Posts tagged ‘Mothers’

September 5, 2012

The Invisible Network of Love

Six years ago I arrived at Mothers Group for the very first time. Poppy was about 6 weeks old and she had fallen asleep in the car on the way. It was a sunny day not quite 30 degrees but starting to get hotter.  I found a car park in the shade nearby and started unloading all the baby paraphernalia.  As I came around to get Poppy out I suddenly realised I had locked the keys and my mobile phone in the car.  I became instantly hysterical. I went from zero to 10 in just one second. Even though the car was quite cool, visions of a cooked baby sprang into my mind.  I accosted a random stranger for their phone and in the process infected them with my hysteria to the point that I had to physically stop them from smashing the car window with a brick.  They suggested I phone the police – so I did. Within what seemed like seconds I could hear sirens approaching. A police car, fire engine and ambulance all arrived at once.  Poppy remained asleep completely unaware of the commotion around her. The hysterical stranger was still hovering around with ‘the brick’ in hand ready to assist – thank God the police moved them on.

Once help arrived I did what any respecting mother would do I promptly burst in to tears muttering something about being the worst mother in the world. I had to be calmed. All three emergency services went to great efforts to get the car open. They tried going through the boot, forcing a window down but nothing seemed to work. Our 1990 Mazda 626 was showing itself to be quite burglar proof. Who knew?  They were very close to smashing a window when one of the ambo’s who owned an old Mazda 626 decided to try his car key in the driver’s side door. Miraculously it opened! OMG! As he opened the door cool air smacked him in the face so the car was still very pleasantly cool. NO cooking of babies today. It was only at this moment that I surveyed the scene. I had three emergency vehicles with whirling lights parked on the street beside my car a ¼ of a block from the maternal health centre where I was going to my first mother’s group appointment. I nearly just jumped in my car and went home then. I had heard horror stories about these groups and I had been very apprehensive about attending.

Upon arrival, I couldn’t believe it – no one from my mother’s group saw my misdemeanour, so I shared with them what happened anyway. They all laughed and shared stories of there own misadventures which both disturbed me and comforted me at the same time. The long and short was I felt completely loved by this bunch of new mums. Unfortunately I don’t see any of them anymore but that day showed me the best that we can be as a collective. Other mums can be your greatest source of encouragement and support. They’re like this invisible network of love ready to give you advice, empathy and help when needed. Thank you to all the mums that have stepped in and babysat Poppy in a pinch, branched out in the mall looking for my ‘lost’ child or just encouraged me when I truly believed I was the worst mother in the world.

I have determined to be a part of this wonderful organic machine – this invisible network of love. My motto is this: If I can say yes to any request – I will. You may not be a mum because you’re a dad, you’re single, married with no kids or your kids are all grown up – but you’ve probably been pulled into this invisible network of love by a mum in need. We all salute you ‘loving’ on us with whatever we have needed. A few hours sleep while we are sick, cooking a meal, cleaning our house or mowing the grass. As a working mum now faced with my first school holidays I have been overwhelmed with the generosity of this invisible network of love to help me out. I may never be able to repay you but I will certainly pay it forward.

Thank you again.

Over and Out,

Catherine xoxo

May 2, 2012

The Blue Stocking Saga

Of all the blog posts thus far the statistics tell us that the most read one has been “My name is Catherine and I am fat’ followed by ‘The secrets we keep’. Clearly my failings are ‘helping’ others to live better lives or have a good laugh. If you liked both of those two previous blog posts then you’ll love this one as well.

I wish I could say that this happened a couple of years ago but alas it was just this morning. John had to leave for work early so I was all hands on deck for the feverish rush to get ready for school. We were only a little behind schedule when I suddenly remember its school photo day. In the middle of getting Poppy dressed, making her lunch, getting her breakfast and getting myself ready I have to find the ‘school photo’ form. As I lay my hands on the form I remember that my credit card expired on April 30th and its May 2nd and I need to phone and activate my new credit card. I go looking for my handbag to get my purse but I can’t find it anywhere but when I go upstairs to grab Poppy’s blue school stockings I spy it on the bedroom floor. Yay!! I phone the credit card company and of course get transferred to another department and all the time my stress level is rising. Finally the credit card is activated and I fill out the photo order form. Then I realise I have no fruit for her lunch. Who cares I think to myself. I pop a fruit puree thingy in her lunchbox instead. Poppy tells me I can’t do that because it’s not considered to be real fruit, ugggghhhhhh.

I then attempt to put on her school stockings but she hates them, I wonder if this is a genetic thing because I hated them too when I was a kid. She’s pulling them out of her butt and she keeps telling me they feel funny in her shoes so the shoes come off and on and off and on and off and on again as she tries to perfectly position her stocking so it doesn’t annoy her. Somehow through this process I am remain calm but she’s starting to lose it.

Anyway the whole stocking thing becomes a nightmare. The whinging and sighing continue and finally I can’t take it anymore and with more dramatic flair than Paris Hilton I snap, crackle and pop!  I totally ‘feralized’, that is morphed into some hideous out of control, irrational monster.  I rip the stockings off her body yelling ‘right that’s it!! No more stockings. I don’t care if you freeze this winter, I don’t care if you beg me to wear these stockings you will never, ever, ever wear them again!!’ I am now on the way to the kitchen to grab the biggest pair of scissors we’ve got and I cut the stockings up in front of her and then rip them to shreds with my hands. Not my proudest moment as a mother but just a tiny bit satisfying.

We both go quiet. She starts to cry because she can sense the worst is over and her tears are of release and relief. I watch her cry these big gloppy tears that begin to stain her little face, and in that moment I imagine viewing her first ever set of school photo’s in a couple of weeks . They will probably capture this sad little orphan Annie face with the red rimmed eyes and immortalize for the next 50 years a special piece of mothers guilt labelled the ‘blue stocking saga of 2012’ just for me. Perfect.

After a while I ask her if she is upset about the stockings and she admits with a big smile that she thought that the cutting and shredding part was great though she didn’t really like the yelling part and she admits she was a bit scared. I cup her face in my hands and apologise for yelling and scaring her. We hug and I kiss her tears away and off we go to school.

During the day I have to buy a present for a baby so I am in an out of kid shops for hours. I do quite a bit of ‘stranger confession’ in the check out line ups and everyone finds my story hilarious. I even try it on a mum at school pick up and she laughs too. Not in judgement but in understanding. I feel better.

One of the biggest tenants of the Christian faith is forgiveness and while we are constantly reminded to understand, grasp and model forgiveness towards others and to ask God for forgiveness ourselves, no one really tells you that sometimes you need to forgive yourself. Poppy had forgiven me and I’d asked God too but I struggled to stop flagellating myself.  All day I kept it up.

Forgiving yourself is critical for you and for those that do life around you simply because ‘hurting people hurt others.’ The longer you avoid forgiving yourself, the longer you allow yourself to dwell on the feelings of guilt, self-disappointment and failure. You become your own judge, jury and executioner and you impose on yourself a degree of suffering for what you did. This then causes you to feel even worse which will possibly result in another explosion or implosion depending on your personality and preference.

The reality is that you cannot change what has happened. You cannot restore lives to where they were before the event. The only choice you have is over what you do next. You can either choose is to be restored or to re-offend.

So just please just forgive yourself already, I finally have, it is only then your healing can begin.

Over and Out,

Catherine xo

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