With Christmas and a New Year approaching faster than I’d like to acknowledge, I thought it time to take stock and plan a little into the future. I came across this great exercise over at The Five Fs blog and thought I’d take a moment to oink my head out of the sand and take a wider look at my place in the world and where I’m heading in the next five years.
Here goes with week 1 and ‘The Wheel of Life’!
I’m not going to go deeply into each area, just a brief look at each one and how I feel I’m doing from 0 to 10.
Fun & recreation – 7
I have plenty of fun and recreation with my children (aged 1, 5 & 8) and husband, but time on my own is practically non-existent. Family always comes first and I find it hard, whilst my youngest is only 19 months, to carve out time for me. To be honest, when I do take time away from family I miss them very quickly. I have the most fun with them and I know my young children are going to grow up all too quickly and not always want to have fun with Mama and Dada (besides children’s toys are so cool and I get to sing silly songs around the supermarket and push the supermarket trolley like it’s a formula 1 racing car when I have children in tow).
If I start thinking too much on this one I come up with ‘time to read a book, watch a movie, dinner with husband (sans children), dinner with friends, see a play with friends, go to the theatre, have a long bath (with bubbles, sans children, and a book)’…. of course there’s a lot of recreational time missing from my life – I’m a mother to three young children! I accept that. I know I will have all that time again, in the future. Right now I want to be playing on the beach with my children and standing by their side when they catch their first fish!
Career – 7
Okay. My career is primary carer for my youngest daughter and after school carer and weekend, nights and everything else in-between carer for my older two daughters. I take this role very seriously. In terms of a career that actually brings in an income I don’t know how I’d fit that in right now. When my youngest is at school I would like to contribute to the family income, but still want to be there for my children first. In the near future this means finding temporary work in term time (hubbie says I can organise his office for him!), enabling me to be with my children on school holidays (at least until the youngest is 14 and legally able to be unsupervised). I’m giving this a 7, as I see being a full time mother an incredibly complex, committed and varied role that takes great stamina, patience and creativity. Being a ‘blogging mother’ helps me to stay ahead in the world of technology and my ability to string a sentence together, hee, hee!
We are a very ‘traditional’ family – kind of 1950’s – except I don’t cook as wholesome meals as I should and don’t sew (but I do play the piano, sing and dance with my children, read and write poetry with them and frequently let them wild with paints).
I would like to eventually have a mix of income streams, from teaching piano to children, being a swim instructor to young children, a little admin work for hubbie and a little creative writing (the latter being the least likely income earner – but I’d personally like to dedicate a little time to this area!). All this isn’t possible till my youngest is at school – but I can certainly start putting in the paving stones toward that direction.
Health – 6
Physically I am pretty good. I am on my feet every day and walk a lot. I fit in sun salutations and other yoga stretches throughout the day with the children. My weight is good for my height and body type and I feel positive about myself physically (though a boob job after 8 year’s of breastfeeding… with no end in sight… would be considered, lottery win willing, as I’m feeling a little lopsided with one breast outproducing the other!!).
My diet is balanced (though perhaps a little too much sugar some days – sleep deprivation I’ll blame that on!). I should try to drink a little more water each day. Coffee consumption is all good and I only drink alcohol once every four or five days – and then only a glass.
Mentally I am taking a mild dose of anti-depressents. I am still not getting uninterrupted sleep. Sleep deprivation does affect my bodies ability to make serotonin. I am confident that I will be able to operate without the need for medication when I have regular sleep and regular exercise. I love long bush walks, jogging and yoga (but I’m rarely without a child in tow). At the moment I get the best ‘head space’ when my hubbie looks after the children whilst I put the vacuum round the house or mow the lawns!
On a ‘womanly’ front I am still not menstruating at 19 months post partum (yee ha is all I can say to that!). I am breastfeeding throughout the night, as well as the day. With my older girls my period didn’t resume until I regularly went 9 hours, out of 24, without breastfeeding. This does not bother me (it will bother me when I resume the horrible monthly ups and down of female hormones!).
Personal Development – 6
I am learning so much more than I ever have in this passage of my life as a mother!
I do love playing the piano and would like to work on improving and getting to a good enough standard to feel confident to teach to children (I got up to Grade 7 years ago, but doubt I’d pass a Grade 7 exam if I took one tomorrow!).
I enjoy creative writing, but spend most of my evenings blogging about life in general and engaged in the online blogging community and with friends on Facebook! I ought to readdress the balance slightly and spend a couple a night’s a week on creative writing instead.
Friends & Family – 6
All my extended family live overseas. I can’t change this, because my husband’s career is here in New Zealand and this is my children’s home. I have lived here for fourteen years and I will never be able to live here without a part of my heart aching. I accept that. There is no solution, just acceptance. As much as we’d love to fly home more frequently (last time was four year’s ago) it’s a huge upheaval with young children. Also, we just don’t have the finances – especially now we’ve decided on private education for two of our daughters.
Friends have come and gone. People I have made real connections with now live overseas or in other parts of New Zealand. I know lots of people in Wellington and am surrounded by many wonderful people, but with the demands of raising a young family I don’t leave myself enough time to socialise. This is something I do need to work on (when I get my youngest sleeping through – eventually – I’m not expecting that to change in a hurry – I’ll make more of an effort.).
Environment – 7
What can I say! This is one area of my life where I am truly blessed! Fresh, clean air, a temperate climate, wide open spaces and beaches to run on. No traffic jams to contend with, a warm, well insulated home, a garden full of native trees and a few vegetables and herbs. Though there is always room for improvement, and need for changes from us as a family, to live more harmoniously with our environment.
On a home front, I have no great redecorating aspirations (I have a toddler and two other children that do that for me!). I do like an organised, clean home and it’s never all 100% – FAR, FAR from it! I constantly have projects on the go and areas to tackle – I’m forever chasing moving targets (and being bombarded with unexpected debris). That’s life at home with a young family! I am forever balancing my desire for an ordered home, with my love of being creative and active with my children. This is an area I am continually focusing on!
Finance – 7
Need to work harder to watch spending on unnecessary items and impulse buys. Children cost a fortune! I am bad at spending in cafes with the children (though I am trying to make more coffees at home – to avoid going into cafes – and taking out water with us).
Romance – 8
I am so fortunate to have an incredibly kind, caring, patient and loving husband who puts his family first. He works so hard for us and puts all he has into our family, heart and soul. We love sharing our love with our children. Of course we dream occasionally of a night away, a lie in as a couple without a little person wriggling between us, an impromptu walk on the beach at sunset. It’s important we dream and hold onto our dreams. Those dreams will become real again. Most importantly, at this stage in our lives with a young family, we focus on taking the time to kiss goodbye in the morning, to say ‘I love you’ (and mean it with our hearts and eyes), to reach out and hug one another in passing, to hold hands when our children are running happy and free on a grass field and to grab opportunities when they present themselves. We were fortunate to have met young and enjoyed many, many years travelling and adventuring together before we started a family. Those memories keep us strong, but we have to keep working to stay focused on the beauty of now and the promise of tomorrow too.
Joining in with ‘The Five Fs blog: Life Circle’ and Week 1 ‘The Wheel of Life’. If you’d like to join in with this and feel like linking up, or reading other people’s posts, then head on over. The task for ‘Week 2‘ has been posted up too – link up from Thursday 13 October.