Category Archives: social networking

How to Keep Your Shit Together

Do you ever get asked how you do it? These are a few of my tried and true tips which enable me to keep my shit together well enough to survive at times and thrive on the good days.

Washing!

Wash it when there is a load. That’s right, don’t wait until there are 5 loads and then tell the world via social media how you spent all day doing the washing. Take it in turns of  bed days or towell days, probably on a day when you don’t have a big enough load to fill the machine with clothes. Then hang it out using your nut. Hang the clothes in sections of what belongs to whom, then when you bring it in fold that shit straight off the line and into the basket. Walk inside and put it away. Put it away? Yes, you heard me, put it away, you already folded it, no need to dump a huge pile of clothes on a couch or a bed it’s ready to go, just put it there. Next step, go to the next bedroom and do it again. There you go, it’s done.

Housework.

Who made up the rules that you need to spend a whole day, once a week doing housework. Yes it is nice when it is all squeaky clean, but do you seriously have the energy? Just do a bit each day and keep it clean and tidy. Maybe once a month do a big all day clean, but only if you are feeling the need.

Bookwork.

Bills come and they go. Depending on what you do this can be a bit different. If you are a normal household, get yourself a bill folder and have the one that needs to be paid on top, when payday comes, check what has to be paid in that billing period and pay it. Done, not a problem except if the money and the bills don’t match, and this post has naught to do about budgeting. If you run a small home based business spend 10 minutes before you go home (or inside the home) to fill in those pesky journal entries, much more fun that a couple of days at the end of the quarter when the BAS is due.

Shopping.

Make a list. Stick to the list. Read the catalogues and buy your staples if they are really cheap, you don’t need washing powder this week, but you will after you have done those five loads of washing. Allow yourself chocolate as life is too short to not have treats. Don’t take the kids to the supermarket if you can avoid it. If you can’t say no to extras or make them choose a treat according to budget. Never take my husband shopping, he is worse than children, your significant other may be better behaved. Look after the small business, use the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker (OK, I know we don’t need candles every week any more, but I couldn’t help it). My local baker does a loaf of sliced bread and two litres of milk for $5, cheaper than walking through the lolly aisle with the kids to get to the milk at the back of the shop. Buy your mince and sausages in bulk and freeze the extras.

Kids.

This is my biggest failure. My ideas are good, but executing them can be somewhat of a trial because unlike the other things we now have to take into consideration personalities, moods and the position of the moon. My most successful tool is bribery. In the morning. You may play games on your tablet before school and kinder once you have eaten, gotten dressed, your hair is done and teeth are clean. This works most days find your bribe and stick to it. Stay consistent, as soon as you decide you can’t be bothered putting them to bed, so stay up a bit late and watch a movie, those little nutters will cut loose with the most annoying of behaviour making me instantly regret my laziness.

Cooking.

You can go and spend more than I spent on my first car on the most lavish of appliances these days. Personally I love chopping and preparing, it makes my wine taste better, and the love in the food shines on the plate. I love cooking, so I have no advise to those of you who don’t. The slow cooker trend puzzles me somewhat. You still have to prepare it, then leave and appliance on all day, often while at work. Sorry Dudettes and Dudes, this freaks me out as much as leaving the iron on.

Check your emails every two days.

Make sure there are no bills and unsubscribe to all the time wasters you accidentally subscribed to in the first place. Don’t attach your social media to your email, that’s just another way of getting you to log on and waste a few hours reading shit you already knew, like the content of this post.

But the one thing I have had to come to terms with is that I am not a superhero. I like the thought of it. I wish I was one. But I am not. There are days when all this organisation still gets me down. I used to get stressed. Now I just accept that the floor will still be dirty tomorrow when I feel more like doing it (I used to have to do that on Wednesday or my whole world would end), the family will survive on toasted sangas for dinner if I am not feeling the cooking love, there are plenty more clothes in the cupboard, the kids will not die if I don’t….the list is to long for this one. Keep your expectations of yourself real peeps, balance the life and keep your shit together xx

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What happened to Christmas?

I used to love Christmas. The anticipation, the decorations, the Christmas concert, the big day out visiting both lots of grandparents (alternating whose year was lunch and whose was tea) and of course, because I am thinking like a kid, the Presents!

Now I think the retailers have ruined Christmas for me. This photo was posted on facebook last week by one of my friends (thanks for photo NS) with the comment “It gets earlier every year!!” Why would we need to buy a pudding in September? Do people really need to plan the menu this far in advance for an event which happens every year? If they buy the pudding, will they eat it? Need to replace the pudding? Eat it again, and thus be that sick of pudding by the time Christmas arrives, they will have to think of an alternative dessert.

Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with a bit of forward thinking. Christmas club accounts are a great idea, those hampers you can pay for and have delivered are not so silly (although I am sure you end up with stuff you don’t want and should have saved the money and shopped for your own needs, just an opinion fans of the hamper), and shopping or lay buying in mid year sales for some good gifts ready to ease the pressure later in the year, all good.

BUT, I don’t want to see a bit of tinsel, hear a carole, or see pudding and cake in the shops until December 1st. Then let the magic begin. I love to see the joy on miss 4’s face when she sees decorations, whatever the occasion, she knows it’s festive, I can tell her how exciting it is that the local football teams are in the grand final, explain that the pink ladies are for people like her Nan -a survivor of breast cancer, and isn’t it exciting? Christmas is just around the corner, lets make a list for Santa (imagine how long that list is going to get if we start now).

My Grandma had a rule when her kids were little, “no talking about Christmas until after the last birthday for the year” (November 21st). What a great rule! One month to go, just the right amount of time to get excited about the build up to the big event.

So lets keep our lights and trees and tinsel in the cupboard, look forward to the festive season, keep jolly about the whole event and celebrate when the time is right. Those hot cross buns are going to be on the shelf on boxing day. Look forward to hearing from me then.

Shauna

Juggling – work, kids and life in general.

Today I was going to write about how difficult it is to juggle the wonderful world of parenthood, worker, social media addict, student and wife. Everything I started to write sounded whiney and sniffley, ‘oh poor me! I have it so tough! I don’t deserve to have to live like this!’ a voice inside my head said ‘get over it, eat some concrete and harden up, you chose this life!’

The truth is, I did choose this life. Whether consciously or subconsciously, this is the path I took when I came to the forks in the road I have been travelling, and I am proud of where I am, who I’ve become, and who I am going to be.

So lets take stock.

  • I have a happy and secure marriage
  • I have two gorgeous children
  • I have a brand new home
  • I have a secure job
  • I have the opportunity to continue to study
  • I have a loving and supportive family network who are always there for me
  • I have my health

Now how about the juggling?

Well…because of my happy and secure marriage I have two gorgeous children and a brand new home. My loving and supportive family care for my two gorgeous children while I go off to my secure job and continue to study. My health allows me to maintain my happy and secure marriage, my two gorgeous children, my brand new home, my secure job, continue to study and to be there in return for my loving and supportive family network.

So you can see, when I put everything back into perspective, juggling isn’t really that hard after all. Just toss one ball upat a time and catch the one that is falling, occasionally one of the balls will fall to the ground, just pick it up again and toss it back into the air, and make sure you catch any new balls life throws you, it might be a different colour to the ones you are used to, but personally I would prefer a colourful life any day.

e-ddiction

You know you really have a problem with social networking when, without even realising it, you have turned on your computer and automatically opened facebook.

How? When? Why? has this happened to me?

Ironically I was the kind of person who shunned social media. Two years ago I went to visit my best friend interstate. To avoid travelling too far with miss 18 months, we stayed with my aunt the night before our flight. She took me to the computer and showed me how she had been playing Scrabble with friends on facebook. She and my dad had long ago been great rivals at Scrabble and she was encouraging me to teach him how to play her. While online she showed me how a cousin (who was housesitting and catsitting for us) was also online and they proceeded to chat. I was still not converted.

When we arrived at my besties I realised she was hooked. She would pop off for a few minutes and continue building whatever civilisation she was into at the time, chat to people and show me all the friends she had caught up with since we had been at school. I found it a bit antisocial seeing as I had travelled the width of the country, husband and child in tow, to spend time with her. I was still not converted.

One day I attended a PD day at the TAFE I was working for. A guest speaker on the day praised the benefits of facebook and twitter to the training community. It was a way to communicate with Gen Y and he spoke of setting up groups to encourage collaboration and networking amongst the students. He himself spent his train journey home in the evening tweeting from his phone. reluctantly I went home and set up my facebook account. I was still not converted.

Within a couple of days I was inundated with friend requests. I was selective and only chose to friend people I would sit down and have a coffee or a wine with in person. I started to understand the buzz Gen Y must get from collecting as many friends as they can. Not much had changed since I left school, life is still a popularity contest, no matter how we try to pretend it isn’t. My inbox was full of notifications, every time I checked my email I ended up back on facebook. I posted some snippets, wow,all these friends choose to like or comment on my posts(again feeling somewhat popular). I was converted.

Next I began my e-learning journey. Number 2 baby was 3 months old, number 1 almost 3 years. I was encouraged to experiment with Twitter, I took some time to warm to it, but before I knew it I was tweeting, retweeting and favouriting a a range of things. I liked how I knew the news as it happened, I could link to all sorts of blogs, and websites.  Now most days I have a quick look in the morning. Again, I was converted.

Today I have my facebook account, twitter (https://twitter.com/shaunaflee), google +, eleaders4hume ning, ynhservices ning, LinkedIn, I am writing this blog on wordpress and probably more I have joined and can’t even remember.

All this networking is great, but it doesn’t detract from my face to face relationships. This week I have had some long time friends around for drinks, I have spoken to a couple of my nearest and dearest on the phone, and today had  a dear friend drop in, without needing to phone/message/inbox, to just catch up for a gossip a coffee and a laugh. This was the best form of social networking I have experienced this month.