How Does A Mother Plan to Go Away for a Conference?

You have the conference booked, accommodation sorted and transport arranged. What else does a mother need to plan in order to get away for a conference?

Next week I am going away to my first blogging conference. I cannot tell you how unbelievably excited I am. (Think a six year old on Christmas Eve. That type of excited.) It’s a little bit ridiculous really. Because as a newbie I’m almost equal parts scared witless. (Think seven year old who is busting for the loo but too scared to ask the teacher. That type of scared.) I’m so very aware that there will be so many bloggers present with massive audiences, (Think grand stadium audiences hyped and waiting anxiously for every part of the performance), whereas my audience (thank you for reading), well, think small group snuggled by a fire in a living room chatting.

Anyway, gone are the days when I just pack a suitcase and slip out of town. Oh no, not when you are a mother, of five kids including two year old triplets no less. When we mothers leave town, (with or without kids) planning is required.

Here are some tips on how to plan that your household will continue to run as smoothly as possible without you. If you’re interested, I’ve outlined in italics what I am personally doing so I can leave the house during ProBlogger. Feel free to skip the italics if you’re in a hurry!

1. Organise Babysitter

  • Enlist help of friends or family members, or paid help such as a babysitter or a nanny temp.
  • Ensure there is someone with the children for all the necessary hours.
  • Organise any school/kindy/daycare etc. pick ups. or transport/supervision is arranged for extra-curricular activities. (eg. sports, dance class etc.)

I will be away for three days. Thankfully I have our In-Home Carer Stacey that we were able to re-schedule her normal hours so that she will be with the children from when Alex leaves for work until he gets home for the first two days. For a little while we thought that she would not be able to work then. I was then having to construct much more complicated plans in my head which involved conscripting Grandma and an Aunty to help as well as my husband taking a day off work. Thankfully, we didn’t have to go down that path.  School drop offs and pick ups are already organised for those days also.

2. Leave the Pantry and Fridge Well Stocked

  • Enough bread and milk (or reminders if necessary of when it will need replacing if gone for a length of time.)
  • Food for snacks
  • Fruit
  • A menu plan for meals with pre-made meals or all ingredients purchased and easy to find. Don’t forget to utilise take-away if that’s going to make life easier for your family!
Thankfully, Stacey is familiar with our kitchen, so I will be able to leave the ingredients for her to prepare the first two evening meals and I won’t need to make these meals in advance. On the Saturday evening I’m away, I’ll leave Daddy make his speciality – pizza! The kids love it! If it’s been a bit too hectic for him he has my full permission to serve the takeaway version!  To make it easier in the morning, I’ll leave Jonty’s school lunchbox packed and in the fridge. 
3.  Leave Clear Instructions and Prepare in for Outings 

  • Think about all the activities that you do that people may not know about and document them. Use dot points so information is easy to read at a glance. Write a paragraph under the point if more explanation is required.
  • Include a time line of the routine your child is used to if necessary.
  • Leave important contact numbers next to the phone. (eg. Doctor, neighbours, work numbers, you and your partner’s mobile, an additional emergency contact etc.)
  • Think of any unusual event and leave instructions.
  • Talk through your expectations with your children before you leave. It will give them extra security and confidence also.
  • Leave out any letters from school, classes that apply during the time you are away.

Unfortunately Jonty has a special dress up day and performance at school on the Friday. I’m a bit gutted I’m going to missing this. We have his costume ready and I will leave clear instructions on what he needs to wear and I’ve already been discussing our plan with Jonty, so he will probably be reminding Daddy!  I’ve also organised to come in to watch the class during a practise of their item since I won’t be there to see the real thing.

Another unfortunate thing is that soccer is a one hour drive away that week on the Saturday morning and begins at 9:00am! Poor Alex having to get all the kids in (and out) of the car by himself for that! Normally I would stay at home with the children rather than getting the triplets in the car that early. To help out with that, I’ll pack the bag with spare clothes, snacks etc. All ready for him to grab on the way out the door. Alex isn’t as worried about this as I am. He said it will only take ten minutes dress all the kids and go. I hope he amends his timing for that task by about 30 minutes!
4. Shopping for the Conference

  • Think about what new items you will need to buy for the conference. eg. clothing, stationary, technology.
  • Think about your long term uses for purchases, try not to spend too much money for just one occasion.
  • Organise a shopping to fit into your schedule. Leave enough time to complete comfortably! 

I was relieved to read Emily from Have A Laugh On Me when she said nobody really minds what you wear unless you’re a style blogger. It took the pressure off a little, but I still want to look good! (And perhaps I’m a somewhat of a wannabe style blogger!) I’ve been sneaking time when I can to find a new outfit or accessory or two. Of course, now I’m finding what I want online and it’s too late to get it from overseas, so I’m having to shop the old fashioned way! (Although I did find some good nautical jewellery on Etsy for the Ahoy! party on Saturday night.)  As always, shopping with kids is always done in small allotments of time, I’ve also been plagued with indecision, which doesn’t work well with small allotments of time. On Sunday I was in town with a free half hour and went back to get something, and of course it was sold out. Just as well there was another one in a different colour, not first choice, but hey!

5. Packing

  • Leave enough time so that you won’t be rushed and forget things. (If you are a last minute packer like I am, start earlier in the evening rather than later!)
  • Remember to pack all tickets and documentation, and cords for phones, laptops etc. Include equipment necessary for re-charging.
  • Pack at least one extra outfit to use in an case of emergency!

I suspect that because I’m so excited, I may even start packing earlier then my usual night before pack! However, I don’t like to pack clothes too far in advance to minimise creasing. I certainly will open a suitcase soon and start throwing in things I don’t really need and don’t want to forget. Or put in post-it reminders of things I’m likely to forget!

6. Mental Preparation

  •  Beforehand go with a clear expectation of what you would like to achieve by the end of this conference. Have an action list if necessary if there are things you need to do to achieve your goals.
  • Arrange any meetings with people you would like to connect with.
  • Book restaurants (or day spa!) in advance if there is a likelihood that it will be busy.
  • Read blogs or other information that will give you an idea of what to expect.
  • Arrange a time to check-in and call home to check on th

    e kids and get a mental plan if necessary on how not to worry about them. (Leaving a planned house should help with the knowledge that they are going to have a good time while you are away!)

  • Give yourself a pep talk on why you are worthy of attending the conference and hold your head high! Refuse to let negativity into your thinking.
Much earlier in the year I read my first blog post that made me start thinking about how I needed to prepare. There has been a few more I’ve read since then, if you haven’t seen them. Check them out!

And then there are the posts that inspired me to go by my two local blogging buddies. Last year I was watching all the #pbevent hashtags wishing I was there after I knew these two were there. I then would tell myself I wasn’t good enough to go to something like this for a couple of years, and then suddenly I just decided to get out of my comfort zone and booked it this year! It is a comfort that I’ll be hanging with these gals though and they aren’t newbies and know some people, so hopefully that will decrease some potentially awkward moments.

My biggest area that I have needed to prepare myself is the pep talk. I am very aware of my blogging inadequacies and my time constraints in making the improvements I require to keep moving forward. I need to tell myself that even baby steps forward are better then remaining stationary! Going to a conference is a lot more then a baby step for me.  It’s an acknowledgement that I’m spending money and investing time into this thing to make it work! I’m determined that I’m going to do everything in my power to make this a really worthwhile experience! I owe that to my friends and family who will be covering for me, and I owe it to myself! I’m looking forward to learning as much as possible, embracing all the experiences, (I’m talking down my introvert anxiety about being around so many new people and going to a party!) and making connections with people that will be meaningful. Expect to see big things coming from Caitlin’s Happy Heart in the future!
A Mother Prepares to go away for a Conference (ProBlogger)
My hubby and I stayed overnight at QT last year, which is where the ProBlogger conference and where I’ll be staying. I’m so looking forward to being there again. It’s the most ‘fun’ hotel I’ve ever stayed at!
Are you going to ProBlogger? Have you been in preparation mode yet?
How do you plan if you are leaving the family for a few nights?

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Why I Write (Blog Hop)

My lovely bloggy friend Rebecca from The Plumbette asked if I would join the current blog hop,”Why I Write” that is doing the rounds at the moment, .  I was flattered that Bec thought of me and I was keen to participate, writing is certainly one of my passions. Plus, it resembled a cyber chain mail and I was always a sucker for chain mail when I was a teen, (fun ones, not the pesky ones). I once even did a chain mail underwear swap! Well almost. You were supposed to send the next name on the list a new pair of undies with tags on it. If everyone did it you would get 7 new pairs of undies! I sent a pair away, but then just couldn’t bring it upon myself to send people a letter asking for knickers, as much as I liked freebies!

Of course a blog hop is far more respectable then that!

OK. Let’s change the topic and start answering the questions.

What Am I Working On?
Well. Nothing except what I’m writing at this very moment! Which is generally the way I work with my blog. I was writing articles for a teens magazine, (Check out Bella if you know any teenage girls, it’s a gorgeous magazine that’s uplifting and without smut.) For some reason that work seems to have dried up the last couple of issues, (they must be getting some fabulous new writers), so for now my only writing outlet is my blog. I’ve explained how time is always an issue at this stage of life and it’s really hard finding the time to write. (See my little vent here) So generally I write then publish. I pretty well never have anything written in advance.

How Does My Writing Differ From Others?
My writing is different because I am different. My writing is me in print. I have no grand illusions that I am a super star writer. I often admire others eloquence and their ability to craft words into enchanting sentences that linger in your mind. I think I can make the mundane sound interesting enough, and I am assured by people that they like reading my work, so I am happy. I am an extremely open and honest person, so I am proud my blog reads like this. Sometimes people applaude my blog because it is so honest and they say there is not enough honesty in the blogosphere. I think there is a lot of raw emotive blog posts out there that people really identify with, but I’m happy that there are people making connections with what I’ve written also. I hope that when people read my work they feel accepted, they hear the friendly tone and they leave encouraged either with something to think about or they feel a bit happier and amused. (Sometimes even both?)

Why Do I Write?
I am a storyteller. Writing is my preferred medium to tell those stories. (Although if you know me, you will also know I’m quite fond of talking about my stories as well!)

I write because I enjoy it. I have always enjoyed writing. When I was in primary school, I would live for the creative writing lessons. During those lessons, I would write and write pages upon pages. I would concoct all types of stories – mystery, drama, adventure, fantasy. In high school English was hands down my favourite subject. I loved writing short stories. I also developed a real love for critical literacy and analysing literature. I have also loved reading, and I actually found a lot of enjoyment writing my English assignments on whatever novel or play we were studying. I used to keep diaries a lot in my teenage years also. I found one recently. What an experience it is to read your teenage words. It was a mixture of sweet memories combined with cringeworthy reflections.

When I left school, for a few years my writing outlet was writing plays that were performed by a drama group that I lead during my youth group days. Then I started teaching and for several years didn’t have time to write apart from update emails to family and friends.

One day I started blogging as a way to record the moments I was experiencing in motherhood. I actually just started writing about all the details leading up to beginning my blog, but it is getting far too long, so I’ve copied them into another blog post and will finish it another day and share it with you next Tuesday. It is enough to say that this little blog has become an immense source of enjoyment for me. I am constantly thinking up posts in my head and when I press publish I experience a surge of endorphins. I eagerly come back and check whether I have received comments and check how many readers were attracted to that post. I find blogging so motivating because you are able to receive feedback on what you have written and the blogging community is simply lovely.

How Does My Writing Process Work?
Constantly my mind is buzzing with sentences, phrases and whole paragraphs about things I would like to say. (I need to get better at jotting these thoughts down as I go) As soon as I’m able, I will sit down and type away. Sometimes I will write out an outline of what I want to say, and maybe a sentence or two that I don’t want to forget. Normally I just write based on my mental outline and as I write sometimes it changes direction, other times it gains clarity. While I am writing I pause a lot and think of the right word. When I talk, I often um and ah and can’t think of the word I want to use. When I write and I can’t think of the word I want, I stop, close my eyes and think until it suddenly appears. This is why I believe I write better than I speak. I also obsess on the flow of a sentence, often going back and backspacing. I am always re-reading as I write and often change words so it is not too repetitive. When I am finished, I like to let what I have written sit for awhile, overnight is ideal. Then I come back and edit. Sometimes the changes are small, sometimes they are dramatic. If I have made a lot of changes, I will leave it sit for awhile again if possible and then come back to it fresh. It is a constant source of consternation with me that even with this editing process and my slow writing method, I am a shocking proofreader! I don’t know how many times I will feel embarrassed as I read an old blog post and discover typos, grammar and punctuation mistakes. My mother sent me a message last week asking if she can get into my blog and fix my mistakes for me because she finds them every time I post! I immediately gave her access, because Lord knows I need the help, but first the Lord will have to help her work out how to find her way around the back end of a blog! Sincere apologies to anyone who notices the errors!

Where Do I Write?
Do you want the honest truth? I spent several hours this morning cleaning up my office to take this photo!

My office is very reflective of me. My passion for travel, my children, a glimpse into my own childhood, (some ornaments from when I was a girl) and Jonty’s picture of our family, triplet paintings and Trent’s kindy craft. 

Of all the areas where I am messy, my desk and office space has always been the worst. One of the highlights for Alex when we moved house last year is that he does not need to share an office with me anymore. We are now a two study family. I don’t blame him.

My space has been particularly bad since we moved in. I never properly moved into this spac

e. I had chucked a whole heap of photos up on the shelf above my computer to get them out of the way, and they have stayed that way for a whole year until today. The very long desk I work at has been completely littered with piles of junk. So long I could access the keyboard, I was OK to work at it. I can’t say that I’ve been feeling comfortable in here though and have been desperately trying to tidy it, but would only get so far and then mess it up again. So tonight, it’s just a pleasure working here. (So long I ignore the washing basket in the lounge room that has a whole pile of things that still need to be put away, and believe me, the next thing that needs sorting out is the office cupboard. So I still don’t feel officially ‘moved in’.) Perhaps another day I shall show you before and after pictures, but for now, this is where I work at my computer.

We did have a lap top that I used to write from on a lounge chair or at the dining room table, but I much prefer working at a desk. It’s better for my posture and I’m not as distracted by the TV when I work.

Who Is Next?
I am only nominating one blogger, and she has already written her reasons why she writes! It seems that this blog hop has pretty well done the rounds with those who are willing to participate in my circles.

So, let me introduce you to Eva from the Multitasking Mummy.

Eva is a Mummy to one 2 year old boy and blogs at The Multitasking Mummy about her personal and parenting experiences in the hope that other Mums will find it both reassuring and relatable. Eva loves writing and has recently begun her freelance writing career as well as working on a second blog where she will share her knowledge on all things Social Media and Blogging. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, pottering in the garden, reading magazines and enjoying red wine.
Read the reason why Eva writes here.

Linking with

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Triplets Anti-Blogging Campaign

I’ve escaped to the computer. Shhh! Nobody tell the triplets!

They are busy playing in their corner.

I’ve been trying to get here all morning. No, I’ve been trying to do a blog post since last night. Well, to be really honest, I’ve been trying all week. I just can’t seem to find a spare chunk of time to do it.

Take for example the last 16 hours. I was saying to Miss Rachael earlier in the day how much I wanted to write a blog. Routines with children always change as they adjust and become older and need different things. Sometimes it can be for the better. Sometimes not.

Our routine has changed recently which has resulted with Mummy being excluded from the dining table at night. The triplets used to have their solids, then milk and bed. They have now decided that they like to have a play in between solids and milk. Which consequently means they now get thirsty at the exact same time the rest of the house gets hungry. I tried a few times delaying them until after I ate. This was disastrous. It resulted in five children needing immediate attention. The big boys are ready for brushing teeth, storytime, prayers and bed straight after dinner. Which is normally The Accountant’s responsibility. And it didn’t really work when two babies were having a tired hungry meltdown, crying their little eyes out while I breastfed and bottled the third baby.

And so last night, I was in my new routine, systematically feeding the babies and putting them down to bed while dinner was being consumed. Everything seemed to be going well. I had the babies in bed by 7:30 ready to watch my favourite show on TV (The Amazing Race) while I had dinner and tweeted happily.

Sidenote. I’ve just worked out twitter (it’s taken me awhile!) and I’m feeling very proud of myself and having great fun with it. Feel free to follow me at C_Happyheart (I’m sorry, I haven’t been able to work out how to put social media links on this page yet. I’m a bit technically challenged so all the behind the scenes blogwork can be a tad tricky for me.) I’ve worked out how to tweet, but I’d love more interaction. Like last night I had a good time chatting to Retro Mummy about car seats in our new van.

Darn. The triplets have found me. And I’m hardly even started.

OK. I’ve bribed them for a bit of extra time. Thank God for highchairs with wheels and arrowroot biscuits.

They are lined up watching me work on the computer.

So. For the duration of the show I was happy. It was the grand finale, so I thought once it was finished I’d write a blog.


Once the show was finished, Joey came out hungry. I fed him again. He was needy. We cuddled. I kept looking wistfully at the computer, but knew that if I cuddled him long enough until he was soundly asleep, he wouldn’t wake up again (fingers crossed) for at least several hours and I could have some time to myself.

Just as I was ready to put him back to bed, The Accountant came in with Chook, handed him over and bid me adieu as he went to bed. I did the exact same thing all over again. The clock kept ticking on, and I thought I might go to bed a bit later and still write a little bit. I’m kind of chomping at the bit to do some writing. I’ve written so many blog posts in my head, but they never get a chance to get written due to the confounded time factor. Yesterday I worked out that if someone could invent a wireless device that could type my thoughts onto the blog and leave me to edit it when I had the opportunity. (Editing device a must in this hypothetical piece of equipment) I’d be able to post a blog every day!

But of course, once I put Chook back to bed, Missy started crying. By this time I had breastfed both boys, so I gave her a bottle. She didn’t want the bottle. She wanted boob. She made this point very clear. I tried to communcate that boob was futile. She disagreed vehemently. I tried to prove this was futile. She agreed that it was unsatisfactory in the milk production, but she said she would compromise by using said boob as a dummy. I humoured her in a desperate effort to get the girl child back to bed, although the clock was tick tock ticking away and the desire to write was replaced by the desire to sleep.

Drat. Arrowroot biscuits are finished. Rice cracker anyone?

Since the small girl looked soundly asleep, and since I’m no dummy, (on so many levels), I detached her to go down for the night. Her eyes instantly popped open. I knew this was not a good sign. I decided to put her in the cot of isolation. As suspected, she instantly began to roar about the indecency of her treatment.

Knowing that if she cried to long she would still wake her brothers up at the other end of the house. I did a few things on the computer, even though by now I had no interest at being online. The crying escalated so before there were three babies crying, I picked her up for an extended cuddle session. (Interjected with two more failed attempts to put her to bed.) I eventually crawled into bed at 1:30am. and ignored The Accountant’s request for a cuddle.  Five kids, three being babies. Yep, he’s neglected.

Rice crackers finished. What’s my next move?

How about toys that normally their big brother forbids them to play with? If they don’t tell J Boy, neither will I.

So this morning. Joey woke at 5am. I fed him in our bed. He crawled all over our bed and us for about 45 minutes while I kept trying to hold him and keep sleeping. I’m actually getting kind of talented doing this in the early morning. By 6am Chook was awake. I got up fed him. The Accountant slept on and put Joey on the ground and let him make his way out. Of course then Missy woke up. And T-Star, who decided it was an excellent time to do the sweeping and was devastated when I rejected his helpfulness in fear that the broom handle was going to make a whole in my wall from his enthusiastic cleaning.

Babies and boys fed cereal, boy dressed for school. Lunch made. Husband and boy out the door to work and school. Missy was exhausted so I put her to bed, and this time she had a little cry then drifted off to sleep. Why can’t she do
that in the wee hours of the morning? Changed dirty nappies again. Dressed babies and two year old. Fed babies, put them to bed. Started getting excited. Grandma had told T-star that she would take him to her house in the morning. Could it be possible? Could I get a blog post written? (The housework of course can wait.)

Ate my breakfast.

One baby awake.

Put clothes on the line.

Two babies awake.

Grandma arrived. T-star disappeared.

Three babies awake.

Three babies needy. Three babies crying. Three babies wanting to be cuddled. All at once. Three babies refusing to leave Mummy alone.

Eventually they became distracted, and that is when I started writing this.

Thank you for reading. You really do give me moments of sanity in this busy, busy life. I love my three babies. I love the experience of doing the triplet thing, even though it can be so frustrating at times. But it is so nice to have an outlet.

The toys are insufficient. It’s almost lunchtime. Hopefully I can get some photos on here after lunch and you will see this post today! (Thursday)

Do your kids have a secret mission to stop you doing anything in particular?


To reward the triplets for their patience waiting in the highchairs, we had a fabulous game of stacking blocks. It was so cute I thought I’d share some pictures of the game with you!

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Blog Friends

Yesterday I spoke about the friendships I’ve made or extended through blogging. I cut this section out of my post and decided to post it today.

I’ve got loads of blogs that I follow. These lovely ladies aren’t the big time bloggers who blog as a career – they just make the world a better place for those of us acquainted their writing.

I think this is a nice little spot to share some of my favourite blogger buddies! Only a few – I’m sure this list will grow, I’m already starting to adore some blogs I’ve just started to follow, especially some awesome multiple Mum’s, so refer to my blogroll.

Graze If You Want to But Don’t Eat Dirt Written by the hilariously funny Crazy Sister, this blog will often make me laugh. And you know how much I love a good giggle! What’s even more awesome is that I discovered that this Crazy Sister, (So named in her sister’s fabulous blog – also worthy of  a look see. Check it out here), literally lives down the road from me! So now we are cyber pals and friends in the flesh!

Reaching For Green Emily Sue often drops by this blog and leaves lovely comments. I’m not half as good at leaving comments back to her, but I love reading her raw, honest blog. If you want to start making blog friends, do as Emily Sue does and leave comments. Just like in ‘real life’, the key to establishing friendships is communication. Thanks Emily Sue!

A Fruitful Life Lacey is a friend of mine. I feel like I know Lacey so much better since reading her blog though. She has fresh and honest writing style. She writes a great blog about all types of subjects ranging from DIY’s to babyhood. It’s always a great read.

B Being Cool B is another friend. I’ve known her forever, we were young fair maidens together. B was even my bridesmaid when I married my Prince. Since our uni days, our paths don’t cross quite as much, even though we are fortunate enough to be living in the same town once again. However, B. and I are loving reconnecting so much more since facebook and through our blogs. Her blog is really excellent and a tribute to her as a writer. It’s thoughtful, insightful, witty and as the name suggests, very, very, cool!

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100th Post! Blogging From the Heart.

This is a nice milestone for my blog. This is the 100th post that I have written since I began in October last year. I still consider myself a blogging newbie, and I’ve have so much to learn about blogging, (for instance, HTML’s are baffling), but what a wonderful ride it has been since I began!

I really didn’t know the extent of the blogging community before I began. I rarely read blogs. Boy, has that changed! Blogs/Blogging have now become a slight addiction. I’m totally loving sharing my life with people all over the world and completely loving reading about other’s lives and all sorts of ideas, tips and stories that change my own little corner of my world.

So for this milestone post. I thought I’d reflect on why I started this blog and what I would like to achieve.

1. Chronicling Family History
My initial inspiration for starting the blog, was to try to document some of the family life moments. The ones that are hilarious or poignant. The moments where you smile and your heart is happy, but gradually fades from your memory. My sister has been great at documenting special things about her 5 children in a little book. I thought I would be the same, but in the end, I found that I am more likely to write if I have an audience. So thanks for being my audience – even if sometimes it means just reading a memory that I want to keep, but might not hold as much interest to the rest of the world. Luckily for me, since starting this blog I became pregnant with triplets, so this stage of our family history seems to be really interesting these days!

2. A Heart Full of Happiness
I can’t even remember when I finally decided my blog’s name. I was playing around with lots of different names before settling on “Caitlin’s Happy Heart”. I’m glad I did. I am a happy person, I smile a lot, I laugh a lot, I like others being happy around me and I like to make people’s day a bit brighter. I hope I’m able to do this through this blog. I am grateful for the blessed life that I lead, I have grown up in an incredible family, I now have my own lovely little family. I’ve great friends and a wonderful life. Most importantly I have a strong faith, and the joy of the Lord truly is my strength. This more than any other contributes to my happy heart. I’ve had my own set of challenges though. Sometimes when you are going through the hard stuff, you need to decide that you are going stay positive and hold onto the hope that happiness will return once again. Happiness spreads though others  I hope you often smile after reading my blog, whether you are in a happy, or not so happy stage of life.

3. Presenting a Real Live Mrs. Mum
I always consider it a huge compliment when people say, “Reading your blog helps me feel normal.” A friend once told me that we may think there are a large number of ‘normal’ people in the world that just live ordinary lives where things don’t ever go too wrong and you can comfortably live day to without to much hassle. In actual fact, the percentage of people who live life like this is very low. Which basically means that you would have to be abnormal to be a normal person! I’m a very honest person, and I don’t mind telling about my highs and lows. Sometimes it is nice to read that someone is having the same hassles or struggles as us, so I hope that you can read this some days and just sigh with relief. And maybe have a chuckle, at my expense. If I make you laugh, it might make my own calamity a bit more worthwhile!

4. Blogging Friendships
One thing I wasn’t prepared for was the blogging world. I have become an avid blog reader, and I’m very proud when people have become regular readers or even better, have chosen to follow this blog. I’m always thrilled to bits every time a person leaves a comment, so thanks to all who do, believe me, I’m not joking when I say it gives me such a thrill!

5. A Chance to Share
I love sharing ideas and things I like. When I was teaching, I was always running next door when I made a great worksheet or taught a great lesson to share with my teaching buddy. I’m the one who is always telling about the great things that worked for me. Yep, I know this can be annoying at times – you know, I’m the friend who always has a suggestion, even if you don’t need one. But hopefully more people think I’m a generous soul then get annoyed at me! I’m delighted that blogging gives me an opportunity to share about my favourite recipes, books or activities.

So, thanks being a part of my blog journey. Hopefully there’s lots more tales to tell and thoughts to relate that will continue to make yours and my heart’s happy!

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Not So Happy Heart: Parenting Trials

My initial motivation for writing this blog was to record the amusing moments of parenting. Since I write better when I have an audience, a blog is a good fit. Having started blogging it seemed natural to include other titbits and the occassional word of advice, just in case I do have a real live audience! (Fingers crossed! I love it when I hear people are reading, so please feel free to comment, here or on facebook, for those I know in person!)

One thing I hope is that if other parents are reading, they can identify with my parenting moments, have a smirk, and perhaps feel better about their own parenting. (Either because you have been there, done that, or because you haven’t been there, you never intend to do THAT, because your little darling is far more evolved than my offspring.) Being the happy heart that I am, my stories do tend to celebrate the happy moments of motherhood, the ones, even though awkward at the time, are a great story to laugh about.

But let’s be real, parenting is never laughs all the time. In the interest of keeping it real, let me share today’s episode with you. A moment when my heart has not been happy and one of those moments in motherhood where you wonder what you are doing wrong, how you should do things right and desperately pray that your child is going to eventuate into a decent human being should he advance in years to become an adult.

We were having lunch when J Boy…

(I think I’m going to have to call him J Boy, because to call him “J Bomb” right now is too close to the truth, describing his explosive temper. I called J Bomb since he was a baby because I said he was ” ‘da bomb”, as in all things good. I also call him J—- Boy, kind of like Danny Boy, so in the tone of positive speech I shall continue.) 

J Boy pipes up. “I don’t want to be a left hander anymore. I want to be a right hander.”

Mummy: “Why is that?”
J Boy: Launches into a lamment that he wants to use a pair of right hander scissors with a lion on them, that I once gave him, forgetting he couldn’t cut with them. When I realised, I got him another pair of scissors, alas with no lion on them, and swapped the right handed scissors for a toy Bunnings forklift. Now that the forklift is an old toy. He wants to scissors again.
Mummy: In a very annoying grown up way explains that you cannot change being a left hander, that God made him that way, left handers are rare and special, we will check with his new kindy teacher that he really is a left hander and no he can’t have the scissors, and howling at the top of his voice is not going to make me give them to him.
J Boy: Starts reluctantly eating vegemite sandwich, while loudly stoping to whimper and protest every few bites.
The Baby: Is in a remarkably good mood, and is oblivious to all tantrums. (Is familiar with sounds, since he has been hearing them since he was in utero) Wanders over to check out J Boy’s lunch, to make sure he isn’t missing out on anything. Receives a wallop in the head with a monster truck by glowering big brother.
J Boy: Howls even more loudly when his mother applies some force back to him to make him consider that it is not nice to be hurt by somebody else. Runs into playroom, starts looking around for something to destroy.
Mummy: Recognises her sons volatile ways, follows closely, takes all things out of his hands so he can’t throw. Speaks soothing words, encourages J Boy to continue eating lunch.
J Boy: Returns to table. Starts eating calmly, gets up runs into the direction of toilet.
Mummy: Is relieved that crisis has been averted and is grateful that potty training days are over.
J Boy: Returns to table, staring down Mummy.
Mummy: Did you flush the toilet? (Knowing he did not.)
J Boy: No I didn’t.
Mummy: Go and flush it.
J Boy: I didn’t go to the toilet.
Mummy: (Faint feeling of apprehension appears.) What did you do?
J Boy: I damaged The Baby’s cot.
Mummy: Rushes into the nursery to witness our beautiful white sleigh cot has several deep gashes down the sleigh caused by a matchbox car. She starts yelling.
J Boy: Starts smiling.
Mummy: Is horrified that he could do such an act and be so proud that he has received this reaction. Calms down, (well tried to appear that way), Talks about how upset she is. Talks that she wanted her grandchildren to use this cot also. Laments that the gouge is too deep to be sanded back. Says that Daddy will give a smack when he gets home. Something that Mummy tries to reserve only for momentous occassions since she doesn’t want her child to dread Daddy’s arrival on a normal day. Also says no swim in the afternoon, no dessert, no TV today. Feels some level of guilt for heaping so many punishments on it, then remembers the weeks that she spent searching for the perfect sleigh cot when she was pregnant with him and all the money that she spent on it and then also throws no Nintendo DS into the list of punishments, feels guilty again, then remembers that he has continually tried to damage things when he is feeling angry, and decides to stay strong in the desperate hope that maybe her son will understand the gravity of being destructive.
J Boy: Pleads in vain for leniency. Eats lunch solemnly
The Baby: Continues to be incredibly cute. Mummy talks to him in general Baby chit chat.
J Boy: Tries to say something, I can’t remember what.
Mummy: J, Mummy is too upset to talk with you at the moment. Keep eating lunch.
At this point, I can’t remember how things disintegrated. The J Boy was ANGRY.
Mummy: Sent The J Boy to his bed, put on a CD player and said he needed to have some time to calm down and he could come out when the music stopped. Also gave stern warning he was not to get off his bed or throw things.
J Boy: Throws Books at wall. Increasing dent count in the wall of his bedroom. Receives a smack for his efforts.
J Boy: Throws picture from off his wall. Receives a smack for his effort. Presses pause on the CD Player.
Mummy: Presses Play. Is punched in the back for her efforts.
The Baby: Show signs of extreme tiredness. Cries if put down. Still smiling if Mummy holds him.
Mummy: Decides to ignore the upheaval in the bedroom. Puts Baby to bed. Amazingly, he goes straight to sleep, although there is clunking in the next room as more books are hurled at the wall. Decides that Baby is tired enough to sleep while vacuum hums. She vacuums in an effort to drown out the commotion The Boy is causing.
J Boy: Is extremely agitated that he is being ignored. Throws the CD player.
Mummy: Breaks down into big sobs. Cannot believe that the boy is still intent on damaging others property. Is desperately hoping that he will not be the type of man who throws and breaks things when he is mad, cries more because it appears that this scenario is entirely likely.
J Boy: Cries, because Mummy is crying. Then pulls the curtains down off the wall.
Mummy: Rings the Accountant. Hears his voice. Breaks down cries hysterically. Forgets to speak.
The Accountant: Arrives home 5 minutes later. Commences battle with J Boy.
Mummy: Cries some more because it’s not nice to listen to.
The Baby: Continues to sleep. It has been an excellent time for him to revise former habits of being a light sleeper.
J Boy: Begrudgingly apologizes while father stands at his shoulder, then promises that he still isn’t really sorry at all. Goes into battle with The Accountant for round two.

All of a sudden it all stopped. J Boy started talking normally and being cute. Trots off to the toilet to do a poo. Something that often needs to be done after such fights. It is an underlying cause, but we are unable to convince him that a movement is necessary in the days preceeding.

I’ve gone into a lot more detail here then I intended, but it’s been strangely theraputic. Plus, I’m going to keep this and show to J Boy when he is J Man, some of the grief he caused me.

I know that you can probably spot a whole heap of parenting errors. So can I.

There’s also that feeling of helplessness, and confusion as to what the right thing to do is. There’s so much parenting advice out there. I know I’m not using politically correct methods. There’s always the doubt that I should be. I have every confidence if I used such methods, there would still be conflict, and then I would be thinking I should go back to the methods of the past.

Put simply, there is no perfect parenting, there is no perfect child. The most we can do is love them with all our heart and do everything with their best interest in mind, pushing aside our own agenda. That and a HUGE dose of prayer and reliance on Holy Spirit guidance.

Later in the afternoon, J Boy shows that he is truly sorry by arriving in the house with a handful of sand.

Mummy: What are you doing in the house with all that sand?
J Boy: It’s to fix the cot up.

Remember I had told him that the cot was so damaged it would not be able to be sanded?

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