Reading Leo Babuta’s email this morning about stress really resonated with me.
I’ve got a bad habit of grinding my teeth when I’m stressed; something I did in Year 12, and something I did when I was going through some tough stuff with family and work about 6 years ago. But now, I’m doing it again.
We’ve had a lot on our plates in the past year as a family. Ripley’s birth and being unwell caused a lot of stress obviously, but then changes at Ben’s work, Ripley being diagnosed with GORD, and then my working as a freelancer created stress but we were still coping. Throw in a move to another city and Ben starting full-time university studies, and the changes, significant ones, have created tension no matter how hard we’ve worked to overcome it.
We’ve just sold our home in Melbourne and are happy with the result. And this will allow us to buy here, have a smaller mortgage and not worry about being in a rental. Although renting has been OK, it’s not as good as owning especially with a child.
I keep telling myself to LET GO and to STOP WORRYING. But it’s a lot easier said, than done. But I keep going, because that’s what we do. We keep trying, we don’t give up on ourselves, trying to improve ourselves, change our thinking and patterns of behaviour. It’s worth it.
Becoming a parent for the first time is an unrivaled experience — and it can be radical. Since my son was born 12 months ago, I have found myself questioning everything, examining my beliefs and arriving at a this conclusion.
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This morning as I dropped my almost one-year-old off at daycare, I was struck by his growing independence. The days of crying as I leave the room are gone, he simply waved and smiled as the carer carried him over to the other kids.
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Early in my new role as a parent, I read an article in the newspaper about ‘intuitive parenting’ and it immediately struck a chord.
Over the past two years I have been embracing new ideas and transforming as a person. I’ve embraced self-awareness at its core and worked hard to be more reflective. Simplifying my life through decluttering, eating better, exercising more and taking more time to sit peacefully without distraction has provided for a much calmer mind.
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One thing about minimalism that can be surprising is that minimalists don’t fit in one box. We don’t all own a certain number of things or all live in tiny homes. It’s not an one-size-fits-all ideology. At the core of minimalism is the intention of living simply and intentionally. What that means to an individual can vary between people, and of course, it can ebb and flow over time.
I love minimalism. I love the peace it brings and the new perspective on life its given me. But I also have a passion for vintage items, I have a child and I love magazines. So my house is definitely not a clutter-free zone. I often gaze upon rooms of my house and think “argh there is so much clutter”. But in reality, it’s probably fairly low level, but each time I get rid of stuff, my tolerance level for stuff goes down. It’s a bit of a never-ending quest.
I’m trying to find the time, between wrangling my almost toddler (GASP!) and working from home to keep working through my home to declutter and ultimately style it the way I want it. On a major budget of course.
At the moment we are living in a rented premises so of course I can only do superficial styling, which is sort of a reprieve after all the renovating we’ve done. I wanted to share some of my inspiration.
So Ripley and I are all packed and ready to go. Our flight is at 12.30pm tomorrow and so we had to be ready tonight so we can have a leisurely morning and leave around 9am.
Because of our allergies, I have to cater for both of us for the 24 hour duration of travel. Not easy, especially that I know I’ll want a variety of food and it needs to be OK if it doesn’t stay completely refrigerated. We’ve got a pretty big selection (OK, I may have overdone it) but it includes:
- 5 slices of bread
- 5 slices of banana and date bread
- 4 pike lets
- 4 sweet potato fritters
- 6 pieces of cooked chicken
- Plain chips
- Muesli bars (for me)
- Carrot flavoured corn things that look like cheezels (for Ripley)
- Chocolate (for me)
So yes, I have been busy cooking, it seems like a lot and it probably will end up being too much but I do not want to be hungry on a plane. We are gluten, dairy, soy, egg and fish free, and who knows what I’ll encounter on the plane and at the airport. Qantas can only cater for one or two allergies not all, which is a shame, so I’ll see what we get with the gluten/dairy free meal – could be a winner, but most likely won’t be able to tell what’s in it.
Once we arrive in Portland, we jump on the light rail downtown and we will be at our hotel. We are really looking forward to seeing Ben.
Our luggage is pretty light, one medium sized suitcase, about 80% full (winter stuff is so bulky!) and a backpack. I’ve got the Ergo to use and Ben picked up a cute bumblebee umbrella stroller for once I arrive.
I think we are all organised, it’s definitely a mission, but I know I’ll get through it!
I have already in my 9 months as a mother be subjected to the mummy wars. Often I fear saying something or writing my opinion because I’ll be judged as too inexperienced. But lately, I’ve started to think the opposite.
Not everyone is observant, not everyone is an avid reader and researcher. I am. That puts me in a position I think to absorb a lot of different perspectives and opinions, which often lead me in a direction.
Much like a journalist navigating facts to develop a story, my analytical mind is processing information about my experience as a parent and comparing it to every other parent I know or read about. Somehow, in the way our brains have such an amazing capability to process information, I have found myself having so much to write about and share.
But I’m aware I could come across sounding just a little preachy, or just a little bit like “what does she know”. I definitely don’t know anything for sure, I just have some hunches. I don’t want to start a mummy war, I just want to share, I want to write and discuss, to open a conversation on parenting. I don’t want to be scared I’ll offend, I want to hope that I might change a perspective, perhaps offer a new option. And I hope to learn.