A friend called me “supermum” the other day. I love her, I know her heart and I appreciate the compliment, but it has been a comment I have struggled with for the rest of the week.
Maybe it is because I have an online forum where I share so openly, where I tell you boldly that my theme for this year is “capacity”. Maybe it is because of the small filtered part of my life that you see via this blog (and let’s be honest everything on the net is filtered). You could think that I’m supermum. And that makes me really uncomfortable because I wouldn’t want anyone to think that at all.
Overall, I try to be positive in my posts; my aim with this blog and with my other writing is to encourage others no matter what their life looks like. But I really don’t want there to be a false sense of my reality here. I am writing this with a sink full of dirty dishes waiting for me, floors to be cleaned from the kid’s dinner, the playroom is strewn with toys, there is washing still on the line (at 730pm), and so far my dinner has been two pieces of chocolate slice and a bag of crisps.
I am like any other mum, who gets up and deals with her children the best she knows how, who sometimes fails miserably at that task and loses her temper so badly she has to apologise profusely. I am like any other mum who worries about her children day in, day out, about whether they are eating enough or too much, about their friends, their learning and their emotions. I am like any other mum who is continually juggling the constant cleaning with time for playing with her kids. I am like any other mum struggling to manage the household schedule of birthday parties, family events, swimming, dance and the (very) occasional date night with her husband.
If I am super mum then without a doubt so are the rest of you, who do not have such a public forum but are doing everyday the best you know how, like me. But really I don’t want to be called supermum. I am mum, and that is plenty enough for me.
Hi, my name is Jodie. It has been one month since my last post!
Seriously how did that happen? The 1st March, and it’s autumn. Not that you’d know it with the clear blue sky and the top today of 38C.
A new month, a change of season, a time to reflect.
Things have been pretty quiet around here of late, and that is in part to Little Miss Control starting school and just getting my head around that. It is also if I am really honest due to my last post for kinwomen, and how much it took out of me to write that, and a little bit of fear about going back to the computer and baring my soul again!
But actually this post is just a mismatch of things floating around in my brain right now. Not enough to make a proper post, but enough to share, and as I am the one sitting behind the screen right now here goes:
It has been an anxious week. After a wonderful relaxed long weekend celebrating life with family and friends, for some reason I switched gear on Tuesday. It has suddenly hit me that Little Miss Control will be at Kindy this year, and next year so will Little Miss Chaos. The time is ticking on enjoying the girls at home with me.
So how have I handled it? Same as always. By going to back to my default setting … control (hmm, wonder where my eldest gets it from?!)
On Tuesday I labelled anything that would sit still, and wrote copious lists. On Wednesday I was out at the shops getting the last few things we need. I even got my sister involved (thanks P). On Thursday I washed all the sheets and towels, because everyone knows you can’t have a smooth start to the school year without clean linen right?! And then I baked a batch of truly awful lunchbox muffins. I even took a picture for you. They may look good, but not worth putting them in your mouth, trust me.
When you get to the point where you think washing all the linen in the house and baking a batch of horrible muffins is going to help, you really need to sit down and evaluate what exactly is going on.
I have had a number of conversations recently, where I have been asked my opinion on topics totally unrelated to me. In fact I have been asked to give my opinion on things that relate to some other person of my acquaintance. Such as what I think about the way someone dresses, or how they parent, or the decision they have just made.
It is easy for me get involved in those conversations. After all I have been asked. My opinion must be worth something, mustn’t it?
And what’s more I like being asked. I like feeling like I have some sort of knowledge on these subjects.
But in reality, it’s irrelevant.
I love pinterest and at this time of year there are all sorts of pins about great habits or practices for the year ahead. The gratiude jar is one. The concept is that write down all the things you are thankful for each day, and then reflect at the end of the year. You may recall that last year I had a gratitude jar too. And the reality? My gratitude jar sat on the bench near the kitchen all year. And sometimes I noticed it and sometimes I put a note of thankfulness in there. But most of the time it was just another ornament to dust around and move. 2013 is rapidly fading into dim memory and I have not even gone back and looked at those thoughts yet to reflect on what I was grateful for last year.
So this year I didn’t even start a gratitude jar. But I didn’t want to let go of the practice of gratitude. I feel that it is an important thing for me to cultivate and I just needed to find another strategy.
Capacity … Phew!
As Naomi commented on my last post “There! You’ve said it”.
So now I’ve said it, I thought I might look at what capacity means, what it is and what it isn’t for me in 2014.
Capacity isn’t saying yes to everything I get asked to do, or vaguely comes across my radar, or even gets suggested idly in a whimsical conversation. Tricky for me, because I love to be asked, and I love to help.
It is prayerfully considering what I say yes to and what I say no too. And recognising that sometimes I will get that wrong and will have to sometimes carefully withdraw, or continue until I can pull out gracefully.