D&M

Saying goodbye…

I’ve become so good at saying goodbye, that it’s actually really bad.

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I remember getting pretty drunk with a few people that I would consider my closest friends here in Canberra, and finding myself thinking ‘I could walk away and never see any of these people again and not be sad about it!’
But that fact alone made me really sad.

There are a few people who I really enjoy being around, and I suppose yeah, I will miss them. There’s one who I feel a bit heavy hearted about leaving, we’re kindred spirits- but I know they’ll visit plenty.

We leave in three days. I’m not feeling sad at all. Even the thought of leaving my husband behind doesn’t make me too sad- I think primarily due to some great news we received last week but I’m not allowed to share just yet!

I hope moving back to Melbourne means I no longer have to think about the end. Being a navy wife has always meant that everything was temporary, and that I was temporary.

In three days I will be home, and I will never have to be temporary again.

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Parenting, Work

Hey there lonnnnely blog

 

 

Our beautiful au pair left two weeks ago, James is back in one month. Whilst I am loving every second with Oliver, I am finding it very difficult to get any time to myself.download (1)My day starts when Oliver’s day starts, it ends when Oliver’s day ends. I work from around 8:30-4:30. Work is really busy, and I get very little R&R time- but I love what I do so it’s a good thing (mostly).

I often find myself catching my breath in the car when I get to work in the morning and when I leave work in the evening. Those few seconds alone in the car before I run off to pick up Oliver are mine, and I breath them in deep.

I pick Oliver up, we get home, I give him an afternoon snack, and then I start on dinner. Sometimes he helps, or he plays, or watches TV- but he checks on me ever few minutes as I check on him. We eat dinner together, normally on the couch watching a documentary about animals, he’s obsessed! Then it’s bath, teeth, book, bed. I lay with him until he falls asleep, it’s been this way since Easter, he was very distressed after his Dad left again after Easter and to be honest, I kind of love it.

I normally fall asleep next to him at 7:30, I might wake up at 9PM in time to crawl into my bed. Night’s like tonight I manage to stay awake to squeeze in some me time, but honestly I feel like it’s just for the sake of.

And repeat.

I love my days with Oliver. I feel like I am the best Mum I have ever been, I’m practising new parenting techniques and it’s wonderful. I never raise my voice at Oliver and he responds so well to it. We talk, and he understands me. I give him simple choices, and he picks the obvious option.

But my priorities are different than they were three weeks ago. I’m not worried about a clean house, or me time. I’m worried about Oliver and I want him to know I am here for him, even though some days I drop him at daycare just as they open and pick him up just before they close. I still prioritise work as best I can, but these days I leave work with emails unread, I just have to.

So, unfortunately this blog is not getting my priority. I just don’t have time, even when I do- my computer is running YouTube with the ‘onimallls’ for Ollie. I have been spending a bit more time on my social media, if you’d like to keep up with my recipes and happenings you can follow me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

I hope to be back to blogging regularly soon.

Single mums, you rock my socks. Seriously, this world owes you far more than you get.

Much Love,

Cassandra J

 

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D&M, Uncategorized

How to be a good friend.

I would always consider myself to be really good at this friendship gig. I’ve had the same besties since I was 8 years old and I’ve never found it hard to make friends.

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But here’s the thing, I actually don’t really know how to be a friend anymore. It’s been so long since I’ve been permanent that it’s either catching up with the friends back home, or trying to be the best me with my ‘new friends’ wherever I might be. What happens after that? What do I have to talk about?

It’s fucking terrifying.

I’m starting to realise that I’m pretty lonely. I adore my husband, but I’ve always been surrounded by friends. And now I panic, I talk and talk and talk and I forget to listen. Then I realise that I’m over talking and I try to fix the problem but I just make it worse. And then I think they hate me and just stop talking.

It’s a goddam disaster!!

I’m sure that a lot of this has to do with my situation, and a lot with my social anxiety. But I miss it, I miss that comfortable silence, I miss popping over to a mates place just because you were in the area. I feel so guilty for all the wonderful friendships I’ve let slip because I panic, and I feel terrified that’s it’s going to happen all over again.

And goodbyes, don’t even get me started on goodbyes. If I know I’m leaving, or you’re leaving, I just shut you out until it means nothing. But it always means something.

I am so lucky for all the wonderful people I’ve met in my life, in particular the ones who have stuck around.

So tell me, how do you be a good friend?

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D&M, Parenting, Uncategorized, Work

Six years to life

Almost six years ago, I met my soul mate.
I pretty much new from the moment I met him that this was it for me, this was where I was meant to be.

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It was also around this time that James signed his six year contract to the Australian Defence Force, and we began our journey as a defence couple.

Our plan was to always leave after the six years. He would support me through uni, we’d have a child or two, get married, I’d get a job and then he would leave the ADF and be a stay at home Dad.

So far, so good. But the thing is, the ADF is such a great comfort. I mean, they really have our back. Not only just James have a stable income, he also has free healthcare, dental and rental assistance. Oliver and I also get healthcare too. And you know, we like to have nice things- the kind of nice things you can only really have with two wages.

I am really proud of what we have achieved in these six years. Not only have we started our family, James has managed to support me through my degree and path the way for me to start my career. Oliver is a very stable kid, we rock this parenting gig. We might be a little quirky, and different to other parents- but we are certainly raising a very bright and happy kid. James continues to make a great impression at work and is currently the dux of his class.

Sometimes I wish I could just go back to 21 year old Cass and tell her to chill out, and that everything will be okay. 30 year old Cass will probably (hopefully) think the same of 25 year old Cass- but I guess it’s that level of stress that has helped me to achieve my goals.

What about you? Do you think a younger you would be proud of who you are today? And what about an older you?

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D&M, Parenting, Uncategorized

Daylight savings reminiscing.

It’s funny how certain days remain so vivid in your memory for no real reason at all.

I remember the day we turned the clocks back last year as if it were yesterday.

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April 2013

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April 2014

We had just moved to Canberra from Sydney. Our slightly wounded little family was still settling into our lives here- and the promise of being together as a family every night.

Panda was still getting used to having a back yard, peeing on grass, and just being a dog really.

Oliver was determined as ever, still on two day naps a day and just really enjoying everything that Canberra was for our family.

James got called in to do night shift that night, just a little reminder that the Navy still owned us- but we didn’t mind- we we’re land locked and they couldn’t take James away.

Oliver was exhausted by 6:15 that night, so I put him to bed. He used to wake up at 5AM (after a 3AM bot bot) so I was apprehensive. I remember tidying the toy room as I did every night and caving to the heater as I was still acclimatised to Sydney weather.

I was so determined to be this normal middle class family, and be something that we weren’t. I wanted to raise Oliver the way James and I were raised, and sure we turned out okay but we are not our parents and Oliver is not us.

It’s funny how much can change in a year.

Today, I woke up after a sleep in as I was out late last night. James was up for the weekend, visiting from his temporary home in Melbourne.

Oliver is still incredibly determined, but he listens now. He didn’t get a nap today and was in bed again by 6.15, I have no idea what time he’ll be up tomorrow but I don’t have a chip on my shoulder about this anymore.

I don’t try to be my Mum, or James’ Mum. I just be Oliver’s Mum and I do a damn good job at it.

I wonder where we’ll be this time next year. I’m glad we’re not stagnant but once James is home I hope things don’t change too much.

Where were you this time last year?

 

 

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D&M, Parenting

Now and then.

Today is pay day. In 2014 it goes directly into our bank account for instant access. I can access it here in Canberra and James can access it from his Navy base down in Victoria. The same navy base that my Grandfather trained, and trained others at in the 1950’s.

My grandfather and his colleagues in 1956.

My grandfather and his colleagues in 1956.

I remember trying to explain to my Nana how I accessed my ‘allowance’. She was so perplexed. She explained to me how she used to receive her $40 cheque fortnightly in the mail and would take it to the bank, cash it and that would support her and her then 4 children whilst my Grandfather was deployed.

Tonight, I sat in front of my computer and purchased our fortnightly groceries. I paid with my debit card and selected delivery for tomorrow evening. Earlier tonight Oliver and I skyped with James, and Oliver hugged the phone when he saw his Daddy’s face. Even when he is out at sea, I can still email him photo’s and get the occasional phone call. Sure, it’s not ideal but it’s still a damn sight easier than in the 1950’s.

I paid our bills via bPay this morning. My Nana would walk down to the post office to pay her bills.

If James is coming home, I know at least a few days before. My Nana told me once she was heavily pregnant with her first child, my Aunt, and my Grandfather came into port and surprised her. She hadn’t seen him for majority of the pregnancy. She hid behind the door when she saw him because she was worried he would think she looked bad. Of course he didn’t, but he certainly took her by surprise.

James was away for 5 months of my pregnancy. He put in family leave and was flown home three weeks early from his deployment so he could be there with me. I sent him constant updates of my growing belly. He was emailed after every doctors appointment and every kick. Physically, he was not here but I still made sure he knew everything that was going on. It was so important to us.

Talking to my Nana really shows me what my life would be like if it was the 1950’s. It really makes me appreciate the steps the Australian Defence Force has taken to improve the life of Defence Families. Sure, the Navy still has a long way to go to live up to its family first tag line, but it really is heading in the right direction.

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Dear Daddy, Uncategorized

Dear Daddy V2.2

Hi Daddy,

We skype everyday, sometimes twice. I take you outside and show you my buggies. I carry you around the house and tell you about my day. Sometimes when you have to go I get very upset, yesterday I even threw the phone on the ground.

I miss you.

The start of this week was hard. I didn’t want to go to school. I was scared that Mummy would leave too. And I wouldn’t sleep at school because when I woke up you were gone, I was scared they’d be gone too. But everyone told me how much they loved me, and that they’d be here for me. And they were, every time. By Wednesday, I felt okay again.

I still take your teddy with me to school though. I like to show my friends before I go to sleep. I like to stay up a little later now too. Mum is lonely, I can tell. She still puts me to bed at the same time, but I always get up again and call for her. If I sleep I know she will have to clean the house or do her laundry, so I am saving her from it. I also stay by her side a lot of the time, and make sure she sits with me when I read a book or watch a movie. I don’t want her to be without me. I even stay with her whilst she showers and is on the toilet.

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I am looking after her Dad.

I make sure she eats, sometimes she tells me she doesn’t want it but I put it in her mouth anyway. I also make sure Panda is fed by tipping all of my dinner on the floor. I get a bit hungry and always ask for food around bed, ‘cuz I’m giving it all away.

I started going wee-wee in the toilet, but then I decided I like the shell pool better. I run outside and wee in it every.time. Mum tells me I can go to the toilet, and tells me I can tell her and she’ll take me. But I don’t want to bother her, I don’t mind just going in the pool.

Oh and my jumping has gotten so good, I can jump off so many high things. Mummy always tells me not to, I think she is just jealous because she can’t do it– so I only do it when she isn’t looking. I don’t want to make her feel bad, so when she sees me I pretend I’m just about to sit down.

I think that’s everything. I better go because Mummy and I are watching David Attenborough and I know she wants to see some more buggies, so I better get them for her.

I love you all the way to the moon and back.

Love always,

Your Oliver J

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