Good Days

Some days you realise that everything just went well. Sure the kids had their moments, and so did you, but overall, things just worked. We had one of those this week.

The autumn sun was bright, the kids were happy, and we got things done. Spending most of the day outside, we walked to the library, and did the craft activities. It was also memorable because I had won a ‘who borrowed most’ prize for their February/Valentines/Book Love extravaganza.

We played at the park on our way home, and befriended some random kids who were also having fun playing.

We made pici pasta from a Jamie Oliver recipe for lunch. The kids loved it, and it was an extra fun way to sneak in leafy greens to their diet. Parenting win!

We weeded the garden and mowed the lawn. I love my push reel mower. Everybody else thinks I’m crazy, but it’s great exercise, he lawn gets mown and I’ve expended nothing but time and elbow grease.

And after an adventure-some day, the kids slept like tiny exhausted logs. Granted, child one was having a farm day and it was just me with numbers two and three, but we managed a lot of things I’d been trying to make time for, and had a bunch of fun.

It wasn’t until the next day that I realised how good it had been. In the moment I was just trying to keep the kids occupied while getting the jobs done. In reality, we’d had an entire day of quality time, doing healthy, worthwhile activities, with minimal arguing and no tantrums.

Total shocker: an entire day with no one chucking a hissy fit, or stamping feet demanding this, that or the other.

I think this will be my model for home days now. Sure, working days, or kinder days, or after school activity days will look different, but home days are going to be outside days, chasing days, walking days, adventure days. Days where I can look back and say: Today was a good day.

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Losing Your Way, Finding Your Path

It’s easy to lose your way. Get side tracked, get busy, family drama, no time, no energy. All of these things can get in the way of that goal you’ve been working toward.

For me, it was a combination of all of the above. A new job that required so much of my time and effort, studying for a degree that I’ve wanted for years, a sick relative, another whose stress levels were affecting me and my family, lack of sleep and the demands of being a sole parent to three amazing kids.

For months I was lost in the mire. I was working, earning enough to allow for the occasional splurge for the kids, and then I let it all slide. I no longer had to budget every cent, I no longer had to be sure to turn the appliances off at a specified time so my electric bill wouldn’t run over my budget, I no longer had to deny myself the occasional pack of Tim Tams. And there it was, I loosened the reins in one area of my life, and all the other things slipped a little too.

It took me months to notice how far off track I’d gotten, and only a day of brooding to figure out that my slip was not a failure, but a normal part of life. We slip, we fall, we drift off the path we had chosen for ourselves, but we can get back up, turn ourselves back in the right direction and begin again.

Three things got me back on track.

  • Realising how much I was spending on disposable products. Baby wipes, paper towel, dish sponges, tampons, the list is enormous.
  • Realising that my trees were fruiting again, here is something free, natural and delicious for my family, and it just happens to grow in my backyard. With a little thought and effort, I could try this gardening thing again.
  • Realising that I missed the sense of achievement I felt when I was giving my family the best I could, even when it was on such a tight budget

So here I am, back at the starting line, picking myself up, finding my way back to where I want to be. And knowing that I may have drifted off the path, but that’s ok, I have GPS, I’ll always be able to find it again.

Monday Musings – Family

I only worked a half day today, and seeing as all the kids were occupied elsewhere, I took the opportunity to visit with my parents. Granted it was actually with an ulterior motive, but any time I get to hang out with the ‘rents without the kids is pretty rare.

I know Dad would hate my ulterior motive. I know my siblings think it’s fairly sensible. I think Mum just likes having me around. My motive is pretty simple: Dad is getting older. We all are, it’s a thing people do. But Dad is still running the farm, and working, and he still does all the heavy lifting himself. The very least I can do when I have some time, is offer my presence (because I’m awesome), and a spare set of hands to help on the farm.

Truth is I’m not very useful yet, which seeing as I grew up on that farm, is kinda odd. But the parents only asked some work of us. I could milk cows, feed calves, round up cows, drove cattle, hose the yard, check troughs etc. But things are different. I’m out of practice, and Dad runs beef instead of dairy cattle now.

So while I go to the farm to hang out with Dad, and help out, it also helps me. I’m learning some of the random farm stuff that I never understood before. I’m learning just how hard my parents worked to raise us kids. I’m learning that no matter what happens, I can be tough, I can learn new things and I can still give a damn about other people.

I realised a little while ago just how much I value, and need, my family. I also realised that life can still throw punches that make you want to run to the people you know will look after you, and back your play no matter what. And I’ll be forever grateful to my family. So that’s another reason to go to the farm, hang out with Mum, work with Dad. I don’t know how else to repay them for everything. But I can give them my time, my love, and a spare set of hands. It’s all I have. And I’m happy to give it.

Holy Crunch, Batman!

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I’ve read some of the hippie, crunchy, earth mother websites and blogs available. Some of them, I can get behind, others, I just can’t.

This is for various reasons, one being that there seems to be a lot of people out there who are anti-vaccination. Personally I’m all for vaccination. My kids have been vaccinated, I’ve been vaccinated, and due to working in hospitals I’ve had regular boosters and yearly flu shots.

I absolutely agree that people who are immunosuppressed or allergic shouldn’t get vaccinated, there’s no point making yourself deathly ill. But I also believe that we should not only protect ourselves, but we should protect others where we can, from preventable communicable disease. Herd immunity is a thing. There are studies, backed by science and years of research.

So while I advocate for vaccination, I won’t go on about it (too much). I just don’t think we should push our views and thought processes onto others. So if something I say here isn’t to your taste, that’s fine. You can choose not to visit the site again, or just ignore the posts you don’t like or don’t apply to you. All I’m going to do is offer what has worked for me. I’m not going to tell you that I’m right and you’re wrong, because life isn’t that way. You need to choose what works for you, and that’s the important thing about sharing, we all have brains and you can research, or try things to see if they work for you or not. None of us are doing this life thing wrong (unless there’s been charges) and it’s great to have other options to explore. So feel free to show me your options, your ideas and feedback. As long as we’re all civil, and kind, I’m good with it.

So maybe this isn’t going to be your typical crunchy earth mama site. It might be more of a middle ground between crunchy and conventional, and I’m okay with that. Here’s hoping you are too.

Love, hugs, etc, Deb