Friday, 21 March 2014

Work and Motherhood

Things have been a little quiet here on the blog.

I had planned on things being quite the opposite. My husband has been on five weeks Long Service Leave and I had hoped that someone else to watch the kids would mean more time to craft, create and blog. However, whenever he's home during the day I tend to give myself permission to relax a bit. Take the night off from cooking and have a bit of down time - by myself or with the children.

In saying that, we've also had time to tackle some of the big projects on our to do list. The room that will become our home office/library/guest room has finally been painted and the redecorating is slowly taking place. 

It also means that I've had someone to take care of the kids while I've returned to work. Nothing permanent, just a few days of relief teaching here and there (did you know I used to be a teacher?)

It's been quite a challenge- Getting out of bed well before the kids, trying to disguise the bags under my eyes, making sure food supplies are ready for lunches and lunch boxes, engaging in adult conversation and trying to remind myself how to do things like calculate the average velocity of a moving object. Not very conducive to blogging.

It's also been quite enjoyable- see previous comments about adult conversation and using my brain in challenging ways. 

The main thing being back at work has done is made me realise just how lucky I've been to be able to be home with my babies for so long.

It's a very controversial topic, isn't it. The whole Working Mum vs Stay at Home Mum. I hate that. 

If anyone needs a great big cheer squad behind them waving their pom poms madly, it's Mums.

If anyone needs support rather than criticism for every decision they make, it's Mums.

If anyone needs to have someone say "You're doing a great job", it's Mums.
Because whether you work out of home or not, the basic role of being a Mother is the same for all of us- love your babies madly and teach them to be good people.

Breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, co-sleeping, self-settling, Baby Bjorn, Ergo wrap, screen time, outdoor play, child care, grandparent care, disposables, washables... all that really matters is that you choose what works for you and your family.

We've struggled with and/or trialled a lot of different options over 15 and a half years and four children. None of the options are easier. Some have had to be the cheaper option. Others are a pipe dream. Most cause me to worry that I'm making the right decision and a few have even caused me regret.

We mums should be able to have discussions about how we choose to raise our children without fear of judgment. (Obviously, excluding situations of neglect or abuse).

It's hard not to judge, don't get me wrong. I'm working over-time to keep my opinions in check and reminding myself not to judge without knowing the full story.

The older I get, the better I am at this... 

At the end of the day, regardless of who pics them up from school, who changes their nappy and who prepares their evening meal, my boys know they are loved. To the moon and back loved. And that's all that really matters.

Do you struggle with the choices you've had to make as a parent? How hard do you find it to bite your tongue around others who parent differently?

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Party Season Sneak Peak

Things have been ridiculously busy 'round here.  More on that later.

April is birthday season for us, as we have two birthdays only six days apart. That means planning and hosting two parties only one week apart!

Here's a little sneak peak of what I've been busily putting together lately. 

Liam has chosen a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles theme.  In order to save my sanity keep things simple, he is having just a small group of friends to watch the first Ninja Turtles movie and even fewer to sleepover and have a Ninja Turtle movie marathon with the next two films.  Nice and easy, just pizza for this one...

Hamish has chosen a ninja theme (they have very similar interests, apparently!) We are running a ninja training academy for the day...

I love how these ninja scroll invitations turned out! The Word formatted document is simply printed on parchment-style paper (there are lots of free "ninja" fonts online).  Then I hot-glued bamboo sticks (from the garden department at Bunnings onto each side before rolling and securing with ribbon.

I'm having a lot of fun with these themes. You can see lots of great ideas on my TMNT and Ninja Pinterest boards. 

Monday, 3 March 2014

A Turn of Phrase and The Great Adventure

I'm always in awe of people who can put their thoughts into words so beautifully and articulately.

These words that, when I experience them, are so akin to my own thoughts about the topic that I am overwhelmed with a range of emotions from pure delight to bitter sadness.

Kelle Hampton is one of these people. She blogs at Enjoying the Small Things and has a rare talent of noticing all those "small" things about family, motherhood and ourselves and acknowledging that it's the sum of these parts that are the big things in our lives.

Kelle has recently introduced me to Kelly Corrigan.  Please watch this amazing video...

I'm in tears listening to these deliciously descriptive words and my mother's heart is yelling "Yes! Exactly!" to all of the concepts within... How I did actually want to be Dianne Fossey, the perfection of a sleeping child, "reveling" in domestic litter, simultaneous loneliness and claustrophobia, just how fast they grow, how rarely an adolescent showers, and the joy of being present for the small things. 

I laughed out loud to the part about giving the finger to your cranky child's back.  I'm so glad I'm not the only one that does this!

Listening to Kelly's description of the great adventure of motherhood has also made me feel so incredibly grateful to have had the last five and a half years to just be Mum. 
I'm putting Kelle's book, Bloom and Kelly's book Glitter and Glue on my Must Read list. 

Do you have a favourite 'motherhood' writer I should check out?