Blessed..

img_8319If you follow along on Instagram you would have seen that I surprised my best friend of 25+ years at a hospital on the other side of the country on Friday. She had given birth 5 days earlier and wasn’t expecting me to fly in for a visit but thankfully we had a number of points that I could use- it was a beautiful (and very emotional) reunion. Her- just given birth and coming off the hormone high that comes with pregnancy and me- 25 weeks pregnant with a baby- we were blubbering messes for a few days.

The weekend was filled with time on the couch watching a newborn baby sleep and feed, kissing her every few minutes, changing itty bitty nappies that look like doll nappies and eating from a freezer full of leftovers from her mum! Liz has been an absolutely champion since giving birth- seriously- I am in awe of how well she has recovered and how well she is nursing Baby Adelaide!

Seeing this little baby brought back so many memories of when I came home with Ava- I was definitely a lot more emotional and uncertain that Liz appeared to be- I remember lots of tears and feelings of adequacy. With your first child you never really know if you’re doing things right- google became one of my most trusted advisories! Liz’s baby, Adelaide, is absolutely perfect. She has 10 fingers and 10 toes- she’s eating like a champion and filling up those nappies just as fast! She has a head full of jet black hair and really long fingers like her mumma! She is perfection..

I came home really early on Monday morning exhausted from the red eye flight but so so happy to see Greg and Ava at the airport! Ava came running to me yelling “mumma, mumma”- I was ready to burst into tears- blame it on the hormones and lack of sleep!

This week has been a pretty standard week for us- lots of cooking at home and family time- most of our church events are yet to start up- I have been reminded so often this week at how grateful I am for God’s many blessings- as lame as it perhaps sounds I seriously can’t count them…

I watched Greg and Ava play in the backyard yesterday- spraying each other with the hose to cool off in the weather- I made them dinner with food from a full fridge that they both loved! I followed a recipe for coffee choc chips cookies, I washed my dishes in a sink with running water, I picked a dress this morning from a closet full of clothes, I woke up to the sound of my daughter playing and talking…I drove to a job that allows me to balance motherhood and being a career woman.. I could go on and on..

Sometimes we don’t realise how blessed we truly are.

We have a large print in our lounge room which says “Count your many blessings”*- in 2019 I’m determined to focus more on what God has blessed me with and nurture and appreciate those then become blinded by what I don’t have.

* The print is from Caravan Shoppe- I’ve posted here before or you can go directly to Caravan Shoppe and purchase here– It’s part of their Woodland Thanksgiving Package.

 

Balance

Inspired by the sermon we heard at church last Sunday night, I wanted to share for a few minutes on how I try to find balance in my life. If you wear more than one hat (I would say 99% of our population does) then I’m sure you are also walking (or trying to walk) in a life of balance. The Bible says to walk wisely (Eph 5:5)- I think being balanced with your time is part of walking in wisdom. Depending on the day I either do really well at being balanced with my time or I fail miserably!

My picture of balance has changed drastically since Ava joined our family! If you have children then you know what I’m talking about! It’s hard to tell a one year old that mumma needs to have a shower..and no, you cannot sit on the floor of the shower.. Or how about when you’re trying to hang a load of washing outside.. try telling your 14 month old that you cannot pick her up and hang washing at the same time.. I know! I’ve tried.. Thank heavens no one was filming me.. I would be a youtube sensation!

When you have children (whether you’re a mum or dad) you get lost in the whirlwind of raising those children! The bottles, nappies, wipes, schedules, potty training, puke and spit up.. fevers, food allergies, a new skill, walking, crawling, first words, bubble blowing (Check my Insta from last night!).. It’s an amazing whirlwind that sweeps you and your family unit up! We have loved every moment of it.. truly.. it has brought Greg and I closer as a couple and it has taught us how to love in such a deep way. You truly understand the love your parents have you when you have your own children, as cliche as that sounds..

Balance, when you become a parent, is about becoming flexible. It sounds contradictory right? I know.. but the more I thought about it, the more I noticed it was flexibility that was so closely tied with balance. Mum’s and Dad’s- when you put your little ones to bed, utilize that time. When Ava was younger I would collapse onto the bed and fall asleep (pure newborn exhaustion), but now that she is a lot older and her routine is very much established I have tried to seize that time until we go to bed. We’ll either hang out on the couch (just the two of us.. no little human taking our attention) or I’ll head out to Kmart to be able to just browse in silence.. or Greg may even do a late night dessert run which we can eat without the little human wanting some! haha… I have recently started working out one or two mornings a week- Greg runs a few days a week so we take turns being with Ava in the morning until the other person gets home.

Being balanced is about setting time aside for your partner, for your children and for yourself. We often hear the joke of ‘happy wife, happy life’ and while a lot of people use that in marriage speeches, it can definitely be applied to general life. If I am happy as a woman/mother/wife then my life will be happy. Balance isn’t about deadlines or rigid boxes that everything in life must fit in to it’s about being flexible and enjoying every moment (even those stressful hair pulling moments)!

A few practical tips for being balanced that I try and follow:

  • I do not turn my work laptop on at home and
  • I do not check my work emails at home

When I leave the office I am off the clock. It’s a boundary that I have tried to stick to. When I am home my family deserve my undivided attention.

  • I try not to be away from home during weeknights.

During the work week our nights are valuable. We cherish the time we can unwind with each other.

  • We guard and protect our Saturdays (or weekends)

It is so so easy for us to be occupied every Saturday. We have events on for church many Saturdays during the year, we also have birthdays and functions and baby showers- all of which are fun and necessary.. but know when to say no. I have a quote on the wall in our house which says “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”

If you’re struggling to find balance make a list of all the tasks you have to do week to week or even day to day then try and put them in order of priority. What are some of the things you have to get done- i.e. Monday’s I have to grocery shop, Tuesdays-Thursdays I have to go to work.. With the remaining hours of the day where are periods of time that you can spend time with the kids, or maybe take an uninterrupted shower or go for a run? Don’t be afraid to ask that girlfriend to watch your kids for an hour or two. It won’t always happen and more often than not you may wonder where the time went but it’s about trying to walk wisely. To walk you have to put one foot in front of the other. Don’t stay in that feeling of being frazzled or worn out- sit down and work out ways you can change things.. even though your steps may be little at least you’re moving towards better!