You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2018.

  • Sophia is eight years old now. She’s growing up. She’s becoming more of an individual. She’s always been an individual, of course, but she’s not needing me as much anymore. Whilst this is a good thing (because it’s just the way parent-child relationships work), I’m left feeling a little sad. There’s a certain innocence that’s shifting and changing within her. Our conversations are becoming more complex. I like that. I like that she’s becoming a little human being with whom I’m beginning to have more of an actual relationship, but I’m also very aware that she’s still a little fragile and naive.
  • I work very hard to give Sophia a balanced perspective of the world. The burden of mothering is changing. When she was a baby and a toddler, it was about changing nappies, feeding her, and sleep! Now we’re having conversations. Conversations about subtle things, like good vs. bad vs. the thing in between that no one seems to have a name for, how boys and girls are different but that difference doesn’t (or shouldn’t) define the things one does or pursues, and how I might get upset (or downright angry) with the things she does, but my love for her doesn’t change, my wonder at how she expresses her ideas and the things she creates doesn’t change.
  • Mothers are ‘meant to’ love their children from the moment they become aware that they are with child. I am not one of these mothers. I am a reluctant mother. My becoming a mother was more of a ‘deer in the headlights’ experience than a ‘the heavens opened and angels began to sing’ experience. I’m a little surprised then that I’ve come to love my child. The aching heart kind of love. The mama bear kind of love. The ‘oh my gosh, how did you work that one out because that’s really smart’ kind of love. Sophia surprises me. And that’s… heartwarming.
  • We kept Sophia’s birthday celebrations low-key this year. Last year was the epic birthday-party-at-a-party-venue-with-screaming-children-too-much-sugar-and-not-enough-time-to-actually-enjoy-the-company-of-friends birthday. This year was the play-all-day-with-dragons-and-LEGO-Dimensions-and-Disney-Infinity-whilst-the-adults-cook-and-chat birthday. It was nice, for everyone. I feel like this is what birthdays should be like – more parents enjoying the day as much as their children instead of parents working bloody hard to create ‘an experience of joy and wonder’ for their children.
  • Sophia was also delighted to get a phone call from grandad and nana first thing in the morning, and a stream of WhatsApp messages from avô* and avó**, Tio Luis, Madrinha and Caitlyn during the day. It’s bittersweet though… knowing they miss Sophia so much, celebrating her birthday from a distance. Sure, technology helps, but it’s just not the same as warm hugs in person. It’s just not. 😦

 

* pronounced “a-voh” (grandpa)

** pronunced “a-vaw” (grandma)

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The interesting thing about writing a blog is that you begin to appreciate how much thinking and wresting with ideas goes on in the background. There’s a lot on my mind, which might explain why I often feel mentally tired. Here are some of the things that have been on my mind during the week.

  • I had a conversation with another mum about winter hockey teams. At the time, the conversation felt inconsequential, but she made a comment that, later I realised, had deeper significance for me. She pointed out that there were a lot more girls playing hockey this winter than boys, and perhaps that shouldn’t be so surprising because hockey seems to be one of the few sports that the girls have access to – there’s no football or rugby for them, and the school doesn’t have a netball team. This conversation swirled around my brain for a while, and then I remembered this Twitter thread by Milena about “docile, socially constructed bodies and why no women figure skaters do quad jumps, and women snowboarders only get 3m of amplitude on the half pipe while the men get 5m”. I’m still processing the thought. We’ll talk about it some more.
  • Also on my mind is the idea that plus-size fashion is freeing, prompted by an article on Stuff entitled The emancipating power of plus-size fashion. There’s so much to unpack from this article, and sadly I have no time to do it now. But, I’ll leave you with this piece, which struck me most:

“For Duff, fashion is about diversity. She is scathing of the tired trope that the plus-size industry is somehow “promoting obesity”.

“I’m just supporting women to have a life, be a part of life,” she says.

  • Some time ago, I mentioned how I’ve decided to look for part time work. This decision is having consequences – mostly because my frustrations around the perceptions about being a housewife are surfacing. These frustrations are mostly around the fact that being a housewife/ caregiver is basically unpaid labour, and unpaid labour has little or no value. Being a caregiver to your own child is seen as a duty rather than meaningful, important, valuable work. The most you can get out of it is transferable skills, and even that seems a bit of a stretch of the imagination. This has me angry, I won’t lie.
  • Enough about wrestling thoughts. On a more cheerful note: I have procured a spinning wheel. I have no clue as to how to use it – yet! I must say, I’m quite excited by the idea of spinning yarn and then knitting it into a garment. Oh, and the drive into Featherston to buy said spinning wheel was lovely, especially since we discovered the weekly farmers’ market. I’m a little surprised at how delighted I was to do some grocery shopping there. There’s something wholesome about buying vegetables directly from the farmer!
  • As to health matters – there’s no significant change regarding my father’s condition. He’s still in hospital. We take the small improvements as a good sign though. His appetite is much better – he’s eating full plates of food now. That’s good news!
  • I noticed that the dates in the headings of my previous two posts were wrong. I’ve corrected them. Sorry about that. I suppose it’s a good indication of where I’m at, though. I’m tired. Very tired.  I make mistakes when I’m tired. My cold probably has something to do with it. I’m not sleeping well because of the blocked nose, so… there’s that. And there’s the hip situation. Although better, I don’t have full movement yet. Also, it hurts if I lie on it, which inevitably happens when I’m asleep… which means I wake up… which means my sleep is disturbed… which means tired. So yeah. Tired.
  • Holidays are coming up and I thought I’d use the time with Sophia to start a project. A time-consuming, labour intensive project. I’m want to re-organise our LEGO collection by part. We have over 100 sets, easily. See how this is going to take a while? Why, you ask? Because most of our sets are in neatly labelled and organised plastic bags. Sure, this is great if you want to build that set, but it’s not at all conducive to the free building that Sophia is into right now. She’s picking pieces from this or that bag, which means the set is now incomplete. This drives me a little mad because we must have all the pieces in the bag, you know? Yes? (Okay, you don’t care. I know. I’m particular. Anyway. Moving on.)
  • Did I mention that LEGO has brought out it’s latest range? I haven’t looked at the City, Ninjago or Creator themes yet, but I happened to come upon the Elves sets yesterday – and are they cute! Dammit. Now I want them all! (The only LEGO Elves set we don’t have is Naida’s Spa Secret (41072). Refusing to buy it was a form of silent protest on my part. Naida’s space in the mini movie Unite the Magic, which LEGO made as part of the theme’s release in 2015, is a library in a cave, complete with waterfall (because Naida = water elf). How did we go from a library in the mini movie to a spa in the LEGO set? It feels wrong – that ‘girls = beautification’ idea. And a library, people! A library! How can you not include a library? Just… how?)
  • Anyway. Following along the same line of gender specific stuff, and whilst I’m moaning – please tell me: do girls not wear green clothing? I only ask because we needed a green t-shirt for my daughter’s school athletics day (green being her house colour). The only place I could find a straightforward, plain-coloured t-shirt was in the boys’ section. The girls’ section was full of shades of pink, muted tones of blue and lavender, rose gold sparkly polka dots, and the odd black and white stripe, often with a ‘cute’ slogan or picture. Nothing plain. No-thing. Jeez, I’m all for having a sense of style and having fun with your clothing – but can we as girls (women?) have some more colour choices please? And functional pockets.
  • My father hasn’t been discharged from hospital yet. A brief chat with my mother on the weekend revealed that he actually had two drains inserted at his side. Whilst one of the drains has been removed, the other remains. On the upside, the amount of fluid that is draining is decreasing. We still don’t know where the fluid is coming from, not exactly. I’m just glad he’s slowly getting better.
  • I have a cold. It sucks when you can’t breath through your nose.
  • I applied for a part-time position. I didn’t get beyond making an application. At first, I was relieved when I read the email letting me know I’d not progressed to the next stage of the selection process (mostly because the idea of going for an interview makes me very anxious). Then there was disappointment, because I’d imagined myself working and it was a nice feeling. Now I have to start from scratch. Looking for part-time work feels hard.
  • I discovered Shoe School. This is quite exciting because:
    1. I struggle to find shoes that fit well (because broad feet). The idea of designing, making and then wearing comfortable shoes is exhilarating.
    2. I can imagine making miniature shoes for dolls! How cute would that be?
    3. It’s an opportunity to see how I manage my anxiety around going to new places, meeting strangers, and learning new things.
    4. It’s also an opportunity for me to balance the demands of managing a household and being a caregiver (i.e. Is child care after school available? Can I get to class on time in the morning and get Sophia to school too? Can I manage household chores and responsibilities as well as classes and homework?)
    5. Points 3. and 4. are especially relevant because studying costume at Toi Whakaari for two years is still on my radar.
  • My father is still in hospital. His recovery is slow. So slow. It makes me sad that there’s nothing I can do to make him better, faster.
  • I meant to write this blog on the 9th of February 2018. But here we are, three weeks later. No blogs yet. (Sorry Luis*.) Shitty as that is, I’m starting where I am. My intention is to write a blog once a week, on a Friday. Because my brother asked me to and I said I would. (And because I think it will be good for me.) Writing a blog is hard. Structure makes it easier -therefore the ‘five things’ approach. (Thank you to Robynn** for the idea.) Basically, I’ll write about five things. They may be related, or they’ll be random. Who knows. It just has to be five things.
  • I have injured my hip. A weird twisty motion from a sitting position broke my muscles. It’s sore. I’ve booked an appointment with a physiotherapist. It will get better. But. I don’t think it’s just a sore hip. It’s been a sore hip for going on four weeks now. That’s too long for “just a sore hip”. Sometimes it’s not so much about my body as it is about my head-heart-spirit space. Louise L. Hay’s Heal Your Body says: “Hip Problems = Fear of going forward in major decisions. Nothing to move forward to.” Debbie Shapiro’s Your Body Speaks Your Mind says: “Where there is fear of movement – perhaps a fear that there is nothing to move towards …, or a fear of where we are going – then the hips will reflect this. A problem here indicates … a feeling of being unable to stand on our own. Stiffness in the hips is a sign of resistance to change, perhaps in your work or living situation. … When we feel useless, our hips prove that uselessness by preventing us from moving.” (Bold text is mine.) Also, it’s my left hip. Shapiro says “The left side of the body … indicates the ability … to surrender; to nourish and care for others; … to be creative and artistic, to listen to and trust our own wisdom.” (Again, bold text is mine.) It’s telling because this so accurately describes my head-heart-space. I’m stuck, too afraid to take a next step.
  • I’d like to make dolls, and costumes for dolls. I don’t know why. This online course by Adele Po could be a good place to start. Also, whilst we’re on the subject of learning, I think I’d like to explore Druidry through The Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. Just thought I’d put that out there.
  • Last I heard (about four days ago), my father is doing better. He’s still in hospital, but slowly recovering. I take the removal of the drain from his side to be a good sign. His appetite it back. He is healing. (And I breathe just a little.)
  • This morning, I held Sophia’s*** little face in my hands and I told her that I love her to the moon and back. She responded with a warm hug and a “I love you to the sun and back”. So much feels.

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* my dearest brother

** my beautiful friend

*** my beloved daughter

 

 

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