Hello 2011, bye bye 2010! On the struggles of being a parent and enlightenment.

Goshy, it’s the 3rd of January 2011 already and I haven’t even done a blog post yet. I normally do one on the last day of the year, but didn’t get a chance.

Let’s do it now.

Well hello there 2011, pardon me for congratulating you late on your birth and mourning the death of 2010. It had sort of a ring to it, 2010, but it was a hectic year for me, for us, with quite a lot of ups and downs.

2010 was major for Dylbee as he learned to crawl, grow teethies, sign, babble and walk in 2010. All huge accomplishments one might say for a little 1 and a bit year old. 2010 was also major for me and Andy but in different ways. We really struggled with our new roles as parents and everything that came with that. The joyous and amazing moments, but also the moments where you deal with having many less freedoms, and old strategies that used to meet your needs were no longer available. These changes have been painful and trying. We are continually challenged to be zen masters and have no attachments to ‘how we want things’. It is not about ‘us’ anymore. It’s about him now.

A little person arrives in your life and then proceeds to dominate it, take over and make you his humble slave. (Ha ha, ok, that’s an exaggeration but does come close to it). It was only this morning when I uttered under my breath to Andy when we were trying to put Dylan’s shoes on; ‘my God, it really is a 5 man job eh’? Something as simple as putting his shoes on can be a major drama.

I look forward to the day where Dylan can understand the impact some of his actions have, not so that he can feel guilty and ‘bad about himself, of course not, but so that we can ‘work together on getting everyone’s needs met, not just his’. At this point, Andy described it nicely yesterday, he is 16.5 months old and is a ‘need-meeting-machine’. He has all the same ‘rights’ that other people have, but none of the responsibilities or the capacity to empathise.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the little critter to death, he has so many adorable and beautiful sides to him, but it’s also so hard to be with him sometimes. He endlessly wants to breastfeed (yep, still breastfeeding) and scratches me in the process (sometimes bites me by accident) and always wants what we have (so if I’m drinking tea, he wants to hold the cup etc) which means you don’t ever really get a break unless you leave the room which then makes him cry hysterically.

I feel torn when I read what I just wrote because I am utterly and deeply grateful for having him in my life, I don’t want to seem like I am not happy to have him, but I also want to express how difficult it can be. I was in tears last night talking to Andy (for whom it’s also not easy by any stretch of the imagination). I feel frustrated when I think that the only way you can have some harmony and peace with a 16.5 year old is by being domineering, authoritarian and horrible because they are incapable of any real understanding or empathy yet. I don’t want to be the ‘nazi parent’, but I also want some peace and quiet and harmony with my child. I don’t want him to drive us crazy. We can’t really communicate with him about ‘what it’s like for us yet’, so we just have to either ‘grin and bear’ or ‘shout and dominate’. (Ok, we have some in between solutions too, like distraction etc, but they are not as effective as I’d like).

Ok, I’m painting a picture here that is a little bleak and it’s not that bad. I suppose I’m writing this after 2 weeks of no break of Dylbee and he’s been really grumpy and demanding for the last 3-4 days as well so that hasn’t helped. There have been lovely days as well where he’s just pottering while we’re all together and we’ve been able to just sit calmly together, but for the last couple of days things have just seemed a lot harder.

So, here I am trying to talk about 2010 and 2011 and write mostly about Dylbee -> see!! It’s all about HIM! ;)

Tam & Dylbee

Ha ha. The challenges when you become a parent eh. Gosh.

For 2011 – the aim for me and Andy are:

* spend more time together
* spend more time with friends (we’ve been pretty isolated)
* do more art (for me)
* play more golf (for Andy)

And, after all that I just wrote about Dylan, we are STILL considering and thinking about a second child. LOL. I know, crazy right?

Both of us are weary of the idea of a second, but it also seems to make sense. We’d like for Dylan to have a sibling, they also say that at some point they ‘entertain each other’, it’s helpful for socialisation and it’s nice to have a second child (yeah, right … ;)). Also, everything changes when they get older. But, we need to make sure we’re ok financially, which is tricky, we need to make sure we’re ok emotionally, which is tricky (hee hee), and the other thing is: if we do want to do it, we need to do it soon as I can’t stay on steroids for many more years (max 3). (I’m on steroids instead of my other meds for the RA because of pregnancy and breastfeeding). To those who have more than 1 child, are you happy you chose for a second? Or do you think sticking with 1 would’ve been easier? Grateful for any input on this one. :)

The problem with a second child as well is if we do IVF again (Dylan is an IVF baby), it means I’ll have to wean him off the breast which will be a total drama as he’s totally obsessed with it. So I’m not looking forward to that one!

So, decisions to be made and as Andy says: sitting in the fire once more.

It’s so hard because I really waver between yes and no. On some days I think to myelf: NEVER again another one! And on other days I’m totally in the mindset of: aww it’d be SO lovely to get another. It’s a really difficult decision to make, and we can’t ‘leave it up to chance’ in our situation either.

Anyhoo, in 2011 – art wise, I’m very excited about my current course which starts on 17th January (Magical Mythical Makings – sign up here) and also, I’m really excited about creating a digital art online course! There is a lot of possibilities with this one, so uber excited. I started doing digital portraits of toddlers, this one is of my neighbour’s daughter Ciara, I ordered it on canvas and it looks great! :)

Ciara

I’m loving working digitally – and I know I have a lot to teach on this one so it’s going to be great!

Let’s see what 2011 brings for us, I hope it’s going to be great for everyone, and if not so great that we grow from the ‘not-so-greatness’. There is a video in which Eckhart Tolle talks about how people can get very upset when their loved ones are in pain or are going through struggles and he says: ‘but to wish no pain or struggle upon anyone is possibly the worst thing you could wish for them, as from pain comes learning, growth and sometimes enlightenment’. So, I hereby wish you all a painful and struggle-ful 2011! ;) And I raise my glass to ‘enlightenment’! ;) (Kiddddding!! – though I do wish we grow and learn from our pain and struggles should we be experiencing them). Mostly I wish you a muffin filled 2011. (What is it with me and muffins? ;)). oxoxo

Huggasnugga!!

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