Raising Will


5 Comments

21 things a stay-at-home parent might like to know…

A friend of mine recently made the decision to take on SAHM duties full time and asked me for advice. ME! *laughing* I was flattered, but seriously – does any stay-at-home parent have any real clue about what the hell they’re doing?

But seeing as I’m apparently “a master at meal plans and budgets” *more laughing* and thought of by at least one other person as someone that could give advice on being a SAHM *more laughing*, I’ve put together a list of 21 things a stay-at-home parent of young children might like to know. Here goes…

1. You will have more housework to do just from the fact that you and your kids are home all day. More tidying. More dishes. More washing. You may not do it, but it will be there. Unless you have a housekeeper, in which case – send them to my house.

2. No matter how awesome you are, ‘painting’ will always be a pain in the butt to set up for the three minutes that your toddler wants to paint for. So just do it anyway. Their joy is worth it.

3. Online shopping is your friend. As is chocolate, wine and COFFFFEEEE.

4. Buy. All. The. Snacks.

5. Making muffins with your two year old is an experience no parent should miss.

6. One sink of dishes will take ALL DAY to finish, by which time you’ll have another sink of dishes to do. If you can, buy a dishwasher.

SAHM Adventures I

Finally napping | Masking-tape train tracks | There’s a screamy baby on the other side of that door

7. Stickers are the best invention for that one/two/three/four hours of terror that is dinner time. Give your toddler a piece of paper and let them go nuts. Also good is a handful of pipe cleaners and a colander. Simple things.

8. Prepare as much of dinner as you can early on in the day. Slow cookers are fantastic.

9. Buy more snacks.

10. Attempt to set up a safe area outside, so when your kids are going mental you can just show them the door. Add chalk and winner winner chicken dinner.

11. Sleeping when the baby sleeps is an urban legend. Add any number of other children to your equation and you will laugh in the FACES of the people that make this suggestion.

Sleep when the baby sleeps.

Sleep when the baby sleeps…. NOT!

12. Have a stash of little toys hidden to take on outings with you. The ‘new factor’ may just buy you the three minutes you need to ask the shop assistant about that beautiful sequinned dress in the window where are all the freakin’ twin-seater trolleys!? Snacks also work in this fashion. Related: Buy more snacks.

13. Meal Plan. It will save you time and money. I use this one from Kikki.K. Also, write shopping lists – whether you shop online or in-store, with children gallivanting around you will ALWAYS forget something, especially without a list.

14. Secure all your bookshelves to the wall. Nothing will prepare you for the horror of your two year old on its top shelf.

SAHM Adventures II

Washing. Never. Ends. | Painting FTW | Beware the Nap Of Doom!!

15. Get your hands on children’s movies.

16. A steam mop makes me feel so much better about my floors. Do yourself a favour and get one if you have tiles. THE BEST at dissolving all manner of sticky.

17. Try to make your own muesli bars, give up and then buy more snacks.

18. Try and leave the house/kitchen in a state of tidy before you go to bed. You will feel much better about things when you wake up in the morning and can get to the wine coffee without having to move last night’s toast-for-dinner-mess out of the way.

19. Get in the habit of always putting a load of washing on before you go to bed at night, and hanging it out/putting in the dryer when you wake up.

20. Try your damnedest to get to bed at/before 10pm each night. Everything will seem better after a good nights rest.

21. Cuddle your children often. It will keep you from selling them to gypsies.

Get Mum's Attention...

The Truth.

Now I KNOW this list won’t apply to everyone. And just in case you are one of THOSE people that feel like high-horsing it to the comment section, in the words of Adam Hills, ‘Don’t be a dick’. Us SAHPs need a laugh – and if we can’t laugh we have to drink/eat/run. And seeing as I don’t run, well, that just spells danger for my health. So, refrain from soap-boxing in this instance, puh-lease.

On the other-hand, if you’re after some other great bloggy advice for being at home with your cherubs, I confidently point you in the direction of Picklebums, The Organised Housewife, Mummy Musings and Mayhem, A Little Delightful and Patchwork Cactus. Some awesome resources for play (or if you just like to dream of buying all manner of crafty/toy/fun goodness) can be found at Educational Experience. For recipes to get the nutritious stuff into your babes, check out Annabel Karmel and Vegie Smugglers.

And if all else fails, you can sometimes get wine delivered with your groceries. Just sayin…..

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Looking in the mirror, and what do I see?

A doubtful woman staring back at me.

Driven & determined, but always with the doubt.

Driven & determined, but always with the doubt.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been highly driven. It’s been my nature since I was a girl. I was always doing something and because I was doing it, I had to do it right; be the best; win the race. But with that drive came crippling doubt. If I didn’t excel at something  I fell flat. I found myself in a pit of my own doubtful despair until the next opportunity came along and I could leave that uncertainty by the way-side; strive onwards with my new direction.

And I’m only just now beginning to understand that life can’t work that way. How juvenile I have been.

We must actually FACE the lack-lustre, walk beside it, feel it’s blemished surface. We often must continue along the same path, waving shiny new ones adieu as we pass their glimmering intersection. I need to accept the fact that I doubt myself and that’s ok. I can still function with doubt beside me. I can still parent my children well. I can still write. I can still have opinions.

I need to work at freeing myself from the fear of doubt’s grip.

Just because it gets hard, doesn’t mean I’m doing it wrong or that I should quit. It just means it’s hard.


6 Comments

Raising Will’s Happy Days in May: inspired by the beautiful Seven Cherubs

Seven Cherubs 'Happy Days in May' Project

There are many bloggers floating around on the interwebs inspiring me every day with their awesome-ness. The gorgeous Naomi from Seven Cherubs is one of these beautiful souls that sings to my heart every time she writes.

When Naomi posted about her Happy Days in May Project back in April, I was so in! I thought to myself ‘There is no way I’m going to be able to keep that up for a month, but I’ll give it a red-hot go!’

So I pulled out a gorgeous little journal that was begging for some thoughts to be written in. My little brother bought it for me last year and I swear it’s been waiting for this very purpose. And write in it I did.

But something happened in the first week of May while I sat up in bed at some un-godly hour jotting down the happy moments from my day. I had just completed the crappest day in history. You know, the one where nothing gets done, your child has turned into a gremlin, there’s a billion other things that need doing, your hubby comes home late from work, you break several nails and you have pregnancy heartburn to rival Krakatoa. How do you write about a happy moment on a day like that!? I panicked. I wasn’t even a week in and I’d ballsed it up.

My Fabulous Journal

My Fabulous Journal

Then I remembered a small glimmer from very early that morning, where Will had just about leapt of his change table to give me the squeeziest hug.

And I felt so much better about my WHOLE day. One moment of happiness rewrote that entire day for me. I went to sleep that night knowing my son loved me very much and that I was his favourite mum. It didn’t matter that the kitchen would look like a bomb in the morning or that my nails looked like I’d tried to trim them with the grater. I had love where some have none and that is always something to be happy about.

So without further ado, here are my moments of Happiness for May:

Tues May 1:  My little Will yabbered with much excitement at all the strange and wonderful people at the supermarket today, oblivious to the fact that his face was covered in chocolate tiny teddies. 

Wed May 2:  Happiness today was having hubster home all day and Will discovering my jewellery on the bedside table, after which I found my ‘lost’ earring sitting in the crook of his ear. We all laughed so much.

Thurs May 3:  Child-free today and loved being able to sit down with a HOT cup of coffee and a biscuit without being interrupted or grappled over or whinged at for the ‘big half’ of said biscuit.

Fri May 4:  Happy about being pounced on for cuddles all day today, and Will and I ate dinner at the table together tonight and he ate MOST of his plate for a change. Think he actually LIKED my cooking today.

Sat May 5:  Will almost leapt off the change-table this morning to give me a great big hug – remembering this moment turned my day from drab to FAB!

Sun May 6:  Happiness was sharing breakfast at the table together as a family and watching Will’s odd way of dancing to Yo Gabba Gabba – must’ve learnt those moves from his father…

Mon May 7:  Watching a tiny honey-eater flit about on the tree outside while I washed the dishes; listening to two girls sublimely sing Adele’s ‘ Turning Tables’ on The Voice tonight; bringing the week’s grocery shop in under $130 – all little moments of joy for me today.

Tiny Teddies Drive Tiny Tractors!

Tiny Teddies Drive Tiny Tractors!

Tues May 8:  Will giggling and walking towards me saying “tedeee tedeee”, then proceeding to show me his Tiny Teddy driving one of his little tractor toys.

Wed May 9:  Such a nice feeling to finish off my latest article for happychild.com on how friendships can help children manage stress. Also, flying through my MYOB course at TAFE. I like to be on top of things.

Thurs May 10: Watching Will demolish a bowl of two-minute noodles almost brought tears of laughter to my eyes today – so very funny. And the house smells of the divine Butter Chicken we had for dinner. Food is awesome!

Fri May 11:  We finally came to a decision on which bed to buy for Will and he was so very polite and well-behaved at the shops today, I could’ve eaten him. Also loving connecting with new peeps on Twitter lately.

Sat May 12:  Happiness today was seeing a flash of my own mischievous self in Will – example: him sprinting over to the off-limits freezer dial after peering into my face and deciding mum was ‘asleep’ on the couch (just had my eyes closed).

Sun May 13:  Mothers Day today and how could I not be happy with a mini-sleep-in, a lovely handmade card from Will and Hubster, beautiful tulips, cuppas with family and finally making a start on moving our office out of the nursery-to-be.

Mothers Day 2012

Mothers Day 2012: Tulips and Cuddles

Mon May 14:  When Will’s face lights up when his Nan appears at our door to watch him for the afternoon, I feel so grateful to have loving family support just around the corner.

Tues May 15:  I am floored every day by Will’s development. How quickly he adopts new words lately – ‘im-mim-mim’ could be heard when Will wanted a mandarin today. I’m sure one day I’ll want him to stop talking, but that day is definitely not here yet.

Wed May 16:  Appreciated a very tasty cappuccino and foccacia today while out shopping sans-child, but then loved returning to Will’s cheeky little face at his Nan’s place – melts my heart that boy.

Thurs May 17:  Soaking up knowledge from a local forum on early childhood brain development – feels like my own brain developed a little bit. I look forward to checking out lots of new authors now.

Fri May 18:  My sister-in-law and her kiddies came over for morning tea today and the house was full of laughter, smartie biscuits and ride-on tractors, bugs and cows. Time spent with family is time well spent.

Sat May 19:  A visit to the Toy Library today brought much joy to our house. It delights me to no end seeing how much Will loves playing with all the farm related toys and we picked up a Duplo barn to play with for the next few weeks.

Sun May 20:  So very lovely to cuddle up with Will on the couch before bed and read his new “Gobble Gobble Moooo Tractor Book”. Story-time would have to be one of my favourite moments of every day.

Crunchy Apple Crumble

Crunchy Apple Crumble

Mon May 21: Thanks to inspiration from the gorgeous Mummy Smiles, I cleaned the house entrance and our kitchen window today. It’s amazing what a clean window can do for your outlook on the day. Also enjoyed a deliciously crunchy apple crumble for dessert.

Tues May 22: After being told last week that my current Obstetrician was suddenly leaving at the end of the month, I finally found a new one today and just happened to run into an old friend in the process. It was lovely to see them again.

Wed May 23:  Feeling very chuffed for completing my MYOB course at TAFE today. Also had the house spotless at the end of the day – woohoo! I look forward to waking up to no mess – always a good way to start the day de-stressed.

Thurs May 24:  Browsed through the most beautiful shop today in Shepparton, it was like I’d walked straight into Paris. Now I lie here listening to a rare drop of rain; loving the smell and the sound.

Fri May 25:  Hubster and I managed to get Will’s big boy bed all set up today and the office completely shifted out of the spare room and the nursery furniture shifted in. Such a big day and an unexpected dinner provided at my parents-in-law’s place was very delicious and very much appreciated.

Will in his new big bed!

Will in his new big bed!

Sat May 26:  After a bit of a disaster day yesterday sleep-wise for Will, I was so happy that he took to his bed with not a problem in the world today. I also had a visit from a friend who I haven’t spoken to in ages. It was so great to be able to sit and chat like it was only yesterday that we last saw each other.

Sun May 27:  I put on a ‘face’ this morning and did my hair all lovely. Loved getting made up and not just pottering around the house in my everyday-ness.

Mon May 28:  Will and I went shopping at the Supermarket today, something we haven’t done for a few weeks because online shopping is finally available here now. Will LOVED it, and I love the way he puts smiles on people’s faces – it makes my day that I get to share his happiness with the world.

Tues May 29:  The smell of freshly dried, clean washing never fails to make me feel good and packing baby clothes for hospital today got me so lovey-dovey. Can’t believe we’ll have another tiny bundle of happiness soon.

Wed May 30:  A special birthday in our family today. I get so much joy out of giving gifts and making people smile with the thought put into them…

Thurs May 31: Small moments always bring the most joy for me – a walk in the Autumn sunshine with Will being curious at every little rock and leaf. I love that he is so interested in the world around him.

And those, my friends, were my Happy Days in May. I think I’ll continue this evening reflection. It brought me so much calm just before going to bed – almost like a sense of closure that I had done/seen/experienced something awesome every day. No more was my stay-at-home life feeling dull – every day is special and I can’t belive that something as simple as writing a positive, happy sentence a day helped me realise that fact.

Naomi, you are such a very clever lady.