, after much threatening about there being more trouble for lying, he confessed to having taken it and gave it back to us I did not have words, I actually just shut down and cried. D and he had a long talk and it comes down to him wanting to be cool like his friends at school who have fancy phones.

 

My issue is he asked if he could have the Blackberry and we discussed at length why I don’t feel he is ready to have one. He is ten for heaven’s sake. I do not feel he has the emotional maturity to be given free run of the internet and I do not believe he is responsible enough to own an expensive phone. Hell we still fight about keeping his fingernails cut. I explained to him that I am not being spiteful and he agreed that I make decisions because I love him and am doing what is best for him. Yet still, he took the phone, basically disregarding everything I had said, like a big eff you mom, I am going to do what I want regardless.

 

My heart aches. All I want, all I ever wanted was for my kids to be able to come to me with things, to not feel the need to lie and steal. I only ever wanted for them to be good people, honest people. It makes me sad that he feels pressure to be cool and that he thinks stuff makes you cool. I am sad that he couldn’t talk to me instead of going behind my back. It makes me sad that he has affected my ability to trust him now. How will I ever believe what he is telling me? What kind of mother am I then if my first thought is always going to be that he is lying to me?

Frankly, lets go back to getting up every hour at night. Let’s go back to projectile vomit and runny poo squelching from a nappy, let’s learn to talk and walk all over again, let’s go back to potty training and the days you thought I knew everything. I want to snuggle with you and watch Nemo. I want my baby back and I don’t want to have to deal with lies and stealing and a bad attitude.

 

Why didn’t anyone tell me it would be so damned hard?!!

Hello 27 :)

So I am twenty seven years old today. I am not, as I have said before, a fan of my birthday. I don’t get excited, I generally don’t get gifts. No one proclaims the day of my birth to be of any great importance. This year that is ok.

The last few weeks have been particularly hard, living with my mother when she is openly hostile toward not only me but my children as well. It makes my heart heavy and it weighs on me because I know I can’t change it and frankly don’t want to. I am not going to apologise this time. I was not wrong. I may have said some hurtful things but they all stem from the truth, the truth as I see it and based on my own feelings.

I am sad for my children though. Sad that they do not have grandparents who adore them and dote on them. They only have my mom and D’s mom, D’s mom is far away so isn’t around to play an active role and my mom thinks my kids are a mistake and good for nothing. That very fact there is why she doesn’t deserve them.

For some reason I always feel down on my birthday, I cannot remember a birthday looking back where I was happy. I get reflective and think back over the last year of my life and try to take stock of where I am a year on. This year I know, without a single doubt I have done a lot of growing up. My mindset has changed in so many ways and I feel like I am happy with who I am. The things I want or need to change are external, they are circumstances and situations not who I am. That feels good.

In keeping with being lazy and taking the easy way out I am going to list 27 things, happenings, facts, whatever from the year I was 26.

  1. I gave birth to my fourth and final baby. She is the epitome of lovely. Happy, beautiful and the absolute perfect addition to our family
  2. I sacrificed my home, my privacy and a lot of my money to move back in with my mother to help her with her expenses. This has not ended well.
  3. Toward the later part of last year I faced a very difficult situation with a ‘friend’, this has seen me withdraw a lot in terms of friendship. I am now less trustful and have lost my ability to feel sympathy.
  4. I stopped speaking to my younger sister. We had a huge fight and I realized a lot has happened over the last ten years or so that I never really forgave her for. I am not ready to have her in my life right now as a result. This is my issue and I will work through it when I am good and ready.
  5. I stopped blaming myself for my mother’s behavior toward me. I have realized she is so damaged because of the life she has lived. She has been so hurt and so badly treated that she doesn’t know what she does to me. I am not making it ok, but I know its not me who is broken here.
  6. I realized every single day how lucky I am. Lucky to have D and to have the love we do. Lucky to have amazing children who remind me why I try harder every day. Lucky to have people in my life who love me enough to tell me the truth, who love me enough to discourage self-pity and who love me enough to sms, bbm or email just because they were thinking of me.
  7. The year I was 26 saw the arrival of new friends, the letting go of some not so great friends and the absolute pleasure of those special people who have remained constant.
  8. While work has been tough, returning from maternity leave I am actively making an effort to grow in my career and I have decided not to be negative and to make the best of what I have. So far so good. Work doesn’t suck as much as it did.
  9. I spent nearly five months at home on maternity leave and for the first time ever really believe I would like to be a full time mom. I loved the time with my kids and having the time to cook interesting meals every night. If we could afford it I would love to stay home full time.
  10. I shared a dark secret with D, something I have never told anyone and something I don’t think I ever will tell anyone else. I am glad I told D but feel like crying as I had to relive what happened when I told him.
  11. I got very sick and had to face my own physical limitations, not easy.
  12. I stood up for myself, in so many situations. I stopped allowing people to railroad me.
  13. I redefined what family means to me
  14. I finally bought many beautiful things for my home that reflect my personality
  15. I set new boundaries in terms of what I will and won’t allow in my life
  16. I hatched a plan for the future, for now it is a secret plan but something I am really looking forward to
  17. I discovered The Script and have been listening to their music a lot and find it speaks to my soul.
  18. I went to gym and actually started to enjoy it
  19. I started planning a wedding, which was put on hold when we found out we were having a baby. I am sad we are not married yet but think my baby girl is far better than any wedding could ever have been.
  20. D turned 30, he did not suddenly turn frail despite his dramatic whining that he might
  21. I gave my time to a few worthy causes which was humbling and reminded me how different my life could have been
  22. I let someone I didn’t know cut and colour my hair, it was quite an edgy cut and I love it
  23. I laughed and I cuddled and I loved so much
  24. Nothing that happened the whole year I was 26 was enough to make me give up
  25. I learned a lot about so many things.
  26. I have laughed, loved, cried, cuddled, danced and played.
  27. More than anything I survived. Nothing that happened when I was 26 was enough to get me to give up.

Onward and upward. I know from what I have planned than 27 is going to be a good age. Let’s see just what 27 has in store for me J

Upside down and inside out

I hate feeling like I only come back to this space when my life is less than ideal. I have said it before and I’ll say it now again, I don’t write my happiness. I tend to savour my happy moment s and live them without wanting to share that with anyone. Yet when my mind is in turmoil and I have a lot on my plate I come back to the proverbial pen and paper. I need to write the bad to make sense of it and to be able to let it go.

 

So since the last time I posted I have been sick, like cannot get out of bed sick. I had a chest infection and flu and a little something called erythema nodosum, lovely raised and swollen red bumps on my legs that hurt like hell. I was given four different anti biotics and literally slept through two days, most unlike me. It took me a full ten days to feel human again and is an experience I would rather not have to repeat, ever.

 

I had a bit of a confrontation with my manager in which I expressed my concerns around my current working environment. I was firm and I stood up for myself knowing that she could not make me the irrational pregnant woman this time. She agrees on certain of my issues and will never see the validity in others but to be fair life has been a lot more pleasant since our chat. I still know I need to make a move this year but for now she has made a bit of effort and it is not going unnoticed.

 

Then the really crappy stuff. For those who do not know, we have been living with my mother since March. Not for any reason other than we were trying to help her. She did not work for well over a year and when she did get a job she was just not making ends meet as well as she could have. She got a six month break on her bond and with her bond payment looming and no extra income we decided since we could not afford our rent and her bond that we would just live with her and pay her bond, rates and taxes and water and lights.

 

I should have known better. I did. I just wanted to help.

 

It has been so incredibly difficult. It is near impossible to have a relationship under the microscope of scrutiny that is my mother’s judgement. This from a twice divorced woman who has not had one proper functional relationship in her life mind you. There is always something she is commenting on and sighing about. So we fight. Our s*x life has gone from good to all but non-existant and we actually don’t have any privacy or time alone. It is freaking beyond frustrating.

 

Financially we feel over extended. My brother lives in the house and contributes next to nothing and my mom contributes very little. Our nanny cleans and does laundry. I cook. We buy 80% of the electricity for the pre paid metre, we buy 80% + of the groceries. In essence it is costing us a good R2000-R3000 more than we were spending in our own place.

 

My mom and my brother are not nice to my kids, in fact to say that their cats gets treated better would not be a stretch. I jokingly told my brother when I was sick that I was dying. He said don’t do that none of us want your kids. Great family huh? I told my mom he had crossed a line when he said that and if he crossed that line again we would leave. He crossed that line when he smacked my son.

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I am never going to be that mother who claims to have perfect children. I am also never going to claim to be a perfect mother. Haedyn was playing with my brother’s remote controlled car, something he should not have done and something for which he did indeed deserve to be in trouble for. That said, it was not my brother’s place to smack him. My mother said she told him to do so and to my mind it was not and is not her place either. I told my brother that it was not ok and it was not to happen again.

 

Now of course my mother jumped up and chose this moment to attack me.  Claiming I had short payed her, despite my having tried to do a transfer the day before, she could not give me a branch code, and actually doing the transfer that morning. I got yelled at and told how my sainted brother has now had to bail her out so her debit orders would not bounce. The first time except for a once off R300 contribution, that he had given my mother even a cent in the months we had been there and he is praised to the ends of the earth, go figure.

 

Because I am me and she is her, this quickly degenerated into mud slinging and name calling. I am a slut, an awful mother, so screwed up it’s a wonder I can function, ungrateful, a trouble starter, the centre of every family issue in the history of my family and she is done with me for good. My kids are screwed up and all they do is lie and cheat and steal and break things. They are a mistake and I have fucked up everyone’s lives by having them. I have ruined them. I need to stop pretending to be perfect and get off it.

 

In turn I called her out. How can she judge my parenting when she was never a good mother. She was out drinking and screwing around when I needed her most after my dad died. She was disinterested in me for as long as I can remember. I told her she takes her grandchildren for granted and it makes me sick to know it thinking of how many people would give anything to have grandchildren. We screamed. We got ugly. She told me to pack my shit and leave.

 

This is what I get for trying to help.

Since the fight all she does is yell at my kids, calling them useless and thieves, cos you know kids stealing a lollipop means they are delinquents destined to become hardened criminals, and ignore me. For God’s sake she even treats my dog like crap just because he is my dog.

 

This are beyond tense and we need to move out. Easier said than done and all that. Deposits etc don’t pay themselves L

 

My hear breaks for what my kids are going through. I hate that she cannot hate me and leave them out of it. I wish she could be the grandmother they deserve. They are always in trouble and I get home a good hour after my mother so I cannot control her coming home and taking her mood out on them. So for right now I feel like we are living in a war zone. I need to figure out how to get enough cash together to get us out and I need to do it fast.

It all lead me to you

Yesterday on our drive home D and I were chatting, as we do, and talked turned to past relationships. We shared stories of how relationships started and ended, what we had learned from each relationship, funny stories and such. Now anyone who knows me, knows I am incredibly sentimental, I tend to remember things forever and love looking back now and realizing the value in past events.

 

I remember the boy I was ‘going out’ with when my dad died, his name is Michael, same as my dad. I was totally devastated following my dad’s death and he was the only person who was just there for me, without stupidly trying to say the right thing, without having any expectation. He just held my hand, let me snot cry on his t-shirt and still stared at me adoringly all the while. He made me feel so special and so pretty. I can remember him taking my face in his hands one day and staring into my eyes and telling me I was the most beautiful person he knew, both inside and out. He sang to me, all out of tune and stuff but it was so sweet, think, ‘A blue eyed boy meets a brown eyed girl, oh oh, the sweetest thin’. We were so young and so innocent. He was not my first love, it was never that serious but I sure did like him a lot.

 

When I was in standard six, there was this boy in matric. Tall, dark, beautiful and he was a musician and he wrote poetry and did art and I was besotted. It was Valentines day, I was standing talking to him with a friend, all my red ribbons pinned all over my shorts, trying to make the small talk seem casual. In a burst my friend just blurts out, ‘You know she’s crazy about you right?’, my face was more red than the ribbons on my shorts, I just stared at the ground wishing it would swallow my whole, I could hear my heart beating in my ears, it was as though the world stopped. Then I heard him say, ‘That’s ok cos I am mad about her too’, my heart stopped, I looked up and he was smiling at me, his beautiful, moody smile. We were boyfriend and girlfriend for about three months, that’s a long relationship in high school. He wrote me long letters and I swooned in his company. The standard eight girls hated me and the rest of the standard six girls were so jealous. I learned I could get the hot guy and it was great. To be fair though, he was 18, I was 14, that’s a lifetime at that age, we stayed friends. He now has a beautiful wife.

 

Then there was my first love, the guy who forever changed everything where relationships are concerned. He called me beautiful, he challenged me on every level. He was wild. A lot older. He drank and did drugs. He had tattoos and listened to heavy metal. My dad had recently died, I was on a path to self destruction, he fuelled that. We went to clubs, we drank, we did drugs, we hitchhiked, we slept at random people’s houses, we fought, we made up. It was all so intense. I was 15, he was 21. Yes. Recipe for disaster. I got pregnant. We fought. He moved out. We got back together. He was arrested. (long story for another day) I cried myself into labour literally. We welcomed our beautiful baby boy on a cold day in May. We fought. He threatened to take my baby. I tried to commit suicide. We broke up. We made up. He hit me. I felt worthless. Wash, rinse repeat for roughly seven long years. This relationship taught me what I wanted by being everything I didn’t. I refused to let this define me, I was not going to be that women too afraid to leave and do better. I left and never looked back.

The next serious one was IT guy from Cape Town. Me met online (hahahaha)we chatted, we had a few visits, we had feelings we agreed to explore. Now if I am to be completely honest here, and I will, there were never any warm and fuzzies with this one, no passion, no great love. It made sense on paper, he has a high IQ, he has ambition, he doesn’t drink or smoke, he had his own company and could support himself. Like it balanced in terms of stability. He is emotionally retarded. Still today. He has zero concept of what an adult relationship is, he is cold and without feeling, without a doubt the worst s*x I ever had which makes it that much sadder that I got pregnant. He tried to force me to have an abortion. I bled and though I was miscarrying, he broke up with me before I even had confirmation from the doctor, classy like that. We fought. I told him I was keeping the baby. He threatened to take my baby. I fought back. I moved back to Joburg, he decided he wanted nothing to do with the baby, he signed away all parental rights. I was ok. I got a beautiful baby. To be honest this break up hurt me very deeply, I was adamant I was done with love and men. I did learn that one cannot build a relationship on intellect alone, feelings matter. A lot.

While I was still in Cape Town, I had posted a Facebook status update, something along the lines of how some men should not be allowed to father children, not related to my situation btw. And I got this message to my inbox, from a guy I went to school with, he was older than me but I remembered him. Mr spoiled rich kid, who I had a crush on at a stage. The jock who played first team sports and was so popular. His message was along the line of how he would love to be a father one day. Little did I know, sitting at my desk in Sea Point, feeling sick from the smell of Thai food from downstairs, what with morning sickness and what not, that my life was about to change, in a big way.

 

Messages kept going back on forth. I kept pushing him away, I told him I had too much going on to entertain new friends. He stuck around. Cell phone numbers were exchanged. There were smses that made me smile, phone calls that kept me up. I told myself not to like him, I told him not to like me. There was something there. I visited Joburg and we hung out, he had amazing lips, and deep blue eyes. He kissed me like I had never been kissed before. I left and we agreed to be friends.

 

I moved back to Joburg at the end of March, we hung out, a lot, we stayed friends. Something was simmering below the façade. I had my baby. He was the first to visit. He claimed my little boy as his own and not long after we decided to stop pretending and got together.

 

From that day until now, nearly three years later, we have spent only three nights apart. We are engaged and have added a beautiful little girl to our now complete family. Each day I fall in love with this man who looks at me like I am the only woman alive all over again. His chest is the best place for my head and his arms make me feel safe when they are wrapped around me. Even after three years, every kiss is magical and I know I will still love him fifty years from now.

I guess the point of this rather soppy drivel is that I have realized the reason we work so well is because we had both been hurt and been loved before. We both lived enough to know what we have is real. We have both walked a path to this day.

 

I asked D last night what my label would be and where I’d fit in, like ‘first love’ etc and he said, that’s easy my baby, you are the redeemer. Yes. And he is mine.

Parenting, not for sissies.

So I hate to be the bearer of bad news but all you moms with babies and small kids who think its hard. Well. Truth be told, it never gets easier. I have a ten year old, and almost eight year old, an almost three year old and a five month old and believe it or not I’ll take the little ones over the big ones any day.

 

When Blake (almost three) has a tantrum or acts out, he is usually tired and frustrated at not being heard, in general his stuff is easy to handle. The baby, Kyra, is a lovely, happy, smiley baby who only ever fusses when she is tired, hungry or needs a change. Nappies are the biggest challenge with these two. As long as they are fed and loved and stimulated they never offer any real challenge.

 

Now for two mornings in a row I have been found standing in the passage arguing with Haedyn (ten) and Mycaela (almost eight) over who took whose school tie or socks *sigh* EVERY night they are told to get their things ready for school, EVERY night they assure me it has been done and yet EVERY morning there is some or other fight about random school paraphernalia.

 

Mycaela loses things at a rate unknown to man and really doesn’t get it most days. My mom fetches them from aftercare in the afternoons and every evening when I get home there is a new reason Mycaela is in trouble. Yesterday when my mom arrived to fetch her, she was rolling around on the ground in her brand new school jacket giggling like a mad person, really?! What is the point? As usual when asked she says her friends told her to, that is her go to sadly *sigh* When she wants to find something to wear she pulls literally everything out of her cupboard and throws it all on the floor. She never sits down and eats her dinner without a fight, she lies about homework and has over 20 demerits this year already. She is a challenge of the highest order, give me nappies and interrupted sleep any day thanks!

 

Haedyn is at an age where he asks awkward questions, stuff he has no business knowing anyway. He whines like a champion about everything and sulks for nothing. I feel like I spend my life asking him how old he is, surely at ten the foot stomping, lip quivering tantrums at five in the morning should be a thing of the past? Should he not by this point have some understanding of how things happen? The other day after I woke him up he chose to roll over and go back to sleep cos he didn’t feel like it. Crikey child, I NEVER feel like it. That said I have been your mother long enough for you to know you need a much better story if you think you are getting a day off school, for serious. Do not even get me started on his attitude, the attitude is legendary. He only recently (in the last six months) was actually allowed to operate the kettle to make tea/coffee but if you dare ask him to make any you get the monstrous sigh and eye roll with the exaggerated ‘Do I have to?’ Meh. Just meh. I’d actually happily give up some sleep to have dealing with him be easier.

 

I am quietly dreading the teenage years, I sometimes wonder what the hell I was thinking I am going to have teenagers and little kids at the same time. I imagine I will have to bribe the little ones with sweeties to tell me what the teens have been up to or resort to being that mother who sits at the back of the theatre spying while they are out.

 

On the flip side I am looking forward to finding creative ways to keep them in line. I have this idea that punishment should hit them where it hurts, I am not about taking away phones etc the first time one of them does something to cross a major line I fully intend to collect them from their next party or sports even in my slippers and dressing gown, possibly with rollers in my hair. Hah, that would totally give me a kick. I also imagine we will get fairly creative when they start bringing girlfriends and boyfriends home. I have this idea that the first time they come over we’ll act like folks from Delmas, all hillbilly and redneck and then the next time they come over have them sit down to a formal dinner, starched tablecloth and all. *insert manic laughter*

 

I would totally understand if you felt terrible for my kids but I do believe my unorthodox methods have worked thus far so intend to continue on.

 

Right now I am still trying to get back into being at work and am still a little taken aback by how happy people are to have me back, there has been squealing for cheese sakes. I miss the kids when I am at work, they drive me bat shit crazy when I am at home. I have yet to master the whole work life balance and suspect it will be a while. I am on total sensory overload and am feeling a little sick for being exposed to all the bugs in the aircon at the office, yuck.

 

I sometimes feel cheated cos I never had the chance to want to be a mom, so I never considered everything that it would involve for the rest of my life. I will admit to wondering what I would be doing had I not fallen pregnant when I did. Then on a Sunday morning when I have all the kids cuddled in bed with us, my soul rests and my heart swells and I know, without a single doubt, that this is exactly where I am meant to be.

Perception is reality

I think it is the human condition to always go to the negative, to dwell on the bad and overlook the good. It’s also all about perspective really, one person’s walk in the park is another person’s devastation.

 

Things in my life are not all sunshine and puppy dogs at this point, I am facing a number of challenges that, at times, feel insurmountable. That said. I am still here, I still get up each day and keep on keeping on. Things have been better yes, but things have also been much much worse.

 

I don’t often talk about my life before D, the dark days of the ex, G. I tend to switch off when people tell me I don’t know how hard it is to be a single mother. I know. Trust me I know.

 

I can remember one day, at the age of 19, mother of two children, sitting on my bed sobbing at what my life had become. G had once again picked a fight, taken the last of our money and my car and disappeared. I was alone with the kids with no money and no food in the house. I did not know how I was going to feed them and I though at that point that my life was pretty much over.  I was scared, I had lost hope and I believed the best was over. Looking back now I realise just how much I had to learn.

 

I can remember the day I was finally done with G for good, the day that little switch in my brain flicked over and I finally understood he was bad for me. We had gotten into another fight, about my brother’s ex girlfriend and him wanting her number. He had cheated on me before and I was not about to give him the means to do it again. The fight escalated, he had been drinking, as usual. We shouted, he shoved and grabbed my hair, we ended up in the kitchen. I found myself pinned to the floor, his knees on my shoulders, a knife against my throat. His eyes were dead, cold and totally devoid of anything but the desire to end my life. I cried desperate tears knowing my children would grow up without me, I wished I had never fought back because I didn’t want to leave them with the burden of having had their father in jail for killing their mother. The only thought in my mind was my babies. Somehow my son had gotten out of the bedroom I had closed them in, he was standing in the kitchen doorway, and screamed, the look on his face will haunt me forever, “Leave my mommy alone!”. It distracted him just long enough for me to get away, grab my son and press the panic button on the alarm. My son saved my life that day, I am certain of it. The next day G left. Seeing my son hurt by what he had done to me was the last straw. He was never given the opportunity to hurt either of us again.

 

For seven years I allowed this man to periodically control me. From the first salary I earned he would take my money and my things to buy drugs and alcohol. He made me feel worthless and hurt me in so many ways. He cheated on me, he alienated me from all my friends and family, he isolated me and made me feel like I did not deserve to be happy. He broke me. The scars are still there. Not just on me. My son to this day gets hysterical if anyone raises their voice to me. He still gets defensive if anyone is mean to me or about me. He has lived through and seen so much pain, and I wish, with everything I have, that I can take it all away from him.

 

It took everything I had to decide to try again, to love again and to let someone into our lives. I moved to Cape Town to start over with a man I believed was it. He was everything G was not, the total opposite. Until I got pregnant and he tried to bully me into having an abortion, until he turned out to be a frog rather than prince charming. I was alone again, scared half to death. I cried more in the month before I moved back to Johannesburg than I have ever cried over anything. Again, I thought my life was over. The truth is it was only just beginning.

 

It was at this time, my lowest of the low moment that D entered my life. I pushed him away, hard and for a long time. For some reason he stuck around. He was the friend I needed and my shoulder to cry on, he was everything I needed without me even realising it.

 

Now, today, three years later, the daily challenges I face seem meek compared to where I have been. They seem insignificant compared to the love I have and they seem a lot more walk in the park than devastation. After all, in life, it’s all about perception.