Happy Birth-Day

I recently read a friend’s observation, that many mummy friends are using their child’s birthday to reflect and revisit the moments leading up to their birth. Most weeks I see at least one Facebook tribute to the time, place, feelings of childbirth.

I love hearing birth stories and have in fact recorded details of my own three deliveries so I will always remember and so I can share these intimate details with my children.

I also love reading other people’s birth stories. I am forever amazed at the power and strength of the female body; the innate knowledge of how to create, grow and birth a baby remains of constant wonderment to me. No two births are ever the same. Yet each story is bound with intense love and emotion as our bodies take control and life literally passes right through you. All the feelings we experience from fear and trepidation to pride and elation and the pure simple wondering of the incredible adventure that awaits. Creating life. Wow. I mean, WOW! I will always be proud of my body and the beautiful creations Mr H and I have welcomed to the world.

Though I remain intensely passionate and proud of my birth experiences, this year has felt different. As my children grow older, the focus is shifting.

My youngest son turned three last month. When I switched on the computer, I reflected on his day and how much our lives have changed since his birth. Earlier that week I had read several friends’ beautiful birth recollections in my Facebook news feed. As I sat and thought, I realised I have come to a point where my focus is purely on him. I will forever remember the awed moment I first set eyes on him. I will forever be ‘Mum’. But now they are their own beings. Little people. While Mr 3 is not a baby anymore, he is our third and last child. When Mr 7’s little sister was born, we had a pigeon-pair and struggled, as many do, over the will we/ won’t we bring another child into our family. Every day I feel blessed and affirmed that we made the right choice.

Mr 3 is cheeky, curious and down-right funny sometimes. He has a very old soul and a belly laugh that can make anyone smile. He has brought so much joy and connection to our family and I feel blessed this wonderful little boy chose us to be his parents.

Perhaps now I am seeing more of his world. Perhaps I am clinging on to these precious moments and willing time to slow down. Perhaps I am learning to embrace our journey together and just enjoy the amazing little being he is.

I continue to relish reading birth stories, I excitedly await news of new arrivals; and every new life I encounter reminds me of the precious bond I share with my own little people. And I am flooded with pride and infinite love.

Love you baby boy. Happy 3rd Birthday xxx

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Parenting Lesson # 612 {chilli}

Whilst it is a GOOD idea to teach your children the value of growing your own food and cooking fresh from the garden, it is a bad- I repeat- BAD idea to touch your eye after chopping chilli. Even a good 45 minutes after chopping chilli.

Just saying…

Had any parenting/ mummy ‘moments’ lately? Help me feel better & do share…

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Decisions, decisions…

WEEK 17 ~ DECISION MAKING

Scares the hell out of me… not sure why… can’t decide?

I struggle with decision making and the week 17 Simplify Your Life post has given me some strategies and food for thought. According to Deb,

So much of time management and a simplified life comes down to three things:

  • making decisions without over-thinking things
  • giving yourself permission to make the decisions
  • recognizing that much of the clutter in your home and life is simply delayed decisions

Key points I can take from this post :

Stop trying to be a perfectionist  – The notion of perfection sets yourself up for failure. What’s wrong with having a go? If it doesn’t work out, life goes on. If it does work, great! You may even uncover something even better.

Stop waiting – I am guilty of waiting for my husband’s decision, waiting for the kids to be older, waiting for the planets to align… STOP waiting, Just Do It already!

Aim for progress, not perfection – the key here is to make progress. When you are on a journey, you see progress, things can continue to grow and improve.

Go with your gut, don’t over-think it –

 

Interesting that when the choice is taken away, you can become acutely aware of the decision/ outcome you want. I’ve used this strategy a few times when I’m at risk of over-thinking or delaying decisions.  Mostly, I know exactly what I want when that coin is in the air. And if the coin falls and I don’t care which side it lands- then it confirms it’s not an important decision for me right now & doesn’t require my time and energy.

Try it. Works a treat!

 

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Time, Slow down and Focus

This is my week 15 & 16 catch up post for the Simplify Your Life challenge

WEEK 15 TIME MANAGEMENT – PRIORITIES

My new priority is to set a task and achieve it. If it takes a day or a week- that’s ok. Then I can move to the next task.

Having kids (and I don’t imagine it changing, whatever their age) there are always things that come up and eat your time. The days I feel I haven’t achieved anything are actually my busiest days. They are the days I haven’t achieved what I’d hoped or planned to do, but instead the day has been consumed by toilet accidents, extra washing, spills, breaks that need fixing, unexpected visitors, sickies, etc etc- all those events that you never actually PLAN into your day.

I like looking at it like that. So I didn’t get the laundry sorted or the bathroom cleaned, but I did change the batteries in the train set, I did clean rock solid weetbix off the floor & I did cuddle and console my child when he fell over. The laundry and bathroom will be there tomorrow. And there’s always time for cuddles.

 

WEEK 16 SLOW DOWN & FOCUS

SYL Challenge for Week 16 is :  Doing less and finding focus

Three things important to me that I must do each day;

  1. Tidy kitchen
  2. Pick up in the lounge room
  3. Have dinner planned and cooked each night

If these things are done each day, then I can feel relaxed and comfortable that my home is tidy, we are eating healthily and the rest will get done when I have time.

Build breathing room into each day;

My goal is to have time out when the kids are in bed. I have been using this time to clean up, fold washing, and cook for the following day. While I feel the house is better organised, I am left tired, bored and feel trapped in Groundhog Day. By zoning this time for ME time I can read, watch a movie, be with my husband, RELAX and re-energise and work harder during the day to achieve Me time in evenings.

Focus

It is really hard for me to start and complete a task without disruption. I am a serial multi-tasker & that’s probably why I feel like I never get anything done! I have a ‘to do’ list a mile long and try to tackle lots of tasks at once… which I’ll admit is not working real well for me right now. It has occurred to me that we’ve been in our current house for 7 years and it doesn’t feel finished or organised yet. Time to focus and achieve the home I want to have.  (PS I have to add that having 2 out of 3 children at school this year has freed up a lot of thinking and action time.)

My challenge this week is to organise one wardrobe at a time and not start another job until one is finished. Looking forward to the challenge!

 

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Parenting Lesson #319 – {opening birthday gifts}

It is a good idea to give your birthday child one present at a time to open, and save the best for last… or risk having your child obsess over his favourite toy and ignore all other guests and gifts.

(PS 3 year old boy + Fireman Sam engine toy = hit!)

Do you have any birthday stories to share?

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Managing time, keeping it simple

SYL Week 14: Time Management & Planning

OK so time management is not my forte (completing week 14 challenge in week 17!) Funnily, I am completing challenges in bursts, as I do most tasks🙂 Anyway, I digress… I am catching up on Simplify Your Life challenges and this one has come at the perfect time for me. Interesting when different areas of your life collide…

I’ve been dealing with a few behaviour issues at home this week. We had a fantastic Easter holiday break- but instead of leaving us fresh and re-energised, we have all started the new term tired and less tolerant of eachother. This challenge is perfect as I think Time Management could be the key to improving our family relationships and behaviour.

Two things from the Week 14 post stand out for me.

1. Focus on what’s important

2. What practices give me the best return on energy?

First: What’s important to me is living happily with my partner and kids. Obviously poor behaviour from the children, squabbles & tantrums drain energy and happiness from our whole family.

There are things I can put in place to reduce their tiredness and improve their behaviour such as keeping routine, enforcing earlier bedtime, being more consistent and dealing with conflict as it arises. But I think a HUGE factor is the time we spend with our children. We had a bunch of fun on the holidays and behaviour was much better- we were all relaxed and enjoying each other’s company. Suddenly school is back and we’re all thrust into routine and busy-ness; and spare time is spent veging out in front of the tv or annoying eachother.

So right now, it’s important for me to spend quality time with each of my kids. Half an hour of game time on the floor, or a half-hour walk with one of them after school is not a big ask, but it is something that I feel will greatly improve our relationships and behaviour with eachother. And because it is important to me, I will plan my time and make it part of our daily routine.

Second: Best return on energy…

I’ve made two small changes to simplify daily tasks and I can’t emphasise how much they’ve improved our time management and home routine! I recently installed a white board in my pantry. I love it. On one side I have a running shopping list and add things when I think of them. On the other side, I meal plan for the week. This has been a gem & I find meals are more relaxed, we eat less take out and we eat healthier for it. If the kids want to know what we’re having for dinner, they go and look! No more dreaded “What’s for dinner” whinges! Dinners run smoothly and are more time efficient. If only you knew how much time I used to spend dwelling on what to have for dinner only to end up ordering last-minute take-out.

The other time-saver I am employing is the evening tidy-up. I empty the dishwasher, tidy the table and lounge room floor. Our mornings run smoother and I am happier waking to clear spaces! Two little changes that save me loads of energy and make family life smoother and happier🙂

NEXT: So for the next six weeks, my goal is to ‘book in’ walks and game time with my kids, and to continue the evening tidy-up. I feel the hard core cleaning is easy but maintaining a little each day is much harder! Using the calendar for birthdays/ appointments/ school reminders works well for us, but I feel I could add other important family time to make sure it happens. Hopefully we’ll ALL see better behaviour, easier house managment and a lift in mood!

Do you have any tips for improving kids behaviour or any short-cuts that give you more value for your energy? Love to hear your thoughts!

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SYL’12 – Check In

Simplify Your Life challenge: Week 13: Check in on Goals set in week Six

Yay! The Good:

Adventures with family – pleased we are making an effort to spend time together. Picnics, playground, friends over, board games and having fun. Finding the kids are enjoying time with us and enjoying time with each other too. Better behaviour, more pride in looking after toys, more fun… There’s a lot to be said for attention & affection 

Next step- inject some adventure!

Organised & functional home – can’t believe it but it is happening! Organised pantry, white board & menu planning has been fantastic. New bag rack for entry way/ school bag clutter and re-arranged lounge room into more user-friendly space. Cleaned office desk! Finding key for me is to set one task, do it and commit to keep it that way.

Next step- Complete clean out of main bedroom.

MY organised pantry with whiteboard!

Um… Needs some work:

Health & wellbeing – maintaining weight but have struggled so badly with Easter. Need to cut out the crap food and *must* walk ½ a day.

Morning routine – uniforms, lunches, kids routine going well. Need to make effort to do evening tidy up & on personal note, Get Out Of Bed Earlier!!! No more snooze button 3 times!

See friends regularly – feeling good because of school holiday catch ups but hadn’t really been doing this before school holidays :(

Interesting:

So very grateful for Simplify Your Life challenge. Slowly catching up on challenges but I feel like I’m in a good place. Have loved the challenges themselves and also the additional reading and link ups.

Speaking of reading, pleased to report I have started reading again! Reading fiction for pleasure- something that has eluded me since having children. Just have to choose time and place so it can occur. Loving it!

Finding it easier to let go of ‘stuff’. Have been too good at holding on to everything until I found someone to give it to. Found a Free-cycle page & am finding it much easier to give away or throw out stuff. So liberating!

Feeling tense and edgy about work. Should I/ shouldn’t I go back… getting to the point where I need to go back or resign. While I don’t really want to go back yet, I am scared of resigning too…

Overall a productive 6 weeks!

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