Memory Banks Full of Love and Fun

Memory Banks Full of Love and Fun

Parenting is a journey full of trials and wonder. There are times when I’m surprised by my reaction or my kids’ reaction to a certain moment. For example, when my boys who are 5 and almost 7 hopped on the school bus for the first time, I thought “how little they look” I had become so used to their growing independence that this reaction caught me off guard.

Boys catching bus

This moment made me consciously aware of that every moment in your child’s life though may seem small can have significant meaning.

 

When I had my eldest boy I was so excited for him to say his first word and to take his first step because as a first time parent it was a huge milestone. Those milestones I wasn’t in so much of a hurry for when my other kids came along. Anyhow, as my children got older important milestones seem to be fewer and my excitement seemed to lessen, I was unaware of this fact yet the love I have for my kids has not lessened.

Alex and Jase award

There are moments where we’re not exactly thrilled about. When our child has their first public tantrum it can bring feelings of embarrassment and sometimes guilt. There’re probably moments in a tween or teen’s life that does not make us proud; it is something I have yet to experience.

With my kids, so far it feels like up until about 6 years old each age gets worse. My 5 year old can be defiant and/or disobedient to point that I want to tear my hair out. My eldest boy who’s almost 7 can be a big help – when he’s not fighting with his little brother.

My little girl is 2 years old in a few months and has already started with the “two year old” tantrums, though most of the time she is very sweet and easily placated.

Some of the moments that I love, are when my boys are caring towards someone else whether it be to each other, their little sister, another child or on rare occasions an adult. It’s those moments that I cling to when my boys seem to be doing their best to try and kill each other.

Clinging to those good moments, moments of kindness, politeness and empathy can help me feel like I’m actually doing a good job s a parent and up not screwing my kids’ lives up even though I lose my cool sometimes.

Those good moments are the things kids will remember the most as long as those times are the majority and not a rarity. Take every chance you can to build up their memory banks full of love, good times and fun experiences.

Childhood memories

 

Advertisements
Opinions, Expectations and Reality

Opinions, Expectations and Reality

Just before Easter weekend, my youngest boy started school. Before he started I didn’t want him to be expected to have the academic ability that his big brother did when he started school. I let the teacher know that the brothers are different in their abilities.

Alex and Jase award

What I have figured out is that I myself had unknowingly but those expectations on my son even though I’m well aware of their differences.

This has made me think how sometimes as mum’s we compare our children to other children of similar ages and somehow expect them to have the same strengths or are achieving certain milestones at the same time.

If my boys are different in their abilities why would non-related children be the same; yes, sometimes children do progress the same as their peers but more often than not they progress at their own pace. While one child may be chatting up a storm yet they’re not mobile another may be running around yet have limited vocabulary and both situations are fine.

My husband and I love all our kids and are proud of any achievements they make even if it’s a small one compared to the achievements of one of their siblings.

Alex and JaseThere is only 20 months difference between the boys and sometimes that can seem to be a small gap, however the differences in their abilities are immense.

My eldest son Jason is definitely an academic with a strong flair for sports, whereas his brother Alex excels more at puzzles and patterns. Jason is an avid reader and though he is just over 6 and half years old can read books aimed for 8/9 year olds, Alex is slowly getting there in reading, he prefers more to be read to than to read himself.

Jason has a large appetite and always seems to be hungry. His meals can be almost as big as his Dad’s, yet he’s as skinny as a rake. Alex has a smaller appetite but is a bit more solid even though he is also very active; these differences kind of show that appearances are not always what they seem.

In this day and age with Social Media having such a strong presence it’s easy to make snap judgments about some-one else’s parenting practices. It’s very easy to voice our opinions but that doesn’t always mean we should. What we see on Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook is merely a glimpse into a person’s live and very rarely tells the whole story.

As parents we are allowed to bring up our children how we feel is best – irrespective of the opinions of others. If we are truly putting our children in obvious danger then yes in those situations someone should speak up. Though if the reason is just because they do something different to how you do things does not make them bad parents.  For example, if a mum always gives their children nutritious home-cooked meals and another mum may allow their children to have fast-food a few nights a week does make either mum wrong, it makes them different and that they are doing the best they can in this thing called parenting life.Childhood is a journey

Mum Guilt: Sometimes Leads To Over-Reacting and That is Okay

Mum Guilt: Sometimes Leads To Over-Reacting and That is Okay

I haven’t written anything for a while as we had at the time seemed a serious incident where my 20 month old daughter got under her Dad’s feet and he accidently tripped over her, which ended up with me taking her up to the hospital with what turned out to be a Greenstick Fracture to her tibia and fibula in her right leg. Fortunately she was seen almost straight away and was examined and taken in for an x-ray (which she did not like) and a back splint/half cast was put on her leg. She had this on for a week to allow for the swelling to go down. A couple of days after the first back splint was put on it somehow came off which of course meant a frantic morning getting the boys ready and off to school/kindy and then getting her up to the hospital for another back splint.

Rylee pre cast

This all happened a few days before my youngest boy was having his party for his 5th birthday so while prepping for the party I also had to keep an eye on my girl to my sure she was happy and not too mobile. My niece who is a few months older surprisingly was very caring towards Rylee and would often bring her toys or her water bottle. Rylee being a 20 month old toddler wouldn’t stay in one place but on that day didn’t try anything too adventurous.

Hubby felt terrible about the incident and how at the time I said to myself that this would never have happened on my watch. I felt guilty for leaving her with her Dad while I popped down the round to get dinner. The thing is, it was an accident and I shouldn’t have felt guilty because the truth is it could have happened even if I had been there.

While at the hospital I started second-guessing ever leaving ever leaving our girl at home with her Dad in charge. The boys are of an age where for the most part they can entertain themselves so I don’t worry about them as much; though being boys they could still get into mischief.

I didn’t realize how protective of our girl I am – I hadn’t planned to be as I’ve always wanted her to grow up into a strong woman who will stand up for herself if need be and someone who’s not afraid to try anything. A young woman who won’t allow anyone’s opinion to determine what she is or isn’t able to do.

She’s such a bubbly happy little girl and really suits her name, which means ‘Valiant’ and is something I want her to be, somehow though I’m more protective of her than I am of her brothers. Maybe it’s her age and her being so petite I want to protect her more. All I know is after this accident I felt like I would be hesitant to leave her with her Dad in charge; this has not really been the case as a couple weeks down the track now I’ve had to leave her with him but most of the time she’s asleep.

Rylee Pink cast

If I hadn’t left her with him that would have been a bit OTT as he loves her just as much as I do and he felt bad about the whole accident. I think that part of my reaction is that I feel like the responsibility for our children rests more on me, however they are OUR children and we are equally responsible.

Social Awkwardness With A Smile

Social Awkwardness With A Smile

Birthday party

Birthday Party Season for my kids has started and its made me think about my reaction to social situations.

As a kid, social situations seemed easier as I had my mum as a buffer. These days however there are times when I feel like I have to work at being social – especially when the kids are socially adept like their Dad, even my 19 month old daughter seems to have little issue. When Jason was little it sometimes took a while for him to warm up to new people, at Kindy he would mainly play with the same 3 kids. Alex seems to fit in anywhere and has a diverse range of friends.

Looking back to when I was a teenager I was socially awkward and felt out of place; being friendly was never an issue yet making close friends seemed to be. I felt like I was the square peg trying to fit in a round hole, I felt like I was one the edge of my “friends” group and never really a part of the group. Of course it could have been all in my imagination because of low self-esteem, like I was never good enough to fit anywhere.

social awkwardness

Being a mum means that I’m in social settings where I feel out of my comfort zone and there are times when I want to flee from that surrounding – especially when I’m in one of my negative moods. Sometimes it feels within me that I’m meant to act a certain way – yet don’t know what that way is.

 

I’ve always wanted my kids to thrive when it comes to life and that includes socially as well, so from babyhood would take them along to playgroups, music groups etc; even if I didn’t really want to be a part of it myself. It felt like a sacrifice which I’m finding is part of being a parent.

The boys especially seem to make friends easily and Jason will often ask to have a playdate at one friends’ place or another. If I myself feel comfortable around the other kid’s mum I don’t have any problem especially if I don’t need to be there. Yet if I’m unsure about the other kid’s mum I’m a bit hesitant to allow a playdate to occur.

I know I make mistakes socially, say things I shouldn’t or do things I shouldn’t. I will often beat myself up emotionally over what I deem or what I think the other parent things is faux pas in the social setting. Even if I feel like I have a god relationship with another person there will be times when I doubt whether the friendship is real or superficial. I know a lot of this comes from my struggle with self-esteem and often will try to bring myself back to a more positive frame of mind; however it doesn’t always work and the negative thoughts seem to cement themselves.

Most of the time I don’t allow this to bother me, there have been times though that I’ve allowed those thoughts to bother me, I just hope that none of my children ever have this issue.

4 Days of Christmas

4 Days of Christmas

gingerbread men

As a child Christmas always seemed so much fun and easy and now as a parent there are times when it feels complicated. As a child we were mainly in 1 or maybe 2 places; Now there are times when it’s 3 or more events.

 

Christmas Eve Eve

 

Today we had an early Christmas do at our place with some of my husband’s family to downsize the pile of presents that would be taken up to the lodge where we would be spending Christmas, especially considering there were a couple of large presents that would of taken up a bit of room in the vehicles.

Before family came round I went with my Mother-In-Law to do some last minute Christmas food shopping, it wasn’t too busy at the supermarket as we went there around 9am, if we’d left it later it probably would have been crazy busy.

 

After the family had left I made some gingerbread biscuits to eat over Christmas – because of how tired I was and because my boys insisted on talking to me while I was putting the ingredients together my attention was divided and the dough wasn’t as it should have been and took longer to come together.

I then got the boys to pack their bag, partially pack mine and Rylee’s bag before I could go to bed. Hubby was going to pack his bag in the morning.

 

Christmas Eve

Today was another busy day, after the kids got up and had breakfast, were dressed and Hubby was up and dressed we went to McDonalds for an early Christmas lunch with my Dad and siblings; we went to McDonalds as we only had a couple of hours before we needed to leave for the lodge where we would spend Christmas with some of my husband’s side of the family.

After we had finished at McDonalds we all went back to our place to open more presents which again couldn’t be taken up to the lodge or be opened at McDonalds as a couple for the kids were a bit large; as my Dad was putting together my four year old son’s new wagon my In-Law’s turned up, as Alex (4 year old) was travelling with them up to the lodge to allow me to put down the back seats in my car so there was more room to fill.

The journey up to the lodge felt long and arduous as I had to stop once for a carsick child, there was also a traffic accident which held us up and went got caught behind a caravan or 2. We finally reached the lodge so Hubby and I unpacked the car with help from my Brother-In-Law and I set up the room we would be staying in – I did need help from my Sister-In-Law to put up the porta-cot.

After dinner the kids opened their Christmas eve box – which included new pj’s and a book each they got ready for bed had a book read to them, Alex (4 years old) and Rylee (17 months old) went to bed. Jason (6 years old) got to stay up a little bit longer to play the new board game and then went to bed. Presents were then set up and “Santa” filled up the stockings.

Adults then socialised, as it was nearing midnight I headed for bed, the older generation had gone to bed earlier and my husband came to bed not long after and the rest I have no idea.Sleepy Rylee

Christmas Day

Today I woke around 6am as Rylee decided it was time to wake up, Alex was awake about half an hour later and then an hour later Jason got up. I got the kids breakfast and made myself a coffee, after breakfast the boysJason Present

went and got dressed and I dressed Rylee. It was hard for Alex to wait to open presents until all the adults were up but they all did. Seeing the look of excitement on my boys’ faces made the early morning worth it. After presents had been opened and the adults had cleared the paper and packaging away it was time for a breather – my B.I.L and his partner took their daughter and Alex up to the mountain, Jason read one of his new books, Some of the males put up the new BBQ and my M.I.L and her sister started preparing lunch.

Christmas Day

Lunch this year was at a decent hour and again was very filling; however Rylee didn’t eat much as she didn’t have a nap earlier so was over-tired.  I felt the same but managed to push on through – Christmas with young children can be hectic and tiring.

After lunch Rylee finally had a nap and the other kids played with their new toys while the adults’ tidied up and then rested, we had a pretty simple dinner of leftovers and cooked sausages – I think.

 

Boxing Day

Another early morning, as it seems that Rylee is a morning person. As soon as I get up I start packing our bags and then get the kids breakfast, a first breakfast of cereal; while they are getting dressed I strip the beds and try to have the room in the same way it was when we arrived. After this was done it was time for second breakfast of sausages, bacon, eggs and tomatoes. After second breakfast we packed the car as I wanted to get back home before lunch.

We set off home with Alex going with his Uncle and Papa (Grandfather) and leaving just before us. We arrived home just after 11am and unpacked the car, I then went down the road to get Alex and dropped my B.I.L at the motorbike races that happen on boxing day; I contacted my Nana to let her know we were back and around 1pm get an invite to go to where they were staying for tea. Rylee refused to have a nap that afternoon so by dinnertime was so over-tired she didn’t eat much except when it came to pudding.

It ended up being a late night for the kids as we didn’t get home until around 8pm, as soon as we got home the boys got ready for bed and I got Rylee ready and the boys went to bed after a story and I put Rylee in her cot to sleep.

Boys on Bikes

 

Conclusion

This was a snippet of how our Christmas played out this year, a lot more happened but if I wrote about every single thing that happened it would be quite a novel. I hope you all had a great Christmas and look forward to what the New Year will bring.   

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

 

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.