Monday, January 31, 2011

Generation Why?

A recent article in The Courier Mail (30.1.11) suggests that 'Basic female skills' such as ironing, cooking a chook, hemming a skirt and baking lamingtons are becoming a dying art.  Acording to a social researcher, only 51 percent of women under the age of 30 can cook a roast.  How about juicing an orange?  I came face to face with this dilemma this morning in my very own kitchen with my very own Gen Y.

TD No. 1 - Can I go down the road to buy a bottle of juice?

Me - Why don't you juice an orange from the fruit bowl?

TD No. 1 - Oh, she replied as she pulled the manuel juicer from out of the cupboard and the orange from the fruit bowl.  So...what do I do? she asked, as she put the whole orange on top of the juicer, as if by magic it would turn into a glass of juice.  Do I have to cut it in half?

Looks like she's in trouble!!!  For a split second, I began to question my parenting skills. Then I thought better of it.  How is it that TD No. 2 could be the next Betty Crocker with her amazing cookie-making skills and No. 1 Son can make a mean chicken curry, but my eldest doesn't know how to juice an orange?  When I questioned her about it she pleaded ignorance saying she had never juiced an orange before.  But she's seen me do it plenty of times - so I just don't buy it. 

I think she just isn't interested in knowing how to do it.  It's so much easier to just reach for a packet or a bottle...or watch me do it!  I don't have an ironing lady, a cleaning lady or a gardener.  We rarely have take-away and I make most of my own biscuits and cakes.  I ENJOY doing these things. 

Maybe these independant young women we are raising KNOW it's no longer a female responsibility to iron, cook and sew.  And don't worry, it's not just the females who seem to be lacking in certain gender oriented 'skills'.  A survey also found that 'Australian men from Gen Y were more comfortable changing a nappy than changing a tyre'.

Role reversal, modern technology and time-poor families all contribute to this new phenomenon known as Generation Y.  And although I wouldn't hold my breath while she makes a home cooked dinner, she's always the first person I call when I want to download songs onto my ipod or interpret slang such as LOL, TTYL or WTF - so it's not all bad!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I think I've finally figured out the trick to slowly letting your kids 

Tuesday was the first day back at school after the ever-so-quick summer holidays.  No. 1 Son started year 7, and TD's No. 1 & 2 started years 12 and 11 respectively. Last year, when No. 1 Son started year six, I did the usual trek up to the school with him; helping him carry his overloaded bag, extra books, lunch box and water bottle - only to get all the way up there and be the only Mum there from his grade.  Needless to say, he was a little embarrassed (and I was extremely teary to think that my baby didn't really need me after all).

So this year, I was determined to just drop them all off in the two minute zone.  Yes, he had a bag AND a box of books and yes, the closer I got to the school, the more I kept questioning myself - Will he be okay with that big box?  Will he be able to find the classroom?  Will he unpack everything without dropping it all and losing something?  As he got out of the car, put his bag on his back, struggeld with the box, yes, I did want to get out and help him - especially when I pulled out and he turned to me and mouthed, 'I love you'!!

But then it dawned on me...I trusted that he knew what he was doing and that he'd be okay and I felt this weight lift!  It was quite amazing.  I started looking at everything differently.  What have I been instilling in my children all these years?  That I don't trust them to do things for themselves, so I have to do it for them?  Yes, that IS the message I must have been sending.

Suddenly I realise I've been bogging not only them down with my insecurities but I've been bogging myself down as well!  Yes, I trust that TD's No 1 & 2 are competent enough to find their own way to work after school, via the bus that leaves right outside the school! Yes, I trust that my son is capabable enough to make his own lunch in the mornings AND find his way to his new classroom AND unpack his new books and stationery.  And he did. 

Maybe this is the oldest motherhood trick in the book and I'm a bit behind the eightball but this new way of thinking is extremely freeing!! 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mall trawl

I just can't walk past a bargain
The summer holidays are once again drawing to a close and I just can't believe the kids are going back to school next week.  It seems like only yesterday they all came home delirious by the fact they had a whole seven weeks before they had to return.  We were all filled with bliss at the idea of sleeping in instead of the usual crazy morning frenzy; lazy days by the pool and late twilight bbq's! 

Where has the time gone?  I don't know but I do know that the great expanse of time I thought I had to buy stationary, shoes and replace lost lunch boxes and water bottles has escaped me.  Having spent the last seven weeks successfully avoiding the crowds, bright lights and musak of the shopping malls, the day finally came when I could avoid it no more.  Actually, it wasn't so bad.  The sales were on so I managed to get 20% off TD's shoes...and 50% off already reduced shoes for myself!!!  Well, you know, how can you walk past a bargain?  I don't know what was more shocking - the fact that I got a pair of Diana Ferrari saldals for $10 or that TD No. 2 is now a whopping size 9 and a half!!!  After that little surpirse, we ate sushi in amongst the crowds, bright lights and musak before heading home, via a stall of sunglasses which were also on sale - and I needed new sunglasses so...I bought a pair!  Okay, okay, apart from the sales, I really do hate shopping malls!!!

Now I think everyone is pretty much kitted out for another eventful year in the Mature Age Student's household.  But wait...I still have four weeks until I go back to uni, so I guess my visions of sleep-ins and lazy days by the pool will still be possible.  Sorry kids - ha ha!!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Blood, sweat and tears

This morning I woke up in the foulest mood - full of self-loathing and self-pity.  Before I'd even had breakfast I'd had an agrument with not one but both of my daughters; threatened to leave SH No. 1 and had considered dropping out of uni and going back to work.  What's the point?  I'll be 46 by the time I get my degree and who's going to want to employ a 46 year old undergrad?

Well it's now afternoon and my self-loathing and self-pity have lifted somewhat.  After coming home from a game of bowls with No. 1 Son, I opened the mail box and pulled out an A4 envelope from the University.  My initial thoughts were that they'd made some mistake and had accidently sent me my degree - 4 years early!  What was inside was something totally unexpected.  I've received an Award for Academic Excellence 2010!!  An award I knew nothing about but am totally proud to have - recognition of my hard work over the year.  Not only is it the first award I have EVER received in my life but my GPA over the year puts me in the top 5% of students - both undergrad and postgrad!!  Not bad for a girl who thought she was a dumb ass!

At the moment this award takes pride of place on the dining room table in the hope it will instil in my children what is possible with hard work and perseverance, together with the importance of self-belief!!!

Friday, January 14, 2011


The devastation of the recent floods here in Queensland have, believe it or not, given me even more to be grateful for

I am grateful my brother, his family and my mother somehow managed to escape any harm to themselves or damage to their property.  I'm also grateful I was able to accommodate them all after their evacuation.  What I am most grateful for, and something so wonderful that has come out of something so tragic, is that I have been able to re-establish a long lost bond with my brother. Having the ten of us under one roof for three days under at times dire circumstances, has certainly reaffirmed to me the importance of the family unit - Cousins, Uncles, Aunts, Nanas.  Last but not least, I'm immensely grateful for the friends I didn't know I had! The amount of texts, emails and phone calls we had was overwhelming and surprising!

It is in situations like this you are able to overcome your petty disagreements, come to your senses and realise what is truely important in life.

I've done it!!!

Well, I've finally done it!! Got accepted into Uni AND created a blog!!! After searching for insightful websites to help me tackle my journey into academia at my ripe old age and coming up with nil, I decided to start one of my own. I hope this blog will encourage anyone who has ever doubted their own abilities, to put one foot in front of the other and achieve their ambitions, desires, matter what they are. If anyone has any inspiring stories to share, I would love to hear them. I love an inspiring story!!!