"Just a Second"

I sometimes feel like the most repeated phrase in our house is "just a second", closely followed by "just a minute". (I'm not really helping my children's warped concept of time, admittedly)

The kids always want my attention. A cup of milk, a snack, a book read to them, "look at my dance/my picture/me."

It's simple. I can't always stop what I'm doing. And these kids seem to know exactly when the most inconvenient moment to demand my attention is.

We are surrounded nowadays, I feel, by people and advice telling us to stop and give children time. They won't be young forever. They won't ask for us to look at their pretty pictures forever.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

I know this and I dread the day the demands for attention will stop. On those rare occasions when Adam falls asleep on me, I will stop and take it in for as long as possible. When Emily needs an extra long cuddle after school, she will eagerly get it,


I also don't want my kids to grow up (in a world that has no time for them) thinking that anyone will stop and give them a minute whenever they demand it.

I don't want my kids to think they are the centre of anyone's world. It's not always all about them, They need to learn to wait; learn patience.

They won't be kids forever, no. But if I make my bladder wait any longer, it may very well explode. If the pasta doesn't get drained right now, dinner will be mush. If I don't keep my eyes on the road, we won't make it there alive. And bloody hell, if I don't sometimes zone out and check my phone for what may well be a mind-numbing Facebook update, I might just lose my mind.

They do of course get my attention - a lot of the time. Just not every second of every day. They can learn to wait. They can learn that they're not the only ones who need me. They are two siblings who need to share me, their father also sometimes needs me, I sometimes need me.

So enough feeling guilty for not spending every moment of my day giving them my undivided attention. Out with the guilt when I hear Emily tell Adam to "wait a second" before she goes over to help him. (LOL!)

So be it. They are loved. Deeply and desperately. I would do anything for them. It just doesn't always have to be right now

Eid Mubarak

We have spent the long weekend celebrating sixth wedding anniversaries with steak dinners on 68th floors, and enjoying friends visiting from a place we once called home, watching the children get reacquainted while us adults sat back with a cool glass of white wine in 35 degree heat, and caught up.

My next project is finding the perfect pet cat to complete our family! Watch this space...

Breaking the Silence

The last couple of years have been hard. 2013 reeked of failure and disappointment. And although 2014 and Dubai have been good for us, adjusting to yet another new place is never easy, especially when there is already baggage. 

I wrote the post below in June but didn't have the courage to post it then. 

I feel now that I can. Because I've sought help and I've come far. I read through the following post with sadness, but also with pride and satisfaction - because I no longer feel like the person who wrote it. 

And that's a good, good thing. 

16th June 2014

This silence is loud. It is made up of judgement, paranoia, and self-loathing. I'd done well. But it's back, and I'm tired of the fight. I'm tired of keeping up appearances. I'm exhausted and I just want it to end.

This is no suicide note. This is me taking hold of things, my life. Me saying I'm not doing this any longer. It's been ten long years, on, off, on, off, struggling, barely coping, knowing there's a problem, trying to figure it out, hardly recognizing myself. Maybe there isn't a cause. Maybe chemistry was always going to get me to this point, where my daughter is so used to seeing me cry, she no longer bats an eyelid when I do.

I know there's a problem. That's half the battle fought, or so I'm told. It doesn't feel like it. It only feels like my battle is more constant because I am so aware of it. Day in, day out. Some days, I start the day with no energy to string a full sentence together, nevermind face a three-year-old's neverending stream of questions, or make a new friend.

And two pure and innocent children relying on me to entertain them, to keep them happy. They are the only reason I've held it together this long. Staying on track long enough to get through the day. Day by day. Some days, needing to stop and remind myself it's okay to stay home and do a whole lot of Not Much. It's okay to have a mediocre day. It's okay to enjoy the simple joys in life, rolling around on the carpet tickling each other. Dancing in our underwear. It's okay to just be.

But the emptiness is huge. The void is thick. There is no such thing as "just being" when some of the hardest things you do every day are breathing, putting one foot in front of the other, looking into someone else's eyes.

Starting Again

My big little girl started school, again. This time here in Dubai. She'd been counting the days from weeks before. She was so eager to meet her new friends and her teachers and start having fun. She was bored. There's only so much I could do to entertain two kids in a new country when it's too hot to do anything outdoors (and then Ramadan began and I completely gave up).

There were no tears. We knew there wouldn't be. She barely said goodbye at her classroom door, too thrilled to discover what adventures awaited her within.

I was worried that the long day would be too much for her. Longer than she's ever been away from me. She wasn't phased. She loves having lunch with her friends and her table manners have been praised (proud mummy), and she gets a three course meal every day. The child eats better than I do.

She started ballet classes last week. Seeing her in her tiny, sparkly tutu, those small ballet slippers, and a face full of excitement made my heart melt. She's so big, and yet she's so small.

Some afternoons, she gets home exhausted. There's been too much fun, too much learning, too much happening. The water system in the classroom's backyard gets mentioned a lot. She likes playing there, and the sandpit too. She talks about her friends and the things they've been up to. Olivia, Maya, Alice, Dauren, Matteo (her boyfriend, apparently), Mohammed, Oscar, Inez, Emmeline, Lexi and more.

Sometimes I look at her and she suddenly seems so different. Maybe somewhere in my mind I still think she's the little one year old I walked up and down Rochester High Street with, visiting the library, cafes, fish pond, so many times a week. Then I see her as she really is, almost four, and it takes me by surprise. Shock, almost.

I try to hug her for as long as I can - many times it's me drawing bedtime out - and when I'm lucky I get a tight hug back, and one of her trademark never-ending smooches on my cheek.

"How did you get so big?" I ask her.
"I grow every day and every night!"

Yes she does. She most certainly does.


Finally figured out our internet connection problem.
This will hopefully mean the blog will come back to life.
I've missed writing and sharing my favourite photos, and just recording memories.
More to come. Lots to tell.

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