Bubsandbeans | It's a Mum's life

Reflecting on the moments that shape us? What will shape your children?

by sarah 17. May 2016 10:58

Recently my mum had an operation, a fairly serious one she got through the operation well and is beginning to recover however it has really got me reflective, reflective on my Mum and the amazing mother that she is, reflecting on my childhood and all the events that have shaped me as a person, and as a mother.

I think back to the events, the memories that are imprinted in my mind and I wonder when my kids grow up what memories are the ones that are going to shape them.

As I get older the words that are spoken fade, the Good and the bad but what doesn’t fade is the feelings... The feeling of joy, love that mum showed us as kids, the home cooked food, the way she tucked us in at night. The way that she supported us in all our endeavours, the way she would meet us at the end of our shift at Safeway and walk us home. My mum worked whilst I was growing up but I never thought of her as a working mum, its only now that I am a mother myself with my own business that I realise the hard work she put in, heading off to work nightshift whilst we were sleeping, arriving in time to make us breakfast in the morning. I never realised the sacrifices she made, but I do remember her teaching us Cards, I remember weekends spent doing puzzles, going for long walks together along the beach. Her instilling a love of reading in us. 

I remember her gentle rebukes when we did the wrong thing, not in anger but in love.

I remember thinking that I could be, do anything that I wanted as Mum believed I could, but I also knew that it took work and she made sure we did. Homework was a priority, but family came first.

What will my children remember?

Will they remember me playing with them, teaching them cards, going for walks around the lake, doing puzzles, or will they remember me sitting by the computer tolling away.

Will they remember the way I walk them to bed, the cuddles in the morning, the way I make their lunches with the fun notes, the useless facts about Australia and the world around them.

Will they remember the way I am already a taxi service running them from swimming, Badminton, Guitar, Tae kwon do. Teaching them to be part of the community around them.

Will they remember the fun holidays, the impromptu trips interstate? Will it teach them a love of travel as I have, the desire to learn more about the world around us, and the different communities within it.

Will they remember the moments of frustration, trying to get them to clean their room, unstack the dishwasher, feed the dog? Or will this shape them into people with good work ethics, the drive to get the job done. Will they feel like I did, as being gently rebuked in love, not anger!

 

Or is it more than that….. Will they remember the way that I love them, treasure them, each as individuals. When the music fades and we are left with our memories what will they remember, what will they treasure?

 

 

 

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It's a Mum's life

NAPLAN testing? How accurate is it?

by sarah 10. May 2016 12:20

For those of us with children in Grade 3 or 5 this week we would know that we are in the middle of the NAPLAN test. Now the level of stress, anxiety your child is facing can be significant or non existent depending on the schools approach to this test.

For some schools their is a huge emphasis on the test with most of the year focusing solely on the skills required to "ace' the tests, where for other schools they are seen as a small part of the overall learning process.

We are really lucky that our children's school has a balanced approach, the children have gone into the test without anxiety, without pressure.  Sure their teachers want them to do their best however they know that this is not the be all and end all of their education, their grades. It is a small part. They have done a couple of practice tests so they are aware of what it is, but not to the detriment to their other learning.

My friends daughter on the other hand has lived, breathed Naplan all year, she at the age of 8 is under so much pressure to do well, and as a mother it is heartbreaking to see a child (even not your own) feeling stressed and anxious at such a young age.

These huge difference in focus has got me thinking, how accurate are the NAPLAN results. Realistically if a school spends the best part of 5 months focusing solely on skills that will help their children "ace" the Naplan tests, compared to a School that has a more balanced approach to learning. Which school has "better learning results for your child" Yes the first school might get a better results on paper but does that really mean the child knows more than others? Which has the better academic result the school with one focus, or the one with a much rounder education?

Do I want a child who has a great understanding of English and Maths, but has no idea about geography, sports, music. 

Looking at these two schools totally different ways of appraching NAPLAN has made me rethink the way that I choose Primary school, and Secondary College.

Our daughter is in Year 5, so this year we need to choose her secondary College, when I started looking around I was focusing on NAPLAN results, but then realised that depending on the schools focus it on its own is not an accurate result, I now focus on the difference between the Year 7 results and the year 9 results. Is their education growing or staying stagnant? I focus on their programs, what do they offer the children, what classes are available when they hit VCE, Can they do Year 12 classes in year 11, can they do VET courses through school. What does the school 'feel like" are the front desk staff approachable. All of a sudden NAPLAN becomes such a small part in the bigger picture.

What are your thoughts on the NAPLAN testing?

Are your children participating? Do they feel pressure? Did you use it as a tool when choosing primary school. 

 

Tags:

It's a Mum's life | School related

It's the little things!

by sarah 2. May 2016 16:35

 It’s all about the little things.

It’s often said that motherhood is all about the little things, and I get that, the first smile, the first tooth, the way their eyes light up when they experience something. I get that… but there are some other little things that are so important when you are a mum.

We are just getting to the end of nine days in a self-imposed quarantine, it started out with Miss 3, getting a chest an ear infection, the ever so generous girl that she is then decided to pass it on to Mr 2 who decided that a chest and an ear infection were not enough to deal with and came down with croup. What I realised in my quarantine was that as a mum it’s the little things that matter.

On day 7, after a week of no sleep, it was ten o’clock in the morning and I had yet to get breakfast and my husband told me to leave the kids with him go for a drive get myself hotcakes for breakfast and have twenty minutes in the car with no tears, no fuss and my music choice. It’s the little things.

Miss Ten decided that she wanted to cook dinner, so I could have a night off. It’s the little things.

Master eight decided to go read a book to Mr 2 who was sitting sad on the couch with a cough. Miss ten, wandered off by herself and came back half an hour later and had cleaned her room, without prompting just because…. It’s the little things.

It's the friends who come around for dinner and bring takeout for you to eat. It's the easy meals sitting frozen in the freezer when you cant be bothered cooking.

It's realising that your 8 and 10 year old are old enough to put their own clothes away.

It's when Miss 3 comes up to give me a cuddle. It's when the clock finally strikes 7pm and the little ones go to bed without argument, and I could sit on the couch and watch TV… It’s the little things.

What are the little things that help you day to day?

 

Tags:

It's a Mum's life | Life as a Parent

Travelling with Children overseas will be fun, they said.....

by sarah 24. March 2016 16:16

Travelling with Children overseas will be fun, they said.  You get to watch the 'pure joy' on their face as they see the world they said. They will get to experience new foods they said. You don’t have to change your holidays just because you have had kids they said……

What they didn’t tell you was…. The pure joy you  will experience when your pride and joy decides that they don’t feel like lunch anymore, and vomits it back up all over you at take-off at the start of a fourteen “sweet smelling” hour flight. There is no level of deodorant and wipes that can get rid of the smell.

What they didn’t tell you was “How fun it is” when the same beautiful child has a nappy incident, as I look to call it, fourteen hours later at landing, thanks to the extra water they drank through the flight, to starve off the dry mouth from the plane.

 

They didn’t tell you how “comfortable’ it is sitting with that gorgeous 22 month old on your lap for fourteen hours in economy, otherwise known as cattle class, whilst the person traveling without children in front of you reclines, leaving 2cm between Master 22 month old and the TV screen.

It doesn’t help you with the building jealousy you feel to the people around you (Yes I am talking about the Person in front who slept reclined, about 12 hours of the 14 hour flight), as they relax, watch movies, sleep, eat, go to the toilet in peace, whilst you juggle 4 children’s every need, want and desire.

What they also didn’t tell when booking at the travel agents, was the “child’s meals” are often not very parent friendly, imagine yoghurt at 10,000 feet and the mess, the carnage it brings.

 

Now I am not saying don’t travel, Don’t get me wrong, I am already planning our next overseas trip, and we have taken our kids on quite a few trips internationally and domestically just go into it with eyes wide open, really wide open. (Which they will stay as don’t expect to get any sleep in the flight either)

It’s just I think as Parents we need to know that travelling on aeroplanes internationally with children is very different than your pre children days. It is not as easy, it is not as relaxing, not as enjoyable, but still just as worth it.

 

MY TOP TIPS

 

Bring changes of Clothes for them but just as importantly for you.

 

My families favourite story is the previously mentioned story that involved one of my children, that decided to not only vomit on me then wet themselves whilst sitting on my lap on our flight from LA to Auckland, which ended up with me having to purchase a very expensive and impractical pair of merino wool trackies at our stopover CUE Bogan music please…. (That coincidently would have been about the same price as buying an extra seat) and a whole lot more comfortable.  

 

Bring Food, heaps of food.

Children are fickle creatures, one day they will eat anything, the next day rice crackers and sultanas are considered a staple diet. We learnt on our first overseas trip with our four children, when our children’s meals didn’t arrive that travel is so much easier if your children have a steady piece of food in their mouth. We also learnt the hard way trying to keep children clean eating yoghurt in a confined space is never going to happen so it’s best to bring your own ‘clean’ lunch. When I say Clean, I don't mean healthy, nutritious, I mean realistically food that is not going to make a huge mess, because anyone with kids realise that they can turn a biscuit into a sloppy delightful mess not to mentions banana or any thing with any liquid content.

 

 

 

 

Bring Wipes, twice as many as you expect to use (It will still probably be half as much as you need)

Wipes are by far the best, most awesome baby item ever invented, I don’t know who invented them but I would love to shake their hand, buy them the most expensive bottle of wine I can and thank them for saving my sanity more times than I could count.

Wipes are perfect for almost everything, from cleaning hands, face, clothes, Sippy cups, trays, glasses, toys, really is there anything that they can’t clean. Also great for all toddler and baby free people on the plane to remove their makeup, (Because realistically you won’t be doing that as you will be lucky to even go to the toilet alone, but we can dream can’t we?

 

 Don’t pack too much.

I know it seems contradictory to my last three bits of advice, but as a parent travelling with a toddler, you have to know at one stage you will be not only carting your luggage through a crowded airport, but also be carrying your child.

 

Now my children are great at walking through the airport, until we stopped at customs, suddenly like ‘magic’ their legs both stopped working. Imagine, 2 adults, 4 kids, one bag to many, both of us with a toddler on the hip trying to find passports, forms, all whilst I was wearing my itchy overpriced Merino wool trackies, trying to remember the joy that the travel blogs speak about when travelling with children.

 

Electronic devices will be your friend – but be prepared.

Do you normally have a time limit on technology, forget about it, for your sanity, for the sanity of the people around you. If they want to play on the iPad for 6 hours let them, yes they will be tired and cranky when they finish but guess what, they were going to be anyway.

But be prepared.

Bring a portable charger for your iPad, you can buy them from most electronic places, and means that they can play the iPad off and on through the whole flight.

 

 

 

Also bring your own headphones, unless you want to hear those magical words, “Help” 5327 times as the adult ones full off their heads again and again.

 

Remember….

 

Remember the flight is just the means to the end and once you get there you will be giving them an experience so many others can only dream off.

 

 

What are your best travel tips with children?

Would you travel with children? Are you game enough?

 

If you interested in some of my other ideas about travelling internationally with children read more here

 

If you are interested in our trip to Disneyland (the fun part) read more here. 

 

 

Tags:

Disneyland | It's a Mum's life | LA Adventure | Life as a Parent | Travelling - International | Yumbox

If nothing changes, nothing changes - finding support as a parent

by sarah 1. March 2016 09:53

You only have to take a look at your Facebook newsfeed to know that this motherhood gig can often be a hard confusing and overwhelming time. We see our friends struggling with sleep, feeding, and behaviour issues. Not to mention our own firsthand experience.

All of a sudden you have this gorgeous baby, who is solely dependent on you. Their health, their emotions all rest in your hands and whilst I know we are all up for the challenge, the difference between thriving and simply surviving rest on one word "Support".

What support have you got to get you through the challenges that lie ahead? Do you have a supportive partner, supportive family, and friends, do you use the other resources out there? Do you even know what resources there are?

I understand that it is hard if you feel like you have no support from family and friends, I understand, I have been there. After moving away for work from our support network we decided to go back and have a third child. She is a blessing a welcome addition to our family as is number four that we had 14 months later :-) However I experienced firsthand how hard it can be when you as a family feel like you are doing it alone, a difficult pregnancy, children at school and kinder and no one to call to help. I remember rocking up to emergency with severe HG with my 4 and 6 year old with me, as my husband was away just hoping the nurses would take pity on me and not make me wait, not for my sake but my two children worried waiting beside me. Wishing that I had reached out to other mums in the area and made friends that I had someone I could call on. As I couldn't wait for my family to get their as they were over two hours away.

But then I decided to be proactive as "If nothing changes, nothing changes"

I joined an online mums group, and 4 years later they are still my point of call when I have a question. Together we have been each other’s support through loss, sickness, premature babies, marriage break ups, but not just the hard times we have celebrated milestones, weddings, birthdays. We have even been able to venture outside of the confines of the computer to go out for dinner, have parties for the children for Christmas. It made the 3am wake ups so much less lonely when someone else was out there who understands your sleep deprivation.

I then decided that it was time to venture outside the safety of my computer and join MOPS, mothers of pre-schoolers. It runs once a fortnight and is an opportunity for you to sit with other mums for two hours whilst a group of carers watch your children in a different room. (If you are comfortable initially my daughter stayed with me) But after a couple of weeks we were both ready. So for two hours every fortnight I am able to sit and have a cold drink, eat some nice food and have adult conversation and I didn't realise how much I needed it. From this group I have now made a circle of friends that I can invite out to a movie, go out to dinner and I have to tell you it is a nice feeling.

I also began to look around to see what support was in my local community, we have "Parents place" a drop in centre in the middle of town, that has nappy change facilities, toys and caring staff that answer any questions you have, I made sure that I went to my MCHN appointments and have a lovely caring nurse who remembers little details that help me feel valued.

All of a sudden the world wasn't so big and I wasn't so lonely in it.

 

 

 

 

 

Tags:

It's a Mum's life | Life as a Parent

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