For yesterday anyway it was hot and dry. I quite like those days - there's a laziness to everything and everyone. Even the light is lazy. Trees and plants seem to glisten in heat haze. And the house is full of dappled light spilled through blinds producing strong shadows across walls and couches. Everyone's doors and windows are wide open, and I sat listening to a neighbour practise singing, warming their vocals in the early afternoon. It moved into a perfect early evening of left over warmth. The sort of evening I always imagined you should be out sailing on the harbour with. Max tucked down the side of the house and played in the cool sandpit, and Pia flitted like a butterfly from place to place, occasionally resting her hot little body on the couch or my leg. We stopped off for fruit smoothies and a play in the park coming home, Max gathered leaves along the way. Laziness. Nurturing laziness of ambling along between here and there. Just the simple passage of time.
The last few weeks have been less than idyll. Last week was an intense week of subtle intervention processes, strong and plentiful conversations with many people about handling an extremely fragile situation - and here I am today, with a sense of weight being [very] slowly lifted, like it might be solvable, and it might turn out ok. But the process to get here [and to continue for it is far from over, and forgive me but I wont say more on the blog because it involves children and my child in very personal ways] has been full of stress, sleepless nights, and worry.
In the last few days I've received a couple of comments which have upset me greatly. They weren't meant to upset, quite the opposite they were written as very compassionate comments and I understand that, appreciate it, and I mean no harm to the people who wrote the comments, but one in particular had me in tears. I wrote my last email in exactly what the post title says - stolen time. A tiny, small moment in a long week. Pia is transitioning to no daytime sleep, but she still needs that sleep - her little body shouldn't be expected yet to go all week without a sleep to nourish it and replenish it and she doesn't yet have the skills to deal with overtiredness. I have never forced either child to sleep, if it doesn't happen, it doesn't happen, we carry on. I feel very hurt that there has been a suggestion that for me to want her to sleep when I know she is very tired, and that I in turn may grasp a moment to breathe, replenish my soul and do something small for myself so that I may be totally there for both children when she wakes, is somehow belittling the preciousness and shortness of their childhood. The implied suggestion that I would regret my selfish acts of Me Time - even if they only amounted to thoughts of me time - and that I should put all thought of having that time aside - is really harsh for any mother to hear. Is that what we now expect of mothers? Should we be making them feel guilty for wanting a moment to themselves - was I so wrong to want that? I am left feeling like I have done something very, very wrong.
I rarely have Me Time. We very rarely go out. We don't have family and friends to mind the children. We don't impose on other people. We don't use babysitters. A few times a year my parents come from another city and take the children to give us a short break, and that's it. I don't work - specifically because I wanted to be with my children during their fleeting childhood. My husband works long hours, and often works weekends renovating the house. I don't see friends outside the children network very often. I don't do anything for me, other than pieces of sewing and knitting and I don't do that while the children are around. At the end of a long week, and a long day, to ask for some solace, half an hour to just stop.....and to hear I should think about my children more and put my own mental and physical needs aside is incredibly upsetting after all I do, and am, for these two children. If I can't function properly, how can I be expected to function effectively for my children? I have always striven for balance in my days and weeks. Even on the worst days I find beauty around me - even if I must search and seek it out. I adore my children, and give them everything of myself, all day, every day. I cherish every single day with them. But I do not have to love every single moment with them, or feel like I have lost their time when we have rough days and I want that day over. I do not feel the need to hide behind the prettiness of motherhood, and nor should any mother be expected to.
Please - do not deny me, or any mother, solace when they need it most.