This time last week we came home from our weekend away to Stanthorpe. It frightens me how fast time flies.
One morning this week, I thought I had Maggie nudging me from the side of the bed to put the TV on. But it was Phoebe. I looked at my nearly three-year-old and thought when did you get so big? Weren’t you a baby 5 minutes ago?
The kids are growing fast and as much as I’m eager for them to become a little more independent, I’m also trying to enjoy these younger years while I can cause it seems if I blink, they will all be in school.
Taking time away with Jacob and the girls to Stanthorpe helped me remember life could be slow. The weekend away was good to give my mind a break. I have had a severe case of rushing women’s syndrome all year and no matter how much I halve my to do list, it always gets extended.
And thus the need for a change of scenery was needed.
I didn’t realise how a weekend away would help me. There were some penny dropping moments – things I was able to take away from our little trip and I thought I’d share them with you.
5 Things I learned while out in the country
1. No ‘news’ is the best news.
Due to the WIFI being unpredictable out in Stanthorpe (the main towns had good coverage) I hardly flicked through my Facebook newsfeed. I felt so much lighter from not knowing what was happening in the world. And I didn’t miss not being in on the know. Being out in the country can help you switch off. This can be a good thing when you’re always engrossed in media for work.
2. Raising young children close in age is emotionally, mentally and physically exhausting.
I’ve known this for a while. Yet it was during my taste testing wine session, I had a wonderful conversation with the winery owner and another couple. We chatted about raising children and how so much has changed from previous generations to now. I joked I needed wine to help me get through the hard years of raising my girls and the owner grinned saying it would help, but only in moderation.
He and the other couple sitting beside me acknowledged how hard it is raising young children that are close in age. He shared how he’d sometimes come home after work and find his wife crying in the kitchen because she hadn’t had a good day with her boys. They had four boys under four at the time. This comforted me a little because there are nights when I am close to tears or I’m frustrated because of the day I’ve had with my girls. It seems not much has changed in the last 40 or so years of parenting when it comes to overwhelm and dealing with behaviour. The lesson I took from this was it’s ok to cry and admit it’s been a hard day – because it is/was. But tomorrow is a new day. And the seasons change.
3. We accumulate so much stuff – maybe too much stuff.
On our last morning in Stanthorpe we had breakfast at a vintage café, Le Bel. It was an antique/pre-loved store with a café. As I wandered through the rooms and looked at all the stuff for sale, I contemplated who originally owned the items on sale. People pass away everyday, and what becomes of their belongings? Do they get thrown away? Donated? Inherited? When I think about all I own, and consider millions of people owning a similar amount of stuff, that’s a lot of stuff. It made me think more about decluttering and owning less. And buying less.
4. Bushwalking makes the best exercise.
There’s so much to see and look at when exploring a national park. The quietness is bliss. Well it was when Maggie wasn’t talking. That girl can talk under water. At one stage Jacob asked if she could stop talking and Maggie said no she couldn’t because she had to talk. Four year old logic right there.
5. I could have made a living selling second-hand toilet seats.
I wish I had taken a photo, but I didn’t want to offend the older gentleman who was selling second hand goods at the Wallangarra Markets. While the girls and I were browsing the market offerings, I raised my eyebrows and had to stifle a giggle when I noticed a second-hand black toilet seat was on sale for $4. The bolts that kept the toilet seat in place were recognisably a discoloured yellow. I thought, good on him for recycling and making a living from it. New toilet seats can be expensive these days and a black toilet seat can be hard to come by. I just replaced a white toilet seat in our ensuite which cost over $80! $4 was a bargain buy for a rare black seat for the throne. Although I couldn’t guarantee the cleanliness of the seat underneath.
While we were away, I entertained the idea of moving to the country. I even asked Jacob whether it was something we would consider. Of course, he reasoned with me that we loved our established life in Brisbane and the kids were well adjusted to their kindy/school and church. I know he’s right. But it still had me thinking about a sea change to the country. Whether life would be much slower? Would we save money and have more time for each other? Right now, I feel the latter is the biggest priority for me.
Even though I work from home, I wonder if I do a good job at mothering and working from home? I think it’s a question a lot of mums grapple with.
It’s not long till I will be at home alone, with no children to keep me company. And I often feel an urgency to spend as much time enjoying this season before we head into a new one. Would a country change ease the stress?
Maybe I just need to create the sea change in our household. A change in mindset, and a slower pace.