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Friday, 27 April 2012

Being Kind to You!

In my last blog I wrote about how we need to judge each other less, be more understanding, and realise that we don't always understand the reasons why people do the things they do... You can read about it here

Today I want to talk about the fact that we should apply this kindness to ourselves. I will be brief and to the point.

Sometimes we are hard on ourselves and spend a lot time worrying about the things are failing at... we feel like we are the only ones who don't manage; whether it be in managing your child/ren's behaviour, keeping house, or getting time do do YOU things. Unless I am the only one, we too often fail to take in to consideration that we are in different circumstances to the person we are judging ourselves by... one example for me is that sometimes I feel guilty that it is often my friends who call me for a catch up, and I don't often seem to manage to call them before they call me. This is not because I don't want to see them but, as one such friend pointed out, simply because my hands are tied (figuratively) by the nature of being a mum. So I needn't tell myself that I'm not a good friend, that's just my circumstance right now. In years to come when all my children are in school and they have young kiddies at home, perhaps the tides will turn :)

Also, don't judge your worst day by someone else's best day, ok? :D

Be kind to you.

Saturday, 7 April 2012

Different, not wrong.

Lately I have noticed an upsetting trend: mothers (and people in general) sometimes have a particular way of doing things, and they become so set in this that any other way is 'wrong'. I have seen debates on various forums ranging from the classic 'breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding' debate to 'how old is too old to have your child in a stroller'. It's ridiculous to see the way some people will say, "I can't believe you would do that" about the silliest things. Seriously, how does something as simple as when to ween your child from a dummy (and indeed, whether to use one at all) become so controversial?

In addition to this I also read an article recently from a mother basically apologising to all the mothers she judged before she had her own children and it got me to thinking that sometimes it's not as simple as one way is right and the other is wrong. It's just that there are two different ways of doing things. It's a shame that we (whether intentionally or subconsciously) judge each other's decisions. To be clear, there are of course some situations where things are definitely right or wrong; using proper child restraints and not abusing your child, etc. but these situations are fewer than the former.

An example: It's bed time for your youngster but their room/play area is a mess. Some parents would consider bed time more important, others would put a higher value on getting the child to be part of the household by helping to clean up first. Neither is wrong, it just depends what you value more.

I really think we need to be more supportive of one another and recognise that we don't always know the reason behind why a person does something a particular way. I'm also not suggesting that it's bad to give or receive parenting advice... but there is a difference between that and telling someone that you do things better than them. By all means listen to someone's advice, but in the end you know what is best for you and your family.

I remember one day doing a bit of grocery shopping and it was a rare occasion where we decided Jonathan would stay home with the kids while I went... there was a woman walking up and down the aisles at the same time as me. She had a young'n and he was relatively good but being a bit noisy, and she kept looking at me as though she thought I must be annoyed by this. After a while I said, "It's fun shopping with kids isn't it". After that she seemed a lot more relaxed and I was surprised by how something so simple can make us all feel better about these kind of stressful situations instead of feeling like we are the only one who doesn't manage things like that very well.

I think that each of us have things which we do for our sanity that might not be as important to someone else too. For me one example of that is having baby gates that prevent our kids getting in to the kitchen. This is something that I do for my sanity so that I an clean or prepare food without having to worry about whether my daughter is climbing up on the table, pulling all my clean dishes out or grabbing a knife from the drawer! It's not about restricting her freedom, but eliminating an unnecessary stress. Other mothers might have different ways of dealing with this situation and that's ok too.

More or less people, take care of each other - and when you see that tired looking woman in the shopping centre towing around the toddler who's having a tantrum... maybe you could smile and say, "hang in there."

I'd love to hear about the things you do to prevent common situations becoming stressful :) and how an onlookers attitude has influenced how you've felt at these times.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

My Alice Trip

View from the plane
 I thought I'd give you all a little taste of my trip to visit my sister and her family! It really is a beautiful place. Of course, my favourite part was spending time with the Cox family but we did visit some pretty beautiful places.
On Tuesday (the 20th) when I arrived Chantelle was there with Isabelle and Keira. Izzy squealed with excitement to see me :D but took a while before she wanted to give me hugs, etc. She asked about Kathryn (our sister, her Aunty) and her boys as well as Jonathan and Natalie then and many times throughout my stay. Chany had obviously been telling her girls lots that their Aunties would be visiting soon and their excitement obviously mirrored hers (I feel loved).

I'm here

It is true that absence makes the heart grow fonder, but I think you feel that more keenly when you finally get to be with the people you've been absent from. It's such a joyful feeling :) Spending time with my sister was such a blessing. She is one of my best friends! It was soooo nice just to be able to sit and chat side-by-side like we have in days gone by. When he wasn't at work it was also cool to spend time with my brother-in-law too. Even if he still whipped us girls in Trivial Pursuit. Of course my beautiful nieces got me wrapped around their fingers pretty quickly. Enchanting they are! 

Ellery Creek Big Hole
As well as the joys of being with loved ones, my holiday also gave me the opportunity to see some beautiful sights. These pictures are only a few of the things I saw. Of course the photos don't really do them justice. It was pretty hard to capture the tranquility really... It was beautiful just on the road to these places, let alone what we saw when we actually got there. I even got to see a dingo, though we couldn't get  a good shot of it by the time we stopped the car and got our cameras out. 

Glen Helen Gorge

So, this trip has reinforced to me two things. 

  • I love my family and I miss them. Why do you so many of you live so far away, huh? (In the event that we ever end up moving somewhere else to live, I will have to apologise for my hypocrisy.)
  • I really want to travel and see more of the beauty in this world (but where to begin?)
Thanks for having me to visit and showing me around lovelies! xo

View from Anzac Hill

Do you have family that live abroad and what do you do to stay connected?