A Woman's Work

These are some shots I took from a display at the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney. I have been there a couple of times before and was glad to see that this display was still there. I love this display because it reminds me so much of my other Nanna's house. Looking at it is almost a step back in time for me. It reminds me of a time when things were so simple. I look at these photos and think about the women who spent many hours in these types of kitchens.

Meal preparation and cleaning was a big part of their day. There were no microwave ovens or online pizza ordering.

Depending on which source you read, some women fought to escape from the prison of the home. They longed for a life that recognised them as individuals and beings that were capable of so much more than being "just" a mother and housekeeper.

I love that here I am in the 21st century at the age of 36 and already have had two professional careers ( lawyer and school teacher). I love that the above picture of me captures the present and the past. I love that I here I am with the world as my oyster knowing that I can do and be anything I want to be .... and yet, I write a blog justifying my choice to be "just" a mother and "just" a housekeeper.
...... I wonder what the 1940s woman would have thought of me................


Time For A New Budget

It is coming up to the end of the financial year and time to do up a new budget.

Budgets always need adjusting, they change as family needs or incomes change. As your budget evolves you may notice that you have more than enough income in one category, but are always running out of funds in another category. As seasons change you may have different expenses. In our household winter sports and less water skiing means that one category goes up while another comes down.

I never view a budget as a negative thing. I think it is one of the most powerful tools that a family can use in order to bring peace to a household. Involving your children in the family budget is also a great way to teach them how to save and use their money. My boys have learnt the value of money, for example, if they are putting $15 a week in a particular category then they know how long it takes to save $90. If we want to do something on a weekend they look in the ‘entertainment’ envelope and can make decisions about whether we can order a pizza or go bowling and eat out. There is very little nagging or squabbling because they understand the process.

As my regular readers know, I work with a cash budget because this system works really well for me. I have read about people who budget using a credit card and virtual envelopes and that works extremely well for them. The secret is finding a system that ‘honestly’ works for you. Because of the state of financial markets I am considering parking the ‘savings’ type categories into my no fee investment account to maximise the interest ( a whole 3.5%). If I do this, I will still break it up into ‘virtual’ envelopes so that I know what is what and so I don’t start spending savings amounts or spending bills money by buying clothing. Having said that, the majority of my categories will be cash based. Things like groceries, fuel, pocket money, kids sport, entertainment etc work best if they are in cash for us.

Is your budget constantly changing? Have you noticed that it changes as the seasons change ? Do you successfully budget with ‘virtual’ categories ? I’d love to hear from you.



You can now follow me on TWITTER to find out what I am up to. Simply go to www.twitter.com/avisionsplendid and you can follow along and also let me know what you are up to.

More Radio

Yesterday I was contact by the lovely Fiona from ABC Mid North Coast to do another radio interview.

This time the topic was mobiles, computer and TVs in bedrooms of very young children. Recent statistics show children as young as four having their own phones, texting friends and interrupting sleep patterns because of the need to stay connected. ( What the....? ) We also spoke about the difficulties and dangers of kids having unsupervised access to computers and televisions.

I believe that there are no rules when it comes to parenting. What may seem right for one family may be unsuitable for another. Does an eight year old need a mobile phone ? My first thought was "of course not", but I am sure that if my child was in a shared parenting arrangement, for example, then further consideration would be given.

I guess the issue is not so much the phones or the computers/televisions in bedrooms it is the parenting that goes with. Using television/computer games as a babysitter or buying a mobile phone because of a nagging child, or an attempt to keep up with a peer group seems to say more about parenting than about the phone or computer to me.

Personally, I limit access to particular things because I think childhood is sacred! There is plenty of time to grow up and I certainly don't want to hurry the process. I don't want a tv programme (that airs in a 'family' time slot of 7pm) highlighting issues of divorce, drug taking, teen pregnancy, suicide, domestic violence to be seen by my children at this stage. There will be so much exposure to those themes in 'real' life before too much longer for them, that I don't think they need to experience a 'simulated' version of the issues just yet! I will try and hold out a little longer.

Having said that, my strategy is more 'distraction' than anything else. I don't 'ban' things, I just subtly offer alternatives or make other things seem more attractive.

I am sure as my boys get older this will become harder and harder, but for now, I will extend the joys of childhood for as long as possible.

April Theme: Re-organise and Transition

In the Southern Hemisphere, April is in Autumn.  The days here are still warmish, but there is a sneaking whisper in the wind. That whisper ...