Friday, 6 March 2015

ON MY MIND | When your child says "I don't love you Mummy"

I take being a mum very seriously. I just want to be a good mother.

My relationship with my 10 year old has always been challenging. I blame myself for not being a "better mother" when he was a toddler. Granted I was dealing with my own health issues at the time, I still feel like I could have done more. Played with him more. Watched him more. Talked to him more. Read to him more. Argh! More available. More present.

When he was approaching 3 years old, I was pregnant with our second child and the shortfalls in our relationship started to show. But he's only 3 I hear you say! 

As a 30-year old woman, I behaved like a child who's heart had been crushed when her best friend tells her she has a new best friend.

My 3 year old did not mince his words when he said to me "I don't love you mummy. I love Daddy". It was always "No! I want Daddy, not you Mummy!" 

I was heartbroken. Defeated. Hurt. Did I mention heartbroken?

It took me a while to put my childish reactions aside and realise that I was looking at the definition of love from an adult's perspective, which is very different from my 3 year old's definition of love. 

To a 3 year old, love is having fun! And Daddy is FUN! He did all the cool fun stuff like bike riding, playing soccer, flying him around like Superman, playing cars, building train tracks, bush walks...FUN boy stuff.

My parents separated when I was 5 years old. I don't have a relationship with my father so I can honestly say, I love my mum more. I have grown up not being able to understand how a child can love both parents equally. 

I had an epiphany one evening during a conversation with my husband about his relationship with his parents. At first I could not get my head around how you could love both parents the same. It was not something I had ever experienced. Sounds strange doesn't it?

As we talked it finally clicked and I realised the way my husband loves his parents was the way I loved my Grandparents. I loved them both equally but I loved them both differently, each for who they were. I connected with Grandma differently from my Grandfather, but the love was the same. 

Fast forward to today, and my relationship with my eldest child is still hard work. As I said at the beginning, I take my role as a mother very seriously. This means I am always reassessing how I handle situations, especially ones with the boys, and I look at whether I need to do anything differently, or better next time. 

My son is stubborn. He is reserved and withdrawn. He won't laugh at my bad mum jokes. He challenges what I say. And he pushes my patience to the max. But he has a kind heart, and he wants to know he is loved and to be heard.

Last year, I decided it was time to work on actively building a stronger relationship and connection with my son. It had been easier to let it go and pretend everything was okay. 

It is interesting how when you are ready and open to make a change, the universe will provide you with the resources to guide you in the right direction.

My boss gave me a parenting booklet from Hand in Hand to read. It goes into the importance of dedicated one-on-one time with each child and letting them guide the play/activity and conversation. This tells your child you are there just for them. I also started to come across a lot of blog posts about how LISTENING to your child is vital to better behaviour and improving parent-child relationships. 

It seems obvious now, but I was consumed by my list of to-do's that I started to confused my priorities. To build a stronger relationship with Mr 10, I needed to listen with love. Listen with an open heart. I need to listen to him, and not just hear him. 

I feel like I'm putting myself out there as a bad mother by even admitting to that.

We had a great conversation last night when I was saying goodnight to him at bedtime. He opened up about how he held back from telling me things because he thought I wouldn't be interested. I told him that I want to know EVERYTHING about his day because I miss out on 6 hours of his day when he is at school! I want details. 

I could see his eyes soften, and the tone in his voice said he was ready to share. I listened as he told me this crazy story about school which had us both in hysterics. It's been a while since we laughed together like that. I want to create more of these moments with him. 

Friday, 27 February 2015

MY PROJECT LIFE JOURNAL | More of January 2015

I had finished the January pages for my personal 2015 album, but I found a few extra bits and pieces I wanted to include.

Here's the first few pages if you want to have a look. 

Because this 6x8 album is for me only, it is becoming more of a personal journal. 

I'm a thinker and often over analyse how I can better handle situations with my boys (primarily my eldest child!), or how I can be organised enough to craft and still get a decent night sleep. Aside from that, I want to also include some of what's been on my mind during the month in my Project Life journal.

So here's the pages I finished last night. There's only one photo, with the rest being screenshots and journalling. 

At first I wasn't sure how well that would work having only one photo, but it all goes back to the realisation I had in January. Stop comparing and I will be a lot happier! So that's how these words about happiness came about for me. It needs to go on my wall because I need to be constantly reminded.

Here's another close up.

Anyone interested in either of the handwritten quotes as a digital freebie? If so, leave me a note in the comments below and I'll see what I can organise!

Enjoy your weekend everyone! xx

Supplies: Digital journal cards from my online store { All Stamps from Kellie Stamps, Becky Higgins 6x8 album and protectors, "hello" embellishment from ScrAp This, Glitz Design Carpe Diem 6x6 paper pad from The Stamp Spot

Friday, 20 February 2015

ON MY MIND | Keeping journals for my family.

I found this cute little card sitting on my keyboard Monday morning after I dropped the kids to school and ready to start my workday. I was blown away that my husband handmade and illustrated a card for me. 

Of course the tear jerker was the sweet message inside. It's nice to be told you are loved, appreciated and to know that someone notices you for all that you are and do. 

Which brings me to the journals I started as of 1 January this year, for the boys, my husband, and a gratitude journal for myself. 

Journals from kikki k stamped with personalised stamps from Kellie Stamps.

I was inspired by this blog post by Becky Higgins. 

I wanted to do more than my pocket page albums this year, and have more daily awareness and appreciation of the amazingness of my boys AND my husband. I want to have more awareness and appreciation of the amazingness of MY every day.

I document so much about the boys that I sometimes put my husband and myself last. This year I'm making changes with the journals and having an album just for me, here

I have no rules about how often or how much I write in our journals. I write when I feel like it, which has generally been at least a few times a week. No pressure. 

It has been less that two months into the year and reading back on previous entries is really awesome. When the boys read their journals, their smiles tell me they feel proud of themselves and happy I notice what they do.

Also, when it comes to my monthly Project Life albums, I already have stories recorded in the journals to jog my memory! 

The other thing is when the boys read the things I appreciate about them, I hope it will pave the way for them to learn how to practice gratitude for the positives in their day as well. 

My youngest may be starting to learn gratitude already. Here's a recent entry I wrote in his journal:

"You told me today was 'the best day ever'. I love your joy for all the wonderful things in your day. Without even being consciously aware of it, you practice gratitude like a pro. Your reasons for it being such an awesome day include: having casserole for lunch. Having swimming AND moving up a level. You were always a turtle and now you are a fish! I watched as you swam so beautifully like never before. I was bursting with pride. And then I made chicken rice paper rolls for your afternoon snack before Taekwondo which you said you LOVE more than casserole! And then at TKD you earned all the stripes that were being given today. You really did have an amazing day and I am so proud of you."

I have always loved this quote from the movie Shall We Dance (2004), and have shared it before:

"Your life will not go unnoticed,
 because I will notice it.
Your life will not go un-witnessed,
because I will be your witness"

The above quote sums up why I use Project Life. It is why I am passionate about memory keeping. It's why I am keeping these journals for my family. I want them to know that I notice them

It's so easy to simply exist. I believe memory keeping, in all it's wondrous forms, helps us live more intentionally. And I love that. 

Sunday, 8 February 2015

PROJECT LIFE | Movie World!

It's a miracle! I have completed a spread for 2015! For the first time, I am working on our family album for the year we are currently in. All my previous spreads have been for 2013 so I'm feeling good about it, and motivated!

My plan is to do 2015 monthly and then slowly work through previous years during the weeks I am not working on 2015. We'll see how that works.

The big family event in January was our family outing to Movie World. It was perfect for our super hero obsessed boys. 

Here's a look at the first two pages.

My goal this year is also to be in more photos. I love TAKING photos, but not so keen on being in them. I'm working on it.

Here is a close up of the RHS:

There is also a third page. I tried to keep it to two, but a girls gotta scrap what a girls gotta scrap!

I used one of the journalling cards from my Favourites Collection (avail here). It's was great for quickly recording the highlights of our day!

Here's also a close up of one of my favourite photos from the day. I've added a digital card from One Little Bird's Lovelist. Pure joy on their faces.

Have you seen my Dragonfly Collection? There are "Favourites This Week" cards included in this set, available here.

I hope your weekend has been wonderful and thank you for stopping by! xx

Supplies: Digital journal cards from my online store {, One Little Bird, and Paislee Press. Stamps from Kellie Stamps, WRNK 12 x 12 album in Mint, Becky Higgins page protectors in Design C.