Saturday, 7 March 2009

Having had a brilliant day, I spoiled it by beating myself up

Not in the physical sense, but mentally my mind went from being on a natural high to one of, "Gosh, I haven't been doing anything like so-and-so. I'm so slack for not doing that!"

Are you familiar with the illness, "Making Comparisons?"

Common Symptoms: (1) You discover you haven't done things like others and you suddenly wish you had!? (2) You beat yourself up thinking your children missed out on doing certain things like other children and you feel guilty for not providing them with such access? ... the list of symptoms goes on!!!

Prescribed Cure: Prevention is better than Cure, i.e. don't compare and you won't get ill. Take 1 dose each of "Embrace your differences," and "admire what others do with goodwill." Take 2 doses at lunch time of "Do not criticise yourself". And finally before you go to bed take 1 very large dose of "Remind yourself you have well-rounded children - they are fine and love you no matter what." Repeat until pain is relieved.

I'll try not to ramble for too long about what burst my bubble because in actuality, I do keep things in perspective, and I must point out that when I feel bad it isn't for long.

It's because I bounce back quickly that I decided to share a little story for those who can relate and realise you are not alone.

Firstly, let's get the ball rolling with the really happy, happy, joy, joy part of the day ...

My dear friend who used to live in excess of 20kms from me recently shifted and is now only 5kms away. To me, Auriel is definitely a super mum and when we discuss things, she is so insightful that I believe she has a wisdom beyond her years.

Well, thanks to her invitation the children and I attended a playcentre for the VERY first time. Yes, what I'm saying is the children have never attended a day care, playcentre, kindergarten, kōhanga reo or anything else of that nature. When I worked full-time, the children would sometimes come to work with me or 7 out of 10 times they would stay with nana and koro and then as they got older, nana Nancy and nana Maureen lent a hand also. At no time did I ever, once feel I was depriving our children of anything. In fact, it was important to me that they were in fact being raised by their elders.

Anyway, let's fast forward to this week. Auriel rang and extended an invitation to myself and the children to attend Lake Rotoma Playcentre. I thanked her kindly and arranged to meet her on Friday morning just after 9 o'clock. Let me just say, the children were absolutely excited when I asked if they'd be interested in going (once I explained what they would have available - especially paint, paint, paint!!!!). W-e-l-l, they thought it just sounded fantastic and were keen to go.

Friday morning arrived and everyone was organised and in the car by 9 o'clock. The weather couldn't have been more rotten. It was raining terribly and if I wanted to bore you with the mechanical fault we are experiencing with Dora the Explorer, (suffice it to say we have no reverse!), you'd be asking yourself, "why on earth is she bothering to go?" And here's my reply ...

(Forgive me, those of you who have read and know this part already) I touched on it briefly above when I mentioned the children were brought up in part by their grandparents. In fact, there's actually another reason why this came about. Yes, it was craftfully designed this way by default on the one hand, but it was also out of financial need. Remember that dreadful business whaiāipo was involved with? That financially-crippling absolutely awful business? Well, Maree helped her beloved by working full-time and grabbing any extra hours possible. She would work at night at home for her employer and also do the bookwork for whaiāipo. On the weekends and summer evenings Maree would also be out there building the buildings. All this meant the children required appropriate, ready-at-a-moment's-notice type of care. I would never have been able to commit myself to attending the likes of a playcentre with the children, or drop them off at appropriate Early Childhood Centres with the expectation to uplift them again at a certain hour. Oh no, I most definitely couldn't even ensure they had kai in a bag for lunch. Every penny went towards salvaging the business.

As you all know, the business went down like a ship in a storm.

Never, throughout those entire dramatic years did I ever feel we were doing the children a disservice, injustice or left wanting for anything. We provided them with all the necessities as far as I'm concerned yet on Friday I couldn't even express to the ladies that I was indeed grateful to have exposed the children to such a wonderful resource. The children were in their element and I was thrilled to bits that they were beautifully behaved, helpful, courteous and indeed showed their gratitude for the experience. Tama 1 was overhead saying, "I can't wait to come back next Tuesday!" That just pulled at my heart-strings. My young man at all of seven enjoyed himself so much that I am encouraged to take them back again.

And here is a glimpse of the day that was ....

I love this vinyl mat!!! I could do with that at home, lol

They just play so well together

Tamāhine 2 enjoyed this activity table very much ... who wouldn't when
you get to ooze glue and make a montage of anything your little heart desires

My incredible friend who whipped up a bowl of playdough so quickly!!!!
I was very impressed.

Painting .... certainly a major hit with our tamariki

Kai time ... phew! Lucky I took some fruit, I didn't know what to expect,
but glad I had it on standby

Our kids play dress-ups at home, but isn't it always exciting to
discover different clothes to dress in?!

Tamāhine 2 really enjoyed glue!!

Tama 3 discovered some wooden puzzles

Easy-to-clean surfaces make wiping up playdough so easy ... certainly a good idea!
Mental note to self:
resurrect my koro's formica table in the shed for kids to use with playdough etc

Tamāhine 2 really loved paint too!!!

"See mum!! Isn't paint just the greatest!!"

Tama 1 made up a card game. As he wrote 0 to 15 on a piece of paper, the other player
has to put the cards into correct colours.

"Oooh, what I can make?"

Tama 3 enjoyed creating with his big sister

Tama 2 helped tama 3 to find some toys ... he was a good big brother indeed

A few photos of the playcentre itself

Because it was a very wet day, the children couldn't play for any great length of time outside. Hopefully next week it will be better. But if it isn't, I know how easily the children can motivate themselves to play indoors.

Okay, so that the was the really exciting time of our day. As we left, Auriel asked if we'd like to pop in to their new kāinga. I'm so glad we did because Auriel showed me the wonderful portfolios she keeps for their children. And that's when I felt momentarily deflated. Although I record the children's progress on blogs and have kept pictures, stories, etc in a box and some in copysafe pockets, I haven't mastered the perfection or style that Auriel has. When her kids say something original, witty, clever, inventive ... she records it. Oh my goodness, suddenly I felt like a shocking mother... but here's where Auriel is so clever ... don't worry about the 7 years to catch up on, start today and record from this moment forward.

Clever huh!?

Now, like I say, I gave myself a bit of a beating for not having portfolios for our tamariki. Then I thought about it. And the more I thought about it, the more I realised that in fact I do have it all there, but it's just a matter of putting it into a folder(s).

Oh well, just a small task to assign onself.

That, as well as attend a playcentre level 1 course on the 16th of March.

get started on my Mauri Ora paper properly -> which, I must point out, my dad did last year. Auriel mentioned she wanted to give-it-a-go, so I decided to do it with her seeing as I've dropped studying extramural papers for this year (simply due to the cost factor).

These are the first two kete you receive for the Mauri Ora programme.

May I encourage any Kiwi (whether Pākehā or Māori) to consider studying through Te Wānanga o Aoteaora. The Mauri Ora programme is FREE. Not only is it FREE but you see all these resources? They are yours TO KEEP!!!!! But the biggest gift of all?

You will learn about Aotearoa New Zealand a thousand times better than you ever did at school. And that, in my opinion, is an absolute fact!!!

So, you see? I did feel guilty about things and realised I'm doing okay. And besides, I strive every day to better myself. Such is the journey of life, nē rā?

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

1 comment:

  1. First of all I thank you for your kind words. I should not care what other people think but all the same I was strengthened by your words.

    The mad part is I often experience chronic compare-it-to-nitus, just when I think I have it sorted it recurs. So often I have told myself not to read your blog anymore because I look at what you and your children have done and I do not feel up to you. Your children are wonderful, not just because of what they know and what they do but because of who they are.

    I think it comes down to the fact that we need to speak as nicely to ourselves as we do to each other.

    The pendant I wear was a gift from Sonlight. At first I was not impressed by it and then I read the card that came with it. I'll share some of that card with you

    You may recall the story of Jesus watching people put gifts into the temple treasury. A poor widow came along and put in two small coins - mites.

    "I tell you the truth," Jesus said "the poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these peole gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on" (Luke 21:1-4)

    Sarita (founder of sonlight) goes on to say. "I am pleased to give this pendant to you to commemorate the loving sacrifices you make daily to teach your children. I pray it will remind you in years to come that the sacrifices you made to train up your children were, indeed, "worth more than all the others""