you always need your mum

you always need your mum

At swimming this term, my youngest has gone in the pool by herself. Just her and the teacher. She is now at the age where I hand her over and I am not the one to hold her and guide her.

I expected a repeat of what happened with my eldest, with tears and clinging to me, and me having to wear my bathers each time, just in case. None of that happened. Happy as anything she has gotten into the water two weeks in a row, so proud she can do this herself, with big smiles and waves for Mummy.

For me this is totally unexpected, very thrilling and (honestly) it is also tempered with a sad little thought “oh, she doesn’t need me anymore”.

And then I remember, when the girls are sick and I don’t know what to do, I call my mum. When I can’t quite remember how to make that recipe, I call my mum. When my eldest is mid temper tantrum and Mr is overseas, I call mum.

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as well

Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn – Romans 12:15 (NIV)

I love this verse, I love the fact that it is real. It recognises that we have good times and bad times, and that we need to both rejoice and mourn in community. However, I always saw these activities as quite distinctly separate.  What I am discovering is that sometimes you are called to both at the same time. Another translation puts it this way …

as well

As well …

It is Father’s day and Mr is away.

It is Father’s day and we are mourning the loss of a wonderful grandfather.

It is Father’s day and in the wonderful celebrations for my dad and my father-in-law there are some missing pieces. There are some sharp painful moments and dull aches. There is a wistful longing for what is not, whilst joyfully engaging in the present. There is a tension – today is the true definition of bittersweet.

Emotionally I am exhausted, it would be so easy to just shut down, shut out all these conflicting feelings that are sending my brain into overload. But I know that is not living. I know that is not fair to my girls, who are missing their dad. I know it is not fair to my family that I am celebrating with. I know it is not fair on me. Today I choose to taste the bitter with the sweet. Today I mourn with those who mourn, and I celebrate with those that celebrate as well. And although I do this imperfectly, I do it simultaneously.



It is raining, and cold, and my house is desperately in need of some love and attention. I feel stuck, looking at all that could be done and should be done, and let’s be honest, the stuff that should have been done yesterday. And I just can’t summon up the energy. I manage (somehow) to manufacture small bursts of energy and start tackling a task. But before too long, I have been interrupted, or the energy dissipates, and then I find there are a bunch of half-finished tasks all over the house. Finally I beat myself up about it, because I am strong on good intentions but not on follow through.

Truth is I am grieving. The loss of a much beloved grandfather. And it is okay to feel stuck in this place of grief. It is okay that the house is a mess, and the kids have had rice for dinner a few too many times this week. It is okay to pause and acknowledge the loss and pain. It is okay to just let some things go for a while. It is okay to acknowledge that something precious has been taken and I am sad, and right now I find it a little hard to focus on housework. It is okay to be stuck for a while.