Wednesday, November 17, 2010

10 years & 20 birthdays.

So birthday season is over here for another year and now I have officially been a mother for 10 years and have celebrated 20 of my children's birthdays. Wow!

For some reason all these milestones have hit me hard this year. I feel like I need to take shallow breaths or I'll cry. Actually, I think the end of birthday season around here always has me processing stuff and quite emotional. It doesn't surprise me at all to check the date of my nest post, my biggest emotional post to date, and to see that I wrote it on this very date last year.

So here are 20 of the things I am thinking about being a mother in no particular order:

That you cannot plan anything about parenting from the birth you would ideally like, to the way your child will behave in any situation, to how much you will achieve on any given day.

That being a mother has made me at times feel higher than the sky and so full of happiness and then at other times so crappy and grumpy and irritated. There is so much love and pride and gooeyness but then so much guilt and loss of control.

That I don't need a huge amount of sleep all the time, but I do need some quiet. There is always so much talk and so many stories and so many questions that at times I feel I can't think at all anymore.

Not to get attached to any plan or arrangement because there is always a good chance that someone will be vomiting or have lice or have disgusting ulcers on their tongue.

That children who fight like wild animals one minute, will defend each other fiercely and adore each other the next.

Never to make the same meal twice in a row. Just because they loved it and said it was their favourite food one day, doesn't mean they'll eat it again the next.

That no matter how much I want them to slow down and stop growing up, they have other plans and are in such a rush and so excited to get there. They are so proud of their new, tall height marks on the wall, while I am stuck staring at the ones closest to the floor.

That I really should make the most of and enjoy the fact that they still think I am cool and want to tell me everything.

That when I am tired and distracted so are they.

That when I am happy and focused completely on them, that it will break any bad mood and bring them up with me.

That even though we feel like we have given them the building blocks to be good, polite, sensible decision making girls, that sometimes their behaviours will surprise us.

That when we give them a little bit of sugar they want more and more and more.

That when discussing my children's school yard and friendship goings on, it takes me right back to mine and is hard to separate.

That I will never cross everything off my list or see the bottom of my washing pile.

That I never give myself credit for the little things like getting the big girls to school on time with lunches packed and uniforms washed, but am quick to be critical of myself for getting cross when I had to ask them for the sixth time to put their shoes on and made them sandwiches with shop bought bread.

That as much as I adore them, sometimes I want to shut the door on them and sit in my office alone and sew.

That as chaotic as our family life is, I am still dealing with all the nest stuff. Most of the time it is in the background but at at other times it feels enormous.

That preparing meals is the hardest part of being a mother for me. I could get so much more done if I never had to consider food.

That one on one, undivided attention, and loud music and dancing can fix almost any bad situation.

That I am the luckiest girl in the world and that my three girls are awesome.

There is so much more going on in my head right now but I've gotta go and lice comb Pepper's hair. AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! She was scratching like mad in bed with me this morning and all I could think of was that it was such perfect bike riding and picnic weather...


  1. what a beautiful an amazing post Kate, so rich so full of love reality and honesty ( never to mention bravery)
    You know sometimes I wish I was a mum, so I could relate more to you about it, but nevertheless I do hear you and can understand and feel all the feelings too if that makes any sense. ANd well, I think you're amazing The thing I know in my heart too, is your girls appreciate what a special mum you are, even if they don't all the time now, they will soo much when they're my age. I sit now often to overwhelming grateful to my mum, and I know your girls will be the same xo

  2. You are a lucky girl, Kate, and your girls rock!

  3. Oh Kate stop doing this to me ... pass the tissues please ;) You send my heart somewhere between zinging and melting. I get you so much ... a daughter, a grand-daughter and a great grandaughter are priceless, how you do three sweethearts at the exact same time makes you my idol forever ♥♥♥

  4. What a totally truthful post Kate and I am sure your girls think your the most wonderful mum in the world (even when their arguing). I can relate to that post so well too as I am sure most mothers can. I know that I look back to a time when Lachlan was small and sometimes wishing that he was little again but then on days when he comes and sits on my bed for an adult conversation I love who he has become. I am sure you will feel that way one day too even though you probably wish you could keep them small sometimes!
    I do hope the lice havent arrived at your place. I had to check Isabelle's hair yesterday because some people in her class have them, ugh! Thankfully she hasnt got them yet but I think she might be having her hair in plaits again at school and putting some spray in so it helps to stop them! Hope the rest of your week is wonderful Kate!

  5. Kate,

    It's nice to know that I'm not the only one that has to say over and over again, put you shoes on, brush your teeth, etc, etc.

    I completely understand all that you are saying, it also makes me remember that this time with them is so short.

    What a beautiful post.


  6. What a fantastic list ... I am tempted to print it out to remind me that I am not alone with the craziness of having three kids but also the wonderful things they do. Thank you ... this post is exactly what I needed today.

  7. Kate, I couldn't agree more. Laughing to myself as I read. Beautifully articulated and spot on! Particularly in agreement about having to prepare food all the time.

  8. Yes, all of the above!
    I agree with the tired and distracted bit. Sometimes if you can just stop and focus things improve so quickly. Or if someone is being bad or sad I lovebomb them! Its hard to juggle it all though isn't it.
    I also wish they would slow down the growing up, as you know, but it seems to go faster every year.

  9. beautifully written post kate. i really could relate to all of it!

    let's hope it's not lice - i know what getting lice out of curly hair like that is like - a nightmare with those fine fine combs!

  10. Oh Kate, I can completely relate to this, even in my baby gazing state right now... we're done. Or are we? They look different today. The big girls are so much more grown up than they were yesterday... the tiny one is changing every minute. Stop and soak it up... enjoy every moment... aarrrgghh!! The mind swirl of mothering... You do it so beautifully and your three girls have chosen well. Lots of love to you. xx

  11. Oh Kate, what a lovley post! I fought back tears reading that thinking about how awesome it is being a mum and then, just to prove that days as a mother really are very diverse, I turned around to see my 3 year old had just tipped his lunch on the floor and poured out a whole bag of lettuce on the bench lol. I find myself staring at that bottom height line all too often too, it just goes so fast!

  12. You put things so well Kate.
    Thank you for another excellent post.
    Hugs to youxx

  13. You are amazing Kate. I could never have put that into words as well as you. I'm wiping away a tear. I'm at that oh my goodness should I have a last minute baby stage or do I embrace the freedom of not having to be pregnant or breastfeed again and take the world head on with the two beautiful children I have. I can see why people love their grandchildren so much. It probably brings back that crazy baby stage that we love without so much craziness and despair. Your girls are lucky to have such an in tune mother. xx

  14. Totally amazing person you are. So true all of it and I can say the same thing for all of your points. Love the cooking one, so true it is the thorn in my side
    Enjoy it the ups and downs cause look how fast it's already gone... My oldest turns 10 in 3 weeks, and I'm in dinal too. Where did the time go?

  15. beautiful Kate, absolutely beautiful.
    your post, the pic just says soo much.
    Look how happy those 3 gorgeous girls are.
    you are such a cool mum and whether it's bad days or not, you are the best mum to those 3.
    it's funny how birthdays bring out the thoughts & memories.
    wish you the bestest day lovely friend.
    much love to you ♥

  16. You have put many of my thoughts down on paper (so to speak) A friend asked me today how I handled two. I told her to enjoy it - take each day as it comes, if you get out of your pj's and brush your teeth by 10 you are doing well:)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us - this is what makes you a great Mum.

  17. Ahhh lovely Kate, what a great post, look at the gorgeousness you have created. Three blessings. Three! You are so very lucky, so truely truely blessed.

    it is so true if I just stop what i am f=doing and focus on Busy even just for five minutes she will be completely content. i always feel guilty that I don't play with her more.... but its part of being a mum I think.

  18. Hey Ms Kate... blog me baby!

    Love you!

  19. That was a beautiful post, and so was the nest one. I envy women who know when their family is finished - I certainly didn't and always had that 'just one more' longing, until it was totally impractical and then impossible.

    I still have the pram and highchair for heavens sakes and mine are 16, 14 and 11. (Denial, moi?)


  20. Thank you Kate... Oh how I can so relate to all those thoughts & feelings you so kindly & openly share with us.
    Sometimes I feel your blog is the voice of so many of us modern day mums. Xx

  21. What's this who-har about not being able to plan the birth? It's going to go exactly like I want it to ;o)
    You're very insightful Missy, as always.
    You should be very proud. Those girls are awesome and so are you!
    Enough of the Kate love parade, lest talk about me!

  22. I nodded my head in agreement to everything you said Kate!

  23. Kate, thank you so much for being able to articulate here so many thoughts bouncing around in my head. I feel an enormous sense of relief now I have acknowledged these thoughts, and I want to get on with being happy with my life, not weighed down by these thoughts. Your post has helped :)

  24. The girls are beautiful and the photo shows how much they are loved and love each other! Totally fab!

  25. A classic post, Kate. Now can you step out of my head, please? Just brilliant that you've found the words to commit to 'paper' what so many of us feel every single day. Bravo you. J x

  26. Wow, that really does sum up how I feel about motherhood too! Thanks for such honesty and insight. xk

  27. love this. So perfectly said. Too tired and inarticulate to say more but wow thanks. This motherhood gig sure has its highs and its lows hey. Thanks x

  28. A lovely post, full of truth and goodness. I am struggling with a 'mama' post right now and this has helped. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your thoughts and your heart with us, what a gift!

  29. Wow! It's like reading about my life. I can relate to the older post also. sleep, lice, everything... Except the homemade bread, my bread making time has been taken over by sewing time, in fact cooking is probably the only thing that I can manage to steal some time away from. I need a 5 minute meals cookbook I think. here's to life.... and moving on as a mother.

  30. A beautiful post :)

  31. beautifully articulated Kate. there are so many uh-uh and nodding head moments in here for all mothers.

  32. Well said! ANd I so agree about the meals thing!

  33. thank you, Kate... again... hope you are having a lovely (maybe even lice-free!) day x

  34. Kate, I must say that I love all your posts, but this one had me nodding my head and smiling. Thank you so much for putting into words so beautifully what I feel.

  35. As someone on the verge of motherhood, you post has me scared but stupidly excited! Thankyou for sharing and for your honesty :)

  36. Love this post - this is all stuff swimming around in my head, feels good to see it 'out there', thanks for sharing x

  37. So many of those thoughts live in my head (and more will as my girls get older). Thank you for articulating them for me :-)

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