overwhelmed parenting…….

This is the topic I want to talk about today. AGAIN on a facebook page meant for parents of high school students ANOTHER “good intentioned” mother posted yet ANOTHER blog/article-

8 Things Kids Need to Do By Themselves Before They’re 13

Now, call me crazy. Call me whatever you want HOWEVER do NOT call me a bad mother just because I have not given my children these “8” things they in fact apparently need to do by themselves at the sweet age of 13.

I am a mother to 3 boys. My eldest is now 17 and if I do say so myself, I have done a pretty fabulous job of raising him. Ok, I am not quite finished (are we ever finished raising men? Be honest ladies?!), however considering all the things this mother is saying on her list of 8 things-I in fact did pretty much all of them. Ok, ok, I did in fact do ALL of them (no pretty much involved!). The last few years I have in fact stopped doing as much AND I have slowly but surely got my son to a point where I don’t have to take him by the hand and point to a washing machine when he asks where his shorts are. Some times I will do all the washing and some times I will do it because it simply suits me. Not because I am trying to in fact hinder my child’s progress.

Am I the ONLY one a little annoyed and the only one a bit sick of these mothers shaming other mothers because they want to be a different kind of Mum? What I guess gets me the most is that for some strange reason, every single mother has an opinion on the subject. I just don’t. The reason I don’t is because I simply do not care how you raise your children unless of course it directly effects me. That sounds selfish right? I feel it is more self preservation because IF I listened to all the do goodie mothers out there who think they are the first ones to come across this stuff, then I would be one emotionally messed up parent. I am far too busy actually parenting and living my life to sit around writing down all these tips from other parents-who lets face it, aint experts in the field. Even the experts get it wrong. This overwhelming feeling of failing is not just mine all the time, it is also ANY mothers on the planet who in fact wants to do a good job. There are mothers who just dont give a rats and thats ok, thats their path. Their childrens messed up adult lives will be their reward. Judgemental arent I? See? Its SO easy to just pass judgement on some ones lives. Its SO easy to sit behind a keyboard and spout stuff about parenting when really, you are no expert yourself. Anyone can be a blogger (yes, even me!), but the truth is, it is harder to in fact sit back and say nothing and get on with your week with your children. Its no different to diets. They shame us in to thinking by doing this diet, it will in fact change our lives. The truth is far simpler than that. Like parenting, there are millions of people out there who feel they are experts. I am no expert and I’ve been a parent for 17 years-my mother is no expert and she has been a parent 40 years. None of us are perfect parents because we are human. I just wish people would STOP trying to tell me how to raise my own children or shame me because I simply want my kids to eat a healthy breakfast before they go to school. I feel my kids have enough in this world to contend with plus a changing body in teenage years than to be thrown to the wolves to fend for themselves.

So, anyone reading this right now. Do me a favour? Go to your mirror. Tell yourself you are a WONDERFUL parent. STOP reading in to these ridiculous blogs on parenting (oh except mine now haha!), and take comfort in knowing you are not alone. I support you. I support each and every single one of you. Perhaps we could write a blog about “8 ways to stop shaming others parents because you feel you need to justify inadequacy” list instead! I know personally, I would enjoy that list a LOT better than feeling guilty because I choose to give my kids home made lunches.

what is happening in the world?

I am not sure if you are like me or not, but have you asked yourself of recent events-“what is happening in the world?”.

I have noticed a trend. The trend is very simple. Its a trend towards health problems. I have noticed an increase especially in young children in their health. It use to be in the 80’s when I was growing up that only “old” or “older” people got sick. They were the ones who had heart attacks, blood clots, cancer, aneurysms, diabetes etc…..seems however of late, that anyone, anytime, anywhere can in fact get these diseases that I once thought was in fact for the older people. Back in the 80’s, people smoked and drank a little too much and drove cars that by todays standards aren’t nearly quite as fast. We had seat belts but not when I was little-they came in later on and the game of “rag dolls” became that of being strapped in. Today however as things are becoming faster and supposedly better, we have no choice but to almost be wrapped in cotton wool.

This question has me a little concerned. I am worried about our future generations and what that means for them going forward with health. Sure, we have fan dangle technology at the moment that can diagnose and help however, we don’t seem to have a machine to answer the question often asked by us parent and patients and that is simply “why?”.

I worry for my children and their children. I worry for a world that is into instant gratification. I worry that the scientist of the world are not able to keep up with the amount of disease and over pollution humans seem hell bent on doing. All of this worrying is because I have children in a world that humans are destroying. I admit freely that before kids (or BK LOL), I didnt think about it a whole lot. I didnt even think about the food I ate or the water I drank. Then however, I had my monkeys and bam I started to look at the world in a different light. My mother has always been a natural kind of person, so I grew up using natural over chemical anyway however I never really liked food (because I had reflux) and so therefore never really cared what I was putting into my vessel. It is funny how as adults we care much more than children about the things we are consuming. I do remember watching a “movie” about red blood cells on motorbikes going through the body system and enjoyed it immensely. I learnt a lot that day too about the human body. So, somebody, somewhere in my childhood cared about children’s health enough to show a movie for us to learn.

I often wonder with all of our medical genius if in fact we are making things worse and over complicated. If we take food as an example, they have modified this thinking they are “improving” the overall quality and effectiveness of the plant. However, we do not ever know the implications long term until the next generation with birth defects or growth problems are in fact surfacing. Not to mention, todays society is more obese than ever before. In the 80’s exercise was meant for “fun” not because you simply didnt want to die from overeating. There were diets sure, but not to the extent they are now. There was never anyone overthinking eating a doughnut, they simply ate it. Time has flown by from when I was a child and life seemed simpler. Now, we over analyse everything, moan about everything and anything we can, have an opinion on everything and most of all we seem to have lost our way with living a complete and happy life. SO, my question to all of you is a very simple one: What is happening in the world?

 

I “use” to be a lady…….that was until I had boys……

I “use” to be a lady. I “use” to pride myself on many things including sitting at the table and having manners. I “use” to tut tut at smutty jokes that included the word “poo” or smile weakly at smutty jokes. That was, until I had boys.

One night I was sitting at the table recently WHEN I realised that in fact “I” was the ONE who made a comment that was in fact smutty. It was then that it had dawned on me. I had changed. “THEY” had changed me. And by “THEY”, I meant in fact my 3 cherub boys. Not to say my boys have not changed me for the better, perhaps they have. I am no longer as uptight and I am still definitely a person of worth considering I now talk “male” LOL.

We have had some amazing male moments over the years gone by, from my elder twin Kieran coming out from the bathroom brushing his teeth with the toilet brush TO the boys asking their Nani if she was going a “number 1” or a “number 2” in the bathroom. It most certainly hasnt been a dull time in our house. I have loved every moment of it. The problem for me I guess is how it all changes and so quickly. Those little monkeys who start out with a toilet brush in hand become bigger, ever changing monkeys with new toilet brush issues. A good example would be my 16 year old. We had a discussion recently about swearing. NOW, I come from a family WHERE as a teenager I wouldnt have dreamt of swearing in front of my parents. As an adult, I say the odd swear word but never ever the “F” word, and most certainly you would not use other language like that F word. Some words are excused like Sh$% for instance, however the “C” word is prohibited and with good reason as it is derogatory to women everywhere. Problem is, my teenager is in a world now where swearing is commonplace. Where, his friends swear and their parents dont mind (especially IF they have older siblings OR other teenagers are in the house), where as I am old school and dont believe in having my kids swearing at me what so ever. NOW, again, I will get some backlash for my way of thinking however I believe in respecting your elders. Something, A LOT of children lack today. My twins are 11 and such I dont particularly want them dropping any swear words on me at all. Its bad enough my youngest says “what the hell” and I am often correcting him. I try my hardest NOT to swear myself and often change words using words like fudge, fiddlesticks and my all time favourite ferengi (star trek LOL). Its rare I will openly swear because I like to think being educated makes me above such language. Although, road rage can and will make this null and void for the record! LOL Although, I dont think swearing has anything to do with education rather those around you. My boys often come home from school with new and wonderful words that make me cringe.

THEN there is “girls” bits and “boys” bits. Now, this is a subject I am very familiar with, rather “boys” bits anyway because I hear enough about them. Anything goes in my house regarding certain conversations however when something hurts or a rash appears its like someone flicked the switch in them to “embarrassment”. The level is so severe that often I have to call for backup from Daddy. The talk however is fierce. When my eldest was at primary school, one day he came home and told me that he had walked past some girls and they had said and I quote “oooohhhhhh be careful, we dont want to catch their sperm”. Like it was contagious or something. This was at the time both hilarious AND scary because I knew THAT the questions were coming BUT that someone could “catch” sperm was very funny all at the same time. I am in NO doubt IF those girls were to reflect on their conversation now at 16, they would be a tad embarrassed themselves hehe I most certainly look back and have a chuckle myself. The questions became more and more after that day we talked about “sperm” and that is when the “potty” humour began to change. There were remarks made quite subtly at first THEN one day, like just recently I reflected and thought “I” use to be a lady! What happened?!

The question I guess you might ask at this point is, why are you sharing this information so freely? The main reason IS because simply IF you are a Mum (and lucky enough to be so) to a boy OR all boys, there WILL be some curve balls thrown at you over the years. Anything goes from talking about what makes people “gay” to having a discussion about the “poo” chart on the hospital wall. It is all in great fun AND regardless of the fact that I “use” to be a lady-I cannot imagine another way now. They have changed me and I have allowed them to do so. For, without them, I think I would be an empty shell of a woman. They have made me into a woman who is not only proud to be their mother, but one who is proud of herself because of them. We too often as a mother forget we are in fact women. We get lost in being a Mum, being a wife, being a worker. Embrace the potty humour, forget about being embarrassed about “poo charts” because ultimately, the ride with boys is one of excitement, one of heartache but mostly one of love. They will test you, push you and sometimes roll over you, but believe me when I tell you: it is all worth it.

 

 

our true shell…….

something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Our true shell. To which is, our body.

Ultimately, most women don’t like their bodies. They don’t like who they are and therefore this manifests onto our bodies. When a women feels good, our outer shell shines. When we feel terrible, our outer shell looks dull and tired and run down. I have heard from majority of the women I talk to the same kinds of things. I ask them a simple question: Do you like yourself? Now, ask yourself that VERY question. Well? Do you?

I was asked this question months ago and the specialist who asked me this question was taken aback when my answer was a big “yes”. I do like who I am. I like everything about me. I am a good person, I am kind. I feel good to be with me and I feel good in my skin. This has taken many many years and yes, I understand many people who actually know me would have thought I liked myself all along. I am strong and confident. Well, thats what I want the outside world to see at any rate. Well, back then should I say.

The truth is this and that is that I was like a cookie. I looked awesome on the outside with my chocolate chips and solid form however once broken down or apart you would see the soft, gooey inside of the cookie to which was me. I am many things (true Gemini), however one thing I was fantastic at was faking how happy I was when I wasn’t. I was dying inside. I had days I literally made myself go out. I had days I wanted to stay at home and have a cry (who hasn’t had days like that?!), and days where I have truly thought to myself I could just get in the car drive and drive and no one would miss me. However, this couldn’t have been further from the truth.

The truth is simple. Its not pretty tied up with a bow or ribbon. The truth is, I simply didn’t like myself. I didn’t like who I was. I wasn’t being honest with myself that I wasn’t happy and that I felt I had failed as a human being. I felt horrible inside majority of the time. I would say something and second guess what I had just said instead of believing in myself.

Then, 3 and a bit years ago I had a car accident. An accident that would ultimately change who I am and how I felt about me. No, I didnt have a near death experience (not that I remember because I was SO in shock I barely remember everything anyway), but because I had sustained an injury as a result of the accident. My body started to fail me and if there was one thing I could ALWAYS count on and that was my body. I could torment it with hours and hours of training, weights, running, etc and it would STILL power on……however with the accident came vertigo and migraines and intense neck pain. I lost strength in my arms, I had shooting pains if I tried to lift anything heavy weight wise. I found I had lost the one thing I had counted on. My outer true shell. What I didn’t know and didn’t understand at the time was a very valid lesson was right under my nose.

For the first time in my life, I had to slow down and LISTEN to my body. It was fundamentally telling me what I needed to do to heal however I was too obsessed to listen. THEN, one day I had the WORST vertigo I had ever experienced. I couldn’t get out of bed, when I did I couldn’t walk and I would throw up. I had to lay in bed for 2 days until the sea motion stopped and I could regain some kind of life. It wiped me out for the entire week. I had a new medication to take which made me feel tired. I am not a stranger to medication however this was different-this was for my brain. This lesson was NOT overlooked. THIS lesson HAD to be listened to because upstairs gave it to me to give me clarity. Clarity I hadn’t had beforehand. I had to take stock of my life and get on with finding my true outer shell. My understanding with my body that I have never had. I had always pushed it, always been hard on it and hated it when it failed to look its best (I had 2 babies full term, both over 6 pound each! I should have gone easy on it! Sheesh!). NOW I realise, I understand what it was trying to tell me all along. My true outer shell is literally run by my mind. How I feel, how I see myself is what the world sees. And, that slowing down and looking within is the real beauty, the real essence of who we are. My outer shell reminded me of what it is to be human, mortal, alive.

How can I teach my 3 boys to love who they are if I didnt love myself? This is a question that tormented me. I lay awake at night thinking about it. Wondering if they like who they are.

I recently asked my boys if they liked themselves. 2 out of 3 said yes. The other one, well he has always knocked himself since he was bullied in year 2 a few years ago. He too never felt good enough. I have taught him to embrace himself, faults and all. To laugh at himself even if he thinks what he has done is embarrassing. I have also taught him how amazing he is. The lessons my outer shell taught me, the lessons his out shell will teach him also if I can get him to listen to it :O)

The understand I have between my outer shell and my soul is very different to when my journey began. In the beginning I disliked my shell. I was forever coming up with ways to torment it through exercise and hard work. I just didn’t know that all along slowing down was my ultimate lesson. Meditating, practicing exercises that nourished my body through yoga, getting a massage because my outer shell deserved it. Looking in the mirror and seeing “me” in there, seeing that my outer shell is nothing more than what my mind thinks of it. Our outer shells want to please us, it wants us to bless it with nourishment, it wants us to “feel” one with it. Unity is what we are meant to have with our bodies. I literally thank my outer shell every single night when I go to bed, I am grateful for my breath, in every single day I am alive. I started with ONE thought and that changed everything….

SO, after reading this I would like you to do ONE thing. Even if its ONLY small. Look in the mirror and CHANGE the one thing you dont like about yourself into something you love about yourself. Start small. Start with one thing and one thing only. Change the negative into a positive. EVERY time you think the negative thought, correct yourself. Remind yourself how amazing you are. You are unique. There is no one else like you. You are “you”. LOVE your body, your shell, because your soul relies on your relationship with your shell. Your shell provides you with the most amazing things if you stop long enough to listen to those things………the sun on your face…..you feel it…….your child laughing…..you hear it…..all provided courtesy of your shell…….love it, nurture it, take care of it……….

An epidemic, not one of physical standards but one of thinking……….

There seems to me there is this epidemic. It is one of epic proportions. I have noticed it more and more and unfortunately it is something I wish rather than hope will be stomped out between women. The epidemic I am talking about is one of the lack of sisterhood. It seems to me, majority of women are in fact quite nasty to one another. Not to mention, they form little “posse” groups to which they are then in turn quite horrible to other women. I REALLY wish this kind of culture would literally disappear. I am a strong women sure, HOWEVER I believe in building each other up, not tearing each other down. This notion that you are better than anyone else is absolute rubbish. A REAL women NEVER compares herself to another (unless she is in fact a young GIRL). We are grown ups and as such responsible not only for our own behaviour but we are in fact also role models to the next generation of women. Now, I have 3 boys SO I am not raising boys-I am raising MEN. I have chosen to raise my boys to become great men by leading by example. I will ask my children if I, myself, would in fact do that kind of behaviour? The answer is ALWAYS a big NO as I know they are little recorders, I know I am constantly being watched! (like big brother LOL). Do I make mistakes? You bet your bottom I do! ALL the time. The difference between me and other people is however I LEARN from those mistakes NOT to mention I also change my behaviour or habits. I know I am a good Mum, because everything I do and think about revolves around my children AND I have my own life alongside it. Each women needs her OWN identity alongside having her children. I WANT to empower women, I WANT them to understand we are NOT in competition with one another. We are SISTERS in this world, we SHOULD support one another. I hope anyone reading this WILL make an effort right NOW. Message someone you haven’t in a while JUST to see how they are. Offer emotional support IF you live far away. BE there just as a listening ear if you need to be, OR have a coffee and talk because YOU need it. Catch up with OTHER women AND empower each other. SUPPORT each other. I live in a house of men, believe me when I tell you it is the WOMEN in my life that empower ME to be the happy bean I am-AND gives me the strength to support OTHER women who need it.  I LOVE my men dearly however they cannot give me the support only a women can give each other because we understand each other better than any man will. BUILD each other up, talk NICE things about other women-start today-believe me it will make ALL the difference to YOU. The more nice things you say, the better you will feel. SUPPORTING each other should be the cure to this epidemic. Its not hard, one step at a time! Have a lovely day AND remember :I BELIEVE IN YOU! YOU ARE AMAZING!

my journey, motherhood………empowerment starts with how proud you are of yourself.

For my first official posting on my blog besides my hello world, I thought I would start really where for me it all began.

Before I had children, I am totally honest. I didn’t want marriage, children or the white picket fence. Then, I met my husband and everything changed. I suddenly wanted all of those things (maybe not the picket fence at first, now yes please how quaint!).

Then, I found out I was having Dylan. The one who really kicked my behind into being the best I could possibly be. He changed me in ways I can never explain. I was very different before I had him, very mixed up, unsure of anything in my life. Having Dylan made me into the person I needed to be not just wanted to be. My miracle child, because I had been told I could not have children and yet, here I was pregnant with him. They did a billion tests before they realised this guy was in it for the long haul. In the beginning I had post natal depression. Luckily, my amazing doctor recognised it when Dylan was around 1 years old and got me help. I learnt alot from my counselor about how I was feeling, I felt isolated, alone, depressed and most of all the worst mother in the world.

So, Dylan made me want to be a better person. I look at him now this large almost 6 foot child of mine and still see him as he once was- this little guy who showed me a path that became my journey.

Then, the twins came along. Hard work would be an understatement, however I have loved every moment of my multiple journey. From every person who says “oh I wish I had had twins” to the questions of “we’re they natural or are they fertility babies?”. Really though, does it matter how they were created? (they were natural BTW! I have a hormonal disfunction and hence 2 eggs, 2 babies, actually 2 different due dates-although we had them on the same day-Kieran is gestation a week and 4 days older than our little Sean). Just to clarify hehe. I have to admit though to you one thing, regardless of what having twins did to my body-I would never trade it for anything. Saggy skin or stretch marks are nothing compared to the joy of my 2 boys.

There have been days I have wanted to rip my hair out, days I have wanted to scream and drive for hours to have a break- however nothing and I mean nothing makes you feel more alive than the sound of your children laughing, playing or even fighting with one another. I have had days I sit and smile and look up and thank God for giving me my amazing boys to which without I would be an empty shell. They have made me want to be the best I can be, not just for them but myself. They all encourage me to do things I enjoy and they are all supportive no matter how much they dislike something (like icky girl stuff LOL).

I am totally outnumbered in my house yes, but I love every single minute of it. Being a boys Mama Bear as I call myself is the best feeling in the world. No matter where I go or what I do in life, I do it for them. They come first, and this makes me a better person.

So, the question really is-your reading this-your thinking I feel exhausted, tired and worn out right? All things mothers feel on a daily basis, I feel them too however it is the choice on how you react to these things that differentiates you from the rest. You can choose to empower yourself AND pat yourself on the back for the amazing job you do every single day. I choose to be proud of myself. I am proud I am learning every single day about parenting, I am not afraid to make mistakes (and believe me you will make heaps!), I am also not afraid if my children don’t like me very much at the time, for I am an adult as I tell them and have big shoulders I can cope! Eventually, even if not at the beginning-they will understand why you make the decisions you do, they are sometimes not easy and sometimes you will question if you have made the right call. Know this ladies-IF your gut tells you its the right call, it generally is. I started out this very green parent who was afraid to really be what I needed to be. Now, I am this empowered mother who will not take no for a answer when I want a yes. I wont sit by and let my children slip away, I will sit and talk to them and play with them and read them a book. Enjoy your children. I wish someone had told me that when I had the twins because I was SO busy cleaning and baking and looking after everyone-sometimes I forgot to sit and play and enjoy the little things I now miss. Now, I am into a new chapter of childhood-the transition from children to real men. I ALWAYS say I am not raising boys, I am raising men because its true.

SO-today-right now-go and sit and play with your children even if its just for 20 mins, or watch them as they play and enjoy the moment. Your empowerment today comes from how proud you are of yourself. When you look in the mirror-tell yourself how proud you are of yourself. Be proud of the Mama Bear you are!

Hello world!

Welcome!

I have had many people tell me over the years I should be writing a blog, somehow I never had the time or the inclination to do so. Up until now that is. As this is my first official post on my new blog I would like to take the opportunity to say a big hello, welcome, take a seat and lets chat!

If you know me, you know I love to talk. Some would say this is a fault, some would say I talk too much. Personally, I am not too worried what others think. I am me. I have very simple beliefs in life. They are not rocket science. The first and foremost is that people should treat others how they wish to be treated. The second, to love with everything you have and vice versa. Do things that enrich your soul. Thirdly, and this is mostly for the ladies however it applies to both men AND women-EMPOWER each other. Dont let others control how you feel, let the light inside you burn brightly for all to see. IF others drag you down, seek out those who make you feel wonderful inside. Life is too short for games, immaturity and distrustful people. Surround yourself with those who empower you to be the best you can be. Settle only for great. Fourth and possibly last (I will no doubt think of others and add it hehe), eat and exercise for health, not for skinny. Look after yourself spiritually, mentally and physically. Enjoy the little things that make your life, your life. Stop and enjoy the little things. Believe me when I say, you will blink and it will be gone. The little things are in fact the big things to me.

AND my motto for life-give as much as you can. Take as little as you can. Breath the air, feel the sun, love your life. No matter what else is going on-money will always come and go, people will also come and go, life is constant. Live it.

My blog is aimed to motivate you, share ideas, knowledge, learn from YOU my readers AND EMPOWER you. I hope this is the start to a wonderful journey! Xxxx