Tag Archives: husband

An ode to my Mum

I am an only child – my husband and friends will tell you that this is plainly obvious! – and I am very close to my Mum.

It’s a nice bond, coming from being a small family unit where it was always just the three of us.

To commemorate Mother’s Day, I thought I would share a few pearls of wisdom that my Mum has taught me over the years (and some behaviours I have taken on board):

  • When an item is on sale, think not of what you will spend; but focus on what you will SAVE.
  • When the credit card statement arrives in the mail, hide it from your husband.
  • When you buy anything new, place it in your wardrobe straight away and when your husband comments on your outfit say, “Whaaat? This old thing? I’ve had it for AGES.”
  • There is no such thing as a wasted education. Everything you learn adds to your being. This attitude came in handy when I had to talk my folks through my plans to go back to uni at 29.
  • Girls rule! Feminism is ace! Yeah!
  • You can be a wonderful mother and work full time.
  • Blue and green should never be seen, unless there’s a colour between.
  • Always stick up for what you believe in. Speak out and be proud.
  • Just because you can’t cook toffees for the school fete, does not mean you are not a terrific Mum!
  • Chocolate cures all ills.
  • A mother’s love is never more apparent than when she is rubbing Vicks VapoRub on your tummy when you are little and struggling with a bad cold.

So, thanks Mum for showing me how it’s done. Love ya to bits!

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My ideal Sunday, from sunrise to sunset

Just another Sunday brekkie
Just another Sunday brekkie

I love the Sunday newspaper magazines. They are full of froth and bubble and are so easy to read while I enjoy my muesli and coffee.

One of my favourite sections is the My ideal Sunday, from sunrise to sunset section where beautiful celebrities remind us that they live in a different universe than the rest of us.

Today was Rebecca Judd’s turn.

And it got me thinking what my typical Sunday involves and how different it would be to hers.

Rebecca Judd’s ideal Sunday involves:

8am: Head to Balmain’s in Brighton (Melbourne) with my husband Chris, son Oscar (2) and newborn daughter Billie, before coming home for a play.

10am: I lock myself away to work on the week’s ideas, materials and curated design for Melbourne property developer R. Corp.

12pm: Time to stock up on fresh produce at Prahran Market (if it’s footy season, you’ll find us at the ‘G watching my husband play!).

3pm: My kids wake from their nap, then we head to the St Kilda Sea Baths for a splash. The hot spa is the best!

6pm: We go to the early session at Fazio’s or La Svolta in Hampton Street for yummy pizza done the Italian way.

My typical Sunday (today) in comparison:

7am: Get out of bed to give my son his morning carrot (don’t ask) and my daughter her oats.

7.15am: Go back to bed

8am: Head to the fridge in Warranwood, with my husband, six-year-old son and seven-year-old daughter. Go to 9am Body Combat class while husband looks after the kids.

9am to 10am: Try to avoid looking in the wall to wall mirror during my Body Combat class so I am not a witness to how unfit I have let myself become.

10.15am: Time to stock up on fresh produce at Coles. Look like I’ve been dragged through a bush backwards and then drenched with a hose (if it’s footy season, you’ll find me at the exact same place).

10.35am: Arrive home. Husband heads off for a swim. I think we say hello and goodbye to each other.

11.15am: After shower, take kids for a quick walk in the sunshine.

12:30pm: Head into the kitchen for some yummy leftover pizza lunch done the Dominos’ way

3pm: My kids come in to the house after eating an ice cream outside, then we head to the bathroom for a splash, but not before they wipe their faces on their clothes. The hot water on the facewasher is the best!

4pm: I make cookies for the kids’ play lunches. Then I make some minestrone soup for later in the week.

6pm: We go the early session at the dining table for a meal the kids won’t eat. So they get some of the minestrone soup.

6.30pm to 7.45pm: We all watch The Block.

7.45pm: Struggle to get the kids to bed.

See? Rebecca Judd and me: like two peas in a pod!

 

 

Sorry, no time to chat

I’ve had a crazy (but very typical) Sunday.

It went a bit like this:

6.15am: Five-year-old son wakes me up to make him breakfast. I tell him I’ll be two minutes.

Hello, I'm your wife! Hello there. I thought you looked familiar!
Hello, I’m your wife! Hello there. I thought you looked familiar!

6.16am: Say good morning to husband.

6.17am: Fall asleep again.

7am-ish: Five-year-old son wakes me up to make him breakfast. I actually get up and make his breakfast (adding extra Weet Bix so he doesn’t ask for seconds) and also make my seven-year-old daughter’s breakfast.

7:05am: Tell kids Mummy needs a nap and go back to bed.

7.25am: Husband wakes up and gets morning papers.

7.30am: I wake up – again! – have shower and meet up with rest of family. Say good morning to everyone again.

7.31am: Eat a low calorie breakfast and read papers.

8am: Get kids dressed for the day.

8.15am: Work out week’s worth of low calorie meals and write shopping list. I think I’ve had a short conversation with my husband…

8.45am: Play with kids.

9.41am: Leave for the gym to do Body Step class.

11.20am: Arrive home.

12 noon: Husband leaves to do shopping. I play with kids.

2pm: I take son to fly kite. We were all going to go out and do something together as a family, but my daughter twisted her ankle running and had to stay home. Husband stays home with her.

2.45am: Come home.

2.47am: Husband goes  for a swim.

4.30pm: We are all finally at home together! Yay!

It is now 9.50pm and here I am, while my husband has gone to bed. Maybe I need to schedule a meeting so we can actually talk to each other! Instead of conversations, we just seem to say “Hi” and “Bye”.

We’ll probably stay together forever at this rate! No time to chat means no time to disagree.

I think I’ve just stumbled across the secret of a happy marriage!

Baby, how you’ve changed!

What is your idea of bliss? 

Mine is very simple. Time to myself!

I’m enjoying a moment of bliss right now!  

My husband is in the lounge room watching the footy; the kids are in bed; and I am tucked up warm and cozy in bed, watching TV and tapping away on my laptop.  It’s the rock and roll lifestyle I’ve always aspired to! Ha Ha.

And it’s not like I hate spending time with my family.  Far from it.

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This is where I am in my mind

But I rarely get any down time these days and it’s been a rough week. Actually it’s been a rough couple of weeks. We’ve had sick kids, yukky weather, heavy workloads, and just general blahness (is that a word?!)

So a chance to just ‘be’ is exactly what the doctor ordered.

My 20-something-year-old self would roll her eyes at me enjoying something so boring and domestic! 

Which makes me think of how different my life is now compared to when I was younger.

I am sure my kids would never be able to grasp the concept that their Mum had a life before they came along. I know I couldn’t when I was a kid!

Sometimes I forget how it used to be. And then I’ll go in to the city, or to one of my former haunts, and it all comes rushing back and I feel like yelling out:

“Hey, I  used to hang out here!”

“I used to go to an obscure little bar there!”

“I used to watch my favourite band there!” 

“I remember going to a wild party there!” 

It’s funny how sometimes it feels like only yesterday that I was traipsing about the inner city with my friends.  And then at other times it really feels like all that happened to someone else! 

How did I go out and dance and drink until 4am and then go to work at 9am? These days I can’t even have two glasses of wine before wanting to curl up and go to sleep!

How did I manage to flirt up a storm and throw myself into new romances so often? These days I struggle to have enough energy to sustain a conversation with my husband at the end of the day!

One day I will regale my kids with stories of my fun-filled youth (and I know they will have zero interest in them) but for now I will enjoy these little moments of peace and quiet – until the inevitable “M-u-u-u-m-m-!”

 

 

 

Florence for a day

As of today,  you can call me Flo (aka Florence Nightingale), because I dispensed love and soothing balms all day!

My little girl was home sick from school and I was in full blown Mummy mode.

I placed cool face washers on her hot head,measured out exact doses of Nurofen; stroked her hair while she lay on the couch, made a healthy lunch and offered various treats (Florence may not have approved of that part, actually) and tucked her in when she needed a nap.

And while she slept, I baked! Holy cow!

I baked strawberry jam drops and banana bread!

I did the washing, hung it out to dry and then – gasp – put it away! I even tidied up my little boy’s bookshelf and got some housework done!

Oh, and I even got to flick through some of my favourite magazines – without interruptions!

Yes, it all sounds very mundane and dull, but to me, as a full time working mum, it was bliss!

There were no emails to respond to; no deadlines to frantically meet; no phone calls to answer; or any reports to proofread!

No-one was inviting me to meetings, or asking me to design a brochure or poster; and not once did I need to check against my ever expanding to-do list!

See what I mean? Bliss!

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Today’s work tools – not a computer in sight!

The house is now organised, I’m not stressed out and I got to just chill out with my little girl.

She is feeling better and we are sending her off to school tomorrow – whether she is truly 100% or not – as my husband and I cannot take any more time off.

And that is why I really treasure these little moments of feeling like a stay-at-home Mum, as they are so few and far between.

I think my husband thinks I’m fat!

Or maybe I’m paranoid?

Because let’s face it, I AM back to my heaviest weight – again!

But why do I think my husband thinks I’m fat?

Well, he DID suggest I rejoin the gym.

Admittedly, he was just trying to be supportive because he knows I’m struggling with trying to get back on to the weight loss track.

But when he suggested the gym thing, the narky bitch inside my head was screaming out, “Why don’t you just come out and say I’m fat!”

Because as all of us who have struggled with their weight may understand, there is always that period of denial where you think that you’ve just put on a tiny bit of weight and no one will notice.

And then you discover your jeans are just a bit more snug than a little while ago.

And then the muffin top spill over becomes worse and worse and before you know it, your husband starts to look at you differently!

Or maybe I’m paranoid?

Hee Hee.

For me, it’s always an ah-hah moment – a big one after a few little alarm bells.

The most recent clincher?  I went out with my family yesterday to Scienceworks Museum .  A brilliant interactive Museum that has a special sports exhibition where you can measure your strength, height..and weight!

My husband and kids jumped on the scales and had a laugh at their weight and then ran off to the next exhibit. I skulked about a bit and them quietly slipped away and jumped on the scales. The numbers came up in bright red digital: 78.3 kilograms!

Yikes! And I’m only 162 cm.  Double yikes!  I didn’t realise I was that overweight and short!

Needless to say, I’m making an appointment for a gym program assessment this weekend.

How does she do it?

If I had a dollar every time someone asked me “How do you do it?” after I tell them I am a full time working Mum, I’d be able to be a stay-at-home Mum!

And why don’t people ask ‘How do you BOTH do it?”

You see, people always seem to look at the working Mum and ask her how she does it; as though the husband does nothing at all. Do people assume he does nothing?

Are we still stuck in the 1950s stereotype that childrearing is all up to the Mum? It’s strange to me that people are so impressed and surprised when I tell them how much my husband does. To me, marriage is a partnership.  Simple.

The only way it works for me is because I have an amazingly supportive husband who mucks in and helps out.  If he gets home early, he picks up the kids and starts dinner. If I have to go to a work event, he supports me.

So this is how I do it (hubby does pretty much the same):

  • I get used to pushing through a haze of tiredness
  • I drink lots of coffee
  • I push myself to do something for myself – exercise or a long shower
  • I do housework at 10pm
  • I outsource and buy online as much as I can (including birthday cakes and cleaners)
  • I don’t waste time at work, so I can leave on time
  • I rush around like a mad woman in the mornings
  • I can put a full face of make up on in 5 minutes (hubby doesn’t do this.  Hee Hee).
  • I have an amazing husband and supportive family
  • I cook on Sunday afternoons and freeze meals to attempt to make weekday dinners easier
  • I have every now and then given my kids Weet Bix for dinner!

I work full time for financial necessity, but even if I didn’t have to, I would still work part time. I think I would go insane if I was home full time. Does that mean I don’t love my kids enough?  Hell no! I love them so much, my heart almost pops.

And I always assumed I would be a full time working Mum because my Mum always worked.  I can’t remember her being around much when I was little, but she has told me that she actually worked part time when I was little.  But I don’t remember.  Isn’t that funny?  Here we are tying ourselves in knots, worrying that we’re not there enough for our kids if we choose to work; and they probably won’t even remember whether we were around or not!

I think my kids have really benefitted from being in childcare. They are social and happy to make new friends.  They don’t freak out if they spend the night away from home at someone else’s house and have learned good routines.

My six-year-old was so ready to start school this year because she had already been taught to look after herself and her bag at childcare, and to get her lunchbox and understand there are rules and schedules.

Even though they thrived at daycare, I still had many mornings of crying in the car in the carpark after dropping them when they have cried for me to stay home with them.  Having to turn your back on your small child who is crying and screaming for you to stay is the absolute worst part of being a working Mum.  And I know they quickly got over it once they got distracted by toys or other friends.  But hell, it tears you apart.

I went through it again when my little girl started school and we put her in to before school care so I could continue to start work at 8.30am. She didn’t know anyone at all and she looked so tiny in her school uniform – my sweet little Preppy.

For about a week I would sit in the car and cry after saying goodbye to her. And then I told my boss that I needed to start later so I could walk her in to her classroom at 8.45am.  I didn’t ask, I just said that it was what I was doing.  So now I work back a bit later and sometimes miss lunch, but I get to hold her hand while she skips in to class.

I asked my little girl once what she thinks Mummies do.

And she said, “work and eat”.

‘Nuff said!