Over the weekend I decided to have some of girlfriends over – I don’t do this anywhere near as often as I should or would like to. To be honest, I am so elusive at a number of events or get together that I am certain a number of people have wondered about the “real-ness” of Farah’s existence! This is for a few reasons: being married into a half Greek, half Italian family means that there are is fair amount of events to go to as it is involving family. In addition I have a “high needs” parent means that a LOT of time is being taken up with my mum; not to mention that there the other usual ‘dance around the mulberry bush’ situations like sick children, teething toddler, being sick myself after all the kids have been sick and hubby also being struck down… you catch the drift.
Anyway – I tell hubby that I am having the girls over and this is what transpires;
Hubby: his Saturday? I have footy to go to…
Me: um – ok… they’re coming for dinner…
Hubby: oh ok – what are you going to make?
Me: I hadn’t really thought about it but I have a hankering for sticky date pudding so I will be making that for dessert. Why?
Hubby: I wanted to make a lasagne – how about I make a big baking tray full and you can serve that up to your friends and not have to cook
*seriously, at this point I am STARING with amazement about how BRILLIANT my husband is*
But then it gets even better on the day:
Hubby: are you going out this morning?
Hubby: I am wondering if you could take me to mum and dad’s so that I can go to footy with dad as my car is there.
Me: yeah – I can do that; but I still need to get a couple bits and pieces this morning from the shops…
Hubby: ok – did you want to take the kids with you and I’ll do a quick vacuum for when the girls come around?
Honestly – how ROMANTIC is my husband?
*Just as an FYI, I have added a sneaky pic that one of my girlfriends took of the dinner – the lasagne was AMAZING! The man makes his own sauce – from scratch… that he has cooking on the stove for a good portion of the day (the day prior)
I feel there comes a point where we as parent’s have to concede to our “needs” for the sake of our own sanity. The problem lies, where the other parent may feel/think differently. On and off, for the last couple month’s missy (nearly 2yrs) has been waking very early in the morning and we have been trying to get her to either stay asleep, or at the very least calm down and stop crying at the top of your lungs until you are released from the sanctity of said bedroom. I know what she wants; daddy knows what she wants and she certainly knows that what she wants is to be nice and cosy in our bedroom surrounded by mummy & daddy. In fact; she’ll even settle for one of us (more so me) being in her room whilst she clutches my hand for dear life.
Anyway; for weeks we tried methods that included calming her down + soothing then walking out, returning when the crying got escalated and trying again. To NO avail. After one particular morning that started from 12.48am where ALL morning I was doing the soothing methodology til 6 (at which point is desperately have to get ready for work – albeit I am there in a zombie-like trance) something inside of me snapped. In the calmest yet sternest of voices I told her that from this morning onward there was NO more calming down – that mummy loves her but that mummy has had ENOUGH of her games and there was NO MORE.
That night I stood my ground when at 1.15am she woke up and cried. Don’t judge me people but you have no idea how tired we both were; how angry and annoyed hubby was and how bitterly disappointed I was in myself and my beautiful child that I could not manage to get her back to sleep that didn’t involve her coming into bed with us. For 30minutes she would start and stop crying; I watched her in the baby monitor as each time she had stopped crying for between 2-5minutes and watch the door. And with EACH time she did this – watched and waited for me with what I truly believe EXPECTATION, my resolve only grew more strong. Then I saw her lay down and go to sleep; only to do it again at 3.50am (for 15ish minutes this time) and then insist the day begin at 5:30am with yet more crying. For a little over a week this lasted but then all seemed ok – we were still frustrated at the 5am wake ups though but I decided that overall it was still a win!
Then the 5am wake ups and journey into our room (&bed) began to frustrate hubby – and being the dutiful wife I like to keep all members happy so obliged to train her out of this too (even though deep down I personally was not phased). And now here we are – between 3:30am and 4:20am missy will now get up crying and going off her tree until we get her.
It’s slowly killing me but I am TRYING to persevere.
It has obliterated all semblance of patience my husband has with her & when he goes into her room for the second time to tell her to sleep and that it’s still “nigh-nigh time” it is NOT soothing chastise.
This morning I came undone. After hubby went in to give her a dummy and insist she go back to sleep (it was 3.28am) and after her being silent for 10minutes she started up again and I was over it all. I grabbed my cardigan and clipped up my hair and went into her room and in a defeated but motherly voice asked her to please clam down and lay down and that mummy was here. I grabbed her spare blanket and sat in the new chair I got for room slid a foot between the ‘bars’ of her cot which she grabbed and hugged against her chest.
I can’t keep fighting this anymore – I slowly began to fall asleep there until my alarm went off to get ready for work.
Hubby is saying that I am making a rod for my own back – that with baby #2 on his way in 9weeks it will only get worse. I don’t care anymore; I would much rather her be quiet so that we CAN get SOME sleep then what we’ve been doing thus far (I mean; clearly we’re not winning the war here! And I can’t help but think that I should, as I always have – pick my battles). I am spent with this whole situation and think that overall, her issue with being up at about 4:30am is just a cross I am going to have to bear and just hope it’s a phase… they DO grow up so quickly and I just have to keep plodding along – then when she gets into a proper bed I am more than ok with her either crawling into bed with us (hubby told me this morning that he did NOT like this idea as it was OUR bed) or me getting into bed with her. I actually don’t mind that option – I mean; am I not her mother and as such should be putting her needs before my own? Clearly she wants mummy next to her at that hour – how REALLY does it hurt me? She sleeps the remaining 75% of the night.
When I was little my mum taught me lessons like respect, obedience & prayer. She taught me to think of others & their needs and about the inherent importance that a good education played in life. My mum boasts that some of my first words were ‘please’ and ‘thank you’.
As I grew older these teachings along with my own personal character meant that I put others before myself. I studied hard because it meant that it made my mum happy, I adhered to curfews because:
I didn’t like conflict or arguing
It was what my mum wanted and therefore kept her happy which therefore meant that my (home) life was happy/easy
Don’t get me wrong; every now and again I would bemoan “what about me?” and lament about how it wasn’t fair but I was always led to believe that “my time will come”. It wasn’t necessarily that I was actually told this, but rather it was a silent unspoken rule that one day, I too would get to be adult enough to put my needs wants and desires out there and that they would be seen as relevant and mattered.
So when I got married I understand that this meant that my wants and needs would have to go hand in hand with the person I married. I had led a life already based on the understanding of patience and compromise so I had no problem with having another person’s needs & desires listened to. When I became a mum I understood that this too was an act of selflessness; that being a mum meant putting this human being before EVERYTHING else. That, like my mother; ensuring I raise a productive, ethical child with sound values who will be independent and capable is now the primary focus in my life. HOWEVER, in saying that I now feel that at as I have travelled this far along the journey of life, that I am NOW finally entitled voice my needs without others judging me or expecting too much of me.
WHAT A CROCK!
See, the problem is this: when you have spent a WHOLE lifetime of being caring, of putting everyone else’s needs before your own, of being selfless and unwavering in your seemingly never-ending pool of patience it seems that people then have a MASSIVE problem when you come out with saying “no” or “I don’t want to”. It hardly seems fair… so that now; even after all the compromising it seems that there is still more compromising to be done. Still more “biding my time” to do and still more “settling”. When I DO say something I am first met with seeming understanding but there is STILL the expectation that I will do what everyone else wants; they all seem uncomfortable & annoyed that I’m not doing what they all want me to do.
And so the cycle continues… I move forward and realise that clearly this is my role; I am the compromiser, the person who just has to ‘suck it up’, the patience person who’s feelings DO matter (as so long as they don’t hurt/differ from others), the person who just goes along with it all and says nothing lest I offend/upset/alienate anyone.