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June 25, 2012 / mummaVegas

mojo rising…

I received a sharp wake-up call two days ago from my trusty blog follower. Yep. I have one. Well, six, but who am I to boast? That’s neither here nor there.

“mV!” she cried, “where have you been? I’m worried you’ve lost your mojo!”

All “teen dreaming” of Mr Morrison aside, her comment reminded me that Mothers Day was the last time I had bothered to write. What a lame blogger I had become. Her comment also made me take stock of the lost month. Where had we been?

Traipsing through the cafes, young designers markets, parks and cultural centres of Brisbane we had not been. I have not road-tested a single new Brisbane “thing” in 5 weeks. I’ve ignored my Facebook page. It’s looking very ordinary. All has been pretty functional (read: boring) in the house of mummaVegas and it wasn’t just because brisVegas “winter” had been setting in.

The week after Mothers Day, this mummy returned to work. That’s right…hi-ho, hi-ho and all that jazz. Back down the mine; bringing home the bacon; earning an honest living.

If I am honest (which according to my name’s meaning apparently I am) I’ll tell you right now it has been the hardest part of becoming a parent – and Hubby feels it too. I’m so relieved that we finally live in a country where recognition of the financial constraints of having a child has arrived and I am eternally grateful to our nation’s Treasury for allowing me 18-weeks of uninterrupted fun and time to observe our Little Man begin to grow into the world. The Paid Parental Scheme gave my family such invaluable time to be together – I wonder how those not entitled to paid parental leave through their work before managed to get by without a little help from Julia; or Kevin; or Tony; or Bob… or Richard Torbay – whoever the case might be next week.

I was dealt a very fair hand by my employer – it’s no secret that the Delight of Our Lives turned up a little earlier than expected and given my brand spanking new employment status, I didn’t think I’d be entitled to much. But there my job was, on the 21 May 2012, 26-weeks on, awaiting my return with conditions that, again, I can be nothing if not grateful for. Three days a week. It’s better than 5. I know not every woman has been so fortunate.

In saying that, turning a 5.5 month old over to someone else, when you barely know your baby well enough, let alone this person who is going to be helping you raise them….well it can be a daunting verging on frightening proposition. I’ve read Oliver James*.

And so in and out of Brisbane’s child care centres, Montessori Pre-schools, creches and family day care networks we wandered; feeling somewhat aimless, desperate, under-informed and intensity to make the right starting choice for our son. I could write a whole other blog on the good, the bad and the ugly among our travels, but I don’t think it would do anyone any good. The only point I will try and drive home in the quest for getting our child into early child care is: start early, put your name down for everything and, when it comes time to make the call – go with your gut.

Having my eyes well up and looking at Hubby and seeing the same response in his served as a big “NEXT!” in some of the places we visited. It isn’t really anyone’s fault. A great majority of people working in the child care profession are superb humans. Doing their darndest. There is a troubling imbalance between supply and demand for equitably-priced care in Australia and the expense of some apparently “higher quality” facilities often makes these choices harder for families. One day you might just see me on some policy development pillar touting for heavier subsidising of child care. Why would you means-test something that is so crucial to the future?? You want us to return to work, right? It should be as easy and high quality as is absolutely possible. The French are not perfect, but universal – equal – child care provision seems to be one thing they do have right. I’m just sayin’.

Anyhoo…I digress. Another time. (“get down off your soap-box already!”)

Our own path lead us to rest on the grassy knoll of family day care and sign up with a wonderful carer named Louise. I thank L. Ron every single day for that girl making the decision to take the arduous journey across seas and squalls to migrate to Australia and take care of Little Man three days a week.

Clearly, he hates it.

Balls!

Bells!

Bags!….hang on… what the…?

As a small “at no extra cost” bonus, Louise sends me these delightful little snippets into his day every day while I’m “down the mine” so I don’t entirely miss out.

Every day, I get my heart melted as I see how much he is learning, and how much sheer joy he continues to get out of life. I have to ignore that little voice crying “but it’s not you showing him these things.” I have to. We have made the choice to view Louise as part of our family. She has made that choice so easy.

Hubby and I know we’re onto a winner with Little Man in her keep. Sometimes, when I go to pick him up after work he is laughing and playing with the other three kids, and as Louise hands him over I see his face register that “fun times are over, Kid. It’s back to Boring Town with you! Dinner, Schminner.”

He even has a little girlfriend.

Let’s play dinosaurs! So romantic….

More on that later: the Blossoming Romance of Shamrock. All I’ll say now is, her parents approve. Cripes.

So, my dear reader, I did in fact “lose my mojo”. Going back to work – as so many women and men with kids before me will attest – is bloody hard. Yes, you get adult conversation and yes, you get lunch breaks without having to sing “The Grand Old Duke of York” through your latte to keep bubbsy entertained. You get all that. But there are things I know I’m going to miss out on in these fast-paced early months. There’s a strong possibility he will crawl for someone else before me, clap his hands with someone else before me, and maybe even look for comfort in someone else before me. Ugh.

I will return to Brisbane’s cafes and galleries and fashion houses and playgrounds and precincts. Once my family settles into this New World Order of razor-precise morning routines to get out the door on time, and I master the art of the Slow Cooker.

I’ll be back. And sooner than you think. My mojo is rising….


See you soon,

mummaV xo

*Oliver James is the author of They F*** You Up, an exploration into role and roles of the family on your development. Derrrr.

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2 Comments

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  1. Astrida Scoble / Jun 26 2012 12:27 am

    You bought a tear to my eye. I’m blubbering as I write. Being independent is a wonderful thing but it can be hard for a mum to accept. Btway : I think I have used “wonderful” a bit much xxx

  2. Sarah / Jun 26 2012 1:40 am

    Great blog and so very very very true – love part time working mummy of 3 x

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