On balance and play; why my happiness is so happy

At the beginning of 2017 our youngest started kindy two days a week. Once she was happily settled I suddenly found myself with twelve hours a week that I was off duty. After 5 years of parenting 24/7 I had regular time off.

It was…weird.

First thing first, I sat down with my husband to ask him what he would like me to do with the time. After all he had been working full time for those last five years and I believed he had at least half a say in what I got up to. He laughed at me and told me to just chill out (all those bitchy mum days paid off!)

Then two different thoughts began to haunt me.

  • Fear; what if I have this extra time and I still get absolutely nothing achieved besides parenting and barely keeping my head above water? What if I am still stressed and exhausted?
  • Guilt; Why should I even have time off, I choose this path of stay home mum, shouldn’t I just be doing that? Or shouldn’t I be working to bring money in? Am I doing enough?

Despite these haunting thoughts the weeks began to roll by and I began to find a new routine. My off duty days were sometimes planned and sometimes spontaneous. I found without much effort I managed to balance the time between things that directly benefited the family and activities that nurtured me.

The result has been pretty beautiful.

When I became a mother many of the puzzle pieces that made me just fell away. Things that I cherished, that brought me joy, that gave me purpose. There is a certain loss that happens in those first few years, and a complete shift in identity. I am not complaining about the sacrifice, I do not mean this to sound negative, but I will proudly admit that it is bloody hard. I say proudly because mothers do not always give themselves enough credit for this shift, this change of self. It’s tough cookie stuff.

It hasn’t happened overnight, but slowly I have began to connect with another part of myself. I have had the time to contemplate what feels good in life, what activities enrich our world, what balance is needed to help create better flow. I have reconnected with friends on a deeper level, been able to be there for them more. I have started to play! I am rock climbing again which makes me so freakin happy. I am loving going deeper into yoga practice and mediation. I also love exploring how becoming a mum and all the challenges I have faced effects how I tackle other activities. And I get to the end of the day and no longer have the need to escape my exhaustion and emotions by binge watching Netflix…

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What makes me really happy is knowing how this balance, this play, this happiness will ultimately affect how I parent. I have had to let go of a few limiting beliefs when it comes to living this way. Let go of the expectations to be doing something that produces money or completes a chore. Have my time to BE BALANCED and through that balance find my happy place…and not feel guilty about that. I feel like we could all do with permission to let go of expectations and find our true balance.

As the different areas in my life are being nurtured I am excited to take that energy and happiness back to my kids, back to my husband. To share that joy of play, whether its my ‘games’ or theirs. Because this has always been my number one goal as a parent, to have children who can feel happy within themselves, doing the things they love, feeling nurtured and connected.

Now I feel like I can show them the way…well, at least the way their mumma finds it.

I hope this post can be a little invitation to you…to let go..to slow down…to play, and find balance in your world.

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Birth Story Questions

Do you have an empowering birth story that you would like to share? Encouraging positive discussion around birth is very important, it helps balance the wide held beliefs about birth that often leave mum’s to be fearing the day their babe will arrive.

For those of you who are not motivated by writing here are some quick questions that will help you share your story. You can send your stories to me through the Nella Inspired Facebook page in a private message or email janelle.gow@hotmail.com

Where did you decide to birth and why?

Hospital, home, midwife clinic etc.

What did you doing during your pregnancy to prepare for birth day? and what do you believe was he most beneficial?

Yoga, Chiropratics, Acupuncture, Hypno-birthing/calm birth classes etc.

Who attended your birth and do you feel they brought something special to the event?

Midwives, doula, partner, support person

Looking back is there anything you would change about preparation or birth day?

I wish I had strengthened my legs a little more hehe

Share a moment that you will never forget 

How did your birth experience empower you?

Sensory Crafty Afternoony

I LOVE craft and Boston likes creating HUGE mess so I am trying to embrace art that allows a bit of both. Art/Craft/Sensory play is a fantastic way for toddlers to explore colour, texture, physics and a whole lot more. I need to be honest here and say we haven’t embraced a lot of art in our house. Boston’s delayed fine motor skills, short attention span and tendency to put everything new in his mouth has presented challenges and at times straight up annoyed the poop out of me (I am human, there I have admitted it). But the benefits and development growth that regular creative play brings are far too important for me to keep putting art on the too hard shelf. Here are two activities that are fun, easy to make with household items and eatable to a certain degree 🙂 IMG_3468_fotorDry Food Exploration We mixed together a little of everything. White rice, brown rice, beans, lentils and barley. Boston loved running his fingers through it all. He is also in the process of perfecting tipping and turning skills (like drinking from a cup). Adding a plastic cup and funnel gave him a chance to test his skills in a place other then onto our kitchen floor. The whole tray or goodies eventually ended up on the grass and some found Boston’s mouth. IMG_3466_fotor   Magical Goop! Has anyone played with cornflour and water?? Oh my gosh my world has been changed forever!! Mixing these two simple ingredients gives you a substance that feels firm when you touch and pick it up… but then instantly turns to running goopey goodness. To be honest I played with it about 300% longer then Boston but I still see it as a success. My wonderful mum helped make ours, I think you can perfect the recipe to your own liking, but here are the basics;

  • 2 cups Cornflour
  • 1 cup Water
  • Mix cornflour and water together in a large container
  • Add food colouring if desired

IMG_3474_fotor Hopefully our fun afternoon of creative play will give you a little inspiration to take art off the too hard shelf and spread it around the lawn.

Let me know of any creative activities you explore with your littles, what are your favourites? what are their favourites? any disasters?

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