Saturday, May 20, 2006
When I was engaged to be married, well meaning people said things like 'well after the honeymoon is over, it is really hard work' and were happy to argue in front of us and said 'things change after you get married' and other helpful comments. We weren't ones with rosetinted glasses on going into marriage so these comments were not even vaguely a wake up call, but added to the seeming enormity of the decision. (When friends of ours get engaged we now try and encourage marriage rather than try to be the instigators of a wake-up call).

Anyway, going into parenting I feel the same way. We've been around enough families (and both separately lived with families with young children) to again not have rosetinted glasses on about the enormity of parenting. It is going to be our hardest job so far, we will probably struggle financially, I'll get particularly tired and will likely be grumpy or cry more with that. We haven't experienced being parents before, so it's interesting to me that many people are doing a similar thing with our engagement 'encouragement' and trying to give a wake-up call (or at least hint at) on how hard it is. We know how hard it is going to be. It scares us! So, I'm interested what is in the NZ psyche that we can assume that people have rosetinted glasses on for decisions in life and try and knock it out of it part of the tall poppy syndrome?

My wake up call is to others, and myself, to listen to people and where their thinking is at before commenting one way or another.

To turn this into a positive rather than grumbly post though, this can be another topic for wisdom however, that of parenting... If you are a parent, what are some tips you have for growing a baby into a great little person... If you're not a parent, what are some things your parents did right when you were growing up?

Things I learned about parenting from my parents:

  • Don't bite someone else you'll get a bite back.
  • Be consistent with discipline, then the threat of discipline (e.g. a look) can be enough to stop you in your tracks
  • Sometimes the best fun is the simplest (e.g. making dolls from pegs - I kid you not)
  • Read and sing to your children. They'll always remember the ones you sang/read over and over.

posted by Melva at 3:14 PM | 3 comments
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
In thinking about missing older people in my life as mentors etc. I got to thinking about how the blogger community could share wisdom on different topics.
So, here is the first of my 'wisdom series'. It will only be a series of one if not much wisdom is shared...

The first topic
Some of the wisdom points that I have learned through life are:
  • saving a little is better than saving nothing at all.
  • it is good to have a spending plan (nicer term than budget) to ensure your money goes to the places you priorities
  • it is good to stick to your spending plan otherwise there's not much point in it
  • generosity with money helps to slash selfishness
  • I have found that people always feel like there is never enough money, so it is best to live with that tension as best you can, and live within your means as best you can
  • Visa interest is a trap

Other wisdom points will be gratefully appreciated.

posted by Melva at 5:12 PM | 4 comments
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
In my thinking (thanks to a Bible college Teacher that drilled this into me), a mentor is a challenging relationship that makes you grow. Therefore, the children I work with could be mentors to me… friends, family, work colleagues etc. can all be mentors to me. Annoying people on the phone after ages on hold can be mentors to me. I have found that I am missing the kind of mentoring that only older adults can bring about – the type of relationship where you know they’ve been there done that, learned the lessons and are wiser for it. Now I do have older sisters and my Dad and Aunties & Uncles, but I think that living in Auckland has made it harder to have that weekly kind of mentor or role model to observe (given that my closest relative is 1 ½ away). I don’t know if it is going to be ‘a matter of time’ before I meet lots of parent/grandparent figures in the city as it seems that here, more than any of my other former places of residence, I’m hanging around with people who are closer to my age or stage of life than not. There are some lovely people at work that I can gain wisdom from, but I’m talking more about life stuff (relationships, outlook, faith etc.) rather than how to do a good job. Maybe it’s being highlighted because I’m going to have a baby and often that’s a time when you have parents around to help you and I won’t have that help, but I do wonder if it’s something other people find too, and whether cities have broken down some of the inter-generational links that smaller communities often naturally have.
posted by Melva at 5:23 PM | 2 comments
15 May 2006... The one evening I actually have something I want to talk about on my blog and in the internet is down – go figure.
posted by Melva at 5:22 PM | 0 comments
Monday, May 01, 2006
I'm writing when I'm tired and grumpy (I'll blame that on pregnancy) so keep in mind that generally I'm a nice person :)

I'm interested in people's opinions generally - especially opinions on things that make for interesting conversation like faith, politics, human rights (as opposed to the weather and petrol prices) but there's a line where I think people shouldn't cross over in 'sharing' opinions.

I'm 19weeks pregnant and here are some of the opinions expressed over that time so far (not by people who read my blog):
  • Oh, due in September aye?- must be a New Year's Eve baby (yes we only have sex once a year on New Year's Eve).
  • You are sick? - must be a healthy baby (there's probably some truth to that but not really comforting when you're nauseated already!)
  • You were quite sick? -must be having twins
  • You were quite sick? - must be a girl
  • You were quite sick? - must be a boy
  • Oh, you're tiny for **** weeks/months pregnant (I'm kinda glad I'm not larger yet as I can avoid random people touching my stomach, but it's disconcerting to hear that constantly when I know that low weight gain of the mother can bring about prematurity of the baby)
  • You're going to find out the gender of the baby? My friend did that and it turned out to be a boy not a girl like the scan seemed to show.

I know other pregnant ladies get similar - you're quite large are you having twins? (what a flattering)...

Pregnancy can be a beautiful time as a baby is being knitted in a Mother's womb, but it's not an uncommon phenomenon (i.e. the 6billion people in the world right now were produced by a pregnancy and birth) . I just wish people didn't always have an opinion on things that to me feel personal.

Even the idea of asking married people when they're going to have children is over the line in my view (it can take a long time for many couples to get pregnant if they can, and can be a real slap in the face each time they hear that question).

I know I have to live with it because it's part of our society/culture (do they do that elsewhere around the world?) but it's definitely one part of our society that I'm not enjoying in my present grumpy pregnant state.

Postscript: I am thankful that I'm pregnant and am generally glowing.

posted by Melva at 6:17 PM | 9 comments