Tag Archives: thoughts

Motherhood – at 10 months

Motherhood is emotional.

The abundance of love for that little one; the amazement at how quickly they grow; the exhaustion of trying to keep up (and possibly the lack of good sleep); the fear and worry that something bad could happen and the determination to try to mitigate, foresee or prepare for any such eventuality. Need I also add the guilt when we get frustrated and lose our temper and the pressure of being the main carer for such a precious thing.

This is like no paying job I have ever heard of, seen or had. It makes no sense to "act professionally" because you are so emotionally involved, yet we need to moderate our emotions as the child will always pick that up first.

There is no gym that prepares you for the amount of shoulder, back and arm strength that is required to pick up, carry around, rock and play with a child; whom while you are thankful they get heavier each day, your body really starts to feel its age.

There is no change management tactic I know that works here. I've always prided myself on being adaptable and open to change. So it frustrates me that I keep expecting, or rather hoping, for things to work consistently. Perhaps my logic is, "Since I'm not doing anything different, things that worked before should continue to work." Rocking to sleep used to work, why won't it work now? Dummies were my fall back and now she won't take it! I have to keep reminding myself of my husband's words, "she's changing all the time, you can't expect the same things to work." It's true, I just wish my mind would keep up with that and find new solutions to ever changing situations and challenges.

And then there's Google. We all fall into the trap of googling anything and everything, and let's be honest, this started even before we became parents but probably peaked during pregnancy and the first 6 months of being a new parent. Add to that any well-intentioned advice from professionally qualified individuals and those who have been "industry tested" (friends, grandparents, other mothers, etc), parenting books and any other tidbits of information we glean from blogs, random conversations in childcare or playgroups etc and you've got a mind blowing amount of contradicting opinions. "Do what you are comfortable with" seems to come up quite often but you know what, when I have a screaming baby perhaps I need to change what I'm comfortable with in order to make a change.

That doubt is what gets me. When things are manageable, I cruise. But when they're not, I re-evaluate what I have read and reconsider my decisions and then worry that I haven't been making the right decisions to start off with, that I have started my child on some horrible practices and that the routine we had for the last 4 days are bad, and that when she is in childcare she will scream inconsolably because I haven't sleep trained her. Don't tell me to trust my instincts because that flies out the window when she is screaming and my ears and heart hurt from her cries, yet my mind refuses to back down from whatever routine I am trying to instil, and finally when she does fall asleep, I scold myself for making it so hard on both of us.

But at the end of the night when she's sleeping, I miss her and all I know is that we will be alright. Soon she will not need me as much as she does now, and I will miss that more than I can imagine.

I've said this before but I'll say it again: I have a huge amount of respect for stay home moms, more so now that I have had a taste of it. Even more respect for moms doing it alone and moms whose kids are not well. I keep you in my prayers.
To all moms, you are doing a great job, and it's okay to be frustrated or angry or confused or lost. Sometimes all you need is a listening ear and if you have someone to share the load, even better.
Partners, share the load, actively. Mothers don't have all the answers, we are also just figuring things out (at least I am).

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , ,

The origin of “Papa”

The premise of this article is my opinion and is not backed by any official, science-y research.

All babies apparently start with the same base sounds when learning to speak. One of the most common is "bababa" or "papapa" which commonly refers to "papa" I.e. Dad. In my family, my little one still has not said "mama" despite all the affection we share for each other and the fact that she only sees her dad for 2 hours a day if she's lucky.

So WHY is she not saying mamma when She probably hears that word more often? I'm not upset, just confused as it didn't align with how I understood language was learnt.

I puzzled about it again today when I finally came to the conclusion that since language is arbitrary and men are self indulgent, they must have assigned the first and most common sounds to refer to them as father. It could also be because historically women have always been seen as weaker and less than the man, so obvious a child would call for dad first right?

I'm just going to believe that my little girl means to call for me in this increasingly gender less society and not assign random meanings to her loving sounds. I mean when she's tired or upset, she stops crying only when I hold her! Come on, is there any better indication of what she means by "papa" or "baba a" or even "dada"?

Tagged , , , , ,

Thank you mom and dad

Just wanted to take some time out of my already scarce amount of sleep to state firmly and boldly:

Thank you to all those parents who are now grandparents helping with the care of their grandkids – even for a while.

I know you will only do what you think is best for my baby because you love them as much as you love me. If not more. (Who am I kidding, definitely more.)
You have given me some time for myself, to think, to compose my emotions, to rest, to pretend I am a kid again and go on crazy theme park rides.
You have given us shared experiences we can all reminisce about. You now also know what is "behind the scenes" when taking care of "this cutie".
You have given me an idea of what you were like when I was little, the time I can't remember anything of. I now understand a little more of what you had to go through and how different you must have been when we were young.
You have provided us some distance so I have the luxury of perspective to renew, persevere and be better.

So thank you! Thank you for your unconditional love, your generosity and the deep well of energy you draw from (Grandmas more than Granddads specifically here). I know how hard it is and I appreciate how much more demanding it must be on you physically.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Family puts the “F” in Festivity

I miss my family.

They’re all in the US right now, having a bit of a trip over the Christmas and New Year break. I should have joined them, I realise now.

I thought I would be fine, going just as I am, spending Christmas with my partner’s family, catching up with friends I hadn’t met in a while and just taking a break from work in general.

Such conflicting feelings of not being ‘preoccupied’ (work) and wanting to enjoy quality time with family on the other side of the world at the moment.

Somehow I feel all alone in the world and seeing my partner’s family makes me miss them all the more. That holidays mean so much less.

Miss you all lots.

xoxo

Tagged , , , ,

Glass half full

I was reading a book the other day, “Brain Rules”, you might have heard of it. It’s a great read by John Medina and while I highly recommend it, it’s not what I want to write about today.

There was a short introduction on the concept of “learned helplessness”, where the subject is conditioned to stay in an inescapable situation and have no hope or control over the situation. The subject then resigns itself to its “fate” in a sense, and even though an escape is made available, does not go in search of it. Reading it made me quite upset and made me think of various things – depression, religion, hope, faith, fate, destiny and life in general.

I realized this could relate to many situations in our lives when we feel a lack of control, an inability to change things and a depressing realization that things will never change. I know of people close to me who stay in their jobs even though they hated it because they feel they have no other alternative; of people who consistently found it hard to do well at school and believe that they are less well-endowed intellectually while the issue may just be the methods they have been employing to study or the teaching methods used in the current system.

In those situations, I’m less confident in the effectiveness of an external encouragement compared to the power of internal motivation and awareness. In those situations, the person has to come to their own realization to snap out of that learned helplessness yet it is somewhat a chicken and egg relationship. Yet, like most addictions, I believe it can be overcome.

  1. Awareness is the first step we can take to bring ourselves out of that low
  2. Making a choice – do we want to stay in it or get out of it? Sometimes not making a decision is a decision in itself, which doesn’t make things better. If we want to stay in it, make the most of it and ensure we’re not being miserable staying in it.
  3. Knowing which are the areas we have control over – the world, no; my room, yes; other people’s opinions, no; my own thoughts and behavior, yes
  4. Taking small steps to make changes in those areas we have control over
  5. Optimism and a glass half full psyche – this is where I think faith and hope crosses paths just because while some people garner hope from things around them, others look towards religion and faith and somehow perhaps realizing that someone out there, whoever it is, is looking over us, adds a little booster to the hope meter.
  6. Recognizing the changes and its impact, however small – this is where external encouragement starts to make a difference.

So, hopefully if I ever find myself in a state of “learned helplessness”, I am able to recognize it and take action. Otherwise, maybe a little nudge from the Universe to perhaps allow me to stumble upon my own post or a similar post would point me in the right direction.

Thanks Universe, in advance.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

The Stubborn Fighter

Irrational, Unkempt

Full of non-conformance

Actions and emotions

Hurled from the dark depths

Stemming from the most ill

Parts of ourselves

We never acknowledged

 

Not sexy, not ruffled

Just a fully blown kerfuffle

A brawl like no other

Where thoughts manifest

Through our sword made of flesh

Slicing loudly through

The frail innocent air

 

Crack, Clomp, Thump

Unnatural sounds

Of anger and rage

Avoiding, Clashing, Retreating, Advancing

We give our worst

And receive in turn

The stench of a wound inflicted

 

The walls close in

It’s hard to breathe

Mind and feet shuffle around

The cloggy space

What was dealt before

What stroke should be returned

It’s not over yet

 

Not when I know

I did no wrong

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Flipside

Actually going to work for a few weeks really put a different spin on working life. All the things I used to hate, didn’t seem so bad! Things like:

1. Getting out of bed before 8am

I love my sleep-ins, but I have to admit this forced me to grab a proper breakfast before heading to work; and since health experts always say breakfast is the most important meal of the day…

+ 5 health points
+ 2 mood points for getting out of the house to take in some of the early morning fresh air

2. Catching public transport with all the other people who seem to be going somewhere important

Public transport always makes for an interesting ride, as soliloquized in my previous post “Mind the Gap“, but more than that, I think it really allowed me to see a different perspective of the city.

+ 5 knowledge points
+ 2 mood points for the opportunity to enjoy the sunset scene without having to drive

3. Having to work to survive

Should we work to enable us to do what we like or should we strive to enjoy our work? In my current situation, seeing my bank balance go up instead of down for once took those thoughts out of my mind, at least for now.

+ 10 financial points
+ 5 mood points for being able to buy the desserts I was craving for
– 5 financial points for spending more on “wants”

4. Five-day work-weeks

I used to think they were too much and ardently fought on the side of legalizing four-day work-weeks instead. Hmm..actually, no change of opinion there. However, it did make me realize how hard it was to plan what to cook for dinner and work issues at the same time. 

+ 5 knowledge points – now I know what my mom has to go through
– 5 mood points due to increased stress levels

5. Having to send a million (pointless) emails a day

I think the nature of a temporary job is to fill a temporary need, so in this case, the emails weren’t completely pointless. Or maybe I was just enjoying the illusion that I was actually doing “work”.

+ 5 self-affirmation points

My evaluation:
Work in small doses increases knowledge of our surroundings, improves our overall health and mood and aids in self affirmation as well as a general boost of our financial situation (if managed properly). I guess it was a positive experience overall!

Next test: Work in larger doses.
Sky streaked with orange

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Multitasking Madness

I’ve got 29 tabs open in my browser and every 2 minutes something else pops into mind and my mouse heads towards the “+” icon to ‘Open a New Tab’!! What is wrong with me?!

  • I want to blog about some story ideas I had
  • I have some job applications to submit
  • Need to do some research on companies for a kick-ass job application
  • Thinking about (and googling) recipe ideas for the leftover kiwi in my pantry
  • Feeling a little frustrated and want to blog about the fuzz that’s growing in my mind and a growing hunger in my belly as it draws closer to dinner time…

Stop!

I took a breath and opened WordPress, but got distracted by reading the posts from some of my favorite bloggers.
Wait, what was I trying to do?
Closed WordPress.
As I berate myself mentally, I realize the pantry is just a few steps away.
Mmm a cookie would taste so good right now.

I should grab one.
But it’s too close to dinner. Or is it?
Images of the Tim Tams I bought tempted me further into the sweet, sweet embrace of my pantry and all its treasures.
A mental battle ensues.
One that logic wins.
Defeated, I grab the thing nearest to me.
My cup – and took a sip of water.
It tasted nothing like the sweet sensation of chocolate.

Searching for a distraction, I looked back at my screen and clicked on a random tab.
It was a job opening I was interested in.
Re-read it.
It was a website I had never seen before, asking for my resume and contact details.
I wondered if they were legit.
Opened a new tab to research on the jobbing website.

It was taking some time to load.

Re-opened WordPress.
Clicked on “New Post”.
Maybe I could try to get a post in while it was loading.
I had some ideas on what to blog, hmmm….
My stomach growls.

I’m hungry, it’s dinner time.
Or close to it.
Everything else will have to wait.

Just for a little while.

My Tim Tam Stash

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’s Winter!

It has been cold and wintry the last few weeks, in the Southern Hemisphere, but little did I realize the official start of Winter crept up on us just 2 days ago!

It truly hit me when the lady over the counter said, “Winter’s just started!” in response to friendly chatter about the weather.

It is as if the Seasons were God’s way of saying, time waits for no one.
(As if we don’t know that well enough!)

That realization infused me with a sudden surge of appreciation for life, not the future or the past, but really to embrace the present. So I whipped out my camera, stepped out into the refreshingly cold wintry breeze and took a picture of the low clouds covering Telstra tower.

Nothing sexy, I didn’t edit it via any app or software.
Yet, it brings me back to my fantasies as a child of living in the clouds; heck, even just touching them.

Happy Winter All!

Telstra Tower in Winter

Telstra Tower, 2nd June

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Mind the Gap

I really like waiting for trains.
I just realized this as I was typing it.

Yeah it’s pretty fun just standing there, or sitting if I’m tired, with my headphones in, listening to my favorite tunes on my 32MB mp3 player. My argument: Quality is more important than Quantity. I still stand by that today.

Maybe it’s the people waiting with me.
Every wait gives the possibility of new interactions with people I’ve never met before! At the same time my eyes scan the crowd for familiar faces of possible train buddies. 🙂

Maybe it’s the ability to be completely anti-social and get away with not being called “anti-social”. Because when you get to the office, they might just think you’re being moody or arrogant or something.

Or maybe it’s just the mind-numbing routine.
I don’t know, there’s something ethereal about it when you know this is a mind-numbing routing so you’re both there and not there at the same time. It’s also a good time to read, and re-read the signs and notices on the floor and walls, and fully enjoy being IN this situation of waiting.

Because once you get to your destination, you’re expected to do something more than wait.

Sometimes I stare at the tracks and imagine a crazy adventure of falling down and trying to climb onto the platform before the train arrives. Which makes me think I lack the basic instinct for self-preservation in all living things, like in the movie “The Happening“.

Oh and once I’m on the train, it’s a whole different adventure.

p/s: An interesting side effect of the 32MB player was that my subconscious mind knew what song was next and it felt like I had the power to see the future! In a very minute, insignificant way…

(I was going to post my little story up, about crocodiles and family, but it’s late afternoon and if you could hear my brain, you would hear a monotonous buzzzing. So somehow, this came out.)

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,