Valentines Day is Dead!

Valentines day

The Antidote to Romance

Are all those public declarations of love on Facebook getting a little too much? If it’s so sweet you can feel the tooth decay setting in then read on, ’cause you need an antidote to romance!

Valentines Day has always passed me by like any other day of the week; I do dishes, go to work, cook an ordinary dinner and go to bed as usual. I don’t receive a card, flowers or lingerie.

I bet you’re thinking that romance is dead for me? That being married for 17 years has finally extinguished that flame. But I’m here to tell you that romance still has a heart-beat, but Valentines day is Dead! RIP.

The Heart Beat of Romance

After 17 years of marriage romance has changed.

Romance is:

  • When he unexpectedly does the dishes and isn’t looking for praise (or sex!)
  • When he buys blueberries just for me
  • When we talk big picture dreams over a bottle of wine
  • When he builds me up with words of love so he can watch me shine

Valentines day is dead because I don’t need a card to tell me what I already know.

Deep Roots

The love we share has deep roots. It has been nurtured through darkness into the light, it has weathered storms, tornadoes and drought. The roots are entangled deep in our unconscious; we feel one another’s emotions before they manifest as words or actions.

That may sound pretty romantic, but it doesn’t always pan out like that!

I can tell a storm cloud has entered my house and cast a shadow over the usual proceedings of dinner, before the storm cloud itself even knows its grumpy! I choose to placate it with tea, listen to its troubles and soothe it with words of comfort. Sometimes it blows over and I’m the only one who felt it pass. Other times, it whistles through the house sending papers flying and emotions swirling like autumn leaves.

I am the calm before storm, he is the sunshine after the rain.

Valentines Day is Everyday

When you know love well  and celebrate it in a myriad of ways, then valentines day is simply another day.

Or maybe it’s everyday.

It’s the snuggles in the morning when you snooze the alarm. It’s the daily check-in on the way home from work. It’s quiet Sunday morning breakfast in the sunshine.

Don’t wait for one day a year to celebrate your love.  Make romance your daily language.

Value the little things that are the heartbeat of love.

 

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My Top 3 Favourite Blog Posts of 2015!

top posts 2015It’s a tradition in our family to pick our Top 3 favourite things – Top 3 favourite holidays, Top 3 favourite dinners, Top 3 favourite movies and so on. So it seems only natural that here on Mummy2mum I’m going to follow in that tradition and pick my Top 3 favourite blog posts of 2015.

When I sat down to write this today, I thought it would be quick and easy, but what’s the fun in taking the easy option?

While reflecting upon the year that’s been, three words jump out at me:

Challenge, change and choice.

I love to find themes that connect things, so I’ve chosen my top three posts that reflect these themes. I hope you enjoy.

Challenge

The year began with challenge.

Welcoming in the New Year surrounded by good friends was a greater blessing than we knew, because for one of our dearest friends, it was to be his last.

Like a thief in the night, brain cancer stole a little more of him every day. We said goodbye in March, and these were my words for him: You.

Change

This blog was born of change.

A deep, yearning to hold on to that maternal connection between a mother and child.  The change from dependence to independence was accelerating at a pace I just didn’t know how to keep up with and it frightened me.

The theme of change is central to many of my posts, but none articulates it more beautifully than this: The Narrative of Motherhood: Letting Go Whilst Holding On.

Choice

The beauty of choice, the agony of indecision.

It’s a constant dilemma, but as a Gemini I’ve always lived like this; torn between many possible futures, all of which sound exciting! This year I tried to do a bit of everything; teaching, writing,  training, parenting, nursing, cooking, entertaining, networking, business building and counselling. By spreading myself too thinly I was rarely present in the moment, always thinking about the next thing.

A return to the girl I was in 1988 helped remind me of the woman I want to be in 2016: Where Love Grows.

My Affirmation For 2016

Thank you to the many followers, readers and supporters of Mummy2mum during my inaugural year of writing. It has been a wonderful experience that has opened many new doors.

In 2016 I am making the choice to be present in the moment, to seek adventure and take risks and to live life with passion and purpose. I hope you’ll join me.

Wishing you a fun filled New Year!

 

The Junctions Of Motherhood; 15 Moments That Will Change Your Parenting Journey

change doesnt care if youre readyThis week I became the mother of a 15 year old!

Excuse me a minute while I pick myself up off the floor! Did I really just write that? I thought that only happened to other people?!

When Biscuit was a baby I would meet Mum’s who said they had a 15 year old child. Child!? I would think, that’s not a child, it’s a dependent adult!  I would foolishly think –

I’ve come a long way since then (15 years to be precise!)! And I can assure my 28 year old self that I am no less a Mummy just because I’m called Mum and don’t have to wipe anyone else’s bum!

Surprising Significance

Parenting is full of surprises (beginning with the birth), and it’s those unexpected moments that are most deeply imprinted on me. Unexpected tenderness, surprise laughter, fleeting connections with my children in our chaotic schedule. These are the moments that catch me off-guard;  full of raw, unqualified emotion which leaves its mark in memories.

If 15 years of parenting has taught me anything it’s this;

Meaning is found in reflection, and moments of significance gain focus with hindsight.

Children change all the time, reshaping like wet clay, but there are moments when the clay hardens and sets; these changes form the new shape of your future together.

Junctions of Motherhood

Change represents the junction points of motherhood; the moments where your journey together will take a new direction. To plot this journey of change I map backwards; retracing my steps to a certain junction and reflecting on its significance.

Some time ago I missed a junction; the last time I carried my boy in my arms. Like the many actions of parenting I did this without thinking; holding him tight, straining with the weight of him, never realising that this was the last time I would carry him. The change in his size reached a tipping point when pitted again my strength, and suddenly Dad carried him or he had to walk.

It’s a practical progression, but when I reflect on it I see it’s significance; one phase of motherhood has drawn to a close.

Would it have made a difference if I had seen these junctions approaching? Probably, by bringing my awareness to the small moments of everyday parenting, and cherishing their fleeting nature knowing they wouldn’t last.

 So here are my 15 junctions of motherhood.

1. The day toys were off the birthday list

I never thought I’d hear this sentence leave my sons lips, but as Biscuit’s 11th birthday approached he declared ‘I’m too old for toys’! If I had known this one was coming I’d have paid more attention to the last toy I ever bought him!

2. The last kiss in public

If you’re anything like me you’ll love that little hug and kiss goodbye at school each morning. There are warning signs with this one, kissing begins to be scaled back; removed from the classroom goodbyes get briefer and briefer until suddenly its a; ‘See ya later’ over the shoulder as they stroll off with their mates. You can expect this one to start anywhere between 5 and 9 years old.

3. The day an Ikea meatball record was broken 

One of our family traditions is to visit Ikea once a year, spend huge $ on home-improvement fantasies projects, stock up on enough tea-lights to live in a cave for the next ten years going home stuffed with meatballs and chips! There is a certain amount of kudos according to how many meatballs one can consume, and we each have a ranking. This week saw an shock win in this annual tradition, Biscuit stole the title of Champion Meatball Eater from his Dad, eating a massive 23! Look out for this one at around 15 years old (and carry a vomit bag with you)!

4. The day he washed and dried his own clothes

This is one that you need to nurture; since he was 10 years old I have shown Biscuit how to work the washing machine, at first he just packed it then slowly progressed to adding detergent and setting it. But it was still a wonder and a marvel to come home and find that not only had he sorted his school uniform out, he had washed it, dried it and had even thrown a few of my lights in for good measure! You can expect to see this from 10-14 years.

5. The day I relied on him to cook for the family

A bit like the washing machine, I suggest you encourage cooking skills to develop early, and build to independence with small steps. On this occasion it was a stressful night, with Dad home late from work and me dashing off to soccer training with his brother. Someone had to feed the family, and that someone was Biscuit!  Read the soul searching this junction prompted here in Mother’s Contradiction; Nurturing Independence In Teens .

6. The nightmare that didn’t wake me

‘I had a bad dream last night.’ This matter-of-fact statement bellied a significant milestone; my boy had soothed himself back to sleep after a bad dream, and didn’t need reassurance from Mum. Teaching strategies for self-soothing after nightmares are essential foundations to achieve this one, but it happened for us about 10 years old.

7. The day that briefs were outlawed

My boys wore briefs without question until a couple of years ago, when they were outlawed overnight! A reward went out to anyone who gave information about their hiding places, existing briefs were rounded up and mercilessly destroyed. Meanwhile their successors, The Boxer Shorts, colonised the underwear draws until total domination was complete! Expect this one from age 9 -12.

8. The day the tooth-fairy was fired

After furtive glances between Biscuit and I, (keeping up appearances for his little brother’s sake), he placed the tooth under his pillow and said goodnight. Unfortunately, in the morning the tooth was still there! After one too many glasses of wine the Fairy had forgotten she was on duty! She was promptly fired! Teeth are now bought and sold in cash deals without wands or glitter!

9. The day he bankrolled me

Biscuit has an uncanny knack of being the only person in the house with cash! I have a running tally of IOUs to him, which he records in his little back book (luckily he hasn’t thought of applying interest yet!). Look out for an increase in your debts at around age 8!

10. The day I came up to his shoulder

It’s very strange hugging your child when they have to bend down to you! Obviously you should see this one coming, but in-case you’re in severe denial, expect it anywhere between 12 – 14 years.

11. The last time I put him to bed

If you’re anything like me you might not see this one coming! I take satisfaction in a job well done when I put my boys to bed; tucking them in, knowing their snug and safely deposited for the night with a kiss and a whispered ‘I love you’. It’s a bit like my clocking -off card, my job is done for another day and out comes the wine! But at 14 Biscuit decided that he’d see himself to bed! I didn’t like this one little bit, but you can’t stop the tide of independence, and after much protesting, he gets a kiss goodnight and I stay in the lounge. Expect this one anywhere from 12 -14 years.

12. The day his home work became too hard for me

I knew this one was on the cards, math has never been my forte, but now I’m officially redundant from helping with Math homework.

13. The last day he was small enough to carry in my arms

As a parent I’ve been concerned with weight and growth since the day they were born, but it never really dawned on me that my baby would literally get to big to carry!  I remember gently lifting him out of the car, careful not to wake him, and carrying him to bed, his soft face resting on my neck. This milestone comes with a warning; you never know when Your Strength V His Weight will reach the tipping point, but you’ll find your empty arms will ache with longing the day it does.

14. The day he said ‘ Mum’s got PMT, again!’

Grr! Need I say more? The annoying male habit of dismissing a grumble constructive criticism as PMT started at 14 years old! I reminded him that the female of the species is more deadly than the male, and comments like that are likely to prove it!

15. The day he locked the bathroom door

Unless we have visitors in the house, bathroom and bedroom doors remain open and unlocked, conversations continue regardless of whether we’re on the toilet or in the bath! So the first time that the bathroom door was shut (and locked) we all knew that a new chapter had begun. Privacy, a need never previously considered, is now a norm.

Acknowledgements

Quote from www.livelifehappy.com