Thursday, 22 May 2014


I'd been treading water for a while. With the solo parenting and end of term commitments, work building up that I had no time to concentrate on because I was carrying the load of both parents and collapsing in a heap once the kids were in bed and I finally had the house back in order. Only to get up and do it all over again.

The most frustrating part about working from home when you are never without your children in their entirety, is that my uninterrupted work time is from 7pm onwards. Some nights by 7pm I could fall face down on the couch and stay there. Who am I kidding? Some days, I could do it at 5pm.

I hadn't felt this way before. Nearing seven years of motherhood, I had never felt so broken. Like a little mouse on a wheel. Round and round.

My mum called one Saturday morning and said that she and dad thought it would be a good idea if she flew down to help out for a week or so. She stayed for ten days, including Easter. She was my saviour.

The few weeks prior to her arrival, I was not a nice person. A horrible mother. Snappy, shouty, bossy, cranky. Zero patience at the beginning of the day - a recipe for disaster. For the first time, I felt like I needed a decent amount of time away from being a mother. Not necessarily from my children, but from the responsibilities of parenting them. You know? I didn't want to cook another dinner. Pack another lunchbox. Clean the kitchen for the twentieth time that day. Pick up another bloody toy. No reader, no breaking up arguments, no washing, no screaming to BRUSH YOUR TEETH! The monotony was too much. And my wingman was MIA with work.

The husband and I were like ships in the night. He would leave before the kids were awake and tip toe in, in the dark of night. Both miserable, both carrying on miserably. Because that's what you do. You just keep going.

As with every visit from the grandparents, we parents become obsolete and are no longer needed 7362 a day. I had time to catch my breath. Mum took the kids out for small snippets of time, and then big. Like a WHOLE day. Holy shit. I had no clue what a whole day without your children felt like - without taking time away from your children in order to see other people. To not hear MUU-UUM yelled in your direction between 9 - 5 and concentrate fully on what was in front of me. To just be your own company for an entire day. To edit, uninterrupted, for an ENTIRE day.

Each day that passed, I began to feel a little more like myself. Less angry, less emotional, less horrible. I know my mum knows how appreciative I am of her presence. For her love, and desire to make everything right again. At any cost. For spoiling her grandchildren and putting me back together again.

Strangely, it's only now that the kids are a bit older that I find it harder being away from most of my family. I am sure many would feel the opposite and prefer the help through the sleepless nights, constant feeding and nappy changes through the baby days.. but for me it is definitely the other way around. They are their own little people now, with big personalities, and they understand everything. They love their grandparents fiercely.

But I know the distance won't be there forever. The possibility for change is there, we just have to choose the right moment to grab it.

A few timely calendar dates were dotted through this period that really did wonders for me..
Dinner with friends, new and old. Good food, conversation and laughter is such good medicine.
And music. From my favourite guy. Live and loud and brilliant.
Listening to this (holy shit - dare I say it's better than the original?!). And this.
Watching this (SO much to take from this, never specifically related to music). And this (I never got the Zac Efron thing until I watched this, yes repeatedly).
And re-watching this (for the umpteenth time). Because no matter your mood, the gang will ALWAYS make you feel better.
Reading this. Trying to be better..

If you live close to your family and have their support - grandparents to look after the children at times, or siblings to help lighten the load, or simply to have a regular cuppa and a chat - I hope you thank them. I hope you appreciate them. I hope they know how much you appreciate them. I hope you know how lucky you are. I really do.


  1. Oh dude. It's relentless, isn't it? And I'm only just really realising it. I do work from home with smalls (under three) and it's impossible. So they go to day care and I get one whole day of just me and the laptop. But one day isn't long enough and I do find myself trying to fit it all in and realising it's just not going to happen. I'm sorry you've had such a shit time of it lately, but glad to hear you're feeling better. I don't have a mum that would come and do this for me (even when she lived 30 minutes away), so it's lovely to see that it happens. I hope it was the balm you needed. PS your mum looks rockin'. I hope I'm a cool granny :)

  2. Being a mother is sooo hard some days. I was only chatting to my friend and said I wanted to run away, to just think of myself if only for a day. It's constant, never ending and sometimes in turns you into well a crazy person, not who you are or want to be at all. I am so glad your Mum could be there for you, to give you some breathing space to be you again being a Mum is hard but doing it solo is even harder. It really is harder as they get older, I so know about that the personality, the attitude, the opinions......My Mum is near by but not involved in quite the same way so I have never really asked for her help but my hubby's Mum will help whenever we ask and I am so truly grateful for that and for the breathing space that she gives us at times and always thank her for it too. Take cake my friend I hope you are feeling better. xxx

  3. Thank you for being so honest in this post. I am not yet a mother, but this really did help me understand how all encompassing it can be. I am grateful that your mother was able to come and stay, help you breathe and relax all over again. We all know we need it from time to time. I'm sure you gave her a great big hug in appreciation! x

  4. Awesome post. I relate to so much of what you've said. It's just the constant grind that is the real killer. We live away from family, but regretably when the grandparents fly in to visit they come for holidays so it just tends to increase the workload.
    Glad that you're feeling a bit more normal. Take care.

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  6. I have 2 sons and a daughter too. I have promised myself I will remember how much my mother does for me, and will do the same for my daughter but also my daughters-in-law/partners. I won't just come and visit, I'll send those Mums out for sometime out, I'll clean and I'll do all those route mother things (bath, reading, dinner, laundry!). I always say wouldn't it be nice if someone came and took over from 5am to 9am and again from 5pm to 7pm :)

  7. You make me feel so very normal. Very grateful for having my parents close by. I'm so glad you got time to breathe and just be. Magical photography, as always. Take care Tahnee xx

  8. Oh Tahnee, I deeply appreciate you sharing this post with us all.
    Ronnie xo

  9. I think all Mums feel this way at one time or another even in the same week. I think being a Mum you get pulled in 1001 different directions and then repeat it the next day. I think husbands (or the bread winners shall we call them) go off to work, get paid and also usually get thanked by colleagues for doing such a great job and then when they come home from work they are "off duty". Mum's work on call 24/7, schedule, cook, clean, entertain, run the finances, groceries, meals, washing, ironing, gifts, homework etc. etc. the list goes on and then whilst we know it's all for a good cause there may not be too many "gee you did a good job of mothering today, have the weekend off". It's hard, it's rewarding, it's relentless, it's emotional, it's wonderful all rolled into one. I've been a single parent for 6 years raising my two (they were 2 and 4 when I kicked my not so nice husband out) and there's no day off here. I just had a major cranky attack half an hour ago when I noticed the glue bottle on the coffee table had fallen over and half the glue was leaking on the table and the floor (yes there was one cranky mother yelling). Mainly because when I heard mention of glue I knew that it could be fought with danger.....I did ask my 10 year old son to put paper underneath it because if it spills it will be on the coffee table and that I didn't really want him working with it there but I let it go and thankfully, and this was after the kids had gone into bed, I saw a big patch of white glue on the table and called out to him to come out to the lounge room...there were tears involved (from him) because I yelled however I explained the reason why I didn't want the glue on the coffee table etc etc. and I won't bore you to tears with the rest of the conversation. Parenting is a big gig, and solo parenting even bigger but you do get through but having grandparents to come in and let you recharge your batteries is awesome....... hang in there, tomorrow you get to wake up and do it all over again...ha ha..little "ground hog day" joke. (ps...I could not stand that movie....) Regards Kathy A, Brisbane

  10. I feel this right now for the first time in my life and I feel so guilty... thinking my kids won't remember the jokes their mama made but the yelling she was all day. Yesterday my husband came home and said "you are really tired lately". And I am. Tired of a baby crying all day after me, or pushing my pants when I need to have something done, and tired of the big girl homework from school, and tired from carrying them from one activity to another without a rest. I am so tired at nights but I keep awake two hours more than I should, doing nothing but looking tv and net with a baby in my arms only because house is still. And I need that while I'm awake, but then I'm so tired all day long... i have not family in the city, but I know if I had I didn't let them take care for me or my kids because i feel the pressure of having them wanting to come everyday and couldn't stand...

    I need a rest but beeing in my house, doing the things I like without interruptions for one time and stop thinking about all the things I have to do next...
    Another thing that happens to me is that I keep all week making plans for all the things I'm going to get done in the weekend, and the the weekend goes by and I didn't have one moment of spare time... now I feel the same about school summer holidays (only a month to be) and at the same time I know it will be the same as weekends.

    Thanks for sharing, Tahnee.

  11. Tahnee..... you are an amazing mother... I know how proud your mum is of you. .. Being a mother isn't easy at times, I resume beer many bad days but I had a great mum and treasured her so much. ... I remembered when mum died how hard it was without her. .. I see the rey relationship you all have your mum and I have the same with my girls. .. I know how hard it is with distance between you and your parents because I feel it with Raquel being so far away and she's hasn't had children yet. That time will be coming soon. ... Being a Moyer is the best job out there. .. tonight I've read your blog for the first time. .. It's beautiful Tahnee

  12. I can completely relate. We've always been a plane ride or several hour drive from our families, and I agree, the older my kids get, the harder it is. I grew up around grandparents and cousins, and it makes me sad that my kids don't have that. We do our best with holidays together. My husband has also been MIA with work the past few weeks, which I imagine will continue for the summer, and it is never easy. The crankiness has crept in for me, and I know that I will depend more on my kids, especially the older ones, to 'pitch in' or do for themselves. Sometimes I think this is good for them to take on responsibility, and sometimes I beat myself up about it. I am glad you got some reprieve, we all need it. I may have to check out that Buddhism for mothers. Is that wrong for a Catholic? ;)

  13. Oh gosh it's relentless isn't it. My parents have just moved here recently to be closer to us and it hasn't made an ounce of difference, not one offer to babysit or give me a hand. You're so lucky to have such an amazing Mum, it's probably the reason you're such an incredible mum yourself. I hope that you can all live closer together one day. But maybe until then you can just do what I do when it all gets too much - leave the dishes piled high, toys on the floor, skip the showers, make toast for dinner (again) and just fall in a heap on the couch at 5pm. It'll keep. Big love my gorgeous friend. xx

  14. Your little people are so lucky to have such awesome grandparents! Your mum seems so funky - in the very best way possible.
    I hope your mojo recovers completely.
    Family at such distance is so hard. This year has been hard at times in our house - grandparents have needed our support, care and love.
    Make sure you are taking time for you. I can highly recommend a nail salon with Real Living and a fresh cup of hot coffee.

  15. I absolutely agree that I need a break more now than when they were younger. I am so happy that you have had a bit or respite. It is so hard at times. One of the photo's I posted on AYOM last week, of my glasses, was of one of those broken times. Glasses off while I sat on the edge of my bed crying big stingy tears of I have had enough and I just don't want to do this mothering thing right now. Everything you said, I didn't want the responsibilities, or to look down at the carpet again and think "What the fuck is that?!" I hope you know you do an amazing job, and these dark days, although they suck balls, are just part of it, and it's ok. xxxx


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