A hot water bottle and a good night kiss

I haven't managed my emotions very well this week. Even less so today. In fact, I was so out of touch with reality today that I had an "I can't do it" moment.
I was standing at the sink making hot water bottles for the girls and I got lost in my own negativity.

First the animals - All the vet bills, the feed, the equipment, the risk they pose to the girls, to me, to themselves, the responsibility for all of those beings - Is it really worth it?

Then the property. There is so much upkeep here - the fences, the grass, the paddocks, the fast disappearing driveway, the tree branches, the gutters, the grey water system, the water pumps, the compost, the veggie patch - Am I getting sick of our home?

Next I moved on to work. Am I doing enough? I'd love to start a new project, but I already feel stretched enough as it is. Am I stretched too far, then? Do I actually achieve anything by doing bits and pieces, or am I doing bits and pieces of nothing? And money - I want everyone to be able to have music and drama and dance and self protection and horses as part of their lives. I want to do it all for free, but I can't - so where is the middle ground?

Then the girls. My precious girls. We had a shocking day today, and I made bad choices and had silly tantrums. Do they still know I love them? Will they always know I love them? Always and always and always, no matter what? They are my world and I love them with all my heart. But does this put pressure on them? What if they start to resent me?
And the decisions - far out - how is one person supposed to make decisions that will essentially make or break another's life? Just how do you decide what is best for 3 little lives, both as individuals and as a family? What if I get it wrong?! What would I do then, because I don't trust anyone else to make decisions for us. Is that arrogant?

I need to stop this.

But what if I can't?

It was at this point that Miss J came into the kitchen to inquire about the progress of her hot water bottle. I told her I was doing the best I could and she would have to wait, because "I CAN'T DO EVERYTHING!"

Oh good one, Al - Share the pain, why don't you? Way to go.

But Miss J just looked at me blankly and said, "I don't want everything. I want my hot water bottle and a kiss goodnight. You can do that, can't you mum."

I made some not so kewl choices this week. They were pretty unkewl actually.
On Saturday I felt a lump of grief swelling in my throat, but instead of releasing it I swallowed hard and tried to ignore it.
On Sunday I felt the tightness of grief in my chest, but instead of soothing it I stopped breathing properly and tried to ignore it.
Yesterday I felt the knots of grief in my stomach, but instead of undoing them I clenched my fists and made more of them while I tried to ignore it.
Tonight I can't ignore it any more, and I wish that I had let it out on Saturday because tonight I have the lump, the tightness and the knots to get through.

Oh yeah - I mismanaged my emotions BIG TIME this week, and I let them get the better of me today.

Tomorrow is a new day though, and tonight I think I can at least manage a hot water bottle and a good night kiss.


Pencil Writer said...

Alison, hugs--many hugs sent your way. You don't have to be super-woman all the time. Don't have to be super-mom all the time. You are awesome and someone we can all look up to.

You are allowed to feel inadequate and make mistakes. You care for so many people and things. Going it alone (single-parent of 3 very young children) is a tremendous responsibility.

Besides, children need to see the reality of adulthood and imperfection. How else will they be able to learn to cope and overcome adversity? You'll rise above the moments of despair and grief one day, or one hour, or one minute at a time--as you've already evidenced to many of us.

And you're really never totally alone. Your Father in Heaven is constantly watching over you--loving you, guiding you--placing others in your path to help and comfort you. Others are watching over you, too.

You are human. Thank you for that. Oh. You're really kewl, too. Thanks.

alice said...

Hey Al, sending you a goodnight hug and a hot water bottle from us.

jeanie said...

Oh Alison - a super cyber cup of tea from me here! I will make it for you, you just put up your feet and let me take the weight off.

There are days when you get whelmed - especially when you have bucketloads of water from above, three very energetic joys (who can also be worries - that is the nature of such joys) - just don't beat up yourself too much on not being perfect.

You are perfectly wonderful as you are - warts, hormones, despair, delights, open-hearted and financially quixotic, artful, thoughtful, joyful and all.

baby~amore' said...

Al - (hugs) I can't imagine how hard it is for you with three toddlers and the menagerie.

Let alone the grief of losing M- though I have grieved I didn't have to bring up my children alone on a property too.I am in awe of you.

Words fail me for the right words to say. I want to say something comforting and earnest - Pencil writer & Jeanie have said what I feel too.

Go easy on yourself ...you are doing a fantastic job raising the kewl girls.

Alison said...

Thanks PW - children learning to overcome adversity, hey... I guess it's just another (slightly extreme) teachable moment lol! You are super kewl, PW. Thank you for your hugs and your words.

Alice - I slept soundly with my hot water bottle. Thank you.

Jeanie - Would you believe, I breathed a sigh of relief when you said "put your feet up and let me take the weight off". Cyber tea or not, it's great stuff. Thanks.
And for the record - Warts? What warts?!

Trish - It usually isn't hard. It just makes for a great poor me session sometimes LOL
Thank you for the hugs and for your kind words. They are always perfect :)

Megan Bayliss said...

It is so good to know that you are normal - fallible and prone to emotional and physical exhaustion.

So you had the day of from being super mum...that's okay because your super mum powers needed regenerating for all those other times you will be emotionally intelligent.

If abused children still love their abusers, I am sure the girls will not become confused by a little "fed up" talk from Mum. You've actually shown them about choices - choices won't always be good choices and if we don't get some modeling in that, how can we know how to turn bad choices into better ones?


Melody said...

Sometimes you do have t sit down, relax, stop and smell the roses if you will. ((HUGS))

Hope today was a better day for you.

Alison said...

Thanks Megan - Super powers were definitely exhausted the last couple of days. Green for good to go this morning, though. :-)

Melody - Today was much better. I sat down, I relaxed, I stopped and I ate chocolate. ;-)

debby said...

A - every single mother goes through this. And as wonderfully strong as you are...you will endure more times like this. You will fall down. You will get up. It's simply not easy. But you'll get up everytime, because that's the kind of person you are. Alice took my comment. You need tucked in, with a water bottle, and a good night kiss, and a comforting story. Even 'mums' need comforting some times. I hope that you have a supportive person who loves you, who can do just that.

debby said...

Oh...and chocolate: good thinking.

Pencil Writer said...

Alison, I almost forgot! The water bottle thing . . . I've recently (two or three years now) made cloth bags and filled them--not too full--with raw white rice and stitched them up. They make FABULOUS bed warmers--after putting them in the microwave for a couple of minutes or so, depending on the size of the bag.

Also, I keep a couple of little ones in the freezer for administering a cold compress when needed. They are GREAT! I've given some away, too. Everyone seems to employ them with regularity. My daughters use them to comfort their monthly discomfort, too.

In winter, I have one large bag--with probably a full pound of rice in it--that I heat up before bed, and if I keep my feet (who likes popsicle toes) or body close to it, it will actually still be warm the next morning. For your little ones, you might want to wrap it in a towel because the rice can be rather hot and steamy right out of the microwave.

If I had a few made up, I'd send them to you. Oh, they're also very aromatic, another plus. Also, you can always replace the rice later if needed. (I over toasted mine a time or two.)

Alison said...

What a great idea PW! Thanks for thinking of us :-)
We don't have a microwave so it's hot water bottles for us. I have fun making fluffy covers for them, though.

tiff said...


You are the best thing for your children, just as you are.

katef - www.picklebums.com said...

I just have to say that you write so beautifully.... I was totally there with you at the sink, feeling crappy and useless all the while knowing that feeling like that wasn't going to help and I needed to find a way out... I was totally there...

I know you know deep down inside how wonderful you are, how great a mother you are... you must know it because it seeps out of you in your posts, even in the posts that describe the bad days I can see you shine.


PreSchool Mama said...

You're one of the strongest moms I know (at least in the cyber world) and when women like me, who have a partner to help with child rearing, can have not so kewl days, there is absolutely no need for you to be hard on yourself when you feel overwhelmed.

Alison said...

Deb - I have 3 very supportive little people :) I'm sure every parent goes through it sometimes. I did need a little comforting that night.. Thanks for your words.

Tiff - Your single sentence made a big impact. Thank you :)

Kate - Gosh you made me all teary! What a gorgeous comment.
Sometimes even when you know you need to change your thoughts and find a way out, you just want to wallow in it for a bit. lol - At least I know I feel like that sometimes.

Preschool mama - Thanks for helping me give myself permission to feel overwhelmed sometimes :)