Thursday, January 6, 2011

Preparing & parenting.

Its our boy's birthday tomorrow so today we are busy, busy, busy.

We are drawing and colouring in and knitting and wrapping and knotting and baking and freezing and planning and giggling.

Oh how we love our boy.

Yesterday Miss Wendy emailed me to suggest that my kids might be so demanding at the moment because they sense that I'd rather be somewhere else (ie at my sewing machine). So today I have closed the door to my sewing room and they have my undivided attention. I haven't said 'hang on a sec' or 'not right now' or 'can't you see I'm in the middle of something' or 'careful the iron is on'. I have been available and present. I have listened to their stories and answered their questions. I have made lots of snacks. I have included them in everything I am doing and I have cuddled them and let them sit on top of me until they were begging for space.

I love that Indi has drawn me in my Hunter boots.

So far, so good. Everyone is calm and happy and cooperative. I wonder how long it'll last. I wonder how long I can last.

Its fascinating that one tiny change of thought can make such a huge difference.

So how about you? Have you got any parenting pearls of wisdom for me? Are your kids sitting on top of you as we speak? How long do you think you could focus solely on them before you went bonkers and had to make a mad dash for your own space? Do you remember trying to tell your distracted Mum an important story when you were little? How do your nieces and nephews cope when you tell them you don't want to jump on the trampoline, you just want to talk to their Mum?

have fun out there. XX


  1. It's all about the attention levels...well that's what I find.

    The minute I am attentive and involved in kid stuff, the behaviour changes almost instantly.

    It's all about balance. Kate needs her time too x

  2. Well after having three kids under 4 years I often just Crave to do "for me"....This could be as simple as a Cuppa Uninterrupted.
    As for CrAFTING...It often goes on the back burner but then I am a better mUmmy when I craft so sometimes the Kids have to just 'suck it up!' As I often too must do:)
    And we manage....And are content and happy as You are!
    Early Happy Birthday wishes

  3. SOrry cant help with any parenting tips Kate, I'm useless.
    But I'm loving the birthday preparations and drawings!!
    Hope you can find a good balance between their needs and yours xo

  4. Cute, cute drawings. I should do the same with regards to giving the kids my attention. But there are lots of chores today before we embark on Cluedo and jigsaw puzzles...(I think lots of coffee before we embark on Cluedo too) How old is Farmer Bren? My hubby is 40 next week...*midlife crisis alert*...he is bike riding up 3 really big mountains for about 200km in a couple of weeks. I got off the mid life crisis easy methinks! ;)

  5. I say just listen - it's ok to tell your children that your busy as long as you make time for them. I like to pre-teach, setting down the expectations before I expect them. So usually I saw I am going in my craft room, please play quietly for x y and z and then we can play a game together. If you guys don't listen it is going to take me longer. They understand most of the time.
    But right now I am soaking up the kid time.

  6. hee hee. This post made me laugh. When I did my Early childhood training I remember one of my lecturers favourite lines (said in an american drawl) was "let the children have dominion over your body" I never really got that until I had children and got squished and smooshed and smothered and squeezed and dribbled and chewed...
    Personally I have found that the more attention that I give my kids the more attention they want! Mine respond pretty well to negotiations - "we will make jelly and then I will do some mummy things" and I've found that they love to be actively involved in the boring and mundane (like washing and sweeping)
    happy new year and happy crafting!

  7. What festive preparations!
    Some days I'm the "good mama", and other days I'm "super mama", many days I just do the best I can.
    As long as there is a little bit of each every now and again.

    Oh, and sometimes I'm "MONSTER Mama!"
    I give myself a time-out for that.

  8. Hey Kate, I think it really depends how you are feeling on the day as to how engaged are as a parent. It's good for kids to know that you are a person as well as their mum. Getting the balance right is tricky isn't it? And holidays can be intense, waves of happiness & waves of madness! Hope to ride some of those waves with you soon, much love xo

  9. Ahh, your post made me laugh! Yes, my kid is on top of me right now! He is only 3 weeks old & has decided that why should he sleep when it is much more fun to annoy his mum & wants to be perched over my shoulder so he can stare at the blank white wall! and yes, I am typing this one handed.....

  10. That's a great advice, which I often forget, but when I do give my daughter undivided attention both of us end up being happier and eventually I do get time to knit a bit or read or do something else I want to do.

  11. Well as you know my 'little' is still in me so I know bugger all about parenting, instinct seems good though. I hope Farmer Bren has a fabuloso birthday and the girls give you a little space.
    Ab xx

  12. I can't give you any parenting advice Kate, as I don't have any of my own (I do borrow a couple of kids every now and then though!), but I did so enjoy your post! I think it must be about balance, as others have said... Love the family drawing! :)Hugs x

  13. My daughters are 21,19 and 15.. I long for the days were I would trip over them.. I now have to see if I fit into their busy schedule. My advise is enjoy them every second because one day you will miss it :)

  14. happy birthday to your farmer boy for tomorrow!
    i hope the rest of the school holidays go as smoothly for you :D

  15. I know that my girls love it when all my attention is theirs, when I look them in the eye and listen to every word with all my body and heart. Some days that is easy and some days it is harder. All I can do is keep on trying and remember that I am more likely to get uninterrupted time for my doings once they have had their fill of me.

    I hope tomorrow is as happy for you as today seems to have been.

  16. hello lovely Kate, I have missed you!
    hope farmer Bren has a wonderful day tomorrow, I'm sure he will, he has 4 gorgeous girls around him!
    as for the parenting..well, kids just know when we aren't 100 % focused on something and they play on that, they need our attention & they will do whatever it takes to get it.
    well done on the cuddles & closing the sewing room, definitely a bonus.

    many hugs to you all for a wonderful new year ♥

  17. Wonderful drawing and I hope Farmer Bren has a fantastic birthday. In all honesty I rarely play with my kids and they mostly play together, but I do talk one on one with them a lot and we go all sorts of places together. Most of my time is spent with them, with the sewing machine or the laptop on the dining table. You would have seen Maya lying all over me and pretending to be shy and not giving me any space at all, so no great advice from me!

  18. Hugs - I know where you are coming from - I felt the same way as you are and did the same as you today. Spent the time wshing, ironing and foding all around the kids - I let play int he play room an did not walk in there to tell them to clean it up - they were having fun and playing well together - I took the opportunity to get them out of the house when the rain stopped and helped them clean the play room this afternoon (afterall they are only 5 and 3)
    I did not turn the computer on or touch my knitting until they went to bed.
    And I am feeling a little sad that my girl will be off to Big School next year and I will have to share her with her 9 - 3 routine:)
    PS - I also Tim at home at the moment + he is sick - think that will drive me nuts before the kids:)

  19. I am doing my time, our time alternating over the day. A couple of hours doing something together, then my time, but not for 2 hours, then somethign else together etc... alternating Busy gets it... and has started asking like this" mummy when youa re finsihed what you are doing can you ...." whcih is good and actually makes me jump staright up and help her because she is getting it.
    I am sure you are doing better than you think.

  20. being a kid is training ground for adult life. so its good to get a no every now and then. your birthday prep looks fantastic kate. i hope your boy has a great day. he is a lucky chap to be so unashamedly loved and admired, and i am guessing he deserves it all

  21. I think a balance is what we aim for here - a bit of give and take and "it's not all about me" is as good for the child as it is for the parent. We have to learn to give when it's needed and respect each others space when it's not.

    I'm not sure if I've found the balance, though... it's a bit like drought and flood most times.

  22. Oh yes, I do remember being that kid trying to tell my distracted Mum that important story. I sometimes think about that when my 8 year old is going on and on and on trying to tell me an important story but dragging it out... I suppose I was the same, LOL.
    My secret to dealing with the kids at the moment? Sent them camping down the coast with their Dad. Just me an' the baby for two whole blissful days. :)

  23. Im sorry I missed this post. At a wedding firstly, then off on a boat in rough sea throwing up... nice weekend I had.
    I only meant to help break the cycle of neediness. Time for 'Kate time' now using ChunkyChooky's recipe.

  24. We had the "Im bored, theres nothing to do around here" list. (an affliction of school age kids the world over). On it are chores and tasks that you never seem to get to like cleaning out the kitchen drawers or tidying the linen cupboard or my favorite polishing the family shoes. The rules are that whenever anyone utters those words they have do one of the items on the list. Funny how suddenly you never hear those words not one peep!

  25. It's just so hard trying to claw back a little for yourself while being there mentally for the kids too, isn't it. I think it's probably what I struggle with most as a mother, particularly when I desperately need to 'make something' to keep my sanity!


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I do read every single comment you leave and appreciate it very much, but I should let you know that I can be a wee bit on the useless side when replying to comments, that's just me, everyday life sometimes gets in the I'll apologise now, just in case.

Kate XX

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