The Best Laid Plans

For most of my teenage and early-20s life, I envisioned myself as being a career woman. Kids was the furthest thing from my mind. A husband and family were certainly not on the cards for me. No, I would rather the large double-mahogany doors into the corner office with a view of the city. Not just any city. New York City.

I didn’t know what I would do, what line of business it would be, but I knew I wanted to be in charge. I wanted to wear black pencil skirts with pale pink shell tops and one-button blazers. I wanted to wear stockings and stilettos. I wanted to demand people’s attention, and a big fat pay check.

Then I hit about 23 or 24 years old, and suddenly I decided I wanted 5 kids. I wanted to make up for the Christmases spent going from one parent to the other, from one extended family to another. I wanted to have 5 kids who would all grow up and have babies of their own, and they’d all come home for Christmas, just like in the movies.

Now, here I am, well and truly “grown up” and not only do I not have a career, but I also don’t have 5 kids. I have one. One perfect one, at least, but still “just” one.

People around me seem to think about falling pregnant and it happens. I know people terrified they WILL fall pregnant, because it has happened so easily in the past.

It’s hard for me to imagine that NOT wanting something to happen could be as scary as wanting it TO happen, but fearing it never will. If you can follow that.

Yet we all find ourselves in these situations. Wanting something, not wanting something as the case may be, and I wonder how much control we have over any of it. At the most, I’d say very little.

Then I hear about a woman who delivered her baby, who was sleeping, today. The day that should be the most joyous in her life, is now the most tragic and heart wrenching. This date, for the rest of her life, will bring sorrow instead of joy, pain instead of happiness.

And I think, it doesn’t matter if you’re a career woman, or a mum of 1 or 20 kids, it doesn’t matter if you command a board room or a play room. Life is a gift. It is precious. It can be given and taken away at any moment. And we need to NOT take that for granted. And tonight I hugged my one baby a little tighter, laughed a little longer, told him I loved him and that he is my favourite in the whole world. I am so thankful for him, and for my life, whatever it may hold.

It’s Friday! Have you linked up with Grace or FYBF yet?! Get to it!

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Ringing In The New Year

It’s the same story every year since we all grew up and had kids. We get to December, there are emails sent around about what everyone is doing for New Year’s Eve and the general consensus is that everyone will be having a quiet night at home and will see the new year in, fast and sound asleep. In fact, up until about 6:45 pm on NYE, we were planning to stay home and do just that. In the end, we decided to jump in the car and head down to Broadbeach. This meant parking at Pacific Fair, about a half hour hike away with a 4 year old in tow. Thankfully The Mechanic dropped us off and then came to meet us. We ended up having front row seats for the 8pm Broadbeach Fireworks. They lasted about 10 minutes and weren’t that spectacular. We thought 50 minutes was too long to wait for the Surfers Fireworks, but I wanted to walk to the north end of Broadbeach to get a photo of the Surfers skyline at night. By the time we did that, and I took some photos, there was only 10 minutes left to wait for the 9pm Surfers show. After all the effort we’d gone to to actually get there, we figured we’d stay. I was glad we did, it was a unique view to watch from where we were.

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View of Surfers from Broadbeach
Part of the 8pm Broadbeach Show | View of the Surfers fireworks

In the end I was glad we went out, but wished we had made plans with others, as it turned out several friends had also made their way to Broadbeach! Next year we will try to plan better in advance. Maybe we’ll save all year and rent a unit across from the beach and invite people there. It always seems like such a hassle to plan something, but when the time rolls around, I find myself wishing we had plans.

I’d seen on the Brisbane International website that they were having a kids day on New Year’s Day with face painting, a jumping castle, rock climbing and other activities for kids. Grounds passes were fairly cheap, the train ride was free, so we thought it would be a great day out. And it was a huge hit with Nicklas. He loves tennis, and would have stayed on the mini-courts all day if we’d let him. He had no interest in watching “the big players”, just playing himself. Maybe one day I’ll be watching him on Pat Rafter arena? That would be a trip!
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Riding the train home | Colouring competition | playing mini tennis
More mini tennis |Azarenka comes out to play | Another kids activity
Face painting | Totally worth the 45 min wait | Oh look, more mini tennis

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And I couldn’t resist including another photo of my baby niece. Nick just thinks she’s divine, and I can’t say I blame him. I love this pic of them, checking each other out. He was so gentle with her and would seriously make the best big brother ever. I can’t stop looking at this photo and wondering if I’ll ever get to take one of him with a little brother or sister. We are obviously both very smitten with her and I’m so thankful she’s joined our family. I can’t wait for my nephew to make his arrival in just a couple of months! It’s so nice to have babies in the family.

So that’s how we rang in the new year! What did you do?

It’s All About Me!

When my dad passed away, I was accused of making everything “all about me”. When one of my closest friends fell pregnant and I got upset (because she was pregnant and I wasn’t), I was again accused of making everything about me. My son is possibly starting school in the new year, and while of course I want to make sure he is ready both emotionally and educationally, I’m just as worried about how ready I am. Today my BFF finds out if she’s having a boy or a girl, and I am still making everything all about me!

I think it’s normal. I think it’s inherent. I think it’s human. The key is in how you express it.

Of course my dad’s death was all about me. For me. I was mourning the relationship I had lost, the relationship my son had lost and would never truly experience. I was grieving for the massive gap that was left in my life. As were we all. It didn’t mean we thought we were grieving more or harder than anyone else, but losing someone makes us automatically takes stock of what we have lost.

As for my friend getting pregnant, of course I was happy for her. THRILLED for her! They were told they’d never have children, yet they’d managed to conceive twice without really trying! My grief was over my inability to conceive. Which yes, makes it all about me. But I didn’t throw a tantrum and cause a scene. I quietly mourned on the inside, thinking about what I was missing out on. Then cried to someone else. It is not my friend’s responsibility to bear the burden of my self-misery.

I’m not ready for my son to go to school. I’m not ready for him to be grown up, have homework, be taken off campus for swimming lessons or excursions. I’m not ready for him to be away from me 5 days a week, even though he’s already in kindy 4 days a week. I’m not ready to admit we’re through the baby/toddler stage of parenting and have a school-aged child in our home. But I need to put all that aside and do what is best for him. His starting school is not about me.

Lastly, I’ve managed to make my friend finding out the sex of her unborn bub today all about me because again, it’s an experience I am not having any time in the near future. It’s another reminder of what I wanted and don’t have. Another reminder that everyone around me is getting what I want. She wants a girl. I just want a baby. But it’s not about me. Why shouldn’t she be allowed to want a girl? She has a boy, she has a close relationship with her mum and her sister, it’s normal to want a girl. And when trying to conceive hasn’t been an issue, that’s one thing you don’t have to think about or worry about.

I don’t say this because I’m proud of my feelings. I’m not trying to justify them. I’m not trying to say it’s ok to feel like this. I don’t write this because I want people to tell me it’s normal. Maybe this is not normal. Not inherent. Not human. Maybe I’m just a spoiled selfish cow. Maybe this is why I’m not getting what I want, because I am too busy being miserable in everyone else happiness that I don’t deserve my own. Maybe it’s not enough to be happy for them, I need to be happy with them. Because really, if you can be happy for others, and happy with what you have, then it is always enough. It is always exactly what you need.