All posts filed under: Kids

Camping with kids. Why do I even bother?

I’ve just recovered from our family’s most recent 36-hour, self-inflicted sanity test. Sometimes it’s called camping. I’m seriously thinking about re-popularising the literal description of this hobby, where it shall once again be known as ‘making camp’. Unless you have as many holidays as a private-school teacher, your trip will probably be so short that you will actually spend more time planning your trip, packing for it, and erecting the blasted tent than you will spend enjoying the company of your family or your see-through polyester abode. And if you have kids, that ratio goes off the scale. Plus, don’t forget that if you, like me, decide to pack up your tent in the middle of a lightning and rain storm then you need to factor in an extra day or two to unpack, dry, clean out and re-pack all of your belongings once you come home. ‘Un-making camp’, you could say. Now, if you’re one of those childless, van-owning free spirits who just grabs a book and a tray of sausages and sets off …

Tailgating a Toddler Is Hard Work, So I Stopped For A Little While

Wooka, wooka, wooka, wooka. That’s the sound my helicopter made as it rose into the air above the playground, pitched left towards the grassy embankment and landed gingerly under the covering of camphor laurels. A small boy had been left behind in the centre of the concrete clearing, blissful and oblivious to my departure. My eldest child is 3-and-a-bit. He can talk well enough to hold conversations with big kids now. He’s inquisitive enough and carefree enough to approach other kids in the playground, even if they are bigger than him and clearly don’t wish to be interrupted by a pipsqueak chiming in on their game. Being 3, my son loves chasing. Yesterday at the park, he started chasing two boys as they rode their bikes around on the basketball court. Round and round the little wooden skate ramp they went, the two bigger boys peddling their hearts out and little bugalugs running as fast as his little legs would go, his ankles flopping and feet slapping on the ground in the way that toddlers …

What Really Happens When Role Reversal Becomes a Reality

I’ve just finished my second week back at full time work since Seth was born nearly two years ago. So far, it has been awful.  Forget all that pie-in-the-sky talk about how I will work to support us while Tim will stay at home caring for our son and it will all be fine and dandy.  Turns out it’s not that rosy when it comes time to actually swap roles and responsibilities. The first day of work was the worst.  For a pretty unemotional person, I was almost in tears leaving home at 8am, kissing my son goodbye and knowing I was no longer his primary care giver. Are all working mothers evil and insane?, I thought. Because that’s what I felt like. When I got to work it was horrible.  That terrible feeling of being bombarded with not quite enough information to get a complete picture of how things work, but more than enough to make you utterly confused and exhausted.  I muddled through until the end of the day and unleashed all my …

Nasty Nostalgia And The New Life Crisis

It can strike at any time. When you’re driving in your car. Or, for me, more often around 8.30 at night when I’m elbow deep in washing up water, while the microwave dings to announce that my frozen peas are ready and the washing machine fill cycle gurgles away in the background. Nostalgia. A wistful desire to return to a former time or place. In my case, to the time before my gorgeous baby boy came along and altered not only my physical state, but my emotional, financial and social states as well. I’ve heard plenty of parents say that becoming a mother or father has changed them for the better. It has helped them to realise that they are not the most important person in the world, or at least not anymore. It makes them less selfish, more patient, more generous; which are all lovely attributes in a human being. And all this from simply spending less time thinking about their own wellbeing, and more time looking after their child’s. Well, you might as …

A Baby Changes Everything, Including Your Clothes

What do salad dressing and baby spew have in common? They are both liquids. They are both related to the act of eating. They both also have a scientifically unproven talent for projecting themselves onto white silk shorts. In my previous life as one half of a double-income-no-kids partnership, I freely purchased items of clothing as they appealed to me. The restrictions I placed on such items were few and flexible. Fit, budget and style factor were at the top of my list. As if having a child hasn’t changed my life in enough ways already, I now realise that my clothes buying habits will also have to be altered. Last month’s shopping trip in Melbourne was the first one since the birth of my son, so naturally I was keen to try on anything that accentuated my waistline. Elastic-topped maternity jeans be gone! Since I had been living in stretchy yoga pants and any t-shirt old enough to be able to stretch over my baby belly, some high waisted white silk shorts presented themselves …

Crossing Over

I’ve crossed over. Not in the creepy John Edwards TV show psychic sense, but in the child-becoming-adult sense. I know, I know. Didn’t I pass puberty about 15 years ago? But it seems there was one last bastion of childhood still remaining. Now I am even an adult when it comes to Christmas. My first Christmas with my son officially marks the end of me as one of the children on Christmas Day, having gifts and food lovingly showered upon me by my parents and grandparents, with not much needed from me in return. I always gave presents too, of course, but I belonged to the youngest generation, the one at the end of the line. Now I am a parent, and my son has taken my place, in fact the place of all my siblings, in receiving the fun, joy and deliciousness that we have prepared for him. This year we hosted Christmas at our house, which further cemented the transition of my husband and I from beneficiary to benefactor. We had a huge …

When Your Newborn Isn’t New Anymore

I feel fine. My skin has stopped glowing and my boobs have almost shrunk back down to their usual size. I don’t have bags under my eyes and my nails are starting to fall apart for no reason again. My pregnancy hormones seem to have now fully retreated whence they came. The truth is, I’ve been feeling this way for about a month now, but sort of wishing I wasn’t. I know this sounds like I’m trying to have my cake and eat it too, but it’s a sobering thought to realise that my life has stopped being consumed by my new baby, and, like a gyroscope that always rights itself, I have now absorbed my son into my life so much so that I can’t remember what it was like before he was here. While this is clearly a wonderful feeling, and I am relieved to have got to this stage, I’m also a bit sad that the daze of pregnancy and new-bornness is over. It affords you special status, where you can be …

A Mother Of A Decision

I don’t often receive nasty comments about the direction of my life. Not being in jail or on drugs or having a suitcase full of hateful ex-boyfriends, I’d have to say my life is pretty good. Sure, I’m not going to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry tomorrow and I haven’t written a bestseller (yet), but I think I’m doing OK at this thing called life. Not so! I found out this week, when two women from my past just couldn’t help but share their disdain at my latest endeavour, if you can call it that: the birth of my first child. “What a waste [me] having a baby.” Pow! If that doesn’t knock you sideways you must be built like an Olympic weightlifter. I didn’t know that putting my reproductive organs to good use would actually cause the rest of my mind, body and soul to wither away into nothingness. Not to mention render invisible any great feats achieved during my first 29 years of life. I guess if I had read more of …

It’s A New…Person!

Since last time I posted I have welcomed a beautiful new baby boy into the world! He takes up most of my time and energy, as any mum would know. He has also given me new ideas and a fresh outlook on life, so in my few spare moments I have tried to jot down some of my thoughts. You will see these posts coming in the next few weeks. In other news, on Wednesday 12 October, the Sydney Morning Herald published my article in Heckler. The link is no longer active, so I’ve posted it here for you. Midwives Deliver a Feast of Options So, apparently, giving birth to a tiny new life doesn’t automatically instil in you a telepathic, sixth sense, women’s intuition-kind-of-ability to look after it’s needs as well. It would be logical, don’t you think, that a person you have spent nine months incubating could somehow communicate with you on a deep, psychic level, so that you knew instinctively what they needed and wanted at any given moment. Unfortunately, it just isn’t …