birthday time

This Friday marks a whole year that the twins have been with us. A whole freaking year. My sanity still in question, I don’t know how we’ve made it. I’m talking about me, I’m taking about the husband, I’m talking about our marriage, I’m talking about our bank accounts; I don’t know how we’ve made it. People ask me all the time; “how do you manage?” and quite honestly, I don’t know. You just somehow adapt. There are 2 little people who, at the same time, need you and you have to be there for them. Although I have a helluva lot of respect for parents to triplets, quads etc because I have NO idea how THEY do it.

The husband has been at me for the last 2-3 weeks, asking what I’m doing for the twins birthday. Yes, what I’m doing. Anyway, I told him that I want nothing big, they’re only turning 1 and that I’ve learnt from Morgan-Lee; there is no need for a huge party with people that they don’t know. Plus, we can’t afford anything big! PLUS, it’s the husband’s birthday as well! Yes, excellent planning on my part. The twins were born on the husband’s 34th birthday. I just honestly couldn’t go on being pregnant anymore, so it was either the 12th of February, or the 19th, and I emotionally and physically could not be pregnant for another week. But I digress.

I sent out a message earlier to some of our closest friends and family, just letting them know that we’re having a small, informal get-together on Friday afternoon, to celebrate 3 very important birthdays. I asked the husband for 2 of his friend’s numbers, and he refused to give them to me. “The ‘party’ is only for the twins” he tells me. I told him ok fine, I’ll just message their ladies. He then tells me, no, don’t.

I told him last year that even though the twins were born on his birthday, it’s still his birthday. He told me that he’s never having a birthday again, because they’re born on his birthday. In total fairness, in 2014 he was admitted into hospital on his birthday, and in 2015 we were again in hospital, having 2 babies. He’s just totally disinterested in his birthday. And that honestly makes me sad. He’s bummed that he’s turning 35, and he doesn’t have much to show for it. Yeah well, I’m turning 30 next month (the horror) and I don’t have much to show for it. Or do I?

I have 3 beautiful children, a husband who I want to throttle most days but love on the others, a mom that is just beyond incredible, and an amazing support system through my friends and family. No, I’m not into birthdays myself. But the way the husband does what he does, all for us? That’s definitely something to be celebrated. Yes, we argue and we fight and we swear and we threaten to leave. But we’re still in it. Still carrying on. Still making our way through life, together. As a team. Although some days, we both feel alone, and that’s something that we both need to work on, together.

So this Friday (I’m really hoping that my boss approves my 1/2 day leave request) I WILL make it about him, AND our babies. Not about our babies and him. He is every bit as important as the twins, if not more important.

I just wish he’d see that.

G

that funny little thing called family

2016 started off with a bang for me; quite literally. But before I get into that, I’d just like to give you some history.

I am not what you would call an emotionally mature person. I cry at the slightest thing (something I’ve been working on for years), have a fierce temper, fly off the handle far too quickly, and too often find myself arguing with myself how not to lose it completely. I do take things too personally at times; every morning in my household for example. But I am aware of my shortcomings, my flaws. And I am the first to admit it.

Last November my family and I went through a really rough patch. So rough in fact, that I didn’t know how we were going to eat, or how I was going to get to work. I honestly didn’t know how we were going to make it. Then the universe responded, in the form of family and friends, both close and far (like overseas far) by rallying around us, and supporting us in our time of need. It wasn’t just the financial aid that was bestowed upon my family, but the support and reassurance shown to me, a wife and mother who felt lower than a failure. But I again acknowledged my shortcomings, and whilst I didn’t name those who helped us publicly, I don’t think I’ll ever stop thanking them personally. But the point I’m trying to make, is that I acknowledged the help and assistance shown and given to me. I’m so incredibly grateful for it; I don’t see the need to come off as a martyr or a victim. I have made poor decisions in my life that lead us to that point in our lives. But I am a victim of my own decisions, my own wrongdoings. No one else is responsible for my situation, but me.

One of the biggest things that happened last October/November, was my mom and step-dad buying groceries for my family and I. And I’m not just talking about some milk and bread, I’m talking an entire boot full of groceries, basically a monthly shop. I remember pushing the trolley with my mom, putting in one or two things, turning around and then my mom putting in way more. We ate that month because of my mom and step-dad. I’m not ashamed to admit it, because surely as a family, that’s what we do? We support each other, both emotionally and financially when needed, and then we of course acknowledge this support, whether it be publicly or privately. But the point is, we acknowledge it. I am not ashamed to admit that my mom bailed me out. Again. I’ve lost count at how many tins of formula my mom and step-dad have bought for the twins, packs of nappies, fresh veggies and meat to make baby food, some petrol here and there… I’ve lost count. I don’t know how much I owe them financially, and one day I’ll clear it all, but I’ll be forever indebted to them emotionally and spiritually. They kept my family going when I didn’t think we could anymore. But that’s family for you. Isn’t it?

Tuesday the 5th of January, our family fractured, perhaps forever. And what you ask, caused this fracture? A tv. Yes, you read that correctly. A tv, and 2 children who think that they know all about the world and what it entails. 2 children who think that they know what hardships are. 2 children who really have no idea how the real world works. 2 children who since then, have gone out of their way to ostracize themselves, make themselves out to be martyrs and heroes, all because of a tv. I am partly to blame for this fracture, and I admit it and accept responsibility for it. But I also have my reasons, as I absolutely refuse to see my mom and step-dad be taken advantage of for yet another minute, without something being said about it. I snapped. What caused me to snap? A comment. A comment about how my step-dad had filled my boot twice last year, because I couldn’t. Yet the ironic thing is that the person who made the nasty, hurtful, TRUE comment to me, was irate because a reminder was given to it just a few days prior, about how its family had bailed it out. Again. Pretty much the pot calling the kettle black, but this is a person with a total and utter victim mentality, with the belief that the world owes it everything. I too was sexually molested by the same man for 2 years. I too had my innocence stolen from me. But I have refused to let it determine my course in life, determine my fate and destiny. I am who I am, because of decisions that I make in my life. Not because of something that happened to me. I determine my path in life, not an event.

This person had the audacity to state that its partner for the past 18 months had done more for its son and it, than my mom and step-dad ever had. With that in mind, take into consideration that at age 25, it is engaged for the 3rd time in 7 years (to 3 different partners) and that this latest engagement is to a person that it has been with for the past 18 months, but its son (from the 2nd engagement) is only 2.5 years old. Let that little nugget sink in.

This person went as far as separating my mom’s dirty washing out from the rest of the washing, and excluding it from the washing. As my mom’s washing machine has been broken, I’ve been doing her washing at my house. It has even gone as far as removing its son from my mom’s care, even when a simple thing is done, like taking him out of his car seat. Its partner has 3 dogs, one of which is 11 years old, and it had a stroke. Something happened to its one front leg, and the decision was made to amputate it. This cost between R1000-R1500, when quite honestly the humane thing would have been to euthanise the old girl. But then about 2 or so weeks later, its son was quite ill and needed to be admitted into hospital, and because it’s a hero and martyr, it asked for help from another member of our family, who had to literally scratch around their house for the R270 odd that was needed to admit a child who required hospitalisation. Who normally provides this money for admittance? My mom and step-dad, no questions asked. But the free ride is over. The abuse that my parents have experienced at the hands of this person, is over. I have been more of a child to my step-dad than this person ever has, defending him and sticking up for him publicly, when this person publicly made note of the fact that it was a single parent, and how hard it was, and that it had no financial support and that every day was a struggle. All of this was publicly posted, whilst living back with its parents, after the 2nd engagement fell apart. The second engagement that we all warned it against. But yet again, it knew better. It conveniently forgot how its father was up almost every night with its son, calming him down, getting him to sleep. It conveniently forgot the roof put over its head, the food that was provided. The expensive tins of specialised formula for its son. All bought for and provided for by its parents, no questions asked. Because that’s what family does. It has also conveniently forgotten that my mother carried our family financially for over a decade, as the sole breadwinner in our household. What this person does instead, is blame everyone else in its life for its situations, decisions and outcomes, instead of looking to the true culprit; itself.

Why am I bringing all of this up now, when I am preaching that family does what family does, because its family? Because this person has forgotten all that has been done for it. And when one tries to remind it of all of the bail outs and support shown to it over the years, it either vehemently denies it, feigns amnesia or just ignores you altogether.

What this post is to me, is therapy. It is my way of acknowledging that whilst I could have handled the situation more maturely on Tuesday the 5th of January 2016, what is done is done, and quite honestly, so am I. This person is nothing to me anymore. And I do believe that this person has realised it, as I realise that I am nothing to it. And that’s ok. Sad, but ok. The abuse and blatant taking advantage of that this person has shown towards its family, MY family has gone on for 20+ years, and has now come to an end. I maybe seen as the enemy here, the bully, the perpetrator. But that is only because, as it so aptly spat in my face on the 5th of January, the truth hurts.

That funny little thing called ‘family’.

G

the mom bod

At the age of 29 (ok, almost 30), I don’t have the body that I want. Heck, most days I wonder how my husband even copes. But then I start thinking about what my body has done over the past 6 and a bit years, and my body issues, they don’t seem so important anymore.

My body has gone through 2 pregnancies. My body has nourished 3 children. My body gained 30kg over 9 months, and lost it in 6 weeks. I have cellulite, stretch marks and a pooch that has taken up residence where my flat tummy used to be. My boobs are different sizes, and no longer point in the same direction. I literally have to stand in front of the mirror every morning, rearranging them in my bra so that if it happens to be a bit cold, people will look in 1 direction, not 2! I have 2 chins, sometimes 3. My hair has thinned out, and has fallen out. I have the epitome of a muffin top, even when wearing the loosest fitting clothes that I own.

But then, I thought about what my damaged, broken body has given me. 3 healthy, strong, beautiful children. My damaged, broken body has done something that is nothing short of heroic. My body grew and nourished 3 children, 2 of them at once. Do I like what I see in the mirror? No, not particularly. But then, I don’t spend my life looking in a mirror. I have looked at the bodies of my friends who have had also had children, and I’ve looked on in envy. I’ve looked at their flat tummies, skinny legs and perky boobs and then I’ve taken a step back and realised something; I am not my friends. This is my body, not theirs. My body has reacted to pregnancy in the way that it has, because it is my body. My skin is not very elastic; I knew this from my teenage years, when my first lot of stretch marks appeared. I look at my mom, super skinny after 3 pregnancies, and I’ve looked on in envy. But now I don’t. This is my body. My body that produced 3 children. Will my body ever return to its 55kg svelte state? Quite simply, no. Yes I’m exercising and trying to lose a bit of the excess weight that I’m carrying, but it’s no longer a huge issue in my life. It’s no longer a major priority. What is a priority, is watching my children grow up, to be happy, healthy, loved people. To be determined, respectful and full of perseverance. To be the best that they can be. To know that the world is theirs for the taking, if they work hard enough for what they want.

No, I’m no supermodel. No, I never have been, and never will be. I’ve got lumps and bumps, absolutely no ass whatsoever, and lopsided boobs. I have aches and creaks in my joints, and my wedding band still doesn’t fit on my finger, even though I’ve lost all of my pregnancy weight.

But quite honestly, what more could I ask for, without being selfish?

I am woman. I am mom. I am enough.

G

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This is me

2016; the year of maybe, just maybe

I’m not what you would call a positive person. I say realist; the husband says pessimist. Potato potaato. I rarely get my hopes up for anything, as life has unfortunately given me too many letdowns, or should I say, I have had too many letdowns in my life. But 2016 is proving to be putting up a little more of a fight.

The husband and I started the year on a bit of a high; 2015 ended up with us having a little bit of spare cash, our family life was relatively stable, and work was well, work. But then a week in 2016, things got a little better. Work wise the husband is happy, stable and secure, I was able to buy “big school” uniforms without breaking the bank, and everything just seemed to be falling into place. Fast forward to the last week of the new month, and things have just continued on the up and up.

The husband is doing so well at work; he’s so happy and he’s finally being realised for the hard worker that he is. I knew that it was only a matter of time, but those first few months were trying, both financially and emotionally. The big girl is LOVING school; in fact on her second day she promptly informed me on the way to school that I must no longer walk in with her, as she knows where her classroom is. Cue my broken heart bouncing all over the floor. I’ve applied for a position at our head office, and whilst they haven’t even started shortlisting candidates yet, I just have a good feeling about it. We were contacted on Wednesday regarding an invoicing issue from the gearbox repairs that we did on our car back in October, and they’re refunding us a portion of our payment today. Yet another month has come and almost gone, and we’re still standing. And not just standing, smiling. Laughing. Happy. Not just surviving. We’re still living each and every day as if we were struggling as badly as we were, as who knows how long this could/will last.

I just find it absolutely amazing that 2.5 months ago, I didn’t know how I was putting food in my children’s tummies, or petrol in the car. I have some amazing guardian angels in my life; friends and family, both near and far (like, internationally far) who rallied around me, and gave me not only emotional support, but financial support, enough to see us through the month. Enough to pick up my spirits, and carry on fighting the fight. To those beautiful souls who helped out my family in our time of dire need, I will never be able to thank-you enough for what you did for us. And not just from the financial side of things. Your messages, scriptures and words of hope, love and support comforted me in some of my darkest hours.

2016 has so far proven itself to be a very interesting year; I have learnt who my true family members are, and not all of them are blood related. I have learnt that I am a good mom, even though I stumble through it most days, my children love me and I love them with all that I am. I have learnt that even though the husband and I are at each other’s throats at least twice a month, we love each other so deeply, and 12.5 years into it, we’re still learning about each other, learning what makes each of us tick. I have learnt that you cannot expect change, from someone who simply refuses to see their flaws and make the necessary changes, even though they are making the exact same mistake, for the 15th time. I have learnt that I need to take a step back, even if it means watching that person fall and crash, purely because they have refused to listen to reason. I have learnt that I am stronger than I ever knew I was, both physically and emotionally. I have learnt that I don’t have to be strong all of the time, that it’s ok to lose my cool over the fact that the babies are crying AGAIN and I still haven’t showered and we have to leave the house in 5 minutes. I have learnt that I am not supermom, I am just mom. And that is enough.

2016, I have a feeling about you. Dare I say a good feeling, but a feeling nonetheless.

Bring it.

G

and so it begins

Today, my poppet started ‘big school’. 24 years ago, I started ‘big school’, at the very same school that she is now attending. I cannot even explain the sense of pride that I had for her, as she confidently, yet quietly walked into school this morning, with little excited exclamations exiting her mouth every now and then; “oooh there’s the entrance!” “oooh that’s so pretty!” etc. Upon entering the school, all of the teachers were lined up with their lists in hand, helping parents with what classes their little ones were in, and M-L ran up to one of the teachers who so happily exclaimed “it’s so wonderful to see you again! I hope that you had a lovely holiday M-L!”. I wish I could describe the happy feeling that radiated through my body, knowing that she had made an impact of sorts of the teachers last year, and that she did know some of the teachers in the JP section.

We walked up to her classroom, introduced ourselves to her teacher, and went to find her seat. She happily read out her name and took a seat. I then proceeded to take about 25,697 pictures, of which she looked at the camera for 2 of them! Again, she flabbergasted me with her quiet confidence; no tears, no drama, just happiness and excitement to start Grade 1. I was so happy to see that there were a few of the kids from her class last year in her class this year, as it does always help to have a familiar face. The JP section of the school is completely separate from the Grade R section, so that’s why I was a little nervous for this morning, as it’s all new. But I quite honestly had absolutely nothing to worry about.

My new goal is to maintain her love for school. For the entire 5 weeks that she was on holiday, almost every day she asked me how many sleeps it was until ‘big school’. We went and purchased her uniforms last week, and almost every day since then, she wanted to wear them! Ah man, she looked so divine in her little uniform, so smart. So damn grown up.

My baby is in big school.

My baby is growing up.

I don’t think I’m quite ready for all of this, but my love, this is your time. Your time to shine, and show them what you’re made of.

I’m so proud to be your mommy.

G

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First day of ‘big school’