Monday, December 21, 2009

Time to change.

The last blog post has been boring me for too long. Time to relegate it to the archives. I still have the stroller, and occasionally babyG requests "the blue stroller" for a run, so I oblige.

I have been living a very low-key lifestyle for the last couple of months. All the chilluns are home, so that's nice. The most recent (L) achilles tear is very slowly recovering - this is also good. No. 1 has worked up to swimming 2k per session - a positive thing for her in the light of ongoing stretching and strengthening issues with her running.

Part of the reason behind the "low-key" stuff mentioned above, is that I have really struggled to find my happy place in the last few months, perhaps longer, really. I have been frustrated by the roles I find myself in, and disappointed that this is how my life and partnerships have turned out. Now, a big part of my discontent is that common mummy thing, of missing what I consider the "luxury", of going out to work. Planning my day, and dealing with any unexpected developments with an adult perspective, doing different things, working independently - are all things I miss keenly when I'm at home with small children. Of course, the stay-at-home lobby group would howl in protest, that I'm fortunate to be at home during baby's early years, etc., and I know that - I'm here by choice, at least in part. In my own perfect world, though, I'd still like to be able to go places and do meaningful things, by myself sometimes.

And this is where the disappointment comes in. I feel cheated that neither of my partners in life so far, have been able to co-parent with me in a way that allows me to explore my options. I've had to be mum and dad, for almost half my life, now. When I was able to work, for a few years between No. 1 and No. 2, it was to come home to an unkempt house with no food in store, until I took care of those chores, too, managed the bills, and nurtured the kids. It's a lot of responsibility, in your early 20s, to be a parent. I don't dispute that fact. But parenting, and indeed partnering someone through life, needs to be built on, or it won't grow enough to sustain the family. You cannot carry a partner as well as your children, through so many years, without sometimes staggering under the weight. You can reason with yourself that your partner can only work with you to the limit of their ability, and just make yourself keep going anyway, but still, in the back of your mind, is that nagging idea that you want someone by your side who can shoulder the burdens equally. To be disappointed twice, and be left living the consequences, while former partners can so easily opt in and out of the responsibility of real "I'm-giving-this-100%" parenting, is what I have to accept, and learn to be happy in spite of.

So, my small positive epiphany last week on a rainy afternoon out in the car, was to make my little corner of the world as beautiful as I can, for me and the children, and let the enjoyment of that process sustain me. I find beauty in music, architecture, order and space, and a bit of green chaos in the garden (in the right proportion). TBC, huh?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

For the CoolRunners

Free Running Stroller

For anyone who wants to try running with a stroller, without spending the dollars. This is a Gerry Zoomer stroller from the USA - not sure when they were made, but the colours (jade green and purple) are very reminiscent of outdoor gear in Canada when we lived there in the mid-90s.

I was given this stroller by a self-confessed stroller enthusiast, when I bought my Mountain Buggy from him second hand.

It has 16" wheels on the back, a 12" wheel on the front. The tyres are only just OK - will need replacing sooner rather than later, but they are easy to source from your local bike store, or even BigW etc. The seat and sunshade are in good condition, the straps are good (5-point harness), it's light and folds in half to stow. It DOES NOT have a foot operated brake - all of this generation of strollers had a strap loop to clip through the spokes on the back wheel, so they can't roll away when you want to park to get the baby out etc. If you use this kind of stroller, you have to be diligent about not letting go, and keeping a tether strap on your wrist. The tether strap isn't on this stroller, but you can make one out of anything, and tie it to the axle or handle as you prefer. I think I have some webbing strap that you can have to make your tether strap.

So, there it is. It is not a flash enough stroller to be worth spending too much getting it to yourself, as you can imagine. But it's a basic stroller, that, judging from the service a similar model gave me when my older kids were young, you could take out for 50km weeks for a long time without too much trouble from it.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

On being mum.

My boys believe the house we live in is my ex's, and have told me so; their reasoning being that he had a job and earned money, while I was at home for so many years. 20 years of mothering, and it has no dollar value in most people's eyes. I am an educated woman in a wealthy country. What, then, of the women in poor countries with no education??

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Meandering Along

Second week of holidays from Uni for No.1. We've done some running, bit of op-shopping, hanging out at home doing our respective things. A good restorative time for us both.

Had a rare but lovely session on the phone with my bro last night. I value his input - he always manages to refresh my outlook with his straightforward view of things.

The sledging rubbish on CR goes on. Of course some of the posters are thoughtful, earnest people, who are just throwing around jokes like a lit firecracker, passing it from person to person, and laughing together over it all. Others have more intent, and a sense of deep conviction about what they write. Might be time for another holiday from reading it all, I think. I don't think I'm gaining much from my exposure. I did bother to answer one question just for my own satisfaction, that I will record here for posterity, as it is the answer to a swipe that always annoys me. BabyG's dad's best time for the C2S is 41.29, and would have won the event on 17 other occasions (in addition to the year he won). I think he came 5th the year he did his best time. Shows how the depth of running talent has changed since the 1980s and 90s.

On with the games.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Go slow.

I'm tired. I don't know why, but I am. Not the good kind of tired, like you've done ever so many miles in the bush on the trails, or just worked a 16hr day on overdrive. I am just all-over-tired. And I keep getting colds. Usu. I get a sniffle once a year, for a day or two, and that's it.

I'm running, but my running is not really improving. Admittedly it's almost impossible to take a toddler in a stroller everywhere you go, including every run you do, and for it all to be high quality stuff like you might choose. Dialogue last Wed afternoon between me and the complaining stroller occupant went something like -
"OK, when we're at home, I play with you. We read baby books, I feed you, wash you, dress you and cuddle you. Up here (in the forest), you work for me. Now turn around and sit down and be quiet, mummy's running".

And babyG's dad is still in outer space. I don't think he's ever going to be able to turn off the craziness inside his head, and I don't think he thinks so either. So he plays games with his life to distract himself. It's not much fun for the people around him, though.

On the better side of things, No. 1 is home on a short break from Uni. Makes even the ordinary things special. I love her seemingly endless creativity - the cartoons, the photography, the spring cleaning, the dreaming. And today I got to see her smiling as she ran the final round of a skins 60m race, laughing away as she struggled across the line in 2nd. Very happy for her to be happy.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

For the Friends

These are for you. Prelim. pics of the room, before Jac had accessorized, but with BabyG for a decorating touch.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Not a post. Just a picture, really.
It's hot, but I love long days, and not having cold toes. Bring it on!

Good times with the kids. HSC finished for No. 1, ???? B Design/Architecture.
She will end up being a photographer, I think - - - ->

BabyG's dad is off the rails, though, and that is taking the gloss off everyone's happiness at the moment. At the right time, this post could be a very long discussion about mental health acts and the rights of the individual, cf. outcomes for families, and long term support for people with mental health problems. We are all surviving, though, just some of us with a little more ease.

Went for a run yesterday in my sandals. Nothing unusual in that. Got a v. sore L heel at the turnaround, stowed the sandals in the stroller basket, finished the run barefoot up the middle of the road, where there are fewer rocks. The heel was better today than it usually would be. Maybe I'll try some barefoot on the grass oval today, if I get a chance.