Parenting thesis: Chapter One

Black and white image of a baby asleepWhen I commenced my parenting thesis, nine and a half years ago, I had not considered that it would take quite so long to hand it in. I had not banked on the required reading list being quite so long, nor the minimum skill set being quite so extensive. This graduation, of course, does not mark the end of the parenting journey. Merely, it signifies the end of the chapter entitled, "child-at-home-during-the-day-several-days-of-the-week".

At the completion of a thesis it is requisite that a paper be published from the work. Now that the junior recipe testers are all at school during the prescribed hours, save those times we are running late due to a flat bike tyre, lost car keys or a tantrum about whether or not sunscreen should be applied and by whom, I feel it incumbent upon me to write.

Parenting is oft described as one of life's most fulfilling pursuits...

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The balance back to real life

People swimming at the beach under a blue, lightly clouded sky

We talk a lot about work-life balance, and about the daily juggling act. But until this week it hadn't previously occurred to me how much of a balancing act getting back to real life was.

We had a lovely school holiday, enjoying some much needed time out and an extended period with family and friends at my favourite beach in all the earth. The junior recipe testers learned to body surf, caught and released prawns, swam with fish, some more or less walking on water to get away from the fishes "creepy eyes" and rattled through our very first earthquakes (that's a story for another day).

And then the first day of school rolled around. And we were back to real life...

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Merry Christmas

'Tis the season to be jolly... busy and harassed

Trumpeter statue

'Tis the season to be jolly. But mostly, jolly busy. And harassed.

We seem to have presentation days and Christmas concerts coming out our ears. Occasionally they proceed from other parts of us too. Last week was the all important band performance evening. Our very first one.

...Mobilising three junior recipe testers to an event and coming home again has its challenges. None of these challenges are ever mentioned in antenatal classes. But leaving home for multiple events before returning to the nest often requires the diplomacy and skill to make the UN weep. This was the state of play just to us get out the door:

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Our packaging war on waste

Sheep looking down at camera

Like many of you, after the ABC's #waronwaste campaign and TV show we were horrified. We thought we knew something about responsible disposal of rubbish, but the problems that rubbish is causing were far worse than we imagined. And so we started thinking...

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I am a professional...

Blueberry bagels in the foreground with a child's hand stealing blueberries off the plate

I generally consider myself to be a professional. It's true, that reasonably often this means I need to take a junior recipe tester assistant with me to business meetings. But I always try to maintain a professional, um... air. I brush my hair and my teeth. I dress appropriately. 

I don't go to meetings in my pyjamas.

Well, hardly ever.

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The over-sharing and the ridiculous...

Legs of a woman in a white skirt, holding a basket of flowers

I assume it's not just me, others too, find themselves in this situation. But there are times in life when you are forced into the most ridiculous conversations. Living with one or more  junior recipe testers under the age of five will mean this is a daily occurrence. But it is made even more problematic when you are forced to have a ridiculous conversation in a very public place.

Now, I realise, I am at high risk of over-sharing here. So if you are prone to embarrassment, please do avert your eyes.

I recently had need to visit the GP....

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Carers and the cared-for

A profile of carers in Australia taken from the ABS website

It's true that some carers don't identify themselves as such. They just happen to provide assistance to someone who needs additional help. Overwhelmingly this care is provided for a family member. 

In 2015 the Australian Bureau of Statistics conducted a survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers, and a summary of findings was released recently.

2.7 million Australians provide informal care. Over two-thirds of carers are women.

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School holidays and climbing the roof (but not the walls!)

A red and a blue door of adjacent terrace housesSchool holidays are, for me, a break in routine and a chance just to hang out. They're also a time to climb on the roof. I should point out that I didn't include that on my original school holiday plan...

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An award winning weekend!

Image of Rachel with Peace Mitchell & Katy Garner, AusMumpreneur founders

It has been a big weekend. On Friday night I was honoured to be awarded the Women's Business School Excellence Award at the AusMumpreneur Awards for 2017. It was a night of celebration of the many, many remarkable achievements of entrepreneurial women in Australia. I certainly spent the evening in the company of greatness.

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