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Just keep swimming

Dory is awesome. I love her little sing-a-long "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming", even though it gets super annoying if you have the Nemo dvd on the menu screen and forget to turn it off. You'll be in the kitchen with messy hands, unable to safely hold the remote, or whatever, and it will go from cute humming along to drive-you-crazy pretty quickly. But I digress.
Awesome underwater fish photo taken by my dad!
I'm not a really chirpy outgoing sort of person, naturally, but I am of the same school of thought (ha! school, fish, get it? puns are funny. lame, but make you smile, right?) as Dory. Just keep swimming. I don't look back a whole lot. The other week when I shared the story of Sienna's grasshopper drama, it was because I'd heard of someone else with an ASD having trouble with their running and just wanted to put one of our days out there to relate. I don't generally feel the need to dwell on the difficulties. I've had a couple more hiding episodes with Sienna since then and a drama or two with Ash, but it's pretty whatever for me. I try and deal with it as best I can and when it's over, move on. I think it is something to do with the way I was raised, to be quite practical and also very independent. But today that is beside the point.


Some days I feel like my resilience works against me. This week I'm not good enough because, though the washing (including plenty of clean washing that had to be re-washed due to broken glass) is clean, it is not all dry and folded and put away. Though I vacuumed on the weekend, it is not enough to keep the floors tidy all week long, and putting toys away doesn't even last the day. Though I have cooked dinner every night and made school and kinder lunches, snacks and fruit, after school snacks and breakfasts all week, including two types of homemade baby food last night, it is not enough because the kitchen is not sparkling clean.Though the kids are bathed, pyjama-d and teeth are brushed, it is not enough because their rooms are messy.

Though I hung four paintings in local cafes and posted a scrapbook page for a magazine deadline, it is not enough because I haven't packed away my art supplies from the lounge room. Though I spend 5 hours or so walking to and from school and kinder each week, pushing a pram up and down the hills, usually with one 18kg child or the other sitting on the front, it is not enough because I still don't get any slimmer. Though I deal with meltdowns, runaways, tears, dramas, tantrums, defiance and insomnia from my two older children, sometimes because of ASD / receptive language disorders and sometimes because of brattiness, it is not enough because I have still not got around to creating the visual schedules and other tools that would benefit them at home. Though I made scones from scratch after school when Sienna's friend was over to play, it is not enough because I didn't make them gluten-free or stock soy milk for her mum (who is lovely), not realising that she had those restrictions. Of course SHE didn't mind. I DO.

That, of course, is the real problem. These are things I mind. These are MY self-imposed pressures. I know that I choose priorities, and try and keep a balance, and sometimes art and photography win out a little more, sometimes I have deadlines, and sometimes I am determined to catch up on the washing. Sometimes I ignore the bathroom that needs cleaning to work on the budget or pay bills. Sometimes I ignore my deadlines to spend an afternoon making a 'fox in the forest' library bag for my fox-obsessed daughter. Housework certainly doesn't get done then. In fact, now I need to pack away my sewing equipment. And I know I make these decisions, and I do them - usually - fairly consciously. But I have a constantly-evolving to-do list in my mind that has all of these other 'not-enoughs' as the soundtrack to my days. And some days I get sick of it. And some days I blog one of my train of thought rants, instead of picking up toys from the lounge room floor, and find that so many other women, artists, creators and mothers feel so much the same.
None of us need to. And we know that, logically. But emotionally we all want to be superwomen.

10 comments:

dorothybills said...

What can I say but AMEN to that, well said and so so true!

Cass said...

I am SO on that page :D

lusi said...

*sigh* yes. so eloquently said dq.
i have felt super bad that i never made anything for cedar.
there said.
sorry mate.
but i do think of you often and hope that counts in some way?!
anyway, sending love (and thoughts of hand-sewn gifts)...
lus x

Anonymous said...

ok this is spooky, i think we are twins.
except i am not good enough coz i have more wrinkles and i'm sure there are extra kilos when i step on the scales....

and return emails for you are sitting in my huge inbox which i try to get to every day but then there's the other mountain of stuff of have to's...

kate m
xo

Lou Spiden said...

I think EVERYONE relates!

Lou

Dannii said...

Oh wow! What an awesome post! Good on you for posting thoughts that I think every mother has.

viv said...

oh dQ you say it sooo well. i'm with you girl :)

willywagtail said...

You are not alone. To make it worse professional help to make us feel better ends up making us feel guilty that we still have the problem. Never good enough. You need Flylady. She says you are always good enough and you are never behind. You can always jump back on the wagon and do one thing that needs doing. Cherrie

=o) kel said...

i come from indiebiz and i feel your pain!! i have so many self-imposed lists and responsibilties and consequences and FAILURES...

please know that you're not alone!! at the end of the day, you are there for your kids and that is all that needs to matter. if you ever need to chat i'm here!!!

lovies, =o) kel

Frog, Goose and Bear said...

thanks for that. i needed to hear my own thoughts articulated. honestly.