Just Because…

something to say

1 – I am not boring.

Just because I read books you are not interested in does not mean I am boring.

2 – I am more than a job title.

Just because I am a stay at home mother does not mean I am not intelligent or wasting my life. I am raising the future.

3 – I am not little anymore.

Just because I was once a baby does not mean I have stayed that baby. I am a thirty-five year old woman and have thirty-five years’ experience behind me.

4 – I do have an opinion.

Just because I do not often say anything does not mean I do not have anything to say.

Just because I am younger than you does not mean I cannot offer advice. We all have different life experiences and have a different insight on events.

5 – I do have a resolve.

Just because I am quiet does not mean I do not have that resolve. Sometimes it takes a stronger person to keep quiet than to fill a room with the sound of their voice.

6 – Being busy is not an excuse.

The less involved you are in someone’s life, the less they are a priority to you.

7 – Flattery can go a long way.

Just because you are older does not mean you are eligible to criticise in order to advise. Sometimes it is nice to receive compliments. Sometimes compliments achieve more than criticism.

8 – Sometimes it is nice to be more than the token free babysitter.

Just because I am the youngest does not mean I cannot join in adult conversation. Sometimes I would not mind washing up or cooking or feeling like in my absence I would be missed for more than my babysitting.

9 – One person’s rubbish is another person’s gold.

Just because that is your opinion does not make it true nor does it define me.

10 – Conversation is food for the soul.

You cannot get to know a person unless you speak to them personally; reports through another person are superficial at best.

Opening image: www.jonstallings.com
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Motherhood: Competition and Cliques

motherhoodcompetitionYesterday my daughter refused to take her afternoon nap. Nothing I did would placate her nor entice her to what I call the ‘land of the bunnies’. She had the tiniest of meltdowns come 6:00pm when I was getting her ready for bed, only because she was so tired. During the day I, however, was having the meltdowns of all meltdowns albeit mostly silently. As my daughter played contentedly beside her sandpit yesterday afternoon, I was convincing myself over and over that I had done something wrong. That those of the Gina Ford clique would never have a problem such as this. Looking back, I am now berating myself for allowing those thoughts and feelings to ruin the day I had with my baby girl.

I took my daughter to her first birthday party this past weekend. Talking to the other mothers there, and comparing notes on our little one’s bedtime and naptime routines, I couldn’t help but feel a slight note of self-righteousness when their little ones were in bed by 7:00pm while my little one is often falling asleep in the arms of either her father or me at 9:00pm. And yes, I still cuddle my 21 month old to sleep. And yes, she very often comes into bed with us during the night. Those at the party were not as bad as others who have outrightly told me I am a bad mother because I don’t leave my daughter to cry herself to sleep at night. I have been told that it is wrong my daughter is not in nursery as it affects her ability to communicate with other children her age. A theory which my daughter has blatantly thrown out the window.

My mother once remarked how it was much harder in her day to raise children and although to a certain extent I agree with her, she is not completely accurate. As parents we may have technology on our side; we may have the latest gadgets, baby monitors and medicines but we no longer have society on our side. There is forever a debate in newspapers, magazines and across the Internet about whether mothers should leave the home for work or not, whether the child is in nursery or not, whether as mothers we breast feed or not. Whichever option we choose it always seems to be the wrong one. I do not judge others as parents as long as they give love and gentleness and as naïve as this might be, I expect others to offer the same courtesy. I do not regret how I have raised my daughter over the past (nearly) two years and if I could turn back the clock, I would genuinely do exactly the same thing. Cuddling my daughter to sleep works for her. I still remember calling my father in the middle of the night. I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I grew out of it and so will my daughter.

To me, motherhood is the greatest calling. As a mother I am shaping a person, I am teaching her about the world. Being a mother has made me a better person because I want my daughter to be a good person. She now seems to watch my every move. Just the other day, she tried to place toe separators between her toes and paint her toe nails because she has watched me do that countless of times.  Looking back again on yesterday, I don’t remember my daughter ever being truly unhappy and that is what is important.

mothersinstinct

haters

I just don’t understand why if mothers feel they are lacking, they need to put others down to make them feel good. Why not better themselves? Forget the corporate world, motherhood is the most competitive. I understand why but we have to remember there is no race to the top, no fight for promotions, no fear of redundancies. We are all in this together, I think it is time we act that way. I am now nearly two years into motherhood and I would not exchange it for anything in the world. No gold, nor riches could ever replace what motherhood brings to my life.  I regret caring so much of what other people thought of me as a mother and would hate for other mothers to feel the same way. My advice to everyone out there is to follow your mother’s instinct (and yes you do have one) and listen to your child. Each and every child is different. What works for one will not necessarily work for another, and that includes siblings. I hope we can now as mothers refrain from putting others down and instead raise one another up so we can be the best mothers we can be.

TogetherOpening image: wikihow.com
Second image: imom.com
Third image: en,paperblog.com
Closing image: mothering21.com

The First Step…

Writing MuscleThere is a lot that can be said for exercising. Many people exercise to lose weight, to be healthier, to tone their muscles. I have done very little of that the past year and I can feel the effects. I feel unfit, tense and in need of a serious workout.

As much as I absolutely love motherhood, it is pretty intense at times. Other people prefer to soak in a bath, embark on a spa weekend. Me? I just want to go to bed early with my laptop; a pen; paper and possibly a highlighter or two. Many people dance to release energy and the burdens of the day. Others play sport. Me? I enjoy letting my fingers run across the keyboard and let them take me on a journey to wherever I need to go.

Motherhood has very much swallowed any time I had and by the time the little one is in bed, I still have the housework, the dinner, the cleaning. Very often I even need to add “have a shower” on my to-list. This past year, I can count on one hand the number of times I have straightened my hair and have worn make up. All that would not bother me if I could pick up a book once in a while. I used to want to achieve my dreams for myself but now I want to do so for my daughter. I want to provide for her and work my hardest so that she wants for nothing.

So in order to achieve big, I realise now I first need to start small. Instead of adding pages and pages to my to-do list everyday, I now have my year to-do list:

1- Complete my ‘Waiting for Baby’ journal and baby book.

2-Self publishing a book I am currently working on.

3- Continue working on my additional writing projects so that I have something more tangible and hopefully next year be in a position to publish additional works.

4- Organising my daughter’s nursery and primary school placements.

5- I once participated in a Blog a Week, I am instead going to blog a month. Or in other words, simply post at the very least 12 posts this year, one for each month.

6- Complete at least half of my very detailed 19 unit creative writing course.

7- Revamp my garden and create a little playground for my daughter to play in the summer.

8-Read at least 5 books.

9- Organsing my home and de-cluttering.

10- Similarly, I want to stop neglecting the housework. I want to create a home that my daughter can invite her friends over to play at the drop of a hat. Prior to relatives staying, I no longer want it to be a stressful time of getting the house ready. I want to be able to welcome people to my home in a very un-British short notice.

11- It is well-known that more sleep can spur on creativity. In my goal of writing more, I aim to at least get 3 good nights sleep a week (daughter permitting), or at least getting to bed early.

12- The constant craving I have is to understand more Farsi. I am aiming to learn at least two Iranian pop songs and watching Iranian television/films at least once a week. So at the very least I remain in touch with the culture, language and country that is so important to me and subsequently help my daughter to do so also.

I have now made the first tentative step to a fitter, healthier me and like we all know the first step is always the hardest…

First Step

Opening Image: http://www.AuthorsPublish.com (via Facebook)
Closing Image: www.Publiseek.com

Alphabet Games in 2012: Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 25,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 6 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

The Loneliness of Writing

I Have. Written. A. Book.

Yep. You read that correctly. This past weekend I have written a book and the adrenaline is still flowing. I feel so alive. 29 days into the new year and my children’s book is completed. Okay, okay so I still have the editing stage, there is still no title but it actually looks like a book. As I came running down the stairs Saturday evening and showed my husband; as I began to share with him everything I had planned for the book, I could barely take a breath. I have never felt like this before. I feel I have now finally found what I have been looking for all these years. I have found my place, my calling. I feel complete. Not only have I written my  children’s book but I have drawn a mind map for the skeletal body of the fictional account of my trip to Iran. (I long to finally welcome you with titles so I don’t have to use full sentences when I want to share any specific writing project with you). I am hoping the map will also help trigger elements of the story that I have yet to discover. I wanted to round off the very productive weekend with a blog entry but succumbed to the calling of Desperate Housewives and attempted to write the post while watching it. I don’t think there can be anyone who is efficient enough at multi-tasking to complete that well. I managed to write at least a paragraph which was something.

Writing really is a lonely job. I hid myself away most of the weekend in the spare bedroom, iTunes playing and occasionally allowing my husband to enter with fruit and drinks. I counter-balanced this by watching films in the evening. Promising that if I could only work on this for a few hours, I will then be able to (with peace of mind) lose myself in the latest blockbuster offering. On Saturday evening though, I had to at least hold a book – even though I didn’t even open it – just so I could feel it in my hands. (Is there anyone else out there who can join me in this?)

I think I can now understand how writing can be lonely. Not only are you locked in a room; away from the world with your head permanently buried in a book or staring at a computer screen; it is also very hard for anyone else to share your excitement and joy at meeting milestones in your writing. Neither do many appreciate how hard it is to even sometimes get a single word down onto a page but this does not necessarily make them any less supportive. This loneliness is also a reason why you should write primarily for yourself. Writing a book is such a fast rollercoaster ride, there is no room on it for anyone else. The children’s book was primarily for my niece but now I have actually written it and I see it’s future, it’s become more for me than her.

Writing is a lonely job but I would rather be alone in my room poised for the latest Politzer prize winner to flow from my fingertips than to be surrounded by people in a job I dislike.

The Struggle For Words

We are now 14 days into the new year. 2012. The year I promised my book WILL be finished. Yet despite this I have failed to write a single word in my selected notebooks or laptop. In terms of the children’s book, I’m stuck in finding an illustrator and although I have had quite strong interest from an American publisher, I’ve been somewhat turned off by their hard selling tactics. Distracted by Christmas; New Year and family commitments, my writing has taken a back seat. I’ve tried to combat this by sitting with my family, watching films and writing but it’s no good. I just end up staring at a blank page. Wherever I go, I carry with me a bag of writing materials, books and notebooks but rarely even open the bag. My New Year’s resolution? To spend just 30 minutes each day on writing, whether that be researching, reading or writing itself. I am going to be selfish and work on what I need to do. I will stop trying to be all things to everyone but instead be all things to myself. Don’t get me wrong. My priority will always be my family but writing is my salvation. Some people have music, others may have films, others use sport. I use writing. It always helps me to make sense of my past, to escape the reality of the present and to imagine a happier, more fulfilled future.

I used to implore my husband to help me to write as if he could wave a magic wand and make all other responsibilities disappear. I see now that it was wrong. It is up to me to help myself to write, it is up to me to take my writing seriously and show others that it should be taken seriously. I’m currently reading a book that is opening up a brand new path to the opening of my own story and I’m looking forward to spending the rest of the evening reading further. In terms of my children’s book, I’m tempted to leave it to one side. Then again, I think of who I wrote it for and ‘leaving it to one side’  is not something I am willing (and able) to do. Thinking about it now I’ve decided to send it to publishers – what harm can it do?

The next time I am asked my occupation, I want to say: “I am a writer.”

Alphabet Games’ 2011 in Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for Alphabet Games. I may have been a few days short of a post a week but exceeding the Sydney Opera House is not a bad achievement!

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 21,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 8 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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