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Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Mother Guilt!! And darling daughters.

There was a great response to my last blog, so thanks to everyone who commented or who has been in touch to share their point of view, or experience. The thing I find really exciting is that it really got some people talking about the challenges they face within themselves or with their children and I am really grateful for the sharing, I have learned a lot. Most importantly, I found that we are not alone in our daily struggles for a good life. 

I seem to spend a great deal of my time thinking about my 2 boys and dealing with the demands of their various extra needs. It seems I spend a great deal less time with my daughter.  And you know what, much to my shame, I think this is true. Mother guilt!!!

I had allowed the mess on my desk to grow to a ridiculous size and set myself the task of sorting it out on Monday. I found little surprises distributed throughout the paper work and bills which made my heart leap they were so utterly delightful and heartfelt.  How could I not have noticed them before? My daughter writes me a note most days. Sometimes it's just  "I love you Mummy", or "I love you because your earrings are pretty". There were notes of apology for when she scribbled on the dining table, and when she broke my favourite piece of venetian glass. There were numerous drawings in texta and crayon of flowers and rainbows, our family together with each member named and others with just Mummy and Miranda holding hands. How could I not have noticed these treasures before now? How could I not have seen my darling girl and all of her efforts? 

such a little cutie...

But guilt is a pretty useless feeling so I decided to use the energy on tuning into her for a couple of days to see what I could learn about her and from her. This is some of what I discovered:

She is loving and caring, always ready with a hug and a smile. Every morning she praises me on what I wear often saying "You look 'bootiful' Mum". 

She makes a great sparring partner for Ned and brings him back down to earth or out of his own world by making sure he has fun and games and gets to be very silly. 

Miranda is an extraordinary big sister and friend to Charlie. They spend hours together playing games, dancing and singing and watching ABC4Kids and DVDs in the cold weather. Charlie imitates her and she encourages him all the time. She has such grace, patience and generosity when it comes to her 2 demanding brothers, and rarely complains about them. ( a technical hitch with this paragraph has held me up posting!!)

And she is smart, pretty with gorgeous thick hair, very funny with a wonderful turn of phrase and a crazy sense of the ridiculous.

It has not always been easy for her. Last year when Charlie was in and out of Westmead Kid's Hospital I missed the first two terms of Kindergarten and  although we both cried about it a bit (me more than her) she never complained. She could have, and perhaps, she should have. Instead, she became very self-reliant. There are times I have to remind her that I am the parent and I will do the worrying and take the responsibility and she reluctantly gives in. It makes me sad that she has had to become so tough because I was away so much. With so much disruption at home last year Miranda poured herself into learning and school. School was highly structured and totally predictable and she had a great teacher who was incredibly supportive, unlike home where chaos seemed to reign.

first day of school 2011

On Tuesday night I watched a rerun of 'Steel Magnolias' on tv. I was trying to write my blog but found myself putting down the laptop and picking up the tissues. I rarely cry at movies but Sally Field gets to me and as I was already thinking about my daughter it made me all the soppier. It left me with my bottom lip trembling!

So, I feel as though I have had a bit of a 'wake-up-call' about my Miranda. I need to notice her not only when she presses my buttons and scribbles on the furniture, but as she infuses our family with laughter and light. She gives so much all of the time, and I promise that I will notice her and continue to work on our relationship and pray that I can care for her and love her in such a way that she knows how much I love and appreciate her. 

Love you Minnie, xx


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