Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Leaning Into Reducing Sugar.

A few months ago I updated my About page and set myself some goals I would like to achieve over the next few months and how I was LEANING into a healthier family lifestyle. By leaning I meant making small gradual changes in the hope that it sticks better than had I gone cold turkey. Some of the goals included introducing a Meat Free Monday, Technology Free Tuesday, reducing our sugar intake and minimising our chemical use within our household.

Over the last few weeks I have been working on reducing our sugar intake in one tiny baby step.

Special occasions aside I have stopped the desert or sugary reward for eating the right amount of dinner. Now I can't take credit for this idea, as it was from a conversation with a friend that lead me to this small change... (thanks Tineale!) But I have implemented the use of SPARKLERS.

It made me realise how long it had actually been since we had done sparklers with Hannah when she was frightened of them at first... our dear little delicate Hannah! But after watching one or two she was more than enthusiastic to have a go and it proved to be a very successful incentive for future bribery. 

Why I think sparklers is such a great idea... well I'm glad you asked! For starters, whose idea was it to give your kids a sugar hit right before bedtime anyway? And on top of that the added pressure to reduce and monitor the amount of sugary foods consumed throughout the day. I mean we do this anyway but say you allow your child a treat for afternoon tea, then dinner time rolls around and your family already has a desert routine going, it doesn't give you much room to move!

Finally, the biggest "pro" for sparklers is that it creates memories! Something your child is going to hang onto for many years to come; the moments where the whole family gathered in the back yard after dinner each night and giggled and mucked around together with magical sparkling lit up sticks writing their names in the dark and swirling around.

I think that is pretty special.

So one tiny step towards reducing sugar in our house... tick!

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Studying Mum

I began my first ever employment at the age of 15 with a casual after school waitressing job at Pizza Hut. I moved towns and took on two after school jobs, as a waitress at Subway and shop attendant at a Newsagents. Since then I have had a few job changes until I started working as an assistant at an ABC Early Learning Centre. I spent 6 years in total as a childcare educator, including role and towns changes until finally; I am a stay at home Mother.

My time at Daycare made me realise my passion for education and love of children and inspired me to strive for more than what childcare could offer me. Among many things the opportunity to make a difference in some children's lives as well as provide my little family with the lifestyle benefits being a teacher brings had me taking the plunge into studying a university degree. 

Two and a half years of part time study in, I am as sure now as the first day that my decision to study while staying at home with my babies was the right decision and one I will never regret. Taking a few semesters off for morning sickness filled pregnancies and also 6 months off after each baby to allow myself the chance to adapt, lead me to re-commence studying in November, just prior to Amelia's first Christmas.

Taking on two subjects seems like to most sensible idea; time efficient without taking on too much. Knowing your limits is key to "stay at home mum studying" but as we were heading away for two weeks over the Christmas period in an already short Summer Semester, I found myself working myself into the ground with a continuous string of 12-1am bedtimes whilst still waking up several times a night to feed and then an early rising toddler, just to pump out 2 assignments and put myself into a position of being one week ahead in preparation for our holiday. 

That was intense! Now our holiday has come to an end and as I am about to dive back in for the final 6 weeks and two more assignments to go before the semester wraps up, I am finding myself dreaming of another semester off to spend enjoying my babies. Giving them more of my time. Long cuddles in bed, playing outside, trips to the park. Life seems so busy already without starving myself of more time that the heavy work load that uni studying consumes.

I know that I must keep chugging along, as the logical side of my analysis kicks in. I don't want the degree to drag out any longer than it has to; and so many other reasons fill the list. Being a studying stay at home mum can feel so conflicting at times and can tear you between the will to be with your children and the drive to fulfil your dream and do what is best for your family... longterm! 

It is so rewarding and a struggle at the same time.