I don’t define myself as mature aged but I can see myself having a few, just a few years more experience than the high school leavers. I mean a couple…..
It’s been a long time between uni bar drinks, 10 years ago I was wearing that silly gown with an equally, silly looking frilly fringed blouse. I had completed a Masters and had no idea what to do with myself. So I started working at a bank, then I had a few kids and then I decided I wanted to parent for a while. Now, I have had a few years out of the game and have decided to scrap all of my pre-conceived ideas of who I thought I was and actually focus on who I am.
I am Kate, I am 39 years young and what brings me the most joy in this world? (aside from the obvious, my family answer) It is looking after people. Making them feel their best selves when they are feeling at their worst. I went through the list, Psychology?Social Working? Life Coach? Personal Trainer? no, Nursing? YES!!!!!!!
I am enrolled and I am ready!!! I start in less than a month 😬
John and Molly look in to their rescue dogs eyes and realise they need to buy a farm.
That is the romanticised version. In reality Molly is an established chef and has dreamt of creating a sustainable farm with amazing produce. John is a documentary maker and decides to track the process.
Firstly, I cried. Second, it was inspiring.
What they embarked on is far from my personal experience but the premise engaged me entirely. They have taken on a project (200 acres) in dessert like Californian conditions. The soil was clay and it looked impossible.
There is high drama, fire, death (animal and human), new life and never ending failure.
I really wanted to do other things last night before bed but I couldn’t turn it off. I was incredibly suspicious of the investors and mentor they had. I won’t tell you any more. You should watch it if you have a project you have been putting off. If you think it’s too hard, this documentary will show you hard.
Now I’m inspired I need to get moving on my next big project. Landscaping our front garden.
‘A little learning is a dangerous thing.’ –Alexander Pope
I don’t know about you but previously I’ve been intimidated by gardening. I can’t tell you why, especially as I have never had much of a garden but it feeds in to a fear of failure.
A few months ago I went to a garden centre with the aim of filling in a nine metre space. I knew I wanted native plants. That was it, I was pretty clueless. There was a lovely guy who helped me out. Even with his patience and endless information, I still found it stressful, it was all new to me and I didn’t want it to look bad or fail.
His words were so simple but effective “if the plants don’t work there, move them and try something else”. I may have to go to this guy for some ongoing therapy.
I purchased ten native plants and as I look out my bedroom window they are doing well. Success!! Unfortunately there were many daisy bushes that were sacrificed during this process. I moved them thinking they would go bananas and climb down the wall but no! All I got was sticks.
There are hits and misses. I have lost many a seed in the last few months but I’m trying to learn a thing or two and read up on how best to get this garden thriving. Australian Geographic have a book out called Gardening School that is easy to follow with diagrams explaining pruning techniques and endless information.
It is an exciting process. I’m looking forward to seeing it all bloom and know that in years to come we will look at them and think this was our new beginning at the acreage.
The creaminess of Greek yoghurt on falafel or tofu wraps is a texture and taste I have sought after as a vegan. Each time I have a store bought alternative I end up wasting most of it. It’s a difference you adapt to not having dairy and that’s fine but your senses still go searching.
Please meet my latest experiment. Coconut milk and two probiotic capsules. Minimalist Baker tells me I will find what I’m looking for with the creamy, tangy flavour you will find in Greek yoghurt. Wish me luck 🤞🏻I’ll let you know in 24-48 hrs.
It’s such a loaded heading but it’s something I’ve been deliberating on a fair bit.
The past year has brought on an era of change.
We have become a family of four and recently we relinquished our cherished apartment to another loving owner. Realistically it’s an investor who doesn’t give two hoots so that makes me a bit sad.
I met Dan when I was twenty two, just a baby and we committed right from the get go. When he left after our first date I knew I wanted him in my life. Later that year we moved in to our apartment and that was us for the next eight years.
It was little but it was ours and it’s where our love grew, where we challenged each other everyday, drank far too much wine and where I proposed.
We came home on our wedding night figuring why would we want to be anywhere else but our own little place where we grew as us.
One single, one double and a Masters degree were celebrated in Simpson Manor. Many late nights celebrating life, cementing forever friendships over just one more drink, long walks and bike rides followed by coffee and brunch.
Then our first pregnancy was confirmed.
Simpson Manor you will be our gem forever.
Where to now? We have become grown up with two beings relying on us. If I focus on what made us happy it might help to work out what happens next.
This morning as my child screamed for her blanket as I drove down the driveway I wondered when she learnt to expect to get everything she wants.
Do we spoil her? Let her run loose? Why is she like this? I was experiencing deep regret. Why did I let so much slide or did I? Is this normal?
So many questions.
It made me wonder what I have done to influence her behaviours. One thing we have been a lot of lately is being tired and grumpy.
We’ve been grouchy Mum and Dad and it doesn’t make me happy. Doing this makes her think that it is okay to act grouchy towards others.
I’m not aiming for some Fluffy detergent commercial style harmony but I’m over the grumpy.
It made me bring a comparison between my work and home life. I’m very big on a positive work culture. Respect the people around you. Make them and their contribution feel valued. Ensure they feel listened to and encourage them to grow and build independence.
Changing my perspective is key by the sounds of things. We all need to work together in this family to not only get everyone to bed by 7:15 each night, but to do it harmoniously and without broken blood vessels and overworked voice boxes.
One of the biggest triggers for disharmony is when she doesn’t listen. If Dan is around he will pipe up and ask her to listen to me, it all kind of goes in circles. Pointless and annoying. Then it escalates and a tantrum comes forth rapidly. Discipline drops in. Non compliance equals the stairs. Further non compliance equals the bedroom. We have a full steam kicking, screaming three-year old taken to her bedroom followed by doors being slammed then more kicking and tears.
The demands for a cuddle are at an all time high but only on her terms. We must cuddle in a particular place and without Willow. By this stage Mum is terribly exhausted.
It doesn’t seem like we are getting anywhere because the tantrums keep on happening.
This week I will be taking a few tips on board.
Use humour and be light-hearted when situations get heated
Recognise when you are being grumpy/tired/short/rushed
Work out whether is it a fight worth fighting.
Take time out
Do activities together without the baby
Understand she is three. Her outbursts are because she is not coping or doesn’t understand the situation.
A cuddle fixes everything (most of the time)
Try not to rush, try to listen and don’t dismiss
Do you have any methods of keeping a sense of calm in your home? Do you have a way to get your child to listen without getting to the tantrum stage?
Well my last minute dash interstate was amazing. I got to see some of my family and friends but better than that I set myself something to do that was difficult and because I wanted it so much the difficulty did not matter.
So what was so difficult?
I drove with a three year old and six month old by myself!!! for 12 hours!!!!
One and a half hours in to the trip we did a petrol/pee/feed Willow/snack and stretch stop. The moment I was on the toilet watching my three year old hold on to the baby I thought maybe, just maybe it was all too much. I’d spoken to the motel concierge who chirpily informed me Knill was 4.5 hours max away. Add another two hours and we made it. Half way done.
The stops were varied
‘Mum, I don’t want this movie anymore’
‘Mum I don’t want this movie anymore’
Oh and two poosplosions.
The single bed Willow and I shared dipped in the middle so with my fear of smothering her, sleep was secondary. In hindsight I should have slept with Matisse and left Willow to herself. The lack of hotel rooms gave us two single beds. These girls did not make it work.
The motel concierge made this stop worth it. He was a gem or a gem collector. They were everywhere. He sold artifacts with one being a random dinosaur out the front. It would make for a wonderful movie set.
One more poosplosions and the ‘are we at Nanna and Pa’s yet?’ question starting 30 minutes in to our second leg. Five and a half hours later we dragged ourselves inside to find Mum baking. Bliss.
Well, I felt like I needed a bit of a holiday after that mission.
Today a news article struck a chord with me. The ABC has a documentary series targeting waste. The reporter was in the middle of a shopping mall with six thousand kilograms of discarded fashion and textiles. He asked the crowd how long they thought it took Australians to dispose of this amount of waste. The answers ranged from days to hours but the answer was mere minutes, 10 minutes to be precise. We live in a consumerist society and it made me question my own choices.
The article suggests that having more makes you purchase more. Why would we want more if we have enough? Because your cupboards are so full of stuff that you forget you have it. This got me thinking. Why do we need so much? I put this with why do I feel the need to eat when I’m sad/angry/mad/happy? It isn’t a simple question. I turned to Netflix for help. Haha
I flicked to the Flix and on came Minimalism: A Documentary About The Important Things. Yes, they are the same guys from the podcast. They made it clear to me why I have this overarching discontentment when I sit in my lounge. My brain is perpetually overwhelmed. We have too much stuff!! How little some people live with is inspiring so I thought we’d get cracking on living a more minimalist existence.
First stop: getting rid of the photo albums. Not the pictures. We have technology to thank for the humble scanner button.
Second stop: The walk in robe. I decided to back myself and get rid of all of my summer clothes. By next summer they will be too big so to the charity bin they go. I found two tops of the same style that I never wear because they sit terribly. Why I purchased the second I don’t know. Anything I can’t feed Willow in, gone. It felt AMAZING!
Now to go through the kids stuff!! Less is the new more!
Happy Mother’s Day to all the gorgeous Mum’s of varying forms out there. I hope you have an incredible day.
For me it is a time to celebrate en masse the amazing privilege we have been lucky enough to enjoy, our kiddies.
Each day we are thankful to have these beautiful little beings in our lives. To see that learned action, cheeky smile, grown confidence or amazing kindness. It is there each day for us to enjoy as a Mum. Matisse is very big on telling us that she loves us at the moment and it is beautiful. Sometimes it’s because she is happy and wants to share the love, other times she has been naughty and it’s her way of saying sorry or smoothing things over. So I feel constant love and appreciation but Mother’s Day for me is special. Mostly because I get to ignore the hard bits and focus on the positive.
Waking Mum up with burnt toast, terribly strong coffee and a handmade gift. I understand. I can see my Mum’s bleary eyes waking up to this but her smile. I understand. She is seeing beauty and she is seeing love purely directed at her, no distractions as it’s her day and no matter what is brought to her at this time she knows. She is the most important person in the room right now.
Mum, I love you. I wish I could be serving you burnt toast this morning but I’m sure Dad will help me out there. You are the most important woman in my life and I thank you for everything you have done for me. Including the mass of washing you waded through on your last visit 😘 Even though I’m not there today I hope you feel my love beaming towards you. Happy Mother’s Day xx
This is the moment I became a Mum. I was going to edit the crap out of this pic but thought that it captured the 21hour labour perfectly. Pure joy mixed with absolutely physical devastation.