CHANGES WE CAN ALL MAKE TO LEAN TOWARDS BALANCE

This weekend we were home, and it was perfect (even with the addition of yet another bout of colds in my household).

After my post last week about finding balance, I have made a few small adjustments in my life.

The biggest change (and surprisingly the fastest) I made was rearranging my hours at work and (thanks to a flexible work place, thank you thank you!) I now have three full weekdays home with my girls (along with weekends). This has been the biggest change, and I was surprised at just how easy it was to make. Sometimes, though, we have to try things before we realise they aren’t working.

I unfollowed over 200 people on my instagram account – mainly brands and big names that I won’t miss. I remember the early days of instagram when I would hop on and each little square that I saw would elicit a sense of connection to the person who posted it. I would usually know their name and I would comment knowing they would ‘know’ me. These days it got to the point where I would think to myself ‘who are these people!?’ This encouraged mindless scrolling, thinking there must be something of interest somewhere in my feed. I felt disconnected and the whole thing felt very random (I’m not even going to mention the ads every third post). Suddenly the people I really wanted to see were not appearing in my feed at all (thanks, algorithm). Now I’ve taken a whole lot of chatter away, I once again recognise the people in my feed.

I have declined things that I know I don’t have time for – even if they are things I enjoy. This has included sharing a market stall with one of my besties at a market I have been wanting to be a part of for a long time, attending a meditation class I know I would love, filling in for a yoga teacher I admire, and declining the opportunity to take over the specific prenatal yoga class that initially motivated me to become a yoga teacher. Some of these things have hurt! But I have to focus on my family, my writing and creative projects, and the work I can do; I can’t be everything and everywhere at once.

We are all swept away by busy-ness and many people responded to my previous post by saying there is no such thing as balance when you have small children. Part of me agrees; there’s no doubt it is easier to go with the current, for it is strong and unyielding. For me, that life is not sustainable and I reach the brink all too quickly.

There are things we can do to slow down and lean towards balance. And when you’re leaning towards balance, when you’re saying no to the extraneous, I would argue that there is more space to see the beauty in household chaos and disorder. There is heart in disharmony and we can cope. So. Is there something you can tweak in your life to make the cogs roll a little bit more smoothly?

The Work (and the Seemingly Endless Pursuit of Life Balance)

I have been speaking with friends lately about finding life balance. Some questions we have asked are: Does it exist? How do you get it? Is it ok to have passions and pursuits that are internal and just for you? [Paused this to help P with her playdough]. I haven’t written here for what feels like an eternity, though I do regularly write draft posts that never see the light of day (I currently have 145 draft posts that I have begun and discarded). So rather than begin another, you’ll know by now I whinge about this topic regularly and, what do you know, there was a post about something similar waiting patiently in the wings. I thought I’d publish it today. I wrote it last year and it was originally titled The Work.

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I was listening to a podcast recently where a writer was interviewed about the work involved in writing her first novel. It took years. Writing, rewriting, editing, pausing, submitting. It took hours each day, after other work that consumed her daylight hours. It took brain space, it took energy, it took an unending amount of commitment and will. It took sacrifice of other enjoyable things; relaxation, time with friends and family, television.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this work. At first I was relating it to my own writing pursuits, and still am. Then today as I was getting P her lunch, it dawned on me: this writer was also describing the work of motherhood. The end product of her lunch was absolutely insta-worthy. Bento serves of bits and bobs. If you saw it you’d assume the person who prepared it is a mother in control, someone who’s really got things together. In reality, her lunch took me 45 minutes to prepare. P got down from her chair 11 times (yes, I counted)*. And wanted my help each time to climb back into her chair, but at the same time she wanted to do it by herself so I was required to stand behind the chair and hold her hand while she climbed up. I walked back and forth from the kitchen, trying to put together something for her to eat from leftovers in the fridge. She ate the mandarine and the kiwi fruit. She stuck her hands in the yoghurt and smeared it on the table. She threw the vegetables on the floor and didn’t eat anything else.

This was just the work involved today in one small meal, for one small person.

Now I’m cleaning the kitchen so I can cook dinner before collecting the other two from school – I tore off my dishwashing gloves to write this. P is watching an episode of Play School and I am feeling guilty as she hasn’t watched telly for days and I was feeling good about that. All these thoughts are spinning around in my head.

And I realise. To do anything we care about, there is work. There is sacrifice. There is mind-shattering frustration. In saying that, there is nothing more important in my life than being a mother. And I don’t say that to be a saint, I say it because it’s true. I knew from an incredibly young age that I wanted to be a mum, and I never strayed from that vision. And that is why I do the work, that is why I try my hardest every day. I often get things wrong (like everyone else), but I try.

The conversations I have with other women are like sneak peeks behind the scenes. At school pick up I see smiles and sunglasses and nice jeans or swish sports clothes. But I know that behind each face are the hidden moments of loneliness, of self-deprecation, of inadequacies.

Let’s share them sometimes. Because we’re not designed to face these things alone. Just like any other great work of art, motherhood takes time, it takes brain space, it takes energy. I hope you know that, and I hope it helps you not to be too hard on yourself in those sticky moments.

* Pearl can now (finally) (usually) get up and down from her chair by herself – let’s all breathe a collective sigh of relief!

Firsts, revisited

Last night I reread something I wrote a few years ago, when my third born P was a newborn baby. You can download it here for free, if you feel like it. The story was called Firsts and it was published by The Kindred Collective, an online magazine started by Caitlin Dyer (and perhaps a friend, from memory, apologies if I have missed someone!). I’m not sure why it didn’t continue as it was such a sweet collection of stories. In Firsts I describe giving birth, long days and nights mothering tiny little people, and daily cold cups of tea. As I read I remembered that part of myself: the mother who typed notes ferociously into her phone in the thick hours of the night, with a baby attached to her breast, the soft glow of the phone lighting up her face. I remembered those elongated days moving from activity to activity with babies and small children and the yearning I felt for adult conversation. Endless cups of tea and coffee being made, and cooled; rarely consumed.

In the story I wondered about those “capital M mothers” who launched children in and out of cars, who marched kids around and barrelled through life, parenting confidently with chins held high. I suppose now I am in the phase of motherhood that I imagined back then would come with this elusive capital M status. But I know now that such a thing does not exist.

In some ways, I look back and see myself as more of a mother then than I do now*. Now real life has begun to slip back in, to creep around the edges. I am no longer cocooned by my small babies. When you have babies, you can’t do anything else. You’re utterly consumed by it, and rightly so. At times in those days I felt a sense of desperation, of wildly clinging to ‘myself’, of feeling these small beings were stealing, wrenching me away. I would cry in the middle of the day, bury my head in my hands as a baby screamed for me. I would stomp my feet and tug back, demand to keep certain parts of myself for fear of losing me forever to these little creatures. At other times I would lay with a sleeping baby on the couch for hours on end, marvelling at her soft downy skin, her feathery breath forever linking with my own. The softness and contrasting brutality of days alone with babies and small children is something I will never forget. This is all part of the path and now that it is slipping away I long for it deeply. And forgive me for being slightly daft but it has only just begun dawning on me that that phase of parenting is virtually over for me. P is three and a half and while her moods can be murderous and I (still) very rarely get the chance to sit down when on duty, that physicality, the intensity that comes with being responsible for a baby has slowly faded away without me actively realising.

I held my four month old niece on the weekend and my body remembered. Afterwards, my own babies felt like giants in my arms.

As I move into this next chapter of motherhood my life is opening up in front of me again. I have been back at work for two days a week for over a year and when I’m there, I walk to get a coffee and eat lunch with my colleagues. I occasionally go out for dinner with friends and I don’t have to worry about expressing milk or getting a baby to sleep before I leave.

But this concept of firsts is still following me around (I hear more seasoned parents laughing, laughing). I might be better at hurling the kids in the car and getting-shit-done, but I still flail around constantly, deliberating over countless things: how to discuss reality and disappointment with an eight year old asking difficult questions, how to explain to a six year old that I’m only a human despite her biggest hopes, how to carve out time for a three year old who has spent a lot of her life trailing around after her big sisters’ school routines. I think and worry about the future – phones and high school and broken hearts and rebellion. Now I know just how fleeting their babyhood was, I try not to cling to these younger years, to just relax and enjoy and not worry about the next chapter ending.

Tomorrow I’ll be at home all day with my eldest and my youngest who are both fighting colds and sore throats. We will take the middle to school and come home and make ourselves cosy. I will deliver drinks of water and tasty plates. I will read books and decide what we’re having for dinner. I’ll put a wash on and spend the rest of the day telling myself I should hang it out.

And then I will make myself a hot cup of coffee, and I’ll sit down and drink it, in remembrance of my first chapter.

*Which I realise is completely ridiculous.

Domesticity

Sitting here, Sunday morning. Coffee. Cereal. Sunlight pouring through window onto faces of children. Dirty dishes. Discarded pyjamas.

Domesticity.

School goes back tomorrow. Today we will move our way through all the jobs Sundays require. I went through the washing basket before making my coffee this morning and found that we hadn’t yet washed the school uniforms… the washing seems to pile up so fast that often the top layers get washed but the bottom of the basket is forgotten. This is probably so unhygienic I’m not sure if I should mention it publicly. Never fear, all the uniforms are in the machine now and I’ll hang them out in front of the heater later this morning.

The girls both have holes in their navy school leggings that I put off as a school holiday job. They haven’t been mended. In January this year I bought a few metres of navy bamboo jersey material to make them new leggings. They haven’t been made.

I always look ahead to a place where there will be more time, where life will move a little slower. It seems to be an unending lesson that this time never actually comes. These holidays I have to give myself a break though, as I have not simply been contending with time; I’ve spent the entire two weeks coughing and spluttering with a second bout of a wintery virus that has its tendrils tightly wrapped within my chest.

On the long list of holiday jobs we are slowly working our way through is sorting and clearing our home as we get ready to put it on the market. A few days ago I found an old journal I wrote when I lived in London in my early 20s. Despite being excruciatingly disturbing to read, it made me realise how domesticated my life (and I) have become. The majority of its pages had me galavanting around London at night, begrudging what he said and what she said and complaining that I can’t afford to top up my phone and there’s too much plastic on the broccoli at Tesco and maybe I’ll quit my job and move to Edinburgh among a variety of other things that I’ll never mention here, or anywhere, ever. I had nothing to worry about beyond the 18p on my phone and where I was going to buy my next can of corn.

In comparison, domestic life is… what is it? It is full and busy and intense. I like to tell myself it is rarely dull, though at times when wrapped up in the cycle it can be endlessly dull and repetitive. Sometimes it seems like a ridiculous game, a never-ending attempt to reach a certain point (that never eventuates) and I wonder if I’m trapped in some sort of experiment. Eg. Once I’ve washed the dishes I’ll… or If only I could get through this washing basket, then I’ll have time for… or Once I’ve written these emails and filled out those school notices I could… and somehow (I still haven’t quite figured out how) that moment never, ever comes. If you want it, you have to allow it to barge through the wall of domesticated life. If you want to write something, make something, listen to something, you have to grab the moment by the horns and if the proverbial hits the fan, ignore it. At least, that’s the basic theory. I can’t say I have mastered it, although, I am sitting here typing so I suppose in some ways I have. The girls are all at the table with me, colouring in. Between every third word I type there is a question usually beginning with a repeated Mummyyy Mummyyy Mummyyy Mummyy if I don’t answer within the required millisecond. It’s delivered in that kind of whiny, elongated pitch, that cuts straight through your motherly ears (I know you know the tone). That’s ok. I can truly say I love this life. I love the messiness of it, the chaos. I love being around these little, crazy people, despite it being the most exhausting, all-consuming, insane thing I have ever done. I love hearing their conversations, I love organising their things and planning out activities, birthdays, clothing, food. I love cuddling them and reading them books from my childhood, reliving them through their eyes and minds. I love the safety and cosiness of family, of a solid family unit. I love all the nerdy things associated with motherhood: meal planning, wardrobe organising, sewing lists. Sometimes I wonder if I am really an 80 year old trapped in this 36 year old body.

I know that by the time I have figured all this out, my girls will be grown and this brief window of my life will be over. Most days I don’t give it a second thought, I just move with the motions. But now and again I try to tune in, to pay attention. Because domestic life may be inane at times, but I don’t want to miss a second of it.

In an hour or so we will head off to the farmers market and stock up for the week. I don’t know what we’ll cook this week. I’ve been so unwell that we haven’t eaten very well or cooked much over the holidays. The day will flow on as all days do. We will try to make sense of the messiness, and then we will let it go.

Three… A Birthday

Baby P is turning THREE.

I can’t believe it. Some birthdays seem to fly by, unnoticed. For some reason this third birthday is playing on my mind. Age three seems to signify something… saying a final farewell to babyhood, looking ahead to the beginning of kinder, which inevitably leads to school, and on and on and on. Perhaps it is because P is my last baby, and we are now moving into a new phase of our lives as parents. Things do seem different without a baby for the first time in many, many years.

I want to say that time seems to fly by, but I don’t want to because it is so utterly cliche I can’t bring myself to. But it does, doesn’t it? I’m hearing everyone around me saying, “I can’t believe it’s already June!” and realise I am thinking it too. Where has the year gone?

For P’s birthday I’m keeping things ultra simple. When I’m thinking about presents I always try to stick to something I want, something I need, something to wear, something to read. So far I have the want which is a little collection of sea animals for a small world play scenario. I bought them from a local shop but they are the same as these ones which I was eyeing off online before I stumbled across them in person. The need gift will be a new bike helmet which is still on the to-do list. For wear I am in the process of making this popcorn kotori cardi, however I have just run out of wool! I have enough left to finish the edging – but not the sleeves… so she may have to be given it as a vest and when more wool arrives I will fix it up. Something to read is still up in the air, probably an Alison Lester book, I will never tire of them.

I want to enjoy our birthdays instead of being swept up in the frenzy of it; cleaning the house, making the cake, racing around buying gifts, deliberating over how and when to celebrate and if it involves other people – sweating over the details of the food and the state of the house and so on.

So here’s to not sweating the small stuff, and to my third baby turning three… how lucky am I.

That Elusive Thing Called Balance

Sitting Down, Stopping, Staying Still. These are all things I am trying to practice. It has been a long time since I’ve written here. I have drafted a few posts, but for the most part I have simply not been able to find the time. After finishing Yoga Teacher Training last year I promised myself that 2018 would be the year of routine, of slow. I wanted to have a breather and get into a run of the mill schedule that included a bit of work, school drop offs and pick ups, family time, time for cooking and the farmers market and of course craft and cups of coffee. Nothing big. Nothing busy. Plain old pure normal.

I have managed to incorporate most of these things into my life. All good things. I’ve somehow landed an incredible job at a not-for-profit that is truly family friendly. I’m job sharing with another mum of three, working the amount I want and I love it. I’m making and selling things. I’m teaching yoga. I went to the farmers market on the weekend. We spend lots of time in the country on weekends. We have chickens and a veggie patch. But after five months of trying to do it all I have realised that life can’t be contained. Things come up. Physical things. Scheduling issues. Emotions. Time or a perceived lack of it.

Truth is, I am exhausted.

And I’m still searching for that elusive thing called balance. It has to be out there, right? I feel as though I am in a constant battle with time. Each day I get up, fight with time, feel disgruntled at the lack of it, and go to bed. I stay up late to try to do things, to have time to myself. Each morning I wake tired and do it all again. That all sounds very bleak and of course I smile and do good things with my days and for the most part I am happy. But I can’t help but feel I spend more time chasing than being.

In a bid to encourage myself to slow down, to do one task at a time instead of racing time every day, I was standing with P by the school gate this morning after drop off, watching a digger move dirt. A Mum I am getting to know tapped me on the shoulder looking rushed and tired. We had been passing each other in the playground and managing nothing more than a quick “hi!” for weeks. She has been working four days a week during school hours since the start of the year, thinking it would be a good balance being there for the kids in the morning and afternoon. She’s exhausted. She can’t get everything done around the house on her one day off and she feels as though everything outside of work is just falling to pieces.

Another friend of mine has been struggling with a sick husband and sick kids during the seasonal shift, while trying to balance studying full time. She told me she woke up at 2am the other night and got out of bed to wash the lunch boxes and do the kids’ school lunches for the next day to save her time in the morning.

I can relate to all this so well. I don’t know many parents who feel as though they have struck the perfect balance between work, parenting and life. Who are able to pay the bills with ease and just sail on through. I’m sure these people are out there. But from my observation the majority of us are struggling to do everything.

I’ve complained about this before, no doubt. And I am a believer in not thinking we have to do everything. I’m realising though there’s a gap between believing in something and actually playing it out each day in your own life. This transition can require a cultural shift within the family, it means pulling away from things, getting rid of the “shoulds”. We are figuring this out in our family, slowly, slowly.

Balance… where are you, really?

green rolling hills + wild seas

Sitting here on the back deck of my in-law’s beach house, watching the girls playing happily in the blow up paddle pool. A cicada chorus hangs in the air, along with thoughts of summer days, new plans unfolding and the promise of a fresh year beginning.

I had so much hinging on Christmas and this holiday. During all my hard work studying and immersing myself in Yoga philosophy and practice in 2017 I was looking ahead, to the reward, imagining all the making and flourish associated with Christmas, followed by these blissful weeks spent amongst the trees and by the ocean. A moment to pause.

And yet tomorrow, we head home. I start my new job on Monday, two days a week at a not-for-profit I’m incredibly passionate and excited about, and I begin teaching yoga in a few weeks. A new chapter is gently yet persistently unfolding and with that there are new rhythms to establish. Time rolls on, reminding us we are alive, reminding us there is no time like the present.

Aside from work and yoga, my mind has been ticking away (as usual), running through all the things I want to make under my little #birdiesaid banner on @suburban_dreaming this year. I’m thinking more hats for big and small and smaller people clothing, of course, but also some larger human attire too. My dreams are filled with vintage blush and rust coloured linen, delicate florals and, naturally, wool.

The Pixie is starting school this year, and with two children at school and just one little one left at home, life will look very different for twelve months. Without having to rush off to kinder, I’m planning on more days spent walking to school, quality time with my little number three and I will be making a real effort to relish this quiet year. The following we will be back to the kinder and school combo meaning multiple drop offs and pick ups, and less time with my growing clan.

So I open this new year with sunshine in my head and a smile on my face, but also with the trepidation that comes with change. I know myself well enough now, though, to know that everything passes, nothing is unchangeable, and for me, there is always an element of discomfort even with change of the best kind.

And for now, just for now, I’ll say goodbye to the dusty blues of the ocean, to the salty scent on my children’s skin, to slow and aimless days, to sheltering from the sun at midday, to early dinners and late bedtimes… and hello home, hello new rhythms, hello to the remainder of the school holidays, to a few more slow days, to new beginnings, to fresh projects, dreams and plans.

But, oh, will those green rolling hills, dark and wild seas, and pale blue skies tug at my heart, at the very essence of me, until we meet again…

A Slow Start

It’s Wednesday yet it feels distinctly like a Monday. With school holidays, three weeks off work due to the uni break, Easter, an operation, three trips in and out of Melbourne (for fun) and a seasonal change to boot, the last month has seemed like a circus. A mainly good and fun and happy circus, but a circus nonetheless.

Bird went to school for one day after Easter before having grommets in and adenoids out last week. A big week but overall, a success. That afternoon as we sat in recovery she looked at me and said, “Mum, everything is so loud!” After five years of hearing and congestion difficulties, I breathed a sigh of relief. For all the anxiety that had come in making that decision, will we, won’t we, will we, won’t we; in that moment, it was worth it.

She went back to school today and I’m back to teaching tomorrow and kinder is back and KB is at work and, as such, our life will start to resemble normality once again. No more late nights, dinner when we feel like it, pyjama days or nicking off to the country… at least, not during the week for the time being. Weekends are another story.

Last night I lay in bed as the night folded around us. I heard the flow of gentle breath coming in waves from all except me. My breath was full and awake at the midnight hour, though in the daylight, I long for sleep.

And such is motherhood, flowing from one moment to the next, the uncertainty coming in ebbs and flows, the solidity of our day to day routines seemingly fluid yet always constant and neverending.

Today, we took things slowly on our first morning back. We hung around at school chatting to parents, and worked our way back home to a hot cup of coffee, babycinos and a moment around the table cutting out pictures of dragons and making people out of toilet rolls with sticky taped wool for hair. We are heading off to swimming lessons now.

Even though the routine is back and a rhythm will once again be in place, I welcome it. Sometimes it’s nice to have something to rely on.

(Oh, and I baked a cake… this simple, delicious, refined sugar and dairy free orange blossom cake.)

Rejuvenate

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Over the weekend I spent my first night away from the baby (toddler is a much more accurate description). It was the first night in over 19 months I haven’t felt the threat of a midnight wake up call as I toss and turn in the dark. The first full evening in over 19 months I didn’t have to feed anyone aside from myself, I didn’t have to bath anyone, put anyone to bed, read anything other than my book, watch anything other than the sun setting across the forest filled horizon. No one required anything from me for over 24 hours.

And it was BLISS.

I went away to Glenlyon with my three little sisters. It was the first time in our entire lives that the four of us had been away on our own, without any hangers-on. We slipped into the gentle ease of sibling-hood. No arguments about what to eat, where to go, what we wanted to do. No worrying about inconveniencing anyone, or having to ensure everyone is having a good time. We all eat the same foods, we drink the same drinks, we do the same things. So. Easy. Aside from our combined indecisiveness. But we survived that ok too.

We read books.

Spoiled ourselves with a long luxurious lunch at a winery.

Bought wine.

Drank wine.

Had takeaway pizza.

Re-enacted being chased in an apocalypse on the side of a hill.

Collapsed in fits of laughter.

Watched a daggy movie.

Ate chocolate.

Read books in bed when we woke up.

Had multiple toilet stops.

Went window shopping.

And spent time remembering what we are grateful for.

We all went home to our partners and families feeling full and lucky. It really is so important to take the time to pause our lives, if not for a whole weekend, just an hour, or a moment, and to remind ourselves of the good things.

I’m back in time for the year to really begin. KB went back to work today after six whole weeks off, kinder starts tomorrow, school goes back on Wednesday, and I begin Yoga Teacher Training on Sunday. We are hoping to move house and we both have professional changes and updates in the wings. A big year ahead, but luckily for us, it’s an exciting one too. I hope you all get the chance to have a little inhale before February, wherever you may be.

Creative Pursuits + Motherhood

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I get a lot of questions both online and in person along the lines of: how do you find the time to [insert creative pursuit here]? We all know well enough that social media is only a small part of a person’s life, and no matter how hard you try, you can never create the same amount of depth, substance, activity and stressors that come together to make up a real life. Social media simply cannot fully represent this. While I try to keep it real, my instagram and this blog tell the story of such a small portion of my actual life that it is hard to see the balance that I struggle to find each and every day.

Truth be told, being a creative person and a mother is hard work. My own mother is always telling me to let things (writing, making) go for a while. I think she thinks this will somehow alleviate my frustrations, that it will allow me to feel more at peace with the housework and the domesticity if I focus on getting those things done instead of thinking about the next thing I am going to make or write. But the issue with creativity is that you can’t switch it on and off. When people say they don’t know how I find the time to write this blog, it comes as a shock to me in the first instance. I package it up and think about it – I realise I actually don’t have a choice. I don’t plan my posts, I only write when the urge is so strong that I just can’t not write. The same goes for other writing I pursue. As I type this, I have my laptop balanced on top of my sewing with my foot on the pedal of my sewing machine. I was sewing some velcro onto some nappy wallets and had my laptop in the room so I could listen to spotify. When I suddenly needed to write, I half stopped what I was doing and started tapping away. It usually takes me days or, more likely, even weeks to finish a piece of writing or to finish sewing or crocheting something. Sometimes I get lucky and see a gap in time, but more often than not I have to put things aside and get back to it later. I am much better at using smaller winks of time now than I used to be!

I don’t have any answers in regards to how to fit things into a busy life with small children. I puzzle over other people’s lives and also wonder how they get things done. I think sometimes things are an illusion, that when you’re chatting at school pick up or at the coffee shop or in the supermarket or on instagram – I think that everyone smiles and says they are great and the accidental illusion is given that people (parents) are going to bed each night feeling that the house is in order and the washing is done and the lunches are made and the floors are clean and tidy. In reality, I don’t know anyone who is actually in that situation.

I know some people get up a few hours earlier than their families every morning in order to write/bake/make/sew. I am not this person. I have tried to be a morning person and at this stage of my life while I’m still getting up in the night to attend to small people, I just don’t have it in me. At night is when I come alive, and I have to try very hard to not get carried away when the moon is high and the sky is brightly lit with stars and little heads are sleeping soundly on their pillows.

What I do want to stress is that when I make something, I am forgoing something else – the washing, the floors, or sometimes even time with my family.

Motherhood is a constant balancing act, and no one is perfect. We are all getting up each day and going to work or doing the dishes or cuddling children or, on occasion, behaving badly and getting to the end of our tether (yes, this was me this morning when I didn’t get my own way haha!). At the end of the day, we are all doing our best. And like my parents said to me, and I’m sure yours said to you: always do your best, and your best is always enough.

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