09 October 2020

The times they are a-changin'

It is 2020, the year the world went to hell in a handbasket. The year of Covid and lockdowns and wildfires and crazy elections. The whole world is reeling with the pace of change.

And not to be left out, here in my little corner of the world, we are also facing massive changes and the end of an era. 

You see folks, my eldest manchild, the one who made me a mother, turns 18 next month.

12 July 2020

The Urge to Write is Upon Me

The Urge to Write is Upon Me

In the past few weeks, I have written multiple stories in my head. So many thoughts, issues, feelings and words needing to be expressed, but where to start? What to focus on?
I just didn't know where to begin.
But today I sat down, opened up my laptop and began to write, without a clear direction, just needing to satisfy this urge to write, while it is upon me.

13 May 2020

"Stop the World, I want to Get Off!" she said...

My House at twilight returning from a lockdown dog-walk

I don't know how many times I must have said this out loud, to myself or in my head.
Stop the World. I want to Get Off.

Life was too fast. It came at me from all directions and I could never, ever catch my breath.
Since becoming a sole-parent nearly four years ago and re-entering the paid workforce, life has been faster than ever.

Endless days of driving kids from place to place, juggling chores and work and parenting.
I once totalled up the amount of time I spent in my car each week during winter sport season and it came out to more than 20 hours. That's half a full-time job, just on driving.
No wonder I wanted it all to stop.

How many times did I say to my kids, "ONE DAY! JUST ONE DAY is all I want. ONE DAY where I don't have to drive ANYWHERE..."

Well, I got my wish, didn't I?

31 March 2020

Ideas for Fun at Home *lockdown edition*

Hello from the depths of coronavirus lockdown, here in Auckland New Zealand!
I've been thinking of all of you with younger kids and heaving a bit of a sigh of relief that my kids are all so independant, screen-savvy and self-sufficient these days, which is allowing me to keep working my two jobs from home - mostly without too much interruption.

My lot are all giants now, aged 17, 15 and 11. See that little one in the photo above? Same height as me.
They are so far happily connecting with their friends online via PS4 live gaming and HouseParty snapchatting, but eventually they must get bored of that, right?
And there's only so many walks with the dog we they can take...

To help provide some ideas of stuff to do for fun while on Lockdown I've dug into the archives and rounded up some of my old "at home" holiday fun ideas. After all it is officially school hols here in NZ at the moment, and there's really nowhere else to be but home on Lockdown...

I have always been a big believer that there's lots of fun to be had at home...

25 November 2019

After 17 Years as a Mum Here's What I've Learned

[Image Credit]
My eldest boy turned 17 the other day, which is crazy because it feels like only yesterday that I began blogging when he was five.
Oh my word, what a journey we've had, what a rollercoaster ride. With one short year of schooling left, my 6-foot-tall manchild is almost ready to take on the world. I'm caught between shock and awe - shock at how fast it's all gone and awe that we have made it this far.

Let me share some of the things I've learned - the hard way of course - in the last few years of parenting. I hope to shed some light and sprinkle some hope for those of you just entering the teenage years, to encourage you that if we can survive, anyone can...

22 April 2019

From the Ashes

It has been nearly three years since I left my marriage. It was the most difficult decision I have ever made, and one with the highest cost I’ve ever had to pay. It was ‘Hobson’s Choice’ you might say – the choice you have when there is really no other choice. When my marriage ended it wasn’t from lack of trying – we’d been in counselling since 2012, after all. But when all avenues have been tried and the pain being caused to all parties is greater than the benefit of staying, well, at some point you have to call ‘time’.
No-one walks away from a marriage lightly. No-one launches a grenade into their family on a whim; but still, I had no idea at the time just exactly what the price would be for that decision, though all things considered it was still the only decision that could have been made.

With the decision to walk away came Death of the Dream.

22 August 2018

My Journey in Te Ao Maori

Kei te Haerenga ahau (I am journeying)
Photo Credit: Stephanie Soh

*(kei te haere tonu ahau)*

Two years ago I began working at the Parenting Place, which had been a long-held dream of mine, after I've been writing freelance for the magazine for years.
Unbeknown to me, my new workplace had begun a journey (haerenga) into Te Ao Maori (the Maori world) and I was swept up in it along with my workmates.
This is no tokenism, no surface level nod to Maoritanga, but a wholehearted journey, delving into who we are (as a nation, our history), where we've come from and what it means to be true Treaty partners.
Along the way, I've had the privilege of staying on a number of Marae around the country, including Te Tii Marae at Waitangi (where our nation's founding treaty was composed and signed) and Parihaka (the site of a terrible injustice perpetrated by the British in the 1880's).
The journey began for me as just simply something my work was doing, which I found interesting, but it has become something personal for me now - a personal odyssey and a challenge to discover who I am and where I belong.
This year I have had the privilege of beginning to learn Te Reo Maori with my a bunch of my workmates, during work time. I was worried my middle-aged half-speed brain would not cope with the challenge of learning a language, but so far I'm doing pretty well, passing all my tests and actually learning stuff. But the thing I've discovered is that learning Te Reo isn't just about learning to speak the words - it is about opening myself up to a whole new way of thinking, new ways of looking at the world and finding a deeper sense of belonging and identity in this whenua (land).
Today I completed a questionnaire sent out to all of us at work to "gauge the bi-cultural journey the Parenting Place has embarked on over the last three years..."

Here are some of my responses...