Friday, 26 September 2014

They would trade places with you

Coming to the end of Week 4 of being more mindful, and we've had a crisis of sorts in our house this week.

My Mr Almost-3 came down with his first ever tummy bug after crèche on Monday, and has been unwell ever since. It is now Friday and I am hoping with every fibre of my being that he is well enough to travel to Fiji on Sunday for our week-long family holiday. Furthermore, I'm hoping my hospital-grade, won't-stop-cleaning level of hygiene will keep the rest of us healthy. We have been looking forward to this trip for over a year, and now I can feel the tropical bliss I imagined slipping through my fingers as I nurse my sick little boy and wonder which one of us might be next.

This week is the perfect week to exercise some perspective, to be as mindful as possible and to stay positive.

I've been playing a little game with myself to try and minimise the complaining (mine) and cursing (definitely mine), and to stay positive. It's called 'They would trade places with you', and it goes like this...

When I'm cursing the fact we're on day 5 of what should have been a mild tummy bug over in 24hrs (according to me), I think:
They would trade places with you. Those parents in the oncology wards, praying for a miracle but unsure when their child's hardship will be over and they'll be out the other side; those parents would have no trouble nursing a child whose sickness will be over in a matter of days. They would trade places with you. Those brand new parents in the ICU watching their helpless baby struggle for life; those parents would love to be cleaning up after a thriving toddler that's only come down with a stock-standard tummy bug. They would trade places with you.

When I'm begrudgingly bundling my tenth load of washing for the day into the machine, I think:
They would trade places with you. All those people without homes, who are living in clothes that don't know when they'll next be washed; they would love to have a hot shower and a washing machine to clean away their day. They would trade places with you. Those mums that can barely afford to feed their children let alone run a washing machine 24/7 to keep their child's clothes clean. They would trade places with you.

When I'm worrying about what might happen if one or all of us aren't feeling 100% on the flight to Fiji, I think: Yes, poor you. Worrying about your flight to Fiji. Millions would happily trade places with you and go on that flight to paradise. There are FAR worse things to be worried about.

Thank you brain. Very true.

Like everything in life, there are always lessons to be learnt and silver linings to be seen. I've learnt that I'm not as squeamish as I thought, and seeing my little one so unwell is far harder to deal with than the clean-up. I've learnt that my two babies are far more resilient than I thought - my littlest one has been so good keeping herself entertained while I've been looking after her big brother, and my wee man has been a real trooper and still managing to smile when I know he's feeling crappy.

And so, mums out there... if you find yourself complaining or cursing this week about your toddler who is running around and just isn't doing what they're told, or is asking for another bowl of cereal, or is animatedly pestering you for a game of hide and seek... play my game, because right now, I would trade places with you.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Escaping the world

I've escaped.

Yesterday we packed up the car, put the kids in their car seats, and left the city for my parent's farm house. We're here for four glorious days.

As I type, I'm looking out the huge bay windows at trees laden with citrus fruits, with paddocks and paddocks of lush green grass spreading over the rolling hills as far as the eye can see. I can hear an orchestra of chirps from the flurries of birds dancing around the treetops. I've spotted the fluffy white tail of a little bunny hopping under the hedge (might be the same one my toddler said 'hello' to down the rabbit hole this morning). The smell of just-baked banana loaf fills the house, and will soon be sliced to go with our afternoon coffees.

It feels like a dream.

It is impossible to not feel refreshed and alive and at peace out here.

At this moment, I'm halfway through the process of learning Mindfulness in a bid to become less anxious and more relaxed in my life. If you've been following me for a while, you'll know that Mindfulness has provided some helpful tools that allow me to feel calmer and more focused. It is teaching me how to ignore some of the negative and meaningless chatter in my head and how to enjoy the present moment instead of always worrying about the future.

But, I just can't shake this feeling that it's a little flawed; that it's actually not the ultimate fix I was hoping it would be.

Because the place in which we find ourselves, and the people that surround us, and the circumstances in which we're living in, DO matter and DO affect us. Focusing on ourselves and adopting self-help remedies in the hope that we'll find peace can only be one piece of the puzzle. It does not change the fact that shitty things happen in our lives, that negative people can poison our thoughts or that we're sometimes living in a world that's too busy to be beautiful.

Being out here in the open countryside for a day, with the fresh air and vibrant colours and lack of traffic noise, seems to have done more for my soul than the last four weeks of Mindfulness combined. This change in scenery, this escape to another place is what I needed at this point. We eat better here and we sleep better here too, which I'm sure contributes to the overall feeling of health and vitality.

I've come to realise that what I actually need and want is to learn acceptance. Acceptance of myself, acceptance from others and acceptance of this life. I want to be at peace with things the way they are, accepting of whatever is to come and accepting of this [often ugly] world we live in.

I obviously still have a lot to learn.

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The 100th

Somehow, my jumbled ramblings, my whimsical thoughts, my bitsy little pieces of advice and my poems about life, have amounted to 100. This is my 100th Latte Mum post.

From the start, Latte Mum has been followed by friends and family who either love me dearly or have been coerced into reading it. New friends have joined along the way - mums I've met or friends of friends or others that have somehow stumbled upon us.

Your positive comments and interest and support has been an unexpected bonus, to what started out and continues to be an avenue in which I can indulge in my first ever love - words.

Thank you for following. Thank you for showing an interest (even when you're pretending) and spurring me on to write yet another post. Here's to 100 more... x

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Before the last time

It's Week 4 of living more mindfully, and I have writers block.

Thankfully though, I saw these words on Belle Bebes. Given this beautiful poem just sums up my life right now I thought I'd share this with you instead of my usual post, as a reminder to live and love through every moment...

The Last Time

From the moment you hold your baby in your arms,
you will never be the same.
You might long for the person you were before,
when you had freedom and time,
and nothing in particular to worry about.
You will know tiredness like you never knew it before,
and days will run into days that are exactly the same,
Full of feedings and burping,
Nappy changes and crying,
Whining and fighting,
Naps or a lack of naps,
It might seem like a never-ending cycle.

But don't forget...
There is a last time for everything.
There will come a time when you will feed your baby
for the very last time.
They will fall asleep on you after a long day,
and it will be the last time you ever hold your sleeping child.
One day you will carry them on your hip,
then set them down,
and never pick them up that way again.
You will scrub their hair in the bath one night,
and from that day on they will want to bathe alone.
They will hold your hand to cross the road,
then never reach for it again.
They will creep into your room at midnight for cuddles,
and it will be the last night you ever wake to this.
One afternoon you will sing "the wheels on the bus"
and do all the actions,
then never sing them that song again.
They will kiss you goodbye at the school gate,
the next day they will ask to walk to the gate alone.
You will read a final bedtime story
and wipe your last dirty face.
They will one day run to you with arms raised,
for the very last time.

The thing is, you won't even know it's the last time
until there are no more times, and even then,
it will take you a while to realise.

So while you are living in these times,
remember there are only so many of them and
when they are gone,
you will yearn for just one more day of them.

For one last time.

Author Unknown