Awkward

by Shae on July 24, 2014

 

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I hope that this blog doesn’t give some sort of impression that I’m an always together kind of parent. If you read my twitter you’ll probably get a more accurate idea of just how much I wing it. And often stuff it up completely.

Like yesterday….

 

Tannah was trying out netball for the first time. She plans to just train with a team for the remainder of the season and will likely play next year (goodbye free Saturday Mornings, I will miss you). The team trains after school, at a school and most of the kids go to said school.

I know I shouldn’t assume I’ll be excluded or have to defend our no-school position, but experience tells me it will be shit with at least a couple of the Mums. And I’m kind of over it. So I went in with my usual optimism left at home.

The kids are training and Tans has settled in well. There are a group of Mums standing right next to me but no one is speaking to me-which I get, they all seem to really know each other. Suddenly one of the Mums says “so who IS that girl?”

I take a deep breath and offer “the one not in uniform?” She confirms so I jump in, smiling. Hopeful.

“That’s my daughter Tannah. She’s trying it out today and might officially join the team next year”

The other Mum cocks her head to the side, looks back at the team, looks back at me and has a face that says I’m confused. She is silent.

That’s all it takes for my must-I-be-having-this-conversation-and-it’s-sure-not-to-go-well-and-I’m-destined-to-be-the-weirdo-again brain to decide I should just jump in. Let’s get it over with. GO.

“She’s not in school uniform because she doesn’t go to school. That is we home educate. She’s the same age as these girls though and even knows one of them from her sister’s ballet”. This all spills out in one breath and without punctuation. I’m kind of spewing forth this info at the poor woman.

The woman pauses, looks back at the team again, then turns to me and says

“Oh no I didn’t even notice her yet! I was talking about the teenager helping the coach”

“Ah. She’s some sort of rep player here to help out” I reply as I wait for the ground to swallow me up.

She shuffles away as quickly as she can.

I felt like Ron in this clip.

 

 

So now if they think I’m some sort of militant, homeschooling, weirdo. They might have a point.

 

Never let it be said I’m cool at all times.

 

Have you ever made a situation awkward?

 

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Inbetween

by Shae on July 22, 2014

 

Remember when you have a baby (or before) and you know everything about the stages ahead of you? ME TOO.  I remember once sprouting some garbage out of my inexperienced mouth about how the term “tween” was simply created by corporations to make you buy more. I rabbited on about how the ages of kids didn’t need to be broken up into categories and so on.

No while I still do think that the term tween is plastered all over stuff to make a buck, I now also know that there is absolutely an in between stage. And that we have a fully fledged Tween at out house.

 

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I have noticed that Tannah is straddling both worlds. On one hand she is still so small and very much a young child. On the other she is changing. Her friendships are changing and I can’t deny she that she is not the little kiddo she once was. Sometimes I feel a little out of my depth.

Tannah is breaking away from her sisters in play. After years of the three of them (mostly) happily getting engrossed in imaginative play together, there has been a shift. She will play with them-but not for as long and not unless she gets a real say in the “laws” of the game. But she will still tip out all the plastic horses or fairies and immerse herself in a solo game for ages. When we are at our home ed group there is a lot less of the en masse game of the “magical ponies” and a fair bit more of wandering around chatting about minecraft.

Sometimes she seems so grown up. I see her sitting on her bed listening to music on her iPod and flicking through a magazine and it takes my breath away because surely it wasn’t so long ago I kissed her hands while she nuzzled and drank milk from my breast. Was it? I took her to her first big concert last week. We saw Lorde (who was freaking amazing) and Tannah carefully planned her outfit and was as perfect a concert buddy as any. When Lorde took the stage I glanced sideways at my biggest girl and my eyes filled up. She knew she was being initiated into something really amazing that was reserved for the not so little-and the joy on her face was palpable.

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Yet at the same time, being a tween is a paradox. For all of the ways she is growing there are ways she really is still so small. When there are big, real tears about not being able to find Betsy at bedtime I see it. She is still blissfully happy to dress up and twirl around the house or watch a bit of sneaky Play School with her smallest sister. Her body still needs to move. To run and climb and yell.

But when she comes to snuggle with me on the couch her body doesn’t fold so neatly into gaps of my own like it used to. Suddenly she seems all legs and angles.

 

But we rearrange ourselves and find a new way of fitting together. To accommodate the changes.

It’s pretty much my plan for the years and changes ahead.

 

 

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Own it.

by Shae on July 18, 2014

 

In the last 12 months it happened. There wasn’t a magical day or goal that I met but slowly the feeling crept in.

I am confident in my ability to raise these kids. And I like how we’re doing it.

Do you know what the main factors in this were? It happened when I stopped trying to be other parents or following a set of parenting “rules.”

And I owned it.

I owned our choices and our family dynamic. I owned our financial state and our individual personalities.

 

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I used to find myself comparing us to other families and feeling like I was coming up lacking. I would read a blog or a book and want to do it more like them. I’d see a thread online or speak to another Mum and want to apply their reasoning for their family to mine. The flip side of this is being that jerk parent who feels like they are doing it much “righter” than another. We’ve all been there, not knowing about the other family.

 

I’m all for being inspired and gaining wisdom and inspiration for others. Hell, I’d be at home crying in a corner without the advice and support shared in both my real life and online communities. It’s important.

 

It’s also important to honor yourself and your individual family. It’s OK to have big feelings about what you are and are not OK with. It may be deemed harsh or way too lenient depending on what circles you hang out in. It’s OK if you cannot or choose not to keep up with the Joneses in the way of having stuff. It’s certainly more than OK to pick and choose the bits of advice you receive or the “rules” of a parenting style or the parts of a book/blog that you like and that resonate with you. I’ve said it before- Be You Own Guru. Be inspired by others to do better or do different, but don’t try to take on another persona that isn’t you. Try stuff out, walk around in it a while, see how it makes you and your family feel. If it doesn’t work than ditch it.

And if something is working for you and your family despite naysayers or not completely fitting in somewhere?

If you know in your gut that you’re all thriving?

If you can be inspired without feeling inferior?

You own it. You own that shit all day long and twice on Sundays.

 

 

 

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What not to say to a literal kid

by Shae on July 16, 2014

 

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Harper is many awesome things. She’s also very very literal in what she hears and says. It can make for sometimes tricky conversations and often amusing misunderstandings.

 

Here are a few things I have discovered get a little lost in translation and that you probably shouldn’t say to a literal child.

 

-Don’t use phrases like “it’s hot as balls” or “I’m dropping the kids at the pool” within the vicinity. Harper is a notorious eavesdropper with somewhat scarily precise hearing and having to explain phrases like this, that were muttered within earshot, have made for some confusing conversations. And disappointment about not actually going to the pool.

 

-Giving big directions like “spit it out” will see her literally spitting a piece of food across the table. Same goes for jokingly saying “run away”.

 

-Don’t ask questions unless you are prepared for the absolute truth. Once I playfully asked Harper why she always wanted to go with Dad and she replied with “because I like him better than you.” Ouch.

 

-Only ask for a review of a movie/show/meal if you have time and don’t plan to rush her. She really needs to tell you all the things. And it’s worth listening to.

 

-Even if she has her face painted or is wearing a dress up don’t say “you look like a dog” etc unless you want to be stared down with a look of utter contempt for your stupidity. She is clearly NOT a dog.

 

-Same goes for nicknames. She is not a sausage or a possum. But she can be a love love.

 

 

I know you have some more examples for me!

What else should’t you say to a literal kid?

 

 

 

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Let them be themselves

July 14, 2014

    I’ve talked before about there being lots of ways to be a kid and it’s still true. I also know that adults tend to give other adults more of a break when it comes to likes and dislikes. Often the same adults that would publicly shame a child for not getting on an amusement […]

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Sovereign Hill Christmas in July- with giveaway! {sponsored}

June 16, 2014

  We were lucky to spend a couple of days at Sovereign Hill last week. I can’t believe we had never been there before! Well Luke had been with school, but we had never taken the kids. To say they had an awesome time is an understatement. And not just because of the boiled lollies […]

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This week we were….

June 15, 2014

  Welcome to my new Sunday series! Everyone likes to have a sticky beak into what’s going on in another family-school or not. I know that I love to see what other people get up to.   So this week we were….   -lucky enough to spend a couple of days at Sovereign Hill (more […]

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Not packing the body hate

June 13, 2014

  I know that I’ve come a long way on my journey to ditch the body hate. I’m pretty far down the path now and, without trying to sound like a wanker, not tying in my weight with my worth has been life changing. One of my favorite bits is how it’s changed my experience […]

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