For the last few days I have sick in bed with the flu. The only thing you can do in a situation like this is to think. It’s a nice distraction from the uncomfortable. Or sometimes, your thoughts can be your worst enemy.
Here’s another one of my old posts (originally published July 2008) from my other Mum’s Word blog. This was one of the posts that you just bash out without much editing. It definitely falls under the category of purge.
I’ve had a plethora of thoughts running through my head in these last two weeks. A plethora. I like the word plethora. Could I say my life is plethora?
Epiphany is another word I like. It sounds better than revelation. It sounds far more absolute. I like absolute too. So what is with my recent fascination with words? Well it becomes more and more evident that I need to choose the right words to express myself; especially to my children.
Logically we all know that as children grow older, the words we use and the actions we carry out determines the message we convey and the characters we help create. And that is how we end up with a life story.
I often think about my own life story. Mr M says that I should write my life story. I’m not altogether sure why? I haven’t done anything exceptional yet and although I didn’t have a rosy upbringing it was better than some.
I find it a little disheartening to see so many books on the shelves today that tell horrific stories of childhoods. And they have single word titles such as ‘Broken’, ‘Sold’, ‘Scarred’.
Joanne Fedler (Secret Writer’s Business) has just released a book about domestic abuse titled ‘Things Without A Name’. It is a work of fiction but she has a long career in the field of women’s rights so this book would have plenty of truth about it. I haven’t yet read it.
These are horrific stories that need to be told. My story doesn’t fit into these categories but I have had to overcome some shit in my life (forgive the French but that aptly sums it up) to get to where I am. And my journey isn’t over but as I get older I can see my flaws. I need to constantly tell myself that I can write and I can write a 1200 word investigative piece with a decent line of argument that some editor will buy. Deep down I don’t really believe it, but I tell myself I can anyway.
And who can I attribute this flaw to? My father. He was flawed. He was very flawed. But his flaws have brought out my strengths too. I may doubt that I can write, but then I am determined to give it a go. My strength is perseverance. I wonder whether that strength would have manifested if I wasn’t challenged by my father. Does the end justify the means?
I want to be a good parent to my children. But I know I’m not perfect and I can see that my children are disappointed with me sometimes. It was inevitable. I don’t get upset about it. If I did then I would be setting myself for disappointment. 20 years is a long time to not disappoint someone.
So I’m wondering whether a little ‘hardship’ is actually healthy for us as people; to help us determine our strengths, to refine our strengths.
It’s fraught with danger I know. A difficult childhood can have devastating long lasting effects. But the stories in the books I mentioned above all have the same outcome; the storytellers came out the other end stronger people.
Legacy is another word I often contemplate. It’s meaning. It’s importance.
But the older get, the less I know.
I’ve realized I’ve come to a point now that I’m going to start having some ‘real’ conversations with my children. My eldest is 7 now and I can hear her mind ticking over. To be honest the reason I became a parent wasn’t because babies are so cute (even though they are); it was to have discussions with my children. Hear what they have to say about the world they live in.
Maybe I should write my story if for no other reason than to give my children insight into their mother.
Mrs M, fabulous post ! Write your story. Do it. If for no other reason, but to “purge”.
So many things I want to say about this post, not enough space. (Perhaps a get together over some wine and 80’s music ???:))
I will say that I too love the words, “epiphany” and “plethora”
Love to you, my friend x
Wine and 80’s. Does it get any better than that Grace??
This post is the tip of a very big iceberg, I know.
Love & stuff
Hi Maria, I find your posts refreshingly honest. In relation to your comment about babies being cute etc. What I really wish to know is whether knowing what you know now, would you have had children? Did you have family support and if not, how did you cope?
Thanks so much for your kind words.
Yeah, knowing what I know I still would have children. Having children does alot for bringing your own baggage to the surface, well it has for me. And I’ve always been a thinker.
I have 4 children and I’m very busy with them. I wish I would have been satisfied with 2; I know my life would be a lot easier now. But I’ve always had 4 in my head since I was in my teens.
And the other reason is because I wouldn’t have known what I know now, if I didn’t have kids. My sister is childless but she has always wanted to be childless for as long as I can remember. I think deep down, if you are honest with yourself, you just know which side of the fence you want to be on.
I didn’t have children because it was expected of me. In fact, my family think I’m a bit crazy for having 4. Especially when my first 2 were girl then boy. Why would you go again?
I don’t have a lot of family support and how do I cope? Well I’ve made some good friends in the neighbourhood through my kids school so they help. It’s those little things like, a school pick up and things like that, that although seem small, make a huge difference.
The other reason I cope is because I have something to prove to myself. There are days when I don’t cope very well and generally have to talk myself up and out of my glut.
A huge motivating factor is that I just want to do a better job at parenting than my father did. That’s really the essence of it.
Wow, that was a long answer.
Thanks for the visit.
Love & stuff
Maria – beautiful post and definitely worthy of someone paying for it. Interesting thoughts about parents and kids, (by interesting I mean I obsess about it night and day). My mum was abandoned by her mother and largely raised by my great-grandmother, she has an undiagnosed anxiety disorder and is highly critical of everyone including herself but mostly me. 40 years on and guess who has these traits too along with a healthy dose of shaky self-esteem! I hope I end up stronger for the hardship but you know what sometimes other people end up paying for the selfish acts of one person and it takes generations to purge their nasty legacy. I hope you and I can make some big headway with the beautiful generation we are nurturing now though, I more than hope it – it is my heart’s biggest desire.
I hear you loud and clear. I know why my dad is the way he is; and it is purely a reaction to how he was raised and his experiences.
Everything you’ve said rings so very true with me too. Do you ever wonder if our parents thought about things the way we do?
Thanks for the visit.
Love & stuff
Great post. I’d not seen this before. We love a lot of the same words. Serendipity is my favourite, but epiphany is up there. I feel similarly about my reasons/dreams in having children. It was never about babies or toddlers. It was about my children, growing up, getting to know them, them getting to know me, sharing our views of the world. Teaching, learning, both of us (or all of us, now I have two).
Serendipity. Yeah, great word.
I always joke my youngest (20 months) is lucky he’s an interesting toddler otherwise these toddler years could be very trying; going through it all a 4th time.
Let’s hope our kids still like when they’re teenagers 😉
Thanks for the visit.
Love & stuff