Somewhere beyond the sea
Somewhere waiting for me
My little boys stand on golden sands
And watch as the ships go sailing…
Joining the lovely Trish at My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday
Stepping on the ferry, the day was as spectacular as how I was feeling. Decked in heels, my standard corporate black with a splash of colour clothes and immaculate make-up, dare I say, I was looking spiffy.
And it was a good thing my confidence levels were up because I was on my way to a job interview. My first in over 5 years.
Was I nervous?
Was I excited?
Nope and yeah, kinda, respectively.
As I’ve discovered, job searching is like finding the right boyfriend. The interviews are the dates as you discover whether there will eventually be the mutual commitment of employment.
While the odds were telling me I should’ve been at least a teeny bit jttery about applying for a corporate sales role with one of the world’s biggest technology companies (starting with “G”, ending with “e”), I consciously decided to go into that interview room without any expectations.
I just wanted to see what my stance would be these days in the world of the workforce. Were my past job skills still relevant and marketable?
While I have been interviewed more times than I care to count throughout my career this time was obviously very different.
I’m a mum now. And not only does that force a greater emphasis to achieving a work/life balance it significantly shuffles life’s priorities.
Work was once the proverbial be all end all; furiously working till the late hours closing 7 figure deals; constantly striving to be the best in the sales team; none of that matters to me anymore.
Yet, at the same token, I’m still consider myself a conscientious worker with a searing drive to bust balls. (Figuratively speaking, of course).
Ultimately, the interview was a precarious jump to see what the options are these days for a mum seeking employment:
Being Up Front
If an interview is limited to half an hour, there’s no time to faff around. Rather than running the risk of miscommunication or misconceptions, being honest and straightforward about my limited availability could only be appreciated.
On the flipside, was an opportunity to be assertive and suss out the potential employer’s flexibility.
I wasn’t available for full-time work now, but were they willing to start me off as part-time?
Was there a chance for job sharing?
How about working from home?
Knowing My Worth
I’m a big believer that if you’re confident in your self-worth, that will be reflected positively on your employers. I realized that just because I haven’t had a corporate job in over 4 years, my communication and marketing skills are still highly valuable.
And I made sure the interviewer knew that.
“If At First You Get Rejected”
With every interview, every recruiter I speak with and every rejection I get, I know that it’s ALL leading to something greater. All of it is part of the path to the job that will suit me and my values as a working mum.
And while nothing is EVER perfect, especially a job, there will be the ones that will comfortably sit with me, my family values and current stage of life.
Again, it’s like dating. Gotta kiss a lotta frogs to find your prince.
As it worked out, I turned down the job.
While it was a great springboard opportunity to get back into the corporate world, the remuneration wasn’t worth for me to have the twinlets in daycare 5 days a week.
So, I’m still on the search. Still looking for that froggy prince.
Hopping on board the #IBOT train with Essentially Jess
It goes without saying that despite being identical, the twinlets have their own very different personalities.
For some reason though, this fact seems to mind boggle people sometimes. And I guess that’s understandable.
Even from a mother’s perspective, the twinlets aren’t dissimilar in many aspects, they’re also not at all similar in others. Does that make sense? Or have I completely thrown you off?
What I’m trying to say is that at this age, their differences in personalities don’t really present themselves until it comes to a particular situation.
Despite being the eldest (by a whole 2 minutes), Nunu tends to let his brother dominate a conversation.
K-Bear is Mr Chatterbox and when a question is asked to both of them, K-Bear will be the first to jump in with the answer.
It’s not that Nunu’s an introvert or shy. In fact, as Mr Sociable, he loves approaching other kids at the playground to introduce himself then ask them for their name. Sometimes, he’ll do it several times – to the same kid. The poor child being targeted will look at Nunu in bemusement (occasionally in annoyance ) as if to say, “Wait. Didn’t we just go through this???”
Ah, my son. He’s just practicing his social skills.
Problem is, there is a tendency of being overshadowed by his brother. And this has started to be a growing concern for us.
On the rare occasion when time and exceptional organization skills work harmoniously together in our household, we separate the boys for one on one time.
Sometimes we’ll take one to the shopping mall and the other to the airport. One of us might travel in the car while the other takes public transport. Whatever we do, it’s usually impromptu.
On Sunday, we both decided to catch a bus, albeit separate ones. The destinations hadn’t been decided.
We also hadn’t told the twinlets of our plans but minutes before we left the house, Nunu reached over to his brother and gave him a random hug. Kinda like a “Dude, this might be a bit tough for you, but you’ll be fine. Trust me, I’m your older bro” embrace.
I don’t particularly look out for these “twintuition” moments but when they do happen, I sit up to see and soak in how magical it is.
I took K-Bear and wasn’t quite sure where we would go.
Mr Surfer decided that he would just let Nunu lead him.
“I’m just going to let him tell me what he wants to do…”
After boarding the bus and realizing that his mother and brother weren’t coming along, Nunu asked his dad where we were.
“They’re catching a different bus,” was the reply.
“Oh, okay…” and nothing more mentioned.
K-Bear on the other hand, despite usually being the more confident one, held my hand very tightly when our bus arrived. It then occurred to me that maybe, he relies on his brother to be that pillar of confidence for him.
He constantly asked for his brother and his father for the first five minutes then as he kept holding my hand, he slowly slouched into his seat and fell asleep.
Meanwhile, Nunu was having a ball. Time on his own with his dad all to himself and potato chips to boot! For this twin, what wasn’t there to love? More importantly, what or who was there to miss?
As it worked out, we both ended up doing the same thing, catching the bus then the train to Circular Quay. Both had an ice cream and a wander, checking out the ships and ferries.
A quick mobile phone conversation, we decided to meet up but not tell the boys.
The look on the boys’ faces when they first spotted each other could’ve melted my heart like fire to candle wax.
As the twinlets grow into active, independent little boys, I see the need to separate them on a regular basis. It doesn’t need to be for long, massive periods of time.
Just enough to give them the space they need to help discover themselves and become even more confident in who they are.
Because with twins, it’s a given finding strength in numbers. But it takes a conscious effort to build the power of being one.
Joining Jess and the lovely IBOT team
Just as I was getting settled into the evening, ready to enjoy some peace and quiet, Mr Surfer called me over in the kitchen. It was time; that unavoidable, most dreaded task of clearing out the shed. And as with any of these overwhelmingly massive chores, tackling the overcrowded space corner by corner is the only practical approach.
We’ve been talking about throwing out which of the twinlet’s baby clothes for a while now. And as they get older, the pile of what’s been outgrown just gets higher.
Begrudgingly, I walked into the kitchen to sort out the garbage bags. I promised myself I’d be stern; Throw out most of what is no longer used and only hang on to a few pieces as memorabilia.
But whom am I kidding?
I am the world’s worse hoarder. Why? Because I am the world’s soppiest sentimental wuss.
Scents; songs; a certain time of the day; all have their way in setting off the nostalgic button in my consciousness and I’m left floating on a myriad of memories. Short, yet significant snapshots of yesteryears.
Sorting through the bibs, newborn onesies, tiny booties, I grabbed items like I was shopping through a bargain bin.
I seem to impress Mr Surfer how I was able to pick up a piece of clothing and immediately recall which relative and friend gave it to us.
Some stuff I held tight and close to my face, trying to get a whiff of any new baby smell remnants.
I made sure we kept everything the boys wore during their time in NICU; the handme down onesies that were still too big despite being size 00000; the ugly singlets stamped with “NSW Health” in prison red, the blankets that kept them warm and close together in the nursery while we weren’t there with them.
Wondering how we got from size “Prem” to now, it was inevitable I got teary.
Knowing the sentimental fool I am, Mr Surfer instructed, “Whatever you want to keep, keep. Don’t think about space.”
So, I did.
So much for ruthless culling. It’s just not in me, man. It’s just not.
Are you an expert at culling? Or a sentimental hoarder like me?
***This is a sponsored post for Big W. All opinions are mine and all jumping and basketball antics are as crazy as they look.***
While announcing the Big W Toy Spectacular Sale and the awesome $100 Big W voucher giveaway last week, I also mentioned the gaffs we’ve made as (still fairly) newish parents. Especially when it came to toy purchases.
Happy to report that I think we finally got it right!
With the aid of the twinlets – our little toy experts – we clicked on the Big W website to make some “educated” and “well-researched” choices.
Let’s not forget, having twins usually means having to buy two of everything. Thus began our search in finding activity equipment that they could happily enjoy together.
Out of pure obligation (and fear of never been forgiven) we bought the Octonauts obsessed boys a Captain Barncale’s Gup A vehicle each.
Considering all the cold, miserable weather and lack of outdoor opportunity, we also chose the Little Tikes TotSport Basketball set…Behold, my future Harlem Globetrotters!
Action Junior Jumper Mini trampoline…Boing, boing, boing!
and the Tinkers Deluxe Checkout Supermarket which turned out to be the best choice EVER!
Finally, we found a toy that we don’t have to buy 2 of yet they’ve been playing beautifully together, taking turns with the trolley and the cash register. Miracles!
Everything was bought on the Monday morning and just 24 hours later, the delivery man came to drop off our goodies.
How’s that for painless and toddler tantrum free shopping?
Don’t forget, last day to enter my Big W voucher giveaway! Might save you tantrums and tears and claim back your sanity!
Update – 28/06/2013
Winners of the giveaway are:
Congratulations! An email has been sent, asking for your postal address details. Please reply ASAP so you have plenty of time to pick and choose for the Big W Toy Spectacular Sale!
After 25 years of faithful service, the beloved Sydney monorail will close at the end of this month.
I’m particularly sad because it’s been the perfect baby sitter.
Riding the “bullet train” (as the twinlets call it) is a city visit highlight. We stay on for ages, riding loop after loop after loop, letting Mr Surfer and I catch a break.
The moment we board, the boys bounce off the walls with excitement and annoy other passengers in the carriage. Hey, I plead ignorance.
So goodbye, Sydney monorail. Thanks for being the perfect distraction for every wild tantrum. For making those mundane afternoons, when dangerously close to witching hour, a lot less painful. Thank you for the wonderful, happy family memories.
Joining Trish and the gang at My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday
***This is a sponsored post for Big W. All opinions are mine and all toy related tantrums are genuine***
Remember the early days when you still had your “Green P” parenting plates on? Being an absolute rookie at child rearing.
Mistakes were constant. Like clipping the inside of their chubby thighs when fastening their seat belts. Or almost burning their little infant tongues because you didn’t properly test how hot the heated milk was in their feeding bottle.
When the twinlets were in their toddler prime, Mr Surfer took them for a quick trip to the toy store. There was no intention to buy anything but for them to have a quick play and kill some time.
Big blunder. Huge.
Tantrums and tears were imminent.
One by-stander who witnessed the entire meltdown had to have his 5 cents worth:
“Mate, if you knew you weren’t going to buy anything. You shouldn’t even take them in there”
And there folks, lies the absolute truth.
It’s best to leave these things to the experts.
Even being in 5 metres vicinity of the toy section or a toy store, you’re doomed. You’re never going to win the war. Your child will always know best.
You leave with an extremely scorched hole in your wallet.
The futile alternative is being at your wit’s end trying to usher out a screaming child who’s sprawled out like a hysterical starfish, refusing to be peeled off the shopping mall floor.
Just in time before their big online sale (starts 20th of June ends 10th July), Big W gave me the rare opportunity to conduct a little experiment. A chance to see how much the twinlets “know their toys”.
Jumping on the Big W website, there was much excitement over seeing on the computer screen familiar characters like Thomas, Lightening McQueen and the Octonauts crew.
When asked which of the toys they would like, there was some deep contemplation.
Sourcing toys is a serious business, didn’t you know? Especially when you’re a feisty 3 and a half year old.
The process was so much easier than having to drag everyone into the store.
I’ll have to head back there for my Christmas shopping, taking advantage of the online lay-by option.
And the best part…I have 5 x $100 Big W gift vouchers to give away, just in time for the upcoming Giant Toy Spectacular!
To be in the running, all you have to do is:
The important stuff:
As always, joining Essentially Jess for IBOT
There’s nothing more frightening than witnessing a toddler tantrum.
Well, Madonna without make up might come close. Heh.
But seriously, despite the on-going hell raising incidents, does your head ever condition itself to stop pounding from the incessant screams?
For the most part, I’ve somewhat learned how to “cope”.
It’s realizing that they don’t understand why they’re going through it.
And for a little person who’s confused as to what’s going on in their head, they can sure as hell do a lot of damage.
How my beloved twinlets can turn from cute, delicate angels to steely strong destructive monsters in a flat second, I’ll never know.
Well, actually I do. It’s triggered by that inkling of tiredness or small pang of hunger.
For instance, the twinlets went through this phase where their foot HAD to be held while we were in the car.
I somehow had to do a yoga twist to reach out to the back seat and not only try to calm one but two children.
It was getting to the point of absurdity (or more like parent slavery). Without any other option, we went cold turkey.
No more soothing feet.
Ignore the tears instead.
Block your ears to the screams.
After much conditioning, I somehow found my happy place (Drinking a cocktail beside a pool in Bali, of course).
One morning though, K-Bear wasn’t going to give in to the sudden lack of feet attention. He wanted a foot rub, damn it.
Kicking and screaming all the way to the swimming pool (which felt far longer than the 20 minutes it took), he tried to escape from his car seat, busting out of the shoulder straps.
We were indeed the heartless parents who had seized him in a state of confinement.
And in his wild jungle protests, my little 3 year old monkey managed to kick off the interior door handle.
All that remains is this…
Oh, and this…
We can all laugh about it now. Just.
In fact, I’m now positive that twins start giving each other flack as early as 3 years of age because Nunu will occasionally point at the door and say:
“Look Mama, what happened to the door?”
Ah, it sounds like an innocent question but it’s obvious what he’s hinting at.
Enough so that K-Bear will mumble in reply:
“I’m sorry, Mama. I’m sorry…”
At least we still have 3 functioning door handles.
Besides your sanity, what has your toddler broken during a full-blown tantrum?
Joining Essentially Jess for another fabulous round of IBOT
Yesterday, we cancelled the twinlets’ swimming lessons.
For whatever reason, things at our current pool haven’t really been clicking for us for a while. Well, more importantly, for the boys.
We thought that maybe they just weren’t water babies or the pool was too cold or had too much chlorine.
But we discovered that this wasn’t the case…and the proof is in the belly flops.
Have you ever had to change swimming schools for your kids? Do they love doing belly flops? Was that a dumb question?
Joining the lovely Trish at My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday.
It’s a safe bet to say that those who say that raising twins is just the same as raising 2 children “close” in age don’t have twins of their own.
Take for example, toilet training.
Having the twinlets as very different individuals and personalities, the “High Five”, squeeze-a-brown-shark-out-get-a-toy technics have only worked for one.
The other insists that doing his business is no one’s business.
And that’s fine. We’re happy to go along with Nunu and when he’s good and ready to make the transition from Lightening McQueen Pull ups to Thomas the Tank undies, we’ll readily be there.
I took the boys to their favourite park the other week.
All was going smoothly when K-Bear insisted he needed to go to the toilet. Having just been to do a discreet wee outside the park fence 5 minutes earlier, I knew he was talking about dropping the brown bomb.
Logistics can be a real bitch at times like these. Trying to drag the other twin to come along was not only tough, but time crucial.
Crossing his legs, K-Bear desperately cried, “Mama…poo, poo!”
Finally, I was able to convince Nunu to get down from the equipment to follow his brother, albeit begrudgingly. I don’t blame him. Would you give up the slide to watch your brother take a crap?
I took the boys back to the quiet corner just outside the park. Legs spread wide in a perfect yoga triangle pose, K-Bear started to do his business.
Realizing that I somehow needed to clear up the mess, I pulled out the baby wipes and made a little nest where the poo could land.
Despite the few flies we attracted, all was going as well as could be expected.
Then, I noticed that up the road – 10 cars away from mine – a parking ranger was doing the rounds. I suddenly panicked realizing that I hadn’t put in any money in the meter. If I didn’t take drastic action, I was going to be slapped with an $88 parking ticket.
“Finished, sweetie???” I failed at trying to sound calm.
More flies started gathering.
“Shoo fly!” K-Bear said, slightly distracted.
“Sweetie, are you finished, NOW???”
My boys are only 3 but they’re not stupid. They knew their mum was frantic.
While his brother plopped away, Noah was still playing near by but was starting to get agitated and impatient.
With my eyes darting back and forth, surveying my son’s poo situation and seeing that the dreaded parking man was only 10 metres away from my car, I knew I was done for.
“Okay, Mama. Finished!”
Quickly I scrambled up the bark and the soiled wipes, trying to wrap it into a neat parcel. Then, wiping my boy’s bum in Olympic record time, I swung our massive back pack around my shoulders, bolted to the bin to then head for the parking meter.
Not even thinking about my boys, they started running behind me.
I looked like Dora the Explorer with her own little troop of Boots and Diego, running behind her.
“Mama, wait for me! Wait for me!” the boys cried out.
For any innocent by passer, I surely would’ve looked like a fugitive, crazy mum, escaping double trouble.
Still ignoring the twinlets’ cries to slow down, I made it to the parking meter just as the nasty parking ranger booked the car in front of me.
But damn it. I wasn’t so lucky the following week…
Joining Essentially Jess for IBOT