Understanding the capabilities of our kids

I’m often found reminding myself of what Archie is capable of understanding at such an age. Its so easy to expect him to have a certain understanding of unwritten social information. Like sitting still and keeping voices to a minimum when he is indoors.

Age is not just a number, its a reminder of skill set, a way to justify my feelings of frustration. He has learnt so much in his short 19 month life, but he has so much more to learn. I remind myself that he just can’t comprehend what I’m asking and thats why he won’t stop being ‘naughty’.

It makes my life a lot easier when can stop making excuses to those surrounding me, and start changing what I expect from him. Sure, he needs to learn how to ‘behave’ at some point, so we are taking baby steps (pun intended), steps for the size of his stride, steps that make it fun and interesting to learn. In the same way he learns his animal sounds or swimming, serious fun. Fun with a touch of serious learning.

He is only little for such a short time, I’d rather enjoy watching him as he learns and discovers new ways of life, than boil over with anger and embarrassment when he does the ‘wrong’ thing.

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Please don’t grow up

If it were up to me, I’d keep you all to myself.

That way you would never change, I could keep you little and innocent forever. We could stare at each other and laugh uncontrollably, you at my silly faces and I at your absolute delight.

I could make sure your personality and beautiful nature isn’t impacted by those around you. That the outside influences don’t change you into someone who doesn’t care about those amongst you. Someone who can stand up for what he believes in and stands in for those who can’t.

You would learn things at a pace that’s right for you and not taught whilst you’re too young to know what to do with the information. The true meaning of right from wrong, compassion and empathy, not what society deems as acceptable.

We could travel the country and learn from your surroundings, you could discover how endless your opportunities could be if you just put your mind to it.

I don’t want you to feel like the choices you have are limited by those opinions around you, that the only things you’re capable of is what others see in you.

You’re capable of anything.

 

 

Anxieties are a part of motherhood

Lets talk anxieties.

I never truely realised how anxious I was as a person until Archie was born, he brought every single insecurity out, even ones I didn’t know I had. 

I seriously have blanks in the first 12 months where I couldn’t tell you what happened with my days or nights, they are just gone. Ones I’ve blanked out on purpose from feeling like I failed, some lost in the wave of no sleep, and the rest, who knows. 

Some of the moments I do remember are ones of question.

Questioning my choices, my decisions, myself.

Trying to work out why I can’t just make this baby happy? Why my baby? why me?

Not knowing whether we should be rushing to the hospital or sending me to an asylum.

And when he was asleep, I was awake. Playing scenarios in my head so real I could feel each roller coaster emotion as it played out. 

I talk about this as if it went away after 12 months, but it’s still very much around. Every time I get asked about what we do with Archie, if we go out and he is grumpy about something, if anyone sees me after I don’t even know how long since my last shower and especially if we plan a trip or holiday somewhere. 

It is a feeling like non other, and one I’m finally starting to understand will be apart of my life as a mother. The only comfort is knowing that Hayden has the same sleepless nights over Archie.

Technology and our kids

The fine line between accepting that technology Is going to be a big part of Archie’s life but not letting it consume him, is something I’m already struggling with.

It brings so much more confusion and questions into childhood. More comparison and understanding of topics they might not yet be ready to understand. 

A new way to bully, manipulate and control small unsuspecting minds. 

Adults are already being sucked in and falling for the sales pitches, the body negative comments and the life comparison that happens with each scroll. We as adults can’t control or know how to control our emotional response to this overload. 

So how are we meant to teach our children to emotionally respond to the overload of devices and apps available?

Especially when the jobs of the future are all heading technologically and our children need to be capable of obtaining those jobs.

 I feel like an important part to this is mindfulness. Understanding and implementing mindfulness day to day.

That may sound rather hippy, but surely it can’t be a bad thing. Understanding why we feel the feelings we feel, how to resolve those feelings, and most importantly, how to empathise with those around us. Having regular intervals of shutting off from the world, only concentrating on our own self worth and value. 

What has ruined this is the enormous amount of people claiming mindfulness as their own. Showing how they use it and what it has got them, making money from those desperate for answers. But it shouldn’t be about that, it should be about improving the future for our children’s mental health.

For our mental health.

Making an action plan not a resolution

Im not one to make New year Resolutions, its just another way we can be disappointed with ourselves at the end of a long year. But over the Christmas break, I have had a good hard think about what Im going to do this year.

Its been two years since I worked and earned a proper income for our little family, and although our big move has mean that there is no pressure to bring in the dollars, I need to do it for myself. To feel capable of still earning and contributing to our life goals.

I sat down with Hayden and brainstormed, to which he bravely pointed out I have done a few times in the last two years. Business ideas I have come up with and career paths I could follow, and he’s right, I have but I wasn’t ready then.

I am now.

Im going to set myself small goals, and teeny tiny to do lists each day. Tick off one task at a time, and get it done. It might be slow, but Im ok with that, it gives me time to think it through and be sure about my approach to this venture. At the end of the day this needs to work, for me, for us.

Im going to document each day and the process and reasons why, it will help my clients see it can be done. I want to help mums stay home with their kids and this business is the only way I know how.

Don’t Teach your kids not to keep score

 

Archie makes his own discoveries about the world and the way it works. He plays with minimal disruption from us and a lot of the time, its outside. I love watching him during the moments of discoveries, the sounds of wonder and the explanations that follow.

What he doesn’t realise is, as hard as it is for me to sit back and watch him trudge through dog poo, or come scarily close to the open fire pit when we go camping, he’s teaching himself his own lessons. through a journey of unpredictability, by sometimes learning the hard way.

And you know what, kids are tougher than we give them credit for.

By providing environments with an amount of associated risks, he is able to play through exploration, able to practise how to be a human being, able to understand the basics of action and reactions.

A realisation that making mistakes is how we learn. Working hard is how we improve, but playing hard is how we stay motivated and excited.

 

 

My fear of christmas

I am petrified of Christmas Day this year. 

It’s the first year we will be around a pool. And to say I’m worried is the understatement of the century. I don’t think the people around me truely understand just how scared I am.

I can’t switch it off. 

The thoughts, the what if’s, the scenarios played over and over in my head as I try to sleep.

The fact that there will be a lot of people around just makes me more nervous. 

If it were up to me, I’d stand by the pool fence and open and close it for each and every person. But I can’t do that, over protective crazies do that. 

Even the thought of something happening brings me to tears I’d honestly rather not have these scenarios run through my head, but I can’t stop them.

And if anyone tells me not to worry, it makes the whole thing worse. Like people aren’t worried enough.

At the end of the day it’s probably easier to go in the pool with him. 

Where’s my motivation gone?

There’s one thing I lost after I had Archie, that I miss desperately, my motivation.

I so desperately miss that drive and passion to do something, anything.

Maybe I just don’t have that get up and go anymore, or maybe it’s hidden away behind The multitude of tasks I now think of constantly. Or behind the bags under my eyes I’m sure are going to show up on my license photo I had done today. 

Who knows but I’m ready for it to come back, even if it’s just for one thing, to keep me sane, make me feel just a little bit like I have something to work towards in my day.

 I want something else to talk about on my civilised coffee dates, not everyone is as excited about the new word Archie is saying as I am.

Maybe it’s the weather, no one wants to do anything when it’s hot. 

Who am I kidding, I havnt slept right in 18 months, I’m sticking with that one.

Social Media is changing the way we view ourselves.

In a world where everything seems perfect, how do you keep up?

How do you feel like you have succeeded at your own life when everyone around looks like their doing better?

How do you make your life ‘matter’ when you don’t get as many ‘likes’ as someone else?

Does this make me less of a mum, less of a person, less of a contributor to society?

These are just some of the questions I have seen raised in the world of social media. A world where people feel like if they can’t capture the perfect spring cleaning session in a house that looks like it hasn’t been lived in, or a perfect set of cupcakes for a birthday, a perfect photo of their one year old that is clear and beautiful (what the!) that it isn’t as valuable or as memorable as someone else who does.

The amount of times I’ve heard the statements, ‘My life isn’t Pinterest worthy’, or ‘I don’t know why i keep scrolling, it just makes me feel shit about my life’ is ridiculous. Social media is for keeping connected with friends and family, to be proud of our achievements and show them what we are up to.

Its only human to compare and strive for success, to judge your life on the merit of others. But I ask you this, how do you know its all true to name? How do you know that their lives are as peachy as that one image, that their child hasn’t just thrown a tantrum all day and her mum doesn’t want to admit to herself that that behaviour is normal.

That others don’t want to admit to change, to questions, fears and worries. To accept commitment, to show loneliness, messiness, and failure.

No one wants to show off their wrong doings, but maybe thats exactly what we all need to see. To see that we are all the same, we do all fail sometimes and that the struggle is real.

Real enough to set someone on the right path, real enough to open someones eyes to their new path or dry them from a day of tears. To give them that boost of motivation and encouragement for their struggle.

Post something real for a change, and let someone in.