Lately


We've returned from a week's camping trip to the South Coast of NSW. It was spectacular and better than expected. I had in my head that camping with three young children for a week was crazy, but you know what? We loved it and apart from feeling tired, I feel like the week was a huge success.

The school holidays on a whole were lovely. We all needed the slower days and quality time together.

Today Master Seven started school again, he is in Year Two now and I am feeling really positive that this will be a great year for him. This morning as we walked into the school gates, he held my hand and I feel such an overwhelming feeling of joy and love for him.

Master Five will start Kindergarten on Thursday and I am flooded with mixed emotions. I am excited for him yet at the same time sad that our days at home during the week are over. Little things, like Story-time at the library will no longer be something him and I do together and that puts a lump in my throat. So tomorrow is a day we will have together. We will go to the library, somewhere he loves to visit and we may even make it to Story-time, for one last session together.

Today Miss Two sang songs while The Husband played the guitar. It was possibly the cutest thing she has ever done. She is such a ball of craziness and joy. She is absolutely hilarious and super sweet. I still thank God every day for blessing me with her.

I have so many plans and hopes for the year ahead. January is already almost over and I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings.

This Is Motherhood


When someone asks me what motherhood or parenting is really like (and they emphasis the word ‘really’ as though no one ever tells it like it is), I try to be as honest as possible. I tell them the good, but I also tell them the bad.

I tell them that pregnancy and parenthood is a complete mix of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and that sometimes you'll experience both in a matter of minutes.

I tell them that in the newborn baby days you will go from a complete babymoon, bliss bubble to a stressful mess in the blink of an eye. Life will be peaceful when baby sleeps, and anxiety ridden when they don't. Babies can go from zero to ten in a split second and so will your emotions.

I tell them that some days you'll feel like Super Woman. You'll be vacuuming the lounge while baby breastfeeds in the carrier, house spotless and Granny Smiths steaming on the stovetop; but then there will be days where you are looking at the clock too much, wondering if it is broken because it should be 4pm and it’s only 9:30am. You’ll have days wondering how on earth you'll survive the next hour let alone dress yourself and rummage up something to eat for breakfast.

I let them know that they will be negotiating all.day.long. I tell them that they will be wishing for their children to speak its first word but not long after wish their child would be quiet for just.one.minute. They will get sick of hearing 'Mum!!!' being called out from another room. They will repeat phrases like 'don't touch' or 'stop shouting' over and over and over again. The only music you'll listen to is The Wiggles or Justine Clark. You will know the words to these songs like the back of your hand and you may even find yourself driving child-free one day, and realise this music is still playing...and you are still singing along. 

You'll be tired from lack of sleep when they are young and you'll be tired when they are older because you've savoured your evenings too much and stayed up far too late (watching recorded daytime shows like Ellen). 

There is poo, vomit, saliva, tears, reflux, rashes, teething and wind; dirty nappies, dirty clothes, dirty dishes, screaming, sleepless nights and an empty fridge, including no wine...
But there are also morning snuggles, duckling hair, eyes that gaze right into your soul, smiles that melt your heart, fingers that wrap around yours, love that you've never known possible and laughter that changes your life; there are friends and family who help you out, slow cookers and frozen meals and Woolworths online deliveries. There are words like  'I love you mum' and 'you're the best' that make the stress of everything else dissipate. There are award ceremonies and speeches that will have you teary and proud. And occasionally, you'll stand in the kitchen sipping a hot cup of tea and you'll just watch them. You'll see them caring for one another or helping each other with a task. You'll hear them say things like 'let's do it together' or 'I will help you' and your heart will implode with pride and relief that you must be doing something right. 

You'll survive, and although life will sometimes feel a little like Ground Hog Day you'll hold tight to the good moments and learn to move on from the bad. When it comes to parenting the good always outweighs the bad - that's why people have multiple children.  And lastly, always, always remember that others are in the same boat as you and that no parent, no parent is perfect and neither is any child.

Motherhood is the greatest thing you'll ever do. 

Behind Social Media

We live in a world of show and tell. Attached to most parents, the majority of the day is a device which allows them to 'check out' what their friends and the friends-of-their-friends are doing at any given moment. We can see their homes, their latest holiday adventures, their new, flash cars and all the achievements of their good-looking children.

We can compare what we're all eating and see all the fancy food parents are making for their children. And today whilst I was dishing up cheese toasties for my three, I felt that all too familiar pang of guilt looking at some rainbow dish, bento box banquet some other parent was serving their child.

It got me thinking. Back in the day, before social media and possibly even just before we could look at social media on our phones, I think there was less parent-guilt. Imagine going about your parenting day without thinking for one second about what others were doing or how they were doing it. Your way would be enough. It would be good enough.

My mother and grandmothers all had the luxury of parenting without comparison. Sure, friends would talk about their latest achievements and I suppose there would still be an element of 'keeping up with the Jones', but I'm almost certain their everyday meals and outfits and pictures of inside their homes wouldn't be plastered on the school noticeboard or in the local paper for all to see. There wouldn't be perfectly styled and edited and filtered photographs for people to 'like'.

I would say I had the quintessential childhood. One full of happy times, grazed knees and detergent on the trampoline. As a mother of three I often try to think about making memories with my children and I see so much on social media about how to be a fun mum and how to make this and bake this and buy this. The thing is, I think my childhood was so great because it was just relaxed, natural, non pretentious and not for anyone else to see or judge. My mum didn't share all her tips and advice. she didn't boast to the entire world when we peed on the potty or climbed to the highest branch of the tree. We just did it. And we laughed, and the next day we did it again.

I don't ever want to portray a perfect life. I have never wanted to do that. I'm guilty for posting lovely things in my life but that's not the whole picture. When I craft with my kids and you see the end result of everyone's cheesy smiles you must understand that it was all chaos, shouting and mess. I try. But it doesn't mean I'm perfect. My kids are currently all nude in the backyard spraying water at one another out of the dog's water bowl. This is real life. It's messy, it's scary, I make heaps of mistakes, I worry and stress about whether I am good enough, but if there is one thing I've learnt along my parenting journey it is to be authentic and let go of the guilt. If you spend your parenting days comparing yourself with others you will never feel good enough and you will probably never be truly present. It's nice to check out what others are doing, but don't let that create a sense of 'not good enough'.

Comparison robs us of contentment.




Who Are You?


Hello out there. I am wondering about you.

One of the things I love the most about blogging is the connection I can make with people; and whilst I realise it's not face-to-face and I realise some might not think it is 'real' because it's online, I have had enough experience over the years to know that the community blogging can build is 100% real.

So I want to know where you are from and what you do. I want to know what your hopes and dreams are and I want to know your fears. Will you share them so we can grow this community?
How did you find me here and what posts do you like the most/least?

Comments below are open and I'd love for us to converse.

Here is a bit about me.

  • I am sentimental. So much so that I journal, blog, take thousands of photos, film moments of every day life, have old videos transferred to digital files, scan old photos so they can be stored digitally forever. I take photos and film as a hobby for others and I keep most of my children's art and craft. 
  • I fear death. Something people don't like to talk about, but I have an interest in it. I am very curious by nature and I am intrigued by dying and death. I think about it too much and am scared of leaving this wonderful life and leaving my husband and children. I fear missing out. I know my fear is quite irrational - because once I'm gone I know I won't have those worries or cares, it is more that I think about leaving my family and all the emotions surrounding that.
  • I am a primary school teacher. I don't always love my job but I put plenty of love into my job. I am not sure if it's the career I will have forever but it serves wonderfully for family life and it is valuable enough to keep me interested. 
  • I am an amateur at most things but love to give anything a try. In school I had to go to special writing recovery classes because I wasn't very good at writing. My spelling is average and apparently I wasn't (or perhaps still aren't) very imaginative. 
  • For many years motherhood defined me. I am slowly re-writing my definition of self. I am adding things along the way and expanding on who I am. We are never 'Just a Mum' - there is always so much more. 
Now it's your turn...will you be brave and share?



A Great Start


This morning we moved slowly and it was decided that pancakes would serve as the perfect New Year breakfast. After church we headed home and ate a simple lunch of boiled eggs and salad before putting Miss Two down for a nap and allowing Master Seven and Master Five some screen time together.

The Husband and I hit the garage with a vengeance. Cleaning, sorting, stacking and sweeping; and before long we were completely satisfied with our productive efforts and the space we had created.
There is nothing more satisfying for me than organising and simplifying.

The afternoon was spent riding bikes in the yard, drinking smoothies and playing UNO.

Now we have tummies full of Jamie Oliver's green pici (a new favourite in this household) and I am feeling quite content with how 2017 has begun.

---

Last night as I lay in bed, before the clock struck midnight I said a prayer. I prayed for my family and I prayed for my friends. I prayed for this world. Let us all make 2017 one that is filled with love and kindness, respect and open-minds.

Happy New Year.