Tag Archives: children

What was old is new again.

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Does anyone else love Op shopping? I love the searching. I love the bargains. I love giving something a new home. I do always wonder what purpose it served before it ended up at Vinnies though…

Did it sit in someone’s cupboard gathering dust? Did it have pride of place in someone’s pool room? Was it passed down through generations of a family? Was it made in another country? Did it survive a house fire? Was it just being a paperweight? What was its purpose?

Over the last 10 months or so I have often wondered what my purpose was. What am I supposed to do with my life? What is my next step? Where should I work? Who should I be? Am I a teacher? Should I study? Am I just the unemployed pyjama wearing Jess that has popped up so regularly (I do love my pjs but there is definitely more to me than that!)?

Recently I started working in a new job, a job in a cafe. I haven’t worked in hospitality since I was a uni and it was a really hard decision to start looking for work there. I ummed and ahhed about it for several months because I felt like I was talking a step backwards in my life. I felt like I would be a beautiful handmade statue being a doorstop, serving little purpose.

It was hard for me to put childcare behind me (at least for now) and go back in an industry I didn’t have the same passion for. But this job has turned out to be exactly what I need at the moment – giving me a new purpose. Just like turning an old fence into a brand new picture frame or a table getting a new lick of paint and looking snazzy again.

I always saw hospitality as a means to an end, it was the job I had to get me through uni the first time. I guess it still serves that purpose for me as I am currently studying again but it means more to me this time. It has brought stability back into my life after a long time of feeling like I was drowning. Stability in my finances, in my routine, in my happiness. I am feeling less anxious, I am feeling less overwhelmed and I’m excited to go to work again (which is nice after well over a year of not!).

So for any other How I Met Your Mother fans, it’s not like Barney says…new is not always better!

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What to do when your dreams don’t come true…

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So a week or so ago I wrote about following your dreams and how you should just listen to your heart and give it a go. It seemed so simple and straightforward. I was feeling excited about going after my dreams and studying my Masters in Child Play Therapy. I thought that was going to be my purpose for the year and it would open doors that I could only hope for. I was excited. I was pursuing what I thought was my dream.

And then…a couple of days ago I received an email to say I had not been accepted into the Masters course. I was devastated. I truly thought that this was the ‘thing’ I was supposed to be doing with my life. But it wasn’t going happen, at least not the way I had planned. I felt lost. I felt heartbroken.

What am I supposed to do this year then? How will I ‘change the world’? Why didn’t my dream become reality? What is my purpose? So many questions! So many emotions! For about 2 days after finding out, I felt truly broken. I was convinced that this was going to be the next step in my life, there were a lot of future dreams tied into this happening.

But then an Early Childhood job popped up and I realised I might have been using studying to avoid committing fully back into childcare. After being hurt (not physically) doing something I love so much, I’ve been avoiding it a little. I’ve been looking for alternatives – all of which have been linked to children in some way – and trying to not let my heart be broken again. But it’s in my blood (thanks Mum!), I can’t avoid it!

When you take that leap of faith and follow your dreams, there is definitely the chance of it not coming to fruition. But you know what? I would never have known what I wanted if I hadn’t tried. Sure, I am really sad because it had felt right and seemed to be such an obvious path to choose. There are other ways to study play therapy if that is really what my dream is.

All I know is that I have to keep following my heart, which means it occasionally might get broken. I won’t know exactly which way my life goes if I don’t try – if I stay where I am, I’ll be safe but I will miss out on a lot of opportunities, some of which might be life-changing.

There is no greater gift you give or receive than to honour your calling. It’s why you were born, and how you become most truly alive – Oprah

Follow your dreams, even if you have to make a detour to find out exactly what they are! It will all be worthwhile when you find what you were called to do.

 

Saying goodbye

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Goodbyes are not easy, especially when they aren’t expected. Whether it be to a person, a place, an experience or a season of your life. But when you think about it, how lucky are we to have known someone or experienced something in our life that is so hard to say goodbye to. Surely the memories are worth it!

The last little while has been hard for me. I left my teaching job quite abruptly due to a bunch of reasons and didn’t get to do the goodbye thing. These last few months I’ve been recovering from the stress of it all and I haven’t had a chance to really remember.

Remember the good times I had. Remember the aspects of my job that I loved. Remember the wonderful people I worked with. Remember the families I got to know over the past two and a half years. Remember the children, the children that eternally have my heart and currently monopolise my thoughts, wondering how they are and if they miss me.

But I have been lucky enough to catch up with a couple of the families and almost all of the staff I worked with. How lovely that has been! What wonderful people I hope to have in my life for a long time to come. Seeing all these people has reminded me of the things I loved, the things I miss and has forced me to say goodbye.

Goodbye to who I was there and goodbye to what happened. Sometimes though, it’s not the goodbyes that hurt it’s the flashbacks that follow. It’s nice to be reminded of the good times but sometimes that just makes it hurt more, makes you miss it more. Reminds you of the crappy stuff you went through too.

Although I know I made the right decision for myself, I have realised that I miss it. I miss Early Childhood and I miss being part of something that impacts a child’s future. I miss always having paint or glue on me somewhere. I miss making resources. I miss reading stories. I miss eating cakes made of sand. I miss it all! I have had to say goodbye to that for a little while, which is hard. Sometimes goodbyes are just ‘see you later’. That’s what I hope for being a teacher.

Goodbyes are hard, because sometimes they mean letting go of something. Moving on. Maybe it’s a relationship that is no longer healthy or a friendship that has become one-sided. Maybe it’s a plan you had. Maybe it’s something that you don’t want to move on from.

But you know what they say…”If you love something let it go. If it comes back to you it’s yours forever. If it doesn’t, it never was, and it’s not meant to be”.

All you need is love

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Guys, I’m watching Dr Phil again (not sure why that always gets me thinking about life and in turn about writing a blog post)! I’m rusty as it has been a while but here goes 🙂

I’m at home over Christmas and my Mum has recorded a whole bunch of episodes and we are watching a repeat from about a month ago. This episode is devastating and has lead me to several conclusions which I will get to but I can hear you all asking what the episode is about so I’ll explain that first.

It is a story about a mother who tried to kill herself and her daughter, and at first it sounds absolutely horrible, which it is!! But as the episode goes on a completely heartbreaking tale unfolds. This child is highly Autistic and extremely violent. This child beats up her mother and younger sister every 6 minutes. This child has knocked her mother unconscious twice, broken her bones and given her bruises. This child is a child. This child has no control. This child is scared.

Dr Phil interviews the mother in jail and she explains that she was trying to take them both to a better place so her youngest daughter would be safe, so her child with autism would be freed and because she was scared her daughter would eventually kill her. What a horrible, scary situation!

I cannot relate to this situation but I could see the pain, regret and love on this mother’s face. I could see she truly had run out of options and had lost hope, she said many times she loved her daughter so much and she just wanted to free her. You could see on her face how much she loved her daughter.

Now, I am not a parent and I am not an expert (not even close!) but I have seen a couple of children with Autism as an Early Childhood Educator over the last year or so. I have seen that they just cannot control their emotions and reactions the way that we generally can, when something changes or sneaks up on them they get scared and react in a way we wouldn’t.

My ‘Dr Phil conclusions’ came when I saw (through my tears) a video of this child physically beating her mother, this then faded into a montage of photographs of a mother and daughter who were friends, best friends. I could see that this mother just wanted to love her child and for her child to know that – and this is what I want for you to get out of my lazy Friday night – love your children, love you family, love yourself.

Your child needs to know that, no matter what, they are loved. I am not trying to lecture you (here I am, I’m a teacher, I know everything – not even! I know nothing!) I know you try your hardest and even when you are sleep deprived and haven’t eaten because you’ve been cleaning up snot and poo and vomit, you may get cranky or be short tempered. But you still love them! Just take a minute, breathe and love on them.

I am already passionate about children and ensuring they have the best life possible! I have learnt this year that it is so important for them to know they are special – even those who are a bit tougher to love! Children with Autism fall on a spectrum, some of them you wouldn’t know they have anything different about them and others struggle to cope with with many aspects of life. If you are a parent of an Autistic child, thank you! You are an amazing human being!

Going into this weekend and the coming year – show love – to your family, your children, your friends, your neighbours and those you encounter throughout your travels. You don’t know their story, their struggles, their life. We should never judge someone as we have no idea what their journey is! All we can do is pray!

Jess xx

Inspired.

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As I sit here at my desk being on hold with Centrelink for 17 minutes so far, I have been checking out Pinterest, one of my favourite time killers. I have discovered so so many activities and ideas that I just cannot wait to try out this year in my brand new role as an Early Childhood Teacher.

I have also stumbled across quite a few amazing other blogs and websites that get me all excited and are completely devoted to Early Childhood ideas. There are mostly art ones below as that is where my passion lies and my Internet searches usually end up, but there are so many out there to tickle whatever fancy you have!

One is wordplayhouse which is a beautifully designed website that focuses on natural resources and creativity. It has AMAZING outdoor art ideas.

This next on Mumtrusted.com is a cool collection of ideas organised into categories. This website has been painstakingly organised into pins of all areas including age groups, topics and what not. Very handy!

Let The Children Play is an awesome blog full of ideas for every single area and then some! I highly recommend checking out the ‘Popular Posts’ and ‘Blog Love’ tabs. Just. So. Many. Ideas!

The Imagination Tree is one that I follow on Facebook as well. It is constantly posting experiences and activities that let children’s imagination run free. Which is lucky because of the name 😉

Lastly I stumbled upon this page of Fun at Home in my Inter-web travels. It has a pre made list of some amazing blogs. There are just so many out there!! How exciting that there are so many people out there, passionate for children and creating the most imaginative learning experiences!! Really gets me excited!

Well I hope for those of you out there who share my excitement, you will find some inspiration amongst these many online pages.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Pinterest is a friend. Check it out!

Jess xx