Missing out

by Shae on March 25, 2015

 

Every so often I fall for it. That we are not doing enough. That the cult of busy is where we should be.

There are a billion possible activities that the kiddos could be doing, and we have the time, so why not make our lives super busy for the sake of looking like a “good” Mum? That home education can be about MORE rather than being seen to do less.

So we signed up for all of the things the kids wanted to do and tried to squeeze in some set bookwork time. We went on all the camps we could, all the meet ups, all the play dates. We have spent this term running around and now I see what we are really missing out on.

 

Free time.

 

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The kids will miss out. Everybody’s kids do.

There is no possible way a child can have a go at everything. And why do we place such value on structure and activities busy over the creativity and interests and learning that stem from boredom?

 

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We chatted as a family and it turned out the kiddos were not enjoying themselves either, so I gave them the option to quit whatever they wanted.

There was much relief and more discussion and we have pretty muched halved our weekly organized activities.

So they are now missing out on those. And that is perfectly fine with me.

 

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Because now there is more space for play. More space for down time. More space to create. More space to follow their lead.

It feels like we’ve gained a lot more than the busy we are apparently missing out on.

They have all started a new project book, we have been baking, reading, making plans for excursions that won’t feel rushed, gardening, playing, and just having time.

 

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It feels like so much more than being locked into a life of busy. We are choosing to take time.

It doesn’t feel like we are actually missing out on a thing.

 

 

 

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Just don’t

by Shae on March 12, 2015

 

It seems I’ve been visited by the “everybody make uninformed comments” fairy so I just need to get some stuff off my chest. OK? Thanks.

 

 

JUST DON’T say that “Harper seems fine!” or her diagnosis is wrong. Even if you know us a little bit. You are not her pediatrician and you have no fucking idea of what goes on to help her manage a regular day.

JUST DON’T ask my kids if they wouldn’t rather go to school. Seriously, can people stop doing this already. Unless you want me to ask your child if they wouldn’t rather skip school.

JUST DON’T ask my kids to prove what they know. DO NOT give them maths equations to do in their head or ask them to read a sign. Unless you enjoy unbridled rudeness from their Mother.

JUST DON’T say another word about a girl with short hair. FFS I cannot believe in 2015 we still get comments about this. STOP.

JUST DON’T make any comments that infer that having three daughters and no sons is somehow a failing. That every family must have at least one of each sex to be whole and right. Fuck that noise.

 

Now I’ve gotten that off my chest let’s all have a biscuit.

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Parenting without absolutes

by Shae on March 6, 2015

 

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From comments I get and articles I read there seems to be a misconception that if you take away the firm rules and punishments of traditional type parenting then all descends into chaos. That if you don’t put your foot down about everything then your kids will be disrespectful assholes who are never guided as to appropriate behaviour.

That there is either good kids, order, firm rules and the opposite is naughty kids, chaos, and total lack of guidance.

NOPE. Not true.

 

For starters any article you read pitting parents as ANY form of “us against them” is almost always written as inflammatory clickbait and you should just walk away. And stay right away from the comments.

But mostly it’s untrue because parenting is not black and white and most of us sit somewhere in the grey. I know that both tiger moms and full on whatever whenever parents exist-but they are the minority.

 

At our place not having a set bedtime or set limits on screen time does not mean that there are NO limits.

We don’t use traditional type punishment, ┬ábut that doesn’t mean the kids don’t get told off.

They can choose what they want to eat, but I do the shopping and they can choose from that. But birthday parties, holidays and on plenty of other occasions they can go wild.

I don’t necessarily let the rating of a game or movie decide if my child can watch or play, but I do take my knowledge of my own kid and where they are at come into the equation.

I am unapologetically schooling the kids about topics I’m passionate about (ethical food, religion vs science etc).

I used a dummy AND I breastfed my girls well into their toddler years. I had a pram AND a sling. We co-slept and I helped them stay in their own rooms when they were ready.

On the flip side, I know parents who have many firm limits AND let their kids have lots of freedom.

 

We don’t need to buy into the “either/or” bullshit.

We don’t have to pick a style or read a book and follow that thing to the letter.

They don’t know you, your kids, or your situation. And it’s exhausting to try and live up to some dogma.

Be your own guru.

Skip the absolutes and find your grey.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Meditation mindfuzz

by Shae on March 4, 2015

 

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It was my first night back at yoga in a long while. After thinking I may actually suffocate on my own boobs while being upside down for much of the class it was finally time for my favorite bit.

The meditation at the end.

 

We were lying on our backs in the darkened room and my yoga instructor said “just try to take a moment away from the worry you carry around with you”

I breathed out and I felt it. The worry I carry around is more a physical thing-like a tight fist in my chest.

I consciously tried to make it go away, to just be free of the weight of it for 5 minutes.

Instead it seemed to bring it all to the surface.

The kids! What will we do for the anxious one? Am I doing enough or too much for the Aspie one? Will the other one get sucked in to the mean girl shit her friend has started? What of her horribly rolling ankles? Should we go back to the tutor? Do they spend too much time on their devices? And my Mum, I hope she’s doing OK like this for a long time. How long has it been since I’ve had sex with my husband? Too long. I don’t want to lose that part of us, but I’m tired….

I felt hot tears welling in my eyes and kind of pissed off at my brain for not just fucking thinking about my breathing or something.

But then I realized that lack of apathy means I’m halfway there.

Seeking out what the kids need or don’t is will give them the best shot at a happy life. There are no guarantees, but we are doing the best we can and keeping their individual needs in mind all the time. That is all you can do.

Depression is what it is. And I love Mum however it is playing out at any given time.

And I can go home and crack on to my husband. I never regret it.

 

I can’t change the somewhat overwhelming stuff that is happening in my family right now. But I can accept it as it is, and do the best I can to get everyone what they need. Including me.

 

And I felt the balled up fist in my chest loosen a little.

And then meditation was over.

Damn it, maybe I won’t have an internal monologue next week.

 

 

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Sort the sport stuff

February 17, 2015

    While we have chosen homeschooling instead of school, we still do a fair few activities. A lot of them are sport. During the year any one or more of my kiddos is involved in ballet, jazz, tap. netball, auskick and swimming.   It’s a lot of shoes and uniforms. And towels.   The […]

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Official.

February 16, 2015

  Last week Harper had her first full ballet class. I say first full class because she tried it a couple of years ago but slipped over on the floor before class started and was so outraged that it happened she declared that dancing was stupid and she no longer wanted anything to do with […]

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My first year of busy

February 4, 2015

  I know I bang on about how much extra time we have as homeschoolers, and it’s true. But this year, for our family, it’s also our first year of lots of commitments.   My kids (particular;y my big 2) love organized activities. LOVE THEM. Tannah would have me take her to 2 things a […]

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Instead

February 2, 2015

  This week would have been it. I would have had all three kids at full time school, if that was the path we had chosen. I would have had all of this “freedom” everyone talks about. Like uniforms and homework and early starts and bedtimes and keeping up with the class and falling behind […]

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