Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Please DO NOT keep reading if you are easily offended...

Please Do NOT keep reading if you don't like swear words.

Please DO NOT keep reading if you are sensitive.


I can handle constructive criticism.. welcome it even... I can use all the help I can get.

BUT PLEASE DO NOT TAKE WHAT I AM ABOUT TO SAY THE WRONG WAY...  and please believe me when I say this is NOT a personal attack on ANYONE... just my thoughts, musings, views and beliefs at THIS precise moment in time...

Please do not keep reading if you are already bored... and don't like whingeing... 'cos THIS is going to get MESSY... deep, dark and meaningful... and rude even. ;)

I am using CAPS in the hope that you will GET what I mean... YES!  When I use caps I AM shouting or emphasising at the very least.  When I use "!!!!" it means I really, really mean it... and when I do this ";)"  it means I am "winking"... trying to make a bit of a joke... but I still mean it... but you know, in a tongue in cheek sort of way, giving you a nudge in the ribs, punch on the shoulder in a fun way to say hey, you get me right?

Anyway, look away now for those who are feint of heart. Bare with me those of you whose curiosity I have piqued.  ;)

Lately I have become disillusioned and disheartened... the world around us seems not such a great place to me to be raising five children in... and I feel like I haven't done all the things I wanted to... I haven't achieved all the plans and goals and dreams and hopes I had.

I do believe there are more good people than bad out there but I am a cynic... or rather cynical... especially of the #3. variety about almost everything we are told to believe in and how to live our lives.  This woman is about the only one who gives me any hope that things can in fact be natural for our children's sake. ;)


  [sin-i-kuhl]  Show IPA
like or characteristic of a cynic distrusting or disparagingthe motives of others.
showing contempt for accepted standards of honesty ormorality by one's actions, especially by actions that exploitthe scruples of others.
bitterly or sneeringly distrustful, contemptuous, or pessimistic.

I try not to be, but sadly for me, I am discovering that I really AM my father's daughter.  He is the quintessential pessimist.  He would call himself a realist.  Now, growing up I never considered myself pessimistic.  In fact, quite the opposite.  I was one of these lucky kids who had a wonderful, care free, mostly footloose and fancy free childhoods.  You know, just like the Facebook status quote: 

"If you played in the dirt, got smacked when you misbehaved, had 4 TV channels (& no remote) [actually we had 2], school days started with assembly, shops were closed Sunday, recorded the top 40 from the radio by blocking the holes in the cassette, drank water from the tap, when street lights came on it was time to go home, and you turned out ok, please repost".

Yep, that was ME.  Couldn't have asked for a better childhood.  Full of promise for a wonderful future.  I only wish I could provide one just like it for my own children to enjoy (another bone of contention but I will save that for another post).

You know the thing about good mums?

My Mum was one of those... well to me at least.  I can't speak for the other four of them... I suspect a couple of them at least have "issues". ;)  Anyway, her house was never spotless... there was always kids coming and going and crap everywhere... there was quite often fights and screaming matches... there was most definitely room for improvement in the scheduling department... but we ALWAYS had a good meal on the table, clean clothes to wear and a warm bed to sleep in.  I think I had a fabulous childhood.  I mean, hey, look how great I turned out! ;)  

Guess what?  I have THE dirtiest oven you ever saw and this morning I was wearing socks and no shoes and I SWEAR  I stuck to the floor so bad that it pulled my sock clean off!  This afternoon no homework is getting done, my kitchen looks like a bomb went off and I am typing this instead of organising dinner... but my kids had a ball making cupcakes... all by themselves... I just helped eat them! ;)  Yep, my kids ARE happy... when I am not bitching at them.  Surely that gives me some points on the board? Shouldn't we be measuring our success in terms of happiness, fulfilment and contentment? Not $$$ and material things????

BUT... Lately it seems everything I touch, try to do or see is either too hard, too expensive, too difficult or just plain old too much!  I feel like everything is a fight, every single, little step of the way... and it wears you down.  Deep down to the bones.  Most people at this point will say... "Oh, but you have 5 children.  OF COURSE you are going to find it difficult."  

AND YES! I agree... 5 children IS crazy.... seriously, I mean it... you'd have to be a fucking nutter to have 5 kids...  BUT when you KNOW you can "do better" it is little consolation.  It's bullshit.  For the most part I like to think I am that chick who seems to have it all together... a little nutty maybe... a little out there... a little (ok, A LOT) too opinionated and verbal about it... but the one who holds her shit together and just gets on with it.  I cannot STAND being "pitied".  Mostly I think I pull it off...MOST of the time... just get on with it...  just fucking do it... just make it happen... and it really isn't always that tough when I just go with the flow and let things be... well, organic... but you know sometimes I just hit the wall... and well, things get FUCKED UP! 

So what's prompted this?  Lately I have been really questioning a lot of "stuff" in my life... You know the BIG STUFF... the "Who am I?" and "Why am I here?" stuff.  Can anyone say "mid-life crises"????

  • Life choices... the good, the bad and the ugly
  • Where I am "at"?
  • Where have I been?
  • Where the hell did these 5 kids come from?
  • WHERE the FUCK am I going?
  • How am I going to get there?
  • FUCK ME there is just too much in my way to ever get there!
  • What the FUCK was I thinking?
  • Have I in fact woken up in a parallel universe and / or someone else's body?
  • Arrrrrrrrrhhh FUCK IT, I think I'll just stay in bed.
Now the thing is all this has led me to start seeing things differently... opening my mind and heart to alternative points of view.  I have been talking to people... gathering opinions and information... reading blogs... (this chick is a crack up if you are requiring a little comic relief by now) and getting my head around stuff... LOTS of stuff.

There have been a few things of late that have been signs as far as I am concerned... pointing me in a particular direction.  These were a few of the more obvious ones:

A while ago now Nicole Pomeroy hit the nail on the head for me with this post.  Did I tell you lately that I love you Nicole? ;)

Then a few weeks ago I had a really good conversation on Facebook with Kirsty Campbell.  This chick rocks and inspires... and most importantly of all she shares... her experiences and feelings and beliefs.  It [SHE] got me really motivated to change the direction (or lack there of) I was heading in... I have procrastinated on this... but I think Kirsty is completely right... when the time is right it I WILL do it and make it happen.

Then last night I had a really interesting conversation on Facebook with a REAL and gutsy chick called Crystal Goulding who I have the utmost respect for... because she has the balls to talk about her depression and share... real, down to earth honesty.

While talking to her I started thinking about times when I felt my lowest and really struggled to make myself just barely function.  I don't think I suffer depression... no, I don't think I am in denial... but I do think I have glimpses of it... I just refuse to succumb to it for fear I may never pull myself out of the abyss.  Post natal depression was just not an option for me... there was no-one to fall in a heap upon.  Practical to a fault.. my husband had to work, he couldn't stay home one minute longer.  The mantra "just get up and get on with it" has been running through my head since I was a small child... my mother was ever the pragmatist.  The stupid thing is that I can sympathise and support other people but never myself.   My saving grace I believe has been my ability to recognise those feelings when they overcome me and positive self talk... I just kept telling myself.. you CAN do this, you WILL do this... and most importantly of all, "this too will pass".  (Thank you Joanne, fellow twin mumma, for that little pearl of wisdom that I think on more than one occasion has saved both me and my children much anguish)... PLUS I think I am just so insanely tired that I feel like a cannot take one more step... the irony is I suffer insomnia... so yeah, things get FUCKED UP.

The stupid thing is right, the thing that set me off on this tirade was this blog post... now this is the bit where I beg of you please DO NOT take this the wrong way... I am NOT attacking the Super Organised Mum... I think she is rather clever and I am sure she is a lovely lady... apparently she lives not far from me... and in another life I probably would have liked to have been her friend.  I have never been a huge fan of her blog or anything but I admit I would like to get my shit together a bit more and be a little more on top of things so I have on occasion read her posts and thought, "oh yeah, that's a good idea"... but I don't think I have ever really gotten past the actual thinking it was a good idea and putting it into practice stage... preferring to live vicariously through her efforts (this is a recurring theme for me... Biggest Loser, Masterchef, The Amazing Race, Survivor, The Block... love 'em all... means I don't have to actually get off my fat arse and do it though)...

BUT anyway I got to thinking... maybe I should worry about giving my poor neglected husband more HEAD JOBS first... then cleaning / tidying / ironing / organising second.  I MEAN WHAT THE FUCK!  Being organised is NOT more important to me than my actual life.  The last 3 or 4 years I have spent my life feeling overwhelmed and out of control... like I don't do enough... trying to get my shit together, schedule better, be more organised, menu plan, pack healthy lunch boxes blah, blah fucking blah.  All the while my darling husband has said, "Don't stress, it will be ok.  Why do you do this to yourself (us)? Just come to bed babe... and give me a head job!" ;) By the way, that *wink* means he did not say that literally... but he sure as hell meant it... simple man my husband, dinner on the table, clean work clothes, a cuddle and some lovin' every now and then and he will move the earth for me... I don't know why I constantly demand more... our relationship is just fine when I let it be... and stop worrying about everything being perfect and clean and prim and proper and organised!

I have therefore come to the conclusion that this whole super organised thing is just another load of crap they (as in the corporate "they")  are trying to sell us... just like being thin, driving the right car,  having a spotless home, being green, making sure our children eat the right thing, do enough homework, get straight As, wear a hat, put on sunscreen, don't let your kid out of your sight for a nanosecond, be involved in enough STUFF!!! blah, blah, MORE fucking blah... do you think OUR parents worried about half the shit we do?  Do you think YOU grew up ok?  What I am getting at is all this "stuff" we have taken on board... all this stress and extra (stupid and unnecessary) worry... do you really think it makes us better parents?  Do you think it makes our children grown into better people?  Do you think our world is a better place for it?  I sure as shit do NOT.  If it's not working then why, oh why do we persist in pursuing these unrealistic and just plain fucking stupid goals?  Seriously, it's just insane.

So... here is a heads up... you wanna be "more organised"?  Then NEVER FUCKING SIT DOWN! Seriously, if I spend ALL day... and I mean ALL day... from 6am until 2am the NEXT day (and often beyond)... folding, sorting, washing, cooking, feeding, changing nappies, paying bills, going shopping, cleaning etc etc etc...  then the house stays ok.  Not perfect, but ok... acceptable... just!  How the hell I ever did all that AND held down a full time job beats the shit outta me! Well, I did only have 1 child back then granted but still... fucked if I know how everything still managed to get done.  Ah but there's the thing... not EVERYTHING did get done... not every day in any case... but it got done enough.  No child starved, no husband missed out on a head job and I even felt good about myself most of the time.

Don't get me wrong... if being organised is your thing... and it works for you... and it makes you (and your husband and kids if you have them) happy then go for it... but if it is just another source of discontentment and frustration... if you are working harder at staying organised than you are enjoying your life... then it just ain't worth it!   LET IT GO I say.  I am. ;)

Obviously I mean within reason... I'm not suggesting you send you kids to school in dirty clothes... I'm not suggesting they NEVER do homework... I'm not suggesting you never mop your floor or clean your toilet... I'm not suggesting you eat cupcakes for dinner every night (but once in a while is fun!)... but you know what I mean... just let the reins loose once in a while... and don't beat yourself up about it.

So here's my advice...  More head jobs less "organising".

Go ask your husband... I BET my bottom dollar he will agree. ;)


Louise Williams said...

halleliujah... someone's FINALLY said what I've been feeling for a long time. I try my best to do it all and feel like a total and complete failure when I read about other peoples perfect families and their gourmet meals on the table JUST at the right time. I am not Martha Stewart. I may scrap with her products occasionally but that's where the relationship ends. I do my best and would love to be the perfect housewife my mother was/is, but to be honest I just don't have it in me. I like my house clean, but after a day with the boys running riot, long work hours and deadlines it's just not as big a priority as making sure I have some time with my family. I'm pretty organised with my work and my scrapping, and I'd be more organised if we had decent storage in our house but we don't so I tend to think to hell with it. And it depresses me. I don't want to live like this and yes, my DH has been somewhat neglected too and that needs to change. We've realised, that us being so out of routine is part of the behaviour issues we have with Joshie - he thrives on order and schedules so I guess we have some big changes in store for us as we all try and adjust to checklists. However, don't expect me to become Martha anytime soon... lol

Michelle W said...

Brilliant blog post AM !
I am absolutely certain that my DH would agree 100%, hands down, no questions asked !!! Letting it go...
Cheers xx

lexie said...

Dull women have immaculate house's!!!!
You are most definitely not dull and if you are anything like the rest of us dysfunctional normal mother's/wives/friends you live in a home and in my book there is a big difference

Ali Russell said...

Awesome post! So totally agree. in the past year since selling the shoppe, our life has had even less order and i have got down worrying about it...but you are is the time together and focusing on what really matters...that really matters.If anyone popped over unexpected i would freak out, but my closest friends know and understand my life and why my house is not in perfect order most of the is not filthy or dirty just messy at times.
I think you are awesome and do SO well for a mum of 5 kids!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Good on you!!
Ali x x

Anonymous said...

what an awesome post! Have to say I feel like that and I only have 2 kids! I've had to let things go so I can do the best I can for my youngest who has Asperger's as well as making sure I have time for my eldest. Thanks for sharing.

Bec said...

Is there a super 'like' button???
Think I'm on FB too much.

I hear ya girl!!
Amen to all that!

Good on you!


Kerryn said...

Brilliant!!! Thank YOU for sharing :).

miasmummy said...

Wowsers!! So much in this post!! Love that you put it out there... I am trying to be a little more organised in my house but to me that involves getting rid of heaps of shit, so I don't have to deal with all that crap anymore, just have what we need...(and a couple of other things too) Everywhere I look there is 'stuff' we don't need,, getting in the way. I also need a little organisation in my life because I'm a procrastinator and mind wanderer... can't keep thoughts in check at times or maybe I just can't concentrate or retain info either very well.. Understand the not depressed but down part, that's me too. I just talk myself out of it, Get on with it, get up and go... I like my house clean and I vaccum the floors, but sometimes it's quite a while between mops (won't say, it really is too long, no eating off the floor round here)... and as for the bathroom, a quick scrub here and there while I'm in it. Sometimes I just can't be arsed.
Good on you chick, although I must admit, I don't think about things too much, just muddle through and give my little chicks love and a hopefully happy home. And as for HJ'S, I'm not going there!!! LOL!! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

p.s. see you soon, cannot wait!! x

Jenae said...

AMC.. you rock. Thankyou for reading my mind.

Yillup said...

Hehehehehe, I think you've basically said what most women have been thinking basically for ever! Life is so darned hard for us, isn't it???? I am so completely and utterly sick of having to THINK for so many different people, all at once! As well as the house, it can all be way too overwhelming. Half the time I just throw my hands up in the air and say "bugger it all".

I have found a really really cool site if you want to check it out. An organisation method for people who really can't be f'd being organised really, and people who only want to vacuum the middles of the room and leave the corners for a day when they're feeling enthusiastic. She's called "FlyLady", and she's brilliant. She basically tells you that you don't have to be perfect, you don't need a house that's clean and neat and tidy, but if you start working on yourself, you find that you deserve so much more than you're already giving yourself, and you can give yourself permission to do things imperfectly. I have found that the ideas she's given me mean that I don't spend all day every day cleaning my house, I don't mind if only half the floor get mopped because that's the half that's the most dirty, or if the only thing that gets done in a day is a load of washing and doing the dishes, because that's heaps better than no loads of washing and no clean dishes! LOL

Good luck with dealing with all the extra crap life throws at us all sometimes. And thanks so much for sharing something that's so personal and something many people don't talk about!

Tatum said...

nicely said, lots of nodding (and smiling) from me! who are all these perfectly perfect mummy bloggers that are taking over the world anyway ;)

i just need my floors to be clean, i get a little on edge when they're not...i don't like stuff getting stuck to my feet lol

Tatum xx

Lauren said...

I agree 100% AM! Good for you for having the guts to put it out there. xx

Anonymous said...

I think the universe is trying to tell me something! I have been spending a lot of time lately getting frustrated about living the life of a groundhog - shit at home, shit at work and I have realised that I have 20 more years to live this way - woohoo lucky me! No-one in the family is happy and we are just stuck in THAT groove!
I read blogs but never comment but today you have made me realise I need to join you on the revolution!!!!!! I love your post - I admire your strength and wish you all the very very best!

Leonie said...

Amen to that! the more i bog myself down in all the crap that needs "organising" around here, the closer i get to that 'abyss' and the less time i have for my 4 kids and hubby and i actually find myself resenting them for causing all the 'disorganisation' in the first place.
Thanks for the reminder to enjoy life more Anne Marie. Hooray for letting it go! xx

maria said...

i couldnt have said it better myself! life is too short to worry about the things that you mentioned. keep on keeping it real ppl :)

suzitee said...

There sure is a lot to absorb in this post :) I think the bit that strikes a chord with me most is where you talk about your husband. Mine, too, would move heaven and earth for me, but I'm so busy tidying and organising and keeping up that I don't appreciate him nearly enough.
Thanks for sharing your're a brave girl :)

Scrapping Down a Lane said...

xxx Your AWESOME xxx

Nicole said...

finally get around to reading this :)

love you too and geez I was nodding away also. like you probably have signs of depression but again the same as you I cannot let meself get there.... too much to do and no one else to do it.

Ahhhh, life is crazy enough with 4 :) and I get the same comments, how do you do it, (I take all 4 shopping, by myself) the looks and comments when I do that, feel like screaming and shaking people and saying fuck me, can't leave them at home. anyway, that is me


Rebecca Beattie said...

Enjoy life.... bit like my motto with my scrapping - no point doing it for the reason I started (to document our life) if I am scrapping all the time and not living it by spending time with my family! You go girl xx

Aga said...

Wow so glad to see that there are more people like me out there, and not just the super organised freaks who can not seem to understand why I would spend my time playing with paper instead of keeping my house spotless every single day like they do!!! Thank you so much for putting it all out there AM xx
btw I love your 'post a comment' message, sadly I often get this feeling ;) oh and yeah I did teach myself to crochet... probably should have been cleaning something instead but what the heck :)

Monica said...

Hey AM, I have always loved the fact that you are so honest and good on you for putting it all out there. I know exactly where you are coming from and it's good to know that there are lots of us "dirty floor" Mums. LOL!!
Big hugs to you hun!

Daisy, Roo and Two said...

I nodded through all of that! I always feel like my house in in complete disarray and that I'm not doing enough - because I'm too busy PLAYING with my kids, changing their nappies and singing and laughing with them and every now and then I keep my phone on me to feel like I'm connecting with adults as well as three kids 2 and under!
Sing it sister!

Alz said...

Sorry Binx but I PMSL at your post! I'm hearing you, don't get me wrong! Why did I PMSL? I'm not a mum and just yesterday was standing in the shower and started laughing. DH was like WT? I was laughing because I realised I was multi-tasking ... whilst standing in the shower I was (a) waiting for the water to heat up, (b) cleaning my teeth and (c) having a leak!!! ROFL how's that for being super organised?!?!?!?! Love ya babe ... Alz :) xx

Jodi Dolbel said...

Hey Anne Marie! Oh My God, what an awesome post babe! Well said and i applaud you! Like other comments have noted, organised people are dull people! And i know that for a fact! I think people are losing site of the big picture! Happy kids lead to happy adults! For all the "organisation and planning" are their kids any happier or healthier! So what if you have maccas for tea two nights in a row! The very fact that you are in your home taking care of your kids is what says the most! Who cares about sticky floors and mess!! Do the kids even notice? My hubby is like yours, as long as he gets his clothes cleaned (which i do most of the time other wise he does them), food on the table (which i maybe do 3 times a week and he cooks for the others or we buy take away!), and his dick sucked now and then...... (Which i will do if he makes me orgasm....) than life is fine in our house!! No where is their the mention of clean floors and organisation..... there is no fun in that and in fact the cleaner the house is and the more organised I am, suffice to say that there are no headjobs or orgasms, cause im just too damn tired and couldn't be bothered!!!! Love this post AM and after meeting you face to face I can just see you on your soap box! I am applauding you!

Anita Tillman said...

Well hello!!
I totally LOVE your work and followed you as a master (in awe)... I am totally on cloud 9 that you saw my first ever publication in SBM and SENT ME A MSG - totally ROCKED my world!!! Funnily enough I haven't seen it yet as my post is super slow! THEN, I hunt down your blog and read THIS post... don't you LOVE 'divine timing'! I was meant to read that RIGHT NOW ... thank you for reminding me what's important... fuck the laundry - today I am going to make cupcakes! thank you (and thank you for sending me a msg!)! xoxo