This #stickywisdom from Jon Kabat-Zinn on the On Being podcast felt like it was especially directed at me!
Three things that have me thinking and feeling this week….
1. The New Work Smarts Report
The Foundation for Young Australians (FYA) have released The New Work Smarts report which forecasts the type of activities and requisite skills/knowledge that will be involved in work in 2030. In 2030, Ella will be 17 and probably embarking on first jobs and navigating the minefield of post-school career/education choices. Of particular interest was the fact that work in the future will be much more self-directed – with less management and training. This is a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the future of work and what their job/career may look like in 10-15 years, but I think it’s especially relevant for parents and educators to consider what kind of skills and experiences we should be supporting children to develop.
As I work on letting go of the pressure to be self-sufficient, I see that accepting help allows others true entrance into my life, creating the stronger community that I always longed to have.
Being back in the thick of newborn life I’ve found myself doing a lot of reading and thinking about birth and motherhood and reflecting on the ways that these experiences have shaped me. This week I read Lessons of Labor – a fairly short book in which the author, Julia Aziz, uses the stories of her three births (and miscarriage) to distill a number of life lessons. Although the birth stories are the framework for the book, I found it to be more a book about parenting and it reminded me a lot of ‘Buddhism for Parents on the Go‘. There were some particularly timely insights for me about asking for and accepting help, and about accepting rather than resisting some of the daily frustrations and challenges of life with little humans!
3. ‘Kids are gross’: On feminism and agency
Consent, respect, and bodily autonomy are at the core of feminism, but this piece reminded me that even when we’re loudly banging on about these things in our own lives it’s so easy to overlook them in our interactions with children. While I try to be mindful of these values in my parenting, I often find myself underestimating the perceptiveness and capabilities of my 4-year old (and her friends). This post definitely made me want to do better – and to expect the same of the other adults in my kids’ lives.
Last week I ended up in hospital with pneumonia. After 3 days of IV antibiotics and fluids, I’m feeling like a totally different person, but it was a really tough week. Being so sick really knocked me around mentally too, but now on the other side, things feel so so so much brighter and more positive. I am grateful for the wonderful public hospital care I received and have taken on board the message the universe has been sending about being willing to ask for help and not trying to hold everything together!
Three things that engaged my head and/or heart this week…
Oprah has a new podcast – Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations – a personal selection of her interviews with thought-leaders, best-selling authors, spiritual luminaries, as well as health and wellness experts. I’ve listened to the episodes with Brene Brown and Sheryl Sandberg – two women I’ve heard interviewed many times before, but whose messages and insights are worth re-listening to. I’ve also been listening to this podcast as I go to sleep in an attempt to distract myself from my annoying lingering cough!
There is no shortage of relationship advice online, but this post had some useful reminders. Processing my thoughts and feelings through journalling is something that I’ve found enormously helpful and has probably prevented many arguments!
This advice made me reflect on how much of our weekend/leisure time revolves around Miss E (4 years old) and what she wants to do or what we think will make her happy, and resolve to plan more family interactions and outings based on what makes Jason and/or I happy instead!
Will you remember
The crumbs on the kitchen floor
Or the hugs I gave?
Last week my big baby turned 4 so we’ve been enjoying ongoing festivities as we celebrate with family and friends. Each birthday feels like a massive milestone for me as a parent and a real opportunity for reflecting on how our lives have changed and what I’ve learned. Motherhood has transformed me in many many many ways – some which I’m very aware of, and some that I’m sure I’m yet to realise!
Just over 4 years ago I attended antenatal classes with a wonderful group of women and their partners. Their friendship and support has been so essential to me as I’ve navigated my way through the uncertainty and challenges of parenthood, and there has honestly not been a week that’s gone by in the last 4 years when I haven’t felt enormous gratitude for having them in my life. I love that Ella has such wonderful ‘aunties’ who have watched her grow up and genuinely care for her, and it’s such a delight for me to do the same for a great bunch of gorgeous kids.
Last week also marked 50 days since our little man arrived. What a ride! He isn’t so keen on napping during the day (but is doing well overnight (and a billion times better than his big sister did) so I definitely won’t complain!) so I’m doing lots of baby-wearing again. When it’s too cold/dark to venture out we’re doing lots of dancing around the house. Thank goodness for Spotify’s Disco Forever playlist. Dancing seems to put him to sleep and calms me down too. Right now we’re bopping to the Have a Great Day playlist. If dancing to Bill Withers’ Lovely Day doesn’t brighten your day a little, I’m not sure what will!
Life with a newborn feels frantic and slow.
I’m challenged everyday, and I’m bored.
I’m never alone, and I’m lonely.
I feel a super human physical strength, and I’m bone-shatteringly exhausted.
I’m full of self doubt, and I trust that I’m good enough.
I am drawn to him, and I desperately want some space.
I want to fast forward through these bits to a time when he’s older (easier?), and I weep when I think that he’ll never be 5 weeks old again.
Sometimes I wish that
I was a better mother
Am I good enough?