This city life

PIN ITHow has your week been?

We’ve been up in the city housesitting for my sister and really enjoying our own space. But with that space comes a taste of something that we’ve never really had, and something that I desperately want. Our own place. For Bo and I. A place to call our own. And with that comes the search and the frustration of not being able to achieve something that seems so simple, but in this crazy rental market, at this time, is just out of our reach. Cue mini-breakdown and hair pulling frustration. Ugh.

We’ve had a lovely week.

I spent some time with two of my all time favourite men who I’ve known since we were all silly teenagers. Each of them reminded me of who I am. Sat with me and told me in no uncertain terms that I’m doing the right thing, that I’m worth more, that I deserve love and light and someone who can offer me those things. That I’m more than all this pain and betrayal. That Bo is more. They helped me with beers and laughter and so much joy. They helped me remember myself. Even if it was only for a moment.

Bo and I have been doing some awesome touring of Perth for some articles I’m writing for another publication. We’ve been to cafes and community projects. We’ve grown upwards and outwards and expanded our minds. We’ve been to libraries and beaches and public story times and parks and urban orchards and eaten fresh and forgotten our woes and laughed and laughed and laughed.

Amongst all of this times have been hard. I’m weary. I’m running on the whiff of sleep and drowning in work and starting to realise perhaps, perhaps I’ve taken on more than I can handle. Perhaps I’ve overestimated my ability to multi-multi-task whilst raising a small child who demands so much (as she should of course). So again I’m revisiting the idea of daycare for 1 day a week so I can really work on my masters instaed of just scraping through by the skin of my teeth. Daycare. It’s something I feel really, really torn about for my little family. How do you feel about it?


I hope your weekend is beautiful. Our next few days are packed with visits to the Aquarium, the Zoo, lunches with special friends and visits with long lost friends from other lives (or so it would seem). Some for work, but all for pleasure.

I hope your weekend is busy and loving, full of laughter and inked in colour. Because a colourful life is one that is being lived. I also hope that you mamas out there get a break. Even if it’s just for a few hours, every little break counts. Doesn’t it?

Have you voted for Inked in the Australian Best Blog Awards? We’d really appreciate it if you do. Every vote counts, from every little place in this big wide world.


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  • April 5, 2013 - 7:22 am

    Meg - I’m working on a Phd and though I was lucky enough to spend almost 14 months home full time with my son we have since that time cobbled together daycare for him so that I can continue my studies. I still have my days with him but he also goes to a home daycare a few days a week and spends a morning/full day with his grandparents. It is the best of both worlds in my opinion. Our time spent together is sweeter and he adores being with other kids, learning new routines and discovering new toys and activities. That being said it was very important for me personally to continue pursuing what I had started, for myself and for my family’s future. I love my work and find that I am a better person and mother when I am able to challenge myself outside of the home and pursue my dreams. It is of course different for everyone. You’ll figure out what is best for you and Bo! Good luck to you!ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 7:35 am

    Sarah - ahhh childcare one of the many, many heart wrenching decisions of parenting. I chose it… first for one day a week when my son was 19 months and my body and soul felt stretched to breaking. and of course he hated it initially, and he cried, and I cried…and then it got easier and he started to learn new things and make some friends and enjoy his time there. and as a mama who started to get some sanity by getting some help in caring for my boy I started to be able to breathe a little easier and be a a little gentler with myself and with him. I think it made me a better mum.

    With no family to lean on for support near where we live my options were limited to trying to carry on by myself or to pay for some help. Finding the right place where he and I were both comfortable with the care was important. Hopefully you find a decision that is right for you and Bo.ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 7:58 am

    Lilybett - We started Dear Boy two days a week at childcare and he’s always loved it (apart from three weeks of separation anxiety at 10/11 months). It’s sweet watching the way he’s started to play next too and then with the other children. The centre is old and daggy but his carers are wonderful and can give him things I can’t. Some days that’s a stress-free person, some days it’s someone who will endlessly pick up dropped toys, some days it’s someone who knows new songs and games and craft activities. We went through about five other centres that I liked the look of more (newer, fancier) but he never had the same immediate connection to the carers as with this one. With Centrelink’s help it’s affordable for us – we only end up out of pocket for about half the fees.

    There are quite a few alternatives to childcare though – I had wanted to do family day care initially but there were none in our area (apart from one that was very heavily faith-based, which I wasn’t comfortable with). A few mums I know in real and virtual life do nanny share – to help reduce costs but keep their kids in a more home-based set-up. Another mum is looking into trading care with another mum – so she takes their child for two days and the other mum takes hers for two days (with no cost). There’s also more casual occasional care just up the road from us where they offer two three hour sessions a day. Not sure how rebates/benefits work with any of those options but there are plenty of options to suit your needs.ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 8:03 am

    Rebecca - I still have moments (many moments) of doubt about whether I have made the right decision sending my 14 month old daughter to childcare 1 day a week and she’s been going for the last 3 months. She still cries and clings to me every time I drop her off which breaks my heart but she’s always having a great time playing with other babies, toddlers and toys when I arrive to pick her up and I’m told by her carer that she always settles in quickly once I leave.

    I’ve noticed my little girl seems more confident and social now that she’s started childcare and she’s learning to develop bonds with people other than me (which I think is a good thing?).

    For me, I think having a little time away from her is good. There are moments (or days) where she really pushes the boundaries and challenges my patience and having a day away from her renews my energy and tolerance levels which I think helps me be a better mum.

    The decision is so hard and so personal! Good luck – I’m sure whatever you decide will be right for you and Bo.ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 9:06 am

    Bettina - I’m so torn about the idea of childcare. On one hand, I want to be able to buy our own house when we move and know that the only way we can afford that is to go back to work, however I don’t want to miss out on these early years.
    However one day a week sounds like a perfect set up, long enough to give you a (probably welcome) break, but not long enough to miss her too much. Good luck with this decision. It’s a tough one.ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 9:25 am

    Maxabella - Childcare: the place kids go to when their mums are doing other things. That’s how I feel about childcare. If you want to do other things, it’s marvellous that it’s there to help you do that. xReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 9:44 am

    naomicot - Childcare is something i’ve really been mulling over these past few months. We are SO LUCKY to have my little dude cared for by his adoring grandparents on the two days I go into work and that doesn’t look set to change in the near, near future, but down the track, especially with my workload exploding, I wonder if it might be a good option for both his social skills and my time management. Lots to mull over…ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 9:50 am

    Karen - The rental market in Perth is ridiculous, I hope you find something that works for you both.
    I haven’t embarked on daycare yet, I can’t really bare the thought of my boy going, but I have family around to help, so it’s easier. I think 1 day a week could definitely give you a great chance to have some you time and help follow some of your own dreams!! X KarenReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 1:54 pm

    Yolanda Worley - Minutes before I started reading this blog post I was sharing with a friend that I’m thinking of sending our little girl (almost 1 year old) to a childcare centre just for one day a week. I’m not bombarded with a lot of work, it’s just that I feel like I need a bit of a break from her (I feel soooo bad saying this). She clings on to me the whole day, she won’t even play by herself on the floor for a few minutes. The only time she’s ever happy to sit without being carried by me is when she’s eating. Maybe this is normal for some babies, I don’t know, but it’s exhausting and frustrating. I’m still wrestling with the idea of childcare. Maybe it will be good for both of us.ReplyCancel

    • April 6, 2013 - 6:57 pm

      Rebecca - Yolanda, my little girl was exactly the same at 12 months and I was really unsure about how she would cope at childcare. She’s surprised me though and bonded with her carer and learnt to play independently. She can still be clingy sometimes but she’s happy to go off and play/explore if I’m in the same room and just check-in regularly for a cuddle.ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 3:57 pm

    WrigglePot - A working mother who knows her priorities can rather use her time more efficiently in comparison to one who is available to the child throughout the day…ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 5:24 pm

    Jess - Mmm I love that Raw juice!

    We put Logan in two days and I think it’s best for both of us. More so me definitely but I’m able to be a much better parent having two days of work and using that part of my brain (or getting it back to working stage haha). But it’s a very personal decision, no matter what people say follow your heart. There are always family day cares or occasional care…

    It’s fun exploring Perth xoxoReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 6:22 pm

    bromba - Hi. I’ve been riding your blog for a while – enjoying it immensely. It was you beautiful photos of your daughter that “lured” me here and your honest writing that keep me reading. Being a full time working parent living in foreign country (no grandpas near) I needed a day care. Yes, we spend lots of time looking for good one and discussing pros and cons, but in retrospect – I think it is good for whole family – our daughter took to it like duck to water – new toys, new people, new things – she is very social one. Now, at 14 months she starts to really interact with other kids, she also learned things she would probably not learn at home. not all of them great but…. She loves both – going there and coming back home. What I’m trying to say – the decision/separation is harder for us (parents) then our kids. They do need social interaction and stimulation, same as we do.ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 7:30 pm

    Alicia - Hi!

    I’ve done a lot of research on childcare and really, however you look at it, it has to work for you and your family. I am pro childcare for various reasons, and because they work for my son and for our family. It is also what options we have here which makes one realise how relative life is depending where you live, and how you live.

    We are two full-time working parents living near Barcelona with a 19 month old boy. We managed to keep him at home until he was 12 months (grandmother’s, babysitter’s, and a whole lot of logistics). I would have loved to stay at home longer, but I had to go back to work part-time when Aimar was 5 months old and have now had to go back to full time work. So we opted for a daycare that we like, we trust, we feel safe with and gave it a try. The result is Aimar loves it, he adores his teacher, screams in delight with his little friends when they meet each morning, he plays with them, and also learns how to be around the other children. He is learning to be an independent and confident little boy.The activities and creativity they organise for the children by far surpasses what we could preprare for him at home even if we didn’t have to work since one has to clean, cook, shop, etc. and also by far what his grandmother’s could provide for him, despite their love and total adoration.

    At daycare the carers are dedicated 100% for them, thinking what is best and inventing fun stuff for them every day. His sleeping habits and routines have improved, he has learnt to eat by himself, wash his hands, fight and share toys, enjoy being messy with paint, flour, dry leaves, water, earth… I only have good words for (our) daycare.

    So in my case, I think that having some space to develop your professional life or simply for yourself in many ways is vital for your family. We cherish the time we spend together and use it for lots of activities, cuddles, talks and fun.He is a very active and communicative little boy and just thrives when there is more people, more fun, more toys, more music around. And I, as a mother and a person with interests, also thrive in having some time for myself, to accomplish what I need with less stress. It makes me happier, and therefore also a happier mother and with more energy and patience for the tough moments, the meltdowns, the never ending energy, for playing, reading stories, talking, massaging his little feet…

    It took Aimar around 3 weeks to understand the new routines and get to trust and love his carers. From what I’ve read, but I see that in other places around the world it works differently, it’s easier for the kids to get used to it if they go a few hours several days a week, than just once a week, since by the time it’s the day to go again they’ve nearly forgotten what it’s about.

    That said, I do wish I didn’t have to work so much and could spend more time with him each day. I envy all those parents that have the time and the resources to spend so many months with their children…

    So, like everyone who has commented before, good luck and do what feels best for you and your family, and especially find a place and the people that you feel comfortable with. Bo will thrive with you, together. Happy and accomplished mothers are essential!ReplyCancel

  • April 5, 2013 - 9:30 pm

    Rebecca - Is one day a week enough for you to get what you need to done? I think a few days a week, or even half days might be a good option. Of course you’ll miss her, but if she’s well cared for and has fun there’s nothing wrong with it. Myself, we’ve had a nanny watch my daughter during the day since she was 3 months old. The first week was for a few hours each day so she could get used to it. But I’m in the US where paid maternity leave is not available.ReplyCancel

  • April 6, 2013 - 7:13 am

    Karen Harris - I have yet to cross this bridge with my son, but it is coming. I don’t have any advice to offer, I find I swing wildly between thoughts and ideas about childcare (guilt, self-righteousness… I could go on). But I would like to share someone else’s words that I find helpful. Karen Maezen Miller, in her book ‘Momma Zen – Walking the Crooked Path of Motherhood’, in the chapter titled ‘Why Not’, writes “Never place your child in the care of another? Why not let others love them too? Never manage without a nanny? Why not try it yourself?” What I love about these words is that they encourage me to get unstuck from whatever rut I’m in, when I feel like ‘this is absolutely the right thing’, and to be a little more open about what could be. Why not? Thanks, love your blog and your honesty. All the best.ReplyCancel

  • April 6, 2013 - 10:58 pm

    Sarah - I think one day a week would be great for you. It’s just one day and probably only a few hours. It’ll get her exposure (albeit maybe not all great) to things and other children she probably isn’t getting at home. It’ll give you a few hours to take a deep breath and sit in some silence. All mommies need a little silence sometimes. It’s not permanent and it’s an easy fix to remedy if you’re unhappy with it. Then you can go back to what you’ve been doing and no harm done.ReplyCancel

  • April 8, 2013 - 3:20 am

    Lisa - Sash – more times than not your posts seem to speak directly from my mind. My little and I are taking the plunge tomorrow, leaving this less-than-nurturing environment of my own mother’s house to sleep on a friend’s couch for a couple of weeks until I have found a space to call our own. I decided it doesn’t matter if it’s one room only for a little while until I get on my feet, if it comes with freedom, it’s better than anything. It won’t be a definite home but a lovely station in between. I’m so nervous and happy at the same time. I’m excited to read where your path will lead.
    As for daycare, of course the thought has entered my mind as it happens with probably every exhausted single parent, but I’m not ready. He’s not ready and I’m not ready. I just think “I don’t wanna give my little baby away”! I guess the right time will come. A day only has 24 hours and you somehow gotta earn a living. You can’t split yourself more than you already do….ReplyCancel

  • April 8, 2013 - 6:27 am

    J - I’m almost finished my studies in Early Childhood Education and will become an educator myself in daycare settings or schools. I think daycare is an excellent place for children to develop social skills and most importantly, self-regulation. Regulating attention, behaviour, and emotions is important in the growing years of a child. I have learned many theories and practices over my 2 year course and we as educators help children become competent learners. They learn many many skills by playing. And we have to try provide the children with as many materials and experiences as possible that will both support and enhance their developing skills.

    I think daycare is an amazing place for children to go to and learn many new skills that educators are trained to support, accommodate, and enhance. The only thing is, that quality matters. Quality of the daycare is so important! I hope that if you decide on having Bo go to daycare, that you will find an excellent quality daycare.

    Here in Canada, we have Quality standards to look at. We use the NAEYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children) accreditation standards as a guide for quality practice. I have heard from my faculty that Australia’s quality in education and care at daycares is SO MUCH more advanced than here in Canada. And the quality of curriculum and program there is excellent (depending on the places).

    So Good Luck in your search for an excellent place if you decide to do so! 🙂ReplyCancel

  • April 9, 2013 - 7:44 pm

    Peggy - Sash the question about childcare is a tough one. I worked full time when my son was a toddler (baby actually) and he attended full time family daycare. He has eased into school with no trouble at all, is very sociable and even as an only child mixes and shares well with his peers. The problem for me is, I have felt terrible guilt at placing him into full time daycare so young. It was my choice, but not one I am overly proud of. In fact the choice to not have a second child was made mostly due to the fact I couldn’t put myself through the childcare guilt again. I chose a mortgage (so I had to work) over staying home with my toddler.

    I kind of hate myself for that.

    However, I have now taken a huge leap and work part time (2 days a week) so I can enjoy the precious after school time with my son. He loves it, I REALLY love it. I still carry that guilt though.

    As for you, I guess it depends on how you feel about it. I understand having mixed feelings is normal however I also think we do need to work and have time to undertake those things we just can’t do with baby at home. One day a week is nothing in the scheme of things, I suspect it might be healthy. You get some time to focus solely on what you need to do and Bo gets to meet new friends. I am certain whichever choice you make it will be with Bo’s and your own best interests at heart. 🙂

    Good luck lovely.ReplyCancel

  • April 12, 2013 - 6:36 am

    This home-again life… | Inked in Colour - […] Can you tell? Highs and lows… and everything in between. Thanks for all of your input on last weeks post on daycare. I took your words of encouragement and I got brave and as of next week Bo starts […]ReplyCancel

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