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An Empty Nest February 02 2015

With 4 boys, our house is always very noisy. All parents of toddlers know that when it is quiet, it’s not good. They are up to something and most of the time for me they are not sitting nicely reading a book.

So the times that I had the house to myself I treasured. When Shane braved the park with all the boys or Mum walked the twins in the pram when the big boys were at school. I always hoped I would read a magazine or crash on the couch watching trash TV. I dreamed of some peace. Tragically I normally did a quick clean up, put some washing on & starting preparing the next meal before I was bombarded with noise and mess all over again.  

But today is different. The twins started three year old kindergarten, so for a few days a week I now have the house and time to myself. It’s only been half an hour and I feel quite empty. I have longed for this day. The twins are so ready to start their education journey and make their own friends outside of their protected little bubble. My rational brain is telling me that.

My emotions are not. Since the twins arrived healthy just over three years ago, we knew these were our last babies. 100% definitely yes. It was a good and bad feeling. I absolutely treasured every stage of the twins development and tried really hard to not wish the time away. I lived in the moment a lot more than with the first two. I slowed down and I simplified. I have to remind myself that although I look back on the time now and it seems to have been whisked out from out beneath me like a magic carpet, I did savour them and love them the best way I knew how. 

There is a beautiful quote about being a parent by an American writer Elizabeth Stone:

 

 Today not one, but four hearts are walking outside my body. 

So what did I do to take my mind off how they were coping? I took myself off to pilates for the first time in two months….not only am I getting an emotional beating today, but a physical one too. No pain, no gain.

 How did you feel when all of your children were finally at school?


My new BFF's January 30 2015 1 Comment

This morning I drove away from the kids second day of school with a massive grin on my face. 

Yes I was glad to be back in the school routine and to have more time on my hands. But I already miss the slowness and spontaneity of the holidays, as well as the quality time I spent with my boys.

But the grin was not about that. 

I did not realise how much I had missed the other school Mums on our amazing 54 days of summer.

Our eldest boy has just started year three and I already I have strong bonds. We share a nostalgia that is usually only shared with really old friends. We braved the first day of Prep together, we have cheered on at sports days, wiped away their child’s tears as if they were our own and text late at night for details on the almost forgotten cake stall or book week requirements. 

We have not been judged when we turned up late in unmatching shoes or accidentally forgot an important assembly.  Instead these things have endeared us to each other. We are in this together and no one else quite understands. It’s so nice to share this camaraderie with the eclectic mix of women who have crossed my path. Some fleetingly, others who already know almost everything about me. 

The Mum I see in the tuck shop line every Friday, the stylishly dressed Mums heading off to somewhere exciting, the late Mum double parking, the new Mum balancing backpacks & babies with equal grace. I love and relate to them all. 

I didn’t realise how much I loved my short conversations, exchanges of wisdom and empathetic knowing glances each day. I have made friends with some people I perhaps may not have before motherhood. The kids choose their own friends and school fete rosters force you together. Everyone has a story. 

It’s not just the kids being welcomed back into the comfortable, familiar embrace of the school yard and it feels good.

If you're just starting out on this journey, I'd remind you to not judge a book by its cover. Along with your kids, you too are starting an amazing adventure where true friendships are formed. Do you agree?