Tag Archives: chicken pox

Very conscious, very mindful mothering

Very conscious, very mindful mothering.

That’s what last week was. Some very conscious, very mindful mothering from me. Less earthy and worthy though than mantra and reminder. I did a lot of deep breathing and active pausing to think before I spoke. I reminded myself often that I was the adult here and I was the one who needed to remain in control. Because I had to. If I didn’t, I would have been shouting and possibly throwing things. I felt a hot, angry frustration building up, unlike anything I’ve felt in my adult life, and it gave me a fright.

The chicken pox descended on our house for the second time in as many years. We got away with a very mild dose the last time, I think thanks in part to the fact that I was still breastfeeding at the time and it provided both comfort and resilience to the virus. This time though, it was back with a vengeance and we had one very sick little boy on our hands with some really awful spots all over his body. His back reminded me at one point of a teenager with that horrific angry, blood-headed acne all over his shoulders.

Along with sickness came high temperatures, loss of appetite and extreme, relentless irritability, nicely compounded by the smothering humidity outside. While the country enjoyed a sun-kissed weekend in the great outdoors, myself and Pip stayed in and suffered each other. I was clearly wrecking his head as much as he was wrecking mine.

The most popular phrase in our house was “go away mama” with a wail of “mamaaaaa” following a swift second. I spent the guts of an hour on Friday night literally hopping from one foot to another, dipping in and out of his eyeline between ferocious screams of “go away mama” with flying fists in my direction followed by heartbreaking gulping tears calling me back to him. This was one of many wakenings that night and I was too tired to do anything else except follow whichever command was hurled in my direction.

Mixed between lovely moments of cuddling together and some much needed quiet time, were hysterical fits of what can only be described as toddler unreasonableness. There was no pleasing him. He wanted everything and nothing. Not that, not that and definitely not that. Go away mama! I was slapped and kicked. There were many full body slams on the ground when his temper took over. It was just insanity.

Very conscious, very mindful mothering. Deep breathes. Mutter, mutter. He’s just a baby. He is sick. Don’t snap. Don’t shout. Don’t storm. Don’t blaspheme to the high heavens or pull your hair out while evoking the vocabulary of a sailor. Like I wanted to.

I got mad once. The exhaustion got to me. My husband was away working so the absence of the other half of my tag team got to me in the end. I snapped back. He wailed. I instantly regretted it. No good came from it – I didn’t feel better and he certainly didn’t understand my own frustration. It felt pretty shitty actually.

Very conscious, very mindful mothering.

I actually learned a lot about myself. I know now there’s new buttons to push that probably only my mother could activate before. I also know that I need to hold the centre and let his little toddler chaos erupt around me. I can do it. I mightn’t like it but he’s relying on me to be the rock when he’s in melt down and to still be there – untarnished – when the clouds have gone and he needs assurance and comfort. It was fucking hard though.

Very conscious, very mindful mothering.


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