A post for my husband

keep-calm-and-let-me-be-me-2Recently my husband said to me “just let me be me” and I have been reflecting on these words a lot.  We’ve been married 15 years and have had our ups and downs like most couples I suspect.  We’ve had more kid-free years together but since becoming parents seven years ago our relationship has changed for the better; most of the time.

Parenting has brought new aspects to us as people and it’s been a learning curve to understand that we have different styles and that it’s a good thing.  Finding the balance between our styles and solidarity to benefit the children as they grow up is important as is learning to respect what we both bring in our styles.

As part of my reflection on my hubby’s words I know I need to focus more on the positives about my husband’s style as he is doing an amazing job with our children.  I can’t forget that I wouldn’t be a mother to these three beautiful children without him.

I know it’s not just about supporting him as a parent.  Over our years together I have done my best to support my husband in career changes as his happiness at work is incredibly important to the harmony at home.  That support obviously needs to increase in other ways and I’m working on it.

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It’s International Volunteer Day – I receive help from volunteers, I volunteer and I’m better for it

Today is a very special day for our family as today is International Volunteer Day (IVD).  volunteer image

Why is IVD so special to us I hear you ask…

Without volunteers in our life we wouldn’t be the family we are now, yes we’d be a family but we wouldn’t be as strong without the support, information, friendship, community and amazing events that our 100% volunteer run multiple birth club has given us. (shameless plug http://www.amba.org.au/clubfinder)

We wouldn’t have managed without the amazing volunteers who came to our house to help with our triplets when we brought them home from hospital and for a number of years after.  These volunteers are part of our extended family now and we’re incredibly grateful.

Without volunteers I wouldn’t have learnt what it means to help others and to give back in thanks for the support we’ve received and to pay it forward as there may be a time when we need help from another volunteer run organisation and can’t give back.

Without being a volunteer I would never have learned about the mental health benefits, skills, friends and support that I could gain for my personal benefit.

As a volunteer I’ve had to learn that not everyone is as appreciative of others efforts or takes into the fact that the volunteer is giving their ‘spare’ time to help others.  I have trouble understanding that but I need to accept it and move on as overall I know that the majority of people are grateful for the support they receive.

volunteer complain

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Multiple Birth Awareness Week

It’s 5.00am and my brain has been in overdrive on and off all night, gone are the days when it used to be the kids keeping me awake.  I now have a cup of tea and I’m reflecting on Multiple Birth Awareness Week (MBAW) which is heading into it’s last few days for 2014.  MBAW has been incredible in my opinion and it’s all down to amazing parents of multiples who volunteer their spare time to help other parents of multiples.  What a community!  I do my bit to help and I love working with other like-minded people to help other families as we received amazing help in our early days and continue to receive help especially with the complexities of multiples in school.

MBAW is about raising awareness and the Australian Multiple Birth Association has done it’s best with the amazing volunteer power.  What has been incredible is the amazing people power that has created such an awareness on social media.  People are sharing AMBA’s Facebook posts or posting photos of their twins, triplets or more on their profiles for MBAW.  Twitter has been busy as well with one dad creating some great comments on parenting multiples.  So many support organisations, media and businesses have also been doing shout outs and articles.  It’s this amazing people power that raise awareness and connects families with support.

It blows me away how much can be done when people work together.  Clubs have pulled together 70 events around Australia to help celebrate MBAW.  The theme “you’re not alone” has resonated with so many people and a number have reflected that they weren’t necessarily in a good head space early on when expecting multiples to see the benefits of joining their local AMBA club but once they joined they found the support and community to be incredible.

Getting support from “those who know” is unparalleled when you are expecting more than one baby at a time.  Bringing home one baby must be hard enough but bringing home two or more at once is just daunting.  I’m grateful and my family is grateful for our strong connection to the multiple birth community in person and online.

Happy Multiple Birth Awareness Week.

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The occasional blogger is back but not for long

Dear Follower or two,

So I seem to have a slight issue and that is lack of time to blog. I can’t blame having triplets, well I can’t blame them directly. I can blame myself for taking on a lot of volunteer work for AMBA and CARMBA. I love my volunteer work so I’m giving up blogging as I have already given up watching TV.  But don’t panic I have started a Facebook page and will share my insights on Life at the washing line.

Thanks for all the mammories (#skywhale joke)

Ali

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Alice! Alice, who the ‘fudge’ is Alice?

There’s Alice in Wonderland and then there’s Alice Mountifield, yes that’s me.

My parents named me Alice and it was a name I used until I was in my last year of school.  My family nickname is Alibo and I love it.  I tend to only be Alice when in trouble, to old school friends or new friends who choose to call me either to irk me – it doesn’t work – or because they like the name and I respect that.  The only thing that irks me is when someone meets me and calls me Allison!  It’s a great name but I don’t understand why  people do that; I thought Aussies were renowned for shortening names.

I love the song Living next door to Alice and the line “Alice, who the f is Alice?”, see the Alice in me can’t type the f word.

Don’t forget the kids song “Alice the camel has five humps”, so great to grow up as a well-endowed teenager with that one around.  I love this image of Alice the camel, the words ‘so tomorrow’ make me feel that my name suits the younger generation. (you can see this great image and check out the song on this blog http://www.sotomorrowblog.com/2010/12/alice-camel.html)

so tomorrow but not my tomorrow

so tomorrow but not my tomorrow

I was listening to a segment on the radio with an interview with a young (that’s how her voice sounded) lady call Alice.  I thought how well she seemed to suit being an Alice and wondered if it was just me not feeling comfortable in my teenage Alice body that made me change or if as I say to people I’m not really an Alice.

I love the name my parents gave me and it sits really well with my full name when written on official doco so I’ll never change it.  I didn’t change my surname when I got married either as I’m proud of my name; not that I don’t love my hubby’s name.  When we got engaged I did think about changing as people can’t always spell or say Mountifield properly but neither can they spell Smit, hmmm Smith, Schmidt.

The name Ali sits comfortably with the person I became and until Ally Mcbeal came onto our TV screens it seemed I was one of very few using Ali, Allie, Ally etc.  Now it is such a popular name/shortening and I wonder if it was me or Calista Flockhart that started the trend.

When I’m not Ali, I’m ‘the triplets’ mum’ and I get that as one of the mums at our school is ‘the ranger’ (that’s her day job).  I’m OK with all of the roles that I hold and the labels -the good and the bad- that I have.

When pregnant I would have liked our children to have a double-barreled surname but hubby said no.  I’m grateful now as I seem to have form after form that needs filling out and I’m pretty sure I’d have RSI by now if I had to write more than four letters in the surname field.

The radio segment gave me a good chance to think about the me who was Alice and the me  who is Ali.  I know some of the kids at my boarding school who knew me but didn’t know me well would say 100% that I’m a totally different person.  I know I did change as I was given support, great friendships and room to grow once I left boarding school but in my heart I know I was always me.  Maybe boarding school was my cocoon.

I’m grateful for the ‘preferred name’ field on official forms.

So go Alice go. Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom.

 

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A sunny day helps lift the mood..

So does some time out for yourself.  

I had a great night’s sleep and my cough has finally gone after what feels like six weeks.  I’m back from a run, completing week three of C25K; it’s taken me two months to get here to this point but I’m glad I haven’t given up.  On the way back from the run I picked up a take out coffee for hubby and me which is so lovely to have.  Breakfast is cooking; a vegie omelette for me.  The washing line is full and the internal laundry has been put away.

It’s the start of a new day and a happy me.

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School is hard, why didn’t someone warn me?

I left school in 1987, back when dinosaurs still roamed the earth.  I was so grateful to see the back of school and move into the real world.

school desk computer desk

I’m now back at school, well not in the classroom learning, but I’m back there with my children who are in Kindergarten and I’m finding it hard work.   I remember the years of child care bills and looking forward to not having to pay them anymore.  I was excited to see the kids in their uniforms and packing them off to school but now I’m tired, really tired with all that is involved.

The homework involves three readers every night and morning – my choice, magenta words, mathletics, golden words, handwriting practice to learn how to write our ABC and 123.  I am relearning how to write my letters and I’m still trying to figure out how to pronounce ‘a’ is is ‘aaa’ or ‘a’ and so on.  I’m also learning how to sound out some words a n d is OK but others don’t come out as easily.  Please someone tell me how I can explain rhyming to my children as my way isn’t sinking in or is it a concept that five year olds won’t understand until they are hmmmm 25?

Once the kids homework is done I then need to do the other bits and pieces like fill out another form or excursion note.  It seems I need to go back to school to learn how to cope with school.

Today was a prime example of how hard it is.  I attended assembly this afternoon as it was hosted by our year.  It was beautiful and I’m so proud of how the kids are growing up.  It was home time five minutes after assembly so parents that attended took charge of their children and returned to the classroom to pick up the bags.  This is not standard practice as we normally wait outside and they come out to us with all their gear.  So two out of three decided they needed me to pack their bags, I didn’t but it was a struggle to get them to do it.  Then one by one they all declared they wanted to go home while I was having a chat to their teacher.  Chat is probably the wrong word, she started talking to me about some forms (more of them) that I needed to fill in but she didn’t explain why.  So while trying to deal with the crap that x3 were throwing my way I said to the teacher I wasn’t sure what she was talking about.  All the time I felt like I was going to burst into tears due to the overwhelming moment in time.  One of the other mums there saw what was happening and she reminded me that the kids are only doing this to me, ie not other carers/family – not sure it helps but it reinforced that I need to stay strong and not do everything for them or cave when they decided it was time to go home.  It’s hard as I feel all I’m doing is telling them to behave, stop interrupting etc etc.  Where’s the joy???

The week is over and Saturday is here with a beautiful sunny day showing it’s colours.  We’re not going anywhere soon so the PJs are still on which is a joy.  No homework for us today.

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