Change

It seems to me, one thing certain about life is change. Change propels us forward – whether we like it or not.

In the past 5 years, a lot has changed for me. I’d dare say the first word I think about when I think about change is:

1. Uncertainty.  You can never simply tell.  Things change.  People change.  For the longest time I always said I’d never be a stay-at-home mother, but here I am.  Mothering by the seat of my pants.  The children are growing, and in some ways I have to grow up a little more – before they do.

In the midst of uncertainty, is the ever-present pressure of …

2. Decision.  Who knows what change will bring?  How can I know?  And yet, I must decide.

Sweet holy sauce, I can think of a million possibilities.  That makes me chew on my lips.  Because decisions involve …

3. Risk.  Change and risk walk together, no?  When I chose to become a hands-on parent, I knew we’d struggle on a single income.  There is a risk our children will never get the opportunities that some others will.  Good education is costly, food is costly, don’t even get me started.

I figure, though, that you can’t put a price on a stay home parent.  My kids looked at me blankly when I suggested I might go back to work, once.  They began shaking their heads slowly, then violently, and I had to say something different very quickly to quieten the howls.

4. Loss.  With any kind of change, there is loss.  I miss my high-pressure job – somewhat.  Kidding!  Mostly, I miss having adult colleagues.  Here I am, trying to find some company in blog land, something I once thought (very foolishly) a nebulous thing.

And guess what?

5. Gain.  I’ve found some great company.  When I can’t blog, I wonder about the people I “follow” and yet have never met in the flesh.  And as far as being SAHM goes, I can now cook and teach a science lesson at the same time, vacuum while nursing my baby in a sling, and not break a sweat whenever I go out alone with 3 little ones aged 5 and under.  I impress my hitherto anti-SAHM self.  (Girl’s gotta have a healthy sense of self-respect.)

Also, I love how our homeschooling family is closely knitted together.  I love that last week we went on a baking spree and made mini muffins, chocolate crackles and raisin bread.  I gorged myself on 10 chocolate crackles in a row and felt happy because I can still fit into my 8 year old Levi’s jeans as a result of tandem nursing all these years.

There is no loss without some great gain.

6. Perspective.  I’ve always felt that change – uncertainty, risks and decision-making – can be uncomfortable.  But it can make moments of predictability so much sweeter.  The Bunnies are the easiest to be with whenever there’s an afternoon nap, and as often as I’ve grumbled about the routine, I’ve welcomed the time of quiet as an opportunity to rest.  I don’t get much, but any bit helps when there are 3 little ones about.

Speaking of 3 little ones, there is a lot more to upkeep around the house.

7. Rough hands.  You do get these, after so much cleaning.  The good part?  Sweet Man recently felt my callouses and must have felt poorly, because he remarked next, “You deserve the new iPhone 5. For working so hard.”  Now, for a gal who doesn’t have a camera that doesn’t drive her mad let alone a phone with internet access, hearing that is like having my secret drawer stashed to the brim with my favourite dark chocolate.

(Whether I will actually be getting an iPhone is anybody’s guess. I can’t look beyond this Sunday when the 2 trees in my back garden will finally be felled and I can put on my farming clothes to till the land.  As if I had the time!  But one can dream of organic vegetables …..)

8. Hope.  Okay, so I am the baking, cleaning, homeschooling (and hopefully organic farming) Marm.  But that isn’t all I am.  And life as a family doesn’t remain static.  There is always so much movement and change.

Over the past few years, we’ve invested our time in Harvest Centre.  Lugging along 3 little ones is no cupcake, I can tell you.  But loving and learning with others, seeing our lives blend together, is teaching our family how to be grateful for every little bit we have, and to find meaning in discomfort.  It is also amazing to see hope in the midst of desperate situations and how it is a strong force for change.

9. Love.  It’s hard to change without love.  Love is like the net that catches me when I make mistakes and fall, because it makes me want to get up again. Looking back, I think Sweet Man taught me that best.

When a man – your husband – makes you apple pie on a downer-day, you know you’ve struck the jack pot.

10. Certainty.  Someone once said that the only thing certain about life is uncertainty, death and taxes.  I don’t really feel that way.  I feel certainty that comes with the love that is around me and in me.  There is certainty in truth.

Some things like these never change. They give me a kind of steadfastness.

And they make changes all the easier to live with.

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Linking up with Lovelinks #23, Stasha of The Good Life and thanking Deborah of MaNNaHaTTaMaMMa, for inspiring the theme of this week’s Monday Listicles

Also, living the Be Enough Me feeling this week!

Link up an enough-themed post in the Be Enough Me for Cancer campaign. For every 20 linked up posts, Bellflower Books will provide a memory book to a woman fighting breast cancer through Crickett’s Answer for Cancer, and help bring a smile to courageous women giving it their all, every single day.

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My love of cloth diapers

Cloth nappies are the bomb.

(Or cloth diapers, whichever you prefer)

A headgear is just one of its many uses.

Other functions? Emergency towel, picnic mat for baby, blanket.

I never leave home without a couple in my bag.

Seriously?

I love the feel of cotton on my baby’s/kid’s bum. For night-time and going out, I use some of those cool modern cloth diapers (BumWear, Bum Genius, GroVia, Rump-a-Rooz and Bitti d’Lish) – I love them all – but nothing beats the utter breathability of plain cloth.

Just hook ’em up with a snappi, and I’m all done.

Of course, with plain cloth (featured in the above photo), I have to contend with leaks as there is no outer cover. But I have learned to carry my babies in such a way as to minimize soiling my clothes.

Minimize, I say. Because I have soiled my clothes on occasions. Rather irksome.

There is also the washing, drying and folding to do, every 2 days. And changes are required often – every single time there is a toilet incident.

Now, that’s a lot of nappy changes in a day. Rather wearisome, when I’m already sleep-deprived. On such days, I resort to one of the fancy modern cloth ones that function much like a disposable.

So why do I still cloth diaper?

I figure that 100% breathable nappies are well worth the effort. (I’m talking plain cloth here.)

Toilet training came early on for the Bunnies (by the time they were 2 years old), and I think wearing cloth had something to do with it.

With plain cloth, I’ve learned how to read my baby’s body language, over time, when he’s going to have a toilet incident.

Incidentally, that’s helped me understand how a desire to toilet can be a contributing factor to fussiness during eating times. (Wouldn’t you fuss, if you wanted to go pee, but couldn’t because you were strapped to a chair?)

I’ve hardly ever had to contend with nappy rash, or creams.

(I somehow hate the idea of chemicals, or even “natural” creams, on my baby’s skin. Am I stiff or what?)

Cloth nappies are super cost-saving.

And then there is the environmental disaster of disposable diapers. Think of how many disposables just one baby goes through, and multiply that by the number of babies living today?

Here, I have to say – in all honesty, I do accept, with gratitude, gifts of disposables from friends – they have saved me in emergency situations, like when I’m super dead tired, so …. one has to balance! Life can be complex!

I’ve gotten used to all the nappy-changing, washing and folding. It’s a family affair. I do almost all of the changing and folding, Sweet Man dumps them into the washing machine, Puppy can now fold a whole laundry load of them, it’s that easy – and fun! for a 5 year old.

Once you get the hang of it.

On trips out, we’ve got used to carrying soiled nappies home with us in a wet bag. It really isn’t that disgusting!

Just think of one less contribution to a land fill.

Now, please do not for once think that I am implying that anyone who does not cloth diaper is a poor parent, or a wicked human being without a conscience. There is too much senseless and cruel mud-slinging that goes on in parenting debates nowadays.

To cloth diaper or not? Breastfeed or not? Attachment parent or not? It so happens that I love cloth diapering, breastfeeding and some aspects of attachment parenting, but really, I’d be the last to judge. Some of my best friends do things pretty differently – and they are wonderful moms.

It’s just that I love cloth nappies. For their comfort and breathability.

I have totally zero commercial interest in them. I’m purely a satisfied customer. Although I should probably start to think about it – they are one of those things that are saving our planet.

If you’re one of those who are ready to try cloth diapers, I’d say give it a shot, make it gradual – it takes time getting used to the effort – and don’t pummel yourself on those desperate days that you simply need a disposable.

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This post is inspired by all the cool headgears at Kiddothings, and linked up with Live and Love …. Out Loud and Project Alicia.

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