Tag Archives: Motherhood

I’m grateful 5/52

After a pretty hellish week at the coal face of parenting very small children, I suddenly arrive at Sunday and feel utterly at peace with my lot. Probably something to do with the fact that Sunday is our Saturday due to my husband’s work, so this is the start of our weekend. Plus, I got to go out and have my Me Time – a Metaqua class followed by an Ethiopian curry at the market followed by a proper coffee and a short stroll around the mall…all ALONE, gloriously alone 🙂

I’m grateful for my chunk of Me Time. Keeps me from descent into complete FT SAHM lunacy – today I shall just peer at it from afar.

I’m grateful that I get to live in a small town with a big cultural mix. Ethiopian curry at the market followed by coffee picked up at the new European-style deli/cafe today. I can have the best Thai food I’ve ever had outside of Thailand anytime, too. Oh and Vietnamese spring rolls. Indian butter chicken. German bratwurst. This is not a big place by most people’s standards, I think the population including outlying areas is only about 70,000. No Starbucks, no Myers etc. (thankfully!) Small enough that I can have a chat with the Ethiopian lady that made my curry, and bump into a friend while I’m eating it; small enough to have a good talk about cheese with the deli owner’s daughter and to know that every time I go into town chances are I’ll run into someone I know. But still with so very much to offer besides!

I’m grateful that my body is healthy and getting stronger by the day. I walked over 130k in January and I’m aiming for 150k in February. I’m grateful that I have legs that work, unsightly with thread veins though they are! I’d go bonkers if I didn’t exercise. I need the time out and the endorphins! I’m grateful that my husband supports me practically in my efforts to feel empowered and strong via daily exercise.

I’m grateful for my smartphone. I recently discovered the joys of Endomondo via a girlfriend and a group of us mums are doing monthly walking challenges. So motivating and also a lot of fun!

I am grateful for my lovely group of mummy friends and the way we support each other in our efforts to get and stay fit and healthy, and to bring up fit and healthy children.

I’m grateful for the many fabulous connections I’m making in the online world via blogging and Facebook pages. I am learning so much about health, happiness, motherhood, womanhood, possibilties, other worlds, other people’s experiences…

Today is a bloody good day. I’m grateful for that. And it’s not over yet!

I’m linking in with 52 Weeks of Grateful hosted by Maxabella

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Listmania #1: Currently I am

listmania-2-550Currently I am:

Reading: The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton & Slim for Life by Jason Vale

Listening to: Juan Luis Guerra

Laughing at: My toddler’s madness

Swooning over: New Kathmandu bag that I got for free because they made an absolute balls-up of my online order & wanted to “restore my faith” – faith restored! Also Season 8 Grey’s Anatomy 🙂

Planning: Autumn hols in Nundle, New England (NSW)

Eating lots of: Healthy stuff!

Feeling: Positive

Discovering: Lots of inspiring blogs and bloggers

Looking at: The beautiful mountains in the distance when I go for my evening fitness walk (soon to be run!)

Wearing: Right now? Truth? Over-sized white harem pants with an ancient t-shirt and pink ankle socks. Yummy mummy I am not! 🙂

Cooking: Have planned to Wednesday thus far – fritatta, felafel and sweet potato, zuchinni & chickpea tagine.

Wondering: Will the baby wake up before I finish this post? If she does will I be able to squeeze in another episode of McDreamy while I feed her, before Miss M arrives back from morning out with Papa? Ya know, the important stuff…

Trying out: New recipes. And experimenting with my Christmas present-to-self juicer. Now totally craving my juice every morning!

Linking in with Deb at Home Life Simplified for Listmania

I’m Grateful 3/52

Oh. My. Gaaaaaaawd. I wish I had sat down to write this post yesterday, it would have been a whole lot easier! Yesterday was a Good Day. It began with a  lovely friend coming to visit armed with chocolate profiteroles and blueberry custard danishes from the local artisan bakery (not just any old bakery, ya know!). What day wouldn’t go well with a start like that? Fabulous!

Today, however, is another story. Poo on the floor . Wee on the booster seat. The usual baby sick. Those things I can handle, yadda yadda. But throw in the HEAT!! The HUMIDITY!! And a very fractious toddler (arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh *silent mummy scream*) and I am struggling a little to be all bright and grateful for my lot right now. We should have tidied up the toys last night, folded a bit more washing. I hate waking up to chaos and try hard for that not to happen, it just sets me up all wrong. I didn’t manage to juice until late morning either, and I think that had an impact. Body craving good stuff and not happy with just a cup of hot water with lemon and a slice of marmite on toast until 11am. Silly.

So. About all I can do at this moment is sit in the moment and try to be Mindful through gritted teeth. In this very moment, nobody is screaming. I feel a nice breeze at last. And, breeeeeeeathe….

I am thinking back to my first grateful post of this year and counting a few of the thousands of things that have actually gone right today…OK, could be worse!

I am grateful for Tractor Ted and to my Auntie in Aberdeen, Scotland, for sending it to Miss M, who is (I hope not suspiciously) quietly watching it as I type. We are still TV free (as in, it’s not plugged into the aerial). It’s been months now and I don’t miss it at all, although I do still get my fix of occasional docos and British crime dramas on ABC iView. But show me a mum that wouldn’t collapse in a hopeless, sobbing heap now and then if it wasn’t for the existence of some nice DVDs or In the Night Garden on the iViewer…if you are She, please tell me how!!

I’m grateful that my husband is finishing work 45 minutes early this evening. Those 45 minutes may be the difference between this mama’s thread snapping and (relative) sanity.

And that’s about all I can manage for gratefuls this afternoon!

Ommmmmmmmmmmm….

I’m linking in with 52 Weeks of Grateful hosted by Maxabella

Motherhood is a choice I make

MotherhoodSo I came across this image in my social networking travels today and what really caught my attention was the “you”.

Motherhood is a choice you make every day…

I’ve blogged quite a lot about my having issues with resentment, particularly my being resentful of my husband. But it occurred to me just now, maybe I’m not actually resentful of him. After all, what is there to be resentful of? He’s a bloody great husband and father, totally hands on, always involved. I know not everyone has this kind of support from their partner. No, I don’t actually think I am resentful of him. I can’t resent him for being out of the house during the day, he’s working to support us. I also know that if I told him I wanted to go back to work in some capacity, he would support me. He’s told me too that if I want Miss M to go into daycare now and then so I get a break and just be with the baby, so be it, he’s ok with that. So what exactly am I angry and resentful of him for? He hears me, and he’s willing to discuss options.

I’m suddenly thinking that really if I’m honest it’s all about me. I think I’m just knackered, and pissed off with being on call 24/7 and I take it out on him because who else is there to take it out on. Pissed off with always being the one that decides what’s for dinner and makes sure we all have clean clothes. That does all the research about food and tantrums and sleep and so on and so forth and so ON. That sorts out the playdates and the doctors appointments. Yadda yadda. All the SAHM stuff.

But it’s what I choose to do. Firstly I chose to have my beautiful, much-loved daughters. However, I have also chosen the SAHM lifestyle. I believe it is the best thing for my daughters and for my family as a whole. Yet it looks like two years in I still need to find a way of coming to terms with the actual living of this lifestyle. Does that make any sense?

Gosh another little spark went off in my head. I’m not doing anything for me at the moment. I’ve started making sure that I go for a fitness walk every day (aiming for that 10k run in September) and that’s helping a lot. But there isn’t anything else. I’m pretty sure that if I started thinking about what I want for myself  and acting on it, then maybe I’d be able to do all the other stuff without feeling resentful – not of my husband, but of my own choice to be a SAHM.

I think it’s about time I sat down and figured a few things out. Last week I bought a Create Your Incredible Year Workbook & Planner and I haven’t given myself time to look at it properly yet but it looks brilliant and comes highly recommended. It’s about really working out what you want and need from your year, and actually making it happen.

Time for this mama to start figuring a few things out!

Thousands of things

This week I am grateful that so many little things go right every day, even though I may sometimes feel like the days are pretty rough with Miss A being only 6 weeks old and Miss M being, well, her usual toddler self! This image came up on my newsfeed this week and it’s a great thought to begin the New Year with. So, today I am grateful that nobody is sick, the water and electric are on, breastfeeding continues to go so well, sun was shining so we could go for a walk, didn’t run out of milk, managed to get a wash on, flooded the laundry but caught it in time and no serious damage, internet working, remembered to hang the washing out, Miss M napped easily, Miss A is slept well too, and I got some much-needed down time….the list is endless when I really think about it! For that, I am grateful.

This is post 1/52 of 52 Weeks of Grateful

#reverb12 Day 29: Have you heard your word?

What word did you select to be your travelling companion in 2012? What gifts did this word bring?

The concept of choosing a word for the coming year is a new one for me, so I didn’t actively select one last year. However, had I chosen, it would without a doubt have been Mindful. I’ve done my best in 2012 to learn to be more mindful in every aspect of my life and I’ve learned so much along the way. I know that I’ve weathered a few storms a lot better than I would have done had I not embarked upon my quest to live a more mindful existance. It’s a lifelong journey and I look forward to honing my mindfulness skills in 2013. Certainly I now have a great many resources from which to draw inspiration and knowledge moving into the new year. Blogroll coming!

What word will you choose to guide you through 2013? What do you hope it will bring into your life?

Calm. Being a stay at home mum is a joy in so many, many ways, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it’s also bloody tough work – emotionally, mentally and right now 5 weeks post-caesar with a toddler to care for as well demand breastfeeding, physically. It’s 24/7. There is no let up. I have to stay calm in the face of it all, for the sake of me, my girls and my husband. I must remain smiling (albeit doubtless a bit maniacally at times) in the midst of the madness and remember that it will get easier. That way I’ll be sure to enjoy the precious moments, of which I know there will be many.

This post is part of #reverb12 hosted by Kat at I Saw You Dancing

#reverb12 Day 26: How will you make time?

How very apt that today’s #reverb12 prompt should be about making time! When both my children are sleeping, as they are now, I feel I have a modicum of control over things. The rest of the time, not so much! I am told that things will get easier, and I know it is true, but right now I’m in the thick of it with a toddler and a breastfeeding five week old. My time is not my own to prioritse beyond making sure I eat properly. Sleeping is rather outwith my powers as I grab what I can between night feeds. As for “sleep when the baby sleeps” during the day, well that’s all very well until you have more than one child – and a burning desire for a little bit of time to yourself when a small miracle happens and they are both asleep at the same time!

{24 hours later}

How do you intend to carve out more time for the things that are the most important to you in 2013?

1, Get up 30 minutes before husband leaves for work regardless of who else is asleep so I have time to shower, dress, put on a load of washing and eat some cereal, so I can start the day in a better frame of mind to PLAY! Because my children are what’s most important to me and they need me to play with them, not be a frazzled, distracted wreck first thing.

2, Start expressing in about 8 weeks so that husband can be left alone with the baby as well as Miss M and I can get out on my own now and then – primarily so I can start running again. It’s really important to me that I start running again – so very good for my mental health and also I really want to lose the baby weight and get myself back in shape. One of my 2013 goals is to take part in our local running festival in September, either 10k or half marathon, and serious training will be required.

3, Whenever I chance to have both girls sleeping at the same time in the afternoon, after eating (always most important) I will take 30 minutes just to sit down and read a book or blog or sew or watch something on the iViewer instead of runninga round doing chores. It’s most important that I get some me time to avoid burnout  –  and just to stay smiling for my family!

4, Stop obsessively checking Facebook, so many hours are sucked away!!! There are so many other things that are more important to me. Facebook has become a bit of a bad habit – I so appreciate the connection during my SAHM day-to-day, but I don’t need quite so much, and that time can be much better spent. I intend to disconnect from social media more in 2013, because pretty much everything is more important than Facebook and Twitter!

And now, my time is up!

This post is part of #reverb12 hosted by Kat at I Saw You Dancing

One Year On

Fortunately #reverb12 doesn’t involve a commitment / goal to blog every day or even to blog at all, as my time at present does not permit! However, I have been reading the daily prompts and pondering upon them as I go about my day, and I’ve tweeted a little in response. It’s good to reflect on the past year as December with all its busyness begins, and I’ve found the prompts to date to be most thought-provoking. Today the question is:

Compare the “you” from the beginning of 2012 to the “you” that you are now. What new skills or talents have you learned or discovered this year? 

I like this one very much as it is perfect timing for me to look back and consider how things have changed within me, given that I started this blog back in January with the express intention of making some changes in my thinking and living. By the end of 2011 I wasn’t  in a good place mentally. I’d stopped counting my blessings and appreciating the little things, and my lack of perspective was making me miserable. I’d become very resentful of my lot, and having had a few brushes with some Buddhist teachings, and the concept of mindfulness in particular, I decided that some changes were required for the sake of my own happiness and that of my little family. My mission was:

I am not my best self, and my family deserves my best self. I will find out what is missing, one post at a time. I will become a Mindful Mum!

I’ve been blogging on and off since then, following my quiet path, learning along the way from a variety of sources. I’ve found a lot of great blogs that have been an enormous, inspirational help to me on this journey (sidebar blogroll is next on my To Do list!). I’ve also learned by doing. That is, I have tried very hard when in the thick of things to be Mindful, that is, (to me), to stay in the present moment, to fully experience it, to just Be. Not allowing past or future worries cloud the present. Not getting ground down by the more mundane aspects of stay at home Motherhood but learning to appreciate the beautiful little moments, of which there are many. I don’t manage this all of the time, obviously! But I have learned the skill of taking that step back. I am a whole lot more likely to hear the birds singing even while the toddler tantrum goes on. I take a breath nowadays, more often than not – my husband might not fully appreciate this but the fact is there would be a LOT more meltdowns if I hadn’t learned a few lessons in the past year!

Learning to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude” has also been invaluable to me in improving my thinking.

I’ve learned that I’m a work in progress 🙂

I’m also definitely a LOT less resentful, which was my biggest, most destructive issue at the start of the year. I’ve learned to get over and around that by adjusting my thinking. I recently came across this poem by the 14th Century Sufi poet Hafiz which kind of sums it up for me in relation to both my marriage and my children, if that makes sense:

Even

After

All this time

The Sun never says 

To the Earth

“You owe me.”

Look

What happens 

With a love like that.

It lights the

Whole 

Sky.

It’s all about love at the end of the day, isn’t it?

This post is part of #reverb12 hosted by Kat at I Saw You Dancing

#reverb12 begins!

#reverb12 is about taking a little time out at the end of the year for some gentle reflection, in order to:

* celebrate the successes of 2012
* honour the challenges of 2012
* plant the seeds for a rich and rewarding 2013

Hosted by the lovely Kat over at I Saw You Dancing, each day in December there will be a question to think about. This is today’s question:

How are you starting this last month of 2012?

Take a moment, close your eyes, take a deep breath and ask yourself the question: how do you feel…

… in your body? in your mind? in your day job? in your creative life? in your heart?

I’m starting out tired and a little trepiditious in body and mind, but hopeful and full of love in my heart. My second daughter was born via c-section eight days ago and while my recovery has been excellent to date, I am still feeling a bit battered and fragile. Plus of course as a family we are getting used to the joys of living with two gorgeous little girls instead of one, and I am a little bit concerned about how I am going to manage everything when my husband goes back to work in a few weeks! And I’d forgotten all about night feeds and cluster feeding. And clustered night feeding 😉 But, one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time as necessary, is my game plan. To be mindful.

My body has been through a lot in 2012 but I am feeling very positive about my recovery in the next few weeks and my goals for getting back into shape in 2013. Already keeping a food diary! And I picked up an ancient exercise bike on Freecycle yesterday. Looks like it comes out of the ’80s but once cleaned up it should allow me to squeeze in some exercise on days when it’s not possible to leave the house for anything outdoorsy or more formal!

In my creative life, well, definitely no time to sew this month, but I hope to be able to write a little now and then. And hey, I did just grow a baby, so I think I can say it’s been quite a creative year all in 😉

This post is part of #reverb12 hosted by Kat at I Saw You Dancing

A New Chapter

Today is the “official” due date for my second baby girl, who was born via happy elective c-section last Friday afternoon. Miss A is now 6 days old and fast asleep in her cot. I am so loved up! And this caesarean experience has been sooooooo much better than last time! It all went very smoothly, with no mind-mashing drug experiences and a very successful recovery to date. I was fully present when I held my baby girl in my arms for the first time and I remember every second. I fed her straight away in Recovery, my milk came in about 48 hours later, and breastfeeding is now becoming well-established and hassle-free. We came home first thing Tuesday morning (I elected to stay a fourth night to make sure I could go 24 hours without the heavier painkillers), having been very well cared for in hospital, and we’re now being very well cared for by my lovely husband. Miss M is also assisting in her own special way wherever possible, and has taken to her new little sister very well indeed. It’s so wonderful seeing them together.

I’m a little disappointed to report that I didn’t have my tubes tied after all. Everything was going great and I had Miss A on my chest when I started to get those dreaded chest pains. I heard voices talking about what drugs to try, what to do next, and someone mentioned the words general anaesthetic. Um, no thanks!! I asked them to stop right there and stitch me back up, which they did. Quit while you’re ahead, I say! I also elicited a promise from my husband then and there with many witnesses – he will be making his vasectomy appointment forthwith!

Today also marks exactly three years since my husband and I arrived in Australia – and here we are, our little Aussie family complete and ready to begin the next chapter. Feeling immensely fortunate and excited to see what the future holds for us. Meantime, my plan is to take it one grateful, intentional, mindful and undoubtedly muddled day at a time 🙂

 

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