The Year of Independence!

When a new year begins I often just sit and gaze at my children while they are enjoying a splash in the pool on a hot summers day and think about what I’d like to see for them throughout the year. I guess you could call it new year resolutions for the young:) In past years I’ve concentrated on things like following an instruction straightaway, cleaning up their toys before they go onto something else or little things like put your pjs on your bed when you get dressed in the morning or take your plate to the kitchen when finished. All these little things when chipped away at, leads to the molding of a respectable and responsible little human being!

I’m quite happy with where my children are presently at! They are capable of so many more things now that they are getting older and it’s nice that there are a few of us now to pitch in and help when it’s needed! Even though they are almost 7, 2 and four and a half, they are all becoming helpful in one way or another! The success of this I believe is consistency. For anything to work, it has to be consistently practiced and from a young age, otherwise it just doesn’t sink in!

Just recently my two eldest children have really discovered the benefit of money and love receiving it for gifts! But of course once it’s spent they want more! So I thought it was time, time for the two little words I have been waiting to use until the time is right…pocket money! When I mentioned to them that they could earn pocket money by being responsible for certain things around the house, they were super excited and listened attentively while I explained that we go out to work to earn money and that is how pocket money works.

Each child has been given 5 jobs that I know they are capable to do. This was done by negotiation between myself and the child. Most jobs are daily ones that are a huge help to the running of our home. At the end of the week, if they have done their jobs well and consistently without any complaining, they get $5 (basically $1 per job)! They asked what they were allowed to spend their money on…my reply was something specific that they need wanted or needed. They are always saying I need new shoes or I need a new skate board. Now they can learn the art of saving for things they want or need!

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Jobs chart that reminds them what they need to do to earn their money:)

It’s day 3 and so far so good. All I have to say is “Bailey or Sienna you need to do your job!” and they ask which one and do it! I’ve had the occasional whine and all I’ve said is “a dollar will be taken away if you don’t do your job properly!” and they soon change their tune! My aim of this is to create independence and responsibility around the running of a home. At this stage I don’t expect them to be cooking dinner or even doing the dishes yet, but it’s never too early to create independence in a child.

Right from when my children start toddling I start teaching them to pack their toys away, get the stuff to change their nappy or get a cup or plate out of the cupboard. By the time my kids are one they are usually pretty good with their receptive skills and can follow a command quite well. Again it’s the consistency in this practice that makes it a success. For Mia this year her independence will come from toilet training. She is about to turn 2 next month and is coming along so well with both her receptive and expressive language, so at some stage between now and mid year I’d love to think she will be toilet trained.

2 is the perfect age for establishing independence with feeding themselves and helping with odd things around the house. Mia loves helping (sometimes too much lol) and of course it’s so important to praise them when they do! Even my two older children thrive on praise. Bailey asked “when we do our job well do we get extra money?”…my response “no mate I’ll praise you and give you a high 5!”…his response his beautiful little grin:)

I don’t for one second think that children are our human slaves, but if we start teaching independence and responsibility from when they are little, it not only will help them when they start school, but hopefully will carry onto their adult life. Now that my husband has a new job with long hours and I work two days a week to, it’s all about pitching in and helping together! And I don’t care what gender you are, everyone should be taught this. I know it’s way off, but I’d love to think once my children marry, their respective partners appreciate the up bringing our children have had!

So it’s a big year in My Party of 5’s house! We’ll have 2 children in school now Sienna is starting prep and once Mia is out of nappies we won’t have a baby anymore:( But we have so much to look forward to!

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Thumbs up for pocket money:)!!!

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Mother’s Day……

Mother’s Day….one of my favorite days of the year!

But they can’t all be perfect….

My day started at 3.48am when Mia decided she wanted to play ‘boo’ with her teddies! Even though I was thinking ‘what the’ it did bring a little grin to my face, until 4.30am when she starts to scream! She is teething so I gave her panadol, fed her and back to sleep she went! I crawled back into bed at 5am…Sienna wakes! Poppy stayed over last night and slept in Bailey’s bed so she was super excited to wake to her poppy! I’m still awake at 5.30am Bay comes in after having a camp out in the toy room, which he loves and asks to go to the toilet! 5 minutes later things settle again and I finally managed to go back to sleep, even amongst the roaring sound of Kane’s snoring! What felt like a 5 minute sleep turned into me looking at the clock and thinking ‘oops we have to leave for footy in an hour!’ Then the busy day really began….

Like our usual tradition, the kids bought all their beautiful presents to me in bed and we opened them, read the cards and got photos taken! Once I got out of bed and my feet hit the ground, they began running ALL day! We wanted to leave at 7.55am and we were driving out the driveway at 7.56am, so we were happy with that! Bay’s footy match started at 9am and he had a wonderful game. Scored 4 runaway tries and had his first attempt of a conversion but just missed! He ended up getting player of the game:)….so proud of that boy! Then we had to have morning tea with Kane’s mother and on the way home we stopped in to watch my nephew play the second half of his footy game, who also played well!

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I’m so blessed to be their mother:)

Finally at 12.30 we returned home for nap time for Mia and rest time for the older two! In that time groceries had to be picked up and a few other things had to be done….between Kane and I we had it all done in an hour or so. 3pm I finally got to see my mummy and my nana! Poor nana has had gastro for a few days and is only just getting better so my wonderful mother has been staying there, hence why poppy had a sleep over last night! We had a lovely visit with nana, which continued up the road at my sister’s house for afternoon tea! The kids had a ball playing with their cousins and I had a lovely chat with my mum and my sister! We finally arrived home at 5.15pm where the witching hour of bathing and feeding began!

I finally got to sit down and relax at 7pm and started to reflect on the day which made me a little disappointed at how rushed and busy I felt all day, but then I pulled my head in and thought it couldn’t be too bad if….
I received beautiful handmade gifts and cards from my children.
My $1 million dollar gift was revealed – a mobile phone accessory:)
I got a beautiful pearl bracelet with a love heart on it.
I got to see my son score 4 tries.
I had lots of kisses and cuddles from my kids all day.
I got to see my nana smile and watch Mia pat her head like she knew she was sick.
I got to see the joy on my mum’s face when she opened her presents and cards.
And the kids played so nicely in the bath while Kane and I were running around doing dinner and getting ready for school and work tomorrow!

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I’ve been blessed with the best mother in the world!

Yes I missed out on running the Mother’s Day classic, going out for brekky, lunch or dinner like we normally do, but things don’t always pan out the way you want them to, so you just have to roll with the punches! At the end of the day I was most satisfied with helping my mum out. Mum has been putting together a footy album for each of her 3 grandsons and because she was looking after her sick mother, I made sure I got to the boy’s matches to take the photos for her! My mum sacrifices so much for us, so sacrificing my fun run or meal out was worth it….that’s what Mother’s day was like this year and I’m happy with that:)!

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My children….my world!

Happy Mother’s Day to all the wonderful women in my life…xoxoxo!

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