When we don’t make it.

One of my favourite poems starts with the line…

“Sometimes, things don’t go, after all, from bad to worse”

Inexplicably, but hey it’s my blog, I’m using it to introduce a post about the exact opposite.  The times that you plan a thing, you look forward to it, you second-guess everything that might go wrong…  and somehow the wheels STILL fall off and you end up battling over – oooh, let’s say hair-combing – instead of getting out, and getting stuck in with something fulfilling and fun.


My partner tells me there’s ‘too much gardening’ on this blog.  Well, the truth is, there would have been plenty more but I’ve made it up to Hawkwood with Ivy only about four times this year.  There’s the journey.  There’s naps.  There’s chicken pox.  There’s paid work… and then there’s The Mood.  Hers… and mine…!  It takes a lot of energy to have fun AND be useful, and sometimes we end up doing neither.  It’s a bit like supporting a lower division team – you’re never assured of a fun 90 minutes when you set out.

I think these days frustrate me more than they do most people.  I know they happen to everyone, and they’re perfectly normal, but it’s so frustrating to have someone else in control of the amount you’ll achieve in a day.  It’s already taken me three whole years of adjustment, and I’m STILL learning.

I’m interested in what this wheels-fall-off stuff means for the groups that might want to involve me and my kid, and others like me.  Just knowing that these chaos days happen is a start I guess – it wasn’t obvious to me ‘before’.  Is it possible to shift tasks and roles slightly to take into account the more fluid nature of existing with a little one?  Creating things to do that can be done by a diverse group of people for example, including both adults with and without kids?  Regular things to do, but that can be done on flexible days perhaps.

How do we work round the fact there are many things to be done, and a willing army of people – big and small – to do them, but that some days, some of that army might possibly get waylaid by a poo emergency? SHOULD the co-ordinators be working around our poo emergencies, or should they ignore us ’til our kids are older?!

Feel free to throw in an idea or two!  Parent, Grandparent, Aunt, Friend, Co-ordinator…



5 responses to “When we don’t make it.

  1. I am so pleased you have those days too! I seem to have so many. I think my problem is that I really want to make all the days good days which educate, have fun, are good for bonding, prepare them a little more for sustainable living… that I load too much pressure on myself about what the day is for. Unfortunately I’ve managed to traumatise my daughter against the allotment as it’s actually very difficult to have a job, a home, cook meals, shop, wash, remember everyone’s birthdays, AND have time to do manage a child on the allotment without them hurting themselves or treading in all the wrong places and ruining all your crops which are so important for our sustainable life… I certainly need to remember that the most important thing is to have fun, and after that all things will come. But the whole climate change, preparing-our-children-for-their-uncertain-future thing, worries me so much I end up emphasising that in my brain much more. Perspective. It’s tricky!

    • Thanks Sue, love your passion, and yes perspective is a hard one to get right! Fun is important, and a personality that’s able to say ‘oh what the hell let’s all have a sit down’. I’m still trying to cultivate that personality. I’ll let you know when I work out how!

  2. Rings so true, Rebecca! I think the diversity aspect is key – more work will generally be done by adults without children, and that’s OK. Some of them will have been there already with kids and will know exactly what you’re going through, or will have younger ones than you and will be thinking ‘that’ll be me soon,’ or will just ignore the poo / chickenpox / hair crisis and carry on regardless. I think real community work that takes into account the needs and abilities of older and younger, able and less able, has to have a fluidity about it, perhaps on some days more than others, but it can only thrive in the long run if it’s a true reflection of an active and engaged community. This is long-term stuff after all, isn’t it?

  3. Pingback: “We need Muffins”. Brought to you by The NumberJacks. | can i bring ivy?·

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