The night before…

Work 1. noun. activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result.
2. verb. be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a result.

As I wash and dry the dishes and try to tidy up a little, there are a few extra things I am preparing before going upstairs to bed. It is the night before I return to work. This phrase “return to work” sounds misleading because for the past 13 months even though I am not in a corporate environment or in an office, I have been working my butt off with a different type of reward – love.

With the date slowly creeping up on me over the past few weeks I have been feeling nervous, sad, excited, guilty and anxious. Motherhood, including all the sleeplessness nights and crying it brings, has been one of the most wonderful and fulfilling experiences and leaving Baby D makes feel sad that I’ll miss out on the little things he’ll learn while I’m not there. I’ll miss morning and afternoon cuddles, and seeing him wake up with a huge grin on his face. I’ll miss messy breakfast time and getting annoyed that there’s food all over the floor and in my hair. I’ll miss the excited expression he has when we go for a walk to see the ducks and how he eats the bread but pretends he’s throwing it to feed them. I’ll miss watching him during his daytime naps wondering what he’s dreaming about.

Having said all that, I also feel extremely blessed. I have a loving family helping to take care of Baby D and a job share arrangement which means I won’t be away from him for a whole week. I have a lot of friends who have returned to work  – some full time, some part time and some work full time at home bringing up our future prime ministers, doctors, artists, athletes and entrepreneurs! Everyone’s situation is different and we try to do what is best and what we can for our families and somehow I have seen it all work out in the end. The first few weeks or months may be a little tricky but I guess that’s just the transition phase.

Here are some tips I thought I’d try out as I transition into back in to work:

1) Wherever I am, I will be all there – be present in whatever I am doing
2) Don’t be afraid to ask for help
3) Remember the reason I am returning to work – my motivation, my goals
4) Have a plan but also be flexible
5) Be realistic – is there such a thing as perfect work/life balance? We’ll soon find out.
6) Drink lots of water and breathe
7) Everything is going to ok 🙂

How did you transition back into the workforce after mat leave? Leave your tips in the comments below.
xoxo

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It seemed like just yesterday we found out we were going to be a family of three! It seemed just like yesterday that I was waddling around with a big, round belly.

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It seemed like just yesterday we met our beautiful little baby – half me and half hubby. Taking him home and getting to know him over the past year has been the best gift we could have ever received.

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Greatness starts with the Arts

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“Greatness starts with the Arts” – Susan Wright, Author and Chair of Arts Education at the University of Melbourne.

“Of all the gifts with which individuals may be endowed, none emerges earlier than musical talent” (Gardner, 1983).

What a lovely  July morning for a trip to the Abbotsford Convent last week. The sun was shining and the air was fresh. I took Baby D with me to a Culture Mamas event where we listened to Susan Wright talk about the importance of drawing, mark-making and engaging in musical babble in early childhood learning. There was a moment in the talk where Susan demonstrated this and started to mimic the sounds that our chatty babies and toddlers were making. All of a sudden the noisy room went quiet as all the babies turned around listening to Susan copying their sounds “kahh kahh”, “ooh ooh”, “wee” – or in other words, she was talking to them in their language.

It’s always nice to see Daniel interacting with other babies – it makes me smile 🙂

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Life Lately #4 – Winter Warmers

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Even with the icy cold winter breeze settling in we managed to spend lots of time outdoors all rugged up and soaking in the sun’s warm rays. There is always so much to do in Melbourne and these past two months I continued to make the most out of mat leave enjoying this special time with family and friends and also working on personal development.

Here are some things we got up to:

– birthdays galore! 😀
– catch ups and coffee at some lovely Melbourne cafes
(The Cornershop, Carlisle Wine Bar, VicPies, Tasty T, Top of the Bay and Chase Kitchen – see post here)
– family time with the grandparents, great grandparents and in-laws
– took a turn at the mic and MC’d for a dance comp (a little scary but heaps of fun!)
– first club gig with the Mishanda girls post-partum (Yayy!)
– another successful AHC (Australian Hip Hop Championships) prelim at MSAC
– attended a talk on “Personal Branding”
– met speaker Catherine Moolenschot and listened to her “Funnel of Greatness” talk
– attended a seminar by Tim Gill “Expanding Children’s Horizons”
– mothers group chill sessions 🙂
– dinner at Father Noel’s with past and present WYD (World Youth Day) pilgrims
– date night with the hubby….and Superman ;P
– finally got back to the gym
– organizing Baby’s room
– baby photo shoots
– watched Baby start to stand confidently, climb the stairs and get excited as his first two teeth cut through
– tried hand sewing some pants for Baby (need a lot more practice! :/)
– watched some of the hubby’s ball games
– ended the first half of 2013 with a relaxing mini-getaway to Redesdale, Victoria
– and of course did a little shopping 🙂 (see my Instagram @Jacqfruit)

Mishanda gigMishanda gigging at Red Bennies on Chapel street – so much fun to be back on the dance floor!

AHCThe Melbourne preliminary round of AHC 2013 – always makes me happy seeing the dance community together and supporting each others passions.

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A lovely brunch at Friends of Mine on Swan st in Burnley – you have to order the banana bread!!
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Baby loves the camera!
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MC gig with Hasmin at the first ever Fired Up Dance Competition run by the council of Greater Dandenong, FREEZA and Tracy from Replay Dance Productions.Camilla's 1st birthdayIMG_0767

Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you!
IMG_0349IMG_0366Enjoying Williamstown with the grandparents <3

leavesChillin’ at Highpoint with Lolo – Baby was so enthralled by the plants and the leaves.

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Tim Gill at the St Kilda Town Hall – great talk about bringing up our children in a risk-averse society.Carlisle

After talk sweets at the Carlisle Wine Bar – these donuts were amazing, and so was the ambience 🙂Mother's groupBaby D’s mothers group buddies are all growing up so fast!

sewingOk so I made him pants that were a little too tight :/ I need more practice.

WYD dinnerAlways an abundance of food when you have dinner with Father Noel – good food, great cheese, gorgeous wines!

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Mel’s famous chicken pho! 😀 A perfect winter warmer.redesdale

Our cozy “little” cabin – “The River House” in Redesdale.IMG_0733

So grateful to wake up to this little bundle of smiles everyday!

What have you been up to recently and what is one thing that are you grateful for?

xoxo