Rachel's Blog

Thu, 24 Nov 2005
A Day in the Life

Non-parents often ask stay-at-homers like myself what we do all day. At least the considerate ones do. Others, like the young woman I once met at a convention, ask, "But what do you really do?" as if parenting (and face it, the whole of society believes this) is not a vocation worth pursuing. A vocation without any kind of reward, let alone a monetary one.
While it is true that for many people raising kids cannot fill all one's aspirations, desires, avenues of interest, that doesn't mean that it still isn't hard work. Would you ask a paid childcare worker what she did all day? A home-parenter (still testing for satisfactory terminology) does everything a qualified teacher does, only without the training, structured support networks, specified breaks or paycheck.
A full time parent fills the requirements of educator, nutritionist, nurse, social organiser, chaperone and chauffeur. And that's before any household tasks are taken into account - washing, cleaning, meal-planning, shopping, cooking, maintenance, gardening...
Some cope better than others. Some do a better job than others.
Most take the job seriously, embarking on rigorous self-education courses, endlessly reading on the varied topics. Unfortunately this can often lead to spiraling guilt as the more you read, the more you think your child might be missing out on, so you try and fit more in, but then the Prime Minister thinks you're slacking anyway and you should get a Real Job. Because you know the rest of society is just carrying you while you indulge in your child-raising fantasies and you're not, in fact, actually holding the whole of society together.

I'm one of the people who take the job seriously, I also believe it's supposed to be fun. But I recognise in myself the need to do something that is entirely unrelated to being a mother. The answer, I have recently discovered, is to treat every waking moment as equal work. From getting up in the morning until Abbey goes to sleep at night. It's a new attitude for me, but it seems to be working. I'm getting "more done" and feeling less guilty and burnt out by the end of the day. By giving myself the evenings off I can fool around and watch Buffy episodes for the umpteenth time without feeling guilty for not having done any "real work".

So this is what we did today.
Breakfast
Watched Playschool together - singing and doing all the actions
Began digging out a new sandpit
Morning tea
Pasting with torn up tissue paper
Played with toy dump trucks
Lunch
Abbey slept for two hours - I had a coffee then wrote for my paid job.
Afternoon Tea
Playschool again
More digging outside, played with the cat on the lawn
Threw balloons around in the loungeroom
Some drawing
Dinner
Zoomed a toy aeroplane up and down the dining room
Bath
Story
Bed
And now I'm blogging.
I'm not sure when, but we also did two loads of washing and hung them out, swept the floor and changed the sheets.

A whole day at home isn't the norm. Other days might be broken up with a trip to the supermarket, a plant nursery, a playgroup of friends, or I might be in a lousy mood and we watch too much TV. I only hope that by writing all this down I haven't jinxed my new found attitude.

Mon, 21 Nov 2005
Pollinate Chain Reaction

Drawn has - er- drawn me to this video on creativity by the design agency Belief. It's well worth a look. About 45 mins long and yes, the voice over text is annoying, but they largely duplicate each other so don't stress. Includes lots of examples from fine art, advertising and music videos (ie it's pretty too).

Leave a message if you'd be interested in participating in a chain photoshop thingamajig.

Sun, 20 Nov 2005
It's a two-year-old girl!

Things have been busy here with prep for Abbey's party, (photos here), which was worth it because we invited the perfect number of the very best kinds of guests (ie people that Abbey actually knows and/or has a blood relation to) and it all went swimmingly. Post to follow on the construction of the Cake.

Thu, 10 Nov 2005
A word from the future

I've fallen into the wicked habit of searching out the inevitably terrible novelisations of eighties sci-fi films for giving to my brother on gift giving occasions. So far, from memory, he has suffered Tron and D.A.R.Y.L. (I'm a loving sister.)
Today I ventured into a new (to me) second hand bookshop - The House of Books on Maroondah Hwy in Mitcham - and picked up The Special Young Readers' Edition of Star Wars by George Lucas and Back to the Future by George Gipe. (You might not want to have known that if you're a brother of mine. Sorry.) The latter is based on the screenplay (Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale) so includes all the deleted scenes, as I discovered on reading the first page and thinking, "Huh? I don't remember that..." But that's not the point of this entry.
On page 111, exactly where the spine is cracked, the last sentence begins; Having restored his suzerainty... Suzerainty? It is a real word. A useful one to know in these times. And I dared question the value of these $1 books.

Mon, 07 Nov 2005
Curtsey to Your Partner.

I just made a pen and paper list entitled Everything That's Going On Right Now (At Least In My Head) and it turns out I'm working on nine currently active projects. That's not including things like remembering to bake a cake for Abbey's party, or our neighbours leaving notes in the letterbox wherein they politely wonder if we've noticed the dead tree at the end of our block that's poised waiting for someone to walk underneath it that it can then collapse upon, crush and kill, or all the knitting patterns I've started, or the clothes I should mend, or all the housework, or what's for dinner tomorrow night. No wonder I went insane a couple of days ago.
How could I tell I had gone insane? I curtsied during a conversation.

Thu, 03 Nov 2005
Revolting

I was staring, scrying if you will, into the milk dregs at the bottom of my cereal bowl this morning when it came to me. There will be no revolution of the Australian people.
No matter how angry we are. No matter how we fume on our weblogs and gather in small groups to rail against the system.
We are spread thinner than vegemite on toast. We’re complacent. Comfortable. Apathetic when it comes to action.
Oh, tens of thousands of us will gather in peaceful protest. But then we’ll wander back into the suburbs, order a pizza for dinner and sit down to watch ourselves on the television.
We’ll be proud. We showed them.
I wonder if it is possible to drown in a half centimetre of milk.



(Please prove me wrong.)

Wed, 02 Nov 2005
Relevant Opposition

I'm looking for slogans, poster ideas, sculpture possibilities, basically any way you think Abbey's pram can be riced up for November 15.