Cups of Tea

I read an interesting blog the other day and it got me thinking. The main message was that you may not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s ok. 

It’s an interesting way to frame it. It made me think of actual tea and how my mood determines what kind of tea I’m after at that moment, and the same goes for the people I surround myself with, there’s the core group, but within the group there’s the chamomile – the person you know that will help chill you down, the fruity ice tea – the person whose always good fun even if it’s just on a summers day and the black tea – the staple go to on a daily basis. 

It made me think of those teas that you take a sip and think straight away, that ones not one for me. And we’ve all had those moments when meeting people. I guess the point of view I’d never considered before was that I may not be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s confronting. Being ok with that may be a gradual process. It’s a great prospective to have and to refer back to. 

Food for thought. 

<insert witty tea reference … nope I’ve got nothing šŸ˜‚>

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Excess – Mum Life #1

Being excessive, it’s something I’ve been accused of. Loving things that are excessive. It came as a shock. First it was the unnecessary birthday party for my daughter, next it was liking an expensive children’s boutique. 

It’s a funny thing perception. A persons perception of how things are, or how a person is. 

Initially I stepped back and analyzed why someone would have a problem with me throwing a birthday for my child. The conclusion I drew was perhaps they didn’t want to do a birthday party for their own child and felt they in some way needed to justify that decision. The thing that people would understand if they actually got to know me is that I roll to the beat of my own drum, and Im not likely to cast judgement on what someone does or doesn’t do, we are all on our own unique journeys. It puzzled me why someone would have a problem with something I chose to do, sure I had a newborn baby, sure I made an effort to cook food and make a cake but again that’s just me, I like to challenge myself and I like nothing more than hosting – something we used to do in our pre child days ALL THE TIME! It’s funny how doing something we love for someone we love could be seen as excessive. I mean when Miss 3 asked if we could have a bouncy castle or unicorns (ponys dressed up as unicorns) I drew the line. 

The liking a particular store blew me away. I bet if I was to ask 100 women if they liked a particular brand of handbag they’d say yes, that’s not to say they would all go to that store on a regular basis and make a purchase. *shakes head* I was actually dumbfounded that something so trivial could be turned against me in such a negative way. 

Excess..or being excessive is not something I would classify myself as. I sniff out bargains like a drug sniffer dog, I worked out today it has been 5 months since I last had my hair cut or coloured. That my friends is not being excessive! 

I wonder how our world would be for us Queens if we all just decided to get on with our own lives, be happy with the decisions we made, supported one and other on this crazy journey. 

The Newborn Bubble

It’s just occurred to me I’ve been living in the Newborn Bubble for 4.5 weeks and life has carried on for everyone around me yet I’ve been so swept up in our own existence I haven’t stopped to check in with those around me or further away. 

So my question is, when days fly by with 2 kids and night of little sleep seem to drag, how long is ok to be in the bubble before your officially a selfish asshole? 

The Village

I’ve often heard people say “it takes a village to raise a child” and whilst it doesn’t particularly resonate with me or even us as a family (we live far from family) in recent times I’ve experienced “a village” type of support and I’m beginning to understand. 

The first week with our second baby we were inundated with offers of help, meals and kind messages of support. Those things cannot be underestimated how much of a support they are. The comfort in knowing we could reach out for assistance if we needed it and it’d be there was so reassuring. 

In the past I’ve thought to myself I should take a dinner over or offer to help in some way, often people are reluctant to accept help, but food on the other hand .. Everyone eats! And especially nursing mothers!! The lesson I’ve learned is even if you think someone has a great support system – that you don’t need to get into the mix there are things you can do. Don’t be afraid to be the village. It turns out one or a few people can be the village to someone. It doesn’t have to be “to raise children” it can be to be an extra set of hands for the parents or some small gesture to make a parents life that bit easier. 

Friendship ending stuff…

I could be about to do something which is without a doubt friendship ending. The thing is over the last year I’ve wondered if the friendship has already ended. Are we just in that polite rut of the odd message here and there, “we should catch up” and then never make plans to do so. 

My guess is that we are already there. But perhaps my next move is the final nail in the friendship coffin. 

I often wonder about the 7-year friendship cycle, the idea that if you stay friends beyond the 7 years then you’ll be friends for life. If I take a step back to evaluate I can’t help but think there’s a lot of truth there. And it also makes me wonder, these people we allow into our lives and share some of the most incredible moments of our lives then disappear or drift off into non friend territory. Do we celebrate what we thought we had at the time and be “ok” with how it is now?  

So the “current now” I have is that a friend I’ve known for about 6 years I haven’t seen in over a year. Initially it wasn’t thru lack of trying. She had her second baby and I saw the signs that she might be having a rough time of it. I offered to do the drop in for a coffee and chat thing but there was always a reason why it wasn’t suitable. So I stopped trying and left the ball in her court. Months passed and the contact lapsed. A few months back I initiated contact, she explained how she’d had a rough time post child #2 and gave me 2 options for catching up, both when I am working and obviously something I can’t do. (Working full time,  6 weeks out from giving birth and with my own toddler) 

I left it a month to respond because I was pissed off. When I finally did respond I explained that those times wouldn’t be times I could meet whilst I’m working. I’m yet to hear a response. But that’s kind of ok. 

See the issue now is that for the last 9 months we’ve been wracking our brains to come up with a great name for our baby #2. We have possibly agreed on one we like. But there is one issue. This friend. 3.5 years ago she told me the name she would name her son.  That son was was her baby #2. At the time I had another friend pregnant and she asked me to ask my friend (who she isn’t friends with) for them to not name their child that name. Even though on both sides that name has significant family importance. Naturally I refused to have that conversation – that’s not my place or business to interfere when someone is choosing the name of their babe. 

So the issue is the name we are leaning towards is a female version of the same name. I know right, how the hell haven’t we just found another name… Believe me I’ve been trying. But so far we’ve turned up zip! 

So you can see why I know that if we do it then without a doubt it’s friendship ending stuff. But maybe it’s already over? Maybe if she cares so little then she won’t care that our kids have a similar name? Who am I kidding… 

So yep, I think I’m about to end things. 

Justifying Child Free Lives

In recent months I’ve seen a number of friends “like” and “post” on pro-child free groups and while i can appreciate anyone’s life decision, I’m just not understanding the need for people to justify that decision. 

When it comes to having kids or not having kids I can see both sides. I wasn’t a girl growing up with the urge to grow up and become a mother, actually not in the slightest! I wanted a career, travel, life experiences that settling down young wouldn’t support. So what did I do from the end of high school to when “settled down” was an 11 year awesome life altering experience combining living abroad in 3 different continents, a uni degree, a diploma, traveling whenever time/funds allowed, working in jobs that I never envisaged, a wedding, buying a house and all that life experience and maturity to get into a role I could never have planned to do, which led to my career. Oh and now we have 1.45 children. 

My point is, had I not met my husband and met someone else who didn’t want a family I could easily chosen that path. 

The thing is, we all have the choice to make our own life decisions and I don’t understand why people choosing a child free life feel the need to justify their decisions. A recent post by an acquaintance made mention of how they can’t imagine their life being any happier… They don’t want to give up what they currently have.. Their pets feel like their children.. Their friends lives (became shit) changed when they had kids… It went on and on. 

My point is you don’t know what your missing out on. So by all means choose your own path but during that process don’t try to justify your decision by reflecting negatively on others lives, for example this post mentioned “our friends didn’t have money to do fun things anymore” .. Translation.. Your friends lives changed when they had children and their priorities shifted, did you think of fun things (that didn’t cost much/anything) you could do with your friends now or did you just discard them because they didn’t fit in with your idea of a fun life?  ….

I guess after reading the posts I really just wanted to give it the middle finger, awkwardly it’s entirely possible now with the emoji. My philosophy is to respect individuals and their own decision, but unfortunately I then expect the same in return. I don’t justify my decisions to people and they don’t need to justify them to me. Can’t we all just live harmoniously together? 

On Authenticity….Ā 

If you’ve followed my blog for awhile or if this is your first time reading (thanks & welcome) you will know that I’m constantly striding to be my most authentic self. 

I remember one of the very first blogs I stumbled across was a Mom    Amber who wrote from her heart about her struggle with post natal depression, it was insightful, honest and authentic, it was also inspiring. It led to months of deliberation as to how I could express what I thought and be ‘ok’ with putting it out there. {Check out Amber’s blog “when depression creeps into motherhood”  Read it here! }  

It’s amazing the connections we make in the virtual world through authenticity and today it’s got me thinking, how do we encourage our real life peers to be their most honest selves? How do we get people to see that by them showing us their imperfect self it leads us to love them even more? 

For example, there’s another working Mum who I’m becoming friends with, last night we ‘bonded’ over our untidy homes and how our friends need to overlook this when they visit!  In reality they probably aren’t that bad, but we’ve made the conscious decision to leave constantly tidying for spending precious time with our kids.  

It gets me thinking, when we have these REAL interactions with people and friends, how much better does it leave us feeling? I love it. But then how are we best to approach friends who aren’t being real? You know the people who present their lives like everything is perfect 24/7 – when we all know that having kids, toddlers or babies is not plain sailing all the time, there’s ups and downs and it’s all normal. 

So how do you encourage real and authenticity in your relationships? 

Surrounded by scumbags

Someone in my office told me a few months ago I’d be surprised how many people I know/know of who are on online dating sites – and she said from the people she’s seen on there not all are single. She was recently separated and must’ve been looking at what’s changed in dating. 

At first I thought it’s sour grapes, surely not, and no I’m not one bit interested to see who these people are. Sometimes it’s easier not knowing. 

Tonight an entirely different colleague showed me a screen shot of a profile she saw last night. A person who we know has a live in girlfriend. It makes me wonder, do these people seek out being “busted” for their antics? Do they love the drama? Seriously what do they think is going to happen? In summary I can’t believe someone seeking out a hook up would post their face and name on a hook up site (one that works off post code/ whose near me crieteria) 

Anyway the discussion shifted to moral dilemmas and repercussions the person would face not only personally but professionally if they were to speak to the girlfriend. It makes me wonder, since when did the scumbag win? Scumbags aren’t supposed to win, karmas supposed to kick that SOB where it hurts. I’m so pleased I never got curious and looked to see who else I know on there, because it’s quite nice burying my head in the sand when it comes to the sordid behaviour of my colleagues! 

My Own Gatekeeper

You may have notice I have posted less recently. It hasn’t been because I’ve lacked inspiration, there has been more than the normal amount of topics I would have liked to write about. Trust me. 

The reason for the lack of posts and why I want to explain my current struggle is because this blog was set up for me to write, to write about things I feel passionate about, things I feel need to be said. The whole point was being authentic and real. 

I’ve found myself being my own gatekeeper. Having ethical dilemmas within myself and questioning deeply if I should write about these topics – the follow the story/ aftermath of one of my earlier post Friendship awkwardness

The most important aspect of blogging I feel is this rawness and if your not going to be authentic then there’s no point. 

Have you had struggles with being your own gatekeeper? 

 

How to be a good house guest in a baby/toddler household

Over the last 2 years we’ve had a fair few house guests. See we moved from an apartment to a house by the beach, so it was bound to happen. But from all of these visitors I’m sure that I now that I know the key principles of being a good house guest. 

  • You may be on vacation but your hosts mightn’t be, relax, chill out, but help out where you can. 
  • Offer to cook a meal
  • If your hosts suggest getting take out its polite of offer to contribute towards the cost, or offer to pay (if you have the financial means) 
  • If their children instigate play with you, you are obliged to play
  • Children wake up early. Be warned parents can’t change this because you want to sleep in.  No one can quieten down a happy toddler in the morning! If a quiet vacation is what you need them get a hotel! 
  • Be mindful of what you say to the toddler and how you say it. Toddlers are sponges 
  • If you’ve taken up a new habit since last seeing your friends it’s probably a good idea to let your friend know before you ask if you can stay. For example – don’t arrive to stay at a non smoking household with a newborn and announce that your now a smoker. (Yes that’s happened) 

The overarching principle is BE MINDFUL. Don’t make life harder for your host. Life with a newborn, toddler or child can be pretty full on.  If  you make their life that little bit easier your friends will welcome you back with open arms anytime!