All posts in the Parenting category

I Think We’re Alone Now

Published July 21, 2017 by insufficient mums

Did you know that I am never ever ever alone?

Not ever.

Not for 5 minutes. Not for 5 breaths.

There is always someone, whether of good of bad inclination, wanting something off me. Maybe food. Maybe transport. Maybe just my time.

If there is a clear moment during term time, that is demanded by the forms that need the filling, the things that need the fixing or the cleaning. Even getting an alone moment to do this shitty dross work is nigh on impossible.

Then I have friends who love me.

If you are my friend you already know that I cannot be your ‘only’ friend. That would be unwise. My availability for ‘friend things’ is restricted.

Feeling the pinch right now. Everybody wants a piece of me. Dammit I got my own shit I wanna get done.

And even if I didn’t have that impulse, I still want time to shower, to sit and breathe, to nap if I damn well want to.

I’m fekn over it really. I wanna upsticks and move to somewhere that no-one knows me. Or somewhere where there is no-one.

I want the chance to be lonely. To be so alone that I can have some writing time. To be so alone that some things are clean. To be so very totally alone that I have the impulse to go be with some folk for some time.

Only one place I can think of like this. And it calls me sometimes.


Maybe I’ll Leave

Published September 26, 2016 by insufficient mums

Sometimes Teen Elder is so convincing in her belief that I am a bad parent, that I need to take pause and look at it.

Sometimes I’m sure she bounces vilifications off teen younger, so they can present a united hateful front.
With their father’s projection of evilness onto me as a backdrop for their worldview, I become the source of every problem, and the one responsible for every solution.
And I’m tired.

Perhaps if I wasn’t doing anything else with my life? If I was just sitting at home on my bum being evil…

But no – I got this life thing that occupies most of my time. And it is somewhat challenging in and of itself.
This week has been particularly shit.

But then, I say that about a lot of weeks, as they pile one atop the other in an epic monument to just how shitty life can get.

However, this week has been the frosting on the top.

I find the urge to pack the car and go becoming increasingly strong. After all, who would miss me?

My own life is reduced to the tiny shreds of time I can commit to friends and pursuits that keep me alive.

The life I give to my children has no value. I pick the things up, clean the dirt up, and get in the way of what they want to do. They’re convinced they’d be better off without me, and treat me in appropriateness to this desire.
So why the hell am I here?

Parenting is hard. Holding my ground – keeping the line. Not under-reacting too often. Not overreacting too often.

Trying to maintain some sort of life of my own is hard. But if I do nothing that feeds me, I have nothing left to give. Too tired to go out. Too tired to stay in.

Everything financial is hard. I take consolation in the fact that it used to be harder. I don’t look at the future.

I am a ‘good enough’ parent. With better supports and better finances I would be a better parent.
Why do I refuse to do all the things for my children? While accused by my ex-husband of laissez faire parenting, and of some sort of abuse/neglect/unfair distillation by my kids. Because they need to learn to expect to do some of the things themselves.

Why do I hold the line during emotional manipulation that would bring a Saint to tears? Because I want to teach them that emotional manipulation doesn’t work. Ever.

Why do I teach them to do school subject that they love, while letting go of the ones they show talent in but are not passionate about? So their lives form around things they love.

Why do I focus on their social skills and navigating the choices they make in life above school grades and academic results? Because that is what this set of children need.
Why do I do these time-consuming, exhausting and challenging things for them, when they resent me for existing, at best?

Good question.

I would like to run away. To somewhere where I could sleep and sleep and sleep until I finally wasn’t tired anymore.

And once I wasn’t tired, I would write and draw and paint and read.

And voluntarily share time with friends, because I wouldn’t be struggling to find genuine time for them.

Trying to work out why I’m writing all this is like trying to work out why I’m still here.
There’s a lot of glib statements and affirmations that would tidy this up nicely, and make it look like a cohesive piece of writing.

But that’s just not how life is.

There’s a part of me that just wants to leap off a cliff, cos I’m not 100% convinced that I wont fly. ‘Reality’ has never been completely convincing to me.

And if I fall, would I even notice?

For the Moon

Published September 16, 2016 by insufficient mums


Each month the Moon calls me
to walk the Earth
Yet here I sit
and walk my hearth
There are things out here that will keep you alive
See! I’ve put them here for you
Let go of the security
that keeps you bound
Show up!
Let the path lay bare before you
I can see
people breathing
in far off spaces
I’ve never met them
I never will
I have my children
So, I raise them
I love them
I do for them
I do with them
I teach them
And each month, another Moon
Up stakes and go
Here you will feel you will see you will be
You will do more than just survive
LIVE this life
But I’m here
Where I clean
And I struggle
And do my best
so my children may one day see the Moon
Yet every month the Moon calls me
to walk the Earth
And here I sit
and walk my hearth

Tell me how grateful I should be? You do it.

Published June 3, 2016 by insufficient mums


Mommy Warning SystemToday I am completely losing my mind.

Some days when I get up, the drudgery of the day ahead of me makes me want to give up.
Days like today it sends me into a rage so stormy that anyone in the firing line may be torn apart. It certainly has the capacity to permanently scar children – who were the cause of this fekking shit in the first place.

I get it. The circumstances of my life have required surrender, of my work, over any chance of self-actualisation. My children’s future is the reward.

I get it. I’m not working in a coal mine, I’m not a slave, at least there is some welfare left in this state. I know I’m lucky.
BUT I’m also human. And I need answers to life questions like these:

If you wash the plastic bottles for recycling, don’t throw the lids on the kitchen floor. Why would you do that?!?

How the fek am I meant to know whether or not you gave the cat its medication every fekn morning? Sometimes you do, so if I give it everyday I’ll kill it. Sometimes you don’t, so if I leave this responsibility to you, I’ll kill it.
If you do the dishes, put some away as you go, so I can use my arms at the kitchen sink, without draining dishes falling in. Why would you leave them like that?!?

If you use up a toilet roll, DON’T throw the empty on the floor. Why would you do that?!?

Do you people understand that while I do all this trivial shit everyday, I don’t get any further ahead on any of the stuff that really needs done? Do you want this house to look like a hovel? Don’t you like things to be clean?
Don’t you say sorry to me – do something about it!

Look, I’ve had enough. I know some of you out there can do this stuff, and so I hear things like “I need some time for me” or “Why don’t you come out with us you need cheered up” or “I’ll come over for a cuppa”.

No you fekn won’t. There’s me and the three little pigs. I can’t keep up with them as it is. They don’t give a flying fuk, and if you come over to remind me to nurture myself, I’ll have even less time to try to tame the monster.
I am unhappy. I don’t like this life (no matter how grateful I should be). Eventually I’ll either end it, or pack my bags and leave them to wallow in it.
Tell me how grateful I should be? You come and do it.


Work Life Balance…

Published August 7, 2015 by insufficient mums

Just a wee bit crappy. Maybe a wee bit sicky. Certainly tired.

Just crappy enough to know that seeing a Suzuki Swift just irritates me. Nothing wrong with the car, but the people who choose to buy them seem to be the same people who just need a kick up the backside in general.

Temper is also short with the non-compliant minions…

It’s been a long season. Courts, and death, and funeral… and some of the women I treasure the most have been through hell, just this season.

I am exhausted, but attempting to restart my life in small ways now.

Physically, I’m attending to my Green Prescription, and quite shocked at how unfit I’ve become so quickly now I’m older. Mainly joints and ligaments… anything that stretches or clicks, and probably shouldn’t.

Energetically, I’m sleeping. A lot. I figure I should trust my body.

Emotionally, I’m shifting away from some of the causes I pursue, because they bring me low. Even on my wee political page, I’ve always tried to post not only about the problems, but also about potential and practical solutions. But Cecil nearly finished me. I gotta recharge.

Environmentally, I’m just concentrating on home and hearth. Still decluttering while I struggle to maintain Flylady cleaning in the face of daily (and unreasonable) opposition.

Politically, I’m looking further into Socialism, as the New Zealand movement seems as deeply environmentally focused as it is socially. Their main focus seems to be combating injustice on all levels. And that suits me just fine.

Creatively, I’m hoping that my tiny bit of blogging, maintenance of my pages, and my wee tarot business are taking care of that. I know I need to be writing and even drawing more. But hell, I’m finding I just cant do everything.

Academically, I’m still learning about tarot, Jung, and archetypes – and likely will be forever. I read across a wide range of material every day – political, social, and spiritual.

Spiritually, I’m more in contact with the Moon and the seasons than I ever have been. I run my life to that clock. And that keeps me in constant communion with my Gods. Just being of the Earth.

And sexually, I’m being treated just fine! Thanks for asking.

Socially – that’s the big one for an introvert like me – I got out last night for a couple of hours for a meetup with my local Pagan group. It was bloody hard to get out of this house of small wild dependants by 5pm, but do it I did. And I will do so again every month. I love socialising, but need time to recharge after interacting with people. So as a friend I can be problematic. “Come here, I like you. Now go away for a month.” Not everyone’s cup of companionship.

So, there it is. My recovery programme.

I have come to replace the word ‘balance’ with ‘inclusivity’. These areas of my life are never in balance – they can’t possibly be. There are to many of them. But I include a little of each in my schedule – more of some as the Moon waxes, less of some as the Moon wanes. It’s not a balanced diet, because I can’t eat that much. But my intention for living as busy and as well as I do is that, over time, no nutrient is completely left out.

Drowning. Slowly.

Published November 28, 2014 by insufficient mums

I’ve been drowning for a long long time.slowly

The struggle against being pulled under is as hard as it ever was on day one. Harder, truth be told, now that I’m trying to stop three other humans from going under. And I’m the only one who can.

I’ve called for help. Against my will. Because it’s the right thing to do.

I’ve called for a lifesaver – any sort of floatation device. Just to help me when I’m too tired to swim anymore. In response I’ve been thrown plans to build a boat. But I’d have to stop swimming to read the plans, buy the materials, and build the fekking boat. My children would drown.

I have received advice to stop swimming. Float and enjoy the air.
But the current gets mighty strong, and it pulls us all under if I don’t keep swimming.
I did stop treading water for a while, before I had the children in tow. I went under, and when I managed to struggle back to the surface I set off in a different direction. A more promising direction. But the tide is the tide, and the current is strong everywhere.

I just get so tired.

I don’t want anybody to save me. After all, I chose to get in the water.

And I’ve had people offer to save me. Or at least swim beside me. Always they got tired quicker than me, and I had to save them too – or let them drown. Some even tried to pull me under.

From the shore occasional voices have called to me. That my swimsuit is outdated. Or I should be slimmer if I’m going to swim.
Or even congratulations and support, cos I’m doing a really good job of swimming…

The current is coming at me from all directions at the moment. Has been for a while. At some point it becomes impossible to parent lovingly when you constantly have to swim so hard.
These small humans don’t cling to me while I save them. They thrash about endlessly, in joy or panic. And they’re older now, so they now have luggage – not packed in nice floaty suitcases, but floating loose while they try to keep track of all their bits and pieces, while insisting I should. Because I’m the adult. I’m the responsible one.

And every time I get my head up, I can see endless storms brewing, bringing crashing waves – forever…

Today I decided to get out of the water.

I sat on the shore for a while – trying to decide if I really wanted to continue trying to swim. Or just walk away.
I’ve watched everything I care about float away.
I know what I should do.

But diving back in…? I’m so bloody tired. Even if I can save the little ones, they’ll still grow up with the scars of a lifetime of drowning slowly.

If I stay on the shore, evaporating in the dry air…
I feel numb. The pounding in my head from endless waves crashing down on it has gone. The waves that battered me about for years and years and years, while everybody said “Keep swimming. It’s worth it in the end”.

There is no end.

Single parents with spectrum kids – Hail and salute!

Published July 29, 2014 by insufficient mums

Autumn 2014 025 (warmer coloured)Goddess fill my heart. I feel like I’m starving to death.

Single parents with spectrum kids – Hail and salute!
And lets face it, those of us with spectrum kids are single, sooner or later.

I’ve just got through my morning battles. Today the school run finished at 10am. The child who wouldn’t rise, the child who wouldn’t dress. The child who screamed at me and swore for half an hour that they had done their teeth, face, and hair, rather than going and doing it.

I’m still tired from yesterday – a blur of Healthcare appointments, schools, neglected friends, insufficient house maintenance. And I worked last night.

It will start again in a few more hours. When I collect them. ‘Afterschool’ starts with food phobias. The dinner arguments can go on for 5 hours. Every night. Forever. It’s a tactile thing, you see. She physically can’t swallow some textures of foods, others she can’t get past her thinking, and no two foods on her plate can touch. If I do surrender to her lack of nourishment, I have other children who float on the edges of the spectrum and need their needs met too.

Poor parenting. Lack of discipline. Failure to maintain routines (or budgets). I hear my mother’s voice in my head.

But those of us who do this full time, we’re on benefits, you see… There is no money for special diets, or extra petrol when you need to do several school runs in the morning to get everybody to where they need to go.

So, I add in a little work. To lift the budget. To lift me. I work from home of course, so I can work around the kids needs. Which requires that I at least appear somewhat presentable in my home environment. Which is a challenge with spectrum kids, to say the least.

My own counsellor, put in place to ensure I’m maintaining my own good health as backbone of this family, suggests I go to bed every night at 11. But that’s when it’s quiet you see. I can usually be assured that by 11 all will be sleeping. No-one phones. There are no clients. 11pm I cannot surrender. I need 11pm.

I have fired my counsellor. She fell asleep in my last session. She needed something to fix. And there is nothing here that can be fixed. This. Is how it is.

Goddess warm my heart. I feel like I’m freezing to death.