We have a new (or now not so new) addition to the Berry Patch.
Master Berry is 18 months and is just the cutest toddler ever. I love this age and would freeze time if I could. He is so mischievous and keeps up on our toes, but the things he does are so funny and cute. I love toddlers.
Miss Berry is almost 5 and over the last couple of months has really grown up. I keep wondering where the last 5 years have gone. She is starting school next year and she is so excited about it. I am a little sad about it but at the same time so very excited for her as she moves on to the next stage in her life.
And, we are expecting Berry number 3 in February. (Sorry, no picture. We will all have to wait.) The pregnancy is going smoothly and is similar to the other two, except that I am also running after a toddler and young child. As you can imagine I am somewhat tired.
Mr Berry and I were talking over the weekend about our goals for the family and I thought about my personal goals. Over the past year in particular, but I suppose it would have started two years ago, I have drifted from our simple, eco life. Rather then living deliberately I have been in crisis management and just trying to get through each day. Obviously with 2 children things do get hectic and I have been trying to do too much and also expecting too much of myself.
I must admit I have also been feeling pressure to contribute financially to the household. Not from Mr Berry but from myself and I think society in general.
As with any choice made as a mother, you are saying that I think my choices are better than yours(compared to those who choose different things that is). Because if you thought that their choice was the right thing to do then you'd be doing it too. I know we don't usually consciously think like that but I do think it is implied. Combined with the whole mothers guilt thing it can make people quite defensive in their decisions.
Think about any conversations you had about breast feeding vs bottle feeding, cloth vs disposable nappies, organic vs non organic foods or the big one - going back to work or staying at home. Some of these can get pretty heated and even if they don't, I have found that a lot of mothers seem to defend their choice to those that have made a different decision.
And I guess that is why I have felt I 'should' be working. People do define themselves by work. It is often one of the first questions someone asks you and I have received the 'oh' and then silence when I've told people I'm a stay at home Mum. Work is also a very common topic of conversation and when you are with a group of people who all work and are discussing (or complaining) about the trials of work I do feel left out and find myself internally justifying my decision. I know it sounds extreme but I think you are discounted in society because you don't go to work.
I think I had lost sight of why I am a SAHM (stay at home mum) and what I do contribute to this family. I also needed to really think about and define what gives me purpose in life. More money is not going to make us happier. It may not sound very ambitious but I do not need a career to make me complete. What I do want is to bring up our family so they can be well adjusted, successful adults. (successful in life, not necessarily in a career). If I can do that then I know my life will have had meaning and purpose.
Last weekends adventure. The Royal National Park.
So I am going to commit to continuing this blog to keep me on track and to help me remember why I have made the choices I have. I may not blog about serious environmental issues and I will admit our lifestyle can at times be full of materialist consumerism. But I will blog about our trials and tribulations as well as the joy of our family. I'll also keep you up to date with my home-making as I embrace my Stay-at-home-Mum-ness.