It has been a brutal week.

Filled with gastro, meltdowns and a misunderstanding. A rat infestation, car troubles and a school reprimanding.

How can we go on like this? The echo grows louder, energy wanes.

My temper is quicker, patience shorter and outlook grim.

I equip myself with the weapon of disinfectant, scrub hands to the bone and shriek at the kids to leave each other alone.

‘The germs!‘ I say, again and again.

When I lay back to rest, I hear scampering through the walls and rafters. A hapless storm of territory as the creatures realise they are losing their grip. It wakes me hour after hour.

The cloaking of my identity is waning. Things I took on as part of me have been impossible – as I lay prone, too weak to even walk let alone clean, write, mother.

I surrender, then claw back power. Relax… then fight it. Lament, then find a spark of hope. I am overcoming…then defeated.

Dave rises strong above it all – sweeping us up with his calm, strong stride. Ordering my huddled, pitiful figure back to bed again and again. Cleaning up spills and retches. Cloaking chills and wretches.

I wish for the strident hope of Paulo Coehlo:

“Every morning, I find myself a different person. I’m always a mystery to myself. If I knew in the first hours of the morning what I’m going to do, what is going to happen, what attitude or decision should I take — I think my life would be deadly boring because, well, what makes life interesting is the unknown. It is the risks that we take every single moment of a single day.”

The mystery threatens to torment me instead. I fight it, demanding predictability instead of a wild ride. I arm myself with routine, control, wine – anything to avoid peering too long into the unknown abyss.

I fear my temper, fear my ability to cope alone. Wonder at how others manage these trials that surely woman after woman has suffered before me. I search for escape – in bites and sips, in sites and trips.

Work beckons, as a mirage might. The promise of tasks that stay done, affirmation, control, the sense that I am worth more than my daily grind suggests. I push it aside, reluctantly. Unwilling to allow the hook to take hold.

I gaze at the calm, sleeping bodies of my children. Stare into their fathomless eyes. Fight against their continual lack of ‘hearing’. Peel the apples, butter the bread, clean up the messes. I celebrate the gains, delight in the stories, tap my foot impatiently when the conversation takes too long.

I am a paradox, a swirling vortex of hope and despair. The fog is consuming, then lifting.

Moment by hazy moment.

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Every night I hang up fresh tea towels. It has become a marker for me, a scene that could become a montage of how quickly life flows – the mundane signpost to another day gone by. Faces wiped clean, cuddles given, band-aids applied, snacks delivered… I show up. On grumpy […]

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Missing the Mark

Getting out the door in the mornings can be exhausting. Some days we limp, laden with bags and heavy hearts into the car, wishing it could have been different. Yesterday was one of those days. Eli has been almost jumping out of his skin recently. Barrelling around the house bossing […]

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Dave banished me from the house today. ‘Take the day to just be’, he said, ‘and don’t even think about coming back before 4:30pm. I’ve got this!’ I was equal parts terrified and excited as I set out, after attending a meeting in the morning. It felt a little foreign […]

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Nursing Regrets

I should preface this post by saying that I consider the decision to breastfeed (or not) to be a completely personal one. The internal struggles expressed in this piece are my own and not what I expect others to experience as a matter of course. I know from personal experience, […]

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Holding Steady

With one foot  I rock back and forth calm and bright a steady pace  for silvery sleep … With a loaded cart I steer  through crowded aisles and car parks Re-stocking shelves stirring pots refilling endlessly  empty bellies … With frenzied fingers I type Spilling words, wishes and realisations Finding the […]

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