Tag Archives: difficult

Toddlers and teenagers.

Teenagers and toddlers.

I was chatting with another mummy at a birthday party today and we were comparing stories about our children. I was saying how my little miss is pushing boundaries like there is no tomorrow (hello tantrums ) whilst she was talking about her teenagers.

What we both found interesting was the similarities in behaviour and reactions. My stories also bought back memories for her, from when her children were younger.

I know this may sound offensive, especially if you are a teenager reading this, however similarities in back chat, attitude and general rudeness are uncanny.

During our conversation we shared many a laugh with comparing stories, yet also shared ideas on how we can deal with our situations.

Disrespectful or rude behaviour in both toddlers and teenagers is pretty common. Although these phases do eventually pass.

Not all toddlers or teenagers are rude or disrespectful, but some disrespect is a normal part of both toddler and teenage growth and development. Otherwise known as pushing boundaries.

This is partly because your child is learning to express and test out their own independent ideas, so of course, there will be times when you disagree. Which in return may cause arguments.

You will find that having your child develop their own independence is a key part of growing up and a good sign that your child is trying to take more responsibility.

We both agreed that our children’s moods change very quickly and sometimes for no apparent reason. My two year old can throw a tantrum over me giving her the wrong plate colour at dinner time whereas my mummy friend said her teenager can throw a tantrum with yelling, slamming doors, ignoring her wishes or grunting at her when she has asked for a simple task to be done.

Because of how our brains develop individually, your child isn’t always able to express their changing feelings and reactions to everyday or unexpected things. This can also lead to over-sensitivity, and over reactions that may be seen as grumpiness or rudeness.

Sometimes disrespectful behaviour might also be a sign that your child is feeling particularly stressed, anxious or worried.

As a parent, you might feel hurt, worried and unsure about why this behaviour is happening. Your child used to value your interest or input and perhaps be ‘closer’ with you, but now it seems that even simple conversations with them can turn into an argument. My toddler most definitely hates when I suggest she do something different to what she wants. According to my friend, her teenager has similar reactions when she asks them to make their bed or put their used plate in the dishwasher. My miss, will proceed to tell me ‘no, I not, I no likey you’ whereas her teenager grunt and moans at her over a similar request.

What we must remember though is that both toddlers and teenagers are trying to express themselves. Toddlers generally struggle with words or expressing themselves verbally whilst teenagers struggle with feelings and emotions. Toddlers throw tantrums when they feel frustrated whereas teenagers may feel unheard therefore they shut down and this behaviour can be mistaken for rudeness or disrespect.

Around the age of 13 a child’s brain start to think in a deeper way than it did a few years earlier, they can have thoughts and feelings they’ve never had before which they may struggle with accepting, while some young people seem to burst into the world with a conflicting and radical view on everything. This shift to deeper thinking is a normal part of brain development. As with most things, people will always deal with things differently.

What we both conceded was in both our situations, mine with my bossy, Indepandant, argumentative toddler and her with her rude, abrupt and disrespectful teenager is that if we staied calm during these outbursts the situation was fused quickly.

It is important if your child reacts with ‘attitude’ to a discussion that you stop, take a deep breath, and continue calmly with what you wanted to say. By reacting with aggression or similar attitude, you may find that it escalates the situation. It can also confuse the child as to what behaviour is actually acceptable. If your irrational or aggressive, your child may think this behaviour is acceptable and behaviour in a similar situation.

In a difficult situation try to use light humour. A shared laugh can break a stalemate, bring a new perspective or lighten the mood and tone of a conversation. Being a lighthearted parent can also help take the heat out of a situation – but avoid mocking, ridiculing or being sarcastic. I find that with my kids, if she is in the thick of a tantrum, if I walk away she may escalate or if I change the subject and perhaps put her favourite show on TV it may diffuse her. Whereas my friend said that by Ignoring her teenagers shrugs, rolling eyes and bored looks it also diffuses the situation, but if she demands an apology for the ‘attitude’, it can be like adding petrol to a fire.

During these power struggles with your child, If you are feeling angry or frustrated try not to take it out on your child. They don’t understand what they are feeling and are most likely struggling with your emotions also. What we need to do as a parent is to teach the child, be it a toddler or teenager that their behaviour is not appropriate or acceptable. If you become defensive or agitated your child will then most likely react in a similar way.

Try not to take things that your toddler or teenager say personally. It might help to remind yourself that your child is trying to assert their own independence.

Even though you have more life experience than your child, lecturing them about how to behave is likely to have them stop listening to you. If you want your child to listen to you, you might need to allow them to speak freely to you also. Communication goes both ways and the child needs to feel respected in order to feel valid. Much like nagging, this is not likely to have a positive effect. It might increase your frustration, and your child will probably just scream at you or switch off. As with sarcasm your child may start to resent you and as a parent, I know that I do not want that type of relationship with my children.

Speaking with this other mummy today has made me feel like this ‘terrible two’ situation is easy in comparison to her ‘terrible teenager’. My eldest is only 4 but rest assured I’m planning on putting boundaries in place in hope that he won’t behave irrationally during his teenage years.

What are you experience’s of toddlers and teenagers?

Did or do you have a similar experience?

I’d love to hear from you.

Sibling arrival.

Sibling arrival.

So how do we cope when number 2 arrives?

My first born is my only boy and is amazing. I never thought I could love another the way that I love him. I think the first born always has you feeling like you make never have enough love to share.

For the first 2.5 years it was he and I. We did everything together and perhaps I doted on him and spoilt him. He was my first born and the love of my life. I was and still am totally besotted by him.

Then number 2 came along. My little princess. I now have 1 of each and feel so blessed. Besotted by both. Amazing how much love you can feel for your children.

However, my little guy now seems so rough and boisterous. How do I deal with this when I have a newborn to protect?

My little man doesn’t understand that newborns require mummy’s attention whilst they are awake including breast feeding. I solely breast feed.

I’ve found these first few months were hard work trying to juggle my little mans needs and feelings while I sat to breastfeed, and my newborn needed the majority of my attention. Just as she would latched on, my little guy would ask to play, and I would find myself snapping, “can you please wait!” I feel so guilty over this but she needs to feed and she certainly doesn’t understand.

He is only 2.5 years old so how does he understand?

For the most part he is amazing. I can put a movie on and he will watch whilst I feed but the past few weeks he has became very demanding of my attention and will climb all over me whilst I’m trying to breastfeed the baby.

I’ve tried a special treat of food or a box of special toys that he is only allowed to play with whilst I breastfeed but neither of these seem to work. He simply wants my attention.

I have sat him down and asked him why he does it. His response was ‘I need my mummy’. It almost broke my heart. I know he needs me and I need him but I can’t help but find myself feeling frustrated with the situation.

I’ve read various blogs and books in dealing with sibling jealousy but am finding nothing seems to work for us.

I don’t like to snap at him and I feel terrible when I do. I can’t lock myself away to feed and when the baby is asleep, he has my undecided attention. We play anything that he wants – which is mostly pirates. I’m feeling a bit lost. What else can I do?

He is only in preschool one day per week and my husband thinks he needs to go more often but again I feel guilty as I’m a stay at home mum. I feel almost like I’m palming him off when he could be home with me?

I’m also a big holder of ‘mummy guilt’ he is the last to be dropped to preschool and the first to be picked up each week, I simply miss my buddy when he is there. I do know he has a great time whilst he is there and that it’s good for him to be social with other children and in a learning environment but I do miss him.

So how do we deal with the arrival of a new sibling?

How do we teach the older child that we still love them as much as ever?

How do we manage the jealousy?

How do we protect the newborn?

How do we time manage?

I thought I had it all under control. Seemingly not. My little man is spoilt, I will and can admit that I have and do spoil him. Perhaps it’s my fault he is lashing out and misbehaving?

Is his behaviour a jealousy thing?

When the baby is asleep he has my undivided attention. We play, we read, we watch movies, we garden, we do everything together.

Why does he feel he needs to misbehave when I’m holding the baby or showing her attention?

Because he was my only child for 2.5years and I allowed him to be the centre of my universe. Perhaps this is my reward? A child who doesn’t understand ‘sharing’ as such yet?

However at 2 years old they don’t yet understand ‘sharing’. They still play side by side at school rather than interact together or shall I say ‘play together’. They are still thinking ‘singular’ and perhaps that to some extent that they are still ‘attached’ to their mother?

All these theories but which one is correct?

It’s interesting as so many people are so quick to pass comment and judge your parenting skills and or techniques.

My thoughts to those who pass comment, especially when they are strangers who don’t know you or your situation – but then does this actually matter? Is who do you think you are to pass comment and or judgment? Are your children the most well behaved in the world?

How do we feel confident in raising our children to be well adjusted, happy, caring, considerate, loving, giving, fair, successful people if we are constantly being judged in our every move?

Marriage

Marriage.

Do people just settle?

As my regular readers know, I love sex and the city. I still watch it on Foxtel and still love every little thing about it.

I recently watched the episode where Carrie’s friend ‘just settles’ as the guy is good on paper and she has reached a certain age and feels she needs to settle down as that’s just ‘what you do’.

So it’s made me think – yes I’m s traditionalist and I married for love. However I’ve been thinking of reasons other than love as to why people do marry and this is what I’ve came up with.

For money – yes some people to feel they need the financial guarantee or support for a particular lifestyle so I guess they ‘hunt’ down that person in order to get their needs met.

For religious beliefs – I recently watched a television show on channel 7 where the woman was married at an early age to a Muslim man and they were in love but after many years of his controlling ways and they had 2 beautiful children she wanted to leave him. He wouldn’t sign the divorce papers so when she went on a holiday overseas he lodged a marriage certificate to that country stating that they were still in fact married and as she had met someone else – after the separation she was now committing a crime within their religion. Her ex husband took their children and wouldn’t allow her access to them and almost destroyed her life. She was in hiding for many months as such a ‘crime’ – according to the ex husband could see her jailed for life or even the death penalty.

Now I’m not saying it’s only Muslims but I find it hard to agree with having to stay married if the person that you are married to is making your life miserable and is threatening you or causing harm or an unsafe environment for the family especially children.

For children – so I understand some people think that there is a time frame on when you can / should have children but I don’t understand women who fall pregnant in order to get proposed to? Each to their own though.

For convenience – so they no longer have to worry about a relationship?

So I’ve done some googling and found some other reasons why people get married other than the traditional reason for being in love.

I’d love to hear your thoughts or reasonings for getting married.

Email me – noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Because you love them or really like them.

Because she wants to.

Because you don’t seem to be going anywhere.

Because you don’t want anyone else to have them.

Because, wait — how old are you?

Because of God.

Because your boss is married or all your friend’s are married or getting married so you should too?

Because the sex is good.

Because the fights are good.

Because the sex after the fights is really good.

Because they pick up the dry cleaning.

Because you know that even if it gets bad, life will probably be easier, happier, with them than without them.

Because you believe that it’s going to work out.

What ever your reason, I just hope it lasts and its your right reason.

Being a mummy.

I love being a mum!

I read many blogs and quite often find myself drawn to 2 in particular, yes MamaMia by Mia Freedman and Mouths of Mums.

As you know I recently gave up my career, actually let’s rephrase it ‘I’ve put my career on hold to have a family’. I’m sure I will go back to work at some stage but for now I’m a mummy.

I am also the first to admit that I struggled with this. Along with the complete financial reliance on my hubby I felt I was also giving up some of my independence. I’m not sure if other parents have felt the same when they made this decision however I certainly did.

It’s now been approx 4 months since I gave up my employment and I must say I love being a mummy. I have many friends and acquaintances who may not agree with me, they may feel like they struggle. I however am relishing in it and absolutely adore being a mummy. I absolutely adore my son too! 🙂

I have no deadlines, I have no immediate commitments, work to my own schedule and can sit around in my pyjamas all day if I feel like it. Not that this actually happens as our days are filled with reading group, gymbaroo, swimming lessons, play dates and general house hold chores including grocery shopping, washing, dishes, preparing meals and much more! But I still love it and feel grateful that my husband and I are in a position where I can be a stay at home mummy. I know some family’s simply can not afford to have one parent stay at home, I feel very fortunate and lucky.

I truly believe that being a stay at home parent is not for everyone and some people need a career or something more. I did love my job but after long consideration do not regret giving it up for my little man. Each day he inspires me and makes me laugh. I often find myself just looking at him and wondering what I did prior to having him? Each day he teaches me something new both about life and about myself. The love I have for him is indescribable and grows more and more with every passing day.

Again not everyone wants to be a stay at home parent, not everyone can be a stay at home parent for what ever their reasoning. It may be financial, it may be that they are more career focussed, perhaps they are a better parent when they are also working. Whatever their reasons, it’s an individual choice and no one should judge another for their choices.

So this now brings me to another article I read on my favourite MamaMia blog. It has made me feel even better about my decision to be a stay at home mummy. I enjoy being a mummy and cherish the fact that I can actually have all this time with my little man, seeing him grow and explore and make his own adventures.

I’ve pasted the article below to share with others who may be feeling in a conundrum about their choices.

By ALISSA WARREN

I like being a mum.

There, I said it.

In fact, I’ll go one step further. I love being a mum.
For years, I’ve been a bit sheepish about admitting it. I’d go as far as to say I felt a bit embarrassed.

Admitting you enjoy motherhood is met with the same looks you might get if you mentioned that you wear a Batman mask for fun. Or you wash your bed linen twice a day.

Like, what?

Somehow, this innocent, OBVIOUS statement has become almost socially unacceptable to say out loud.

Those five little words.

I love being a mum.

I’ve thought about this a lot lately. About why there is a stigma to saying you love motherhood. And I think there are three reasons we’re reluctant to say it.

The first is that up until relatively recently, saying “I love it!” was the only possible answer to the question “Are you enjoying motherhood?” There were no other acceptable options. As soon as they had children, women had to hide their unhappiness, their frustration, their guilt, their anxiety and their boredom for fear of being labelled a bad mother or an ungrateful one. Being negative or honest was frowned upon so women self-censored. Post natal depression didn’t even have a name let alone any community or medical understanding.

Being able to speak openly about the hard parts of motherhood has been undoubtedly a positive thing. It’s a less isolating experience now. There’s a better, wider understanding of the challenges involved in parenthood. There’s no longer pressure to be a Carol Brady Stepford Wife who’s hap-hap-happy all the time!

The result of this though, is that the pendulum has swung too far. There’s a sense among some women that by being positive about motherhood, you’re somehow letting the side down. Which confused me for a long time. Because when I say I love motherhood, I’m not suggesting everyone should. Not all the time, anyway. I’m not undermining anything any other woman wants to say about the experience. I’m not implicitly criticising any other mother for being less positive than me.

But surely my voice and my experience counts too? Surely there’s room for a range of different expressions about the experience of motherhood? Why does one sentiment have to cancel out another? It doesn’t.

The conversations about motherhood are so often about the struggles, the tantrums, the balance, the homework and the no-sleep. Sure, there’s that.

But recently, it’s become ONLY that. Because sometimes it feels like mothers aren’t really allowed to say we love motherhood. With good intentions, the good stuff has taken a backseat for fear of offending people who didn’t/couldn’t have children and for fear of upsetting the mothers who were struggling.

Peversely, singing the praises of motherhood has pretty much become taboo.

Have we been shit-canning motherhood for so long and in such depth, that we can’t even remember – and savour – the main game?

I’m reclaiming the land. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel for women who can’t have children or that I think childless women are living incomplete lives. Nor do I want to be insensitive to mothers who can’t be parents, who want to be – a sadness I can’t begin to imagine.

But I’d like to put an end to the collective shaming of ‘enjoying life with children’.

Because I love it. And I’m not ashamed to say, these are the bits I love the most.

1. It’s full.
My life is packed. Full of cuddles, arguments, questions like, ‘does God have eyes?’ and squeaky little voices. Their words fill the air. Always. Their little lives fill my heart. And literally, too. I have so many Nurofen syringes that I don’t have anywhere to put my kitchen scissors. I have so many colourful drink bottles busting from our Tupperware drawer that I had to throw out my extra tea towels. My days are long, my weeks are fast. They’re full. And fulfilling.

2. My kids have given me the greatest gift: patience.
Children don’t rush to put their shoes on, do a wee, get into the car, sit in their carseat or put their seatbelt on. This process once took me about 7.5 seconds. It takes my children a minimum of 17 minutes. This busy life has the slowest of moments and while it’s taken me a long time to stop nagging and embrace it. (However, I believe others may not be so keen to embrace how LATE we are).

3. It’s fun.
Oh, the horror. I just said motherhood was F-U-N! I can hear the sharpening of pitchforks. But it’s true. It’s funny and it’s fun. My kids’ little faces when I tell them they can have Weet Bix for dinner. Or the way they stare at themselves in the reflection of the mirror to see their little teeth. Or when they blame a fart on someone else. Or when they talk to birds. It’s humour at it’s purest and most original.

4. There’s no bullshit.
There’s no room for sensitive souls on the home front. Everyone gets a dressing down. There’s little space for a mum to have a ‘bad day’ and wallow around feeling sorry for herself. There’s no better pick-me-up than a forced one.

5. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.
Enough said.

But that’s the thing, there’s not enough being said.

The ingredients that make up motherhood should be celebrated for their simplicity and loveliness. Let’s reignite the love.

 

Step children.

On my recent holiday to Fiji I met some lovely people. All different and from various countries but no the less similar.

It seems almost 1 in 3 family’s have step children. Given that the divorce rates here in Australia alone are high, statistics show that approx 48% of marriage ends in divorce.

This one woman I met was quite opinionated on her step child.

On day 4 of our holiday my toddler and I were swimming in one of the family friendly pools when she came with her 2 year old daughter to play with us. My little one had a dump truck, spade and rake in the pool which seemed to be a hit with other children.

So the usual conversation started, she asked me then I asked her the same questions,’how long have you been here, how long are you staying, is this your first Fiji trip, who are you with? Etc

Her response was she was with her husband, their two daughters and her husbands son.

Her husbands son I thought? She then elaborated that She and her husband had been together 13 years and they had 2 daughters together, a 5 year old and a 2 year old. The ‘husbands son’ was 19 and from his previous relationship. I didn’t divulge any deeper but she was more than happy to tell me all about the situation.

The husbands son seems to be the ‘favourite’ child, let’s face it when it comes to break ups, there is always pity on the ‘poor child’ who’s parents are no longer together.

She went on to tell me that she didn’t have much to do with him as he is bad mannered, disrespectful towards her, arrogant and expecting. He apparently ‘wants for nothing and receive’s all he asks for, she mentioned that they are certainly not wealthy but the father buys and does whatever the son asks. She also proceeded to tell me that he demands his fathers attention and because her husband doesn’t see the son too often as he lives with his mother he feels feels obliged to give him his undivided attention when he does see him. I asked how often does her husband see his son and she replied with ‘every second weekend’.

She said that she has no doubt that her hubby loves their two daughters but wishes he put as much effort into them as he does his 19 year old son. She said that when the son is around the daughters are often not included with the father and sons activities.

Quite sad really. I think that as the girls grow up they will see this behaviour and perhaps resent both the father and his son?

I asked her how it affects her marriage and she replied with ‘it’s great when the son isn’t around’. I guess I wasn’t surprised as there are many similar situations like this.

Which makes me wonder, do you have to like your step children?

This woman certainly gave me the impression that she doesn’t like her step son at all. She said a few other things which shocked me and I think that if I was in her position I wouldn’t like the husbands son either.

She says she tolerates her husbands son for his sake but cringes each time the son is over, as it generally means that she and her husband argue over his parenting style with the son and the lack of involvement he has with their daughters. She feels that her husband favours the son and has a sense of guilt which is why he allows the son to behave in such a disrespectful and arrogant manner.

I felt sorry for her, what a difficult situation.

I guess that her story is not the only one like this out there, there are so many split families around, however I guess it’s how you treat the situation as to how your next relationship / family will unfold.

She said it’s always been the same for the 13 years that they have been together but has gotten worse since they had their girls and she sometimes questions why she puts up with it.

I didn’t ask her but I am wondering ‘Do you think the father feels guilty that he has moved on and is happy with someone other than the sons mother which is why he feels obliged to put the son first and almost neglects his new family of wife and 2 girls when the son is around?’.

Personality types!

Personalities

So after staring my blog I have came across many comments and personalities, so I thought I’d do some research on the various personality types, interesting find.

What type of personality are you?

The Duty Fulfiller

Serious and quiet, interested in security and peaceful living. Extremely thorough, responsible, and dependable. Well-developed powers of concentration. Usually interested in supporting and promoting traditions and establishments. Well-organized and hard working, they work steadily towards identified goals. They can usually accomplish any task once they have set their mind to it.

The Mechanic

Quiet and reserved, interested in how and why things work. Excellent skills with mechanical things. Risk-takers who they live for the moment. Usually interested in and talented at extreme sports. Uncomplicated in their desires. Loyal to their peers and to their internal value systems, but not overly concerned with respecting laws and rules if they get in the way of getting something done. Detached and analytical, they excel at finding solutions to practical problems.

The Nurturer

Quiet, kind, and conscientious. Can be depended on to follow through. Usually puts the needs of others above their own needs. Stable and practical, they value security and traditions. Well-developed sense of space and function. Rich inner world of observations about people. Extremely perceptive of other’s feelings. Interested in serving others.

The Artist

Quiet, serious, sensitive and kind. Do not like conflict, and not likely to do things which may generate conflict. Loyal and faithful. Extremely well-developed senses, and aesthetic appreciation for beauty. Not interested in leading or controlling others. Flexible and open-minded. Likely to be original and creative. Enjoy the present moment.

The Protector

Quietly forceful, original, and sensitive. Tend to stick to things until they are done. Extremely intuitive about people, and concerned for their feelings. Well-developed value systems which they strictly adhere to. Well-respected for their perserverence in doing the right thing. Likely to be individualistic, rather than leading or following.

The Idealist

Quiet, reflective, and idealistic. Interested in serving humanity. Well-developed value system, which they strive to live in accordance with. Extremely loyal. Adaptable and laid-back unless a strongly-held value is threatened. Usually talented writers. Mentally quick, and able to see possibilities. Interested in understanding and helping people.

The Scientist

Independent, original, analytical, and determined. Have an exceptional ability to turn theories into solid plans of action. Highly value knowledge, competence, and structure. Driven to derive meaning from their visions. Long-range thinkers. Have very high standards for their performance, and the performance of others. Natural leaders, but will follow if they trust existing leaders.

The Thinker

Logical, original, creative thinkers. Can become very excited about theories and ideas. Exceptionally capable and driven to turn theories into clear understandings. Highly value knowledge, competence and logic. Quiet and reserved, hard to get to know well. Individualistic, having no interest in leading or following others.

The Doer

Friendly, adaptable, action-oriented. “Doers” who are focused on immediate results. Living in the here-and-now, they’re risk-takers who live fast-paced lifestyles. Impatient with long explanations. Extremely loyal to their peers, but not usually respectful of laws and rules if they get in the way of getting things done. Great people skills.

The Guardian

Practical, traditional, and organized. Likely to be athletic. Not interested in theory or abstraction unless they see the practical application. Have clear visions of the way things should be. Loyal and hard-working. Like to be in charge. Exceptionally capable in organizing and running activities. “Good citizens” who value security and peaceful living.

The Performer

People-oriented and fun-loving, they make things more fun for others by their enjoyment. Living for the moment, they love new experiences. They dislike theory and impersonal analysis. Interested in serving others. Likely to be the center of attention in social situations. Well-developed common sense and practical ability To care for others.

The Caregiver

Warm-hearted, popular, and conscientious. Tend to put the needs of others over their own needs. Feel strong sense of responsibility and duty. Value traditions and security. Interested in serving others. Need positive reinforcement to feel good about themselves. Well-developed sense of space and function.

The Inspirer

Enthusiastic, idealistic, and creative. Able to do almost anything that interests them. Great people skills. Need to live life in accordance with their inner values. Excited by new ideas, but bored with details. Open-minded and flexible, with a broad range of interests and abilities.

The Giver

Popular and sensitive, with outstanding people skills. Externally focused, with real concern for how others think and feel. Usually dislike being alone. They see everything from the human angle, and dislike impersonal analysis. Very effective at managing people issues, and leading group discussions. Interested in serving others, and probably place the needs of others over their own needs.

The Visionary

Creative, resourceful, and intellectually quick. Good at a broad range of things. Enjoy debating issues, and may be into “one-up-manship”. They get very excited about new ideas and projects, but may neglect the more routine aspects of life. Generally outspoken and assertive. They enjoy people and are stimulating company. Excellent ability to understand concepts and apply logic to find solutions.

The Executive

Assertive and outspoken – they are driven to lead. Excellent ability to understand difficult organizational problems and create solid solutions. Intelligent and well-informed, they usually excel at public speaking. They value knowledge and competence, and usually have little patience with inefficiency or disorganization.

Transition into stay at home mummy.

Stay at home mum transition.

So as most of you are aware I became a stay at home mum – full time approx 2 months ago. After we moved home and intimations change our positioning.

I have had many inner demons questioning my decision.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my child more than anything in the whole universe however I sometime feel I’ve lost a part of me including my independence and self support.

Some of you may question this and ask why do I question it?

Because I’ve always been so Independant and never relied on anyone. Yes I’m married and yes my marriage is strong. In fact it was my hubby’s push for me to be a stay at home mum with his complete support both emotionally and financially that helped me make this very difficult decision.

I guess I’ve always had fear of being reliant on anyone so me giving this up was a difficult decision. I also felt that after a few years out if the work force who would want to hire me? What would I offer over someone who has continuously worked and is possibly younger? Well I know what I can offer and that may be life experience, motherly decisions / instincts, maturity, life knowledge, skill or happiness. I guess we will just wait and see how my life plays out and if in fact I do decide to re join the workforce.

I have however found many others in similar situation to mine. Here are a few of their stories that may also assist you. I know they have helped me to let go of the fear factor and know that no matter what, my hubby will always support my decisions even if I decide to never enter paid employment again.

After all why should we feel guilty about not working in a paid career? I believe raising a little person is the most rewarding career move I’ve ever made. It may not pay in cash but it certainly pays in unconditional love and every day I get to play, grow and learn from a beautiful human being that i made!

http://www.parentmap.com/article/making-the-transition-from-working-professional-to-stay-at-home-parent

 

http://www.care.com/child-care-6-tips-to-be-a-successful-stay-at-home-mom-p1017-q12632256.html

 

http://grownandflown.com/regret-being-a-stay-at-home-mom/

 

http://www.whattoexpect.com/blogs/theycallmemommy/transition-to-stay-at-home-mom-personality-required

Needless to say being at home everyday and getting to share special moments with my little man is the biggest and best decision of my life!

I hope I’ve been able to help you come to terms with your decisions also, if so please write me your story.

Positive parenting.

Positive parenting

I just came across this great article on positive parenting.

Worth a read. I’ve had a few scared and very judgemental moments where ice wanted to crawl and hide, wish I’d had read this sooner. Great tips on how to deal with such circumstances.

When Children Bite and Strike: 5 Positive Ways To Deal and Heal
Posted by Ariadne Brill

Hitting, pushing, shoving and biting are common ways for preschoolers and toddlers to deal with their emotions. Strikes and bites are often happening because something inside the child, some feeling, like a hiccup, just needs to get out. It could be frustration, upset, sadness, anxiety, fear or a mixed bowl of emotions.

What can we do about it? Very likely, you have heard many suggestions on how to deal with your child’s biting and hitting. Perhaps you have tried time-outs, yelled out of frustration, or taken away a toy. Maybe you have even heard the “bite back” and “strike back” bit of advice but don’t want to go down that path? Would you like to try alternatives based on love, empathy and gentle guidance?

Here are 5 ideas on how to positively deal with a child that hits and bites:

1. Observe: If biting, hitting, pushing has been going on for a little while, chances are you can pin-point some of the situations that bring it about. For a toddler, being upset and not having words to express herself is a common trigger:
For my 20 month old Bella, having toys taken away by her bigger brothers is a sure fire way to get a bite in return. We have worked as a team to instill a habit of “switching” and “asking” for toys as well as respecting when someone is not ready to share.

 

2. Be Pro-Active: Although understanding the reason behind the strike is not a pre-requisite to curbing the problem, being pro-active can reduce the strikes and help our children learn more positive ways to deal with their emotions.
At our weekly playgroup, one 30 month old toddler, Julia*, was keen on hitting my daughter. After the third time, I noticed Julia would strike when I was actively playing with my daughter and Julia was wandering around looking for something to do. Julia would come to strike, her mother would then rush across the room and sternly tell her NO and then walk away again. Julia would move onto the next child she could hit and this cycle would go on and on. The next week, when we started playing with some puzzles, I invited Julia to join us right away. Julia was very happy to do so, and soon her mother joined as well. Julia has not hit Bella for several weeks now – Instead, the girls are learning to play side by side with a bit of guidance.

3. Empathize: If we really take the time to look past the strikes and bites, we can see that the acts are not so much a pre-meditated crimes, but more so outbursts of emotion and a lending a loving ear can help heal the hurt.
When my soon to be 4 year old recently tried kicking and hitting me, I held him close so I wouldn’t get hurt and said “You may not kick or hurt me but I will listen to you. Do you want to tell me what you are feeling?” After some squirming, crying and huffing, he went on to tell me he was really mad. A friend that had been visiting was leaving and he just wasn’t ready to say good-bye. “I hate when people go to their house.” Crying in my arms and having a listening ear was all he needed to recover.

4. Play: For the toddlers as well as for the preschoolers, having an outlet for their frustration, anger or upset is all very important. From roughhousing to playing chase or pillow fights; games that actively allow children to release energy all help prevent biting, hitting and other aggression from building up.
During an unexpectedly long walk up our mountain, my five year old was getting really anxious to get home, he started pestering his brother and poking him (a sign he might start hitting if he gets more worked up.) I suggested we start playing animal safari as we walked. We took turns growling like bears, making elephant noises and lastly roaring like lions. The large breaths of the lion roaring helped Maxi re-focus and relieve some of his energy and soon we were home and nobody had been hurt.

5. Be Firm-Be Kind: Should your child strike you or bite you try to stay calm, show empathy and then with kindness explain the behavior is not alright. Short and descriptive phrases without loaded emotions seem to work best.
“You may not bite your friend. Biting hurts. How about we try to play together?“
“Do not bite. Please try to ask for help.”
“You seem very mad. Hitting is not ok. Do you need something?”

Biting and hitting are a normal part of early childhood and although many parents feel ashamed or embarrassed by this particular behavior, for children it is really just like learning to drink from an open cup, holding a spoon or riding a bicycle…it takes a bit of time, love and lots of patience.

How do you feel when your child hits or bites?

Have you been able to help your child curb biting or hitting?

What has worked for your family?

 

Working mums.

Can you be a working mum without guilt?

So I feel like I’ve been juggling / multi tasking what ever you want to call it.

I’m a wife, a mother, a step mother and until recently I also worked full time. Not full time in the essence of 5 days per week 8 hours per day in an office environment, but 4 days working from my home office averaging 6 hours per day and then in the office one day per week for 7 hours.

I have always worked full time and always supported myself. Even when I married. My husband has an 11 year old to his first wife so I have been step mum for the past 8 years. We now also have our own adorable, wonderful, amazing little guy who is 16 months old.

So that’s 2 boys and a husband in a very demanding role which requires him long hours in the office and stressful odd hour phone calls to international branches of the company he works for. Providing a stable environment for them including cooking healthy dinners every night for all of us, daily cleaning, packing lunches, doing the washing, ironing, vacuuming, groceries, dusting, mopping as we have floor boards, and many other house hold duties.

With this I still worked full time – 40 hours per week right up until a week prior to giving birth. I then proceeded to work from home averaging 35 hours per week since my bub was 5 days old. I was only in hospital 2 nights.

Yes this was a struggle as there was not a single day throughout my pregnancy where I wasn’t ill. I threw up minimal twice daily and was constantly tired and nauseous, however I loved my role and felt obliged to work as I had only been with the company / business 10 weeks when we found out we were expecting.

I told the CEO of the business straight away as I was also still within the probation period so thought it was the right thing to do. Give them the option of letting me go within the probation period. Although I was t through my 12 week safe zone, I felt I needed to be honest with the company. To my delight they decided to keep me on.

After bringing my bundle of love and joy home I worked 35 hours per week from our home office up until July where I started going into the city office on Tuesdays. I had a private Nannie for my bub as he also suffered severe reflux and had dairy intolerance which meant day care didn’t want the responsibility of him in there care at 6 months old. As he had reflux he refused his bottle and rightly so as it would be painful and burn him when swallowing the milk and reflux also causes acid burn within the trachea – quite painful. With his dairy intolerance it would mean also being very cautious as to not allow him access to any dairy.

I understand they didn’t want the responsibility so we chose the safe option of a private Nannie in our home.

This was also not a cheap option costing us $250 per day. It did however give peace of mind knowing the love of my life was safe and in his own surroundings.

I know it was a hard position for me to return to work as being a first time mum I didn’t want to leave my 6 month old son.

I also appreciate it was a hard position for my employer as they didn’t have me in the office full time. Being in the office full time provided team moral and as I am quite a bubbly, easy going, energetic, ‘up and at Em’ kind of girl I feel I provided a sense of energy in the office. I was also the only person within the company doing my niche role.

I know they wanted and needed me in the office full time however I just couldn’t do it. We didn’t have confirmed day care and we certainly couldn’t afford a private Nannie 5 days per week.

This played on my mind daily as I felt I was letting them down, especially after they were so good to me and understanding and supporting my position with my bub and also especially after keeping me employed when I announced my pregnancy.

But who was I really letting down?

The company?

My baby?

Or myself?

I loved working and felt lucky to work in the role I was in. I’m a qualified interior designer and worked for an art investment house. Quite niche and with only 5 competitors within Australia very fortunate to be employed within the industry. Id been working in this role for just over 4 years. I’d previously worked with another company doing the exact same thing for 2 years prior to being head hunted by this company. (Head hunted is where the company approaches you and offers you to work with them)

I have however sadly since resigned from this position.

There were many factors which equated to any decision, however I ask myself – have I don’t the right thing?

This is the first time ever in my life that I’ve never been employed. Well since I was 15 – I started waitressing and worked in a restaurant kitchen 4 nights per week after school at the tender age of 15 but prior to that was baby sitting on a regular basis from about 13 years old earning approx $50 per week (back then – think circa 1993 – this was a lot of money for a tween) This is also the first time ever that I’ve had to rely on someone else. I’ve always provided for myself.

So this is a bad thing you ask? It is as I’m very self sufficient and proud. At any point in my 20’s I would work 2 jobs and an very proud to say purchased my own first home at 26. With my own hard earned money with no hand outs or gifts or help from anyone. Just me and my savings account. 🙂

So I’ve had to learn, to ask my husband for money – this is a task to me as I’m a proud person to hates to ask for anything.

I’ve always been on a budget as I’ve also arrived to save and provide for myself so this isn’t new, but I’ve never been unemployed.

How will I fill my days?

Well I plan on spending every minute with my little guy. I’ve felt guilty working whilst he has been so young. I’ve been consumed with thoughts that I’ve missed out on precious moments with him.

Now it’s time for me to relish in being a mummy. Gosh we tried so hard to have him – that’s another story of daily Chinese herbs, acupuncture 3 times per week, daily meditation, a clean natural diet with no preservatives and weekly yoga!

So my time to be a mummy!

Tell me do you feel guilty?

Do you feel society puts pressure on you to work and be a mummy?

Do you feel judged for not wanting to be employed?

How do you juggle being employed and being a mummy?

Don’t get me wrong, I actually believe that being a mother is the most rewarding job ever. If I were to write a list of daily jobs that make up being a mother you may be shocked however I defiantly take my hat off to those mothers who can do it all.

I struggled not with time management but with guilt. I couldn’t get my head around leaving my little guy 5 days nor could I stop feeling guilty that I had a sense of owing the company that I worked for.

All in all a very tough decision for me.

Well I always have my blog!

Tell me your story. Do you work? How do you juggle? Do you feel guilt with regards to your company or your family?

 

Friends or Foes?

Friends or Foes?

I think we all get to an age where we start to define our friendships. Who is a real friend and who isn’t?

So what defines a real friend?

I guess it depends on what you classify ‘real’?

For me a ‘real’ friend is someone who I can call upon at any time. They don’t judge me even when I’m being ridicules. They are always ready to listen to my woes and the keep it ‘real’. They tell me the truth even when it’s probably not what I want to hear. That’s how I define a ‘real’ friend.

A foe to me is someone who ‘pretends’ to be my friend. They cancel catch ups at the last minute with excuses that you know are not truthful. They only talk about themselves. They don’t ask how you are and if they do, they don’t listen or pay attention to what you say. They talk about you behind your back and they never actually have your back.

A few years ago I did a ‘clean out’ (so to speak) of my friends. I had this one friend in particular who I thought I could trust with my deepest secrets. We had only known each other about 2 years but I honestly thought she was a great trustworthy person.

My eyes were opened when at my wedding she swapped numbers with my then boss. Something I would never do. I personally think this compromised my employment. Bare in mind my boss was – for lack of a better explanation ‘a player’.

He was the type of guy who always had a few girls on the go at once but they never know about each other. He was also the type of boss who took all the guys from the office out for lunch but never included the girls. I later found out that their lunches were at strip clubs. So enough said about him. Being my friend at the time I had confided in her about him and his antics.

This foe friend then proceeded to date my then boss. It made things awkward for me as she thought she was smitten with him. They had sleep overs and he spoilt her (whilst spoiling others) with wonderful gifts and diners at fancy restaurants.

He also spoke very openly about his dates and recreational activities with these girls including my friend in an open office. I had enough one day and told him it was not appropriate to speak of girls that way as it is disrespectful especially about my friend – disrespectful to her and to me.

So I hear you asking why was it awkward? Because she told him everything I had confided in her with. Including his player ways.

This then proved her as a foe when she told him everything I had told her. She never thought of the implications that this would cause me in my work place and she never respected my privacy.

This impacted very badly on my employment. He turned against me very quickly and nastily. I was excluded even more and almost forced to resign. Of course I ended up resigning but I feel he pushed me to do it and if they had not have ‘hooked up’ I possibly could have still been working there.

I asked her to meet me to catch up as we had grown distant since they started dating and we used to catch up for dinner weekly but speak every day. Once they started dating our contact was sporadic. I would text and call her but she would hardly respond as her time was with him and he didn’t like her being in get phone around him.

So in our catch up I told her I was worried about her falling for him as he was ‘a player’ and I also told her what I heard him saying about her and what things he got her to do in the bedroom. Private stuff that he shouldn’t have spoken about.

She was upset by it but then proceeded to turn the whole situation around and accuse me of being secretly in love with him. Keeping in mind I had just got back from my honeymoon…

Is this a real friend I thought?

I’m telling this girl what is being said about her behind her back and her only response is to attack me?

This is not someone I would classify a friend.

She accused me of being deceitful.
She accused me of lying about what I heard him discussing about her – even though she blushed and got very defensive about it.
She stopped answering my contact when they started dating.
She told him my secrets.
She didn’t appreciate me telling her what if her about her.
She didn’t appreciate me standing up for her.

It then had me asking myself, was she only befriending me to get to my boss?

How do you define a friend from a foe?

It made me question a lot of my friendships and realize that not everybody I thought was a friend was a true friend.

I guess what I’m trying to say is a lot of people come in and out of your life and not every friendship is based on how long you have known someone.

I certainly don’t have a thousand friends but I do know who are my friends.

Those who are my friends I will defend to the end and always be available for at any given time.

My husband says I have the heart of Pharlap. For those who are unsure who Pharlap is. Pharlap is a very famous race horse who when passed away it was found that he had a huge heart. Bigger than the normal horse heart 🙂

For more on Pharlap click the link below.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phar_Lap