All posts tagged: parenting

REJECTED.

I’m gonna start this post by saying that I love my kids, BUT… I love my kids but sometimes I question if they love me back. Never is this more pronounced than school holidays, when my teacher husband is home for great chunks of time and there is the wonderful expectation of family time, of the house buzzing with fun and memory-making. My heart aches a little as I write this. The truth is that my kids are so enamoured of their father that school holidays are a bit painful for me. By the end, I feel rather battered by the constant rejection. I joke about it with friends, but they know there is some hurt in my banter of being able to leave the kids with dad, not a care in the world, no clingers-on, no tears, no “I want mummy!” Come here darling, I say, let me put on your shoes. “No! Daddy do it.” Would you like to come and do the groceries, just you and me? “Is daddy going?” No. “No …

Thanks for the tips Mr Biddulph: 3 Ways to Support Girls

There I was, standing in my bedroom, selecting an outfit for the day ahead. Little Miss Two was at my side, as usual, watching my every move. I chose my super slimming, high-rise, black jeans, the ones that take a fair bit of jiggling to get on. A merino long-sleeved top (a thermal, in other words, I live in Tasmania afterall). And a light grey oversized knit that feels like I’m wrapped in a blanket. There, I’m thinking. Ready. It’s about then that I notice my little blonde-haired girl waving her rear-end at the mirror. She’s peering over her shoulder, gawking at her nappy-cushioned bottom… just like I do. The good old, “Does my bum look big in this?” move. I was shocked. I could’ve cried. My darling bundle of innocence had picked up on a rather shallow habit of mine. But I didn’t – I just laughed. I swung her up into my arms and laughed and laughed with her. She knew she’d done something endearing and she joined me with her wonderful giggles of …

Teaching Kids about Inner Beauty

Two pears sit on a bench. One is shiny, smooth, moderate in size, even-shaped and golden in colour. The other is much bigger, lop-sided, its skin rough and speckled brown, green and gold. I know which pear my children would choose. The same pear that most of the thinking population would choose, no doubt. The one that came from a regulated environment, selected for its regulated size, shape and texture. The one that was buffed and waxed, weighed and packaged, stored for who-knows-how-long at an even temperature before being stacked on supermarket shelves. I give you Specimen Number One: the supermarket pear.  The other would have been rejected had it come from the same production line. It came from the garden and its owners allowed it to bulge into whatever shape nature deigned. They relished plucking fruit from the branches, getting in amongst the sticky leaves, climbing to reach the topmost fruit. Specimen Number Two: the homegrown pear. We might even call them the beautiful pear and the ugly pear – but that would be …

I Don’t Give a Rats About the Gender Pay Gap!

I sat down to write this column about five times. First time, my son convinced me to help him build a cubby house instead – great fun! It was like an Arabian boudoir in there. Second time, my baby girl woke up from her nap, testing the strength of her lungs. They’re strong. Third time, mouths needed feeding. You get the idea. I love being a stay-at-home mum, I only wish people would believe me. Warning: rant ahead. Because stitched into every story on the gender pay gap or women’s rights is the assumption that I would prefer to be out there earning $ in the workforce, rather than colouring-in with my son or mopping the mouth of my daughter. Smart people like journalist Annabel Crabb talk about the asymmetric rate of “wife-having” while influential people like Governor Kate Warner quote statistics like this one: 60 per cent of all Australian families with children under the age of 15 had full-time working fathers, and mothers who worked part-time or not at all. Apparently just 3 …

FREE “Relationship Vouchers”

Is your marriage on the rocks?  Are you about to get hitched?  Does your relationship have a few niggles that keep popping up?  Or do you just love a freebie?  As of tomorrow, Aussie couples can apply for $200 ‘relationship vouchers’ to subsidise counselling. You can thank Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews for the initiative, which he designed to “help couples achieve a greater degree of happiness and stability and thereby a better environment for their children.” The first 100,000 couples to apply in the $20 million trial’s first year will be able to take the voucher to an approved provider for “marriage and relationship education and counselling, including components of parenting education, conflict resolution and financial management education.” And it’s not only the married-and-resigned-to-divorce types that are eligible. These relationship spruce-up tickets are for long-time married couples, honeymooning couples, engaged couples, unmarried (and with no plans to marry) couples and same-sex couples.  Couples with kids, couples who’ve received their diamond anniversary letter from the Queen, couples who believe marriage is a trap and …

Letter to the Prime Minister

26 August, 2013   Dear Mr Rudd and Mr Abbott,   In less than two weeks time one of you will be elected Prime Minister. You are educated men, determined men, thinking men. You have worked hard to reach your privileged positions and now, more than ever, your days are as long as your pressures are heavy. To the considerations of a politician in election mode, I add this letter. I will be brief. No jibes here on funding promises, policy unveilings and slur campaigns – just a memento of the strangled heartbeat at the core of community. There are two things foundational to any society: marriage and family. When these two things are crumpled and broken, split and repaired, Band-Aid slapped on top of bloodied Band-Aid, redefined, renamed and ripped open; brokenness becomes us. This is our reality. We exist in a culture that accepts brokenness as the norm. We are the broken culture. And brokenness begets brokenness. You both (appear to be) happily married. You both have (what appear to be) happy families. …

Kids Don’t Choose Their Families, They Just Trust

My 17-month-old son has adventure and courage in spades, yet when he approaches a step, he gingerly grips the doorframe and lowers himself bit by bit until he feels the floor solid beneath his toes. If I have hold of his hand, it’s an entirely different picture. Captain Courageous will launch himself from any height so long as mum’s hand is wrapped around his own. I know it’s just a little thing, but it amazes me how much trust a child has in his or her parents. When I see that level of trust, it’s a real wakeup call; I have been entrusted with this little life. And when I see him sleeping in his cot, his face relaxed into sweet vulnerability, I pray so hard that he will be kept safe from all the monsters – not under his bed but lurking in the street or, God forbid, in the homes of people I know. Last week we celebrated (if that’s the right word) National Child Protection Week. Celebrated probably isn’t the right word …