15 August 2017

When you feel like you are failing...don't give up

Why do I feel as though the past 8 1/2 years haven't accounted for much? Is it because they don't hand out degrees for parenting? There's no shiny award handed out once you have passed the newborn/baby years, toddler tantrum years, preschooler years.

Hubby and I joked the other day that if parenting was a university course, you would start off with your Bachelor's degree over 4 years part-time for the newborn-toddler years, then you move on to the Graduate Certificate for the Preschool to Kindergarten years, then a Masters for primary, then PhD for the high school/teenage years, cause by the time they are teenagers, and you know teenagers, they know everything!

With Cherub starting Kindergarten this year, I had it on my "to-do" list to get back to the workforce once she's settled in at school. Well it's now halfway through Term 3, and I still haven't found a job.

After spending the past 8 1/2 years as a stay-at-home Mum, I have been questioning my abilities and procrastinating (such a time waster!) about whether to start my own business. My confidence levels have been quite low, and I had been feeling frustrated and confused with what I should do with returning to work.

I have been told, "Oh you just need to upskill yourself ", "Do a course", "Become a VA", "Just go for it!"

I know it sounds like I am making up excuses, but it's a terrible feeling to think that you used to be bloody good at your job before having kids, then wham 8 years later you are unsure if you can do that job again and you doubt your abilities. I am sure the knowledge is locked away in my brain somewhere!

While there's been heaps of jobs I could have applied for, most were full-time and far from home. I want to have the flexibility of being able to still help out at the girl's school, be there in the mornings and afternoons for them, and have the ability to attend special events, so with that in mind I have decided to start up my own home business. The fear of not knowing if I can do it or not, is still their in the back of my mind, but I know if I don't give it a go, I'll be kicking myself for it. I also know, that I won't be happy if I just settle on any job, and find that I don't enjoy it and could be doing something else.

So I guess what I am trying to say is if you are finding yourself doubting yourself or abilities or worried that you can't do something like start your own business or setup an Etsy shop (another thing I am working on) because you've been told "there's no money in it", or "my friend tried that and it didn't work", stop it. Don't give up too easily on your ideas or yourself, if you don't give your idea a go, you will never know if you can make something out of it.

08 August 2017

Parenting is hard

Parenting has moments when its just hard, not hardwork when you have to get the washing machine on, make lunches for the kids, get the youngest down for a nap, clean up the breakfast dishes then finally have a shower! Well, it is hardwork but its not what I am talking about.

Its sort of like when you have a newborn, and you go through those sleep deprived days and nights, late night feeds, or getting up to your little one who has been crying for hours with undiagnosed reflux - yep that certainly is hard.

Its when you see those sweet faces who still have a tiny resemblance of the tiny baby they were getting older. {They are growing up so fast!}

Popette and Cherub on the weekend

Its when you hear them tell you something (you possibly already knew) for the first time and hear the excitement in their voice. {They are learning so much!}

Its when you watch them, with confidence, try something new and smash it. {They are needing me less!}

Cherub learning the keyboard

Its when you hear them talk about an Adult issue or join a conversation and come up with a great solution. {They blow you away with how smart and clever they've become}

Its when you grab their hand or cuddle them close that you realise their not your little babies anymore. {They are nearly as tall as me!!}

Having a play at a park over the holidays

Its when you say to them "See you later. Have a good day. I love you!" as they head off to class all ready to learn more. {They are becoming independent, smart, clever girls}

Its that feeling of not having them with you. Its having a quiet house to return to, which years before you craved. Its having peace and quiet you had wished for repeatedly so you can enjoy a book, shower or coffee without being interrupted, suddenly feels too quiet, and you miss the happy cheerful voices.

Its hard to see them turn another year older when all you want is to stop time and keep them as sweet, innocent, little girls.

Its hard to watch them be excited about growing up when you yourself are growing old, and all you want to do is savour each day you have together.

Parenting is hard.

01 August 2017

Leading by example

I have been trying not to yell at my girls, it can be hard somedays, especially when I've asked them what feels like a hundred times to hurry up and get dressed for school, then I start being Mrs Shouts-a-lot and try to get them moving, otherwise we end up being late.

I know yelling isn't the answer, and I hate seeing my girls get upset with me, or worse become ignorant and no longer listen to me when I ask them to do something. Popette who is 8, acts like a teenager. She answers back, and has my 'don't even think of it look' down pat! I've been worrying myself silly (I am such a worrier!) that she's been doing 'the look' at the kids at school and answering back at them, resulting in kids not wanting to play with her. I would love to be a fly on the wall at lunchtime to see who she plays with, and what she gets up to. I just hope she's not being left out.

I can't stand people who are cruel on purpose, or say damaging and hurtful things to get someone upset or trick a person into thinking they were liked, when it was all just a joke.

Hubby and I are trying to get our girls to understand that this sort of behaviour isn't how a good friend behaves, and that they need to be nice to their friends.

Sometimes I experience problems with Popette opening up about her friends. It scares me, as I don't know what she is experiencing. When I try to broach the subject with her, she'll say "Mum I don't want to talk about it", "or it upsets me to talk about it Mum". 

Popette is such a sensitive girl, and can be a little unsure of herself. On a number of occasions she has said to me that she's "a loser". 

Just the other day, I was helping out in Popette's class for reading. I was with Popette and two of her friends playing a maths game. Popette was coming last, and moaned out loud "I'm coming last, I'm such a loser!" Usually I can tell when she's joking, but I knew she wasn't. I said to her, that that wasn't a nice thing to say about herself, and she wasn't a loser. But then one of her friends spoke up, and said, "If you keep saying you are a loser, then you'll believe it".

Popette then got out of her silly mood, and enjoyed the rest of the game. 

It's the negative talk such as that, that can become hurtful and cruel to our kids, and make them start thinking that they're not good enough.

As parents I think we need to recognise our kids attributes, even when they are struggling to find it in them themselves. While Popette can be a little grumpy, and answers back, I know she has a good heart. She is a thoughtful, loving, sweet person. She is definitely not a loser.

I know I have moments when I think I am failing terribly, and I feel sorry for myself. Thankfully, I understand my feelings and thoughts and can do something about it, but as parents we need to ensure our kids understand their feelings and thoughts, that they are enough. They are important.

We should love them, encourage them, protect them, nurture them and help them to be strong, happy, adventurous, confident, amazing little people.