Parenting differences.

I’m a fairly carefree parent. I do discipline my little ones but I’m certainly not as ‘strict’ as I’ve been told I should be.

I often get ‘looks’ and ‘opinions’ on how I am with my children. They are not ‘brats, however I also know that they are not ‘angles’.

In the past year I’ve had a few mothers distance themselves from us. I’m pretty sure it’s either because I’ve offended them, or my children have. I know this as when we have ‘bumped’ into each other and I’ve suggested a catch up or play date, the conversation either changes or there becomes a strange and uncomfortable silence.

We all parent differently and we all do what works for us.

We all have different needs and expectations within our family’s. I know I don’t judge others by their parenting skills, it’s what works for them, so why should they judge me?

I posted another related article a few weeks ago about ‘if my child is being an ‘A Hole’ please tell me.’ I think this post coincides with that.

We all have differences, don’t judge, don’t distance but please speak up. I find it more offensive to pull away than to tell me the truth. I know I may not appreciate your opinion, however at least I will know where I stand with you and why those awkward conversations and silences hsppen.

Dealing With Parenting Differences Among Friends, Family And Kind Strangers

The Field Trip.

I’m not one to promote anything that I don’t believe in.

Let me start by saying I’m not affiliated with The Field Trip in anyway, nor is this a paid post.

I was approached by The Field Trip a while ago now as the CEO’s wife follows my blog. I offered to write about it back then as after looking at the website I thought it was an awesome organisation. Something that I think is well purposed and that there should be more organisations such as The Field Trip. I however got side tracked when trying to workout how to get all that they do in a single post.

So many good things to say about this organisation however I didn’t want to write an essay. Instead I’ve decided to let you make up your own mind.

The Field Trip is a metaphoric journey, empowering young people to find their passion, peers and path.

The Field Trip’s model for measuring impact and success is inspired by the work of Jane Gleeson-White, and her book: Six Capitals, which highlights a recent revolution in attempting to measure humanity’s impact on the world.

This program helps to enable today’s youth purpose, and the ability to achieve things that many adults perhaps thought they could not achieve.

It offers youth the encouragement and foresight to push themselves in a safe environment.

The Field Trip is a youth leadership program with a difference – a metaphoric journey, opening young people’s eyes to possibilities and opportunities which help them achieve their unique potential and create a positive legacy for the local and global community.

Please, do yourself a favour and have a look at the attached web link.

http://www.thefieldtrip.co/purpose

Is technology ruining our children?

I’ve said a few times that I think technology makes children anti social and causes many other issues.

Here is yet another great read on negative affects that technology has on our children.

This is possibly the third article on this subject that has came into my feed within about a month.

I’m a big believer in everything in moderation. I grew up playing outside, using my imagination and enjoying the outdoors – yes I know, I grew up in a small country town and my childhood was approx 3 decades ago, however I would not change it for the world.

I limit my children’s screen time.

I’ve seen the affects technology can have on children. What negative behaviour it can create. I’m not saying to can it totally, I just think we should all perhaps think prior to passing our little ones our smart phones to ‘keep them quiet or occupied’. Why not read a book with them, play eye spy, kick a ball outside, start drawing, explore in your garden or in a park, collect leaves, make an indoor cubby? So many other options and ways to create fun with our children that does not require technology.

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/mental-wealth/201508/screentime-is-making-kids-moody-crazy-and-lazy

Why moms are heros – by Rachel – Finding Joy.

To you, the mother.
To you, perhaps the tired mother who wants to throw her hands in the air and have a good cry over the frustration of the day but can’t even figure out what exactly made it so frustrating. To you the mother with littles who need you 25 hours in a 24 hour day. To you the mother, in whatever season of motherhood you may be in who needs a reminder about motherhood. To you, the mother, who might wonder if all of this mothering stuff really does make a difference.

Well, it does. And here is a small reminder of why.

You see, you are an amazing being. You get up before dawn and go to sleep well past the setting sun. And often, you stay awake through out the nights – waking to the cry of an infant or the whimper of a toddler with a bad dream or up watching for the teenager to return home. You, even though you’re tired, wake in the morning and put a smile on your face and look at those little ones who kept you up through the night and whisper to them I love you. It’s a love that isn’t dependent on sleep or looks or agendas. It’s a mother’s love.

You cook and bake and clean and do it all again. And again. And again. So often when there’s nothing in the pantry you can work your magic and pull a meal together that gets the cheers and hoorays of those sitting around your table. But you have thick skin – often the meals are met with noses turned and sighs and little ones telling you they really don’t like whatever you lovingly prepared. And then, dear mother, you negotiate and barter and set limits and hope that they eat at least two bites before they wash it down with the diluted half milk half chocolate milk mixture.

You are the chief problem solver. You can handle any argument – whose turn it is to unload or load or if one kid is bothering the other way too much. You have limits on name calling, yelling, fibbing, and teasing. You have mastered the art of counting to ten – in a row. You know when to step back and climb the stairs and sit on the floor in the bathroom and count to one hundred and then come out with a renewed sense of energy. And even if you don’t have you just push through. And sometimes, it means pbjs or pancakes for dinner – and then your kids think you’re even cooler.

You budget and drive and clean. And laundry? You breathe it. Day in and day out and day in and day out. Those mystery and long lost socks are no match for you the sorter, folder, and organizer. And even when you get behind you still joke about taming Mount Washmore even though really, really you wish for just one week where you didn’t have to fold all of those clothes. But, deep down, hidden in there, you know that this is a season – a sweet season – where the onesies, blankets, size 2T socks, soccer shorts, and leotards get to be in your wash. So you breathe deep and try to remember the value and sweetness of these fleeting years while you fold the stack of wrinkled t-shirts.

You, dear mother, are amazing. So often you look at all others are doing and then you measure yourself with a stick that is much too short. You’ll look at all they do and miss the amazing things you do. No one knows your kids the way you do – their quirks, sense of humor, and how to finally get them to stay in bed. You know when to just ignore the noise and keep on talking. You know them. You go to bed exhausted and wake up tired and yet you still give and do it the next day because you love the ones who call you mom.

You need a reminder today, a reminder of your greatness. And so today, to you the chief budget keeper, problem solver, sock folder, rocking chair rocker, temperature taker, sitter up till the teen gets home, sweeper, toy sorter for the tenth time in a day, listener, driver to and fro, cooker, cleaner, medicine giver, tamer of the laundry, repeated reader of books, and giver of self you need to remember that what you are doing today makes a difference.

It matters.

Motherhood matters greatly. The littles or middles or bigs in your home look at you. Their mom. They see the good – the way you give, the sweet things you do, the meals you make – and they love you. You deserve to be loved. And sometimes, sometimes they forget to tell you. Sometimes they yell at you or don’t obey or say things like I hate you and all of that. Those things don’t define you. Instead of quitting you just keep going. You go through sleepless nights, tight budgets, crabby kids, worry about tomorrow, homework being lost, times being sick, more sleepless nights, and all of the above plus more. Those tender hugs from years passed matter just as much today as do those moments where you want to whisper I quit but instead keep going.

That is my definition of a hero.

You are a hero.

Every single day. When you get up and rise and love on those kids and give of self. Don’t ever listen to the lies of the world that tell you that you are only a good mom if you do x, y, and z. Motherhood isn’t graded by the number of pinterest projects completed, or clever facebook status updates, or perfectly executed birthday parties, or the number on the scale. Motherhood isn’t this quantifiable thing – it’s not graded by everything you accomplish, but rather is a beautiful example of giving of self and loving even when the reserve tank is empty.

Your heart gives everyday.

So you, sweet mother, today I want you to move through your day – no matter how your day is – and remember that you are making a difference. Those kids who seem forever young will grow. And you, you are the one blessed with today and the time to walk that growing up journey with them. In all the bumps, twists, turns, and ups and downs no matter what you are their mother.

And that is something to be absolutely celebrated today.

Carry on hero.

~Rachel

Wholesome Child.

For those who know me, know that I love to bake!

I don’t think there is a better scent than that of freshly baked goodies. 😉

I try to bake and make healthy treats for me any my family, especially my two kiddies. I also try to make sugar free or refined sugar free and use wholemeal or whole grains where I can.

I just happened to find this on Instagram, got to love social media 😉 I am no way affiliated with them, but after scrolling through their webpage and recipes I wanted to share.

So for those of you like me, trying to be healthy, check out these recipes. Yummy! I plan on baking some tomorrow!

http://www.wholesomechild.com.au/recipe_category/healthy-treats/

Wonder Woman Method.

It’s not often I will endorse or help to promote a fitness or health plan. This is different though.

Kate is a wonderful woman who is a fellow mummy at my little guys preschool. Since getting to know her I have such admiration and respect for her and what she does. Not only is Kate a walking billboard for ‘Wonder Woman Method’ she is a qualified nutritionist, counsellor and health coach.

If you are struggling to kick some kilograms or just need a little support with your program, contact Kate. She is a wealth of knowledge and would be more than happy to help you get in your way to a healthier and happier you.

Have a look at her website, there is no harm in looking. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

https://wonderwomanmethod.com

The Happy Mom Pledge by Rachel – Finding Joy

For those that have followed me for a while you will know I have a few favourite bloggers. Finding Joy is one of those. Thank you Rachel.

Finding Joy.
“the happy mom pledge”

Repeat after me.

(and if you have little kids it might take a couple tries simply because you don’t get much quiet.)

I will know that I make a difference. And yes it counts when you get up early and pack those lunches and tuck notes in and wait outside the door.

I will not compare myself to the mom sitting across from me in Starbucks. That mom at Starbucks is probably comparing herself with you too so it might be better if you just said hello to each other.

I will give myself grace when I stumble. Sorry, you’ll stumble. You’ll make mistakes. You’ll burn the pizza. But you’ll get up.

I will find moments to laugh again. And it can be laughing over anything. I laughed at myself when I was headfirst in the dryer attempting to remove crayon because I thought I would be supermom and get all the laundry done super fast and super fast meant not checking nine year old son’s pockets for broken crayons. So I just laughed. And sprayed goo-gone.

I will give myself grace because chances are I won’t do everything on this list. If anyone on here completes a to-do list it will go on the Guinness Book of Mom Records courtesy of Finding Joy. Good luck.

I will not be so hard on myself. That means it is okay if you make cake balls and they turn into cake mush. It’s okay that your birthday decorations are from Target. It’s is way super okay (can we all just stand up and cheer) that you said no to the treat bags.

I will let the tears fall if they need to fall. Behind bathroom doors, on the phone, in the car, as you’re making lunch, to a good friend…tears are emotion…and sometimes they need to fall.

I will be proud of my children. Put their artwork up even if it doesn’t match your decor. Text your teenager telling them that you love them. Be proud.

I will let the handprints be on my windows and not apologize for them. Having kids means having handprints, sticky counters, and permanent marker in places. Like now, in my home, on my five and seven year old sons’ door to their room where they decided to write their name in Black ultra permanent never coming off you might as well buy a new door Sharpie. At least we all never forget which room is theirs.

I will say thank you to the barista at Starbucks.They are your friends. And at Target. And besides that – our kids are watching us. Always always always say thank you as you never know the impact you’ll make on someone else’s life.

I will not be apologize for not having everything together. Please don’t. Then I have to apologize for not having it together and then we’re both stuck thinking that we always have to have it together.

I will go to bed at night tired but knowing I made a difference. If you can remember this before you fall asleep than yes. Otherwise wake knowing that everything you do is awesome. Well, cleaning toilets may feel not awesome but let me remind you of your world if you did not do this. See? awesome.

I will try super hard to not judge others. You don’t know their circumstances. Maybe what is right in your world isn’t right in their world. Love. Don’t judge.

I will try even more super hard to not judge myself so hard. Um totally yes. (Sometimes the baristas at Starbucks remind me of this…see? Love them.) We’re our own worst critics. Enough. The Happy Mom pledge is about learning to give ourselves grace.

I will remember that my kids will make mistakes.When they screw up at school, which they will, and you get a note, which you will, it is not a reflection of your ability as a mom. Kids are human too. Help them with their mistakes and do not take it personally.

I will also remember that my kids do not indicate my parenting successes or failures. See above. Please.

I will remember again that I will probably not remember to do everything on the list. Just another reminder. Remember we’re only human. What matters is that you and I try. Get chocolate and start again.

I will look for one good thing every day. Yes, yes, yes. Please this. Look for one thing. I know life can be incredibly tough and hard and tedious and aggravating, but please look for one good thing everyday. Even if it was that your latte was extra hot and awesome or that your three year old went to bed without fussing. One thing. And three year olds going to bed without an argument counts as five good things in case you were wondering.

I will be thankful. Gratitude destroys comparison, envy, and that pesky part of ourselves that thinks we don’t measure up.

I will be me and will pursue the things I love. Just because you are a mom does not mean that every single thing you do has to do with mothering. Make sure to cultivate your dreams your desires and the things you love too. With NO guilt.

I will not feel guilty for the nights when it’s popcorn for dinner. Or macaroni and cheese from the box with the powder that you mix with milk and a dash of butter. Or chicken nuggets. Or pancakes. YOU GOT DINNER ON THE TABLE. Remember that instead.

I will not let mom guilt bug me at all, in fact.Going back to that mom guilt thing. It’s way way way too easy to feel guilty and to think that we’re not measuring up. Nope. Not anymore. Mom guilt? We’re kicking it to the curb.

I will tell a friend how great a job they’re doing.Starting now. Us moms need to hear from our friends that we appreciate them. Send them this note and have them be a part of this Happy Mom Pledge. No more you versus me versus her. That’s not happy. Unity.

I will see the good in me. After all you’re the only one who knows just what to tell your eleven year old when they’re nervous about that Social test. Or how to cut their sandwiches in the morning. Or where to find the missing shoe or mitten or homework. Or how to deal with slammed doors or I hate you’s and to not take it personally. You are great.

I will know that I am enough. If you forget read this -> Why Being a Mom is Enough

I will try again. And again, and again, and again. That’s called strength.

I will be real. There is no perfect mom in this world of utopian ideals. There is real. And real is beautiful, powerful, amazing, giving, loving, and awesome. So, yes, that’s you.

I will fight for my heart. And that means letting yourself be happy again.

I will love me.

That’s the Happy Mom Pledge.

Will you take it too?

~Rachel

(and to read a Happy Mom Story – read this -> The Marshmallow Story)

Friendships and Social Media.

When social media overtakes friendships.

I recently had an emotional week where I found myself questioning many aspects of my life. Toying with the idea of starting a business and also had a few events happen that have made me question certain friendships.

I’m quite open with my feelings and some would say that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I had a very dear friend sit me down and give me a reality check, which I must say was much needed.

We were chatting about certain things that had upset me and her honesty was exactly what I needed. She said that I do share a lot on my facebook and instagram pages about what I’m up to and things I’m doing with my two little ones. Her suggestion was to stop. She said I’m too open and that may make people feel as though they don’t need to contact me. They already see it posted, so why the need to contact me?

This gorgeous friend also said that I put too much effort into a lot of my friendships and I should hold myself back. I interpreted that as I may be a ‘needy’ friend but she assured me that’s not what she meant.

She said that I’m the thoughtful one who contacts my friends to ‘check in’ basically. Ask them how they are doing, what they have been up to, and of course, it’s me organising a catch up. My dear friend suggested that I stop doing this also. She said that people just wait for my contact and feel they do not need to contact me or ask how I’m doing as they assume that I will contact them, or they will see on my social media what I’m up to which then allows them to not ‘have’ to contact me. She said many of my friendships are one way. Me putting the effort in and them just taking and not making any effort with or for me.

My feelings were hurt but it made perfect sense. She said that this will show me who actually is a true friend by those who take the time to contact me.

It made me realise, that perhaps social media does allow friends to drift apart?

If it’s all out there to see, why should you contact anyone to see how they are?

I’m an old fashioned person. I like to hear in my friends voices that they are ok. I like to physically see them, have the interaction with them and know that they are ok.

Maybe I’m just a weirdo? Is this weird?

I’ve had a few situations arise where I have been excluded and it has hurt my feelings. Maybe I should just get over it, but then again, why can’t I feel hurt by being excluded? I’ve seen things posted on social media that I was not invited too (not that I need to be included in everything) but certain occasions it’s nice to feel included.

I know that people and friendships change. Gosh I’ve experienced this first hand. When we moved out of our ‘area’ and into a new suburb 45 minutes away, I knew that it would show who I would keep as part of my life and who would no longer need my friendship.

That of course hurt.

I’m the friend who travels to the kids birthday parties in peak hour that are hours away, but I don’t get that in return. I’m the friend who drives an hour to help you settle your newborn baby with my newborn baby on board as you are struggling. I’m the friend who is there at who cares what hour, to listen to your word and comfort you when you feel like your works is about to end. And I’m the friend who offers to look after your toddler and give you rest as you are not feeling well or have morning sickness.

But I wouldn’t change it for the world as I know, that I’ve helped my friends when they have needed to rely on me.

I’ve had friends say 45mins is too far to drive to my daughters 1st birthday party, I’ve had friends cancel on me last minute. I’ve had friends organise outings with mutual friends but deliberately exclude me. It’s those friends who don’t return calls, or texts, or blatantly ignore you, that have hurt me. I’ve felt excluded from many situations. I’m the one who drives the distance with 2 little ones in toe, to visit my friends. Those who are important to me. I make the effort. Is effort to much to ask these days?

So are they friends or are they acquaintances?
Or are they just people who were once part of my life?

I’m trying to understand why some people treat others so distant when they are happy to receive but not put out?

Why are some friendships so one sided?

As I get older and after a few reality checks by my honest and true friends, I’m realising that those who I have called dear friends, are not actually that.

And it hurts, but as the old saying goes, it’s not the quantity but the quality.

I have a handful of good and honest friends who do spontaneously contact me. Just to see how I am, and they don’t want or need anything but to see how I am feeling.

For this I am grateful.

So for the next few months, I will be pulling back. I won’t be posting anything about where I am or what I’m up to. I also won’t go out of my way to contact ‘friends’. This will be my test, to see who actually does care enough about me to contact me. Who thinks about me?

It may be an even harsher reality check for me, but it will definitely show me those who I mean anything to and those who I no longer need to feel that I should be contacting or making an effort for.

Maybe social media does take over our lives?
Maybe I do post too much.

Let’s see how this plays out.

Stay tuned….