Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

13 Milestones of Parenting

”thursday-13″

1. The Emergency Shower…

Yelling “Come here quickly and take your clothes off!” to my husband and watching his face as he realised that it was never going to mean what it used to mean…now it meant getting in the shower to wash our son down after a ‘poo-nami’

2. The Poo Scoop…

Along the same vein as number 1. The horror of realising that your child has ‘number two-ed’ in the bath and the best way to get rid of it is to scoop it straight into the toilet with a bare hand. (Please note: My husband is very open to suggestions of better ways to deal with this situation)

3. The ‘Burmuda Triangle’…

Formally known as ‘the car’, the day you realise that toys, half eaten biscuits and odd shoes have all become part of the Burmuda Triangle in the footwell. Perhaps that’s where all the odd socks are too…

4. The Family Bed…

Anyone who tells you sleeping with a baby will kill any chance of romance needs to think outside of the box. While I know it’s not for everyone, there is nothing so special to my husband and I as waking up to our son’s big morning grin stretching across his face as he sees his favourite people.

5. The Public Tantrum Solidarity Nod…

Ok, I admit it. I used to be one of ‘those’ people in the shopping centre who always thought there must be a better way to deal with tantruming children. Now, I don’t pretend to know what parents should do…I just give a sympathetic nod of solidarity. There but for the Grace of God I go!

6. Time Share Toileting…

The day I left work to begin maternity leave I assured my boss that I would never, under any circumstances, allow a child into the toilet while I was in there. Two weeks later I was eating my words as I sat on the toilet, breastfeeding my baby. Ah, it begins…

Flash forward a year and we are still time sharing the toilet, only now my little boy sits on his potty and sings, until it’s time to press the button, clearly one of the favourite parts of his day. How can I deny him this very special treat?

7. The Public Stripdown…

This may occur if you unwittingly decide to try on clothes in a small change room with a gap underneath the door. Unfortunate timing may mean that your child crawls underneath and you find yourself with a major dilemma…the unwilling nudie run to retrieve them, or the child on the loose. Now I understand why people use strollers.

8. Those first few words…

They give everything away about your family. Smidge’s are:

“Tiggle tiggle” (tickle, tickle)

“Oooh look!” (along with pointing finger, which translates as “Mummy, tell me all about that!!”)

“Pat, pat, pat”

“Kiss Daddy, kiss Daddy”

“Blab-blab” (the new name for the dog. She even comes when called this)

And of course “Ooooh, gentle!”

9. The Mini-Me…

This is the day that you flashback to your childhood, when your own child does something so totally you that the last 25 years just drop away and you are the little boy laying on the rumpus room floor driving a Matchbox car back and forth as you rest your head on your outstretched arm. Grandparents love seeing these ones!

10. The “Oh no, why did I teach him that” moment…

The other day my son lifted his shirt, and with a look of surprise in his eyes, poked himself in the belly button. At that moment, without a single thought in my head. I made a raspberry sound. And now our life will never be the same… Every day since I have woken to the lifting of my shirt, the poke in the belly button and that sound, followed by a hysterical laugh and then the same process repeated on Daddy, then himself, then me again. And 13 month old children apparently have no sense of when and where it is appropriate to lift up your Mum’s shirt.

11. The joy of Christmas…

It’s back. The feeling of anticipation…the endless wait…the magic! It’s all back. Last year Smidge was just 4 months old and I had spent most of the last 6 weeks in and out of hospital, so the magic wasn’t as strong as it already is this year. I love that Christmas is the time of year where anything is possible, that wishes really can come true.

12. The Mummy Lioness within…

I expect every Mum will know what I mean by this one. The day that you have to protect your child. It doesn’t matter that you are the least confrontational person, or have never defended yourself.

I experienced my first Lioness moment the other day when I saw 2 older children hitting my son on the back as he climbed out of a ball pit. I looked around for their Mums, but seeing no-one, knew it was up to me. I calmly picked him up out of their reach and said “Oh dear, we can’t hit babies, we pat them gently” and stroked his back. The little boy repeated “Pat bubba, gentle” And I felt proud of myself. Because as much as I would have liked to freak right out on those rough kids, I know that a Mummy Lioness treats other kids the way that she would like other people to treat hers.

13. Falling in love all over again…

While I sit here, trying to think of a last milestone, my husbands voice drifts up the hallway. He is reading Smidge a story as he puts him to bed. Every few pages I hear a yawn- Daddy’s, not Smidge’s. Even though he has had a long day at work, he still has time to give me a break, time for his little boy who he adores and who adores him so much. And so, even though our life has become all about our son, we have these precious moments where I fall in love with my husband all over again.

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Wordless Wednesday – Blended Family

Blended Family

Men at work…

I’m trying to make a point here so let’s get to it – My husband works in a male dominated industry (mining).   I work in a female dominated industry (early childhood education).   I take our two year old to work with me and I work part time.  I travel a lot for work and I sing to her in the back of the car.  I take her to meetings, conferences, lectures, and networking opportunities where I am always surrounded by lovely women who smile and laugh and we all get on with our jobs.  I always make sure I am at home for 4 days out of 7 and then every second week full for our girl to be with her dad.

Now for his story…  My husband has just started out in the mining industry over the last three years.  He works a lot of overtime and is surrounded by men who also work a lot of overtime and probably have children at home.

Recently my husband refused some overtime to spend a Sunday with us.  Over the weeks leading up to this particular Sunday he had been away … then I had been away … and we had seen each other for one week out of six when his parents were visiting – not really a time of marital bliss.  Come Monday and dear husband is getting ‘pineappled’ at work (that’s his term for being in trouble with the boss).  He is sat down, given a warning and then the BIG boss is on the phone also telling husband that it is in his contract to work reasonable overtime.
My husband asks, “what do you consider reasonable overtime?”
“10 hours a week or one full day.”
“well I worked all day Saturday and overtime on Friday.”
“look… If you want to work in this industry you have to expect to work overtime whenever asked”…

My husband, being a gentle soul leaves it at that and accepts the warning.  He is even convinced that he had been in the wrong.  Until he got home and I had something to say about it.  I say – People make an industry – it doesn’t make itself.

Here is my biggest issue…  It’s almost a feminist issue (leave it to me to make anything a feminist issue).  Well actually it’s a humanist issue that impacts negatively on women as well as men – but the men within the industry are the only ones that can really change it.  THE ISSUE – It is the fact that we have a huge mining industry here in Australia that is mostly full of men.  Most of those men are probably fathers with wives who might happily be stay at home mums (part time in my case) but who still want their children to see their fathers.  However, the head honchos who make the industry are anti-family and therefore anti-woman.  So, are they promoting bad parenting towards our future generations?  Are they promoting negative relationships between man and wife?  Are they reiterating their own outdated beliefs by assuming that women should be the ones to raise children generally alone?

There has been a shift in choice in the world of feminism.  Before it was the choice to work and be liberated from forced domesticity.  Now it is the choice to stay at home and have the well earned support of society or to work with that same respect and support.  However, for those of us who have chosen to stay at home – with a partner in this industry (and many other male dominated industries) we could be taken for granted.

Although … in the end I think my husband is really getting the crappy end of the stick.

Wordless Wednesday

Mornings

 

The 5 Love Languages

I had a blinding revelation the other day.

The 5 love languages are something I first came across while teaching, because in spite of the trendy name they are not only about love.  They are the ways we prefer to give and receive praise and include touch, time, gifts, acts of service and words of affirmation.  I’ve actually got the book floating around here somewhere, but I don’t think I’ve read it because for myself and my husband it’s extremely obvious – he’s gifts and I’m touch, with a bit of words of affirmation thrown in.

When you and your partner don’t match it can cause problems, because you may be repeatedly saying how much you love them and they aren’t hearing it.  Many of our depressed times boil down to “I don’t want you to buy me chocolate, I want a hug!”  So this is something I’m quite aware of and have been working on and allowing for for years.

But then the someone made a comment about their child being a gift giver and I had an epiphany.  My eldest wraps up several things a day and presents them to people, real or imaginary, with “Happy Birthday!”  When her little sister was extremely sick she drew her a butterfly (I know it was, she told me so 🙂 ) and stuck it up over her bed so she could see it.  I’ve been presented with a million flowers and leaves, and whenever she is drawing I’m constantly being asked what I want on my picture.  And here’s the really embarrassing bit – she’s been doing this practically since she could walk.  The flowers especially are a long term thing, the presents came into focus at her 3rd birthday.  I’ve been puzzled by her strange disinclination to hug and kiss a million times a day (which is what I would like to do), although reassured that she does like snuggling – at her times, on her terms.  And her father and grandmother are gift givers extraordinaire, but it still took me two years and someone else’s remark to work it out.

It brings into focus her constant ‘Can I have?’  Of course some, probably most, of  this is typical toddler acquisitiveness, but some of it may also be reassurance – ‘you love me if you give me things.’  I don’t mean that in a bad way, because it’s not ‘you love me if you buy me things.’  We (I?) have an automatic rejection of giving children too many things, thinking it will make them spoilt.  But we wouldn’t think that if they needed hugs or words or time.  And all those kisses I give her, all those hugs as she walks past, she may not be connecting to.  I find it extremely sad that my little girl may not be hearing the hundred times a day I tell her I love her, because I’m speaking my language not hers.  It makes sense of her (frustrating) habit of getting a million books out of the library but not reading them, or asking for some of my yoghurt that I know she doesn’t like.  And rather than regarding yet another flower to put behind my ear with amused tolerance and then forgetting it, I need to listen to her telling me how much she loves me.  I need to stop telling her to draw a picture for herself and accept her offering to me.

And I need to start offering her gifts as well.  I need to be picking flowers for her, and she’s definitely going to be a notes in the lunchbox type of gal.  Now that I know to look for them, I know there are lots of opportunities to give ‘gifts’ that don’t need to be expensive or wasteful.  Of course she needs the other things too, but I know she’s going to see gifts the best.  And knowing how much I sometimes long for a hug, I know this is something my little girl needs me to do.

 

 

*If you like books, there is a book about children’s love languages at the link above.