Like many 5 year olds around Australia, O had his first full week at primary school this week.
The excitement of last week had subsided and it was time for serious business.
And boy, is it a roller coaster.
Monday started off with us being stuck behind TWO trams and getting to his class room right on 9AM. It ended with me picking him up and him telling me that his grade 2 buddy wasn’t his friend anymore but he had a new buddy. He also had a blood nose and a split lip somewhere in there, and he tried to keep a brave face but before bedtime he told me Mum I know I’m supposed to make the most of it but I just don’t know if I can.
He slept in our bed that night!
Tuesday- his teacher clarified that he got a new buddy because O and his former buddy (M) we’re playing too much during class. They were, in fact, too good of friends. Phew. It ended with him making lots of new friends and generally feeling pretty good about himself.
Wednesday we were super early, and he didn’t want to get out of the car before his class was open. I don’t want the kids to see me be too early Mum. He got to go to his Grandads house after school, where his best mate (and uncle) Ned lives. He was pretty impressed entirely exhausted but happy with the day.
Thursday, his last day of the week, his teacher had yard duty in the morning. This totally threw him and me off as he couldn’t go in his class room until 9. But his old buddy (M) arrived and they hung around so O insisted I leave. He had after school care, and didn’t want to leave when his Dad picked him up. Poor James. Sometime throughout the day he traded his favourite Pokemon card for whatever reason. Tears ensued. Eventually we were able to focus on the fact that he had just finished his FIRST EVER week at school.
Today, he went to his Babcia’s and kicked me out before I could even scabb a coffee!
Schoolie kids, ey?
One things for certain, his little sister (yeah okay, and mum) miss the absolute shit out of him. Immy spends half her day standing at the door saying Ob-ba-ba. And I’m right there next to her (in spirit I’m more likely to be on my perch in the lounge room).
He’s doing well. Really well. It’s a bigger change for all of us than I anticipated, but change is as good as a holiday. And damn I need a holiday!
Tonight, O and I witnessed history in the making. We attended the inaugural women’s AFL match at Princess Park, and it.was.amazing!
I was quite the tomboy growing up. In fact, when I was 8 years old I broke my arm playing football. I didn’t play much after that.
I always felt like I could either be sporty or feminine. As if being good at sport took away from my feminity. As if that even mattered.
Tonight, as I looked out on the field at those women kicking absolute arse on that field and knowing that my children will grow up with this being normal.
I am so happy. Tonight was a huge step forward towards true equality in society. We’ve got a ways to go, and I feel like this post wouldn’t be complete without at least mentioning the indiscretion in wages.
But tonight was special, and we got to be a part of it.
I remember the day you were born like it was yesterday. You came into this world the way you live, with a big dramatic entrance.
That day, I became more than just a Mum. Whilst I’d always thought I was selfless, I never realised how truly selfless I could be.
Running on empty but still chasing after you.
Boy, what a journey we’ve been on. Four states, six houses, five daycares, three jobs, five cars, hundreds of road trips… through everything it was you and me.
It was always you and me.
And then Dad came home, and Immy was born. And I miss us, but I can see that you don’t. Sometimes you ask for alone time with your Mum, but mostly you just love people… you have that beautiful heart of yours out on your sleeve.
And tomorrow, you start school.
I feel proud. We did it. As a Navy family, all I wanted was stability for you before you’ve started school. And we’ve got it. You can spend your last day in the same school that you spend your first day, no civilian family can understand what a luxury that is!
I want to give you everything, but as you walk through those gates tomorrow I know that there is only so much I can do from here. You’ll start listening to your teachers, your peers… and I’ll just be noise in the background. But I feel okay, we’ve come a long way kiddo- you really struggled in your early years but boy did you just keep on keeping on.
And I’m so proud of you.
I hope you are comfortable. Of course I want you to have fun, to learn, to make friends… and I know all of that will come. But first, I just want you to feel like you belong. Because you do. We worked hard to find the perfect school for you, and it just so happens to be the same school that your beloved Daisy goes to.
So tomorrow, you become my schoolie kid. I can’t believe it. It feels like just yesterday we were dancing to giggle and hoot in our apartment in Sydney. I’m so glad you still like to dance with me, I hope you’ll always dance with me.
From the day you were born, you took everything out of every single moment. It can be challenging sometimes, but it is such a beautiful trait. Don’t worry if some people don’t like you, that’s perfectly normal, just like you won’t like everyone. You could be the juiciest mango, but there will always be someone who doesn’t like mangoes. Don’t let it change you. Sure, it might hurt, and that’s okay.
On the eve of your first day at school I want you to know that no matter what path you decide to take in life, I will always always be there for you. You can tell me anything, besides you’re terrible at lying (oh please stay terrible at lying)!
So, Mr Schoolie kid- I’ll do my best not to cry at the gate but if writing this post is anything to go by, it’s not looking good. Please continue to squeeze as much out of life as you possibly can, and I’ll promise to always be there tricking to cut off your boo boos and use you as my pillow.
I love you Oliver. You are my best buddy, and I am so excited for this new chapter in our…your life.
It was recommended by a friend of mine when I told her about my no new clothes challenge, and it really embodies a lot of what I’m trying to achieve with this challenge.
Sure, it talks about consumerism a lot which is something I think a lot of us millennials face, and I honestly don’t know if I fully believe in their motivation. But it also talks about mindful living, and ethical fashion. I found that element particularly interesting, especially when one of the interviewees says, (rough quote) “I don’t have to worry about what I wear everyday… I don’t have many clothes but all my clothes are awesome.”
So I started back at work this month after 13 months on maternity leave. A few people questioned how I would go not buying new clothes… well to be honest I purchased my self a few new work outfits at the end of 2016. But honestly, it’s easier. I don’t look at my colleagues and think oh wow, that looks heaps profesh I should get a [insert item of clothing here]. In fact, I don’t even think about it… much.
Okey, sure- it’s a challenge and the first month has had its challenges. I realised that I have a lot of shit clothes. I also own a lot of stuff that just doesn’t fit, but I bought it for ‘one day’.
But I also own a lot of amazing clothes that I forgot about or simply don’t wear because it’s too special. I’m now pretty confident those items will be on high circulation for 2017.
So here’s what I’ve been wearing this month:
- A maxi- I purchased this at the end of 2016 and I’ve worn it about 6 times and the colour is already fading. I said to my hubby just today that 2016 Cass would have purchased 3 more, probably in similar styles and definitely on the lower end of quality. I definitely wish I’d spent a bit more and gotten a higher quality version.
- A princess highway short jacket- I’ve owned this baby for about 6 years and it’s had hundred of wears. I got it on sale for about $60 and almost didn’t buy it. It’s starting to fade pretty heavily so I’m considering dying it, but otherwise it’s still in great condition.
- Birkenstocks– I’m so glad I didn’t buy cheap knock offs. In true Cass fashion I purchased two pairs (because hey, they were on sale) but damn have they paid for themselves several times over!
- The Horse watch- 2 years old and still on the same band and battery.
So here’s what I’ve learnt this month:
- Shopping is a bordem killer for me. I still find myself looking for the ASOS app or resisting the urge to pop down to Sydney Rd Brunswick to browse the shops.
- It doesn’t make me happy. The excitement of buying is nice, but it passes far before my bank account has replenished itself.
- I don’t wear about 80% of my clothes- hopefully this will change!
- My son notices how much I buy, “mum, you can go look at clothes then I’ll go look at toys!”
- But he’s also adapted VERY quickly. After just a month he no longer expects something every time I go shopping.
I can’t believe I’m only a month in, but I already feel so refreshed!
If you’re interested in joining in, please share your pics using the #patchimperfect2017challenge hashtag.
*please note that this is not a sponsored post. All clothing that I have linked to I personally recommend based on quality, ethics and fit.
** I can accept gifts as part of the challenge. If you wish to gift me clothing please contact me, but I cannot guarantee a review.
Over the past 12 months I have been knee deep in diapers, kindy drop off, birthday parties, PTA meetings, mushy food, playgroup, laundry, school enrolments… and all the other cliche things that mums do.
And here’s the thing:
It’s not me.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved it. I am SO lucky I got twelve entire months to saturate my newborn baby in love. And even luckier that the timing coincided with O’s last year before school. I loved it. And I thought I’d miss it.
But I don’t…
After my first week back at work, I can honestly say that that is not me.
I realised something.
Happiness and satisfaction are not always the same thing.
Yup, I was happy floating away in my mummy bubble. But I wasn’t satisfied.
I dunno, I guess I should feel guilty. But I don’t. If anything I feel guilty for not feeling guilty… because #mumlife, but I don’t feel bad for enjoying my career and being an individual for 25 hours a week!
Did I think about my kids whilst I’m working? Yeah, a bit… but not as much as maybe I should have. Did I worry about them? No, not at all.
They are safe. They are settling in, but they will be happy.
And I’m me. Still, always. And popping out a baby or two hasn’t changed that.
Whether it’s working for the man, staying home with your babies, or a little bit of both, heck even a little bit of neither- babes you’ve got to do you. You’ve got to be happy, but you’ve really got to be satisfied!!
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me to enjoy my last few days of freedom I’d have, like, 5 bucks by now.
So next week, I head back to work after just over 12 months on maternity leave and seriously HEAPS of people keep reminding me to enjoy my last few days off.
Honestly, I’m as giddy as a kid at Christmas. I love my kids but I am SO excited to get back to work. Sorry not sorry, it’s just part of who I am as a mother and as a person.
- Laundry. Because I’m going to find the bottom of my laundry basket before I go back to work so help me.
- Working out. I am *like* 2kg away from getting my work pants to zip up, and these days I’m a true believer in if it zips it fits.
- Meal prepping. More money, more problems- right? Well there will be if we spend all our wages on lunches.
- Cleaning. Because in theory if we’re not home, we can’t mess the place up right? So it’s worth my effort.
- Transitioning the kids into care. This not only includes orientations and trials. It also includes calling centre link, paper work, clothing and shoe shopping, and labelling ALL the things.
And don’t worry guys, I’ll be spending plenty of time with the kids- but I’d do that anyway because they are my entire life and I live every second with them… but I feel like my first day at work will be a break, and a start to my perfect work life balance… right guys? Right!?!?
P.s. If you too have admired my wonderful maternity leave tan here’s how you can get one of your very own: Simply try walking anywhere with a tired 5YO lagging along, whilst baby wearing a bouncing one year old… and before you know if you’ll be spending approximately 75% more time in the sun, and voila, your VERY own mat leave tan!
No don’t worry, I’m not becoming a nudist. Not this year anyway…
I’vedecided to set myself a little bit of a challenge for 2017. Well, it’s actually a huge challenge for this shopaholic.
In 2017 I am not going to buy myself any new clothes.
Yup, I know.
You see, I have clothes. I have LOTS of clothes, because I LOVE clothes.
But over the past 2-3 years I’ve really stopped buying disposable clothing and started investing in good quality, long lasting clothes. Which, in theory, should save me money. BUT I have still been shopping away like I used to, except now I’m spending A LOT more money. And disposing of a lot less clothes. My wardrobe is at capacity!
So now it’s time to put my money where my mouth is or, more appropriately my money where my savings should be!
- I can not spend any money on new clothes/ or shoes
- This includes op shopping
- I can accept clothing/ shoes as a gift or enter competitions and win new clothing/ shoes
- I can accept gift certificates and use them for clothes, but I must stick within that limit
- I can purchase new underwear
- This challenge does not include new clothing for the kids
Damn, now that I’m writing it all down I realise just what I am getting myself into! But I’m excited. I’m excited to experiment with my current clothes, I’m hoping this inspires me to get my booty into some of my pre-pregnancy clothing and I’m hoping to inspire others to step away from cheap disposable fashion and start investing in high quality local fashion brands (although not ALL my clothes currently fit this criteria).
I’ll share my favourite look each week to let you guys know how I’m going. I also let you know what I’m wearing, how long I’ve had it and the quality of the pieces so you too can get excited about good quality clothing!
So here’s to 2017, to a new challenge and a fatter wallet (oh and hopefully a thinner me)!
Want to join in? Share your pics on instagram using #patchimperfect2017challenge