He is very active in these excursions asking questions and last time he went they even gave him some water herbs to take home so he could make his own pond.
My frustration was when he got a little “carried away” with pruning. I was the proud owner of a lemon tree with 12 lemons growing. I am now the proud owner of a stick. As frustrating as these incidents are I have to remind myself that in today’s overpopulated city living we are very privileged to have space for a garden.
After looking at stacks of Pinterest photo’ with the perfect converted front yards, previously just boring lawn, now productive vegetable patches, we thought we would give it a go.
Time and effort
A lot of weed killer later we killed all our front lawn grass and dug it up to make sure it didn’t grow back. (It did and this is a constant effort on my behalf to try and keep it dead). So far we haven’t had any neighbourhood complaints, although I have been warned that people will just steal our vegetables, I figure that must mean we are doing something right.
We did a bit of design to try and give it some sense and order. We started with flowers and a vine to grow along the front fence and vegetable patches separated by pavers in the middle. We had been growing vegetables from seed and when they got big enough we transplanted them, using a spray to help replanted plants grown (who ever knew they created things like this)?
Of course we didn’t read the directions on the seed packets about which plants need direct sunlight, which like shade or the recommended spacing…… so a few got a bit overgrown, some are struggling on we lost a few to plant suicide. But looking at what we have left it does feel worth it.
My son has gotten creative with our garden ornaments and I think we now have more flamingos than anyone reasonably should. As spring turned into summer we are the proud owners of our first ever zucchini. The problem s that neither of us really like zucchini much so I guess everyone knows what they will be given for Christmas. I have found that when we grow something fresh it does taste nicer, so maybe a recipe for zucchini bake.
What I have learnt from this exercise is that as nice as sustainable living is, it is probably a good idea to try and grow things you actually want to eat, and know how to cook (hence no more silver beet planting).
Growing your own food does create a sense of achievement when your child can see the fruits of their labour. It is also a good way to teach them that even if money doesn’t grow on trees other things do.
Why I Hate Being A Mother
26th August 2015
I know, I can already see everyone moving back in their chairs in horror, pulling faces that are usually reserved for stepping in dog poo but let’s face it, being a mother isn’t all that great. I admit I was one of those women who said they would never have children and I nearly didn’t.
Considering my parenting skills, I would say that it probably would have been a good decision but now my baby is 7 and weighs over 22kg it’s a wee bit late to put him back. And thus begins the torture that is my life.
Being a mum is just so time consuming. It’s constant, you never get any downtime. It just feels like it will never end! Why won’t it end?!?! So if you think I am over exaggerating and are sitting there thinking “but being a mother is the best experience of my life” here are my top five reasons why I hate being a mum.
Example one – I hate cooking
There is nothing worse than coming home every night to ask the same question “What would you like to eat for dinner?” and getting the same response “I don’t know, what are my options”? So I open the freezer and go through the list of food I can see for everything to be rejected. Time and time again, instead of having the healthy veg option it is meat pies or chicken nuggets. I hear all you good mothers out there say “why give options, why not just cook him a healthy meal or cook enough so you have leftovers to freeze or eat the next night. There are so many quick meals just look at Jamie’s five minute meals.” Well, I say to you, I would much rather be eating at Jamie’s restaurant every night instead of cooking his meals myself….. except that I don’t have the extra $60 a pop to pay for it.
A friend did mention that she was setting a weekly menu that was negotiated with her daughter. I thought that was a brilliant idea. No more “option” the options can be set for the week in advance, so no more meat pies or nuggets for dinner just because it is quick and easy. That is, unless he decides that Monday is Meat Pie night and Tuesday is Nuggets….. but I guess we still have a few more days where a bit of broccoli can make the list.
Example two – I’m not a Dr
I don’t know what it is with kids—even the ones that seem pretty healthy—but they always seem to get sick. Which means not just time off work but the constant pampering, the waking up in the middle of the night to make sure they are still breathing, the changing the bedsheets with accidents happening out of both ends. Or even the surprise snot trail you notice on your favourite work shirt only when pointed out to you as you walk into an important meeting.
On the plus side, when I am sick my son brings me food and bottles of water, tissues, and wet cloths for my forehead. He will even give me special cuddles to make me feel better. Just like the special kisses I give him that fix everything. I guess this helps to make dealing with the shit a little bit better.
Example three – I really don’t like other children
Other than a computer, most children’s toys seem to require at least two people to play. I have never liked children, I have always found them annoying, smelly, difficult to understand, little creatures that just want your attention and to touch you all the time. I mean seriously, what is with the touching? But even though I detest them I realise the importance of having friends from a young age. So putting my distaste aside, on a number of occasions I have arranged play dates. But these things take time to arrange, you need to be willing to take responsibility for someone else’s child and it’s not like you can just pretend they are not there (when they are old enough to report back to their parents on what they did).
Even with willing myself not to growl at them if they get too close, it is difficult to meet children these days. My sons school is very diverse and it seems that on free weekends all the children are either involved in family, religious or other activities such as tutoring. It doesn’t seem like children have time to just pop over to play in the cubbyhouse that cost me thousands of dollars to put up, and which has been used once, yes once. With children so over scheduled when can you make time for just play? So without enrolling in even more scheduled activities how do kids get together?
Example four – I hate participating
My son doesn’t play sports, he has no real interest in them, which is great, because it seems like all of these activities require family involvement. It’s just the two of us so I don’t really have time to be cutting up oranges or keep time scores or whatever is required by parents at these things. In my leisure time I would much rather be reading a good book with a beer, preferably in my PJ’s.
If children’s sporting events didn’t require parent participation then maybe they might find an increase in enrolments. Either that or if they sold beer at the canteens then maybe I might actually volunteer to hand over meat pies and lolly bags.
Example five – Money instead of time
What is so wrong with buying someone’s love? I got no love or money growing up, shouldn’t you be happy to be given anything you want? I would much rather give my son money than my time. My time is precious and I really don’t want to sit down to watch The Incredibles movie again for the 100th time. I mean does he want to sit down and watch season three of House of Cards with me? No, so it doesn’t seem very fair that I always have to do what he wants to do all the time just because some shows aren’t really “age appropriate”.
But it’s not just TV programs, it’s everything. Working 40 hours a week, plus travel time, plus studying 3 subjects at Masters level, plus cleaning, and cooking and pets and house maintenance, and, well everything. Time seems to be taken up so quickly and it doesn’t matter how great you are at prioritising there never seems to be enough time to do everything you need to do, let alone what you want.
Luckily for me, he has a growing interest in going to the pub, the theatre and Game of Thrones, so maybe as the years go by being a mum won’t be so bad, we just need to work on aligning the goals and objectives we want out of life. Or maybe I should just schedule my son in like a meeting. Every Thursday from 7-8pm is “family time”, at least we can devote one hour a week to doing stuff together and not rushing past each other.
I know that children only have one childhood so presumably it is better to get everything right the first time around because unless you believe in reincarnation you aren’t going to get a second chance!
Pushy Pays Off