Showing posts from May, 2012

MK's and the missing social cues

Last week I finally got around to listening to a podcast that I downloaded months ago.  Recommended by a reader it was a radio show from the States called 'Boundless' (comes under 'Focus on the Family') and it included an interview with three adult MK's.

I enjoyed the podcast and plan to download others to listen to.   (

One of the aspects of the interview that stood out to me particularly was when one of the MK's said that she missed 'social cues' when she returned from the mission field as a 15 year old.

I remember this clearly as one of the aspects of returning home to Australia that I found particularly tricky.  I just didn't quite 'get' what everyone was talking about in conversations.  About 6 months after coming back I remember being at a 16th birthday party (at a friend's house that had been recently renovated - as an aside I genuinely couldn't understan…

Aftermath of Mother's Day

So hands up if you had a little complain about Mother's Day?  What if it was a little less than all you had hoped for?  Last year I wrote about my Mother's Day which ended up making for quite a funny read, but just showed how ridiculous the whole business is.

Yet, mothers continue to hope for so much from the day and then often feel disappointed.  It seems to me that it is especially mothers of small children who are not supported well by their husbands.

After listening to many sad tales of disappointment in the past few days, it dawned on me that often the disappointment comes from men's apparent inability to mind read.

'I don't want to have to TELL him what I want from the day - he should just KNOW'.  Poor man - he is doomed for failure.

And if he hasn't been particularly useful over the past 364 days since the last Mother's Day (thus the mother's  d e s p e r a t e  need for a break), it's quite possible that he hasn't actually just K…

Mother's Day books

Looking for some light reading while you swan around doing nothing on Mother's Day?  Ok, it's unlikely you'll be doing nothing, but here's a few book recommendations for you anyway.

'The Mothers' Group' (2012) by Sydney writer and mother Fiona Higgins is an easy read and I enjoyed it.   The stories of six new mothers are told as they meet through a northern beaches mother's group.  They are all very different, from the older mother leaving a strong career behind her to the young mother in her early 20's recently arrived from Indonesia.  The book builds to a real climax at the end which you don't see coming ... but you need to read it to find it out.

'Dying for Cake' (2003) is also by an Australian author and mother, Louise Limerick.  Not dissimilar to 'The Mother's Group', as it tells the stories of a group of women who have been meeting for coffee since they met through their children's preschool.  But it is much darke…

Reader question: "What's the point of turning up to church with small kids when I miss most of it?"

Why go when I spend the whole time breastfeeding out the back? What's the point of going when all I do is walk the block trying to desperately get my baby to have a sleep for five seconds? What's the point of going when I all I do is sit in creche with my 18 month old who won't separate from me? What's the point of going when I can't follow the sermon because I only get to hear bits of it? What's the point in going when I can never finish a conversation at morning tea because I have to take a child to the toilet/sort out a tantrum/stop them killing themselves on the steep steps outside the front of church?

Why go? Well, here's what I think.

Because it's not so much about you and it's quite a bit about serving other people. It's turning up because it encourages others that you too care about meeting together enough to make the effort (even though it feels pointless). It's about turning up because maybe your short snippet of conversati…

Book review: Young adult fiction

Being forced out of my comfort zone and into the world of young adult fiction has been better than I anticipated.  Here are a few books that I've enjoyed this year.

'Juno of Taris' by Fleur Beale (a NZ writer) tells the story of teenager Juno who is on the verge of moving into the adult world of Taris.  Taris is an island community, set up 200 years earlier by an idealistic group of scientists who set out to preserve a perfect group of humanity from the ravages of climate change that are destroying the earth.  Taris does not have contact with the outside world and is self-sufficient.  While it appears at first glance to be a loving, caring society where everyone contributes to the common good, Juno finds it increasingly oppressive and controlling.  Juno starts to ask questions - with big consequences.  (age 13 plus - lots of discussion about genetically engineered reproduction)

'Memoirs of a teenage amnesiac' by Gabrielle Zevin tells the story of 16 year old Naomi …

Mum Movies: I don't know how she does it

The most helpful thing I can say about the movie is, read the book.  The 2003 book 'I don't know how she does it' by Allison Pearson was one of my most loved 'Mum' books when I had little kids.  I probably liked it because it affirmed my decision to stay at home with the kids.

Kate Reddy juggles a full-time corporate job with two little kids and a lovely husband.  The book is funny but at the same time describes the real tension between doing a job that you're brilliant at, while missing out on many of the mundane, day-to-day great bits of having children.

Unfortunately last year's movie by the same name wasn't nearly as great as the book.  Partly because the main character was played by Sarah Jessica Parker (sadly, she seems to me to be only able to ever play one character - not particularly nuanced the old SJP).  But partly because the movie couldn't convey the depths of humour and sadness that are articulated so well in the book.


Party season is under way

Ok, so D E E P breaths. It's a party year. Since I make everything up on the run when it comes to family stuff, a few years ago in my brilliance I thought we could have a party every second year (most likely I was stalling on making an actual decision). However, it means that during party year I am throwing a party every month for four months in a row.

Why was I not as clever as my clever friends? They, in their cleverness, have devised plans like 'only parties at ages 7, 14 & 18'. Or 'only in Years 1 and 4'. This means you don't end up having ALL the parties in one year (which means you are left with brain space to be even cleverererer).

Truly, I do love my kids, but parties do take some effort and and the regular humiliation of my badly iced cakes is quite draining. I was particularly burnt by the boy's 9 year old party where none of the children would participate in any of the games (I know, I know, how naive of us - we organized actual games …