Saying Goodbye

I’ve woken up to a new reality in the last two weeks. I’ve struggled, I’ve tired, I’ve gotten angry and cried. But it all came to a head the moment my son uttered one powerful question- “Mummy, when will you have time for me?”

 

My inquisitive, intelligent 5.5 year old wonder boy simply asked for me. Not for toys, or McDonalds for dinner, not for a game on the iPad or lollies he knows he shouldn’t have. He came right out and said that he needed me.

 

And at the very moment, short of breath and full of love, I laid my life out and prioritized. I took my business out of the equation and I’m left with more time, more moments with my children and husband and the time I’ve desperately needed to study in.

 

It’s been many, many years since I just felt like doing nothing. I’ve kept myself on the extreme side of busy and then complained that I can’t switch my brain off. I’ve complained of lack of sleep, I’ve complained about lack of support and the lack of time I had to do what I wanted to do for myself.

 

It took my eldest child asking a simple, heartfelt question to get me to stop, switch off yet focus at the same time. I need to focus on my babies, even though I’m always with them, my mind is not. Taking my business out of the equation has instantly meant less stress, more time and more of me to give my children.

 

The writing side will not disappear. Writing is a big part of me and that won’t go away. The business side of writing is something I’m moving away from. I don’t know if this is a permanent move but for now, working on my business is the last thing I feel like doing. And for now, I’m not looking back.

 

I felt so strongly about working for myself, about proving that I could do it with minimal help. But my son caught me out. He proved without realizing that one woman can’t have it all- the study, the part time job, the small business and the family. You can’t give 100% to all these things. There is no such thing as Super Woman and for now, I’m settling on being just a woman and more importantly, being the Mum I love being.

 

I don’t regret this decision in the slightest and will look back in the years to come and remember the breathtaking moment I made the decision to feel better and make the best life for my family. Writing is amazing, but my family is all I need.

Does your job make you THIS happy?

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What are some of the reasons why people aren’t working in their dream industry in their dream position?

Nursing was only one of my dreams which occasionally floats off into the background. Writing is my passion because it really consumes me.

When I’m not writing, I’m thinking about writing!

What’s stopping you from living your dream?

My Favourite Right Now/ Why I’m Who I Am

Today’s experiences are tomorrow’s memories

{Barbara Johnson}

I’m living my life in the hope that I have plenty of years ahead of me and that my time isn’t cut short. Every part of every day is important to me. I try not to forget the fine details, for these are the ones that will illuminate the landscape of my children’s own memories.

2014 Decluttered

March 1st 2014 is my Declutter Deadline.

My Declutter checklist surmounts to:

- I want to WANT to stay at home and feel relaxed and happy doing so

- I want to spend more time blogging, on Project Life and my photography and of course, more time with my precious children

- I want an area of my (too small) house dedicated to me (so I can write in peace without a blonde goblin attached)

- I need to organise my bedroom first

- I always get sidetracked when decluttering

- I want to be clutter free by March 1st 2014

- The most disorganized cupboard in my house is a tie between my end of the wardrobe and my plastics cupboard

- Something that I don’t need anymore but I’m having trouble parting with is my ginormous book case

A New Year doesn’t mean new beginnings.  Every minute can be a new beginning.

Before I get back to work, I’m getting decluttered.

Follow the 52 week Declutter Challenge on Instagram and upload your declutter-ationary pics!

#declutter52

I know nothing about Australian Politics but I do know this….

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My two reasons for EVERYTHING I do.

I’ve been on Maternity Leave since just before Christmas last year. It has been the most amazing, eye-opening experience. And that’s just the being a stay-at-home-mum part. I gave birth in February to my beautiful daughter and have been the primary carer for my two piplings ever since {my son is 5 next month}. While my husband works full time, I care for the kids, do kinder and childcare runs and all the “mundane” mum tasks. I, however, am relishing the experience because I never got this stay-at-home experience with my first child. It’s been too perfect for words to just be focusing on my new baby and making sure my son feels like he is {more than ever} my world.

Such a brilliant part of my leave, and one that has put my mind at ease and reduced stress levels is the fact that I was fortunate enough to be able to receive employer-funded maternity leave, as well as paid parental leave via the Government. It has meant that as well as taking up my new role as Mum of Two, I have also been able to still contribute in the same way financially to our household, which means a lot for my confidence, my identity and for my goals in life. I am woman, hear me roar!!!!

Thanks to the Government, my husband was lucky enough to receive the two weeks paid paternity leave to spend with us at home. It was time where he bonded with his new girl, spent time just being with his son {when he otherwise would’ve been hard at work} and giving me the much needed support in those early days with a newborn.

The hunt for our new PM will come to a head shortly and for Mums and parents everywhere, the Paid Parental Leave and Maternity Leave Schemes could be a deciding factor in where many votes lie on September 7th.

What has this paid leave meant to me? Everything. Most importantly, I have felt I have been able to combine my role as primary carer for my children with secondary income earner. Many families, for example those in a single income situation or for single mothers, may not have this opportunity. This precious time getting to know and bond with my new daughter has been a time I will remember for the rest of my days. And even with the 18 week scheme currently offered by our Government {it will grow to 26 weeks, if Abbott gets in}, I felt extremely lucky.

I can’t imagine that many couples who are considering starting a family or adding to their brood would look past Tony Abbott’s 26 Week Paid Parental Leave Scheme. You can read more about his plans for this scheme here. Some may not like him as Leader of our great country, but to me, family is my priority and if this scheme was to come into action, it would get my vote. Simple.

I put my family first and believe that it is such a fantastic opportunity for women to receive paid leave whilst caring for their young children. As well as providing much needed income at the time, the benefits include: having more time to secure a child care place/sort out childcare programs for when and if your child needs to enter care, women are less stressed upon re-entry into the workforce, women are more inclined to return to the same type of work they took leave from in the first place ({great for employers who want experienced employees} and apparently is much better for women financially when it comes to superannuation, retirement planning and time out of the workforce over the course of their careers.

According to Mr Abbott and his Gang,

“Of the more than 30 countries in the OECD offering a paid parental leave scheme, Australia is one of only two nations that fail to pay parental leave based on a replacement wage”

(Liberal Party, July 2013)

And under this scheme, a mother’s wage will be fully replaced, superannuation and all. Sounds good to me! Let’s hope the promises are delivered upon for all those hopeful parents with their fingers and toes crossed. It’s hard enough to create a baby for most couples, it’s seriously hard work to grow a baby then give birth. So then the ACTUAL hard yacka of raising and nurturing the child with full payment is something I would smile upon.

For me, it has meant stress-free time. I can have those nights where I get no sleep and we have the chance to catch up the next day, at home, where we are comfortable and all I need to do is catch the kids up on sleep, rather than leave them to go off to work in that foggy sleep-deprived state. All you parents out there know that fog, it take so long to lift after a new baby has arrived! It has given me the greatest opportunity to form a strong bond with my daughter. I feel I know her more than I knew my son when he was the same age because she hasn’t really had to leave my side yet.

I know nothing about Australian Politics but I know that this is something I’d seriously consider in my voting plan on September 7th. Anything that help parents gets a stamp of approval in my book.

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My precious bookworm

How do you feel about Paid Parental Leave and Maternity Leave? What do you think could be improved? How would these schemes change your life?

LEJ

My Anti Bucket List- Stuff I Really Can’t See Myself EVER Doing Once or Doing Again

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Taking inspiration from this great article I read on news.com.au in the wee hours of this morning, and following on from my Bucket List post I published not long ago (which you can read here), I’ve decided to make public the stuff which I will NOT do in my lifetime. I’m not thinking short-term, because I will hopefully live until a ripe old age, I’m thinking like well into my 80′s (if I’m lucky).

So as I’m now 31 years of age, I’ve given it my best and come up with a list of 31 things I, Lauren, will NOT EVER do in my lifetime.

Enjoy!

  1. swim with sharks {even gummy ones- holy moly they creep me out with their slimy skin and streamline swimming!}
  2. go skiing (again) {long story short- think dislocated shoulder after a Lauren-versus-tree incident at high speeds}
  3. eat wasabi (again) {holy mother of burning tongue hell!}
  4. bungee jumping {I have developed an INTENSE, and boy do I mean INTENSE! abnormal fear of heights. It’s bordering on a phobia I think. Yes, self-diagnosed. Lucky I’m only 5ft nothing tall}
  5. abseil {again} {brings back frightening memories from a camp as a child where I was told “it’s okay Lauren, it’s only concrete, you’ll bounce”} {!!!!!!!! is all I have to add to that}
  6. having another child {I’d love to NOT EVER go through another pregnancy, but yeah, give me another cute pipling and I’d be happy}
  7. saying “yes” to everything I get asked to do {I’m a people pleaser and it has really worked against me in the self-esteem department}
  8. Zumba {just no!}
  9. going on another date-date again {happily married to the man of my dreams thank you!} {ps we do go on dates occasionally, I’d like to more often, but that’s the subject of another “how to have more time when you have two little piplings” blog post}
  10. own a bird {again, I’ve done this before. It ended quite badly. I’m not ready for friends of the feathered kind}
  11. like Rachel Danger, the creator of the viral post My Anti Bucket List, I won’t EVER run a marathon {I was built to run up until my early twenties. Now all I run for is cover when my children wake up in the morning}
  12. sky dive {insert terrified scream here. no thanks. keep me INSIDE the plane or ON the ground}
  13. go on a scary upside down, round and round etc ride at a show {again, I’ve done this before but no, never willing to do this again. God bless my iron stomach and its need to stay on stable land}
  14. i will never smoke or take drugs {the most prudish person you might meet, but hey I value my lungs, my organs and my senses thank you very much!}
  15. take on too many clients at the same time {comes back to my “people pleaser” roots}
  16. saying “yes” to everyone and everything {no, just no!}
  17. volunteering to sing in public, which rules out ever going to Karaoke {I sing in my car only, my poor children’s ears….}
  18. walk in the city alone at night {Can’t trust the Victorian Parole Board to keep us Victorian Women safe in the community, so I’ll take matters into my own hands….and most likely become a hermit}
  19. going on a bus tour in Europe { I can drive, I’m middle-aged now, no Contiki Tours with randoms for me}
  20. eat any animal offal or leg of ANY kind {frog, chicken, pigs trotters. EWWWWW. No}
  21. become vegetarian {don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my vegetables and love avoiding meat occasionally, but I can’t see myself passing up a delicious roast chicken or scotch fillet any time soon}
  22. spending a tiny amount on my children for Christmas and Birthdays {I love spoiling them, what can I say?}
  23. visit Iceland or Greenland or Antarctica {Warm old sunny Australia for me, thanks}
  24. FULLY completing a daily “to do” list {there are always things I just don’t get done- maybe I’m trying to do too much. Maybe I need more naps}
  25. ignore someone who I think is struggling {I like to help, Nurses are built like that}
  26. painting our house {I REALLY dislike painting. It’s more tiresome and boring than watching paint dry. And the fumes make me see noises!}
  27. die my hair black {I’m just too pale}
  28. ending my writing career {I’ll die with fingers on the keyboard or with a pen in my hand}
  29. having a good night’s sleep {two children under 5, what can I say? zzzzzzzzzzzzz}
  30. becoming a body builder {I like my womanly curves and pasty, yet feckled skin. No bronzing, weights or protein shakes for me. Just the tiger stripes I earned growing my piplings for a total of 18months- glad I’m not an elephant, two years for each pregnancy would have me reaching for the butter knives….}
  31. AND last but not least- getting a tattoo {scared of the pain, don’t like needles, don’t like the idea of permanent images on my skin, what if I don’t like them in like 5 minutes? Temporary tattoos that come in bubble gum packets all the way for me}

Have you created your bucket list? Now you know what you want to do, it’ll be easy to work out what you DON’T want to do with the rest of your life!

Link your bucket list and anti bucket list blogs below!

LEJ