I have a wonderful friend …

You know those moments when you sit back and reflect on how truely fortunate you are for that one special friend being in your life. That friend who you met purely by chance. I have one of those friends. 

She’s the woman who works 6 days a week building and running her own business, a toddler with their own steady stream of daycare illnesses and the woman who makes time in her day to check-in when she knows I’ve had a rough day or we’ve had illnesses in our own home. 

The last 4 weeks have been a steady stream of flu, conjunctivitis, chest infections, second round of conjunctivitis and now we’re onto ear infections. This constant stream of having to cancel social outings, not being capable of doing all of my responsibilities at work and the challenges a sick toddler thrown in the mix has made for some meltdown moments. 

This woman is incredible, just by checking-in it’s like the thousands of kilometres between us are gone. The best part is having that friend that you know ‘gets it’ and knows these days too. 

These are the relationships that are valuable, the friendships that can survive years without constant contact, but when you reconnect it’s like no time has past at all. When I reflect on how fortunate I am to have this friend, I’m also grateful that we are sharing moments of having young families and able to lean on each other from time to time. 

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Friday’s aren’t for sleeping! 

So when I made the decision to return to work after a years maternity leave we decided that it’d be best for our little person if she wasn’t in daycare 5 days a week. We felt that she was just too little for that. So Friday’s became mummy daughter day. 

The first few months went amazingly, we’d do swimming lessons and errands in the morning, then home for a nap and play time together. Nap would usually go for 2 hours where I could do the 15 loads of laundry that’d piled up from the working week (Not 15 but it feels like it), vacuuming, quick mop then it was wake up time. 

But the last few months have changed considerably. My now 20 month old fights the Friday sleep in her bed. At daycare she’ll do a solid 2 hour nap and some days an extra cat nap!        So what that means is if I want my sweet toddler to nap we have to go out in the car. Needless to say my loyalty card at the drive thru coffee shop has had a workout. The quiet moments sitting in the car, sipping coffee with the air con blasting are wonderful, however those are my productive minutes gone 😪

I could take it as a compliment that she wants to spend every possible moment with me! Lol but sometimes Mummy’s need to recharge so they can be their best. 

Today I’m torn 

Today I’m torn, confused and disappointed in myself. I pride myself in being open minded and I embrace diversity. That’s the way I operate and the morals I want to instil in my child. 

That is why today I am disappointed in myself. My husband did the daycare pick up this afternoon, as he does every afternoon. Today he sent me a message to let me know he’d collected Miss 1.5 and that there had been a new relief teacher in her room. A male relief teacher. 

That is why I’m disappointed in myself. Immediately I was angry that the school hadn’t warned us that there would be a male teacher, I wondered how nappy changes would be handled, I wondered who would put my daughter to sleep and if the male cater would be alone with her. 

I’m ashamed to have had those thoughts. That’s not the person I am.  If there was a female relief teacher I wouldn’t have the same opinion. 

The carers that my daughter has are nothing short of amazing, why would I assume someone they employ would be anything less… And why did I instantly jump to the worst possible scenario? 

If I had a female tradesperson I would think good on her, following her dreams in a male dominated industry. 

So I’m pulling back, making the concious decision to trust the centre and have faith that they have done all the checks that they would do on any applicant. 

If only women communicated like toddlers! 

I love how toddlers are brutally honest. There’s no filter whatsoever.

You can ask them what they want and they’ll tell you. You suggest doing an activity and it’s met with mind blowing enthusiasm. Park? Playground? Walk? Shopping? Painting? Playdoh? Beach? Swimming? All of which you’d think you’d just handed them a million dollars – I love it! 

A favourite of mine at the moment is Miss 1.5 running thru the house to tell me “daddy poos”, I laugh thinking I didn’t really need to know that! 

Little Joey at daycare might annoy them but they just move on, 5 minutes later Joeys their friend again. 

Today I witnessed some grown woman drama. You would think some women have film crews following them around filming for “the hills”. Instead of one woman saying “sorry I got the wrong end of the stick” there was a full scale meltdown. 

If only we handled being embarrassed a little more like a toddler. It would almost be more socially acceptable to have a mini tantrum, followed by a swift apology and getting on with being friends again than the burning of bridges. 

Are we being lazy or just smart?

As a full time working parent of a toddler I take shortcuts, I can often visualise my mother rolling her eyes if she knew the short cuts I take, but fortunately there’s an ocean between us so I’m safe. 

When i say shortcuts I mean dry shampoo to space out how often I need to wash my hair – mostly due to time constraints. Crock pot meals which require meat being deposited in the crock pot followed by pre made sauce being poured on top. I use a nappy disposal unit. I don’t do laundry every day. I don’t sew, I buy ankle grazer work pants to avoid hemming, if something breaks I usually just replace it. 

Yes there would be a lot of eye rolling if only she knew. But the thing I come back to is I’m making use of all the time I have, if I had more disposable time I could cook from scratch (usually reserved for the weekends) it’s not that I can’t it’s that I choose to make my life manageable and to use the time that I have with my toddler to be with them, not rushing around cleaning the house. 

I make time for the ‘important’ things, the other things get done …. eventually. Hey the floors are clean enough for the 3 second rule to apply if you wanted it to. So if I am lazy I’d say I’m smart lazy. 

The Silent Assassin

In recent weeks our 18 month olds language has exploded. While we are constantly amazed by the words popping out of her cute tiny mouth it’s also led to my husband and I becoming silent assassins or catch and release wildlife warriors – depending on what we’re dealing with. 

It all started when Miss 1.5 learnt the word “spider” and informed me of a spider crawling across our floor. I promptly dealt with the situation and was super happy to have little miss sniper eyes watching my back. Although it turns out according to Miss 1.5 that Moths and Ants are now spiders too. If we even utter the word there’s a meltdown. This is where the silent assassin part comes in. My husband and I will now use silent code hand signals, grab a shoe and get the job done without a word. While Miss 1.5 is none the wiser!

While she’s a big fan of Lizards and has an evening ritual of waving ‘night night’ to them on the windows on her way to bed; I think it’d be a different story if there was one in her bedroom. Last night as we were taking her upstairs to bed; I do the silent point to hubs to indicate wildlife inside. It was the funniest thing, here I am cradling our half asleep toddler, without hesitation he whips off his shorts, flicks the 15cm gecko off the wall, throws his shorts over it, gently wraps it up and takes it outside to release. Returning fully clothed in 30 seconds flat! All in complete silence. 

Yeah we are silent ninja assassin parents! And this is from the guy who made me promise that I’d have to deal with all spiders, pre marriage. Funny how things change when kids come into the equation. 

Don’t let parenthood change you

 

Parenthood is going to change you. Your life will shift from your Monday-Friday career, weeknight gym sessions, Friday after work drinks, Saturday night dinner dates and dancing and Sunday hangovers.Then something happens you settle down with your love and then next minute  BAM and suddenly youre  in the kid zone and you can’t think of anything better.

Anyway so as you embark on the roller coaster ride of parent hood, there will be some twists and turns along the way you weren’t expecting. This post is about some of my encounter with people who aren’t in that  zone and the amusing, funny and frustrating things they’ve said.

I’m talking about the comments –

So I’m pregnant sitting in a restaurant and friends are having some cocktails, they say in passing “don’t let being a parent change you, you still have to be you”. Hmmmmm yeah… I’d like to think I’ll be the same, but its crazy to think my priorities won’t be different.

Workplace – aghhhhh are you going to be one of those people who only talks about their kids? At the time I was like hell no! Lol i love to talk about a wide variety of things, but sometimes I will want to show you a photo of my kid doing something that I thinks amazing – the friends job is to ooooo and ahhhhh

Are you going to post 100 photos a day of your baby on Facebook? No, that I wont. The odd one here and there. But if you’ve ever stepped back to look at what people post pre child it’s usually just as much, for example if someone posts daily about the mundane, then their posts after having a kid will probably be about their kid because kids are funny and usually cute.

Then comes the gym comments. You should try to go back to the gym. Yep… How about you offer to come and sit here while our baby sleeps so my husband and I can have a gym date together. Combining couple time and something productive. Wouldn’t that be amazing!

The suggestion of leaving our 2 week old breastfed bundle of joy with a sitter so we can attend a birthday party.  Forgetting the obvious, how about the fact that you haven’t slept more than 2.5hrs in a stretch for 2 weeks. I’d rather poke my eyes out than attend – sorry!

Or how about the “have a glass of wine – 1 wine isn’t a big deal” … Yeh…nah. I cooked this perfect little creature for 40 weeks, my body is still their feeding station. For me it’s just not something I’m willing to do, but thanks for making me feel like an asshole for putting my kid first.

Awkward conversations – about clubbing, shopping and nail polish… Yep it’s awkward because I’m thinking about how full my boobs are and wondering when my baby’s going to wake, but also I’ve realised how there’s so much more in this world than materialistic things.

The “when I have kids” comment – a backhanded way of saying I’ll be doing things different to you.

For me it’s about realising the “zone” people are in and trying to understand things from their perspective. Their not intentionally being rude, it’s just a lack of understanding and the thing is, until you’ve done it you have no idea at all.

The quest for the perfect coffee

On weekend mornings I wake eager to spend my days off with my loves, but the fuel for the fun comes primarily from my caffeine fix.

Fix/addiction same same.

It seems that up here the perfect coffee hides. Unlike times where unknowingly I was spoilt for choice and price. Melbourne is my coffee mecca. Being able to walk in almost anywhere and get a cup of something decent and spend less than a fiver.

There is a price to pay for living in paradise, a sunshine tax some say. Depravation of a decent cup might be one of those taxes.

As you’ll see my standards aren’t overly high:

  • A strong in yet smooth coffee
  • Large needs to be a large coffee if it’s not call it a regular.
  • A take away shouldn’t take any longer than 5 minutes, actually I’d prefer it in 3, but 5 seems reasonable.
  • Don’t charge extra for skim milk!
  • If I’ve been coming in Monday-Friday and my order hasn’t changed in 3 years there would come a time when I’d expect you to remember my order or my name, bothewould be preferable.
  • If you can manage a smile, how are you or your baby’s adorable, bonus points.

My quest continues, but who wouldn’t want to have the perfect cup whilst admiring this view. 

Fueling us

At today’s school drop off Miss 1’s teacher showed me photos of the previous day’s antics.

Miss 1 making a game of peek-a-boo with her classmate, followed by hugs. Completely free of adult involvement or initiation.

The teacher starts to say “Miss 1 is just so …… confident”. For a moment there I was afraid of what was coming! I look over to see her making herself at home in the playground of the Pre K’s. Yes … yes my daughter is confident!

I thought she was, but hearing this from an outsider is quite possibly one of my proudest moments. We’re not just being biased parents.

From the moment I found out parenthood was impending my biggest hope for my child would be that they have the confidence in them self to go out into the world and do whatever it is they want to do.

I know today is just school yard adventures but little moments like these are the fuel that keep us going as parents. Faith in that we’re trying to achieve as parents is working. Let’s hope tonight’s dinner battle goes as well!

Just roll with it

Ok… so here goes.

I’ve wanted to blog now for a long time however my perfectionist complex has stood in the way.

A wise old friend (8 months my senior) shared some wisdom earlier this week when she said if she over thinks her blog then she’ll end up posting nothing at all. She’s right you know.

So it may not be perfect and it may not always be pretty. That’s a lot like real life to though. There is only so much you can control and sometimes we need to sit back and enjoy the chaos.