December 16, 2012

I get by with a little bit of help from Maureen.

I’ve always been close with my Nanna, always.  As amazing as my Dad was/is/& continues to be, I think all little women {& even big women} crave for a female presence in their lives.  I was one of the fortunate ones because this void was very much so filled by my Dad’s Mother, my Nanna Maureen.  And she filled it well, so much so that I can’t even remember ever having felt short changed.

It was always at her house that I was allowed to dress up in her clothes, attempt to walk around in her high heels, clumsily apply her lipsticks to my own lips, & excessively spray her {expensive!} perfumes all over myself.  And it was also at her house that I tied an apron around my waist for the first time, & watched her bake, & create, & nurture her family through her good food, & then lick every spoon when she was done baking, creating, & nurturing those around her with her with that good food.  And so it was only natural that it was also with her that I went shopping for my first bra, & then it was her too who I called when I became a “woman” for the first time, & it was then when she guided me gently through her words over that telephone while I was feeling my most vulnerable.  And so it’s all of these reasons why I do love that photo above, because I mean … just have a look at me, & have a look at the way I’m looking at my Nanna; complete & utter adoration. 

I recently confessed to you, & to Dave, & to myself that I was battling.  And to even just admit that to myself let alone anyone else, was a huge battle for little ol’ perfectionistic me.  You see, I call myself a recovering perfectionist but … I also call bullshit on that, because I am a perfectionist, & will always be a perfectionist, & there seems to be no recovery for this particular personality trait of mine.  It is what it is, & I do know now that owning this trait almost predisposes me to battles like the ones I’m battling simply because of my perfectionistic approach to everything.

But you see there’s this thing about Motherhood that just completely derails perfectionists, & for some {namely, me!} they spend the rest of their lives trying to get back to what their idea of ‘perfect’ was.  And for me that was effectively managing my time, & effectively managing my friendships, & effectively managing my household, & effectively managing my social life, & effectively managing my diet, & performing well in my job, & just generally pleasing mother flippin’ everybody in my mother flippin’ life.

But I don’t get to do much of any of that effectively managing anything any more, because well … I am a Mother now.  And so Max dictates how I manage my time, & he dictates when I see my friends {well, his sleep routines do}, & when some of those friends didn’t like some of the changes Motherhood made to our friendship, they ended those friendships, so in a way … Max has dictated some of my friendships too, & Max dictates how I manage my household {i.e it is a complete sty from the moment he wakes to the moment he goes down to sleep at night, & it’s only then that I bother to clean up the chaos, because I’ve long since learnt that cleaning while he is awake is just the most futile thing in the world}, & Max dictates my social life in that it is mostly just me as his primary caregiver, so any socialising that I would like to do needs to happen after hours & by then … I’m usually too exhausted to consider anything beyond flaking out on the couch & trying not to drool on my pillow before 8.30pm, & Max dictates my diet in that I eat on the run now, & in between ensuring that he’s eating every flippin’ colour of the food rainbow while I’m shoveling Maggi noodles into myself for breakfast at 2pm, & finally … Max dictates how I perform in my job, in that I attempt to do everything while he day naps or goes down for the night, because any time outside of those hours he would literally be at my desk, & screaming at my ankles for attention.  And rightfully so, he is only two years old after all, & when you’re two … the world does indeed revolve around you.

So when Dave asked me why I thought I was battling, I told him it was because I felt like a mother flipping circus act, of the juggling variety.  And I told him I just desperately needed more support, something, anything, to make the juggling act feel less ridiculous, & more manageable.

Enter Maureen.  My fabulous Nanna Maureen.

She comes here every Friday now, & we pay her to do so {the same amount we would have paid for day care}, & she’s not in any way ok with us paying her, but I wasn’t in any way ok with making my late-70’s grandmother drive from the other side of Melbourne to wrangle a two-year-old while I wrangle work commitments every Friday.  And she is here all day, & Max adores her, & I enjoy the entire day I get to work with minimal interruptions, & how far ahead it puts me for the next working week, & how less chaotic this all makes me feel.

She’s also been known to push me out the front door when Max goes down for his day nap telling me to, ‘go & sit in a coffee shop, sit in silence, stare at interesting people, breathe in the outside air, & get away from that blasted computer’.  And so I do.  And she’s so right, because it’s nice to just sit, & stare, & breathe, & get some time out.

And so I am just so grateful really, because I’m getting by with a little bit of help from Maureen.

{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Leah December 16, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Tears….. I can so relate xxx

Reply

Raising Master Max December 17, 2012 at 1:10 am

Thanks Leah,

I knew you would,

x

Reply

row December 16, 2012 at 9:26 pm

I love your Nan :)
A beautiful piece of writing. Thank you.

Reply

Raising Master Max December 17, 2012 at 1:10 am

Thanks Row!

So do I, she’s a gem, a true gem!

x

Reply

Amelia {Weddings, Babies... Everything} December 16, 2012 at 9:30 pm

Really beautiful. What a very special lady. This makes me miss my grandma. When you have a beautiful grandmother, you hold on tight to her. xx

Reply

Raising Master Max December 17, 2012 at 1:10 am

Holding on tight Amelia,

… with a vice-like grip ;)

x

Reply

Paula December 16, 2012 at 10:17 pm

I never comment, I often skim read blogs, but I always read everyword of your posts.
This one was no exception. I agree, a beautiful piece of writing.
…I’m now going to have that beatles song in my head for the rest of the day… :)

Reply

Raising Master Max December 17, 2012 at 1:11 am

Paula thank you so much!

That really means a lot to me,

& I know what you mean re: skim reading, I’m a chronic skim reader. I think we’re all just so flipping busy, that the best I can manage these days is a quick skim read.

So thanks for taking in my words, & enjoy The Beatles today ;)

x

Reply

Bel December 16, 2012 at 10:24 pm

You rock Nana Maureen! I’m glad you’ve sort support, and you know what, I’ll let you in on a secret, we pay Hubby’s family to watch P while I work (I wasn’t ok with it at the start either and nor were they, but now I look at is as reimbursement for all the stuff they do and spoil her with).

Reply

Raising Master Max December 17, 2012 at 1:12 am

She really does rock Bel!

And absolutely!

Paying family to mind your children is nearly the best investment we have probably made!

My gosh, it has bought happiness, & a great reduction in stress, & you can’t put a dollar figure on that my friend :)

Maureen ROCKS.

x

Reply

Carly @ Charlie and Bella December 16, 2012 at 10:36 pm

Oh Cherie, that is just beautiful and I’m so glad you had and still have such an amazing and nurturing women in yours and your family’s life. What a beautiful women.
I had to laugh though, everything you wrote about being a ‘recovering perfectionist’. So true and so accurate to they way I feel too. No recovering about it and having children throws it all to turmoil! I think I held it together until my oldest was two, and baby girl started crawling…. then they would tear the place apart faster than I could put it back together :D

Reply

Raising Master Max December 17, 2012 at 1:13 am

From one recovering perfectionist to another, & when I say recovering, I mean … ‘recovering’, ha! I understand!

For me, the perfectionism will never end; I have just slowly been forced to live with a whole new concept of ‘perfect’, ha!

And I’m SLOWLY becoming ok with this :)

x

Reply

Carly @ Charlie and Bella December 18, 2012 at 2:26 am

No, it’s ingrained into DNA I’m sure :)
More than becoming ok with it, I’m just too exhausted to do anything about it now. But on the inside I’m having mini anxiety attacks over the chaos before me… LOL, I’m sure you understand xx

Reply

Lynda @HomeleaLass December 16, 2012 at 11:01 pm

That’s so beautiful.

Reply

Raising Master Max December 17, 2012 at 1:14 am

Thank you :)

She is beautiful, I’m well & truly blessed,

x

Reply

Meagan December 17, 2012 at 1:13 am

We all need a Maureen. I am so glad you had someone to turn to on those days that dad just wouldnt do.. coz its a girl thang!

I am also, over the moon that you have Maureen on Fridays, that must take such a load off, and we all know YOU NEED IT!

xxxx

Reply

Raising Master Max December 17, 2012 at 1:19 am

Thanks beautiful Meagan!

I’m so lucky to have my Nan,

I’m kicking myself {KICKING myself!} for not turning to her for help when I was working night shifts, I now know she would have been up to it, capable, & willing.

All the sleep I could have had?! A lesson well learnt … ASK, & you shall receive!

:)

x

Reply

Jen R December 17, 2012 at 1:25 am

Fantastic for you all…yay for all the beautiful Maureens in the world xx

Reply

Talia December 17, 2012 at 3:11 am

Yay! What a huge blessings for you!!

Reply

Marnie December 17, 2012 at 5:21 am

You mentioned your diet: can I suggest t you eat your meals with your son. I do, that was he knows we eat as a family, and that meals are always eaten at the table. I then get to eat properly too, as, like you, I am committed to my son eating well.

Food for thought. hehe

You are lucky to have your nanna.

Reply

belleinspirations December 17, 2012 at 9:49 am

Just wanted to pop in and wish your gorgeous family a very Merry Christmas. I have loved reading your posts and look forward to continuing on this journey called motherhood with you, it’s been such a delight! Have a fabulous Christmas xx

Reply

Clare December 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm

What a beautfiul lady your Nanna is! And she no doubt adores Max just as much as he adores her.. It is hard to ask for help (so a huge well done), but this seems to have fallen into place just perfectly.
And that photo is amazing – def needs a frame!
Clare x

Reply

Belinda December 18, 2012 at 2:24 am

awwww, that’s lovely Cherie! And do what your Nanna says….get out! I have just last week decided that Thursdays are my days, so as much as I need to work, I need time for me too….so I’m going to the gym during the day, this week I’m going for a pedicure and next year have pencilled in for a massage in January. Hmmmm I might even go out for a coffee (well probably a peppermint tea) this week!

Reply

Anonymous December 18, 2012 at 9:26 pm

What a blessing to have your precious Maureen near by. I was nodding my head in utter agreement on the perfectionist diagnosis – I’m chronic! Xx

Reply

Ros December 19, 2012 at 2:18 am

I have a Maureen too! Her name is Betty and she is my 86 year old grandmother. There is a limit to what she can do but she always helps where she can. My girls adore her and sometimes it is nice to just have her around for some adult conversation. We are so lucky to still have them.

Reply

Elisa {With Grace & Eve} December 23, 2012 at 2:14 am

I love her words! All mamas need to hear that. To stop, be still and just be is my favourite thing to do. I hope you get more time to just be Cherie xx

Reply

Brianna December 23, 2012 at 11:10 pm

This is such a beautiful post. I was closer to my Grandma than most people, and am so sad she won’t be here when I have children. I will raise my kids to love my mum as much as I did my grandma. It’s such a special relationship. You are so lucky to have Maureen, hold her close. Max is living the dream. Well done on taking the step towards accepting support! Xxxx

Reply

Amanda January 6, 2013 at 6:43 am

What an awesome Nanna you have – and how lucky for Max to spend time with a beloved family member xx

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: