On haiku and heartache … the reality of parenting


Yesterday I helped my 6-year-old write her first Haiku. We brainstormed a topic, counted syllables, and created a poem. It was wonderful for this poetry-loving mother. I had tears in my eyes, as I thought, “I will write a blog post about this tonight. My daughter wrote a haiku and my heart is full.”

The blog post never happened.

By the evening my heart was not feeling the same. It was bruised and battered from disagreement. I had no energy to write anything.

We have had five wonderful days at home with our girls, being family together.

Five wonderful, relaxing, peaceful days.

Five hard, trying, emotional days.

The two states existing not just side by side, but at moments also entangled and intertwined.

Being family is hard and great; tiring and energising; encouraging and heart-breaking all at the same time.

It is picking olives with the grandparents, and battles over meals.

It is quiet time crafting around the table together, and tears and complaining when that table needs setting.

It is fish and chips in Fremantle, and raised voices at home.

It is watching our girls join forces to explore the amazon rainforest, and then not be able to get in the car without disagreement.

It is haiku, and it is heartache.

It is a roller-coaster ride of emotion. But I need to remember that each emotion is not the sum of who I am as a parent. Nor is it the sum of my relationships with my family.

When we have a fun time together, I am their mum who loves them. When there are voices raised and hurtful things said, I am their mum who loves them. When we are in quiet companionship, I am their mum who loves them. When the tears are falling, I am their mum who loves them.

The emotions change. The love never does.

So, in fact, I actually can say, “my heart is full”.

Join me for the journey,


2 thoughts on “On haiku and heartache … the reality of parenting

  1. You’re just in training for what’s to come. The fickle emotions of a three year old are not that different to the emotional outbursts of a thirteen year old but easier to stomach. Add a 40 something year old male into the mix who thinks that said teenagers are acting like the devil incarnate and wants to exorcise them. And that’s not even considering the hormonal soup that you’re swimming in right now. It does get better though and easier and more rewarding, so rewarding. I now count two wonderful young women as my best friends, even though i gave birth to them.

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