Wednesday, March 5, 2014

baby update: 9 more days, a freak out + a confession

Today I have 9 days until my due date. I am excited to meet this little miss, of course. And completely terrified. I'm not afraid to admit it. HOW the heck will I ever leave the house again? I can barely get it together in the mornings  now as it is - my kids are USELESS at getting ready for school. Or following instructions. Or listening to anything I say. My house is still half a construction zone with new walls needing sanding, priming and painting, floors refinished and little bits and pieces still not 100% completed. I lost it the other week - it was all just too much. Steve got home from work and I just crumbled in a heap on the bed. For the second time that day. Immy had told me earlier I wasn't allowed to cry, cause I was the mum and only babies cried. Steve was a little more sympathetic and just waited patiently till I finished ranting incoherently and made it all better with hugs and by saying the right thing - I sometimes forget he IS a media manager and knows how to spin things if the need arises. But it worked.

Still. I'm at that doubting stage - what if things go wrong with the delivery? What if there is something wrong with the baby? With me? How will I cope at home with a newborn and three other demanding children? How will I get everyone dressed and out the door in time for school? How will I survive on such little sleep? What if I have a crap recovery and therefore everything above is just made 100 times worse? What if I get post-natal depression? What if I become even more disorganised and forgetful and impatient than I already am? What if it gets too cramped here in our small house? What if four children just doesn't work? WHAT IF? I hate this stage. My philosophy for pregnancies and birth is pretty much whatever happens, happens. There is no plan (except I am terrified of having an epidural - the thought of a needle in my spine is scarier than pushing out a human, so that's off the cards unless absolutely necessary, in which case it's not about me anyway), no expectations and no major requirements or needs. I'm pretty cruisey. Except when those annoying negative thoughts creep into my mind and freak me out. And here they are, in the last few weeks, right on cue...


I'm sure it will all work out and things will just eventually fit into place and life will go on as though I've always had four children and absolutely no patience, time or energy. And all will be fun and fine, though nuts at times. Just like it is now. But now isn't always great. I yell. A lot. I have no patience when Zak loses his hat for the 3rd time in two weeks or waits until I start to close the door before he realises he hasn't got his shoes on or didn't brush his teeth. Or when Layla looks at me when I tell her to get dressed for the 342nd time that morning and then just continues playing with... whatever is nearest to her. I want to put a leash on Immy when she runs up and down the verandah at the school before the bell rings knowing I can't chase her. And the toilet training - oh my god the toilet training. I get so annoyed it is taking her so long to get the with poos-in-toilet-not-the-pants-program. I hate myself when I swear in frustration because Zak has broken the phone charger because he snuck into my room to "charge and play" my phone when I told him he couldn't and sat there for ages with it bent. Or when they tell me in the car they forgot their drink bottle or need money for something and I of course never have any money on me. I feel exhausted at pick-up time when they throw their bags at me and demand this friend come over or they go over there or they want this toy or moan because I walked the 500m to the school rather than drove and feel like the worst mum ever because I dared to say "no". I want to scream at the parents who spoil their kids with the latest EVERYTHING or anything because they make my life so much harder. I hate all the "but so-and-so has this. And so-and-so has that." It all gets a bit much and I just want to curl up on the couch and do nothing, but then of course there are mouths that constantly need feeding, balls games that require watching or participating in, fights that need breaking up and homework that needs doing (and occasional bribes that need to be made in order for this to be done). It's all quite exhausting really. So some days, aside from the feeding (more just to shut them up), I don't do any of it. And I let them sit in front of the TV. And then the guilt sets in and I feel even worse.

And then there are all the good things that counteract it all - the knowledge Zak and his friend invited Layla to the library with them at lunch time and helped her do a find-a-word. The sweet way they chat when they walk into the schoolyard or when Zak asks if she had a good day. The adorable way Layla takes Immy under her wing and helps her with shoes or pants or encourages her to "use the toilet like a big girl". The way Zak changes the rules of his soccer game so Immy can play with him and the way he belly laughs when she attempts to tackle him or steal the ball. And those most heavenly moments when they all play together soooo sweetly for an hour or so. Even one bit of niceness makes up for the crappy parts of the day. Thank goodness!


So why am I being all so mopey and confessional? Because recently I've felt fraudish when all my lovely followers on social media or the blog say the sweetest things about my renovating/decorating/craft/baking/projects/whatever, like "I don't know how you do it all." "Where do you find the time and energy?" and crazy things like "You make me feel bad that I don't do this or that" "you're superwoman" or "supermum", but the truth is, I'm not any of those things and I HATE the thought that I make someone feel bad because I baked cookies from scratch for the kids to take to school on Valentine's Day and they didn't do anything. That is NEVER my intention. Basically, I just like to record life - good and bad, though I guess most of the time it's good. Cause really, who wants to see Immy throw a tantrum? (Although sometimes they are kind of amusing). I don't do it to compete, I don't do it to show off, I most certainly don't do anything to make people feel bad. I just like seeing what other people are up to and want to create visual memories of our family life too. I do it because I want to - I enjoy it and I want my kids to have fun memories. I want my house to (eventually!!) look nice. And I like making the little things a tiny bit more special - pretty parties, craft days and learning to bake (oh so messily). But just FYI, it doesn't always come super-easy or calmy or beautifully. Going the extra mile can all take its toll and I can lose my sh*t for stupid reasons. I take on too many things at once and do everything wrong in pregnancy. I paint. I sand floors. I move furniture and lift things. I eat the wrong things. I don't drink enough water. My iron is terribly low all the time. I know these things when I do them and I STILL DO THEM. And then I get all yelly and annoyed and frustrated. And I worry my kids will remember THOSE moments and not the nice ones I try so hard to record. And just for the sake of it - because I often wonder myself about the behind-of-scenes of picture-perfect lives on Instagram - I wanted you to know that... even if it reads all over the place and makes no sense in parts! Because if there is one thing I try to do here, it's to show a little reality too...

{Images are all by me but have been through the Waterlogue app on the iPhone. It's slightly addictive! I want to take some really beautiful portraits of the kids and have them watercoloured and blown up and printed out for my gallery wall}

22 comments:

  1. Thank you Belinda! I needed this post today! I have just had one of "those days". It is nice to feel I am not the only one!
    Thanks again, Emily

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    1. oh it IS nice to know you're not the only one! I hope tomorrow is tops for you xx

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  2. This was amazing to read & sounded like you had been reading my mind lol i have 7 days to go until no.4 arrives & apart from the renovating bit, sounds like my thoughts & life ;-)

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    1. oh gosh - good luck! WE CAN DO THIS, right?! xxx

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  3. You are a talented lady to create and write. A courageous woman to admit and talk Publicly of all those things every mum fears. You are a beautiful soul who loves deeply and that means you feel deeply too. And a wonderful mother even those days you dont think so. I am so grateful to be able to have you as a friend. Don't ever change.
    Nadine

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  4. In a non creepy way I like you.
    This post really sums up my life as well, I'm glad I'm not alone :)

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  5. Belinda, I LOVE reading your blog. I don't often post because I have a three year old who is ms demanding at the moment but I had to this time. You have always come across as completely down to earth, friendly and are completely inspirational because your writing (and images) are so very honest...even before this post. Some blogs (and Instagram accounts) are so completely BEAUTIFUL but after a big dose, you feel a bit bereft and almost uninspired as that life seems unattainable. However seeing your beautiful work (with all your generous sharing of info and sources) TRULY makes me feel that I can achieve something beautiful in my own surroundings. I know this sounds completely stalkerish but really, yours is the only blog out of the thousands I read that I feel like I'd love to sit down and have a coffee with the author. Like your friend said above, you truly do come across as a beautiful soul and wonderful mama and I'm so glad to have the privilege to read whatever you care to share. Good luck with the new baby. I'll be taking notes as per usual (I'm due with no#2 soon as well). xxxxx

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    1. that's so sweet, thank you so much. it'd have to be a hot chocolate though cause I don't drink coffee - love the smell, hate the taste! I am sugar all the way! haha all the best with your number 2! x

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  6. This post is reason #344 why I love you! Hang in there, mama. I understand and can totally relate to everything you shared (except kid #4!) so this post was one of my very favorites.

    I, too, feel like the lone parent not buying my kids the newest, best stuff but that's the way I was raised. We didn't have a ton of money so having the "cool" stuff wasn't even an option. t think it helped me to appreciate the pride that comes from saving for something I really want (like a house! or a chair!) and it also encourages (forces?) patience. Although, I find myself losing my patience and yelling at my kids sometimes, too.

    Some days I feel like my kids would be better off if I went back to work. I asked them recently if they thought I should go back to the pharmacy. The answer: NO! We love having you home! We like coming home from school and you being there to give us snacks and help us with our homework. We love it when you take us to the library! Please don't go back to work!

    So I must be doing something right. It just doesn't always feel that way. I think us moms tend to focus on the crappy parts of the day while the kiddos don't remember anything but the good. We could probably learn from our wise kids!

    xo,
    Dana

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    1. thanks lovely, you always know what to say. I'll have to start asking them again what their fave part of the day was and see - hopefully it'll be something we shared together! xx

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  7. Belinda, you are an incredible mum! And I'm pretty sure all those fears and worries are normal and you will be fine, and sometimes you will still yell, and there will still be those lovely happy moments, only there will be four kidlets involved. You are just so down to earth, I loved reading this post! Also, it's totally rational that you fear the epidural. I had to have one for a c-sec, and I wasn't even in full labour to distract me, and I was pretty much hyperventilating with terror that there was a giant needle being shoved into my spine, and then I went numb and hated that feeling too.

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    1. thank you rosie! that's very sweet. oh the numbness - there is no real win with it is there?!?! x

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  8. Hang in there! Pregnancy wears you out big time especially with other kids around. BE KIND TO YOURSELF.
    My #4 just turned 6 months and my eldest started Prep, #2 in kinder & there's a 2 year old too. I struggled getting into the swing of things and thought I had to be back into it ASAP. .. suffered a prolapse at 5weeks post partum & spent many moments crying because I was overwhelmed. Family & friends help out when you least expect it. TV is on alot to cope and sometimes you gotta get tough and change up expectations.
    Life seems very hard at times but you just gotta slow it down. Give yourself some "maternity leave" and enjoy the last week !
    As you said, the kids give us many cherished moments which makes it worthwhile. .. better hands full than empty ... you'll be fine Belinda! I'm so proud of my four kids even though they drive me crazy hehe . Good luck x

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    1. thank you jacinta! i take my hat off to you having them so close together! at least i have two in school now which should make the daytimes a little less nuts! xx

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  9. Love this post! Something about the watercolours and the subject matter made me think of the cover of the book 'The perfectly imperfect home'.

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    1. yes! that's exactly what that app reminds me of! x

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  10. Hi Belinda - I started reading your blog last year when feeding my third and last daughter (now nine months) and although I'm happy to devour home magazines at any opportunity I have to confess to getting cranky at the sheer perfection of it all and really they serve the same purpose as porn. In fact, I've often thought I could or perhaps even should do a parody of them. So, I've welcomed your honesty about your home and life even if I'm disinclined to tackle any of your craft projects (the girls make enough mess without my half finished projects adding to the mix) as it serves as a reminder of the organisational work involved in improving and maintaining a family home but is also still inspirational. I do have to admit that I do covet your kitchen (particularly the benchtop) and I'm jealous that your pregnancy for bub #4 has progressed so far; I got to 37 weeks exactly with the last one when I was desparate to eek out every last drop of time and as a result she was in a bassinet in our room for 8 months. I gasped when I read your confessional as it felt like my own stream of consciousness somehow finding its way online. Your anxieties about your children, half finished renovations and birth / recovery are not without foundation but you are clearly a competent, attentive and loving parent who it seems has a supportive husband (and I know it's not easy for the main breadwinner coming home to chaos either) but as long as a you can be a bit kinder to and easier on yourself, you'll all come through it and maybe laugh, later. Goodluck and best wishes to you and your family for bub #4 - the ultimate creative process; I look forward to the (honest) updates. V

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    1. thank you - it's always nice to know i'm not the only one who has these anxieties! and i will most definintely be writing some honest updates - maybe a day-in-the-life! my god it would be a novel wouldn't it! haha x

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  11. Thank you thank you thank you Belinda- for this lovely honest post!! I was smiling and nodding my head at everything you were saying . With three kiddies myself -the youngest is nearly two- my life most days is crazy but it made me feel so much better to know I am not the only one. Us Mum's need to support each other- so thankyou- your are an amazing Mum !!

    xoxo

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  12. Belinda I just found a link to this post on The New Normal Poscast's page & I sat here nodding along to almost every single thing you have written!

    I too am pregnant with my fourth baby. I have a 14 year old ( the worst age ever!!!), an 11 year old & an almost 11 month old ( who still does not sleep through the night!!!) & I have about 9 weeks until I pop out this 4th & final baby. My husbabnd does 4:1 FIFO work so to say I am tired, overwhelmed, impatient & sometimes just out & out no fun to be around is probably an understatement. I feel terrible for my bigger two because quite often they will bear the brunt of my sheer exhaustion but more often than not they ( well the 14 year old mostly) is the cause. Why can't kids get ready for school on tme & without being told to do the same thing 1500 times? Why cant they keep their rooms clean, or do their homework, or put dirty dishes in the sink or PICK UP THE BLOODY TOWELS????
    So thanks for sharing the real stuff, for allowing a fellow mum to feel normal & for not always showing the great stuff :)

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