Friday, December 21, 2012

Musings on Motherhood

Have I mentioned I have a BA in Art History and Anthropology? Well I do. And it is my anthropological background that I think gives me the strength to question and analyse the expectations of both me and my child by the world at large. 

I don't want this blog to become a mummy blog (nothing wrong with them, I follow several, (hank and lucy, the artful parent, and Kate Subrosa  (who unfortunately has stopped blogging) and began to well before the arrival of my little one).  In fact I want to use it to save me from being someone who can only talk about children and parenting - to remind me there is a wider world out there, but this blog, for me, is a 'scrapbook of things I find interesting' and therefore sometimes it will be about Mum stuff.

So as I struggle with the multiple options of sleep and settling, feeding, routine and try and make the decisions that may or may not impact my child and her world views, I find myself both seeking, and  ignoring advice from various quarters. 
I want to follow my heart when i comes to my daughter, it is my duty to insure she sees me following my instincts and beliefs, rather than following the norm and second guessing myself.  But at the same time the pressure not to 'create a rod for my own back' makes me read and read and read some more in order to feel more confident about my choices.
With the wealth of information on the multiple parenting 'theories' (no matter how contradictory, most are supposedly endorsed by 'experts' or 'proven' by science) I kept thinking of what other societies did when it came to parenting so I got off the parenting websites and looked at anthropological ones.  I have found them fascinating, but like all parenting advise you need to keep in mind what the motives of the author is. 

I will not sit here and offer parenting advise.  All parents should follow there own hearts, gut feelings and logic.  All parents intend to do the best they can for their children and i don't believe there is a right answer, but that we should do what is right for us, and our own developing families. 

However, if like me you want explore the wonderful diversity of motherhood and child rearing here are some sites I found interesting.

How They Do It  a cross cultural comparrisen on baby zone

AnthropoChildren is a mothers perspective in the feild.  Not in depth but peaked my interest and I will look into reading more of her material if I can hunt it down.

Motherlands An anthropological and Literary resource on becoing a parent in the age of globalisation

Trends in American Child Rearing

Other websites I think may be worth reading by parents, and almost parents 

Purple Crying about how crying is normal - which can come as a relief to many

Kelly Mom loads of advice on feeding, sleeping and other subjects as well.

Essential Baby the forums are great for getting a opinions and ideas from mums who have been there dont that, or are going through the same sort of thing.  Can be good for getting multiple veiwpoints on a subject.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Tis the season


Ah Christmas, we have a love, hate relationship.
I love getting together with the family, I love the kids excitement (my kid will be unaware this year and probably next year too but lucky I have nieces and nephews to get the atmosphere buzzing), I love the excuse to hang pretty decorations (if you need pretty decorations see here and here) and make pretty decorations too, (here and here). And the food - I love the food - Christmas is the perfect time to try new recipes and enjoy indulgent favorites the problem is trying to decide which recipes to use and which to put aside for next year.
But I hate the rampant consumerism.  I hate the over crowding at the shops. I hate the pressure of buying gifts the kids will enjoy (we don't buy for child-bearing adults) that wont add to the plastic pile-up in only a few weeks time. And this year I hate that my own child will end up with a plastic pile-up of her own. 
I don't want her thinking Christmas is all about the presents, but at the same time I don't want her to feel like shes missing out when shes old enough to compare with her peers. And I want her to have beautiful, sustainable earth friendly toys, not plastic fantastic - but I cant control what her Aunts and Grandmothers (lets face it the boys don't have to deal with crazy Christmas shopping trips) buy her.  I can make suggestions but I cant demand they don't go nuts in large department stores. And lets face it children forget who brought them what in a few minutes but give them your time and your love and they would still adore you even if all you gave them was an apple and a stick.
Hoping your silly season isn't too silly

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Almost Guilt free Chocolate

So Pepermint magizene  introduced me to Pana Chocolates, and now I may be a little addicted.
Not only are they are completely guilt free in an ethical sence (organic, fairtrade, recylable packageing, aussie made), but being raw chocolate their pretty good for you too, and they taste amazing!
They come enclosed in the cutest darn packageing, and while I'll admit their alot more expensive than your average chocolate bar I think that makes you savour them a little more.
Available online here, or check with your local health food shop.

Wishing you a sweet weekend!

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories

It arrived and its everything I wanted.  I finished the book wishing there were more pages, which is a good thing.  There's and second (available) and third volume (still being produced) that I will have to add to my Christmas wish list (one is never to old for a Christmas wish list ;)).
Not only do you find yourself marvelling in the wit, humor, sadness, or beauty that can be packed into a few shot lines but best of all it stimulates your imagination and creativity.  I'm feeling the urge to use my next nap time to see what tiny stories I can create.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tiny Things

Beautiful tiny moments, Baby and Daddy.  (my personal photo please ask permission before using)
Tiny things can be beautiful, plain, sad, happy, bring joy, bring memories.  Tiny things can make a huge impact - the straw that broke the camels back, a needle in a haystack. Tiny things are that once in a lifetime moment, the smell of summer, your babies first laugh - a nanosecond of wonderful!

Which is why I'm intrigued  by 'The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories'  by Joseph Gorden-Levitt (whom I love as a actor).  I stumbled across it when looking for something completely unrelated on the book depository and after reading several reviews I'm now waiting for it to be delivered.  This is what the book depository had to say:
In December 2010, hitRECord self-published the first volume in the "Tiny Stories" series. The collaboration received over 2,300 contributions, from which Joe and the creative collective edited together 32 illustrated stories. This volume in the "Tiny Stories" series will contain all new material created through the same collaborative process on as directed by RegularJOE. "The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories" is the first book in a current 3-book partnership between hitRECord and It Books.  

A collaboration of art and stories, sounds amazing. Amazon reviewers further perked my interest by talking about the amazingly emotive effects that a few short lines and an incredible image can invoke.  Once the book arrives in my hot little hand I'll let you know if it lives up to my expectations.  However the concept alone, makes me love Joseph Gorden-Levitt  just a little bit more!

FYI This is the associated website.  I confess I haven't perused it yet, my child is a cat napper, the fact I am able to write this post without entertaining a 10 week old at the same time is a miracle in itself!

Monday, October 29, 2012

I spied

Last week I spied a few of lovely bits out there in the bloggesphere

Lets go to paris, there are a thousand reasons already but this trampoline  bridge definatly would be high on the list.

Whimsical photography to make you smile, here (via here)

Cutest shop on wheels (yup wheels! Too adorable!) (and luckily online too) (found via the interview here)

Yummy scones. If only I could put down the bambino long enough to bake, or well, do anything...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Color Run

My sister is doing the Color Run when it hits Melbourne this November. I really really wanna do it with her. Not only is it a chance to get out, get some exercise and support a great charity, but who doesn't want to hurl coloured powders at friends and complete strangers alike? It looks like so much fun...
Unfortunately I have a brand new baby (seven weeks old and the most amazing creature ever!), (hence why I thought I'd be able to revive this neglected blog (ha ha say all you parents out there)), and I'm not quite sure I could be parted from my Poppet for a whole day for all sorts of emotional and physical reasons.
But still it made me think, if I could get my hands on some of those powders I could throw the most awesome childrens birthday party ever!

Friday, October 19, 2012

On Being Enchanted

I have just finished reading The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern.
This is the book I wish I'd written.
It is beautiful, imaginative, enchanting.
It reminds me of the art of two talented ladies.


Louise Robinson of Art and Ghosts creates these and other works of spellbinding loveliness. Each finely detailed creation seems to be a snippet of an unknown fairy tale. (My favorite is the 'Red Haired Twins' but you'll have to peek at her website to discover them for yourself.)
Delia and her dancing Bears

The Illustrated Man
Then there's the art of Emily Winfeild Martin (aka The Black Apple). Her illustrious pieces are quaint and quirky, perfect to add a little whimsy to your home.
And that's the best part, the works of both are can be purchased online - find the Black Apple here, and Art and Ghosts here.
Wishing you all an enchanting weekend! *KT