Monthly Archives: June 2014

Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall…

I’m a working mom who leaves her two-year-old little girl in the hands of a nanny every morning. And, while I love that I have a job that allows me to do so many of the things that I love, it also brings with it a certain amount of mom-guilt.

You know the feeling, right? Of course you do, you’re moms! That feeling that, even though you’re doing what you think is the best for everyone, you’re still not getting it quite right. Which is how I feel every day when I walk out the front door to the soundtrack of my little girls sobbing her heart out as her mother walks away from her, yet again.

Anyway, one of my concerns at the moment is whether or not she’s getting all the stimulation she needs from her nanny. I know Sophie loves her, and she has Holly’s best interests at heart, but I’m still concerned that Holly should be learning more. At the same time, I’m not ready to send her off to play school.

I’ve been a teacher (albeit a high school teacher at a rough school) and those places are tough! It’s an eat or be eaten kind of place. And she’s going to get enough exposure to that later on in life. So, as I question our decision to keep her at home with a nanny for a few more months, I spend my spare time on weekends preparing activities for Sophie and Holly to do during the week. I’ll share some of these with you in this and the next blog post.

Box with prepared activities.

Sophie’s box of tricks for Holly.

Every Sunday afternoon (ok, so almost every Sunday afternoon – I am human) I get out my craft supplies and the big plastic container I bought especially for this purpose, and I prepare two activities for each week day (one for morning and one for afternoon).

Plastic tongs and coloured blocks with a box.

Tong and block pick up.

In this first activity, Holly uses a pair of plastic tongs to pick up coloured wooden blocks and place them into a little green box. This activity works her fine motor skills, colour recognition and hand-eye co-ordination.

Blue circles on a page.

Stick on the sticker.

 

This second activity is a colour naming activity and work’s Holly fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination again. I’ve stuck some little blue stickers on a piece of cardboard, and Holly’s nanny helps her to stick a sticker on top of the blue circles.

Birds on a stick

Two little dickie birds…

In this third activity, I’ve stuck pieces of cardboard to a wooden ice-cream stick, and I placed a picture of an owl on the cardboard to make Peter and Paul – two little dickie birds. Holly then holds a bird in each hand and Sophie recites to her while Holly does the actions:

Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall
One named Peter, one named Paul.
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul.
Come back Peter, come back Paul.

This activity teaches Holly rhythm and works her gross motor co-ordination.

If you’re looking to make activities your little one can do at home, start collecting things now: empty egg boxes, pieces of cardboard, a couple of old magazines to cut pictures out of, old fabric or swatches from a fabric store, pom poms, wool – just about anything can be made into a learning activity.

Sweet child of mine

Something happened the other day that made me need to be with my baby even more than I have in the past. I don’t know if I’m supposed to need my child, if that’s ‘allowed’ or if it’s wrong, but on that day, I needed her. I needed to bury my face in her hair and smell her unique deliciousness that somehow always reminds me that everything’s going to be ok. I needed to see her spontaneous smile as I walked through the gate. I needed, so much, to feel her warm, and slightly sticky, little hands in mine and to have her chubby little arms around my neck as she buried her face in my hair. And I needed to smooch her pasta-sauce smeared face. All over.
Peppadew_pasta sauce
I’ve never thought of myself as one of those moms. You know the type? The ones who are all about their kids. I always used to think I was a focused, ambitious career woman with serious goals and all about climbing the corporate ladder as fast as my heels and pencil skirt would allow me to. Turns out I am one of those moms. That’s not to say that my work isn’t important to me – it is. I truly believe in a good work-life balance. And I think it’s so important that my little girl sees that her mommy can be a brilliant mom and have a great job that she loves. I want to be the best role model I can be for my daughter. I want to make sure she knows she can do whatever she dreams of doing – whether that’s being a doctor, lawyer, school teacher, mom or pianist.

And I want my little girl to see that I’m a good mom, who’s present in her life and wants to spend time watching her grow into the amazing person I know she’s going to be. I know none of these are new issues and I’m certainly not the first, nor am I the last, mom to ponder such things; I know these are things mothers have grappled with for years. Ever since their husbands gave them permission to leave the house during the day and (gasp!) earn their own money!

I’m also aware that this isn’t something that women who don’t have children ever really think about. Why should they? It’s not a part of their reality. And that’s absolutely fine. But it’s also sometimes where the problem lies: Women are not supporting other women in becoming the best they can be outside of the home. Other women, most often without children of their own, are sometimes the biggest hurdle we working moms face. It’s almost as if we’ve ‘let down the side’ by choosing to be moms.

But I don’t see it that way. I think we’re the best example of what women are capable of achieving if they want something. For years we’ve been told we can’t do both – we can’t be moms and work. But we can! We can have it all. It may take a little compromising, or even a little shifting. But, if you want something, regardless of what others tell you is possible, you can – and should – have it all.

Beautiful baby.

My heart.