Tag Archives: websites
Ok, my personal list of women I admire.
1. My mum
2. My daughter – for her resilience, fun, and potential
3. Julia Gillard (my daughter is her greatest fan)
4. A number of my friends who’d be embarrassed if I wrote their names here, but who have shown tenacity, determination, ambition, empathy and more.
5. Eva Cox
6. Germaine Greer
7. Samantha Stosur
Rachel Hills has compiled a list of 21 Women to Admire. And yes, Eva Cox is on the list!
Read an interview with Maru the cat here. There are adorable photos, too. For those who haven’t yet met him, Maru is a Scottish Fold cat who lives in Japan with his owner. He has an obsession with boxes, and is very playful.
On a related tabby note, this lolcat amused me:
DD’s birthday party last week was the most expensive one I have ever had for her.
We went to a local indoor playground, paid a certain amount per head, plus I bought two platters of food for the accompanying adults.
The food and drinks for the kids were just right, the adults enjoyed the platters and bought their own cups of tea or coffee from the cafe there, the kids loved jumping round on the bouncy castle, climbing up steps, sliding down the slippery dips, and more. There was a party hostess, a separate party room for the kids where the gifts could also be placed, and no cleaning up.
I saved up for this. DD had specifically asked for that party room. She chose the guests (a mixture of childcare and preschool friends). She wasn’t really expecting presents, although she was delighted when people gave her presents. The best thing for DD was the chance to play with her friends, sit on a throne while being celebrated as the birthday girl, and eating a delicious and artistic cake which her clever aunt had made for her.
We do alternate years for more extravagant parties. (Yes, I am such a miser that this qualifies as an extravagant party. Remember I’m on one income.) Other years, she can have a couple of friends over for afternoon tea and playing at home or at the playground.
If you want to ping me for spending money on DD, can I divert you by pointing to the press release for Outrageous Kid Parties, and the clip of Gracie and her OTT mom wanting a party for 150 or 200 people for $15,000.
The New York Post’s Linda Stasi looks at that TV show and points out that conspicuous consumption can lead to contempt. Good point. A $2,100 birthday cake is mind blowing, especially for a five-year-old.
OK, DD, you can have a $200 party every two years. That’s the limit. You can get a lot of balloons, streamers, patty cakes, fairy bread, and raspberries for that.
Yes, this is a good blog for keeping in touch with friends.
All the same, it is quite interesting finding out what search terms led people to my blog. Let me share some recent ones:
- sock wars 2011
- bad things kid do
- meowmie is watching me o n o
- sock wash
- sydney morning herald danielle sparks
- bragging about cat in christmas letter
I didn’t realise I was so obsessed with socks (surely a phrase to pop up in a search engine) or that my panic about missing school socks had affected my marbles.
Bad things kid do – oh come on, at least get verbs and nouns agreeing, please. At least I wasn’t found by bad motherhood.
I think #6 is hysterical. I am really tempted to do a Christmas letter for 2011 now, including bragging about the cat and my daughter, both of which are cute, funny, attractive and completely irrational at times.
ETA: It’s true. I have a sock obsession. I socked DD’s white socks in nappy cleaner and scrubbed them and they are now hanging on the line in semi-pristine wonder. At least they’re hanging in pairs so I don’t have to search for their mates.
Ari O’Connell has written this piece Mothering is an extreme sport and I have to pass it on. Her humour and honesty can be seen with her “I’ll finish my PhD while the baby sleeps for the first three months”. I love it, especially the vision of dirty washing sprouting like mushrooms.
Another reason why I like this piece is Ari’s honesty about the Commentators, who are a danger in this extreme sport we call mothering.
When I’m not changing, or bathing, or hurtling – eyes closed to maintain the illusion of sleep – down to bub’s room at 3.00am, I’m batting off another sporting mainstay, the Commentator. Make that plural. Available anywhere and at any time, the Commentators inform me of how I’m stacking up against the competition, and they double as Coach if I’m going off course.
The mommy wars are so damn useless. I’d do my usual whinge of why can’t we all get along and respect differences, but I’m probably preaching to the choir. All I can say is, Ari, I hope you have a lovely time with your baby, enjoy each moment of happiness when it comes, and keep your sense of perspective.
This idea is taken shamelessly from the lovely Kristina Sauerwein’s blog entry. Thinking of the things I did without letting my mum and dad know and yet I allow my 4.5 y-o darling daughter do.
I am aware that part of this is me trying to NOT be a helicopter parent or as uptight as I know I really could be. Underneath my actions is a panic merchant screaming to be let out and be a control monster over my darling instead of letting her be herself, learn things on her own and to be reassured that there will always be comfort and cuddles from her mother if it doesn’t quite work out.
1. I let her climb almost anything. OK, not power poles. DD loves climbing trees and is the most adventurous climber in her preschool. Fences, obstacles, you name it. I’m waiting for her to work out how to climb onto the roof of the house ‘cos that will be the limit of my encouragement. Yes, I supervise her. Yes, I’m taking her indoor rock climbing this weekend.
2. I let her watch television. Not such a biggie, eh? Oh yes, it is. Apparently I’m letting her in for a lifetime of obesity, lowered intelligence, poor social skills and more. (Do your own research and work out which bits I’m exaggerating or not. ) Those precious half hours of TV mean I can deal with hard, possibly dangerous things in the kitchen involving moving boiling water and hot pans, or make an urgent phone call. If I could persuade DD to watch an entire DVD, I could get in a nap on a weekend afternoon …. nah, that’s not going to happen.
3. I let her make a huge mess in the kitchen. It’s called cooking. Sometimes we get edible stuff out of it. I also let her try out things on the stovetop if I’m supervising and it’s not pans of boiling water. She had a good go at making a roux for a white sauce the other day. Sure, it was lumpy but she was working hard. Now if only she would help me more energetically to clean up the kitchen afterwards.
4. I let DD choose her own clothes with the proviso that the choices have to be season-appropriate. No bikini and hula skirt in winter. Summer dresses with a long-sleeved shirt underneath and leggings in winter sound perfectly fine to me. I don’t care who gives us funny looks, particularly if I’m having an unfashionista day.* Purple, pink, blue, green, flowers, stripes, and finished off with socks of any colour or style she wants. I don’t mind. All too soon I’ll have a child who insists on wearing whatever everyone else is wearing. Let her be herself for now.
5. I let her ride her balance bike in the house. I would have been smacked so hard if I did that as a kid but honestly, this is my house and DD is a pretty good rider. Her friends think I’m odd but happily join in. Her friends’ parents, for the most part, think I am mad. That’s OK, too.
I could go on. I should really celebrate these and the other ones I shan’t add today because it is me getting rid of my neurotic shackles. Not perfect, not even getting close, and still failing in many ways. But I’m still here.
*Unfashionista is my neologism for today. I’m *almost* an unfashionista today, but if I cover up my yellow socks with penguins on them by wearing leather boots, I’ll be OK. I think.
There is a BabyCenter article here that I’m going to read. I sometimes agree and sometimes disagree with articles that I read on the BabyCenter website (and boy oh boy am I sick of all those darn coupons and offers both on the site and in e-mails – hellooooooo! I’m in Australia and can’t use any of them!).
So, back to the article. Best thing, it starts with the Basics. So important that I will give it a capital letter.
1. Commit to change.
Yes, I have, but my commitment sometimes wavers. I get tired, I work in an office, I have to find time to exercise, and so on. So I need to re-commit to change, and to believe in it.
2. Take it slow.
Yes, I’m doing that. I teach DD new things that will help us eventually be more organised re time and activities (e.g. most recently we’ve been working on how she can make sandwiches). The teaching takes up time, but I accept that this is actually an investment of time, both in the initial teaching and in supervising practice. It paid off with potty training.
3. Keep it simple.
Thank you, dear writers, for reminding me. Now and then when I was doing initial decluttering, I was tempted by home TV programs that I need certain container systems, or clothing racks, or bookshelves of a certain size, or cabinets …. OMG! Stop that! It is only now that I’m part way through that I can see the floor and see what sorts of things would work. Sometimes being slow is an advantage.
4. Sort and purge.
Go back to the article. Read this. Can you honestly say that you could purge your wardrobe or kitchen cupboards or bookshelves? This is worth quoting:
A good rule of thumb: If you haven’t used something in a year, chuck it. If you just can’t bring yourself to do that, box it up and stash it in the basement — if another year goes by and you still haven’t used it, get rid of it. And rather than holding on to every item with sentimental value, pick a few representative pieces to save …
5. Store things sensibly.
OK, this is something that is in flux in my household and because I don’t always store things sensibly, it comes back and bites me in the ass. Picture me dashing round trying to find the Telstra bill, or wondering where I put the receipt for the purse that now has a broken zipper, or looking for DD’s library book that is now overdue.*
6. Build organisation into your daily routine.
Yes, very keen on that, and working to regain what organisation in my daily routine may have disappeared after DH’s death and the subsequent chaos of my life. Part of the desire for routine is my OCD, but I also have strong examples from my mother who is very organised. I know what time we need to leave in the morning to ensure that we are at work and childcare on time. I know when we need to leave to get to a swimming lesson or to a ballet lesson. All these things are vital to cut down on anxiety.
7. Help kids get with the program.
Yes, doing that bit by bit. DD is having an “interesting” time at the moment – more grief working itself out in tantrums, rebelliousness, cheekiness and rudeness – but occasionally the beautiful DD comes out and I am so very grateful for those moments. (If I were a better or more Christian mother, I suspect I would be grateful for her rude periods and see it as a time of testing grace or something. But apparently I’m not and I’ll have to get over it. )
OK, I’m going to print off that article so I have a copy in the kitchen. One day when I feel very brave, I’ll post photos of the two most frightening rooms in my house so you can see my progress.
*1. I found the bill. 2. No receipt, so I am out $29 for a purse that absolutely is useless for my purposes. 3. The library book ended up at the bottom of DD’s toy box and I had to pay a library fine.
… and I’m not ashamed to admit it.
This article about young Paige Bennethum who, along with her mom and siblings, has happily welcomed home her dad Staff Sgt. Brett Bennethum, has touched my heart.
The original photo which you can see in the newspaper article online brought tears to my eyes. Part of it was the continued reminder of families that troops across the world must leave as they go to fight and protect their own countries. And a bigger part was remembering how important family was to me when I was little. I was Daddy’s girl and he was my world. I honestly don’t know how I could have endured having my dad go overseas to fight when I was Paige’s age, and I understand how she wanted to get every moment she could with her dad, and how important it was to hold his hand, to squeeze every bit of love before he left.
Bless you all.
Opinion piece from The Punch here by Catherine Warnock.
Speaking to parents of teens (and maybe I’m reading it as a warning as a parent of a four-year-old), she says
The good news is that we should get an award for being so patient, hardworking and benevolent. The bad news is that said award is unlikely to be forthcoming any time soon (not unless the kids can borrow a few bucks from us to buy it).
And the second bit of bad news is that we have made this rod for our own back. Yes, us.
I know we don’t want to believe that all our efforts might be the very reason for the kids behaving badly in the first place. After all, we love our kids and want the best for them. We’ve even mistakenly thought that giving them everything they want is the way to do that—but that’s where we are wrong.
I love the advice she gives following that. Common sense, compassion, and looking towards the future. Sure, there is no such thing as the perfect parent, however, it’s our job to be a good role model to our children.