Tag Archives: SAHM

Lunch

I have often written about (or sometimes alluded) to my dificulty with fostering a rhythm in our home. I know that it is good, I am convinced it has the potential to be beneficial for me, the caregiver, and my DS. And I like to read up about just how it can be beneficial – but I have an awfully hard time actually making it happen – hence my purchase of the Winter Menu from Little Acorn Learning. Which I really like. It incorporates Traditional Foods methods in the food preparation (soaking and fermenting) and uses in season fresh foods. I think I am really going to enjoy working with it. Breakfast, lunch and two snacks are now all laid out for me – no need to think 😉

I used one of the recipes from Winter Menu. The coconut pumpkin soup, although I used sweet potatoes instead of pumkin and date syrup instead maple syrup. And it was scrumptious. Now I just need to get going with grinding my own grain and fermenting our bread 😛

And my kitchen is all clean and sparkling…. today is a good day. I even cleaned and organised the fridge. A part of me wants to cringe with embaressment that this has become a worthy goal in my life – but at least I know it is clean and I did not use any harsh chemials to clean it – just warm (ecological) soapy water, and DS helped me scrub the shelves. It was actually kind of fun.

I think I really just needed some sort of frame work to give us a varied diet and the reassurance of knowing what I am preparing (or DH is preparing – he is the more established cook between the two of us). I know what I don’t want (fast food, ready made food, industrial food) and I know I want made from scratch food loosely along the lines of Nourishing Traditions, but yikes. It is a hard one to actually put in practice – for me anyway.

So, here’s to our first day. And hoping that there are more in store and that I do not loose my mind in the predictability of having each week planned so meticulously…. I know I need it, I suspect DS needs it, it’s just so, argh!!!

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Update

020716

DS at my SIL's wedding

I have been having a rough time with sleep, as I wrote about earlier. It’s getting much better. Last night we went through the steps of supper (table clear of clutter and a candle for a more serene mood), bath, pajama’s, bed time story in bed, DS switching the light off and snuggling down to breastfeed and in 15 minutes he was fast asleep. I was extatic.

I have also been reading up far too much about vaccines and the immune system. It is not making me happy. I know that vaccines are not going to be part of our preventative health options in our family. I however doubt that every problem in modern societies can be atrributed to vaccines.  And I am getting tired of investing so much time and energy in seeing just how wrong most of the scientific community are when it comes to vaccines. I know enough to know that I want to support our innate immune system as best I can, and not freak out when DS gets sick. I know enough to keep our commensal bacteria happy through diet and lifestyle and avoiding drugs, heavy metals, chemical cleaners, etc. I also know enough to make sure my next birth is at home and that it stays at home.

Anyway, I have also been feeling the need to grow my mind a bit. I have stagnated and it does not feel good. I need to have something going on in my head other than health and childcare. So, I found free courses available through MIT – no certificate or registration, but at least I can expand my mind somewhat – and register should the bug bite.

On the issue of what to study, I have been thinking of getting into something like TCM. Through my reading up on health, I find this approach and understanding of health and disease far more comprehensive than what my ped/GP has to offer. However, I have also thought of doing my masters in OT with a Senosry Integration spin. I think my challenge is to find something that I can study and then apply to real life. I love gathering knowledge, but then get cold feet about applying it – all sorts of self esteem issues there. I seem to really believe that I can’t apply what I am learning, unless it is being a mother. I seem to be applying all that I learn there without any conflict or insecurity…. well kind of. I know I need a strong rhythm in our home, based on mealtimes and rest times, play times etc. And it eludes me. I just kind of whoosh from one thing to another – other than the sleep, it’s all approximate.

I am thinking of trying to use the anthroposphical idea of a grain a day/colour a day. I have not read enough about it to know if I agree or not about all that goes with planetary influences, etc. I do hope it will give me the frameowork I need to have more of a varied diet – ensuring I don’t get stuck on oat porridge, pita with eggs and salad as our staples. The more I read about diet and food, the more I think have a varied whole foods diet is the key…… anyway, I got lazy and ordered the Little Acorn Leaning winter childcare menu…. I’ll see if it helps me get myself more organised.

As I write it is pouring rain outside. Winter has arrived, and with it the need for rubber boots, indoor shoes and warm drinks. I always love the change of season.

Oh, and the pic is just ‘cos I love it. 🙂

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My Boy

He is 10 months tomorrow and he has grown and changed so much. 10 months ago I was sipping on Beyerskloof Pinotage on my birthing ball with contractions about 1 every 15 minutes.

My heart totally swells up with love when I look on my boy, my child, the person who made me a mother.

Just when I thought I could never love him more, I rediscover a new element, a new reason. My heart literally beats faster for him.

Today I observed him learning to sit down from standing. He has been standing and creeping for some time now, but has been stuck when he needs to get back down to the floor. I was blown away watching him make sense of how to keep holding onto the sofa/table/bench/chair and bend his knees until he was safe to let go and be sitting on his bottom. He was so careful about where to put his hands and how to keep his balance.

Gone are the days where he was on me 24/7 (or on DH). He is so happy to crawl around the house and be with the dog (although DS would *love* to be with the cat, our cat is consistently out of his reach with an enticingly swishing tail) or just play with blocks, or practice standing, creeping and occasionally munch on some food. He is becoming such a person in his own right and my heart just bursts with the awe of being there with him and witnessing the unfolding of this miracle.

I would not miss this for the world.

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little things

ARRRRGH! One of those days. Every little thing is just getting me down.

It started with our trip to the clinic. DH and I have been meaning to do our blood work for quite some time now and I also am supposed to be checking DS’s iron levels. And due to the public health system being what it is, I am registered at two clinics. One for me and DH (we like the Family Doctor) and one for DS (we like the nurse and really really dislike the nurse and ped at the clinic where we are registered). Anyway, it turns out that different clinics take babies blood at different stations and it just turned into a mess. The nurse and doctor I am avoiding turned out to be the team who take baby blood. The very people who I will never let touch my baby (very long story as to why). So, no test for DS today. We will have to schedule for another clinic….. anyway, this started my day. The same day that I have no hot water as my geyser is not working and both the gas bottles have run out so I can’t make my morning coffee and the bathroom drain is blocked and and and. A long list of little things that I am just not coping with. And DS will not go to sleep and the dog is whining…. I hate these kinds of days.

I curse myself for being so disorganised and procrastinating so much that things get into this situation at all. The fact that there are crumbs in my cutlery draw and that I have neglected to clean them out for a week now, the fact that our garden is overgrown and has dog pooh for about a month in it, the fact that the shelves that are being built are still not finished and furniture is being stored in DS’s room to be and that the house is just so not the relaxing haven that I aspire to.

The fridge shelves have sunflower seeds on them from a package that spilled….. I could go on and on.

I fantasise about that regular day where I know that today I will do the washing and tomorrow I will clean the fridge and the next day I will change the bedding. But this is so far from my reality. I live such an add hock life, kinda putting out fires instead of managing a healthy rhythm. And I so would love to have this rhythm, that my morning will look like ‘this’ and then my day progresses and my week has a regular turnover of activities to do. But at the same time my being goes “no, do not make it all so predictable, do not tie me down and choke my spontaneity”. And I argue back that it’s not a matter of being spontaneous. If I can keep things more organised and have a more relaxing home environment, I will still have time to do fun stuff. It’s the constant longing to only be doing fun stuff and the little things in life getting in my way. I keep trying to change my way of thinking so that the little things become worthy things – something that I do not inwardly cringe at doing. And then, after months or weeks of ignoring these little things, I have a melt down day and I charge into action and fight the battle of The Mess…. and I know it would be so much easier if I just did it every day little by little. 😦 ARgH! Why is it so hard?

DS is finally sleeping – as evidence that I am writing. Someone came to fix the geyser. DH is unblocking the drain, I am chucking things away and am about to clean out the crumbs from the cutlery tray and maybe even get rid of the spilled sun flower seeds…. but I fear that this will not be the last of it! I have to get this organized if I am going to make a success of being at home full time. Otherwise I will surely loose my mind from time to time.

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Is there a better or worse way to be a parent?

This is bothering me.

Why am I so convinced that I am making a good decision to stay at home with my child (and children to come)? What bothers me is that by feeling like I am making a good decision, by implication the decision to put my child in care and go back to work is a poor decision. And I am not comfortable thinking that parents who put their children in care are essentially poor parents. I know it is not true from observation. Not easy, but not true. So why have I made my decision to stay at home?

1. I was not wildly happy in my previous job. I was working long and very intense hours in hand rehabilitation for a very poor salary and lets say a less than supportive work environment (not getting time to go to the loo happened regularly, as did not having time to eat – there are complicated reasons). I love the professional challenge of treating patients along side some very talented hand surgeons. I loved making a difference in the lives of patients committed to rehabilitation. I loved finding a niche where I could make a real difference in the lives of the people I treated. I enjoyed the status of working in a prestigious hospital. I *hated* sitting in traffic 1 hour each way and being out of my home for 10-13 hours  day for a wage that barely covered our mortgage repayments. I hated not having the time or energy to look after myself or make a nurturing home…. I hated living off fast (healthy) food and coffee.

2. Not having a huge motivation to go back to work I allowed myself the fantasy of staying at home. My position was being kept for a year, so I decided to take it as it comes.

3. I read and read and read and kept coming back to the idea that children thrive at home at least until the age of 1 1/2, and 3 being an age I kept getting to.  Could I allow myself the priviledge of 3 years at home with my child? Was that not WAY too indulgent?

The word ‘thrive’ became important to me. It also guided me in my choice to sleep share with DS. But does that mean that parents who are in a position where they have to choose between being at home and going back to work, mean that they aren’t allowing their children to thrive? I am not comfortbale with the answer no.

I remember just after graduating from university I was talking with a cousin who grew up with a SAHM all her childhood. Both her and her mum were getting a bit snotty with me about a woman’s place being at home and this cousin’s aspirations being to have a home cooked meal on the table every day. This seemed so confining to me, not to mention demeaning. I was firmly defending a woman’s right to go back to work. I saw it that if I was going to be miserable at home I would not be a very good mother and my child would be better off in care while I go out and work and then come home with the renewed passion to be a mother. I still think like this – but for the most part in my present situation I see going back to work as being a serious trigger to *not coping*.

This question became more pressing in my mind today as I explored the possibility of becoming a La Leche League leader. In order to do so I am required to agree with the philosophy – part of which is that the mother is the preferred care provider

In the early years the baby has an intense need to be with his mother which is as basic as his need for food.

And while this is my experience, I am hesitant to apply this to all babies and all mothers. I am inclined to think that a baby requires a sensitive and nurturing care provider at all times and that the mother is defeinitly a most natural choice as she is breastfeeding. But other people can also meet the babies needs without mum being 100% the port of call. It is so much pressure on a mum to be 100% there for her child (children) and feel like only she can offer the required care. I do not think this is the way children are meant to be brought up. It is crazy making. And yet women (myself included for now) are making this choice. In my optimal world I would able to be with my child or at least in their vicinity while I got on with the tasks of daily living. I would have friends and family around who shared my values and who were an affirming part of my experience as a mother. My children would know me as mother and have many adults and other children as part of their growing up experience.

This sadly is very far from my reality. DH is my support, and my LLL meetings. I have just recently said good bye to the one friend I had who shared the parenting values that I do….. I am a bit sad.

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