The Edge Of Town And Country

The Edge Of Town And Country

SunriseIn the last few months we were able to find a house that is away from the central part of town, almost at the edge, it is warmer and feels more welcoming. We have a school next to us on one side and on the other are hills which have sheep and what looks like a stream at the bottom. It’s quieter than when we were in town but because it’s on a state highway we have heavy trucks that often drive past.  On a clear day part of our view is of one of the mountains that grace the beaut

 

iful country that is New Zealand.

In the short time we have been living here I have come to love what is almost a rural life and wouldn’t want to live closer to town again. My boys love going over to the school next door when they’re home from school/kindy as it gives them a larger area to ride their bikes and run around.

Jason still goes to the same school he did before we moved even though we have moved next to a school. Jason is doing so well at school that I didn’t find it necessary to change schools just out of convenience. The school he is at he will stay at until he reaches High School age, if I had moved him to the school next door then he would have had another change when he reached intermediate age

 

but keeping him at his current school means that he’d only have 1 change in his schooling. Jason’s school is out in the country on the other side of town so he gets experiences that a child from a town school may not experience. He has a few friends that have farms and wished we lived on a farm –he doesn’t realize how busy a farm can be.

One of the things I like about this place is we get

 

a taste of rural life but are only a short drive from town. If we were completely rural I’m not sure I would enjoy it as much as there are times when I like to go into town so I don’t feel like I’m isolated. This place allows me to have a place to escape sometimes when things feel like they are getting on top of me and I need a breather.

Being on the edge of town does feel less claustrophobic and at the same time I don’t have the feeling of being cut-off from people.

As much as I like having alone time I also like the chance to be in small social settings as it helps with the anxiety and as much as I love the company of my husband and kids there are times when I want to interact with

 

different faces, the one exception is that I’m not comfortable being away from my baby girl for too long.

I do have respect for those that can live a fully rural life without feeling isolated and/or can handle the limited social interaction that I imagine goes hand in hand with living out in the wop-wops – there may be more of a social life than I realize.

Living in a bustling city is also something I would find difficult so I’m glad to have found a happy medium where I get a taste of both rural and town life.

Morning mist

 

Advertisements
Childhood Vs. Mumlife

Childhood Vs. Mumlife

It’s amazing how differently I look at things as a parent compared to when I was a child here. I thought I might do a quick blog on a few of the things I think are different when looking at childhood compared to mumlife

Daylight Savings

As a child I loved Daylight Savings, I got to stay outside later and play – though it didn’t feel late. I loved playing hide ‘n’ seek and “Go Home, Stay Home” with the neighbourhood kids.

Now as a parent with young children Daylight Savings is a time to dread. My kids take longer to go to sleep as it is still light when it comes to bedtime and it sometimes means that on the weekend my kids get up at unearthly hours. The good thing about daylight savings as a parent is I can get washing out earlier and this gives me more time to relax – when I do relax.

 Daylight savings

Family Holidays

My family went away on holiday quite often when I was a child and they were always fun; I got to see new things and meet different people.

As a mum however it just seems to be more work and not as relaxing when we do go away. Even if we went away without our kids they would always be on my mind – my “mum hat” very rarely comes off, its almost like its super-glued on.

 

Presents

As a child I always wanted toys, books or sweets for Christmas and/or my Birthday. If I got clothes I would be a bit disappointed unless it had a favourite cartoon character on it.

Now as a Mum I like to get more practical things; however clothes, shoes or jewelry are seen as extra special.   I still like to get chocolate but more often than not I end up sharing it with my Hubby and kids – unless I hide it and eat it in secret.

 Presents

Christmas

As a child I’d always look forward to Christmas with glee, I didn’t have any responsibilities – except to behave myself so Santa would come and bring me presents. As a child I was unaware of how work much actually went into the “magic” of Christmas.

As a parent Christmas may be more work but seeing the excitement my kids a get at Christmas makes up for it. Christmas is also a time for family to get together especially those that we might only see around Christmas.

christmas as a parent

Due to the fact that this being end of year I have only covered a minuscule amount of the differences that I have looked back on, maybe when things are less busy I’ll do a more thorough blog but for now I hope you’ve enjoyed this little snippet.

Anxiety From the Beginning

Anxiety From the Beginning

Aargh, Insomnia at work again! This time it’s like I’m mulling over a hundred things at once; one of those things is my use of “underlying” in relation to my previous post concerning anxiety. Part of the reason is because I was reading a blog post someone had written about “How they cured their anxiety” and it got me thinking how even when things in my life seem to be going fine, the anxiety is still there niggling away under the surface ready to pounce at a moment of weakness.

One of my early memories of feeling anxious was when I was a kid and it we were running late for a church production rehearsal that I was involved in – a child worried about being late is a bit of an oxymoron; there may have been earlier times of worry. I also have memories when I was a childishly bossy in a true firstborn child manner.

I think the anxiety got stronger as I got older and life kept pounding me with curveballs and would knock me for a six (my hubby is a sports fanaticJ)

Anyway the earliest memory I can recall of having a panic attack was when I was 17, in my last year at High School and had pressure from numerous aspects of my life. Someone in my Home Room threw a paper ball at me – or something, and I just snapped and burst into tears. I ended up in the Sick Bay and while there the Deputy Principal (I think) gave me a glass of water to drink to try and calm me down, the glass had to be put down pretty rapidly  when I almost broke it because my teeth where chattering so much with the intensity of my emotions.

There have been other instances where I have had panic/anxiety attacks and it always seems to be after something small comes along to top things of and send me into a spiral. Most of the time I try to hold it together until I’m away from people, as I sometimes feel embarrassed to feel the way I do in those times and don’t want people’s pity. I don’t know why but I most of the time I feel like I have to be the strong one and the truth is that is tiring; I also don’t like being a burden to anyone and if I do feel like I’m being a burden it seems to make the anxiety/depression worse.

Well, that’s me for now.

T.

Anxiety, Epilepsy and Kids

Anxiety, Epilepsy and Kids

Epilepsy mindmapAnxiety plays an underlying role in my life, when it does affect me it can seem serious, most of the time I can manage it and not allow it to affect my daily life. The epilepsy that affects my husband Rob can be a daily occurrence especially during the night, medication is helping him to live but the quality could be better, the only option he has left is surgical which is what is hopefully in the works.

The other week Rob went up to Auckland for a consultation with a Neurosurgeon. Due to the limited availability of flights he had to fly up the day before. That night I was missing him which is weird as when he’s been away for longer I normally wouldn’t miss him until the next day or so. During the day the possibility of him having neurosurgery had me feeling torn between being with him away from our kids or being with our kids but not by his side.

Anxiety mindmap

I was playing the “what if” game in my head which allowed anxiety to rear its ugly head. Having a husband who has a serious medical condition makes keeping the anxiety under control a bit harder, as there are more situations to worry about – especially when you have young kids; there are times when both parties need me to be there and because I can’t be in 2 places at once I have to be there for the party that needs me the most.

 

Rob seems to have a gift for minimalising big issues and exaggerating the smaller issues, whereas I’m the opposite, there are times when small issues are important in the grander scheme of things and there are times when bigger issues need to work themselves out and there’s nothing you can do about them, so it doesn’t pay to worry. However because of anxiety sometime worry is just part and parcel of the situation; for me there’s the anxious side and then there’s the rational side. In some cases the rational side can suppress the anxiety, and at other times it is anxiety that suppresses all rationality.

With everything Rob has to deal with, what with the epilepsy, medication and physical limitations I’m glad to know that anxiety isn’t on his plate – other than trying to help me through the anxiety I sometimes have to deal with. He does try to help but sometimes the only thing that gets me though it is time. Anxiety is not something I can just get over, and it feels very real. I’m thankful for the support of family and friends as they play a big part in my fight with anxiety. Rob doesn’t really understand how hard it is to fight anxiety sometimes, just as I don’t know what it’s like to have epilepsy

It’s the same throughout humanity; unless we are dealing with exactly what someone else is dealing with – or dealt with we will never completely understand what that person’s going through. People deal with their stuff in different ways, and if someone is having a hard time with something that someone else might find inconsequential then that person needs support not judgment.

Children, Coffee, and Trust

Children, Coffee, and Trust

Childhood memories

Where do kids get their energy – they must siphon them off their parents. If I had even half the energy my boys do I’d probably not be so exhausted at the end of the day.

This week Jason has had a cycling programme at school entailed periods over 4 days of riding his bike learning about road safety and other bike safety tips. On the first day he bought his bike home after school and would ride it around our yard. On the second day because he had a touch game after school he left his bike locked up at school; his game of touch was a bit tough that day. On the third day he was having a playdate at his best friend’s house and as his friend’s step-mum was picking them up he again had to leave his bike locked up at school; his best friend lives on a farm and the boys did a lot of running around. On the fourth and final day of the programme he bought his bike home and rode it around our yard. Even with all the energy he would have been using on some nights he seemed to struggle to go to sleep at his normal bedtime.

He seems to always have the energy to ride his bike for a long time or to play outside; however when it comes to tidying his room  he seems to get tired a lot of quicker even if its only be a few minutes of tidying up.

Maybe they have all this energy because generally speaking children do not have the worries that parents do. I remember when I was a kid and I couldn’t wait to grow up but now there are times when I wish I could be a kid again to have their carefree life; I guess that why coffee is such a blessing (I’m not a fan of energy drinks) I can drink a few cups of coffee a day especially when I feel low on energy – which seems to be every day.

With all the energy my kids use, I’m glad they drink a lot of water to keep themselves hydrated – especially on hot days. Talking about hot days makes me think of cold days and how my boys don’t seem to feel it as much as I do; on days when I’m wearing multiple layers they are happy in a tee and shorts. It could be a kiwi thing but Jason at least seems to have an aversion to wearing shoes. On school days he will put them on but once he gets to his classroom they come off and majority of the time don’t seem to go back on.

I don’t know if it’s just me but it seems that some of the children today seem to be growing up faster than my generation did. With this growth it seems that respect is being put to the wayside; some kids these days seem to treat adults as contemporaries instead of adults – That’s not always a bad thing however it could lead to children trusting people that they shouldn’t.

I’m very particular about who looks after my children and where they have playdates. Even with Jason who is 6, I won’t just leave him at birthday parties unless I know the parents or at least feel comfortable with them. It’s not about the adults themselves its more about the fact I’m a bit over-protective and would blame myself if anything happened to any of my kids. Rylee is almost 16 months old and the only time I’ve left her with anyone was when Rob was in hospital or it was their Nana looking after them.

There may be some parents who are not so particular about who looks after their children, and there are times when I wish I could be like that, sometimes the reason I might not ask a certain person to look after them is not a reflection on the person, but rather that I don’t know how my kids would behave.

Anyway that’s it for now.

 

Coffee

Pro-Choice or Pro-Life: How about both?

Pro-Choice or Pro-Life: How about both?

zoes-footprints

Abortion is such a controversial subject it seems that we only have 2 choices; we are either Pro-choice or Pro-life – almost like there is no other option.

Some people are pro-choice and some are pro-life but for me I am both – I am pro-choice for life, all lives. This has a lot to do with how my own experiences have shaped my views on the subject. Before my pregnancy with Zoë I would have said I was Pro-life all the way; however my view expanded when we got the grim prognosis at the 20 week ultrasound. My daughter had cranial abnormalities and was diagnosed as not viable for life. With this prognosis there may be some people that might end the pregnancy and they might have hardcore pro-lifers calling them murderers because of that choice. For me the choice was not an easy one however I decided to carry on with the pregnancy. It was a choice I made with much internalizing and discussion with my husband. Not everyone given the choice might make that decision and that might be the right decision for them

I knew within myself I wanted to give her a fighting chance at life and if she didn’t live – it would not be by my choice,  if I didn’t at least try to give her the chance I might carry around with me a burden of guilt and feel like I killed my daughter.  Yes, I could have decided to terminate the pregnancy as the medical professionals were right and if she’d survived being born it wouldn’t have been much of a life and it would be heart-wrenching for us as parents and terminating the pregnancy might have saved us the heartache.   The medical professionals didn’t expect me to even carry Zoë to term yet at 42 weeks I had to be induced and she still kept on fighting though it ended up being a losing battle. If I had terminated the pregnancy I wouldn’t have the memories I have of her In Utero, those memories of her movements I still treasure even though it got to be pretty uncomfortable, I wouldn’t have been able to say I’ve had 1 vaginal birth.

There are the rare occasions where I wonder if I made the right choice, I also wonder if I made the right choice in not choosing to have a c-section. If I had terminated the pregnancy I might have had many moments of regret and doubt.

One of my happiest moments was hearing the heartbeat of my babies, until then the pregnancy didn’t feel real even if I had morning sickness and I don’t know how I would have felt if I had miscarried any of my babies, maybe if I had miscarried Zoë in the first trimester that loss wouldn’t have been as great as was felt when she was still-born and then again, it might have been worse – I don’t know. Every situation is different and every person reacts differently

Purple Butterfly

I guess that’s the thing about abortion, it’s not exactly a clear-cut subject; it’s never absolutely wrong or absolutely right. In my opinion there needs to be a bit more empathy and less judgment when we hear about someone having an abortion as even if we are told a reason, there may be more to the story and unless we’ve been in a similar situation we have absolutely no idea what the person may be going through. There may be those who abortion is the only medical option or logical option and just like many issues that we come across today, everyone has different views and I believe it’s not acceptable to force those views on others.

One of my favourite quotes is from Dr Seuss’  Horton Hears A Who – “A person’s a person, no matter how small” Both the unborn baby and the mother are important and what affects one has the possibility of affecting the other. If a woman is pressured to go through with a pregnancy that she doesn’t want or if it puts her life at risk then that could lead to pre-natal/post-natal depression or maternal death. No matter where someone may stand on the issue of abortion everyone is entitled to their own views. I could not have an abortion but now after what I went through I have a bit of empathy and understanding for those that choose that option, we need to love the person even if we don’t agree with their particular views.

dr-seuss-quote-2

One, Two or Many – Not Our Place to Say

One, Two or Many – Not Our Place to Say

I hadn’t planned to post anything for a few weeks as we are moving house and I thought I would be too busy with packing and unpacking to get to the blog, however I hadn’t taken into consideration the effect a nice warm relaxing bath has on my thoughts.

This particular bath got me thinking about how many people have views on the make-up of a family; concerning gender and numbers. One day, before I had even met my husband, I was with friends and we were discussing when we have children how many we would have, I said I would like a boy and a girl and that was all, I know now that that’s what is called a “pigeon pair”.Family-Neigh-Partner-PAGE-HEADER

Some parents may be perfectly happy having just 1 child, a “pigeon pair” or they may be happy with multiple children of the same gender. It really isn’t anyone’s place to make anything of it – especially if they haven’t a close relationship with the parents. Over the years I’ve read many posts online that have mentioned the comments people have received when other people find out that are having another of the same gender when they already have 2 or more of that gender.

After losing Zoë and finding out I was again pregnant – I really wanted another girl and I was quite upset when I found out we were having a boy and was almost in tears at the ultrasound. On the one hand I was happy he was healthy and that there were no concerns, on the other I wanted a girl.

When I was pregnant with Alex, it wasn’t such a big deal about the gender; if baby was a boy then I already had all the clothes and if baby was a girl then that would have been even more special.

About 2 ½ years after Alex was born I was pregnant again and this time it was a bit of a surprise. We knew that this pregnancy would be our last and so was hoping to finally have a baby girl that we could parent. Along came our happy baby girl Rylee and I couldn’t have been happier. Then came the first nappy change and I felt flummoxed – “what do I do, where do I clean”. I was so used to changing my boys’ nappies that it felt alien to change my daughter’s. How could I not know what to do, after all she was the same gender as myself yet I still felt at a loss. If she had been another boy I would have known what to do and just got on with it and not feel like a new mum.

Now when she is almost 15 months old I feel a lot more confident yet I’m not sure what she’ll be like when she is 2 years old. As a baby she’s pretty easy-going and I’m hoping she’ll stay like that as she gets older. As I feel more confident with my boys I’m grateful for those with multiple daughters as they have more experience in dealing with the different ages and possible scenarios relating to girls.

When it comes to the boys, Rob has got a great relationship with them, but I think its our youngest son that he’s closer to. Alex is the one Rob bonded with instantly and is like him in his attitude to try anything whereas Jason is a lot like Rob when it comes to sense of humour; however he seems to have inherited the empathy that’s a strong part of my personality.

It’s a good thing that we had another boy as Alex is the one Rob understands more and Alex is definitely closer to his Dad than he is to me. It actually looks like Rylee may be a Daddy’s girlJ. So even if we hadn’t of had Rylee, Rob and I still would have had a child each that we understood better than the other.

It doesn’t matter the make-up of a family unit, how many children they have or the gender of the children. What does matter is that the children are loved and are never told or felt that they are disappointments. Some children may take it to heart if they are told or overhear that they were not wanted as they were the wrong gender. Even though at first I was disappointed Jason was Jason and not a girl. He and I have a strong bond and I wouldn’t want him to be anyone but himself. I’m happy I have a girl I get to parent; however I still would not trade my boys for her and vice versa.

me and my family families are all different