Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Parenting Madness, Chia Seeds and Braiding

Trust, love, bloom. <3 

Ok, I started 2 blog posts already and have deleted both as they didn't feel right. This time I won't delete. No, I won't (ha ha, you can't check, can ya?). Aren't you a lucky reader? ;)
Here is what's been up in da land of Tam.

Things have been tough the past 4 weeks. With the babies, with my heart and my soul. I'm feeling really scattered with my energy. Obviously this is no surprise with the sleep deprivation, but it's also more than that, not just sleep stuff. There is just a general sort of withering and waning going on in my head (also: a purplish kind of fog) and I can't quite point my finger on the exact why. Not necessary of course. Expressing often helps, so in addition to 'arting it out', I'm deliberately writing this so that maybe I can clear some of them chakras and move forward a bit. Externalise baby, externalise.

Oh, I bought chia seeds to mix in with my juices. The crazy thing is that chia seeds aren't big here in the UK (can only find them in health food stores) and so they are ridiculously expensive. Apparently, though, they are a mega superfood promising magical powers and a healthy heart, so I bought me a bag and I'll let you know if I do indeed one morning wake up as cat woman or gandalf. :)
Mh, I just jumped from chakras to chia seeds to gandalf. Where shall I jump next? Back to the babies.
So, babies, yes, they are kinda not fun at the moment. Although this weekend was an improvement, the last 4 weeks of having children can be described as: 90% 'I want to kill myself disaster zone 101' and 10% 'a little bit fun with an edge of 'who's going to have a meltdown next' vibe'.

I really think human beings need to be better prepared for and informed about the perils of parenthood BEFORE they embark upon the sentimental journey of actually having children - it's not all it's chalked up to be. To quote the Dutch comedian Brigitte Kaandorp; 'Ik raad het niet aan' (translates to: 'I don't recommend it'). There is just much less romance and a lot more hysteria than I had ever expected or prepared myself mentally for. Also; the tired.omg.

At the moment a lot of this parenting gig involves jumping from Epic Greek Drama to Nuclear Meltdown to Gigantic Disaster Mess to Toddler Explosion to Never Able to Spend a Minute Alone to Will I Ever Be Able to Have a Conversation with my Husband Ever Again to WHY WILL NO ONE LET ME PEE IN PEACE type of ambiances. An example: Last night I tried to have a pee at 4am which I think took me less than 15 seconds and by the time I was back in bed, Elliot was near catatonic with hysterics. That took less than 15 seconds people. Less than 15 seconds.
It's neurosis inducing.

Additionally, both Andy and I are finding that before kids, there were life circumstances that you had successfully navigated yourself out of (with a lot of acrobatics - perhaps having taken years to achieve), and now with kids, they are dragging you (by the hair) back into those situations without you wanting to or having any control over it! They're slowly and meticulously breaking down all your useful and effective safety strategies in life. Had not expected that one either.

Right now, I feel that anyone wanting to embark upon the parenting journey should get a clear, loud, cut-to-the-chase-no-bullshit warning of this kind:

Attention parents to be - before you have children please understand the following:
"When you have children, your life in general, will be royally screwed left right and center while simultaneously learning a few zen lessons on the way interspersed with small intervals of delirious unconditional love and joy. Your mileage may vary."
I think that is about as honest and true as it can get.
Anywhoozies. I shan't go on with the rant, because granted, earlier, Andy told me to 'look out of the window' and I saw a little Dylan with one of my baseball caps on his ridiculously pretty head and a red raincoat jumping into a 'muddy puddle' (which he keeps wanting to jump into, the 'muddy' bit being crucial - thanks peppa pig) and my heart skipped a beat (oh how devious and deceptive the romance) but I will say that the balance is sort of off at the moment.

There is much more emotionally draining face-melting drama than lighthearted muddy heart-beat-skipping fun and I'm grumpy about that. And guess what? I'm allowed to be grumpy. Even if -comparatively- I live a rich, luxurious, awesome, filled with love, moonbeam rainbow unicorns, sparkling, art-filled creative sort of life. I am grateful but I'm also grumpy. (If you're wondering why I feel I have to justify my grumpiness; it's the voices in my head - they tell me that I'm not allowed to complain).

So that is the status quo of a mum of one almost 3 year old and one almost 7 month old who is sleep-deprived and is also trying to run a full on business. This she does, however, with childcare support and a superstar husband but It's STILL hard and crazy-making. And I personally don't think I'm whinging or whining. I'm generally a pretty tough person. I've taken my fair share of bullshit in life and swallowed it with a smile, so I'm not one to complain easily. I usually just get on with stuff, but this parenting gig: it is mega tough. Not so much in a physical, practical sort of way, but much more in a 'breaking you down psychologically' sort of way.

It makes you doubt yourself and question your life values. It challenge your boundaries, it shakes up your sanity and foundations. It makes you fall over and over, it makes you have to start again from the beginning, again and again. You worry, you worry, you worry. What you thought you knew turns out you didn't know. What you didn't know turns out you really didn't know! You're vulnerable and shaky, confused and tired all over again.

There is no greater and harder thing than to be a parent. And to those of you who 'been there and done that': I bow down to you. For serious.

And of course I know it gets better and of course there are the delirious moments of unconditional love, joy and fun. And of course I worship the ground these two kids toddle and crawl on and of course I will love them forever and ever. And of course Dylan's eyes are the most amazing colour I've ever seen and Elliot's smile reduces me to a blubbering puddle of mushy love. Of course.

Okay, I know this post is already too long, but I don't usually have a lot of time to write posts, so I'll leave you with some other, random things about my life that are a bit less hysteria and drama. ;)

1. New art - I'm currently preparing a mini art lesson/ workshop on how to create this painting (kind-faced girls keep coming to me, like guardian angels :)) :

Working on a mini workshop on how to make a painting like this :)

It will be affordable (like £11.99) and super fun! :) More on this soon.

2. I'm really into trying out different braids lately, they're so pretty!

Another attempt at fishtail braid. This time with wet hair. :) Obsessed with braiding. ;) Trying to do pretty braid stuff with my hair. :) Attempted a French side braid today :)

3. Juicing continues to rock my life.

Tonight's juicing ingredients; apples, ginger, parsley, kiwis, lemon and cabbage! Yes you read that right cabbage! It was a first and very tasty. Though you don't taste the cabbage much :)

4. I made this pretty digital art print for you to print out and hang up and have a little dance with! :)

Just right-click on this link: http://www.willowing.org/youarebetterthanmoonbeams.jpg and choose 'save target or link as' for the high resolution version. :)

5. Another quick piece of art in progress:


6. I'm loving instagram. I'm 'willowing' there if you want to follow me! :)

7. I'm currently running a 10% discount on my art courses! Use the discount code: MOONBEAM77 upon check out and you'll get 10& off! Yay! :) Go here: http://www.willowing.org/art-classes/

Moonbeams, that's it for me for now.

Stay groovy, I'm gonna try to keep at this parenting gig as best I can! ;)


  1. Dear Tam:) Thank you for writing all this. I couldn't express it all so well and accurately as you do, but many of the emotions and feelings sound familiar to me. Only yesterday I said to my friend that I regret noone told me that parenting is so hard and denmanding... I wanted to be pregnant and it turned out to be a lovely and wonderful experience but later on... the reality didn't turn out to be all pink and purple butteflies and sunshine and rainbows. Entering and experiencing the Dark Side of myself was kind of depressing but I must say some of the lifebook lessons helped me to find inner balance:) Sending you lots of love, Monika, your avid reader:)

    1. Thank you for being here and reading my stuff Monika! It's good to know I'm not alone in this. I'm glad Life Book has helped you find inner balance, art and externalising things helps me too! Big hugsxoxo Tam

  2. I know. I'm the Been-There-Done-It-one. It will pass, these first couple of years are the most difficult physically and it's down to hormones. Simply said but oceans of power they have! When a year has passed after you've finished breastfeeding you will feel your old self, I promise. :)
    Jess xx

  3. Wise words, even those frustrated ones, and lovely awesome art work! :) I'm sorry to hear you have much to deal with.. sure it's both hard and good to have children, I don't have any.. but I respect you having them.. I hope times will be better for you, more time to rest and make inspiring things besides..
    but really - your art work is great! :)

    I too eat shia seeds, in my smoothies.. :) It's expensive, but I buy mine from iherb dot com.. a lot more cheap..

    I'm wondering.. when drawing a face, and sun is on the left of the face and shadows on the right side of the face, which side should the shadows on the throat fall?
    In the beginning I shaded for instance the right side of the face, and the left side of the throat..
    I discovered I lately shaded right side of the face and right side of the throat.. so now I'm a little confused..
    you see, I'm having a little luxury problems.. :))

    Just answer when you have time, no hurry.. :)

    All my best,
    Viola :)

  4. Is there any other way, other than doing it the best way we can?

    I remember telling my doctor when my son was a few months old that I was grateful my son accepted my maternal limitations and most of the time seemed willing to meet me near the middle. Where we meet ebbs and flows, especially now there are two, but my maternal limitations still exist, I can only do the best I can, as can they.

    Sometimes I wish though that we all did a little better than we do. And sometimes their idea of the middle is a lot different to mine.

  5. Chia seeds are one of my favs! I buy it at rawliving in the UK! Best quality in my opinion! I loooooove your butterfly on the top! ...and the cute couple is so heartwarming :)) BIG HUGS to you!

  6. I'm also big on the chia seeds. I have a post about it. I love putting them in my water so I stay hydrated longer.

  7. I remember those days well. Zack is 2 years and 3 months older than Max, and it was... well, quite honestly it was hell! Max screamed all the time, and would only settle if I held him (now I know that, due to his autism, it was a complete sensory overload. Hindsight 20/20 eh?). I ended up with PND, and had a severely depressed husband to try to take care of as well.
    Things are much easier now, though! In fact, it was once their dad left (when Max was 18 months) that things actually started to improve! I know the boys must have felt the tension and angst in the air while we were still together, and it showed.
    Zack will be 7 next month, and Max will be 5 in October. Things are still tough, with Max's autism being the key reason for that, but all in all? Life is good! I have two beautiful boys, parents who are as helpful as they can be (mostly, but that's a whole other thing!), and wonderful friends. They make up the best support network I could ever have dreamed of having! Now I just want to find a nice guy who will take me as I am, to share it all with. What's for you'll no go by you, as we say up here in Scotland.

    I wish I'd had some idea of just how difficult the transition of 1 child to 2 is when they're still so young. I may have waited a while before having Max. Then again, having him, and having to go through the things I have in the last 5 years of his beautiful life has been what's made me who I am, and you know what? I'm actually pretty damn awesome!

    Big hugs and love, and sleep-through-the-night vibes to the lil dudes. It does pass! xxx

  8. I can relate to your feelings - our boys are now 11 and 15 and the time has passed so quickly - it isn't that I particularly miss the crying/poop/screaming but I do miss snuggles on the couch and sweaty sticky arms around my neck - there are times that I wish I could have each of my boys back little for a day or two but definitely those were tough days without enough sleep. The thing about parenting is that we question so many of our decisions - with normal things in life like jobs, expectations, etc a mistake can be viewed as a learning experience and then we move on but with parenting we try not to make any mistakes since we are forming people that will go on in the world without us someday - therefore we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be perfect - our kids just want us to be present not perfect!! Hugs to you!

  9. Chia seeds are one of my favs! i want to know more about it............


Thank you for connecting with me. I appreciate you! <3


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