Showing posts from May, 2009

How boys play

I was enjoying watching a group of small boys rumbling at creche the other day. I thought they were having fun and weren't hurting each other or being mean so I let them go for it (it was a wet day!).

Sometimes as women we can find it hard to see little boys being quite physical with each other. Can't they colour-in or join in with the singing? But there's something about boys and the way they relate to each other that is just simply very physical.
My four year old son's happiest moments are when his big brother will chase him/rumble with him/wrestle on the trampoline with him. And my 11 year old son is very happy that his baby brother is now old enough to enjoy it!
The problems I have with the boys playing come when they start talking about wanting to 'kill/stab/shoot/strangle' each other. I'm not thrilled with them using weapons to play but I'm most of all concerned with the way they speak about and to each other. I want to ask those big quest…

To work or not?

I don't think that the question of paid employment with kids is an "either/or" issue.  Surely we aren't still fighting that battle anymore.
I've reflected on this issue with a few friends.  One girlfriend helpfully pointed out that when you look at the Proverbs 31 woman she is a busy women committed to work in her home, her community and her business.  Someone else suggested that maybe Proverbs 31 paints a portrait of a this woman's achievements over a life-time reminding us there are many seasons through our life.  
Proverbs 31 also shows to me that it's ok to do a bit of everything.  I want to be available for my children but as they grow older and I have a bit more time flexibility maybe I can try doing a few other things.  Like teaching Scripture, leading a Bible study, finding part-time paid work, studying, being involved with P&C at school or even cleaning the house properly!!  That's why I don't think it's an "either/or" iss…

So ... do you work?

The conversation goes like this "So, Jenny, do you work?"  And I say, "Well not at the moment because I'm at home looking after my kids".  
And the responses to that answer can be chosen from the following options: "Wow, that's great - you are really blessed/lucky to have kids""But that's working - looking after all those kids.  Don't undervalue yourself""Not working?  But you're doing the best job in the world!""I don't know how you do it.  I'd go crazy if I was stuck at home with my kids all the time"What I find interesting about the range of responses is that it usually reflects the choices the person themselves have made about kids and/or working.  And that's my point.  We all approach juggling parenting and paid employment in different ways.  I think that's because people are all different and all manage to cope with being a mum in a huge variety of ways.
Personally I've chosen to sta…

Back to work?

You'll be relieved to know that I ran out of puff on my previous topic.  So onto new things (I'm easily distracted!).
I spent four days last week visiting libraries around Sydney CBD as part of my library Masters.  I decided after spending a day at Sydney Uni library that I would be quite happy to get a job there.
For me personally, it highlighted some of the challenges of me, the Mum, not being around to co-ordinate the organisation that is 'Family Kemp'.  Rowan did a fantastic job keeping the show on the road, working at home around all the drop-offs and pick-ups.  
I found it really energising and stimulating being out of the house and doing something totally different to normal.  I thought I would be more tired.  But not having to deal with the constancy of managing small people who are often difficult or grumpy was a lovely relief.  I realised that in a normal day I have to internalise lots of anger in order to remain patient and calm on the exterior. (I find that qu…

Right that's it! Part II

Some more thoughts on this topic.
I feel strongly about this topic because after having 5 kids over 9 years we've certainly had our ups and downs.  And I know lots and lots of new mums struggle for years with the issue.  For me personally,  a lot of the time I really didn't feel like sex because of hormones, depression and sheer exhaustion.  For other women, coping with breastfeeding issues, a sick baby or physical pain as a result of a bad birth all contribute to making this a challenging time.  
We learnt lots by going through the cycle a few times.  A pattern emerged over time.  The season does pass as I get more sleep and stop breast feeding as much.  I embraced the idea of a 'quickie' simply because it was nice for Rowan and was usually better than I anticipated.  We talked about the issue lots in the slower patches so that we were at least communicating about how we were feeling.  
I think husbands need to know how difficult sex is for lots of women after having chi…

Right - that's it!

I write today about sex.  Oooo - shocking.  But true.
I've just read an article by a minister's wife for minister's wives about sex.  
Good things: - Marriage is about serving one another.  One way we can serve our husbands is to have sex with him because he will like it and it will make him feel happy.  (I've oversimplified but that's the gist of it)
Bad things: - No mention is made of a husband contributing to the process.  No seduction, no "hello dear, how was your day?", no anything except walking in the door.   - It sounds like women never feel like sex - it's implied that we're just battling our way through the whole nasty business.   - It's all sex or nothing. Nothing in between "hello" and "business time"  ( for a laugh see
I think it's great to put this whole issue on the table.  It is great to be challenged about not being selfish or manipulative about the way we approach sex …