Browsed by
Tag: working mum

Operation Slow Down

Operation Slow Down

This past week has seen me sit still for longer than I have done in the previous few years combined. Last Monday I had hip surgery to repair a tear in the cartilage, and also to shave down a bump on my femur which was inevitebly causing more damage each time I bent the joint. It was an operation that I knew I had to have for a year, and one which I met with great anxiety and worry, not so much because of the operation itself, but because of the recovery which I had been told would be at least six weeks on crutches, with no picking up of my children. Ever. When I was told about this last June, I literally laughed. I mean, I am the Mum of an almost four year old, and more to the point, a one year old boy who had just learned to walk. No driving. Time off work. Since then we had planned every inch of the time post surgery. We had organised a timetable of help, of baby sitters, of food. To help both myself to rest and recover, but also to help my beautiful husband who was inevitebly going to pick up the slack, whilst also going back to work himself after our summer holidays.

FullSizeRender 13

So Monday came and went, and whilst I am so, so glad it is over, it was a shock to hear from my surgeon that things were worse than first thought, with little cartilage left in my hip due to advanced arthritis. It must have been all the years of dancing on podiums at nightclubs. Wink, wink. No seriously, I have been left in absolute awe of my family and support network this past week, as they have helped me with both the major things, and the small things that make a great difference. Simply phone calls to see if I’m ok. Simple suggestions of how people can help. My husband. My husband. My Mum and Mother in Law who have tag teamed, minding our children. Our siblings who have played with the kids so that they honestly have felt as though nothing is wrong. To tell you the truth the thought of being ‘stuck’ at home, with my own company is enough for me to cry normally, but I have enjoyed and appreciated this quiet time to rest and recuperate whilst knowing that the kids are still having fun.

You see I think that it was actually the world telling me more than the fact that I needed a hip operation. I think the ‘operation’ was a decoy for forcing me to slow down. 2015 was a great year, but it was also a great year of stress and anxiety for me emotionally. To be honest, there were weeks were I felt as though I was just keeping my head above the water. I, along with my husband were trying to live life on little to no sleep. It really took its toll on me towards the end of the year, and forced me to reassess my priorities.  After my second stay at Masada hospital with Hudson, and with little success, I decided to listen to the professionals and get some help. Help both for me to deal with how I was feeling, and help in terms of strategies to deal with easing the load.

Motherhood Operation Slow Down

 

Those who know me, know that I like to be around people, and I like to be involved. I have total FOMO (fear of missing out). I need to be connected to people, I need to keep up to date with ‘what is happening’ in my work, in my social life, in my online life. Being connected is an incredibly valuable thing, but it can turn on you if you don’t know how to disconnect. Disconnect your need to live an active life from the need to be involved in everything to the expense of your health. I’ve done my best to keep my head above the water, and to keep the balls in the air. My problem is that when I went on maternity leave with both of my children, I started two hobbies (my blog, and my print business), to give my brain a break from thinking about nappies and breast feeding. The thing is that these two hobbies took on a life of their own, and whilst this has been amazing (who wouldn’t want a business to go gang busters?), it’s meant that my time has been stretched, particularly when I went back to work. Being a Mum is tough at times, but juggling this along with being a wife, sister, friend, employee, blogger and small business owner inevitebly took it’s toll. Something had to stop. Something had to change. In the end, it was my body that gave out. My hip, in terrible pain led me to the path of surgery, and with it a consideration of how else I could slow down.

So in 2016 I am stepping from being a Deputy Principal for a while. I’m still working in my role has learning & teaching leader (head of curriculum). It was a really, really, really hard decision to make…for someone who loves their job and is honestly proud of the achievements I’ve made. Mothers who have to make the choice between work and family can understand that for some, this brings enormous anxiety and sadness. That said, I know it is the right choice. Putting my family first. Putting my health first. My children will only my little for a little amount of time. I need to treasure those moments. I need to not wish the time away, to a time when they will sleep through, or be more independent.

I define myself as many things, but I shouldn’t let these things define me and how I feel. I need to be ok with change, and pressing the pause button for a while. It doesn’t mean I’m not capable. It just means I’m being careful and mindful. So with this in mind, I will use this first blog post of the year to try to commit to being in the moment with my children. I will try to be kind to myself and not worry about pleasing everyone. I will try to stop. Slow Down. I might need help along the way, but being forced to stay put at this point in time, and not physically being able to walk is a good start I guess.

Looking forward to a year of happiness, health, humour and home.

kate

Stuff your face with this pizza base!

Stuff your face with this pizza base!

Let’s face it, Pizza is the best. It’s tasty, easy to make and pleases almost anyone who eats it. As a working Mum, Pizza is a regular feature on the Korber menu. Especially on Friday nights, it is Ella’s Dad’s favourite meal, and there is nothing better than home made pizza. Any meal that is easy to make, cheap to buy and pleases the family has got to be on my menu. Well today, I’ve got a super easy recipe that has been tried and tested by family and friends. You can make it quite quickly and it turns out fabulous each and every time!

Photo 12-01-2014 7 02 36 pm

This recipe makes two large pizzas, but you can cut into smaller sizes to make ones for the kiddies!

Ingredients:

2 packets of dried yeast (2 x 7gram packets)

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 teaspoon of castor sugar

half a teaspoon of salt

2 cups plain flour

2/3 cup luke warm water

Method:

1.In a bowl, combine the yeast, olive oil, castor sugar, salt and water. Stir to combine.

2. Leave the wet ingredients until the yeast activates and you see it foaming up.

3. Add the flour and combine until it forms a dough. If you have a food processor / kitchen aid with a dough hook, this is perfect. I use my kitchen aid for this part and it certainly helps!

4. Knead the dough on a floured surface for 5-10 minutes, until it forms an elastic like consistency. Basically do it for as long as you can stand!

5. Place dough in a warm / dry place, covered for about half an hour. The dough will double in size. After half and hour, punch the dough to deflate it. Ideally, if you can let is sit and rise again for another half hour, then do this. Otherwise it is still fine to use straight away.

6. Cut into two and roll out into circles. Cover in your favourite toppings. Place in a 180-200 Degree Celsius preheated oven and cook until your toppings are golden!

Photo 12-01-2014 7 02 40 pm

Tips:

  • It really helps to use a ceramic plate or pizza tray as it will crisp up your base.
  • For real perfection, place in a pizza oven…one can only dream!!

Enjoy!!!

kate

To just BE (Good at everything)

To just BE (Good at everything)

woman jugglingThis week I have been feeling a little overwhelmed and anxious with my own self. I’ve been feeling as though my head is in a million places, and subsequently, feeling guilty that I’m not actually doing anything particularly well. Last night I read an insightful article by Mia Freedman titled ‘The Biggest Lie back to work Mums tell‘. I found that it resonated with me and really struck a chord. I’ve always admired the way in which Mia embraces being a working Mum. She seems to ‘have it all’. She loves her job passionately, and equally values her role as a Mum and the time that she devotes to her family. I’ve read in the past that she says you can indeed have it all, just not at the same time. In so many ways, I feel like her. I have a wonderful life. I’m healthy, have a beautiful, generous and hot husband, a darling and daring daughter, my health, family and friends and a wonderful job that I am so passionate about.

This week however, I feel as though I’m not doing any of them justice. I apologise in advance, but here is a list of things that I’m feeling guilty about at the moment:

  • generally feeling like I’m not spending quality time with Ella
  • feeling as though I’m not at work enough and  am not there to do my job full time and help everyone out
  • generally neglecting my beautiful Husband
  • not taking my dog for a walk each day
  • not spending enough time with my family
  • not spending time with my beautiful girlfriends
  • The washing. The washing.
  • The general state of my house.
  • The amount of time I spend on my phone
  • The list goes on…

I know that as Mums, we all go through times like this. I feel as though I really wish I could clone myself, or at least add another couple of hours to each day. I can’t seem to stay up longer than 9 o’clock at night and I wish I could stay up to watch a movie with my husband. I just feel so torn between just wanting to BE, and just wanting to BE GOOD at everything. For everyone.

I know rational thought determines that this is not possible, and I do know that something has to give. It is just so hard when I want so many things at the same time. Ultimately I want to spend time with my family. I want to be there with Ella, to take her swimming and to Gymbaroo. However, I also want to be active and involved in an amazing job that I love. It’s a job that doesn’t feel like work. It’s just that there are so many things in my life now that are all consuming. This blog for instance has taken on a life of its own. It’s a small hobby that has developed into something that has really become a big part of my life. I also write an Education Blog to share inspirations and innovations from classrooms to hopefully help teachers bring a love of learning into their own.

I know that I can only do my best, and that ultimately, I believe that I am a better Mum for having a job I love. I want to model to Ella the fact that you can love what you do, and do it with passion each day. I just hope that whilst I am doing all of these things, I’m not missing out on the precious time that I should be taking time to treasure.

The guilt, the guilt. Why oh why do we do this to ourselves? I guess we just need to learn to BE and stop worrying about the rest. This too shall pass.

kate

What does my handbag say about me?

What does my handbag say about me?

I was recently reading this article on Mamamia about the most useless things women find inside their handbags. There has also been a lot of talk lately about how the contents of one’s handbag can reveal a great deal about a person. Are you prepared for everything, or do you fly by the seat of your pants? Furthermore, it’s not only the contents of the handbag, but the way in which one organises it. Compartments or chaos? Lauren Conrad recently posted a description of the contents of her handbag….Screen Shot 2013-06-06 at 11.59.52 AM

She described that the contents of her handbag reveals that she is a ‘beauty loving health nut’. As I was reading I thought that this was another gimmick, until I thought about the contents of my own. Then it hit me…my handbag IS a window into my life, and I’m not sure if I’m happy or embarrassed?

Here is what I have found inside my handbag on a regular Thursday afternoon…

photo

  • My wallet
  • A black clutch
  • A sequinned british pouch (that I bought from London over ten years ago!)
  • A Mimco pouch (nothing in it)
  • Perfume
  • Band aids
  • Two iPhone / iPad chargers (without the chords)
  • Two pens
  • A lip liner
  • Tampons
  • A hair clip
  • Five USBS (FIVE!)
  • A manicare nail pen
  • A toy brush
  • Neurofen dispenser (for Ella)
  • Tooth floss
  • and finally…one baby sock and one baby food cap

Upon reflecting on this contents, I’m a little perplexed as to how many of these items have stayed in this bag for a while. Needless to say, being a relatively new Mum, I’m not very surprised. If I had to describe how the contents of my bag reflects my life, I would use the words; random and chaotic. Random because of the fact that there are bits and pieces, some of which do not have all of their parts. Chaotic because there is no real order, there is bits of everything. Often as a working Mum, I feel a bit like this. I’m trying to get from one place to another and grabbing everything that I might need, without actually getting anything that I really need. There is a lip pencil, but no lip gloss. There is an iPhone charger socket, but no chord. What is with the five USB’s, one baby sock, and where are the baby wipes????

I’ve often driven off to work with baby in tow and get half way up the freeway only to remember that I have forgotten her lunch box, or socks. My husband recently rang me and asked if I still had the pram in the boot. It’s all a bit hard sometimes to get everything in sync and in working order. By peeking into my handbag, I guess you could predict that it’s owner is trying to ensure that she has everything she needs, but struggles to get everything in the right working order. Oh well, maybe it’s just an excuse to buy a new handbag? Maybe a Chanel like Lauren Conrad? In my dreams!

kate

School’s back!

School’s back!

This week, I went back to work. I finished up at the end of the 2011 school year, and went on summer holidays, just like everyone else. Although I had planned, and knew that I would return to work at the end of 2012, when I finished, it honestly felt as though I was losing a large part of myself. I cried and cried. I remember ringing my husband on the way home from school on the last day balling my eyes out. I couldn’t even speak. My husband just laughed at me because he finds it hilarious that I love my job that much to cry about not being there. I guess I’m pretty lucky to have a job that I love – the kids, the families, and the teachers. The saying goes that if you love your job, you will never work a day in your life. That really describes me and how I feel about being in a Primary School.

I found that when everyone went back for the 2012 school year, it really hit home that my life was now taking on a new direction. I would always have work as a large part of my life, but when my baby arrived, she or he would take me to a new place, with new interests and responsibilities. Obvious that this all may be, it was really hard to almost reinvent yourself, to yourself. Hard to redefine your sense of belonging.

However, once I got my act together and Ella and I worked out this whole Mummy/ Daughter thing, my new ‘self’ was born. Once you get used to the new routines, responsibilities, sleep deprivation, nappies etc. etc. your sense of self comes full circle. I used to get such satisfaction from large accomplishments at work, now I feel great about the small things: Ella finishing a whole bottle, cooking and freezing her food, giving her a bath. My boss once told me that when you have a baby, your outlook on life goes from being outward to inward. You care less about the outside world and more about the things that are most important…family.

So when it came time this week to venture back to work (part time), it was with mixed feelings. I was incredibly happy to be at a work, with people whom I love, but it was really hard to leave my baby girl. Even though she was going to spend a day each with her beautiful Nanna and Baba, the moment I thought of leaving her, I burst into tears. I was fine up until a couple of days before. I had been speaking with a variety of people who had seemed surprised that I was going back to work with Ella being only seven months old. In this day and age, the reality of bills and mortgages mean that parents have to work. Both of them. It’s hard though when that feeling of guilt cant rationalise this reality. I wish it would.

It’s all about being organised. Nappy bag, food, pram, clothes…back ups for backs ups. Car packed the night before. I didn’t sleep very well the night before…hoping that Ella would sleep (and so would I), and also hoping that I would wake and not sleep through the alarm. Even setting my alarm was weird.

The fact is, I’m just lucky to have a job that I love and that can cater for my need to also be with Ella. Many people don’t have that flexibility. Although it will take a little time to adjust to the new routine, I’m so glad that I get the chance to do keep my foot in the door, and continue to be part of a fantastic school and community. I’m sure Ella will be better for knowing that her Mum not only works, but loves her job too.

Just not quite as much as I love her…..:-)