Our Journey

Our Journey

I’ve always found inspiration in the developing world where the pace is slow and the people have so little. Usually it’s the strength and resilience in the women that I admire the most. However on a recent trip to Central America I have been changed forever by a group of children – many of them teenagers!! In fact the most respectful, thoughtful , smart, gentle and happy teens I’ve ever come across. Not a lick of attitude amongst them! “Who are their parents?” you ask. No parents, just an amazing organization and a lot of love and structure. As many of you know each summer [...]

Why I created HipMum

Why I created HipMum

I believe women in general are extraordinary, but mothers (not to blow my own trumpet) never cease to amaze me. As the proud mother of four incredible little people (ages 11,9,6, and 4) I understand the meaning of selflessness. Like most families, there is never a dull moment in our house. I’m constantly wishing I had more time to spend with each child and more time to myself. And I wish my bathroom felt less like a highway! Regardless of whether we’ve chosen to work from home, climb the corporate ladder, start a business or stay home with the kids – mothers are the busiest [...]

First time parents

February 15, 2012

 

I find it so amusing when I think of how precious we are as first time parents. The books, the magazines and the websites that we pour over to find the right answers to every concern in the name of striving to be the best mother ever.

The money we spent on gear, toys, classes and the accessories we felt was necessary.  The number of times we rushed to the pediatrician only to be told that everything was normal. The stress of having to hold our precious baby down as they jabbed them with vaccinations.  Or in my case the stress of my husband having to calm me down after my first born screamed after they poked her tiny little thigh.  (Hang on a minute – my husband use to come to get the kid’s vaccinations?? There’s a faint memory)

I laugh as I remember visiting my brother’s house when their first-born was young. At naptime not only was it required that we remove our shoes and tiptoe around the house, but there was to be no talking. Whispering was permitted, only if necessary – because the baby could only sleep this way.  It was like walking into one of those silent meditation retreats where any chatter, movement or noise was sternly frowned upon.

I also laugh as I remember when my first born was 12 months old and feeling very upset when my mother-in-law brought her home an hour late from a morning on the beach. One hour after her scheduled nap time!!  What was she thinking spending additional time playing in the white sand of Bondi Beach on the most glorious warm winters day instead of rushing home for the critical naptime?

I can laugh now because today, with my 4th child, my parenting is so different and consequently so is she.  She’s part of the gang and works hard to keep up with the others. At times it’s survival of the fittest and let me tell you, she is surviving.

No classes, no new gear, hand me down clothes.  She’s independent, social and hardy.  She falls and gets up without the wailing. She shoves her brother and sisters out of the way to get onto my lap or into my bed.  She’ll sleep anywhere and anytime regardless of where we are or how much noise is around her.

When we decided to move to Nicaragua I single handedly marched all 4 kids to the pediatricians to get up-to-date on vaccinations. With 15 vaccinations between them I directed, held, ran after, dragged in, straddled and pulled one after the other while 2 nurses jabbed away.  No pussyfooting around- in and out and straight to the ice cream shop to forget about those nasty needles.

What a difference 9 years of motherhood makes.

Although I’m far from perfect, I do feel like a seasoned pro when it comes to young children. A tantrum doesn’t phase me and I have my toolbox of tricks that always seem to work to overcome the battle of the wills, the challenge of sharing, sleeping, potty training, cleaning up and making new friends.  Give me a problem regarding a child under 10 and I’d feel pretty confident in throwing out some ideas and suggestions to help.

However this year my eldest is turning 10 and I know I’m about to head into a whole new ball game of parenting that I feel completely unprepared for. It’s the 10-20 year old phase and I’m terrified!

Once again I will be a first time parent wading through the new and unchartered territory of crushes, relationships, bad influences, independence, communication and, God help me, puberty! Once again I will be phoning friends for advice, pouring over books and the Internet for answers and praying that we are on the right track.

In 18 years when my youngest will be 20, (I’m not calculating how old I’ll be then!) I’m wondering, will I feel like a seasoned pro of those teenage years or will I be battered and bruised and celebrating the fact that we barely survived?

I have enough friends with older children to know that there are some rough roads ahead. It does remind me to really cherish these years with young kids –  as hard and demanding as they are at times, this 0-10 year phase is really precious.

As a mother with a clan under 10, I am considered cool and fun and am loved to bits. I am the top-dog of our group and everyone wants to hang out with ME!

So I must remember to live in the moment and appreciate each and every day of this phase (even when my 2 year old wipes her boogers on my face) because I know that it won’t be long before I will probably become the uncool member of the family – replaced and competing with an iPhone, much cooler friends and social media.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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7 Comments

  1. Hayley Bracewell said...

    oh man….i cried reading this – sometimes with laughter, and sometimes with that unexplained aching feeling which is part of mother territory. i’m going to need a glass of wine. loved this article and am going to read it over with my wine in hand!!!!

    Feb 16, 2012 at 12:13 am
  2. HipMum said...

    Cheers!

    Feb 16, 2012 at 1:34 am
  3. Tess said...

    I’ll still think your cool babe!

    Mar 08, 2012 at 5:45 am
  4. Dana Rice said...

    Laughed and cried. To the moment!

    Mar 23, 2012 at 10:42 pm
  5. Katrina said...

    Loved the read, so glad to have stumbled across your site. Inspirational and bang on. x

    Apr 06, 2012 at 7:03 am
  6. Lindy said...

    Wow! Amazing! I to cried & laughed & remembered back the Journey we have had thus far & will have going forward with our Girls! Teenage & Adulthood are next in our line of things & well I must say its Awesome.
    We are best friends & I’m sure your journey with your children will be the same. Awesome & Inspirational Julie. x <3

    Apr 22, 2012 at 8:03 am
  7. Tam said...

    Loved this but you are wrong about one thing…..
    We never made you take your shoes off!!!
    xx

    Aug 14, 2012 at 8:39 pm

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