mental health days

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dear Olive,
We had one of *those mornings* this morning. It all started when you couldn't decide what to wear for mufti day. Against my and Shane's advice, you decided upon your Elsa dress*. But you were in hysterics when you realised it was torn. So you changed into regular clothes and eventually calmed down when I suggested we pin the Elsa badge from the Elsa dress onto your school bag. You know, so you could still feel a little Elsa-ery, even in your non-Elsa-ery clothes. The badge broke as I was pinning it on. THE DAMN BADGE BROKE. So there was more crying. Then, out of nowhere, your ear started hurting. So there was even more crying. We got out the door, you holding my hand, crying. I was already beginning to doubt my resolve - did I really want to drag you to school kicking and screaming. But I started to get a sinking feeling creeping in when I saw a few other kids walking to school; they were all dressed in their school uniforms. It seems I'd made the rookie mistake in following my memory, and not the school newsletter. Mufti day wasn't for another week. You then started crying about being out of uniform. It was at this point that I gave up on you going to school altogether and we walked back home. The crying stopped (and, coincidentally, so did the hurting ear).

And, of course; all this on the one day Shane started work late and was excited to walk with you to school.

I'm acutely aware that having to comply with the rules and regimen and listening and following of school is a profound change for you. (For any kid starting school.) And I know the way you recharge yourself is through creative play. Creative play where the only rules are your own. I'm more than happy to give you time off, to do just that, whenever I think you really need it. So we're now on our second mental health day in as many weeks. There was a bit of a discussion on my instagram last week on mental health days for kids. And I'm interested to know - do you give them to your kids? And are they allowed one per term? Or taken on an as-required basis? 

(And doesn't all this just beg the question ... where are my mental health days?)

*shakes fist at Aunty Bry! I HATE THE ELSA DRESS.


motherless mothering

Monday, May 11, 2015

Dear Olive,
My three people, their excellent gift to me (thanks Shane!), the crisp sunny weather, plenty of great food, and a visit to an iconic Sydney house. (How divine is that Australian bush setting?) It all came together for a wonderfully memorable (and surprisingly harmonious) mothers day - my guys made me feel genuinely special, and very loved. 
It would have been perfect; if only my Mum were here to share it, too. Motherhood really is my greatest privilege, and I've missed my Mum every step of the way.
(Have a read of Missing Mum on Mothers Day - a bit heart wrenching, if you've lost your Mum too.)


on breastfeeding

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dear Olive,
We had a great afternoon at the pub a few weeks ago - one of those impromptu times where we met a friend for a swim, got a phone call from another, and the next thing we knew, we were at the pub cheersing beer with a bunch of mates. Of course, all too quickly it got to a certain time of the evening, and I headed home to put to bed two tired kids on my own. Later, after the house was quiet, I sat on the lounge and couldn't help but feel the deep unfairness of it all. Shane was out, kicking up his heels and having interesting and fun adult conversations, while I was home alone, sober, at the ready to breastfeed Clancy at a moments whimper. 
But then I realised that if Clancy breastfeeds for as long as you did, then we're almost halfway there already - and wow, has that almost first half gone by in the blink of an eye. All of a sudden, instead of resentment, I felt an overwhelming sadness about it all ending. Almost inexplicably, I began to will my little boy to wake up so I could feed him. Such is the irony of this life, I suppose. I can feel tired of something I wouldn't change for the world.
I need to remember; this time is my sacrifice, and this time is my privilege. It's beautiful, it's extraordinary, it's exhausting. And it has an end. It's all going to be over in a damn flash.
PS The best article I've read on motherhood in a long time.
PPS The extended info on the photos below tells me CC was just a week old when they were taken. (And he's wearing my all time favourite woollen pants from Paul and Paula, Typically Red pixie hat, a cardi hand knitted by my friends Mum, and Marimekko socks.)


one full trip around the sun

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Dear Olive,
He's the love of all our lives. Your Boo, Dads Clancy-man, and my CC. He turned one on the weekend. 
(And for the first time, I truly feel the bittersweet sting of my youngest child beginning to grow up.)


school holidays

Monday, April 20, 2015

Dear Olive,
The school holidays are on, and boy are they lovely! I knew you'd love the change in routine, but I wasn't expecting to be completely taken over by that holiday feeling myself - that was a lovely surprise. The school hours aren't at all hard when there's no work to negotiate, but it's so refreshing not to have to be anywhere in the morning. We've kept it super low key - I'm so conscious that what you need is anti-regimen. And all that time away at school has given you renewed enthusiasm for playing in your room with the door closed - so called "secret games", often only coming out if you hear me and remember you need to ask for more food. 

- lego is everywhere
- I'm frisbeeing out the snack plates like nobodies business (I can't stop pondering: what is it about holidays that makes you so insatiably hungry?)
- easiest healthy-ish comfort food lunch if you have leftover rice (we usually soak ours overnight and then cook it in broth) - fry onion, garlic, sausage, corn, plus any green veggies or a few herbs from the garden, and toss through olive oil and a pinch of salt (can you tell on this day we had no green veggies?!)
- you and I, in the ladies
- you and C have played so much, you read him books and he pulls your hair: it's definitely love


portrait of a friend

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Dear Olive,
An Autumn afternoon. A random chair at the park. The sweetest of little friends.


just because

Monday, April 13, 2015

Dear Olive,
Just because I want to put these somewhere, so I may as well put them here: a collection of random images from the last month or two.
The seasons have shifted, as they do. The kids are growing, as they do. Shane and I are keeping on, as we do. Sometimes I wonder why I'm hanging onto this space, where there's so many other things that need to do done. (One of them being the study I've started, I'll save that story for another post.) But somehow I keep coming back.
Next weekend we'll be celebrating one full trip around the sun of our little man. Can you believe it?


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