Right now, our world as we knew it, has been completely turned upside down! There’s a pandemic out there that is scaring the bejesus out of us all! Our first responders (medical personnel, firefighters, police officers) are fighting with everything they’ve got whilst facing an extreme and before unheard of, lack of essential safety equipment. Times are tough. People have lost their jobs, unemployment is rising every day, social distancing is real and becoming tougher every day. We are all feeling pressures on us we never knew we would face! Parents are homeschooling and working from home, trying to balance this new normal as best they can, yet the minute they complain about it, others are very quickly putting them down and this really bothers me! I’m reading all of these Facebook stories/quotes/heartbreak moments that are trying to both scare parents with horror stories of children dying alone and to make parents feel bad for getting frustrated with their children after being stuck at home with them day in and day out!
Here’s the deal: don’t try to make me or any other parent for that matter, feel bad because I/we need to frigging vent! We know people have got it tougher than us! At no point in time have we said “woe is me!” or “I am in the worst position ever!” What we’ve said, had you been listening, is “holy shit!” – I really appreciate teachers right now! I really appreciate going to work, I really appreciate those few minutes I have to myself daily, I really love my kids but 24/7 is too much sometimes and I just need to vent without being judged and made to feel like the weight of the earth should rest on my already very weary, very overworked, overwhelmed, completely out of my comfort zone, feeling sorry for everyone in the entire earth including myself, shoulders! Stop it! Stop making us feel guilty for venting! We are doing the right thing, we are staying home, we are trying to be the best people we can be right now, but sometimes we get shitty, sometimes we want to scream out loud that we don’t want to anymore! Don’t throw shit in our faces about our babies dying! Don’t try to make us feel worse! We are in this position because we love our children so much that we are already feeling guilty we aren’t doing a good enough job at being parent, teacher, comforter, friend (because they can’t see any of their friends right now) 24hr guardian and everything else in between! Please just stop! Your tactics aren’t working to make this world a better place, they are simply making the good people out there; the people who are literally trying to be all things to the little people, feel even more like shit!
Let’s lift each other up, not put each other down! Let’s realize everyone needs to vent and for the most part, we are all trying to do the right thing and support our doctors and nurses, our medical technicians, our paramedics, our firefighters, our police, our military, our shop assistants, our shelf packers, our truck drivers, our construction workers, our funeral home workers, our delivery drivers, our scientists and researchers and laboratory technicians working day in and day out to find a vaccine, even a cure, our teachers who are still trying to figure out their new normal and how to best help their students, whilst juggling their own new normal, our restaurant chefs/cooks, kitchen hands and assistants, who are still making us food, but delivering it now, and all those who continue to work to help us get through this very difficult, crazy time.
Note: This was originally written in 2016, updated April 2nd, 2019.
Today I have been reflecting on being a female in this world. There have been so many books, blogs, articles, you name it, written about young girls and how to give them the strength to face society as the best women they can be, but it is tough as a parent, to watch your child struggle with social situations in her ‘tweenage’ years.
My eldest daughter is 11 going on 12 this year (2016). She is incredibly smart, in fact, one of her teachers (a professor) just told me that he thinks she is incredibly gifted and wishes there was a formal gifted program at their school. Instead, he has started a high-level reading program with 5 students (our daughter included) that meets once a week during their lunch break to read and discuss whatever current book they have selected. It works well for our DD as reading is her strongpoint. It was always mine too. Forget Mathematics, give me a book any day, although she is mathematically minded as well.
Although eldest DD is very gifted when it comes to reading, she is lacking in some social skills and I’m not sure how to help her. She desperately wants to be popular but for some reason, isn’t well liked. Neither of us encourage her to seek popularity, rather to make a couple of well-trusted friends, but she just wants to be liked anyway. We try to understand what it is about her that other kids her age don’t take to, but we just don’t know. She is highly liked by adults/teachers and her own siblings adore her, particularly little sister. But what is it that she does, or how is she behaving when we are not in view, that is making her peers not take to her? She brought home a note last Friday that really upset me. It was from another student saying how much everyone dislikes her because she has a smart mouth. We tried to find out more about what this meant, but I truly don’t think she herself knows or is aware of, what she is doing. How does one rectify this? How can I help my daughter better socialize at school? She is always very polite and sweet. She can be bossy, yes, but swears she isn’t at school. She used to be a leader but now she is more of a follower because she so desperately wants others to like her that she has given up on the things she wants to do/play at school, doing seemingly, only what others want. I really worry. All this on top of being a girl in a society that is slowly improving, but still judges girls by their looks, their weight, their smile.
She hates her smile too. She needs braces and now with the whole dentist fiasco (was supposed to get them in Korea but didn’t because it wasn’t a very good deal) will have to wait some more. How can I instill in my beautiful girl all the wonderful things about her when she is already judging herself so harshly? Wondering what she does wrong that makes people dislike her? Hating her smile? The great thing about her though, she is full of confidence on so many other levels. How can I put this so you can understand? She believes in her sporting prowess and believes she is good at so many sports (some are hit and miss, but you know, who am I to judge). Though I do prefer she hear some truths from me rather than teammates.
Then there’s her height. Most girls her age are taller than her. She is starting to feel it too, with kids teasing her at school about how she’s not growing. Sometimes I just want to punch all of these unthinking, inconsiderate, little so and so’s! We talk about teasing all the time in our family and our motto is: ‘Only give what you can take; Nothing mean, all in good fun’. But these kids are definitely not practicing that. Some of the stuff they say is just plain mean. DD tries not to let it get to her, but it does. She keeps asking me how she can grow taller. I’m always going to use that sort of a question as a chance to motivate more fruit and vegetables being eaten, but I don’t have the growth secret. Now, I’ve just started saying to her that it will happen in good time and when it’s meant to. Everyone grows and matures at different rates and she may well change at a later stage than most of her peers. My Mum keeps asking me too if she’s grown, knowing how big her other granddaughter is. I’ve finally told her not to ask anymore. I know she doesn’t mean it in a bad way, but DD is getting a big enough complex about it as it is, so all talk about her hitting her growth spurt has been banned at this point in time.
Girls. They have it tough. We have it tough. Then she talks to me about perhaps going on a diet. What? No, I don’t think so. Her body is slowly changing as she becomes a woman and that means certain areas are expanding (and no, I dont necessarily mean breasts) and she isn’t comfortable with it yet, but that’s what happens to most girls (and some boys). The only thing I say to my children about dieting is “Every thing in moderation.” You can eat anything you like as long as you eat it in a balanced way, is my point of view. That means limit the stuff you know is bad for you, ensure you get lots of good, hearty fruits and vegetables on a daily basis and don’t keep eating just for the sake of eating (exactly what we did on the cruise and over Christmas which is what started me needing to go on an exercise regimen in the first place). Also make sure you get plenty of exercise on a daily basis. My girls ride their bikes almost daily. They walk to and from the bus stop. They walk our dog. We try to be a fairly active family. I’m not concerned about the exercise part, but my dear daughter does like her junk food and won’t eat any fruit except apples, so she may have to start doing something else on top of our regular stuff. I suggested swimming but she told us that some of the girls who don’t like her are on the swim team. Back to that again.
I think my husband is just now starting to see all of the obstacles facing girls. Other girls are mean to girls, boys are mean to girls. Girls are expected to be both beautiful and smart, yet the minute we make a mistake it’s ‘because we’re a girl’ or because we’re not smart.
It’s time we changed this kind of thinking for once and all. No more putting crap on other girls. It is our duty as mothers (aka females) to ensure our girls are not mean to other girls. It is ok to be competitive, but when you start putting someone else down to lift yourself up, something has gone wrong. We should be greeting each other daily with a pat on the back and a compliment. That’s something else I’ve learnt from my other daughter (from the moment she started talking until this day); give compliments. Try to find something, anything, about someone you are talking to and compliment them on it. “Your hair looks amazing today!” “I like your scarf.” “Those are beautiful (insert anything here, earrings, sandals, etc).” It doesn’t have to be super personal, but it does have to be sincere. This gossiping crap has to stop too.
There’s an old saying we are all familiar with, ‘If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.’ It’s true. Just don’t speak. Obviously there’s also some grey here, if something has been done to wrong you, then tell your story, but don’t put that other person down in the telling, otherwise you’re stooping to the same level, meaning you are no better than them. Even when eldest DD talks to me about someone at school, she never puts them down, she will say something very simply like, “…… was really mean to me today. She called me short and said I was a B word.” (She’s not allowed to say it but will let me know if someone has said it to her by stating the term ‘B’ word). Now this was but an example, but I like the fact that in the real life scenarios there isn’t any name calling coming from my own daughter. My girls rarely put other people down. It makes me very proud! I encourage you to ensure your daughters don’t either (and sons for that matter).
We must pick each other up rather than put each other down. We must encourage healthy eating rather than junk (which we are doing, but we still have a long way to go), we must encourage the realistic body not the photoshopped image, (again, we are doing just that) but we must also encourage the realistic body that is doing regular exercise rather than the overweight body that is doing none.
Our daughters need to hear from us every single day just how beautiful they are, just how smart they are. Unfortunately certain web sites, some famous people, authors and journalists and bloggers and whomever else, that talk about the unimportance of beauty have got it wrong. Yes, I said beauty is not unimportant. But before you get on your high horse and start accusing me of being shallow and all sorts of other things, please hear me out:
We are made (human nature) to admire beautiful things (whether that be in nature, or in another human being). There is such a thing as inner beauty, yes, but there is also such a thing as outer beauty and it will always be recognized. Our daughters should be recognizing their own beauty both inside and out. I read an article the other day about how you shouldn’t be encouraging your daughters to care about the way they look and I have to say, I completely disagree. You should take pride in your appearance, you should encourage your children to take pride in their appearance. You should love yourself both inside and out. We all look in the mirror and we all see flaws no one else sees, but we have to be able to see beauty there too. There will always be someone more beautiful, smarter, with a better body. We need to be aware that that will always be the case, but it’s ok, because we are confident in our own selves and our abilities and our beauty, both inner and outer. We know that a smile is truly beautiful (yes, even the smile thought to be a flaw by the owner), we know that happy girls are confident girls and vice versa and confident girls are beautiful girls. Our daughters are always going to see people being recognized for their beauty. It does exist and it is very real and there are truly beautiful people surrounding us. It’s part of life. We need to focus more on the confidence part. We need to focus on all the positive things in our girls. We need to help them to help both themselves and to help others. We need to make sure they are lifting others up.
How do we do this? Well this is where we as women must lift each other up too. I challenge you to give everyone you meet tomorrow a compliment. I challenge you to find things that will inspire your daughters to be the most beautiful people they can be by bringing others up. Lead by example. Don’t gossip, don’t bitch and moan, always talk positively about your friends and their strengths and always remind your daughters to be the best “insert name here” they can be. I also went into my daughter’s room whilst she was at school today and put inspirational quotes, and reassurances everywhere. Including some I thought pertinent to just her at this time. And there are quite a few for when she’s laying in bed looking at her ceiling:
Just in case she needs reminding when no one is about. 😊
Boys will not judge my daughter and place her into a category and girls will not bring her down. She shall know each and every day just how special and amazing she is. And how beautiful she is on the inside and out. She will know how talented she is when it comes to singing and playing her guitar and she shall know that she has very special strengths and is truly gifted when it comes to reading and comprehension. We will be realistic with her when she asks our advice but we will never shame her choices. I challenge you to make sure your daughter knows those same things; as relevant to her and her own strengths. Your sons too.
*Update: 3 years later.
My eldest daughter is now incredibly confident and not invloved in any drama with any girls. She knows her own strengths, she works hard and she is surrounded by a great group of friends. She has started playing lacrosse (absolutely loves it) and is still an avid reader. She has truly come a long way from this moment in time. I hear her talking to her friends sometimes and I never hear her putting anyone else down, which makes me incredibly proud. In fact, knowing all of this has given me the strength to get through it with my now 10 going on 11-year-old daughter who seems to be going through an almost identical situation on a daily basis. A friend of mine asked me for advice the other day because she too is experiencing something similar. I told her to reassure her daughter. Tell her she’s there for her. Listen, but try not to let her see how angry you are at those other kids, that ‘mama bear’ doesn’t necessarily help in these moments. Don’t get involved directly with the drama either, that just prolongs it (trust me, I’ve learned from experience). But most of all, remember the 3 R’s: Reassure, Remind, Renew. Reassure her daily of all her strengths, all that she has both inside and out. Remind her to help others up rather than put them down. Renew her confidence in herself and love, love with all your heart.
I recently read an article titled “10 Reasons Teens Have So Much Anxiety Today” and I was really quite shocked at just how much the author generalized and blamed parents in this article. A little too much blame methinks. As if parents don’t have enough stress on them too! How about the fact that in America it’s all about working rather than spending any quality time with your family? How about the fact that teachers aren’t given the respect and recognition they deserve? And yes, I do believe (highly unfairly) some parents expect teachers to raise and discipline their kids.
I think another factor is that society wants to give everyone a medal! God forbid we recognize that our child lost! – Our daughter had a soccer game the other day and it was awful! It was awful to watch. She played terribly. Her team was annihilated because none of them played well. She got into the car afterwards and told us how she played terribly. I said she had some moments that were good, but it definitely wasn’t fun to watch and she certainly wasn’t playing her best. She said she didn’t give it 100% – All we ask is that our kids do their best. Every time. If you are going to commit to something then you need to give it your best. I told her I appreciated her admitting that, but if she wants to play soccer then she needs to give it her best, every, single time. There is no talking it up at our house. We are by no means perfect parents but when our kid doesn’t commit and recognizes it themselves, I’m not going to disagree. I’m not going to praise the not-so-good. I am going to praise her great moments though. Our other daughter has just made a lacrosse team. It’s the B team. She started playing lacrosse at a free clinic last Summer. She did another clinic in Autumn. And another this Winter. She can’t expect miracles. She can’t expect to be the best immediately. It just doesn’t work that way. I’m proud of how she responded though when I told her this morning that she had made the B team. She said that if she wants to get better then she has to work hard. But she’s going to play hard nonetheless and actually said how thankful she was that we actually let her start playing the game now (14).
No one knows if they’re doing the parenting thing the ‘right’ way. Articles like these point out some great things to keep an eye on but they also blame parents in so many ways and that’s when it becomes unfair. We are trying to do our best. We are told what we can and can’t do as far as our parenting goes. We are told we are doing it wrong all the time. “Too many electronics!” “You have to have your kids skilled in electronics!” “They’re not exercising hard enough!” “You’re putting too much pressure on your kid by having them exercise hard throughout the week and playing competitive games on weekends!” There’s a happy medium somewhere there, but we can’t be blamed for everything! Society as a whole needs to intervene in a more productive way. Playtime at school has to happen. Yes to less screen time, but haven’t the so-called experts been saying that for years about TVs?
My son told me he was bored the other night, I told him to read a book or play legos or take his imagination on an adventure! We ended up playing a family card game of Uno. It was fun! Kids need to be bored and parents need to allow them time to develop coping skills, it’s also a time when parents can add some family fun into the mix.
I very much believe in the hierarchy point though. I have friends whose kids seem to dictate all that they do. I have friends who treat their kids as equals and share with them far too many facts about themselves or other adult friends. Your kid is your kid. Not your peer. Not your friend. When they are adult enough, become friends. But they need you as their parent, their guide, their guardian, right now.
This article points out things to keep an eye on within ourselves (as parents) and some modifications we can definitely make in our day-to-day lives as the parents of teens or even tweens, but blaming us for everything isn’t the answer either.
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Seriously. You are heading for civil war. There is no black and white in all things up for debate right now, only grey.
My daughter went to school on March 14, 2018 and went outside for 17 minutes of silence, to remember the 17 victims of last month’s massacre in Florida, when she returned to her classes, some of her friends were extremely rude to her, thinking she had walked out protesting gun laws. Now don’t get me wrong, she will be doing this (of her own accord) on March 24th at the Marching for Our Lives Protest, she will also be walking out of school on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine massacre. Her school has actually communicated with both parents and students in regards to this walkout and they have offered students a safe area (on school grounds) where they can peacefully protest, they have also offered students the choice on the protesting and said to them that it is completely of their own decision making. Students who remain in class will have time to read or do something of their own selection. Whilst those outside (teachers included) are able to safely protest current gun laws. No parents are allowed to be involved (unfortunately for me, but I completely understand why because of the safety aspect).
I digress, back to March 14; the school had asked if any students wanted to protest and were given a solid answer of April 20th being their day, obviously there was mention of some sort of remembrance ceremony though. My daughter joined many others that walked out of their classroom and stood outside in a circle around 17 pairs of shoes and silently remembered those 17 unknown students who had died just one month before, some of them whilst buying roses in their cafeteria for the one they admired; celebrating Valentine’s Day.
When she sat down with her supposed friends at lunch, two of them belittled her for walking out. They called her names and told her she was a coward for doing so. They started lecturing her on the fact that everyone has a right to own guns, who was she to say no one could have guns! She tried to tell them firstly that it wasn’t a protest and secondly that she wasn’t trying to take guns away from people, but it was all to no avail, she couldn’t get a word in. Her ‘friends’ wouldn’t or couldn’t listen to any other opinion. They had already been judge, jury and executioner. They are all 13 years old.
Here we are, a group of people trying to remember the kids/young adults who were all murdered just over a month ago by a psycho who had spent some time planning his attack on kids at school, whilst kids at school are so worried about losing their 2nd amendment rights (do they even have them yet or is this pure parent talk) that they are judging others because they thought they were outside protesting said rights! How can any of this make sense to anyone?
My world inadvertently involves guns. My husband is in the military. We have lived on base/post throughout various times in our many years of military life. We have plenty of friends that love their guns. My husband owns a gun. He is also extremely well-trained in guns. He doesn’t have a temper. He is very sound of mind and full of common sense; the complete opposite of me, lol! He is one of the people who could own a gun and society wouldn’t have to worry that he is going to go all nut jobs on everyone! He also doesn’t believe that assault rifles belong in the hands of society members. He understands the need for common sense gun laws. When he got his gun and the background check took 15 minutes, both he and I were in shock! 15 minutes to check someone’s background to make sure they were of the mental capacity fit to own a gun. He bought a second one in the time it took for his background check to complete. How can that be ok? And you can buy bullets at the same time!!! What! So someone has really pissed you off and in a crazy temper you walk into a gun store, get your gun and bullets within 15 minutes and go and take care of the person/people who have pissed you off? All whilst still in your temper! You may have cooled down had you been given a few days to chew over what it was they did to you (you may not too but that’s where psychological tests come into play). Surely to god every upstanding citizen out there doesn’t want innocent lives taken? Surely.
I’m Australian, I was living in Australia and very well remember the day the massacre occurred in Tasmania (28 April, 1996), the day everything changed in Australia, the day Martin Bryant murdered 35 people and injured 23 others, the day that shocked Australia so much that we knew it must never happen again! That was the day radical gun reform began in Australia. The government immediately enacted strict gun laws and issued a buyback program. The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) summed it up well:
The National Agreement on Firearms all but prohibited automatic and semiautomatic assault rifles, stiffened licensing and ownership rules, and instituted a temporary gun buyback program that took some 650,000 assault weapons (about one-sixth of the national stock) out of public circulation. Among other things, the law also required licensees to demonstrate a “genuine need” for a particular type of gun and take a firearm safety course.
Now at this point in time, a National buyback program wouldn’t work here in the United States a: because very few people would voluntarily give up their guns and b: because it would cost an absolute fortune to compensate for said guns. As of 2017 in the USA, “there were no federal laws banning semiautomatic assault weapons, military-style .50 caliber rifles, handguns, or large-capacity magazines. There was a federal prohibition on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines between 1994 and 2004, but Congress allowed these restrictions to expire”. (CFR) After every mass shooting, particularly the one in Las Vegas, in October, 2017 and after the Parkland school shooting, “some lawmakers expressed provisional support for a federal prohibition of so-called bump fire stocks, devices that allow semiautomatic guns to fire at a rate approaching that of automatic weapons”. (CFR).
On March 24, students and parents alike, will ‘March for our Lives’ in Washington D.C. and throughout the country. My daughter and I will march. How can we not? There has been plenty of talk about the “Walk Up not out” movement being a great way to walk up to those kids who are sitting by themselves or those students who are being bullied. Firstly, how about we practice being nice and including all those who are different every single day? Why is it ‘walk up’ on that day only? How can things change without some sort of dramatic uprising? The massacres are not stopping! The school shootings continue. Something has to dramatically change! Teach your children to be inclusive, teach them to love, teach them to treat others the way they would like to be treated, make that an every day occurrence. But, do not ask my daughter to walk up to the psychotic kid that has spent his whole life torturing animals, the one who has shown every sign of becoming the school shooter. Don’t expect her to show kindness to him when he has nothing but animosity for every living thing out there and is looking for someone to start with. Don’t tell the wife of a brutal husband that beats her whenever he feels like it, that she should ‘walk up’ and be nice to him, that will make everything better! Stop it! You are being naive. Sometimes, there is no other way than to ensure the person cannot have access to the tools (normally guns particularly when one is looking to cause as much carnage as possible) one craves to cause damage.
Yes, the pro gun, anti gun legislation, people will argue that people cause carnage with knives (the eight (8) men in China that killed 29 people and injured 130 more). Now imagine if those EIGHT men had guns; assault rifles even. How much more carnage would they have done?
Yes the pro gun, anti gun legislation, people will argue that you can cause carnage with cars (the vehicle attacks throughout the UK and Europe in 2017 are devastating, many were killed and injured) again though, I ask, imagine the greater casualties had those men had assault rifles? Many more would have died, there is no disputing that.
Yes the pro gun, anti gun legislation, people will argue that criminals can easily access guns on the black market; it’s not normally regular ‘criminals’ causing this mass carnage in the USA, it’s every day white males aged between 17 and 50. It’s not normally terrorists, it’s men who are psychotic in nature or who have flipped a switch and literally gone loco.
Basically, stop worrying about your 2nd amendment rights. If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to worry about! I heard a great quote the other day, “the 2nd amendment has been bastardized”. The forefathers couldn’t have foreseen the carnage today’s weapons would cause and the number of innocent children taken far too early by them. They wouldn’t have agreed with that! They set these amendments in place to protect ‘Americans’, not so they could be used to kill the most innocent.
This fight isn’t black and white. This fight is full of grey. The one thing we all have to agree upon though is that too many children are dying in the USA at the hands of guns. It has to be time for change otherwise what sort of future do we have?
It’s been a few days now since I last wrote a blog and things have been a little all over the place. The local police called me to ensure there were no injuries in my car as this guy is obviously still insisting that he is injured, even though it was such a minor accident for his truck anyway, having no damage whatsoever, not so minor for my car that hit the corner of his truck bed, that was literally made of steel, yet we have no injuries and he is saying he was injured. I don’t think so! I am just hoping he was caught on camera unloading somewhat heavy items from the back of his truck after the accident. If there is one thing I don’t like it is people who try to to take advantage of the system and of situations. I had three children all under the age of 5 in my car, all in the back where the impact was, and they are all just fine. Seriously, just fine and this dude wants to try to sue me? Again, I don’t think so.
Ok, let’s not focus on the negative, there were some positives from this week, the dentist was amazing and has said that he will continue with Ally’s treatment free of charge! Yes, free! Would any dentist in Australia or USA do that? No is the definitive answer. Very happy with that. Also, I finished the first 4 weeks of Insanity. Here are my photos so far (now the first one in the blue actually goes back to the beginning of the whole thing when I started T25, the second one is from 4 weeks ago when I began Insanity and the third is from tonight):
I can see some results. Not as many as I would have liked given how hard and how long I’ve been working out but also given that I haven’t been on a diet as such, I think it definitely shows that working out is helping me get toned. Oh and I’ve lost somewhere between 6-7.5lbs depending upon the time of day I weigh myself and the day of the week of course 😜 (who knew scales could be so bloody temperamental??).
It has been a somewhat subdued week, I guess. Hunter went back to school on Thursday and Friday, but Thursday I ran around and did errands, we did get a new (old) car finally. It’s something from 2002. It was cheap. It runs well & has AC and heated seats and a heater of course. All the basics and it means some independence for me, although given how shitty last Monday went, I’m not too keen on driving just yet. It’s weird, I have always been a reasonably confident driver yet this accident has thrown me for a six.
Friday was spent doing odds and ends at home, Maddy had a half day for some reason, so I couldn’t go get the Lipolysis shots either as I didn’t want to traumatize her, but she helped me so much around the house and got to play and hang out with her friends so it was a really nice day for the most part. We did happen to go to the grocery store and witness a man collapse and gash his head quite severely on his way down. The whole thing was all a little overwhelming with the ambulance getting called and this man literally out cold. It was obviously quite traumatic for her as she didn’t want to go back to the commissary on Saturday (I forgot to get milk) until I reassured her he was ok and that it wasn’t going to happen again whilst we were there. How do I know he’s ok? Well, we had some friends come over for dinner and drinks on Friday night and one of them happened to work with this guy, so when I started telling the story, she chimed in with how she had been the first person they called from the hospital because she was the last to speak with him on his phone. It really is a small community over here and I’m finding this out more and more on a daily basis.
Saturday morning, we decided to purchase the entire collection of Star Wars movies with copious amounts of junk food (ok, maybe not copious but certainly more than we would normally ever consume in a week, let alone a weekend) and stay in for the weekend and have a Star Wars marathon. I had already worked out Saturday morning so I wasn’t feeling guilty about not doing too much for the rest of the day and the kids seemed to be onboard (until their friends came door knocking wanting to play with them outside). It ended up being hubby and I who really watched the movies with children grazing on junk food and watching bits and pieces then wanting all the blanks filled in because they were somewhat lost. We did make the ‘best parents ever’ stigma for a short time, given there were no set meals over the weekend and food consisted of very few ‘healthy’ things! Honestly, you may think I’m the worst, but every now and again one just has to go with the flow and let your kids just eat crap. They stayed up late interspersing their time throughout Saturday and Sunday with playing outside on their bikes and watching the movies with us. On Sunday afternoon we all went for another family bike ride and it was so enjoyable. This time Hunter didn’t complain at all and his little legs kept pedaling the entire time. It was truly fun, even when it started to rain, there was no complaining from anyone. The rain gave us a good excuse to watch one more Star Wars movie (yes, we made it through the first 5 in order, throughout the weekend). It was just a nice, low-key weekend, with no need to be anywhere at a particular time and no one demanding our attention outside of our family.
Monday (today) has already been successful. I am now on the recovery week of Insanity, which means doing Core Cardio and Balance every day, starting today. And it felt good. I am still trying to kick this nasal, sinus, chest thingy I’ve got going on but I’m now guessing it’s from the yellow dust coming in from China. From what everyone has told me, it sticks with you for a while until you get used to it. Shit! If I wanted to deal with crap coming into my lungs killing me, I would have kept smoking. This is ridiculous. And poor Ally just cannot get rid of her cough! I’m thinking I will definitely have to take her to make sure she is not asthmatic or suffering from bronchitis or who knows what! This place is not agreeing with her lungs either. She is the worst of us all. One of her teachers actually made me so angry last week. Ally is always coughing, always blowing her nose, it is literally like she is allergic to this place, she gets into coughing fits and almost throws up at times. I have her doing a nasal rinse daily and we make sure she spits out all of the yucky stuff when she’s home, but the poor kid just doesn’t seem to be getting better. Back to this teacher. Ally came into her class and started coughing, the teacher stopped talking until Ally was done (as she apparently does when anyone makes any noise in her classroom that she hasn’t approved of). Then Ally’s nose started running and she had to use the roll of toilet paper this teacher had in her classroom for just such occasions. I can’t remember exactly what she said but she basically singled Ally out and ridiculed her then got mad at her for using too much of this roll of toilet paper. On top of that, Ally’s voice was a tad croaky last week because she has had this thing going on for so long, this teacher then made fun of her because she couldn’t reach the notes she had to reach in the class (it was choir class). Ally came home devastated. I was furious! I thought and thought about the best way to react to this. Ally didn’t want me to make a big scene and she didn’t want this teacher to pick on her further, and I completely understood where she was coming from. I know sometimes teachers will take it out further on the children if the parent intervenes, especially those teachers who don’t offer a nurturing environment to their pupils. That was the last thing our daughter needed in her life right now. So, I didn’t do anything until after I had calmed down immensely. When hubby got home, I asked Ally to tell him about it so I could gauge his reaction to the whole thing and was surprised at how angry it made him too. I told him my idea and as always he suggested I wait until I was calm to do it. Now a part of me would have liked to storm in there and grab this woman and shake her a bit until she came to her senses and stopped being such a bitch, but the more practical, sensible side of me knew that wasn’t anyway to show my child how to resolve conflict, instead I wrote her a letter and gave her a new roll of toilet paper. And yes, the toilet paper was my cheap shot, but at least this way, Ally can use it as much as she likes and this woman can never make her feel bad about it.
She never gave Ally a reaction, but she hasn’t picked on her again, so I’ll take it as a win for my little (big) girl who needs all the wins she can get right now given her health and her friendship situation. More on that another day.
Back to today, I went with my friend Rebecca back to see our favourite dermatologist spouse (again, hoping she’s actually a nurse) and to get our Lipolysis shots. This time, I actually took a photo of her sticking a shot into my belly. So weird. She and her husband only realized today that I’m actually Australian, even though I told them the first time I met them. Anyway, they were both excited today because their sons (yes, there are 2 of them) both live and study in Adelaide, Australia, and they have both been there. This was followed with, “it’s pretty, but it’s too hot and too dry.” I felt like saying in return that I could completely understand their distaste as this place is too cold and too wet, as well as too hot and too humid, (and yes, I do mean wet & humid independently of each other) for my liking. On top of that there’s the yellow dust and the monsoon season. Um, hello! Give me Australia’s weather any day!
Right, I think I’ve caught you up on all our exciting happenings. The days are definitely getting warmer here in South Korea, we are supposed to hit 33C on Saturday, That’s about my perfect temperature right there, although I think that’s hotter than it ever got whilst we were in Colorado Springs! A sprinkler may be in order though, just in case.
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I hope you have a wonderful day or night, wherever you are in the world. This Aussie Mum plans on doing so! 😊