I have had a baffling few weeks as a baby geek and a toddler person and an educator and a mama and a professional and a slave(!).
Long and short of it: we (people who are kaiako/educators for the Brainwave Trust) had been invited to update our profiles on the website. I got a snazzy new photo and was keen to rejig the text, which boldly stated that I was on maternity leave, caring for the child born in 2012.
And it’s true. I am.
And I’m glad to. Happy to. Privileged to. Proud to!
So why was my motivation in updating said profile the removal of those words? Just what it is it about being a FULL TIME STAY AT HOME MOTHER that made me want to massage that truth and call it something else?
Cos yeah, freelance writer. And yeah, doing postgrad study. But oh, HELL yeah – I’m a mother. I’m the keeper of the castle and I care for my kids. So why, even amidst the most pro-family and child friendly of colleagues, do I find it necessary to deny that title?
Full time parent. That’s me.
Yes, three years on. Yes, at least until she starts school. So there.
But I chickened out. Not only rejigged text but made the decision to pull my profile down altogether, cos it’s gonna be years until I can offer to help anyone! But quick, before it gets removed, check out my fancy new photo!
That’s not all. I had a gig booked, my first for ages. I was thoroughly looking forward to it, had learned new tricks in Keynote. Great client, juicy content. Lovin’ life. But then, little girl was sick. Little girl was sick and husband was not in a position to cancel his life.
So guess what? I canceled. Gutting for me, but the right thing to do. Cos when you’re three years old with a raging temperature and strep throat, what you need is your mum.
Quickly now, cos it’s what we do on this website, I will now throw a variety of links into your lap: THIS is Kids in the House, which is a parenting website like no other! Enjoy. I’d love to share this excellent bit o’ writing from Mothering about a new mother’s body belonging to HER. And it’s been a while since I sent y’all to this glorious collection, but this is a variety of Policy Briefs from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne. It’s fab.
Now here’s an interesting piece about infant temperament and culture, and here is a website from Arizona all about their initiatives to support family. Next, a gift for new families about settling babies. Yum.
Compare structured parenting with Free Range parenting here, and here is a very good thang from the Huffington Post about the power of home visiting programmes for changing outcomes for kids in poverty.
Finally, it may or it might not be the best kindergarten you’ve ever seen, but this is an inspiring TED talk all the same.
Big shout out of thanks and support to Jo, who organised the workshop I had to cancel, to brother Nate for always listening, and also to Pennie, who continues to be so flippin supportive of me, at home with my kids.