Monday, June 29, 2009

Mythbuster Monday: advice = judgement

Advice.

Parenting advice.

UNSOLICITED parenting advice.

We all got it and hardly anyone wants it.

Why?

Because we see it as judgement on our parenting.

But for the most part, it's not.

Usually advice given is completely sincere, coming from the best heart possible and often completely, hilariously, unsuited to my situation.

Since I had Anna I have heard:

Just take a nap whenever the baby does won't you?
(often a piece of advice given in mock stern tones)

Ehhem, let me just go and wet myself laughing. Not hard after 4 kids (ewww, tmi). What am I meant to do with all the others while I am napping? And my newborns have all slept an average of 14 hours a day. Even I don't sleep that much. A doze in the armchair will see me through until night time with a newborn. Compared to those last few weeks of pregnancy, I have OODLES of energy.

Just do one load of washing every day and you'll stay on top of it.

HA, hahahaha, HA. 6 PEOPLE + CLOTH NAPPIES + TOILET TRAINING + BED WETTING = more than one a day.


Just forget about housework, go and hold your babies.

That's fine. Until the Cholera and Dysentery start and the UN confiscate my house as a bio-weapon of mass destruction. There is a minimum and I am looking for any excuse to get out of that, don't give it to me PLEASE!

Just do a quick whip around and clean up after they're all in bed.

And I am meant to talk to my husband/sleep/read a book/sit down/blog when?

Make your hubby cook/clean/do odd jobs for you/rub your feet....

I make my kids do stuff all day and I want a lover not another child. Beloved is a big boy, he can make his own decisions. If he chooses to do those things, great, if not, honestly, it's less work for me to just do it myself.

Breast feeding is just natural and instinctive, just let yourself go with it and it will all fall into place.

Four kids, one still feeding and three fed 'till between 13 and 16 months and I only weaned because THEY wanted to. Yet, for me, it has never been "instinctive" in the first few weeks. Baby and I always need a bit of a learning curve to get going!

I could go on, but I won't.

It would be easy to snap back sassy replies, beat people down and put them back in their place. It can be affronting to get these snippets of advice out of no where. It is easy to believe that these people are judging me as inadequate as a mother. It is easy to believe the myth that everyone who offers advice thinks that I am failing.

BUT

I have found that, as with most things, it isn't actually about me.

When someone pops out a bit of advice it is out of a genuine desire to help at least 70% of the time. While the advice often doesn't fit me, it may have fit them or someone they know quite well, so they just want to pass on their wisdom! The other times, it is still usually about them, their own insecurities and desire to judge others.

Whatever the reason, when the advice comes, just take the meat and spit out the bones. Be secure enough in your own parenting to be able to relax and listen, every now and then you may learn something. If you don't, no biggie. If you have made someone feel heard and useful, you probably made their day! The art of the smile-and-nod is drastically underrated.


Just try not to wet yourself laughing when they tell you to nap when the baby does, it doesn't go down well.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Lockwood Family

Please pray for the Lockwood Family. They are doing it tough. They got back to Mexico and little Samuel came down with pneumonia

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Friday, June 26, 2009

Award

Jillian from homeschooling4Christ was kind enough to give me an "Honest Scrap Award"!

I am supposed to tell you ten honest things about myself. If you look around on this Blog long enough you'd probably find a few more than ten things, but anyway.....

(1) I firmly there are few works of fiction in the world that cannot be improved with the addition of a talking dragon and reading Lord of the Rings was a high point in my literary life.

(2) I can't decide what I would dress up as if I ever went to a Sci-Fi/fantasy convention, but I would dearly love to go to one anyway. I see-saw between a Firefly character, something from Monty Python or something Tolkinesque.

(3)
I have a thing for chunky, dangly earrings at the moment. It is cheeper and less permanent than having "Warning: this person may not be as conventional as she first appears" tattooed on my forehead.

(4) I love dirt and gardening with a passion and have only recently and reluctantly given in to wearing gardening gloves. I miss the dirt against my hands, but it makes it easier to quickly attend to children without having to first wash my hands.

(5) I am currently reading the third book in the Empire series by Colin Igguledon. It puts some living colour into early Rome and I am loving every minute, in spite of the absence of talking dragons.

(6)
I love making schedules, timetables and lists but sadly have a little less love for actually DOING the things on those schedules, timetables and lists. As a consequence, I can happily while away hours writing while the house falls apart!

(7) I could quite happily spend a month without seeing another person other than my family and when I was studying I would deliberately spend a week or two in complete solitude (as much as you can in the dorms!) without socialising with anyone. I am not a people person!

(8) I have to remind myself that I was "busy" once too and to stop being a snob when I get frustrated with people who claim that they are "sooooo busy" because they have two kids, one school aged and at school and they have to keep their (completely built) house tidy. I have to remind myself that not all people are as insane as me and "Busy" is in the eye of the beholder.

(9) I did Bible Study today with a documentary on TV for the kids and Christopher sitting on my lap doodling on my notes page - it actually worked quite well all 'round!

(10) I believe more bookshelves is 90% of the answer to the issues I have with keeping a routine and being organised at the moment. I may not be right, but I am clinging to that belief until I am proven wrong (preferably by more bookshelves!)

I am also meant to choose 7 blogs to pass this on to, but I am going to cheat and say go to my blog roll on the right hand side of the page and pick seven, they are all great!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Let the mother

Let the mother of many celebrate her numbers
and glory in the ornaments which decorate her life.
Let her not be swayed by the scoffers,
nor riled by the ignorant.
Let compassion be her way
and humility guide her thinking.
Let her pin her badge of many blessings
to her breast and be known
for what the Lord God has called her to do.

Let the mother of some celebrate her bond
and relish the closeness that more time permits.
Let her not feel scorned by Leah or Hagar,
nor be jealous of their cup.
Let diligence be her walk
and contentment lift her prayers.
Let her perceive what is hers
and freely pursue wonderful things for the dear ones
that the Lord has entrusted to her care.

Let the mother of one celebrate her treasure
and delight to invest her whole self in this one.
Let her be convinced of the harvest to come
from this Isaac, this John.
Let fear be her beginning
and wisdom be her trail.
Let her seek the Lord
and proceed with awe in raising up for Him
this blessing so special as to demand her all.

Let the mother of none worship the Lord
and praise Him for drawing her close to His heart!
Let her rise up and look beyond her gate
and make her good works available to others.
Let trust in His plan be her sustenance
and service to His will be her drink.
Let her revere the gift He has given
that she should have liberty to love Him
with a love freer from distraction.

Composed by Grafted Branch of Restoring the Years

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Too Busy

I'm too busy right now for anything insightful or profound or even for an update.

So go and visit se7en for a really good post!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Thank God For Dirty Dishes

Of all the jobs around the house, dishes is the one I HATE with a passion. I would rather clean out the cat's litter, iron or vacuum any day. I am going to print out this poem and stick it up on my fridge!

Thank God for Dirty Dishes
Author Unknown

Thank God for dirty dishes;
They have a tale to tell.
While others may go hungry,
We're eating very well.
With home, health, and happiness,
I shouldn't want to fuss;
By the stack of evidence,
God's been very good to us.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

A Thought

Moses and David watched sheep, Saul looked for mules, Gideon threshed wheat.
The mundane tasks of life are the tools God uses to shape heroes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Africa

Of all of the places in the world that I want to visit, and there are many, there is only one place that I don't want to visit for the book shops. Now this is a big thing for me, for I rarely want to go anywhere that isn't at least remotely supportive of my rampant bibliophilia. But there is one place I want to go to see, not for the books, not even for the art or the history.

I want to go to Africa, to see if it is true.

To see if the place matches the image in my head,in my heart.

To see if the Savannah is really that big.

To see if the mountains of Ethiopia really do reach past the sky.

To see the people.

To hear the music.

To feel if it really is the same as it is in my heart.

Africa.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Warning - swine flu rant - kinda

I have canceled a trip to Victoria because it is Swine Flu Central. I heard somewhere that it has the most cases per capita in the WORLD (Victoria - the place for drought, fire, earthquake, disease, foxes, rabbits...) and if the kids or I get it, a possibility using air travel, Jon has to be quarantined. This has the potential to cost us a LOT of money. Self employed = no sick pay! So we are opting to limit our travel there for now.

But over all, can we all calm down a bit please???



Let's get a grip, use common sense and basic hygiene. Quarantine yourself if you have ANY flu, for the sake of the immuno-compromised (the very young, very old, chronically ill etc.)

Is it any wonder flu and other illnesses spread quickly when we have so many children going to school and daycare ill? Parent's unable/unwilling to take time off from work send their kids in making them little petri dishes. People trudge off to work/social events/errands regardless of their health because we are so afraid to STOP to REST to let our bodies, minds, souls HEAL. We are so afraid to ask for help, ring someone and ask them to drop into the shop to get us milk, because we don't want to bother them. Charity is a dirty word and to think that our care would REQUIRE another person to alter their day is unthinkable. So we battle on, spreading our germs. Spreading our illness and hurt as effectively as a crop duster. We go and go and go until we break and then are shocked when a doctor can't just give us a pill and make it go away.

Hmmm, somewhere there I stopped talking about the swine flu and this became about something else.

Anyway, can I suggest that we all stop the panic and use some common sense.

Oh, and stay away from Victoria. I don't know about you but I am waiting for the brimstone to start falling over there!





A cheerful heart is good medicine

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I want...

I want....
a clean and ordered house.
a devoted and fully equipped school room.
a devoted and fully equipped studio for me to write and sew.
enough time and energy to enjoy all of the above.

I want....
perfectly behaved children.
friendly and faithful children.
literate and learning children.
enough wisdom and discretion to know how to mother them well.

I want....
a perfectly landscaped and productive garden.
room and fences to have a dog.
some ducks in my orchard.
enough energy, knowledge and time to keep all the above well.


Today I have....
a muddled and messy house.
some boxes and shelves stuffed with projects
a computer set up in a corner and a sewing machine behind my chair.
precious little time and less energy.

Today I have....
wonderful, ordinary kids
with all the inherent joys and challenges
knowledge of what I am NOT getting done with them
knees, where I constantly ask for knowledge and wisdom

Today I have....
a work in progress that is rather muddy at the moment!
no fences, no dog
no ducks, no orchard
not enough energy and time to keep them if I had them.

Right now, I am going to work with what I DO have.

And one day, perhaps, what I have and what I want will meet in the middle.

Or better yet,

perhaps one of these days what I want won't matter so much

and what HE wants will become everything.

Lord,

May I be faithful with this that you have given me.
May I work with what I have rather than chasing fantasies.
May I be faithful with this quiet life you have gifted to me.

Amen

Monday, June 08, 2009

Not Me Monday

It wasn't ME who laid in bed all day this weekend reading a novel while Beloved watched the children AND cleaned the house.

I would NOT have, under ANY circumstances, hammed it up a bit and pretended to be a little sicker than I actually was just so I could finish a novel in less than 48 hours and have naps.

I certainly would NOT have done the above the day after spending most of the day in bed reading to the kids, playing stories on the computer for the kids and putting on movies for the kids while I read or napped. And I most definately would NOT have put on the puppy dog eyes when asking Beloved to put together tea after my "hectic" day being sick and taking care of the kids.

Head over to My Charming Kids to find out what others have NOT been up to.

It's strangely therapeutic.

Friday, June 05, 2009

stand by me



Lord,

stand by me.

may I be your presence here on earth

standing by others.

but mostly Lord,

stand by me.

Amen

Thursday, June 04, 2009

a completely FICTIONAL conversation, kinda

This conversation so totally DID NOT happen in my house. Well, not that I'm admitting anyway.

A discussion on financial priorities.


Someone who we shall refer to as ME said: Well I don't really NEED more clothes, but I'd love to get some more books and stuff for the kids.

Someone who we shall refer to as BELOVED said: Honey, when will you need those books?

Me: soon, by next year maybe. Now would be helpful you know.

Beloved (slowly and patiently): and do you have anything to wear to the wedding in October?

Me: Yes, kinda, sorta. This top would be fine with some black slacks surely. I don't want to overshadow the bride you know!

Beloved: Yeeess, I don't MIND you buying clothes and things you know, you do NEED them.

Me: but clothes wear out and books, well, they last forever. They are a much sounder financial investment you know. Better than PJ's anyway.

Beloved: Don't you only have one set of PJ's now?

Me:
No, I have more than....wait, define "set"

Beloved: Honey, I'm not saying don't get the books. I am just saying, perhaps you can DELAY getting the books for three months or so and get some clothes and things for yourself now.

Me: But-when-I-buy-clothes-I-get-them-then-I-get-pregnant-or-loose-weight-and-they-don't-look-any-good-on-me-and-I-have-less-money-to-spend-on-books-and-I-know-you're-right-and-being-reasonable-but-I-want-books-I-hate-buying-clothes-and-these-books-would-be-really-cool. Hey, can we get bookshelves instead?

Off to reread an old post titled: Gift Wrapping: a wifely confession

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A random look into my bookmarks.

You can tell a lot about person by the links in their bookmarks! Here is a quick non-blogging selection of some of mine.

Storyline Online


TALIS The Tasmanian State Library

Jacket flap

Free sewing patterns

Lion Brand Yarn has lots of free patterns


Blue Letter Bible, great for Bible Study

recipezaar


ohdeedoh

Christian Audio

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Update

express style!!

Erin: dry at nights FINALLY!!! Takes getting her up during the night and the purchase of a swanky new waterproof that we call a "whoops-a-daisy" (purchased at Agfest and purely coincidentally matches the doona cover I made for her two years ago!)

Billy: Is THREE!! Yes, three. Wants to start schoolwork now he's a big boy. Has a cold and started throwing up yesterday before he even had birthday cake the poor love. Seems better now after throwing up through the night.

Christopher: Now says "more pease Mummee" and many other multi word sentences. He also says "CAAAAKE!!!!" VERY loudly and, when being spoken to about his behaviour, he will sometimes place a gentle hand over my mouth and say "shhhhh Mummy, quiet". What do you say to that???

Anna: playing with TOYS. Singing to herself. Wriggling around on a blanket on the floor and reaching the edge of said blanket. Excema, I must have eaten some dairy without realising. Looking suspiciously like she is trying to roll over. I'm not ready.

House: I now have 2 cats ('stray' took up residence by the fire, she's named Mischief now) and I STILL have jolly mice dancing around my kitchen. Routine is getting an overhaul and I am still ironing out the bugs. When, exactly, am I meant to hang out the washing?

Garden: More trees removed, more garden beds made. Beloved has mowed the back paddock. Billy has claimed it as his "dairy farm" and spends hours out there "milking" and driving imaginary tractors with imaginary dogs.


Jess




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