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Bad Moms

So during the week in passing conversation with my minions, we were joking about just what a bad mom I am. My youngest minion reminded me of the day that she had an open wound and I didn’t have Dettol (antiseptic) to clean it – so I used tequila to disinfect her wound.

Admittedly I pulled a couple of weird stunts like, that so every now and then my minions ‘pretend moan’ to each other about me – but I somehow get the idea that they secretly love having a ‘Bad Mom’.

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Their dad is a whole lot more uptight and so when they are with me, they joke about how the roles should be reversed …since I am the ‘mom’ after-all. I have heard them telling their friends in a fake looking for sympathy kind of way about stuff I have done, have not done or have put them through.

These include:

  • Me regularly threatening to sell them on eBay
  • Having a planned ‘bunk school’ day with them as a reward for studying for their exams … Bribery is the key to successful parenting
  • Me forgetting it was my daughter’s sports day and went hiking up Lion’s Head. Just a few meters from summit my son sent me a picture of her crossing the finish line πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ
  • We went on a family trip to Knysna and I took them with me into a pub. (The context being the whole family went to the pub for a meal – but still they love telling their friends “Mom took us to the pub”)
  • Every now and then I feed them two minute noodles for dinner (note: only when I know that my own mother isn’t coming to visit – because then I would be in trouble!). I personally skip dinner in lieu of work from time to time, and then I tell them to help themselves to two minute noodles if they can find any. They moan about it – but I know they secretly love it…. much rather prefer two minute noodles to veggies
  • I got them up early one Sunday morning to take them to an artsy film at an indi cinema. As we were walking to the cinema my daughter was incessantly moaning about being forced to wake up so early. So my son says to her “Sister, be grateful that our mom is a bad mom – things could be worse, you could have been woken up early on a Sunday to go to church”

So I am a bad mom. I might be the worst mom. I send them to school with creased clothes and unbrushed hair – but I make sure their homework is done. In fact always I do homework and school projects with them.

I don’t care what my kids look like. I do care very much that I teach them how to love and look after themselves.

When I decided to have kids, it wasn’t the plan to raise them as a single mom, but plans change, and that’s just how life worked out for us. And you know what, that’s perfectly fine. My house is a frequently in a mess and my wallet is regularly empty, but my heart….. yes my heart is over the top brimming FULL.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the good moms and also to all my fellow bad moms out there 🌻🌹❀️

An executive decision

I found you again.

But there are times when I have to make an executive decision. The benefit of the whole is better than the benefit of the pair. And yes, it is a beautiful pair.

For the past year I have worn two mismatched earrings as a pair. Just because. I thought I lost both their couplings.

But tonight I found the mate of one of those earrings. I know where I lost the mate of the other earring – at the CHEC course, that inspired this blog. There is no way I’ll find it again.

With that info I know what I have to do.

I will never wear the two matching ones at a set again. Ever.

Because for the benefit of the whole it’s just not right.

It’s an executive decision.

Infinity War …. whaaaaat?

I dunno how I feel….

img_6736Really, I really dunno how I feel.

I friggen have no friggen idea how I’m supposed to feel. Should I marvel (every pun intended) at the artistic mastery? ….or should I cry because something disastrous just happened to my family. We loved Civil War. But This…. oh good heavens 😭😭😭

And NO, I am not being over dramatic. My minions and I are great Marvel fans…. because of my son, who is the truly the greatest Spider-Man fan that I know (since he was a wee babe).

I dunno how I feel…..

Oh I dunno how I feel.

Don’t watch it. No Wait …do watch it. Don’t … Do. I need counseling, or tissues. Or a triple shot of whiskey.

I dunno how I feel.

Mixed feelings

I had a vague idea that my next post should be funny and light-hearted to keep my blog balanced. Imitating real life though, certain things are just not worth the effort of trying to control. Thus when I feel that I’ve just had a profound thought about something and then suddenly feel compelled to express my opinion to the cosmos, I think β€œBugger it, Let’s just do it”. This morning I’m feeling particularly partial to the topic of ‘mixed feelings’.

In an endevour to keep a balance though, I shall first ask….. Can you spot the faux collectible?

Back to mixed feelings, if you been following my blog in last seven months, it’s apparent I’ve written a fair amount about dealing with emotions. Emotional Agility (credit Dr Susan David) means not to shy away from the range of emotions one naturally experiences. Each feeling or emotion is a message (information) and we use that information to make a decision.

My own most recent experience is an unrelenting wave of mixed feelings or emotions. Although it’s not the first time in my life I’ve had such strong mixed feelings, it is the first time that I’ve had such strong mixed feelings since I’ve become aware of Emotional Agility.

Mixed feelings are two, but sometimes three or four contrasting emotions that present themselves simultaneously. The inner conflict it causes is utterly exhausting. For a day or two it just overwhelmed me and I tried ignoring it (#OldHabitsDieHard). Fortunately, some common sense prevailed and I realized these are just emotions identical to others. To get rid of any unwanted emotions, I need to process them one by one.

This all fine, however strikingly, this set of mixed emotions is particularly persistent and strong. Thus I sought some additional help to try to understand what these very intense mixed emotions (due to a current life situation) mean.

I found an amazing article that unpacked it

https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/do_mixed_emotions_make_life_more_meaningful#thank-influence

Three main thoughts emerged for me:

Thought 1: Each emotion has a message. When contrasting emotions appear together, their messages highlight conflicting goals or core values that are competing for priority. Complete Ah ha moment – makes perfect sense! Immediately upon recognizing this (and identifying these conflicting goals) the tension in my back dissipated and butterflies in my tummy settled. I’m smart enough to know my mixed emotions are telling me β€œBronwyn just decide damnit! One goal must take priority- don’t forget this, lest you will feel emotionally drained all the time. But be kind to yourself. Both goals are important to you, yes…. but choose one. Do not berate yourself. But also be logical and practical and trust the universe. It knows what it is doing. Just do your thing, It will do it’s thing, and all will be well”.

Thought 2: Mixed emotions are healthy. They help us cope with stress and adversity. Think about when you’ve had a bereavement – as a family when you get together – despite your sadness and you laugh about anecdotes of the person who passed. Losing my grandmother, who was a mother to me was the worst thing in the world. Although I was an adult, 25 already, I genuinely literally believed that the moment she took her last breathe the sun just had to stop shining. But that flipping darn defiant sun didn’t stop shining! Not that day. Or the next. Or the next. And it just kept rising again and again in the days and weeks thereafter. My greatest source of strength and comfort in that time was reminiscing with my family and laughing about all the funny things that my grandmother always said and did. That whole experience took my fear of death away. I’ll never be scared of death again. Mixed emotions made me more resilient.

Thought 3: Mixed feelings help people construct ‘meaning’ and ‘purpose’ in life. If you are brave enough to make an attempt at understanding the source of your mixed feelings, then you will be able to identify those conflicting goals or values. In most cases people make a decision one way or the other. You will choose whatever options is more attractive to you, or practical to you. I think about when I changed jobs. There was job security with my old and familiar job being a Veterinary Technologist. When I resigned that to start working for myself as a free lance editor and part time lecturer I had mixed feelings. But I chose leave old job for the new job because I wanted to improve my life circumstances. I did this in a more resolute manner because I had mixed feelings. Soul searching triggered by some mixed feelings advances one’s purpose in life. (Not all mixed feelings triggers soul searching though – I’m not likely to search my soul after I decide I need to attend a PTA meeting instead of getting drinks with my friends but for certain significant events it has the potential to get you to take stock of life).

So the bottom line for me is Bronwyn stop jabbering in this blog and get on with what needs to be done βœ… πŸ˜„

Laters alligators πŸ¦‹β€οΈπŸŒΊπŸŒ»πŸŒˆπŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ˜β€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈβ€οΈπŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ€ΈπŸΎβ€β™‚οΈπŸ’œπŸŒΌπŸŒΈπŸ˜³πŸ₯πŸ›πŸ¦„πŸπŸŒŽπŸ’˜πŸžπŸ£πŸ”₯πŸ’§πŸ’šβ›„οΈπŸ’πŸ‹πŸ”πŸ•πŸ­πŸ’›πŸ₯‚πŸŽΌπŸŽ·πŸŽˆπŸ§‘πŸ“šπŸ“πŸ€“πŸ’πŸ’“πŸ’—πŸ’–πŸ’•

Bibia Be Ye Ye

So I pulled an all-nighter. It’s not often that it happens anymore. I think I literally haven’t done this out of necessity for years and recently I’ve only worked through the night because of insomnia – but tonight was different.

My stats students wrote their midterm exams last night and so I’ve been preoccupied trying to prepare them. I’ve also been doing my own research and prepping my project students to hand in their topic approvals. Plus (and the real reason for my all-nighter) is our final exam and memo and special exam and memo must be handed in at the CPUT exams office tomorrow (later today rather!). If I miss that deadline I have absolutely no doubt that I will be named and shamed in the next Faculty Board Meeting, so there was no way I was gonna miss it. And on top of all that I wrote a last minute abstract today, because a colleague persuaded me that a talk I did at CPUT last week on online assessment is actually quite good, and potentially capable of being selected as a presentation for an e-learning festival happening later this year.

Absolutely No regrets. I love the thrill of the chase. The impending deadline and the satisfaction of delivering. Kachow baby. Every time I hit one of my targets I go on a natural high ….Completely dig it – reminds me of when I was consulting. It’s like a drug almost, but this drug pays my bills.

Although …I am pretty damn knackered now. I’m blogging now just to stay awake. It’s 4:30 and I dearly want to sleep but I know I shouldn’t because if I get into bed now there’s no way I’ll be able to get up at 5:30 to get the minions done and take them to school. So I’ll rather find something to do while I wait.

I simply can’t work anymore. My brain is in neutral gear.

This kinda reminds me of another time in my life that feels like a lifetime ago, about six months after my divorce was finalised, I was studying part time while working full time. I would habitually stay up very late nights – actually till early morning. I did this because I was terrified of failing in my courses. So I really put in as much effort and time as I could. I would only try to get some sleep from about 2 or 3am and have to be up at 5:30am again, to get the minions ready for school, drop them and then travel 35km in the opposite direction to go to my own work. I would sometimes sleep in my car during lunch times if I could. Lucky I had paid for parking spot in an undercover garage at that work place.

After oversleeping a few mornings, I decided I needed to come up with a plan to avoid that. So after doing whatever homework I had and studying, I would shower and then sleep on the couch in my work clothes. Luckily my couch was comfy, but not so comfy that I would oversleep. So especially that first year I hardly ever saw my own bed.

But even if I sleep in full kit on the couch now I know there’s no way that I’ll be able to wake in 50 minutes time, so for today I’ll just plow through.

Fortunately my work situation is different (more flexible) now, and to my sheer delight – I have Ed Sheeran on my iPod! Bibia Be Ye Ye! My fix…..

I think I’ll go watch myself go dance in the mirror nowπŸ˜±πŸ€«πŸ’ƒπŸΎ