Friday, October 30, 2009

Time for a change

I've never really been one of high ambition and a desire to be a career woman. While friends from high school were mapping out their lives in terms of occupations and studies, the extent of my future planning was to get married and have kids. FAMILY and all that it entailed was my ambition and one that I succeeded at, getting married and having my first child at 21.

Since we moved to our new town 5 years ago, a change has been slowly happening. The thought crossed my mind that maybe it was time to get out there and do something, someone mentioned Teacher Aide which suited me...I get to work with kids but not have the responsiblity and planning of a teacher. And so that's what I've been working as full-time for the last 3 1/2 years and loving it.

Over my time, I've realised, without wanting to be big-headed, that I have a talent for it and this has blossomed into a desire to be a teacher, to relate to these kids in a way that they don't always get at home and to try to nurture a curiosity of life and a love of learning in them. The time frame was in about 5- 10 years though, when my kids were bigger. But with a bit of encouragement from a work collegue, that was moved ahead to NEXT YEAR. Why not? I could drop back my working hours and replace it with part-time study. I COULD DO THIS! YES!

But reading Leila's post here stirred something in me, something I couldn't quite pinpoint. Was it just my reoccurring desire to add another one to the family. This has been something that pops up with regularity although Mitch is quite adamant that he doesn't want any more children. Which is fair enough...this is his life and family too! And although mine is a legitimate desire, part of it is tangled up with dreams of being home again, of nurturing my own child and pottering around my own house and garden.

And having a child gives me an excuse to do that. I know working women say they feel guilty for working...when I was a SAHM, I felt guilty for not I was being lazy, a sponge off my husband, a let-down to the sisterhood. I couldn't stay home home without a "legitimate" reason. (Although the money helps too.)

And then I went to a uni information night and just came home feeling weighed down and pressured.

A talk and a cry with Mitch later and it all became clear.

I needed to get my priorities right. I wanted to mother again. I wanted to look after my husband. I was sick of the house being in chaos all the time, of being busy all the time, of trying to find the right balance, of thinking if I could just tweak it right, it would all fall into place and blaming myself when it didn't. I wanted to gift my family with a peaceful home, I wanted to nurture them again as my MAIN priority, not something that I would get to when I had the time and energy.

So, I would still reduce my hours next year BUT not replace them with anything. That extra time would be for me and my family. And what a wonderful sense of peace and rightness I have now. I'll still make enough money to cover our mortgage, things will just be a little tighter. But that's okay. I can still study in the future when the kids are older. I'll only be 41 when Ella turns 18. There's plenty of time to do that extra stuff, but the time with my kids will pass in a flash and I'll never get it back.

And even Rosie (who is more obsessed with money and material things than I'd like) is excited at the thought of  me "being a mummy again" as she put it, even if it means less money. She's even pushing for me to be at home all the time, so she can come home to a tidy house and the small of fresh baking. I've always known how important these things are, but am only just realising how much.

P.S. I'm proud to say that the girls won their netball finals on Monday. It was a nail-biting game that was yo-yoing back and forth, but they emerged victorious by 3 points. You should have heard the cheering and celebrations.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Don't mess with the netballers!

I love reading and writing about decorating and thrifting finds and crafty ideas, but sports don't get touched on much. Until now.

Like most girls I played netball as a girl but it wasn't until I moved here that I picked it up again, as a way to get exercise and meet new people. It started as a vague interest, one that I'd reluctantly drag myself to at times, but this year something started to change.

I don't know if it was volunteering to coach my girls' netball team (the Elmos) and watching them transform from a mismatched bunch of girls, including two who'd never played before, to a team that were slowly but surely improving out of sight...not only winning but thrashing the opposition.

From there I found myself watching netball on the TV, practising for my social games (my own team isn't very good so we just make it fun) and then coaching a school team for a Queensland competition. I read books, trawled the internet for training activities and got together the cutest uniform any team had. (No ugly netball skirts for us.) I even started umpiring and that can be pretty daunting.

Well, today was the girls' quarter finals. They'd hauled their way to the top of the list and were playing their arch rivals, The Black Cats, who they'd beaten lately but were always a bit tough. We'd had a few upsets to start the game. Two of our players were sick, another only turned up at the last minute and in the first 5 mins of the game, our centre injured herself leaving us without a full team. You know when you have that sort of stress, it can be hard to pull yourself together.

Well, to cut a long story short, the game was neck to neck the whole way. They'd lead, then we'd catch up, then we'd pull ahead slightly. By the last quarter we were trailing by one but scored goal after goal after goal while they didn't get many at all. It was clear we were winning. So the final hooter goes and imagine our surprise when the other team starts cheering and yelling out "We won." I went over and checked the scoreboard (it was our quarter to score) and on it we won 20-19. I showed the board to the other team and said very awkwardly, "Uh, we actually won."

They were outraged. According to them, they'd being keeping score on a notebook and they 'apparently' beat us 22-17. Not a chance. I know it was neck to neck, and it could have been a little confusing and could have been out 1or 2, but them trying to convince us that they beat us by 5 was just ridiculous. And you could tell that they thought we were trying to cheat. I felt really insulted.

Ooh, there was muttering under the breath and dagger looks. I explained the problem to the netball conveners and they said that they go by the official scoreboard, which said we won (even though the other team wrote "their" scores on it before handing it back).

The animosity was thick in the air, and if looks could kill, we'd all be dead. I can't handle that sort of stuff very well, so I've just been trying to tell myself that they can hate me all they want and that's their problem. I know we didn't cheat, and we are at the top of the list which goes to show that we can play.

We'll be playing them again for the finals which will be a killer with both teams trying to prove that they are the better team. I just don't know why some parents have to be like that. (It reflects in the kids because most of them are the sort of players that will yell out critisism rather than encouragement "Why'd you have to drop the ball" whereas, even though we're competitive and like to win, I try to promote good sportsmanship and teamwork.)

Wish us luck!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I don't like strawberries...

No, I don't. Call me crazy but I find them too sour,

they're fresh from the field,

warm from the sun,

so sweet and soft the juice runs down your chin.
It's a good place to break the journey from our home to Brisbane,

a nice tradition I share with my daughters,

and a good alternative to junk food to eat on the way.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Drumroll please...... my lovely assistant draws a name out of the hat...I mean, tin.
(If she looks a bit, well, underwhelmed, it's because she finds it hard to smile on cue, and she'd just had a bout of "I'm tired/it's the end of the holidays" tears. But she insisted on being in the photo.)

And the winner is....

Kristen of Shabby Vintage Mom.
Just contact me with your details and the handbag will be on its way.

Thanks to everyone who joined in. It was exciting to get that many comments, a nice, ego-boosting  improvement on my usual 2 or 3 comments.

Get to know me

  • I love the smell of cinnamon and vanilla.
  • My favourite flowers are daisies.
  • My favourite trees are pine trees.
  • I always like to have the bickie jar full and a cake on the cake stand. I know...not that healthy, but so good to look at.
  • Autumn is my favourite month, although I do wish we had more of a change of colours up here in Queensland.
  • I love Anne of Green Gables and Laura Ingalls Wilder. They started my love affair with "old-fashioned" stuff.
  • I'm a boots and jeans kind of girl, but also love vintage skirts and dresses.
  • I like sewing and am in love with quilts at the moment.
  • I love reading. (I have a weakness for archeological thrillers and historical romances, but not Mills and Boon-type ones.)
  • I love old houses with character. No new estate houses for me. (Sorry Rosie.)
  • I love vintage/cottage/farmhouse decorating and pretty pinks and blues, with a splash of red for colour.
  • Polka dots can make me sigh with delight.
  • I have 4 chooks. They are MY pets. Another tick on my dream-come-true chart.
  • I don't eat dessert much any more. I'm not dieting, I just don't want it. (Does that mean I'm growing up if I say no to an icecream cone?)
  • I'll still always say yes to chocolate though!
  • I like to sit on the front stairs in the sun, to drink my morning cup of tea, while I contemplate what to do in the garden.
  • I've got the gardening bug again recently. It comes and goes with the weather. I'm envisioning cottage flowers in pink, blue and white to go with my green picket fence.