Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Stayin' Sweet

Do you ever have the moment when you wish you could reach into the back of the cupboard and find a packet of lollies you didnt know you had. Or open the fridge only to discover that you didnt eat that block of chocolate like you thought you did?

Well guess what....I just had that moment.

Thankyou Cadbury Peppermint Chocolate you saved me!

Stayin' Out the Way!

School yard bullies.

Chances are if you have children, were a child (lol), know a child or have turned on your TV during the news in the last 5 years you know all about school yard bullies. I think without doubt that the issue of Schoolyard bullies effects us all in some way. I have found myself this week thinking a lot about Schoolyard bullies and they tactics and how the whole thing effects my family.

My eldest son is a bright kid, I don't mean he is super smart or anything like that, at times it has seemed he is the absolute opposite, he is bright as is full of life, ideas and love for the world around him. Picture Steve Irwin shrunk down without the "Crikey" and you have my 8 year old. He can spend hours telling you about the life cycle of a particular bug or animal, nine times out of ten he is spot on, and when he isn't he just makes it up. If school was run on verbal alone he would be skipping grades left right and centre. Convincing his teachers that he knows it all!

When he doesn't know something - you cant tell, he can completely convince you of something that is totally wrong just with the power of his words. Some days I am sure that if I hadn't wised up to his ways he would possibly be able to convince me that they have discovered a way to bring back dinosaurs and have started growing them on Mars ready for the time that they will take over the planet Earth and make it their own again.....he is THAT convincing!

Of course while his teachers find this gift delightful and inspiring (I am sure sometimes they mean to say draining and over-bearing) his school yard friends don't always agree. He is lucky to have a few friends that he has grown up with, so they either humour him with his stories or tell him he is making up crap and they cant be bothered right now (kids + tack I don't think so) Of course this whole personality leaves him open for the school yard bullies to tease him and ridicule him for his random facts and figures.

He is pretty good, he takes most of it in his stride, sometimes he gets a little angry but never over the top and hopefully it stays that way!

While I would like to tell him that one day he wont be at school anymore and his worries will be over. No more bullies, no more nasty people....... I know that's a lie. Sadly there seems to be so many more "adult" bullies than I ever knew as a child. Workplace bullies, Community bullies, Playgroup mum bullies, Family bullies.... the list goes on and on. The only thing we have on our side as adults is that (well most of us....not the bullies) have grown up to learn that negatives only attract negatives and the world is a bigger place than the little circle that we live in. We learn resilience and ways to deal with things that are wrong, and those acts that make us feel victimised. We learn to let things go and not bring us down. We learn that what other people do or say isn't our problem and we are only responsible for the things we say and do.

Of course anyone that has had to deal with an "adult" bully will know its not easy. It can be hard getting through your day knowing that you are right but feeling like you are in the wrong. Sometimes the battle doesn't seem worth it, sometimes walking away is the only answer even when it goes against everything that we believe in.

These days schools are doing so much more work to counteract the schoolyard bullies. They have programs designed to teach respect and caring with all, to show children the right and wrong way to treat their peers and the adults in their lives. I am sure there will be a few there that this doesn't change, but for the most part I hope these programs work and hopefully when my children are adults they wont have to deal with so many "adult" bullies.

Fun fact (a not so fun one) that I learnt from one of the teachers at my children's school earlier this year ~ When bullies really want to "hurt" another child they use insults directed at the child's family. Usually straight at the child's mother..... it instantly twigs anger in the victim and the bully feels like they have won straight away.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Stayin' Happy with Playdough

Is there a better friend to a mother than playdough? I think not! What other item can you whip up in a matter of minutes, in all the colours of the rainbow and have your kids settled and playing in just minutes from them having a meltdown.

This is my favourite Playdough recipe....its a no cook recipe....a childcare workers best friend and this Mummy's saviour on rainy days, long weekends or boring summer holidays.

I found it somewhere on the net ages ago so not sure where to give credit, but just know its not mine!

2 cups plain flour
1 cup cooking salt
a decent splash of oil....a tbsp spoon or two.
a few drops of food colouring in a jug and add a cup of boiling water.

Mix all together, sometimes you might need a little bit more water....seems to depend on the flour and the weather.

When the dough starts to form and stick together, flip it out on a floured benchtop and knead together. When all mixed it should still be warm but not hot and you can hand it over to the kids.

Add a couple of cookie cutters, some plastic knives, forks and spoons and a rolling pin if you can actually find it and voila ...life is sweet.

Stayin' The Mum

I love this video, it often crops back up around the place so I thought I would share it here and then I will remember where it is next time I want to see it.

Stayin' Up!

I often wonder why I sit up so late when I really should be in bed. Long before I get to bed each night my youngest starts waking up. Usually the easiest way to get her to resettle is to lay her in the arm chair in the lounge room while I potter around doing what ever has taken my fancy, which I know is totally the "wrong" thing to do... :) .

Even though I know thats its rare to get to 10pm without her getting up, I never go to bed early....and if for some silly reason I do....I lay there wide awake. Its not like I even sleep in, I drag my over tired and aching body out of bed before 5:30 every morning.....so you would think when I have that "OMG I am so tired" feeling every morning that I would learn to go to bed.

Add to that a toddler that spends most of her night tossing and turning in my bed all night, where hubby and I take turns in being kicked or patted or whacked all night.... You would think I would go to bed. But no here I am at nearly 11pm for absolutely no reason posting on my blog. Maybe its because I have so much to do that I just cant go to bed for fear of that overwhelming feeling that I failed today. Maybe its because my mind is racing with a million things that I need to do, need to say, should have done and should have said. Or maybe its just because minus the few cries from my little one, this is the absolute only time in any given day when I can have five minutes to myself....when I dont have to talk, say no, argue or reason. When I dont have to get drinks, cut fruit, read books or wipe bottoms.

So while I hate dragging myself out of bed in the morning, I will do it and feel better for it and for now I will sit up into the dark of night wasting time on things I dont need to do, while the important stuff sits undone and unfinished. I might regret it tomorrow but tomorrow night will be just the same.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stayin' The Protective Mummy

Some people would say I am over protective, ok a lot probably would. I definitely agree I am protective, its my job as a Mother to guard my young with my life and ensure they have the best start to their lives as they can. I dont think I am OVER protective! I know the world is a big scary place, I know bad things will happen to them, but as a Mother I believe its my job to ensure that I stop as much of that bad stuff happening to them for as long as I can.

We live in a small town, the kind of town where kids are left to roam the streets after school, where on weekends no one really knows where their kids are playing or who with and where my "over-protectiveness" is frowned apon. My eldest who is eight now, isnt allowed to roam the streets on his own, he isnt allowed to wander off and play with his friends in the bush, or down the beach  or anywhere else. His boundaries are our fence line, and will remain our fence line.

If I was a Zebra on the plains of Africa I wouldnt let my little foul run and play out in the open without me, that would lead to a big old Lion getting a really good meal.....just because I am human and living in a modern day Australia doesnt mean I should be any different.

At times he pulls the "but ....... is allowed to ride their bike around town" or "but I saw ......... go past to the bike track on their own" Emotional blackmail..... Usually the old "because I said so" answer to his plees to be let loose are enough. (an answer I swore that I would never use on my kids but alas its crept in) When they dont work and he tells me that he wont do anything wrong, or that he will be careful, I explain to him that I can trust that he will be good, and that he will be careful....but unfortunetly I cant trust everything around him. I cant guarantee that there wont be a snake in the bushes that he could step on, I cant guarantee that no one will come too fast around the corner and swerve into the walking lane, and ofcourse I cant trust that the worst most horrible things that happen to children wont happen to him. (this one I dont explain in detail but I have, as my children have grown older explained about stranger danger and the like so its not something that they havent heard before) The list of things I cant ensure wont happen is endless.

I am not completely insane about what my kids can and cant do, its more of what they can and cant do without me being there to ensure they are safe. As a Mother I believe thats my responsibility.

We all know Mothers have magical powers that let us heal "owies" with bandaids, broken hearts with hugs and stresses with love....... Unfortunetly though we cant take things back once they happen. We cant turn back the clock and decide that we are not letting them ride round town that day, or that we wont let them go out and play with friends after school that afternoon. If we had foresight into the days things would go wrong and the days that things would be ok that would solve all our problems, but we dont. So until someone gives me that ability to look into the future and work out where and when things will go wrong I will continue to be the protective mummy that I am.

At the end of the day people can think I am over-bearing or over-protective or completely insane....thats nothing for me to worry about. All I need to worry about are my children, and I want to be able to look back at their childhood and be able to sleep easy with the thought that I did the best I could, I protected them as much as I was able and that in turn they lived a fun filled, excicting and happy childhood.

Stayin' Handmade

I love Handmade goodness. I would much rather buy something someone has made for me than something from a commercial shop. Though I do have to admit I love bargains, so while I would love to have a wardrobe full of wonderful goods that were made by wonderful creative people, its not always a possibility as, well lets face it money doesnt grow on trees. So while I would rather buy a handmade dress, you will find me in the ilse at Kmart, and clothing shops looking for bargains, or items to suit my current frame of mind. While on holidays earlier this year I did lots of bargain shopping....esp in Kmart. How can I say no to shorts and skirts and tops for less than $5, and $2 for the kids? seriously I cant!

Since returning home I am back on the handmade wagon though, or atleast buying through ladies who are making their businesses work from home and putting their family first. Who doesnt want to support them just for that.

Facebook will serioulsy send me broke. For a free service it certainly costs me a fortune. So many many many handmade businesses, all with gorgeous creations and wonderful service flashing pictures at me every minute of every day of every week. Everything from Jewellery to Jackets, from Dresses to Diaries. Shop after shop full of goodies from a what seems like a million Handmade businesses trying to max out my credit card, and empty the bank account.

The most wonderous part of buying from these handmade businesses is not the quality, though its amazing, nor is it the fact I am supporting a mother like myself run her life; even though that is wonderful too, its the feeling I get when someone says to me "Where did you get that?" and I can stand there and say loud and proud that I bought it from a WAHP and they were wonderful to deal with and I am super happy with what I bought. I feel proud of myself for supporting them, and proud to promote them, and proud that the handmade community is only growing more and more and more; (yes somedays I wish it would dissapear just for a month or more so that I could recover my bank account lol) but in general I do love it. I love sharing what I find with friends and promoting these wonderful people on Facebook. Its great when someone says to me "Do you know where I can get a ............?" and I can search through my Facebook favourite shops and find them all the links they can possibly need.

Its great when I see a Business that I support go from looking for people to create for, and asking anyone if they want anything custom made, to so busy with orders that they cant keep up. Its great to watch them grow leaps and bounds with their work and so nice to share in their success as their business gets bigger and bigger.

Places like Facebook, Etsy and Madeit have really opened the doors for many creative people and I love that its back in Fashion to buy Handmade!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Stayin' Fresh

I used to think it was strange when people I would know would completely re-invent themselves into a whole new person over and over again, new hair, new clothes styles, new likes and interests. Boring old me is always the same.... but as I get older I have noticed that I dont have one particular style. Maybe thats why I dont reinvent myself, because I am already 4 or 5 styles of person now so why add anymore?

At the moment though I am feeling like I am in a very "lost" place, I have a million things I want to get started on, but no way to do them and no idea what to do to get started. While all my old hobbies still give me joy, I want new ones, but I dont know what.

I feel like I need something new and totally off the wall to stimulate my brain back into action. I would have to say that this year is the first time since I became a Stay at Home Mum that I feel like I should be working. I dont mean go and get a new job, for where we are living now thats not an option, but I need something to make my brain work every day.

Something that makes me jump out of bed every morning and get into my day even faster than I do now.

Something that makes my head spin full of ideas while I try to go to sleep at night.

Something totally different and out of the normal.

Something to make me RE-INVENT myself ........... TOTALLY.

I cant wait til I find it, I know I will, I always find amazing things to keep me occupied, but I am such an inpatient person that I really hate to wait for the ideas to start coming, for the light bulbs to turn on.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Stayin' Anonymous

Today marked my first "Personal" Post posted. A new journey started, and here I was embarking on my own, all alone wondering where this might take me and who I might meet and how I would feel about it in a day, a week, a month or a year.... would I still be here? Or would I have long forgotten this adventure?

I spent today wondering who I should ask to read it and how I would feel about them reading it, and so I got to thinking about how some days its easier to be anonymous and talk to strangers than it is to chat with friends.

There are so many less expectations on you when the person reading your work is a stranger. The stranger comes, unaware of your personal life, your opinions, your history. They read what you write for what it is and nothing else. There's no reading between the lines, no making more of something than there is. Everything is black and white to them, the way it should be.

Of course this leads your writing to take on a form of its own. This worries me a little, OK who am I kidding, it worries me A LOT. I don't think I would ever be described by anyone as a very opinionated person, I don't even know if very close friends would think of me in that way. I keep my opinions very close to my chest, like an armor I suppose. They are my beliefs, my ideas and my way of thinking. I try and choose what I say carefully, however sometimes I find that my words run a little further away from me than I would like. Its not something that happens often, but when it does its always uncomfortable. Its usually when someone gets me on a topic where my opinion is completely different to theirs and just happens to be one of those things I feel very strongly about. Then I have to worry about how upset or offended I might make someone else feel.

I worry about this when I type.... usually my fingers can go much faster than my brain. Once something is posted and out there, then I start to reflect on what I have written and then the doubts rain down on me. Its a personal hang up that I really should forget about. People make what they make of you on their own, no amount of work or lack of trying will usually change their opinion of you once it is set.

So after contemplating what I had written, how it would be received and how I felt about the possible outcomes I decided I needed to find a stranger to read it. While that may come across as I don't want my friends and family involved, that's far from the case. I just felt that someone outside of the circle of "knowing me" was best. Eventually I will share this journey with friends and family, but for now I think it will stay my personal journey; and for as long as I can, I will keep it fresh, honest and revealing.

A very grateful thank you to Angela of Yes Dear fame for being my "stranger" to read my ramblings. Its much appreciated.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Stayin' Home

As this is my first blog post here I thought I would tell you a little bit about me, which also just happens to be a post about the thing that made me get on here and create a new blog to share.

I am a Stay At Home Mum of 3. It hasnt always been this way, for the first 4 and a bit years of my eldest childs life I was a Working Mum. Putting in my 38hrs a week in my job and then the same again in housework, cooking, being a loving Mum and Partner and keeping life going on as normal as I could with the extra pressure working. While I absolutely LOVED being a working Mum, I can also now say that I absolutely LOVE being a SAHM.

When I returned to work after my second child was born it was with some excitement, and also some dread. My second baby was just a meer four months old, and the choice was taken out of my hands so I just had to go with it and make the best of the situation I was in. I took the full time work in my stride and worked very hard to ensure our home lives didnt revolve around my work, or my lack of time. There were lots of late night washing loads, dishes after kids were in bed and cooking in bulk on a Sunday afternoon to ensure that daycare meals were ready and on hand during the week.

The one thing that I did find tough, was the reactions I would get from other Mothers, or from friends who didnt have children yet! I was constantly surprised at how many other people would look down on me for going back to work while my children were so young. I often found myself being racked in guilt as to why I was working simply because other people around me were pushing the idea on me that I might be doing the wrong thing. It took a lot to block it out, and eventually I did, and after awhile most people I knew and met, got to know my children and I better and realised that what we were doing was what was best for us. I let go of the guilt, and I think (personally) I did a great job of getting everything done in the day without very many dramas at all. Now days I look back and there are some things that I wish I could have changed, or worked on more with my children, but I think whether you work or not there are always things you look back on and think you could have done that better.

Fast forward a few years and I now have 3 children, two at school and one little one at home. I dont work, I dont have to and I dont plan to for a while. You would think, well I would, that from previous experiences it would be all cruisy and I wouldnt have any stigma following me around. Sadly its the opposite. As my youngest gets older I have started to notice exactly how many people now look down on me for not working. For not bringing any of the bread home. I get comments about being a "Lady of Leisure", and aparently the whole world has so much more to do than me. It seems that whether these people work 5 hours or 50 hours their time is much more important than mine and if someone has to wait; it ofcourse must be me. I am not saying they dont have more to do than me, I know they do, however I cant always say they get more done than me. While I dont go to an office all day, I dont stop for a second in my day. Its busy busy busy from 5am til 10pm everyday and usually its nearly as busy between those hours too with my kids needing things day and night.

I find it sad that as a Mother, I mustnt be alone. There must be many more Mum's out there with the same problems, issues if they work or if they dont. For me it was and is a family decision if I work or not. When I have needed to I did, and now that I dont need to I choose not to. While I may not be slaving in a workplace everyday, I can guarantee that the washing is always done, the tea is always cooked, the kids always have something to do or play, the house is always clean and the beds....well I dont make beds but thats besides the point! While I may not "bring any bread" home, I do put it in the breadmaker and make it everyday.