Queensland is struggling. I’m struggling. I feel like my Dad’s shed there in the picture: wrecked. In the aftermath of the Queensland floods, our family were stranded for a week in Toowoomba. After staying at five different places we made it to Brisbane and (half) moved into our new place with our first water damaged container (the second container would be found safe in Brisbane 4 days later). The day we moved in, my husband left to work interstate for a week. Ever since, I’ve been packing in, putting furniture together, moving furniture around, battling the flu, getting used to a new place , enrolling my children into school and dragging four children to the shops each day for groceries, uniforms, shoes, socks, books and other items like pillows I needed to replace due to flood damage. But – hello – I’m not SuperMum. Introducing FeralMum. And FeralKids! We are all feral. The kids are incredibly unsettled and I’m beyond myself. I don’t know how to get through weeks like this when I’m stretched beyond my limit; yet I have so much to do.
You see, the kids need me. They need me for stability and strength. They need me for comfort and support. Picture this: a little girl puts her arm around a little boy and is crying as she says, “We haven’t got a Mummy anymore; she ‘ s been lost in the flood.” I wasn’t lost, I was packing in the house but in her little mind, I wasn’t there. I was lost. My kids need to be with me right now but I don’t have anything left to give or time to give it. I pray every day, asking for patience. Patience. Patience. Patience. And Strength. Lord, give me patience and strength. And that’s all I can do.
I’ve been running around and dragging the kids with me. I’m angry, impatient, unreasonable, stressed, emotional, and distant. I wonder: Am I wrecking the kids? Is our family wrecked? Just like the shed? The children’s behaviour is shocking (so is mine), and I have pressure from some and frowns from others because of it. It’s been a very usual and stressful last few weeks and my family is struggling. This is NOT the time to focus on behaviour. Rather, I want to concentrate on getting my family back to a place where we can function again. That is my goal right now. The kids need to be with me so somehow I’ll make it work. And right now, I need to give my children an extra inch…or even a mile. I need that too.
I don’t feel alone – I have support – just the burden of responsibility and time pressures I can’t make. I know, many are worse off but right now, this is my reality and I’m struggling. I still feel incredibly blessed and fortunate…that hasn’t changed. It just sometimes I feel stretched so thin, and I think I might break. And then, God sends little encouragements like balm on parched skin.
A phone call from Renee (Professional Parents) making me feel welcome in Brisbane
Knowing my friend Robyn is praying for me
A meal from my Mother-in-law
An Aunty’s help for an afternoon
Messages from Facebook friends
Talking to my sisters on the phone
A visit from my Grandparents, my Dad and his wife
Reading SquiggleMum’s post about children making sense of the world through play and later, watching through the window at my children playing “storms” in a tree
People. People make a difference and it’s a beautiful thing. Little things. Little things are big things. They really are.
Acceptance: Right now, I’m not okay. But I know, someday soon, I will be.
Acceptance: Right now family life is in shambles. But I know, someday soon, we’ll be smiling again.
Is Queensland wrecked? Is our family wrecked? No. Queensland will rebuild through determination and unity. I can rebuild my family because the foundations are strong. Then I wonder: How can you rebuild through loss of life? I don’t think you can. Heal, yes. Rebuild, no. Some have lost something irreplaceable in the Queensland floods: a loved one. Thinking about their pain makes me miss my Mum even more. I always miss her but at times like this, I need my Mum. It just hurts. But reality kicks in and I keep putting one foot in front of another.
I’ll leave you a before/after picture of my Dad’s home. I was married there. The force of the water ripped off the walkway. Such incredible force. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of good yards to tell my grandkids. HA! Here I am struggling to get through each day and I’m talking about grandchildren! Don’t you just love it? The paradox. See? I’ll be back to my normal crazy self in no time…
Keep on Keeping on.