Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Raising gentle boys in a rough world

As my boys get older, the more I start to realise just how rough the world is. As a child you have huge blinders on courtesy of your parents. They have protected you from the evils until you have been mature enough to start processing and handling the world on your own.

Nothing changes your world view quite like having children. I didn't think of the consequences of most of my actions, or generally the world around me before kids. Well I did, but nothing like I do since having the boys. Now that I'm the one providing the blinders - I need to see so much more. I need to see to be able to best protect them from harm. Even just this afternoon I had to defend A against a bully at school who was standing over him at the toilets.

I have 2 very different boys. As babies they were almost spitting image. Almost that same weight (100g difference), almost the same height. Looked the same. But as they have grown into their personalities - and at least at this point they are like chalk and cheese.

G is my now 5 year old. He is so kind and gentle. He is selfless and sweet. Its almost like he spends his days just trying to find a way to make the people around him happy. He is not a rough boy, quite the opposite. He hates confrontation. He doesn't fight and even when picked on he struggles to bring himself to fight back.


A is my very rough, very active 2 year old. He is very much in the 'terrible two's'. He is very spirited and quite often plays the part of the bully in his relationship with his brother. I'm praying that this is just a stage and he too will calm down.

Trying to encourage G to keep his gentle personality in this society is proving difficult. Daddy insists that when he is picked on, he must fight back. If he doesn't fight back he only sets himself up for more bullying. Although as much as G has been told he can fight back if he needs to, he doesn't. When A steals his toys, he tells me about it. When I tell him to go get them back he struggles to fight A to get them back. Its just not in his personality to fight back.

G is very protective of me and A. He has taken to the role of big brother and eldest son very well. His protective side coupled with his gentle caring personality will set him up greatly for being a wonderful gentleman later in life. But his gentle personality is setting him up for a difficult childhoods thus far. He has only been at school for 18 weeks, and has been bullied multiple times already.

If anyone is wondering how we 'made' a gentle boy like G. I don't think that we can actually take any real credit. G is a mini Poppy, and Poppy was most wonderful kind gentleman that I will ever know. My two older brothers are also gentle natured gentleman, so obviously my up bringing nurtures such personalities. I'm quite protective of the boys, and I'm also very affectionate with them. If you have read my previous post on love, I have similar thoughts in relation to my boys. Although the unconditional love comes alot easier towards them! I am forever telling them how much I love them. We have games of  'I love you THIS <-------------> much, although its now become 'I love you *insert strange object here* much'. Lots of hugs and kisses and alot of love here.

I guess the trick for me as their mum will be to keep the gentle personality while instilling them with the self confidence to defend themselves or those they love if the need arises. A balancing act that I hope for their sake I can pull off!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Love is a choice

Well, for me it is anyway.

I say love is a choice for me because I choose to love my husband on his bad days. I choose to stand by him even when our chips are down and our life together isn't rosey. I do this because I know that under all this superficial layer of stress and worry, I love him and he loves me. The rest will come and go - but our love will be there under it all.

I don't expect every day to be perfect. I don't expect that he will always be on his best behaviour. At times will say things that may not be nice. I try to ignore these things because I know that he loves me. I also know that I am not perfect. I know that there are times when I will snap and take it out on him, and I pray that at those times he will choose to ignore my faults - and choose to love me despite them.

The way I see it, is that in a relationship your other half is your soft place to fall. When things are good it is easy to be happy, love will be in abundance and the relationship seems to be effortless. When things get tough, it takes alot out of relationship and this is when it takes work to keep things moving. The rewards for moving through the bad times back into good are priceless though, so its well worth the effort.

I actively work on our relationship every day. I can not control his actions, but I can control my own. I make sure that I give him a kiss and cuddle and tell him I love him every morning before he leaves for work. I do this because its important to me that he is reminded of this, just incase, God forbid, the worst happens. I want him to never forget that I love him. I try to never go to bed angry, that just makes things worse for me.

Another way that I actively work on our relationship is that I do things for him. I get up and I make his coffee and his lunch for the day every morning. I do not do these things for him because I am his 'slave', but I do these things as an act of love towards him. I know that doing these things make him happy, and I am only to happy to do that for him. I am a stay at home mum, and I feel my job is to keep the house running. I do these jobs out of love too. I am very thankful that he carries the financial burden of family so that I can be the wife and mother I had always dreamed of being.

What he does for me I can not put into words. He loves me completely. He makes me feel safe and secure when I'm scared. He makes me feel beautiful when I'm feeling fugly. He was my rock when I lost my father to cancer. He stands tall and supports me and our family from attacks. He puts up with my ramblings even though he has never been a 'talker' (I never shut up ;)). When my over active imagination takes my mind to 'bekkyland', he is there to pull me back to earth.  He is defiantly the Man of this house, strong and dependable.

Of course a marriage isn't one sided, but I can only do my best to make sure I keep up my end of the bargain. For better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.

And heck, it isn't that hard when you sit back and think about it.... Because in the end - I love him, and he loves me... and as long as this is still true, the rest doesn't matter.

The Happiness project...

As part of the happiness project over at seven cherubs, I had been logging a happy moment from each day - a one sentence happiness journal. When the laptop and media centre died, I lost track of it. But since I like to see things through - here is my month of looking at the sunny side of things...

April 10th
Its not the act of baking that makes me happy, but the knowledge that I'm doing something that makes the ones I love happy. Its an act of love.

April 11th
I'm happy in the knowledge that I have surrounded myself with genuine friends. Ones that prop me up when I'm at risk of falling.

April 12th
Happy that I can push myself to exercise, even though I wasn't feeling up to it.

April 13th
Today is my birthday. I am happy that I have so many that love me, and even though I am very sad that my father is no longer here to celebrate this day with me, knowledge that he loves me, and is looking down on me today.

April 14th
Oh Google Latitute, I <3 you! Happiness today is knowing where J is on the road without having to harrass him for updates.

April 15th
Happiness is having both your babies home! School holidays have begun!

April 16th
My friends make me happy. Having such wonderful people here today to help me celebrate my birthday, have made me remember how blessed I am to have friends like them.

April 17th
Happiness today is the laptop surviving a glass of coke spilling over it!

April 18th
I am very happy to realise that even though we are struggling, we are not down and out.

April 19th
Routines make me happy.

April 20th
What makes me happy today? The fact that my husband made it home safe after 17hours at work and then a 1+hr drive home.

April 21st
Being woken up after falling asleep on the couch by A shaking my face saying "Wake up Mummy!" makes me happy. So very cute, and funny.

April 22nd
Family time makes me happy. Good Friday and J has the day off. Its been a wonderful time having him home.

April 23rd
Having knitting/crocheting skills makes me happy. Finishing an item that Im really happy with boosts my self esteem and I take alot of pride in my work.

April 24th
Baking for others makes me happy.

April 25th
Today, I am happy as I am free. Lest we forget.

April 26th
School holidays make me happy. I love spending time with my boys.

April 27th
Mummy free time makes me happy. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, and geez I miss the kids when they aren't here!

April 28th
I am happy knowing that even on the tough days, I know there is light at the end of the tunnel.

April 29th
Being able to look after my sick child makes me happy. I am very thankful that I have been given the gift of being a stay at home mum and not worry about work.

April 30th
Saturdays make me happy. The weekend, family time, these are the things that happiness is made of.

May 1st
My hubby makes me happy. I love being his wife.

May 2nd
Happiness is a school morning that runs like clockwork.

May 3rd
Happiness... Uhhh, today would be knowing that I'm not as reliant on technology as I thought I was.

May 4th
I am happy that I am here.

May 5th
My hubby's work ethic makes me happy and proud. Happiness is knowing that he loves us so much that he is willing to work insane hours just to keep this little family ticking over.

May 6th
The end of the week makes me happy.

May 7th
My boy's make me happy. They are such gorgeous little ones!

May 8th
Happiness is being the Mother to two amazing little boys.

May 9th
Being frugal makes me happy!

May 10th
I am happy that my usual bad luck of 10 and 5 did not eventuate this year!

Monday, what a day!

I spoke to G's teacher yesterday and she did know about the bathroom bullying incident from last week and it had been dealt with appropriately. We discussed his need for more self confidence and how best to tackle that.

She then informs me just how much of a delight my little man is... This I already know ;)

So yes, point one to a great start to Monday.

A and I proceed to the shops to get him a foot stool for the loo to assist his tiny body with toilet training. When we brought this home, he placed it a the loo himself and later on went and did his business. He was super proud of himself (as he is too little to climb up himself usually).

Point two.

Headache comes on just before lunch. Pain killers do diddley squat so I spend the rest of the day in bed waiting for pick up time to roll around.

Minus one point.

A and I left home early to go see G receive his good behaviour award at school. We stop in at the office first to drop off some paperwork. I was ignored until the ladies had finished their conversation. Charming.

Minus one more point.

A and I go back up to the hall and wait at the back. I brought he camera, and was able to capture this...
G receiving his silver behaviour award. 2nd level up :) Awesome work buddy!

Add at least 20 points.

After I took this photo Ande insists that he needs to use the loo. I figured we'd seen him get his award, and rather than disturb the assembly coming back in, we just left it at that. Found out after that G had received another award. This one was received in front of the whole assembly. I missed this one.

Minus at least 10 points.

The whole afternoon at home the boys were FERAL. I so desperately needed respite but J was still at work.

Minus 5 points.

I made sausage pasta bake for dinner, and G and A ate all their dinner. A actually ate all his dinner and all of his second helping.

Add 5 points.

J gets home in a good mood and we have a family viewing of Mythbusters. Both boys snuggled in with Daddy. I love watching that.

Add 5 points.

Went to bed at a decent hour, and A slept through the night - in his own bed!!!

Add 10 points.

Monday's total: 25 points.

I'd say that over all that makes for a pretty good Monday.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Bullies, may you all get whats coming to you.

I'm a mumma bear, I've gone over this before. So when poor G started crying over me telling him to hurry up and get in his seat, I knew something more had gone on today.

At first I told him to stop crying, and when he wouldn't, I told him to let it all out. After a few minutes of this I said "Ok matey, tell Mummy what's happened today." It all came out so quick that I could barely make sense of it all. So after alittle bit of replay with him, this is what happened today.

During class, he has gone to the toilet.
Corey from another prep class has pushed the door open on him.
He has said to him 'Stop it. I don't like it" (as he has been told to do)
Corey has snapped that back at him.
Corey has continued to open the door up on G while has he been desperately trying to go to the loo and also been fighting to keep the door closed... He tells me that he tried to lock it, but Corey just pushed it open again...
At some point Corey has laughed at him saying "I can see your bum".

I guess its all pretty harmless, but I've seen this happen to another child and I had to intervene as I could hear the fear in the childs voice. To think that my own baby has had to go through this, breaks my heart. Its obviously got him pretty shaken up as he is still upset now. Any small thing is setting him off. He tells me that he told his teacher, and she said "I'll deal with it". So I hope that they do.

Actually, no its not 'harmless'. How would you like the toilet door being pushed open constantly, when you have fought back and told the person no. It is bullying, and I know I wouldn't like it one little bit.

It may all be a part of growing up, but its a part Im going to struggle most with.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Meal Planning

Righto - I'm endeavoring to be ontop of it this fortnight! Groceries done (for those interested, I'll tally up the food side of it and do another post on that. It was $150 for the fortnight including nappies and everything to make G's birthday cake.)

The Organised Housewife

Chicken Cordon bleu w/ chips and veggies (We picked up these from our butchers, 6 for $10. So hopefully they taste ok!)
Beef stew w/ dumplings (Stew to be made with left over stir fry sauce - so lets see how this works)
Pizza and sausage rolls if needed
Chicken + bacon risotto (- the bacon, since I forgot it. LOL!)
Sausage pasta bake
Pies w/ chips and veggies
Corned beef w/mash
Bubble n' squeak w/ extra nuggets and veggies
Hot dogs
Chili con carne puffs (Ill post up about this when I do them, hopefully they work!)
Bangers and mash
Chicken cordon bleu w/ chips and veggies
Sausage pasta bake or bolognaise bake

Wish me luck!