Monday, July 11, 2011

lighten up or toughen up

Here is the reason I feel very crazy as a parent: I don't know if I should toughen up or lighten up? 

Some days I feel like I am walking around my home having a battle within myself. My private conversations in my mind feel like they are a little Jekyll and Hyde. Yes, I am going insane.

Alright, I already am insane but you know what I mean, right??

My battle goes like this.

When an event happens with the cherubs that sends me mad and crazy, I find myself saying:
"Lighten up Naomi, chill out a little, relax, breathe deeply, calm down."

When an event happens with the cherubs that upsets me I find myself saying:
"Toughen up Naomi, you can deal with this, you are strong, pull yourself together."

See what I mean. One minute I am trying to lighten up and the next minute I am trying to be toughen up. And yes. I does change minute by minute in my home. I am light, I am tough, I am light, I am tough!

I do try to generally have the same positive attitude in my parenting, but some days...some days are just crazy. It does not matter how well planned I am, it just all falls apart and so do I.

Motherhood is an exceptional experience, is it enlightening but it is also emotional.

When sleep deprivation and the stresses of life pile up, it becomes so much harder to stay on the same positive emotional level. Ever since having children I have found that I am far more emotional now and become teary at the most simple events and moments. My heart is connected to seven cherubs now and I have become touched in a very different way. I am not the same and do not expect myself to be.

All I need to do is look at my body to remember, I am not the same woman I once was!

Now, even though I am seeking to get a balance with my thoughts and to be calm and happy most days, I also remember that being emotional on this motherhood journey is alright, it is acceptable and it is O.K. My heart is emotionally connected to my kids. I can't help getting emotional about it.

So, I will keep my insanity as I go through this motherhood journey and continue to be emotional, to be teary and to battle with myself. I would rather my cherubs see me expressing emotion than to bottle it all up inside.

I think it is great for them to see that I have feelings as well, that I do get hurt, that I do struggle and face challenges, that I am working out who I am and trying to be better.

I want my cherubs to know that being a mother is wonderful and rewarding but it is also hard work, it is challenging and it is worth all the time and effort because the rewards of feeling love and joy are so worth it.


  1. I recall as a kid, on the very odd occasion my Mum would get upset or frustrated, that it meant I'd pushed the boundaries, and I then knew - without her pointing it out - what I had done.

    So, I don't think it's a bad thing either. Kids need to know your a Mum...but you're also human!

  2. That is it exactly! You just summed up how I am feeling at the moment. Two of my kidlets are currently running through the house, yelling at the top of their lungs with washing baskets on their heads...breathe Kate breathe :-)

  3. Perfect poster to superglue to the fridge.
    Great advice Naomi !

  4. youre not alone, I talk to myself like that all the time.

  5. Thanks for dropping by ladies. My cherubs are learning more and more what my boundaries are and so am I. Deep breathing in my room as saved me so many days Kate...keep breathing. N x

  6. You are truly inspirational Naomi, I find myself learning from you a lot! My head talk is constant and crazy lol xoxo

  7. Great post, Naomi. You're so right. It's important they see we experience all manner of emotions too. I guess the key is teaching them how to deal with emotions - which first starts with how I deal with them (the bit that I'm trying most to work on!!). xx

  8. It's all part of keeping balanced and focussed on the bigger picture isn't it!

  9. I think we all have those days. We had one of those days yesterday! I went and picked up our eldest from a friend’s house and then headed down to the markets. We got home around 11am so I thought why not take the kids down to the park to ride their bikes before coming home and having a nap… it did not go to plan!! Eldest originally didn’t want to take his bike but his scooter, but half way around wanted to ride his brother’s bike who didn’t want to give it up so eldest started crying! Then youngest girl wanted water so daddy took her back to the car only to have middle son start screaming that daddy had left us! So I’m left holding the baby, two bikes and trying to coax a 3yr old to walk back to the car so we can all go home!! Since we had taken two cars home I took baby with me and Daddy took the other 4 kids. I do believe there were tears….from them and me on the drive home!
    When we got home, they all jumped out of the car and said sorry Mummy and gave me big cuddles <3
    They never did go for that nap either!!! You win some, you lose some! All the joys of motherhood though!! They drive me insane some days but other days (like right now) as they are all cuddled up to me while we watch The Wot Wots make my heart so full of love!

  10. Yes, my cherubs are teaching me to deal with all sorts of emotions I really did not think I would have to face and I in turn are trying to be a good example of how to deal with them. Some days I get it right and other days - well - lets no go there :) thanks for your awesome comment ladies! Kirsty, thanks for sharing your family experience - can so relate. N x

  11. I am nodding in agreement with everything you wrote. I can totally relate to this.

  12. It's amazing all the different emotions you feel as a mother. My kids had me in tears last week, 2 days running, and those 2 days were seriously difficult to cope with. But that said, we also have exceptional days that I cherish.
    Being a mum is one of life's most wonderful gifts, and I am learning from it every day.

  13. I totally understand the different emotions you go through in one day as a mother, that is why I feel like I am going insane some days! N x

  14. I think being aware of self-talk IS sanity! When it goes totally unexamined, without awareness that they are all different parts of you (and at times, they are other people we have internalised but thats another story!) and that you can engage with those parts of you to create a different story, that's what I would call insanity.

    I even have discovered there are names for the different parts of me, there is the Timekeeper (who keeps me on track), writer me, and my inner midwife (who helps me birth stuff, not just babies). And there are parts of me who aren't from now. Usually, when I am getting really fed up and my self talk is getting really frustrated its Child Me vying for my attention. A good nap or something fun or changing my focus usually helps with that!

    Thanks for talking about stuff on your blog that I hardly ever see on blogs about motherhood - feel less alone because of it!

  15. Yay for all the crazy lots of children bring to our lives, as it is forever changing. I find being on my own is the biggest imbalance, as i'm good cop & bad cop. I might be hugging one child while doing spelling homework with another & scolding 2 in another room who are meant to be brushing their teeth but i know are jumping on their beds. Being outnumbered is a challenge, but the serenity when they're all in bed, my husband calls & i share my day, ahhhh. I love school holidays the most, just that relaxing style about our days, makes the busy terms so worth the hard work.
    Sure i look a the world differently than most, but i have to, when your husband is in a war zone you have to pretend everything is happy & under control at home or they are distracted, which is dangerous. No, i couldn't possibly put more pressure on myself, but the end game will be so worth it - space, farm, home big enough for all of us, i can't wait!! Love Posie

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  17. Fantastic, I can not agree more. It is a massive journey of ups and downs. We just have to stay real and accept we are not perfect, whilst enjoying the moments!

    Mich x

  18. I think we all have been here, our hormones do not help neither...but we are human beings, and our kids have to experiences this as well will help them to cope with moments that they encounter in their own lives...beautifully expressed Naomi:)

  19. Motherhood is crazy some days - what can I say...still have so much to learn. Thanks for your comments ladies. n x

  20. Being a mother to three, 5, 10 and what I like to describe as being on a 'rollercoaster'....a constant emotional rollercoaster............and I think the new normal is 'crazy'.........................I am and always will be 'crazy'..............xxxxx


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