Monday, 19 April 2010

Monday Morning

I've been away. We've been on holiday in Cornwall for a week (it's nice, you should go) and I'm facing that back-from-holiday horror.

I've come back to find over two HUNDRED things in my google reader, which sort of makes my head spin. Apologies for not commenting. Also messages on my phone asking me to do things that I'm already too late to do. Realisations that I was supposed to do some stuff before I went away that I totally forgot about. And a message from our social worker saying that she can't make our scheduled appointment so can she come at ten on monday instead? That's ten AM, folks. Today.

Some days, I feel like I'm just going to crumple. It's not really the parenting so much as all the other obligations. It's not like they're at all unpleasant. Many of them involve coffee, and I really like coffee. But I constantly feel like I'm on a social hamster wheel - never doing enough, never returning enough phone calls or writing enough emails, never inviting enough people over or going to enough people's houses. Saying a lot of 'oh yes we must' and not a lot of 'so next tuesday is free for me, how about you?' The thought of adding a social worker to the mix, first thing on a monday, pretty much tips me over the edge.

My parents have beeen here for weeks, and were due to go home Wednesday but have been caught in the cloud of volcanic ash, which sounds excitingly apocalyptic but mostly turns out just to be extremely tedious. It's been great having them around but I have cancelled pretty much EVERYTHING else while they've been here to maximise nanna-grandpa baby face-time, so there are a lot of catch-up things planned for next week after they've gone. But now they're still going to be here then, and I should probably cancel everything again and rebook it a week later but the thought overwhelms me. I just can't think about it. And now the social worker is due in 49 minutes.

I'm trying to think about how to maximise my productive time in the 48 minutes remaining. What really, REALLY needs to be cleaned? I get an unexpected answer when L vomits all over me. It's not baby spit-up any more, it's proper vomit with a smell to match. I put her down, wipe her off and go into the hallway to breathe.

This weekend, my father told my mother that holding baby L reminds him of holding me when I was a baby. I think it's mostly the tininess, and the predisposition towards facial eczema that's doing it, but this gave me a real rush of emotion. I'm thrilled, because my Dad does not make stuff up just to make people feel good, and this does make me feel good. It makes me feel, illogically, that we really were meant to be together because look! She's just like me! And then later the same day I overhear a friend telling someone else that his daughter has his wife's eyes, which is innocuous enough but it hits me again that whatever my children have that might be like me, didn't actually come from me. And I'm well past the stage of wanting a different child, one that does inherit my genes, but it still hurts me that I don't have that connection to these children.

And now, I'm still thinking about it and it all feels like too much. I want some quiet. I don't want to have to unpack in the 33 minutes remaining before I have to account for our family to a stranger with a clipboard.

I want out of this day.

I sigh, pick myself up and go in to check on them. Their faces light up. They grin at me, and make excited hyperventilating noises like nothing could ever have made them so happy as to see me walk into their room. I look at them, my roly poly wonder boy, and my fine boned wood-sprite of a girl, and finally my face lights up too. They make singing noises. I sing back. I cuddle them both, and they nuzzle my neck. And I realise: oh babies, my babies - I'm the luckiest woman alive. I would see a thousand social workers for you.


  1. You write SO beautfully! My suggestion, too late though it may be, would be to tidy the areas where she's likely to be but use a timer so you don't get distracted LOL (or is that only me?)

    Also re the social plans - do they all know one another - have ONE muffin and tea catch up thing (let grandparents babysit) and get it all done at once.

    We gave ourselves off from 6 months of socials and have only really started getting back into the groove. I am not like other mothers who "take things in their stride" as I can't ABIDE my screaming kids at other people's houses so I gave myself permission to just say NO, until the babies are bigger and more well behaved.

  2. What a tear jerker of a post! That last paragraph--beautiful!! You do sound lucky, but overwhelmed, and probably you should cut yourself some slack. The first day back from vacation is always overwhelming even without a social worker visit! Hugs

  3. You can write, girl, and you really jammed a lot of feelings into one post. I've missed you.

    You know, the thing about people and their saying, 'my daughter has my eyes' and such, to me, is self-centered. It's just all about how this kid is a brand new little me. Me me me me. Every child deserves to be just him or herself. That's enough of my little mini-rant.

    I love that the babies go nuts when you walk in a room. There is nothing more adorable than that.

  4. I love your thoughts. I can connect with so many of them. Like the not-so-much social life...but I am getting a wee bit better b/c I need at least one girls night out every other month or so to keep my sanity. But my daughters are older, so it's easier to leave them playing and watching movies. You have little ones that adore your every move and so you are doing all the right things by being there for them. I hope your SW visit goes well and is over quickly so you can get back to your life. And don't let stupid comments like, "Oh, he looks just like you!" overheard by others bring you down...what does that really matter anyway? It doesn't. Your kids are your kids are your kids. None of that other "he is just like me when he does this that or the other" mess even matters. We love our kids because they are their own persons...full of their own potential and carrying their own beauty. Hugs!

  5. Ugh, the panic of a social worker visit that was unplanned, ick. I hope it went well.

    And about that connection thing? While it's true there's no genetic connection, yours in a connection of longing and wanting and hoping and wishing and thinking and praying so fiercely it probably stomps most genetic connections out yeah, there's a connection alright.

  6. This was such a beautifully written post. So much stress and strain over the process, adjusting to a different life, and those mixed in pangs of loss making their way to the surface...

    And then your babies bust out that excitement that is only reserved for their mama and all is right in the world again. So perfect.

  7. Beautiful. This kind of thing happens to me all the time, I want ' out of this day', then they do something adorable and I think, ' I wish this day could last forever.'

  8. I just wanted to let you know that I'm officially your blog-stalker now. I'm reading stuff you wrote back in October and previous, and it's really resonating.

  9. Just discovered your blog, and OMG, your babies are BEAUTIFUL!!! Wow- twins-Congratulations:) I'm a single adoptive mom to my daughter. If you feel like checking out my blog, feel free to email me at and I'll send you an invite :)


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