I LOVE Walmart……… Have I said that before? Well I do. Just when I think that it’s just another store that can replaced by the next Target, I discover something this amazing. This Little Tikes Jumper is perfect for toddlers! It was listed online for $229 but when my Stepmom went to Walmart to pick it up they gave it to her for $118. How can you beat that?! It has a blower so you don’t have to worry about it getting a hole and I can even crawl in there with Audrey. The slide isn’t that great but she still loved it. I am very impressed with this jumper, in case you couldn’t tell. This would be a hit at any birthday party or bbq this summer.
Hey everyone! I just read this amazing article that put to words how I feel about being a SAHM. It’s really worth the read. I know this day will come for me too, but until then I am going to squeeze my little one and take as many pictures and videos as I can!
The elderly woman wrapped a warm thin hand around my forearm and leant in close. At first I thought she had stopped to steady herself as she shuffled down the long aisle at Broadway Coles. But with a smile on her lips, she leaned in so our faces nearly touched and said: “These are the best years of your life. They will go quickly. Cherish them. Don’t have regrets.”
She gently patted the sling that held the 12-week-old bundle snugged softly against my sore, leaking breasts, nodded firmly and walked away.
It was the first of many times over the following decade that I would be stopped by a stranger and given the same advice. But I’ll never forget that first old lady, because at the time her warning bemused me. “The best years of my life.” Seriously?
I was 21 years old and had found myself 1,000 kilometres away from family and friends, unexpectedly navigating parenthood, university study and work. I wanted to arrogantly scoff “I’m educated, I have ambition, I haven’t slept in two months, I sing nursery rhymes 18 hours a day and I accidentally left the house in my pyjama bottoms this morning – surely this is not as good as it gets!”
But time makes fools of us all. Flip forward 13 years and I’ve just sat down at my desk after seeing my fourth, and last, child off to her first day of school. It’s the end of an era; a great big chunk of my 33 years of living ends today. And the old lady at Coles was goddamn right.
In the years between then and now, I carried four wonderful people, nurtured them, saw their characters develop, independence blossom, talents emerge, vulnerability morph into resilience and ideas become beliefs and opinions.
“Those little things slip through our consciousness and become tiny memory fragments we will never feel, hear or smell again.”
There have also been countless career opportunities passed up. Jobs I’ve stepped away from so my husband could step up to his, without removing both parents from the household from 7am to 7pm. Press releases written with newborns at my breast and toddlers under my desk.
Brainstorms punctuated by nappy changes and playtime. Potential clients turned down because there simply weren’t the hours in the day to give them, and my family, the attention they deserved. And I wondered, hoped, prayed I wouldn’t come out of that period with regrets.
Years later, and the little bundle that lay in the sling that morning at Coles will become a teenager this year, and begin high school next year. I try to conjure her voice at age two; the pitch, the tone, the divine mispronunciations. Those little things slip through our consciousness and become tiny memory fragments we will never feel, hear or smell again.
And so today, no regrets. Sure, I could have earned a bit more money. Could have chased bigger fish. But the times when I tasted that life – missed class presentations, half-cooked meals at 8pm, holidays spent stressing over poor internet connection and missed emails, fights with the husband and kids who fell asleep on the hardwood office floor at night, waiting for me to finish work so I could spend time with them, made me realise I didn’t want what came with it. So like many other women, I down-scaled my career just as it was taking off. Because I knew I could never go back and do this ‘mother’ thing again.
When I was a teenager, schoolbags were plastered with bumper stickers that said “girls can do anything”. Career counselling consisted of lectures about law, medicine, physiotherapy, stockbroking and journalism. Home economics was removed from the curriculum. It would have been considered downright sexist to point out the paradox. Some careers can accommodate the needs of a family better than others; those choices – whether we like it or not – exist. We can do anything. But if we want healthy, happy, satisfying lives – we can’t do it all simultaneously. Man or woman, there are choices, sacrifices and losses down either path.
We do not raise boys or girls to think like this. We don’t educate them to jobshare, downscale, work from home. We raise them to take every opportunity, rise to the occasion, get a bigger office, build a more impressive client list, fulfil their potential. No one mentions what we have to surrender, on the professional or personal front, to do this.
Earlier this month, the girls and I stood by the bed of their deceased 92-year-old great grandmother. As her body lay surrounded by family members, the room was filled with love and gravity. It didn’t matter how much of the planet she had traversed, who she had impressed or how many degrees adorned her office wall. She had raised sons, grandsons, nursed a dying husband and buried a son. She had been a community member, friend, devoted great-grandmother, card writer, tennis player, book lover and never forgot a birthday. And in that moment of death, that is all that mattered, that’s all that remained, treasured.
“I can promise you one thing. You will never regret the sacrifices you make for them now.”
Our children are the warmth that we leave in the world long after our own fires are extinguished. The gravity of those early years is hard to imagine when we dream of writing headlines, performing surgery, drafting legislation or publishing books, as opposed to changing nappies, mediating Lego disputes and doing the bedtime routine – but it’s profound.
Once kids start school, they enter a vortex from which they never return to be fully, totally ours again; time with them is negotiated around a timetable of school days, weekends, social lives, activities, term dates and holidays.
And they emerge young adults, with dreams, plans and all those forks in their own roads to navigate. Much of their journey will be done without us. We will never stand by their side as we do in those first five years.
So for those of you fidgeting at home today with a restless baby at the breast, for those who have been interrupted by a toddler 20 times while you read this, I can promise you one thing. You will never regret the sacrifices you make for them now.
It may not be possible to fully appreciate the beauty of this time while you are in the midst of it. But one day, sooner than you can imagine, you will be standing on the other side of this chapter, trying to remember how their skin smelt, how their body felt sitting on your hip, head on your shoulder – and you will be filled with gladness for every moment, good and bad, that you experienced with them.
Audrey’s so cute in her new flying outfit. She loves to carry her Brobee doll around the airport. Flying with a baby is always draining, but these flights weren’t horrible. She did pretty good. She’s at an age where she likes watching shows on the ipad for longer periods of time. The flight to D.C. was good because it was direct, but the flights back were a little tougher. Thank God for ipads!
See our trip on our vlog!
Right to left – NYX Harmonica #504, Tom Ford Chastity 01, L’Oreal 169, YSL Glossy Stain #18
I have been addicted to finding the perfect light pink lipstick for spring. There are SO many shades, brands, and finishes available HOW DO YOU CHOOSE!? I have pretty sensitive lips. I find that 90% of lip products out there will dry my lips pretty quickly. The four lip products I have for you today are high end and drug store. I am actually liking the drug store products more because they have yet to make my lips peel.
The most expensive is the Tom Ford Lip Color Shine in Chastity $48. When I first got this last week I was in love, but now that I’ve had time to use it I think it’s not worth the price. It is a very creamy lipstick, so creamy that you have to be careful to twist it all the way down or it will lose shape. I’ve also noticed that I constantly have to re-apply and it dries out my lips. If I’m paying $48 for a product I want it to be PERFECT. The case is gorgeous but the product wasn’t anything special. This is my first Tom Ford Lip Color Shine and I won’t be buying anymore. I will however be trying his lipstick because I’ve heard great things about those.
The next one is a YSL Glossy Stain in #18. These go for $34 and I am on the fence. The color doesn’t look baby pink in swatches but once its on the lips its almost identical to the others. This product has amazing staying powder. The texture after it’s first applied drives me nuts though. If you’ve used these before you know what I’m talking about. I wore this to the gym the other day and it stayed on throughout my whole class (which involves a lot of sweating) so I was impressed. My biggest con is that it also dried my lips out.
The last two are drugstore products. My NYX in Harmonica was only $4 and it is a beautiful baby pink with shimmer. I really like this NYX one because it’s so cheap and it hasn’t dried my lips out. I don’t like the strong shimmer so I tone it down with my Clarins pink gloss. I think it would be the perfect pink if it wasn’t shimmery, but for $4 I’ll take it and just use gloss.The L’Oreal Colour Riche in 169 Pink Plush is a glossy pink with no shimmer. It’s a very blue pink and it feels great on the lips. I’ve only owned this for a few days so I don’t have much to say about it. So far I’ve been very impressed with the drugstore dupes I’ve found.
Swatches from top to bottom – NYX Harmonica, L’Oreal 169, Tom Ford Chastity, YSL #18
I go through makeup “phases”. One month I will be on the search for the perfect concealer, then another month I could be searching for the best eyeliners, and this month it’s been lipstick again. I do a lot of research to figure out what colors and what brands I want to take a look at. I can’t just go into the store and shop, I have to stay on track (or try). Last spring I was on the search for the best baby pink lipstick and I found a Smashbox gloss that I used. But that gloss was drying and grainy so I really don’t want to get another one for this spring. I did research that led me to Tom Ford and Giorgio Armani specifically, and of course I found some others along the way.
Chanel Rouge Coco Shine in Mutine – $35 Limited Edition
This lipstick feels like it should be moisturizing, but it actually dries my lips out sometimes. But I’ve been searching for this color for years so I bought 2 since it is LE. The pink is hard to find and I love the case!
Giorgio Armani 102 – $34
This color is very opaque and creamy. This is a pink nude color and it is similar to TOO FACED Naked Dolly, but side by side the Armani 102 is visibly more pink.
Laura Mercier Lip Glace in Bare Pink – $24
This Gloss is thick and opaque. I like this gloss I could see myself looking for more colors. It’s similar to the MAC Cremesheen Glass but better because it’s a lot thicker and the color pay-off is better.
Tom Ford 01 Chastity – $48
WOW this stuff is expensive. It comes in a GORGEOUS case, but is it worth it? I haven’t decided yet. I wore Chastity to bed last night to see if it would dry my lips out and it didn’t. This is a baby pink color with very fine sparkles. I think if you find a color that really draws you in, and there’s no dupe to be found then it may be worth it. Chastity is a beautiful pink and I have nothing negative to say about this lipstick except the obvious ($48).
Tom Ford 02 Smitten – $48
This is a darker pink from Tom Ford. It’s so pretty because it has really tiny gold sparkles. The glitter in the Tom Ford lipsticks are very fine so they don’t bother me. I usually only buy matte lipsticks but these are a step above the typical ‘glitter’.