I wish for a world that was more inclusive for kidlets.
I find it really hard that when I am invited to things or asked to do things it requires me to either acquire care for my child or make sure that her presence has no impact on other people and/or the event we are at. And it’s very much ingrained in all people; to be separate and to spend our time with people who are having very similar experiences of this world as our own.
But I can’t do it. It’s just too joyful and too weird and too funny. I’d rather be up at dawn with coffee and a kidlet with ragamuffin hair who singing and dancing, probably a little too loudly for the hour of the day than be at a bar at night when I can hardly breath and I can’t drink anything there anyway.
Speaking of getting children to sleep – I was willing my child to sleep while drawing this tonight and by the time I finished this drawing, SHE’S ASLEEP. So, I think I am onto something here guys.
Last night was hard, as most evenings have been this week because daylight savings comes along and confuses us all but especially those people who are five and under and are already terribly difficult to get to sleep anyway. I’ve done sleep school and all sorts of things to help with this but you know, it is constant and it is always hard – that is the reality, I am just better with it.
Nonetheless, I sometimes still get upset about it and it brings up some feelings and memories of when we really struggled with bedtime and I remember how sensitive I had become to all the noise and all the things and things that I didn’t even think about annoyed the heck out of me.
I think of all the little handwritten signs I see on people’s front doors. You know, ‘please knock quietly, baby asleep” etc. And I just think they are so polite and civil and I respect that, I really do. But it really is more like BE QUITE DO NOT KNOCK DO NOT COME OVER HERE ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE UNINVITED AND SELLING ME SHIT I WILL NOT BUY BE QUITE IF YOU WAKE MY BABY/ TODDLER/ CHILD I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU. etc.
But I’d extend that to PLEASE DO NOT SPEAK LOUDLY/ SPEAK AT ALL, PLEASE DO NOT BREATH OR LOOK AT THIS HOUSE PLEASE DO NOT START YOUR CAR SHUT YOUR MUSIC OFF TURN YOUR PHONE OFF BAN NOISES FOREVER AND EVER DOOOOO NOOOOOT NOISE MAAAAKE. PLEASE DO NOT EVEN.
Anyway I thought I’d write something interesting, but I don’t think it is going to happen. I haven’t really done anything interesting. I may not even be very interesting but hey, you know I am cool with that. I am too fucking tired to be interesting anyway.
I think a lot about how people talking about people having kids and then they become boring and I am especially reflecting upon this notion while I sit here typing on a lovely warm Friday evening. It was not even 17:30 and I am already in my pyjamas. But you know, maybe we got it round the wrong way. Maybe everyone else is boring. Maybe all the people in the world are boring. Maybe the one size fits all is boring.
I saw someone’s pictures from Paris on social media and I thought oh get fucked. Usually I find other peoples travel photos unbelievably boring but for some reason Paris roof tops get me and I really never got much of a chance to explore that city or learn French, or any other language. But I do not want to pay for or endure air travel for quite some time yet. I know lots of my peers are flying here there and everywhere but I do not miss airline food. And greasy hair. And smelly knickers. Nope.
Anyway, I also think about how people complain about seeing other peoples food photos and I am a culprit of food photos on social media. Mainly because I can’t/ won’t eat a lot of food and I take pride in all the things I assemble or ‘cook’. But when I did this too my daughter’s boiled egg this evening, I couldn’t stop laughing:
Enjoy your weekend.
It’s mental health week and a lot of people are being very brave and generous sharing their darkest and personal struggles.
Two that have really resonated with me are Parenting through depression with a preschooler by Ariane Beeston LINK and Peeping Mom on the Longest Shortest Time Podcast LINK.
I had a very difficult time becoming a mother, which I wrote about and explored within my work as a way of helping me through. And it did help me, but it also made me realise how problematic our understanding of motherhood and PND are. The language is inept, we can’t seem to understand that is is a complicated relationship that cannot be summed up in a hallmark card, or an inspirational quote. How I came to understand this, is when exploring it through my work and searching for therapy to help me through – people really didn’t know how to support me and often reflected on my being a bad mother rather than someone who needed help and support.
So my daughter is five now, and I feel so happy. I feel comfortable being a mum, I feel that there are still a lot of unknowns – but that is life. I feel like I have a good grasp on my priorities and I see the gaps and faults and just try and fix things that I can, when I can and leave the rest up to others.
I just wrote to my fav podcast talking about my experience of having a baby overseas – the podcast explores family life. And whilst I wrote my story I reflected about how having these transformative life happenings so far away from everyone and everything I once knew – still has ramifications on me today. I spent most of my daughter’s life alone with her. So in a way I have terrible separation anxiety. I try not to put this onto her, but I find it impossible to surrender and it is very hard to let her go to daycare or be babysat by anyone. At the moment I really do not want to be away from her.
On the flip side – I have really had her be part of everything in my life, so she has had all sorts of experiences with art and cooking and exploring. She’s really good at long distance train trips!
A lot of people I know who have had children around the time I did are back at work or have had more kids. I have just moved and moved and moved and lost touch and still don’t feel like I belong or that I have friends or a support network – but I finally feel like I am in a place where the possibility of that happening is likely. I feel like routine will happen and a sense of belonging is not too far off. I’m cautious, I’ve never had good luck with friends – I feel heartbroken by things that happened in the Big Smoke a year or so back. But I am healing and I feel happy or content or at least able to deal with things better than I have in a very long time.
So for the most part, I feel like I have recovered. Or maybe I just got better at managing or it’s a combination. But I think it is good to tell these stories, that giving up isn’t an option because there is still so much more to enjoy and to love in life and parenting. Recovery is not linear.
Ripped up all the carpet in the building that will be my studio yesterday, and begun the not so awesome job of sanding. I’m going to paint it all white, and then I am going to build in shelves BECAUSE I CAN. I have a rug to go down and then I can move all of my art stuff in..
Today I did nothing. Kidlet went back to school and I really, really missed her. Now she is home with me and everything feels better.
Tomorrow, more work and teaching!
Oof, what a juggling act. Ripping up carpet and nails and eating regular meals and then getting home in time to cook dinner and get the kid into the bath and get us all showered and full and cups of tea and then dragging my sore hands and I to the drawing board. Drawing is so lovely and I just get lost in the lines for hours and hours and then roll into bed and laugh with the handsome guy that somehow wants to share his life with me and then I sleep and little munchkin comes into my bed for cuddles and now we are up and the whole thing starts again and I hope to end today like I did yesterday with hours of drawing.
We pulled up all the carpets and linoleum today and in one room we found it to be covered in magazine paper from 1954 – Australia Women’s Weekly. Some of the paper is still in great condition so kidlet and I pulled it all up and stacked them in neat piles. We will go through them and keep some of the beautiful illustrations and get them framed to keep with the house.
It’s hard yakka, kidlet helped out when it was a little less hairy for her to be able to come into the rooms! We had to get home for dinner cooking and then I am going to do some drawing and then it is all on again tomorrow.
This is so much fun.
We got the keys today. We had to wait all day to get them, but we did and we are in and making plans and are so excited and overwhelmed but more excited. *breath*
The place is huge, and in desperate need for some TLC – things will need to be replaced, it needs weeding, cleaning, carpets pulled and a new kitchen and bathroom. But it is liveable and something things can happen over time. I can’t believe it and I am so in love with the area.
Kidlet rolled and ran and rolled and giggled all through the house – there really isn’t anything better. It has always been a dream to buy a house and fix it up.
I’m going to be going between the two places now still making my work as well as repairing and repainting a house and then moving. There’s so many strange little quirks about this place, like this linoleum:
I wonder when that was popular! When we tear it out, if it isn’t too skanky I am going to keep some of it.
A holiday did us all a world of good. I have come home restored and focused and have been really working hard all weekend on a new drawing which I am SUPER proud of.. ( pictured above )
I have life drawing classes that I will be running in a few weeks for a few weeks and I am so excited about them. At first I was caught up in all the detail of logistics – how do I get there and who will babysit – but now that is all sorted and I am through the gloom I feel pretty proud and excited. Life drawing IS so important to a good and motivated drawing practice. To be able to have this opportunity to share this with people and that I have been asked to be some sort of authority ( for lack on a better term ) on this is humbling. Apparently the class has sold out and there are people on the waiting list. Wow.
Anyway so apart from all these art things that are going on there is heaps of other life stuff going on too that I am excited about. But with so much means I have to be really, really mindful of my time and how I use it. Which I think I am pretty good at these days. Not trying to glorify the ‘oh I am so busy’ thing at all. I allocate a lot of time to family time and my physical health and even time for nothing at all and it has made a world of difference.
I really love the drawing that I do. I am so proud of the work that I am making and what I have already made this year and cannot wait to see them all fully realised.