One, Two or Many – Not Our Place to Say

One, Two or Many – Not Our Place to Say

I hadn’t planned to post anything for a few weeks as we are moving house and I thought I would be too busy with packing and unpacking to get to the blog, however I hadn’t taken into consideration the effect a nice warm relaxing bath has on my thoughts.

This particular bath got me thinking about how many people have views on the make-up of a family; concerning gender and numbers. One day, before I had even met my husband, I was with friends and we were discussing when we have children how many we would have, I said I would like a boy and a girl and that was all, I know now that that’s what is called a “pigeon pair”.Family-Neigh-Partner-PAGE-HEADER

Some parents may be perfectly happy having just 1 child, a “pigeon pair” or they may be happy with multiple children of the same gender. It really isn’t anyone’s place to make anything of it – especially if they haven’t a close relationship with the parents. Over the years I’ve read many posts online that have mentioned the comments people have received when other people find out that are having another of the same gender when they already have 2 or more of that gender.

After losing Zoë and finding out I was again pregnant – I really wanted another girl and I was quite upset when I found out we were having a boy and was almost in tears at the ultrasound. On the one hand I was happy he was healthy and that there were no concerns, on the other I wanted a girl.

When I was pregnant with Alex, it wasn’t such a big deal about the gender; if baby was a boy then I already had all the clothes and if baby was a girl then that would have been even more special.

About 2 ½ years after Alex was born I was pregnant again and this time it was a bit of a surprise. We knew that this pregnancy would be our last and so was hoping to finally have a baby girl that we could parent. Along came our happy baby girl Rylee and I couldn’t have been happier. Then came the first nappy change and I felt flummoxed – “what do I do, where do I clean”. I was so used to changing my boys’ nappies that it felt alien to change my daughter’s. How could I not know what to do, after all she was the same gender as myself yet I still felt at a loss. If she had been another boy I would have known what to do and just got on with it and not feel like a new mum.

Now when she is almost 15 months old I feel a lot more confident yet I’m not sure what she’ll be like when she is 2 years old. As a baby she’s pretty easy-going and I’m hoping she’ll stay like that as she gets older. As I feel more confident with my boys I’m grateful for those with multiple daughters as they have more experience in dealing with the different ages and possible scenarios relating to girls.

When it comes to the boys, Rob has got a great relationship with them, but I think its our youngest son that he’s closer to. Alex is the one Rob bonded with instantly and is like him in his attitude to try anything whereas Jason is a lot like Rob when it comes to sense of humour; however he seems to have inherited the empathy that’s a strong part of my personality.

It’s a good thing that we had another boy as Alex is the one Rob understands more and Alex is definitely closer to his Dad than he is to me. It actually looks like Rylee may be a Daddy’s girlJ. So even if we hadn’t of had Rylee, Rob and I still would have had a child each that we understood better than the other.

It doesn’t matter the make-up of a family unit, how many children they have or the gender of the children. What does matter is that the children are loved and are never told or felt that they are disappointments. Some children may take it to heart if they are told or overhear that they were not wanted as they were the wrong gender. Even though at first I was disappointed Jason was Jason and not a girl. He and I have a strong bond and I wouldn’t want him to be anyone but himself. I’m happy I have a girl I get to parent; however I still would not trade my boys for her and vice versa.

me and my family families are all different

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Without Family, Life is Mission: Impossible

Without Family, Life is Mission: Impossible

Family 3Life has felt so hard lately but it would have been Mission: Impossible without the help and support of family and friends, with some of those friends being just as important as family.  Family doesn’t need to be defined by those that are related ever by blood or marriage but family can also be friends who are by your side through thick and thin.

Whatever the definition, family plays an important role in all our lives. Family gives us a sense of belonging; they can be a refuge and a support system. Children need a sense of belonging to help them to grow.

Without knowing where we belong, how can we feel secure in going forward on our life journey and know we have roots to secure us. In my opinion if children are deprived of a sense of belonging from a young age then there is a possibility they will look for it elsewhere and it may be in places or with people they may not be good for them.

Family 4One of the places I have found family outside of my relatives is at church. The tells about how we are brothers and sisters in Christ; there are times when that is true however as it is with people there are times when that idea is just that and though people may call each other sister/brother it is superficial or disingenuous, this happens when it is religious rhetoric and not heartfelt. Words unless lived are just words and often family in church needs to come from the heart and not from the head. Some people may not truly understand the meaning of family and so say or act the part but when it comes down to the core of things and they need to give of themselves there is hesitation or resistance.

Life isn’t easy and relationships do take work because if they didn’t relationships/friendships wouldn’t grow. Family in many cases allows us to grow and at times is a safety net for us to venture out knowing someone’s there to help us or to “catch” us if we fall.

If we have no Family around that’s when friends can fill that place, even if we have Family however if they are not there for us is another time when having friends is great. Sometimes Family can put unattainable expectations on family and in those cases sometimes letting family go is the best thing for us. Family shouldn’t be the ones to drag each other down but to embrace no matter what; there will be those times when family members might need to dissuade us from a decision that is detrimental but in the end the choice is ours and it is great when family are there to pick us up.

 

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More Prose than Poetry

More Prose than Poetry

This “novel” is me truly opening up and baring more of myself than I would normally do.

When I was younger my literary outlet was writing poetry I’ve found in that I was still able to hide from myself. I don’t know when it started but I would try to be who I thought people wanted me to be and in that was very rarely myself. I put on a mask so much that I think I forgot who I was.

I was bullied at school so became very introverted my my self esteem was very low, I became the type of person that wanted to please people and never disappoint – which I now find interesting as in life I have felt disappointed by people and sometimes it wasn’t the other persons fault.

I grew up in the church and for some reasons thought I had to be this little christian girl – but really I didn’t know what that meant, I could spout out many bible verses and I was the kid who because I felt lonely would say “I’m not alone, I’ve got Jesus”

I remember one night I prayed that I just wanted Mum to be happy – previously that year she had attempted to take her own life – the next morning my Grandparents came and told me that Mum had passed away; she had succeeded (if you can call it that) in taking her own life. I was 14 when this happened and I started going back to church again as I felt that’s what my mum would have wanted, I felt like I was the one responsible for my little sister and brother and to pick up where mum left off. In doing this I think I forgot more about me.

Being a teenager is hard enough, but when you’ve got to go through those years without anyone to really guide you. The next year when I was 15 I had to change schools, the year after I had little choice but to move out as my step-mum and I did not get along, so I moved in with my Granny who’s an awesome woman, but my life felt so topsy-turvy and I felt so alone even with the family around me.

By the time I got to my early 20’s I was starting to feel a bit normal and could manage; or so I thought, I still was not being true to myself which also meant that those around me didn’t really know me either. When I first met Rob he thought I was some “holier than though” girl, and in a way I was though it was more of a way for me to hide my low self-esteem from not just those around me but to myself as well.

Go down the track a few years and Rob and I are married and expecting our first child, however at 20 weeks we find that she is not likely to live. By 42 weeks I went through a traumatic birth  and Zoë  was stillborn, and I felt let down by God, by friends, by myself. I was angry at everyone including myself. My self-esteem took such a beating that it took a while for me to be truly happy again.

A year and a half later we had our first son and my self-esteem started to slowly come back. Then 20 months later our youngest son arrived and it took a long time for me to bond with him and I almost hated myself for it, but eventually things turned right. Now last year we had our gorgeous wee girl who I feel so protective of and would do almost anything to make her happy.

Even after all this joy I am still having to work on my self-esteem and that fact that I struggle with anxiety. Most days I can keep it in check but there have been times when things just feel too much and I almost break. One thing I think I was good at was pretending that everything was fine – because aren’t I meant to be happy, after all I have beautiful children, am married to a great guy and have some pretty good friends.

Even though I have all this, there are times when I feel alone – not all the time of course but in those bad moments it feels really bad.

Lately I’ve been focusing on positive events like the first birthday of my precious wee girl who when she smiles brings so much joy. One thing I’ve tried to do is to not let my boys get worried when I have my bad moments as I want them to be as carefree as possible. I want them to not grow up too fast.

 

The Middle Child

The Middle Child

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Alex

Alex lost his place as baby of the family when our daughter came along 7 months ago; if that wasn’t difficult enough his Dad who he has a great bond with was in hospital for 2 weeks at the beginning of the year and though he is out of hospital he is still not quite and will be heading to Auckland Hospital next week for observations and tests; its a 6 or so hour drive from where we live and so visiting will be very difficult so won’t happen. Which in a way may be a good thing as Alex didn’t like seeing his Dad in the hospital – he saw him after the tubes were taken out.

Rob’s balance is still not great and sometimes finds it difficult to even carry a cup of coffee from the kitchen to the living room. This means that the rough-housing that normally goes on between those 2 has been put on hold.

Alex’s big brother Jason has been busy with school and is involved in activities outside of school as well so I think Alex has been feeling a bit left out especially when his baby sister takes up more of my time. I try to spend quality time with Alex when I can  but things are definitely different now.alex-age-3

Normally Alex is a friendly and helpful little boy but he has been having moments where he’s defiant and aggressive, maybe part of it is his age – after all he will be 4 in a few weeks I think a lot of it has to do more with all the changes he’s had to deal with.

Alex is the type of kid that will try anything he is determined and seems to have very little fear. I have found that I can’t waiver at all with him and compromise is not possible. If he’s given an inch he will take a mile. This type of attitude will be good when he’s a teenager as maybe he will be less likely to give in to peer pressure – right now though hes a bit of a trial, though hopefully it will get better as he learns more self-control.alex

Best Friends or Bitter Rivals

Best Friends or Bitter Rivals

After our eldest son was born, I knew I didn’t want to stop there; I’m a strong believer that children need playmates. Only children may work for some people but I didn’t want that to be the case for my boy. I also realise that it may not be possible for parents to have more than one. I felt that my son would be better off with a sibling. So almost 2 years later along came his little brother.

I enjoy (most of the time) the relationship the brothers have. Our eldest boy has a big heart and loves to help his little brother, his little brother seems to want to do what his big brother does – but he also seems to enjoy “tormenting” his big brother. At the moment the brothers share a bedroom and sometimes it seems to flow smoothly, other times its like World War 3.

My eldest boy likes to have time by himself sometimes but it can be a fight to get that across to his little brother, sometimes my big boy tries to dictate how the brothers play and because of his little brother’s strong sense of independence it can turn a little bit rough. If the eldest insists to much on how their play should progress and pays no attention to what his little brother wants, then instead of words physicality ensues to get the eldest to listen to the youngest.

I’m not sure if this physicality is because they are boys or if its an age thing. What is interesting though is that the physicality could seem quite bad but once its over they are best friends again almost as if it never happened.

In having sons I’ve learnt that sometimes I have to step back and only interfere if things are getting completely out of hand – after all I don’t want them to kill each other 🙂

Within a day my sons can go from being best friends to bitter rivals then back to best friends many times. The one thing I hope is that they always have each others back and no matter where life takes them they will always know they have each other.

Rainbow Princess

Rainbow Princess

rylee-6-moSeven years ago Rob and I had our first baby girl Zoë-Jean, unfortunately she was stillborn at 42 weeks gestation. A year and a half later our rainbow baby arrived – a boy, twenty months after his arrival we had another boy. Six months ago we finally had another girl – to me she is my rainbow princess. I love my boys, having  a little girl that I can dress in pink, put her in dresses and who I can buy accessories for is just the icing on the cake.

She is such a sweet little girl, I love her smiles and when I’m feeling in a bad mood just watching her brightens my day. I remember when we found out we were having a girl I was so excited and my hope is that she is a girly girl, realistically I’m not sure if she will be like that as she gets older; with 2 big brothers she may turn out to be a bit of a tomboy – not that that matters. So for now I will dress her in dresses as much as I can.

One of the things I’m glad about is that instead of being jealous of this little rainbow princess her big brothers adore her. When she accidentally rolled off the couch she was less upset than her 5 y/o big brother.

I love the fact that she was born with brown eyes like her eldest brother but as the months go by they seem to be more hazel like her Dad’s eyes. As much as it would have been so sweet to have a mini-me I think she is going to be her Dad’s mini-me, which is absolutely fine.

 

 

Married To Epilepsy – Explained

Married To Epilepsy – Explained

I did a previous blog post called Married To Epilepsy and had a comment how I wasn’t married to epilepsy it is my husband that has epilepsy – in many ways that’s correct; however there are times when the epilepsy feels like it is at the forefront. Over the last few days I have spent my time between home and the I.C.U at my Husbands side. He was admitted to the I.C.U after E.D. could not get the seizures under control.

My husband is the one that directly affects, yet it does indirectly affect me. when my husband is going through a bad bout then I’m the one that has to be there not only for him, but to make sure that our kids and the housework is not neglected.

So though someone diagnosed with epilepsy is the one directly affected, indirectly it also affects their loved ones. I know that what my husband goes through is extremely tough but what cannot be ignored is the affect it not only has on myself, but also on our children and family and friends.

My husband doesn’t like being labelled “an epileptic” so though I could have titled the blog post “Married To An Epileptic” – that would have been disrespectful to my husband. When things are going smoother, you could almost forget about the epilepsy and things could go smoothly for days – and then again there will be times when they are rough.

So I am married to Rob who has epilepsy but there times when it feels like I’m Married To Epilepsy.