A Day With My Boys

Each school holidays I make an opportunity to spend a day with my boys. According to them, their three year old sister often 'spoils' things and 'gets in the way', and whilst I'm somewhat protective of the third child (being a third child myself) I do understand their frustration at times. Activities are definitely more limiting with a three year old in-tow. And so today, while Miss Three attended daycare, I took my boys out for a day of fun.

We started at one of their favourite places to visit, the library. We borrowed as many books as they could carry, plus a couple of DVD's then headed to the cafe for morning tea. They experienced 'a spider' for the first time in their lives although Master Six insisted he eat the ice-cream separately first then drink the lemonade, so the experience probably passed him by.

We then headed north to search for a place i'd found online while searching 'things to do in the school holidays.' It was a big shed, filled with slot cars and tracks. The boys were in heaven. We spent an hour moving from track to track, swapping cars and racing them 'round and 'round.

Next stop was the BMX track. I had already packed bikes into the car expecting to go there first but the light morning drizzle held us back. They rode for over an hour, making friends with the holiday makers who'd come to the coast from the city.

By mid afternoon I had completely tired them out and we were all ready to return home for a movie (and a coffee!)

I love that I spent a day with them and I think they loved it too.

Apple Trees and Illness

It has been a while since I have visited this space. Hello old friend.
I am trying not to begin by saying that life has been busy, because 'busy' is one of those words that has negative connotations. I like busy. I like doing things and ticking boxes and moving from place to place. Most of the time, Busy and I are friends.

Life has been full lately. We have been moving through the weeks (watching as they disappear in the blink of an eye) achieving our weekly tasks of soccer training, homework schedules, swimming lessons, library visits and working days. The working days are the ones which sometimes leave me feeling frazzled. There are always a few hours of work to do before arriving at my work place, and then the work continues once home. It is a two-day-a-week career that leaves me satisfied, fulfilled and at the same time, completely exhausted. It is probably more exhaustion from everything that needs to be done just so I can get to work and know that everyone is looked after and considered.

On the weekends we take things slowly. The soccer season is drawing to an end and whist i've loved Saturday mornings sitting in the sunshine and watching Master Six play, I won't miss the cold, evening training sessions and will probably enjoy having nothing penned into the diary on a Saturday. Last weekend The Husband woke and made the announcement that 'Today we will buy some apple trees'. So we he did. And we he planted them in our yard. Sometimes I catch my husband staring outside and when questioned he simply states 'I'm looking at trees.'
I love this man.

It feels like it has been weeks since we've all been healthy. Miss Two (almost Three!) has had one thing after another (daycare germs!) and now Master Seven isn't well again either. I feel like I've got a never ending sore throat that is just a part of life now... it won't budge! Any advice is most welcome...

And finally, as friends sometimes do, let's discuss the weather for a moment. HELLO SUNSHINE!
Our front garden is beginning to bloom as this warm end of Winter is fooling our garden into thinking Spring has arrived! It's a glorious thing to wake up and open the windows and doors and be met with a gentle (not cold) breeze. Today there is a smell of bush fire smoke in the air which really has me thinking it is Summer, not Winter at all. I am quite excited to bid this Winter farewell and welcome some warm, dress wearing, sun-kissed-skin type of weather.

I hope you are all well. Thank you for stopping by and reading.

Banana, Date and Walnut Loaf - VEGAN RECIPE

Banana, Date and Walnut Loaf 


2 cups self-raising flour
1 cup chopped, pitted dates
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup mashed banana
1 cup water
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 teaspoon bicarb soda


  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  • Grease a loaf pan
  • In a saucepan, combine sugar, dates and water and stir over a low heat until sugar dissolves.Bring to the boil and then remove from stove to cool slightly.
  • Add flour, banana, walnuts and bicarb to the saucepan and stir everything together until it is all combined.
  • Spoon mixture into your loaf pan and bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.

Best served warm.


Winter is here and we have been fighting coughs, sniffles and even Scarlet Fever over the last month or so. Feet and kidneys are kept warm and the diffuser is running 24/7 with On Guard at the ready. By 4pm I am calling the children inside for warm bubble baths and inside play by the heater.

Miss Two is no longer in nappies during the daytime which is exciting for us (no more nappies!!) and is also now in a bed which is taking some getting used to. She stays in her bed all night long, but expects us to lay with her most of the night.

I have landed my dream job, teaching two days a week at a beautiful, small primary school. It will challenge me but I am already loving it and feel re-energised to teach and to continue learning.

The boys have both had a great 1st Semester at school and came home with wonderful reports that they should be very proud of. Regardless of their overall grade we loved seeing them putting in a 5/5 for effort and reading the teachers comments at the end gave us great pride and contentment.

I am clearing out the wardrobes as I pull size 4's from Master Six's shelves. He has grown and clothes that I presumed would fit just don't. Decluttering is so satisfying.

We now have carpet in the bedrooms and it is so luxurious! I said to The Husband I feel so grown up having carpet and our room feels like a hotel. Already I have noticed the children play in their rooms more and I happily join them on the floor to play because it is so nice to sit on...warm too!

I have always said I like Winter... but mostly I find myself longing for Spring. Those in-between seasons really are hard to beat. But I will focus on the here and now and try and enjoy the hot showers and cups of tea, the scarves and coats, the cuddles under blankets. Soon enough time will pass all too quickly (as it does) and Spring will arrive in all its glory.

I hope you are staying warm.


I've started working regularly again. I am so thankful to have been offered two days a week teaching primary school music until the end of the year. It is actually my ideal job. I had started to become frustrated that I wasn't finding fulfilling work. After ten years of casual teaching the idea of being a teacher for the rest of my life made me feel weary and quite unsettled. This opportunity excites me and I feel a renewed energy towards teaching.

Already we have had to re-adjust our lives accordingly, and I find myself wondering how mothers who work full-time do it. The first two days of the week are now crammed with a rearrangement of after-school activities and appointments and come Friday I am exhausted. So are the kids. Their days are longer now and they are at home a lot less. Before and after school care is wonderful but extends their school day by a few hours, and Miss Two is bringing home an array of germs and bugs from an extra day at daycare.

The house is a mess and there are things I have had to let go off. I find myself glancing around the home and thinking 'that will do - that's good enough'.
Weekends are now for catching up on washing and house cleaning and Mondays are my new grocery shopping day.

Meals aren't quite what they used to be either. Mid-week we are turning to meals that can be put together in under 20 minutes. I juggle the bath/shower routine while cooking a meal, usually still in my work clothes and shoes as I literally walk in the door and begin the evening dance.

It is new, it is tiring and it is a juggle. But I am finding it is worth it. I feel like somehow, even though life seems more chaotic and fast paced, there is more balance. I waste a lot less time procrastinating and more time 'doing'. I have an appreciation for the down-time when it comes and I find I am stressing much less over finances.

No matter how fast life gets I know that balance can always be found. It might be tricker but with practice and the right attitude it can be just as enjoyable.

I hope you have some balance admits busy daily life.

Just Being a Parent

My husband doesn't think he is exceptional. He cleans and takes care of our three children, but he doesn't think he is amazing, or special, or wonderful.
He doesn't think it is incredible that he reads to the boys each night before bed or changes Miss Two's nappies or washes dishes or vacuums the house. He doesn't see jobs around the house as his or mine, he sees them as 'ours' and basically just things that need doing.

My husband loves being a dad and loves parenting along side me as a team. Not once in our fourteen years of marriage has he returned home from work and just sat down on the couch and put his feet up.
Sure he gets tired just as I do and the kids sometimes drive him crazy as they do me, but the point here is that he is just doing what parents do....parenting. Being a dad to him means parenting his children and loving them and enjoying them and helping to keep a house a home.

Quite often my husband will take Miss Two grocery shopping and he occasionally gets stopped by elderly women who make a comment on what an incredible father he is being. My husband just feels awkward and baffled that taking his daughter to the shops or for a walk in the pram classifies him as an 'incredible father.'

If a mother sits up at night soothing her sick child or takes three children grocery shopping she doesn't get a pat on the back or a 'mother of the year' award. So why do people view men/fathers differently? My husband wonders why doing either of these things would make him 'incredible' or 'one of a kind.'

I have three kids. Not four. My husband is not a child and I have never seen him this way. At all.
Together we parent and together we take care of our home. We both work hard doing what we do and we respect each other for doing so. My husband is an incredible life partner.

This month marks seventeen years of knowing and loving this man and so I just want to say thank you to the one who has my back, co-parents with me and is a dedicated and loving man. We love and appreciate you. 

The hard years that we never want to end

Why are these years of raising young children so trying and hard but the thought of them growing into young adults leaving home is so sad?

My children are still young. At ages seven, five and 2.5 they run rings around me. I have days where if I hear 'Maaaa-uuum' one more time I feel like my head will explode from rage. I am needed, I am wanted, I am in high demand. It is absolutely exhausting to the bone.

But the day will come where they won't need me anymore, not like they do now. One day this nest we've built will suddenly seem enormous and the rooms will be empty and the quietness will be deafening. And I'll think back to this time in my life where chaos reigns and dinner feels more like feeding time at the zoo, and I'll miss it.
I know I will because I already do. I mourn for days that haven't even ended.

I want to bottle up the feeling of pride I get when I see my boy hit a tennis ball and the smile on his face that he did it! I want to remember the way my five year old squeezes my head against his each evening in bed as I hug him goodnight and how I don't leave until he says 'you can go now'.
I never want to forget the way Miss Two struts around the house like a queen, making demands and mess wherever she goes, all the while being the cutest thing I've ever laid eyes on.

Some times I want days to end quickly. I count down the hours until bed time and crash into my pillow at night with relief that a hard day is done. Other times I want to freeze time and hold onto a moment forever, terrified of it ever ending.

Knowing that our baby-making days are behind us I feel a sense of a new era beginning. Miss 2.5 is almost no longer a baby. She is tall and independent and strong and wise beyond her years. I already mourn the years just passed... the baby-wearing, nursing, tiring but amazing years.
I feel like I am stepping into Phase Two of motherhood and I know it will be just as good, just as special and just as missed, when it too passes me by. 

Just Say No

This evening at the kids swimming lessons I was chatting to a friend about the week ahead. It's a busy one with OT and dentist appointments, soccer training, more swimming lessons and the school disco. My friend was expressing her concern with not wanting her child to attend the disco but didn't know what to say to him or how to handle the situation.

After a moments pause I turned to her and said 'Just say no.'

She laughed and her reply to my statement was 'Yeah, why didn't I think of that?'

And I think I know why. It is because we rarely tell our children 'no.'

Is it just my kids that act spoilt and entitled or do others feel their children live an entitled life too?
I swear my three children think money and time are never-ending commodities.

Growing up I never just assumed I would go to every birthday party I was invited to, or play every sport after school. I never expected that I'd always have new clothes or shoes (I often wore hand-me-downs) and although I'd whinge at being told 'no', it was a word and notion that I was very familiar with. And I don't feel deprived. I don't ever look back on my childhood and feel as though I missed out on anything at all. My childhood was simple in such a wonderful way. I didn't get everything I wanted, when I wanted it, and life was still good.

Why are we as parents so afraid of telling our kids 'no' or 'not this time'? So often it seems easier at the time to just say yes and not have to deal with tears, tantrums, whinging and all the yelling.
I've had all sorts thrown at me as they stomp around the house...
'You're the worst Mum ever!'
'I hate you!'
and my favourite one yet...
'Why don't you love me?'

These meltdowns only reinforce to me that I need to pull back the reins. I need to stop giving them so many things and simplify their lives a little. Focus on what is right here in our home, all the good, all the quality, all the love. All the extra places to be and things to buy and demands to be met can be reduced and hopefully one day, one day, my kids might realise that I don't give them everything, not because I don't love them and not because I want to be mean, but because I hope to raise children who have gratitude and appreciation for special things in life. For all these things that so many others don't ever get to experience. I hope they gain some balance and perspective and understanding as they grow up under my care. And eventually, hopefully as adults and as parents they might look back and even be thankful that sometimes they were just told 'no'.

The Best of Intentions

Remember when you were childless and a little bit er... cocky? 
You might have made statements similar to the kind I used to make, things like...

'When I'm a parent;
I will never use the TV as a babysitter,
I will never let my child eat lollies,
I will never shout at my children,
I will never pat my child to sleep,
I will never let my children jump on the couch,
I will never let my children eat on the couch,
I won't give my child my phone or iPad until they are 10,
I will never let my child wee on the grass (or anywhere in public),
My child will never hit another kid,
My child will never tantrum in public,
My children will never talk to me like that!
My child won't pick their nose in public,
I will never let my child fall off the bed and lastly,
I will never feed my child McDonalds.'

Any of those ring a bell?

I confess. I am guilty of all of the above. As a parent of three children, I will eat my hat and swallow the pride because...well...survival people. Survival. 

Ordinary Days

It's hard not to always want for more. Or to think things like 'When I have this or that I will be happy.'
The very act of always seeking happiness can rob us of contentment.
It's a luxury in itself is it not? The notion that happiness is something we can strive for? Oh such first-world problems.

The fact of the matter is that life throws us good and bad. Sometimes we are happy, and sometimes we are sad. And that's just how it is. Can we not be content with that?

Motherhood is no different. Some days are good and some days are bad and when I strive to have wonderful days, every day, then I burn out. It is surely an unrealistic expectation that your children will have good days every day. That they will eat well and behave seven days a week for fifty-two weeks of the year. Let us not get ourselves down in the dumps because every day isn't extraordinary.

What sort of expectations are we as mothers placing on ourselves (and our children) if we think every day can be perfect?

Let us relish in the lunch making, bag packing, book reading, bathroom cleaning, dinner cooking, bubble bath supervising, goodnight stories. Let us try and see the beauty in the mundane.
Because soon enough these Groundhog days will be behind us and we just might miss them.

If you look closely enough, amidst the tantrums and tiredness and mess, there will be something to be grateful for. I am grateful for these ordinary days. 

Soccer Mum

It's official. I am a soccer mum. I not only have the seven-seater car to prove it, but today Master Five donned the numbered shirt and long socks (that reached his thighs) and played his little heart out for 30 minutes on the field.

It's strange how proud I felt watching four little kids run after a ball. The excitement over one of them actually kicking the ball seemed almost comical. Us adults cheered and we shouted from the sidelines and they ran up and down, forwards and back until we were all red in the face. It really was such a fun half hour.

I think I'm going to like being Soccer Mum. (Ask me what I think of it mid-winter).

Seven Cleaning Tips

This post isn't a 'how to' guide, as most people know how to clean. This is a post that will hopefully provide a few tips and tricks to make life easier when it comes to keeping your family home clean.

Here are my seven tips;

1) Schedule it in
It doesn't have to be the same day every week but scheduling in a house clean will not only ensure it actually gets done, but you can pick a couple of hours that you might be child free and most productive.

2) Clean the shower while you're in it
I scrub the bath and toilet and clean the vanity as part of the weekly clean, but I clean the shower while I'm showering! I spray the shower tiles and glass at some point in the day and then leave it til that evening when I am showering. I find being in the shower with the water running is the most effect way to scrub and clean inside the shower. We keep a scrubber and a window squeegee hanging in the shower...not pretty, but oh so practical.

3) Pick up once
I don't spend all day picking up toys. Okay, that's a lie. I pick up things all.the.time. But mostly, I try to wait til the children are in bed and I pick up anything still left laying around (usually belonging to Miss Two). Doing it once at night instead of over and over in the day makes far more sense and wastes less time.

4) Delegate (and marry well!)
Reward your children with verbal praise when they clean up after themselves. Encourage plates to be taken to the sink after a meal and toys to be picked up after play. Give them tasks to lighten your load. My boys are only 7 and 5 yet they are more than capable of feeding the dog morning and night as well as setting the table and dusting the shelves. They also know it's expected that they clear their own plates after breakfast and dinner time. And I have to give my husband a shout out here too. He is awesome and never sees any job around the house as 'mine or his' but simply things that need doing. He washes dishes, hangs wet washing, vacuums, folds, irons etc. anything. He is a keeper.

5) Don't get carried away
Weekly house cleans are not deep scrubbing Spring cleans. Weekly cleans are the essentials - stripping beds, dusting, mopping and vacuuming, disinfecting the bathroom and any toilets and probably giving the kitchen a once over. Leave the oven and windows for another time. Stay on track with each room and don't get distracted with de-cluttering tasks or other projects mid clean. If you see something else that needs doing, write it down and come back to it another time. A weekly clean, in my opinion should take no longer than two hours.

6) Make them wait
Young children can often mean morning chaos and you can find yourself walking out of the house and returning home to mess left from breakfast. There is nothing wrong with leaving your children sitting in their highchair or seat while you do a five minute clean up. Wipe down surfaces and give the floor underneath them a once over before they leave their seats. With the kids seated it will take 5 minutes. With them not seated it just won't get done and bits of cereal will be trodden through the house. If they are little, have a book or toy at the ready to give them while you do your quick clean up or sing songs with them if they find waiting difficult. Older children can help you clear dishes and sweep under chairs.

7) Get organised
School aged children or working mothers can mean very busy mornings. Do the ironing (personally I never iron!) and lunches the night before and have bags ready and 90% packed. I lend to lay the children's clothes out at the end of their beds so they wake up and get dressed without fuss. Doing a bit the night before can mean smooth, calm mornings.

I'd love to hear your cleaning tips! Please feel free to share one in the comment section below.

Tired Evenings, Simple Recipe

We are all feeling the reality of being eight weeks into the school term. The slower morning pace, rubbing eyes until we've dragged ourselves around for too long and have to race around in the final ten minutes before it's time to walk out the door.

The afternoons come and we are cranky and impatient. All of us. Especially when the rain is persistent and heavy.

Today school pick up was done in the rain, which meant it was straight into a warm shower followed by pj's once home. Now the boys are drawing and Miss Two is watching an episode of Play School while I whip up this simple, hearty meal for our dinner.

I originally saw Nigella Lawson create this on one of her TV shows many moons ago. I will give the recipe idea/credit to her but I am sure I don't use quite the same measurements.

Tomato Rice Soup

  • 1 cup rice (I use half long grain, half basmati...any will do)
  • 1/2 jar of a good quality tomato pasta sauce
  • 3 cups of water (or chicken stock for a deeper richness)
  • Grated tasty cheese or parmesan to sprinkle on top
Put rice, water and tomato sauce in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil, then let simmer for 10 minutes. Serve in bowls with plenty of cheese on top.

My children love this simple dinner and I must say, so do I.

What are you cooking tonight?

I Remember...

I remember sliding down black plastic that lined our steep driveway. Water and detergent combined to create the ultimate turbo fuel. We'd land on the carport concrete at the bottom and alway get up laughing.

I remember when ice cream cones were 30 cents at McDonalds and Red Skins, Spearmints and Milkos were 5 cents each at the local corner store.

I remember riding my bike down the middle of the road, helmet strap un-done under my chin (trying to be cool, but really being stupid) stopping at the sand to check out the surf.

I remember a time when the only thing that was scary was my pitch black room at night. I'd lay in bed and make my eyes fussy till i saw millions of tiny spots floating around in the darkness.

I remember spending weekends at my Nan's retirement village. I'd hang out with her and her friends and they'd teach me complicated card games, the rules of lawn bowls and where all the lollies were stashed.

I remember when birthday parties were about the people and not about the place or how much money was spent. We'd dress up, eat frankfurts with tomato sauce and play the hanging donut game, then play in the yard, giggling and having fun until home time.

I remember toasting marshmallows in our lounge room fireplace, then pulling all of our bedding down from upstairs and sleeping in front of the warm, fire in the winter time.

I remember when we got our first computer and it took up most of the desk with it's bulkiness. I remember the day we got the internet and could search things on AltaVista instead of having to look in an encyclopaedia.


I remember back in 2009, when blogging was simple and so enjoyable to read.
I'd make myself a tea, open my laptop as though it were a good book and settle down ready to get a little moment of reprieve. I'd read about others, mostly mothers and I'd be reassured or inspired by their posts. There were never any ads and never sponsored posts. It was simple, it was delightful.
I guess I have tried to keep that going here in my little space. And that is why it remains little, which I am happy with. I write to connect and to share.

Am I old-fashioned already?

Her and I

Miss Two and I are finding our new rhythm with both boys now at school.

Today we grocery shopped together, arguing (as we do every. single. time.) about whether she will sit in the trolley or whether she will walk. Sometimes I win like I did today, but mostly she ends up walking. We grab a piece of free fruit from Woolworths and collect what we need, stopping every few seconds to put items we don't need back in their place. She is so quick to reach out and swipe items off the shelves!

We return home and potter in the garden, planting herbs or tending to the fruit trees. She digs dirt out of the garden while I sweep it back into the garden. She loves to help water the plants.

We build houses out of Duplo and role play with the twin Duplo men, Tim and Tom. They have a pet horse Beau - 'because Beau is a good name for a horse isn't it Mama?'

After lunch we argue again about nap time. I tell her she needs to rest, even if she doesn't sleep. All the while I was thinking 'I need to rest, so please sweetheart, will you rest?'
She puts up a good fight but she ends up sleeping. So do I.

When nap time is over we watch Play School together and I smile at hearing her little singing voice copying the songs. She has a milk arrowroot and I sip my tea.

We pick the boys up from school and she delights in wandering the school grounds as though she owns the place. She waves to people and says hello and when her brothers run out at bell time, her face lights up with joy.

These are some of the best days we will have together, her and I.

I See You

I see you...
as you make the breakfasts, lunches and dinners every day
loading the dishwasher and washing the dishes
washing and hanging and folding and ironing pile after pile of clothes
mopping up spills and cleaning pee off the toilet floor
hiding in a room for just a moments peace

I hear you...
crying in the shower after a tiring day
losing your tempter and yelling at the child who just won't listen or respond
answering the same questions over and over
on the phone making appointments and play dates and meetings and paying the bills

I know you...
have nights in bed when you wipe tears from your eyes as you lay in the dark
sometimes think that you are the worlds worst mother and that you've failed
get tired from hearing your name called seven hundred times a day
wish that some days would just end

I understand...
The guilt
The ache
The love
The fear
The joy
The mess
The noise
The wonder
The strain
The pressure
The pride

I see you. I hear you. I understand.

You're doing a good job. You are a good mother.

Your First Day

Master Five, today you let go of my hand and walk into a new world. A world you will navigate without me there by your side. I will guide you as best as I can from home, but this is a time that I will always remember in your life, a time when you became more independent and more brave and courageous.

This morning you wouldn't let anyone come into your room and shouted out 'nobody look!' and then you strutted into the kitchen fully dressed in your new uniform. Your big brother quickly ran to you and fixed your collar which made my heart ache and filled me with pride.

My boy, you are ready, I know you are. Even if I feel like I may not be quite ready to let go, I know you will be fine. You will be more than fine.
Kid, you will move mountains.


We've returned from a week's camping trip to the South Coast of NSW. It was spectacular and better than expected. I had in my head that camping with three young children for a week was crazy, but you know what? We loved it and apart from feeling tired, I feel like the week was a huge success.

The school holidays on a whole were lovely. We all needed the slower days and quality time together.

Today Master Seven started school again, he is in Year Two now and I am feeling really positive that this will be a great year for him. This morning as we walked into the school gates, he held my hand and I feel such an overwhelming feeling of joy and love for him.

Master Five will start Kindergarten on Thursday and I am flooded with mixed emotions. I am excited for him yet at the same time sad that our days at home during the week are over. Little things, like Story-time at the library will no longer be something him and I do together and that puts a lump in my throat. So tomorrow is a day we will have together. We will go to the library, somewhere he loves to visit and we may even make it to Story-time, for one last session together.

Today Miss Two sang songs while The Husband played the guitar. It was possibly the cutest thing she has ever done. She is such a ball of craziness and joy. She is absolutely hilarious and super sweet. I still thank God every day for blessing me with her.

I have so many plans and hopes for the year ahead. January is already almost over and I can't wait to see what the rest of the year brings.

This Is Motherhood

When someone asks me what motherhood or parenting is really like (and they emphasis the word ‘really’ as though no one ever tells it like it is), I try to be as honest as possible. I tell them the good, but I also tell them the bad.

I tell them that pregnancy and parenthood is a complete mix of the highest of highs and the lowest of lows and that sometimes you'll experience both in a matter of minutes.

I tell them that in the newborn baby days you will go from a complete babymoon, bliss bubble to a stressful mess in the blink of an eye. Life will be peaceful when baby sleeps, and anxiety ridden when they don't. Babies can go from zero to ten in a split second and so will your emotions.

I tell them that some days you'll feel like Super Woman. You'll be vacuuming the lounge while baby breastfeeds in the carrier, house spotless and Granny Smiths steaming on the stovetop; but then there will be days where you are looking at the clock too much, wondering if it is broken because it should be 4pm and it’s only 9:30am. You’ll have days wondering how on earth you'll survive the next hour let alone dress yourself and rummage up something to eat for breakfast.

I let them know that they will be negotiating all.day.long. I tell them that they will be wishing for their children to speak its first word but not long after wish their child would be quiet for just.one.minute. They will get sick of hearing 'Mum!!!' being called out from another room. They will repeat phrases like 'don't touch' or 'stop shouting' over and over and over again. The only music you'll listen to is The Wiggles or Justine Clark. You will know the words to these songs like the back of your hand and you may even find yourself driving child-free one day, and realise this music is still playing...and you are still singing along. 

You'll be tired from lack of sleep when they are young and you'll be tired when they are older because you've savoured your evenings too much and stayed up far too late (watching recorded daytime shows like Ellen). 

There is poo, vomit, saliva, tears, reflux, rashes, teething and wind; dirty nappies, dirty clothes, dirty dishes, screaming, sleepless nights and an empty fridge, including no wine...
But there are also morning snuggles, duckling hair, eyes that gaze right into your soul, smiles that melt your heart, fingers that wrap around yours, love that you've never known possible and laughter that changes your life; there are friends and family who help you out, slow cookers and frozen meals and Woolworths online deliveries. There are words like  'I love you mum' and 'you're the best' that make the stress of everything else dissipate. There are award ceremonies and speeches that will have you teary and proud. And occasionally, you'll stand in the kitchen sipping a hot cup of tea and you'll just watch them. You'll see them caring for one another or helping each other with a task. You'll hear them say things like 'let's do it together' or 'I will help you' and your heart will implode with pride and relief that you must be doing something right. 

You'll survive, and although life will sometimes feel a little like Ground Hog Day you'll hold tight to the good moments and learn to move on from the bad. When it comes to parenting the good always outweighs the bad - that's why people have multiple children.  And lastly, always, always remember that others are in the same boat as you and that no parent, no parent is perfect and neither is any child.

Motherhood is the greatest thing you'll ever do. 

Behind Social Media

We live in a world of show and tell. Attached to most parents, the majority of the day is a device which allows them to 'check out' what their friends and the friends-of-their-friends are doing at any given moment. We can see their homes, their latest holiday adventures, their new, flash cars and all the achievements of their good-looking children.

We can compare what we're all eating and see all the fancy food parents are making for their children. And today whilst I was dishing up cheese toasties for my three, I felt that all too familiar pang of guilt looking at some rainbow dish, bento box banquet some other parent was serving their child.

It got me thinking. Back in the day, before social media and possibly even just before we could look at social media on our phones, I think there was less parent-guilt. Imagine going about your parenting day without thinking for one second about what others were doing or how they were doing it. Your way would be enough. It would be good enough.

My mother and grandmothers all had the luxury of parenting without comparison. Sure, friends would talk about their latest achievements and I suppose there would still be an element of 'keeping up with the Jones', but I'm almost certain their everyday meals and outfits and pictures of inside their homes wouldn't be plastered on the school noticeboard or in the local paper for all to see. There wouldn't be perfectly styled and edited and filtered photographs for people to 'like'.

I would say I had the quintessential childhood. One full of happy times, grazed knees and detergent on the trampoline. As a mother of three I often try to think about making memories with my children and I see so much on social media about how to be a fun mum and how to make this and bake this and buy this. The thing is, I think my childhood was so great because it was just relaxed, natural, non pretentious and not for anyone else to see or judge. My mum didn't share all her tips and advice. she didn't boast to the entire world when we peed on the potty or climbed to the highest branch of the tree. We just did it. And we laughed, and the next day we did it again.

I don't ever want to portray a perfect life. I have never wanted to do that. I'm guilty for posting lovely things in my life but that's not the whole picture. When I craft with my kids and you see the end result of everyone's cheesy smiles you must understand that it was all chaos, shouting and mess. I try. But it doesn't mean I'm perfect. My kids are currently all nude in the backyard spraying water at one another out of the dog's water bowl. This is real life. It's messy, it's scary, I make heaps of mistakes, I worry and stress about whether I am good enough, but if there is one thing I've learnt along my parenting journey it is to be authentic and let go of the guilt. If you spend your parenting days comparing yourself with others you will never feel good enough and you will probably never be truly present. It's nice to check out what others are doing, but don't let that create a sense of 'not good enough'.

Comparison robs us of contentment.

Who Are You?

Hello out there. I am wondering about you.

One of the things I love the most about blogging is the connection I can make with people; and whilst I realise it's not face-to-face and I realise some might not think it is 'real' because it's online, I have had enough experience over the years to know that the community blogging can build is 100% real.

So I want to know where you are from and what you do. I want to know what your hopes and dreams are and I want to know your fears. Will you share them so we can grow this community?
How did you find me here and what posts do you like the most/least?

Comments below are open and I'd love for us to converse.

Here is a bit about me.

  • I am sentimental. So much so that I journal, blog, take thousands of photos, film moments of every day life, have old videos transferred to digital files, scan old photos so they can be stored digitally forever. I take photos and film as a hobby for others and I keep most of my children's art and craft. 
  • I fear death. Something people don't like to talk about, but I have an interest in it. I am very curious by nature and I am intrigued by dying and death. I think about it too much and am scared of leaving this wonderful life and leaving my husband and children. I fear missing out. I know my fear is quite irrational - because once I'm gone I know I won't have those worries or cares, it is more that I think about leaving my family and all the emotions surrounding that.
  • I am a primary school teacher. I don't always love my job but I put plenty of love into my job. I am not sure if it's the career I will have forever but it serves wonderfully for family life and it is valuable enough to keep me interested. 
  • I am an amateur at most things but love to give anything a try. In school I had to go to special writing recovery classes because I wasn't very good at writing. My spelling is average and apparently I wasn't (or perhaps still aren't) very imaginative. 
  • For many years motherhood defined me. I am slowly re-writing my definition of self. I am adding things along the way and expanding on who I am. We are never 'Just a Mum' - there is always so much more. 
Now it's your turn...will you be brave and share?

A Great Start

This morning we moved slowly and it was decided that pancakes would serve as the perfect New Year breakfast. After church we headed home and ate a simple lunch of boiled eggs and salad before putting Miss Two down for a nap and allowing Master Seven and Master Five some screen time together.

The Husband and I hit the garage with a vengeance. Cleaning, sorting, stacking and sweeping; and before long we were completely satisfied with our productive efforts and the space we had created.
There is nothing more satisfying for me than organising and simplifying.

The afternoon was spent riding bikes in the yard, drinking smoothies and playing UNO.

Now we have tummies full of Jamie Oliver's green pici (a new favourite in this household) and I am feeling quite content with how 2017 has begun.


Last night as I lay in bed, before the clock struck midnight I said a prayer. I prayed for my family and I prayed for my friends. I prayed for this world. Let us all make 2017 one that is filled with love and kindness, respect and open-minds.

Happy New Year.