spring : a new kind of normal

I’ve just realised that for the time being, I’m never going to get to the bottom of my list.

For the past few weeks I’ve really struggled with my lack of time. I’ve wondered why, at this point in my mothering journey, the professional opportunities keep arriving in abundance. I have tried over and over and over again to get to the point where my work is done, the house is clean and I can just sit with a cup of tea. It hasn’t happened, I haven’t come close.

Yesterday Che received a letter from his new school, detailing dates and times for orientation and I sat bemused trying to fathom where five years went. As he asked Daniel about buddies and canteen and wide-brimmed school hats I reminisced about his birth and his blonde curls and his love of the stars.

Today I went to the shopping centre and there were Christmas decorations and 2013 diaries. But it’s only just spring. If I stepped outside tonight I would say it was still winter.


Since reading Maxabella’s post last week I’ve been thinking about my normal. I said to Daniel: “I spend so much time trying to get back to normal – I should just accept that ‘juggling’ is normal.” The revelation.

So, instead of wallowing in the unproductive days and the long list of to-dos, a few things have changed. I’m listening to my own advice and reminding myself to be here now. For now, just be here. I’ve declared 4:30pm ‘play in the garden time’ for Daniel and the kids so that I can cook in relative quiet (I do quite enjoy it). I have accepted that although I could work seven days a week, I can’t and I won’t. I’m revelling in the slow and steady spring clean that’s happening one drawer at a time. And if the decluttering falls into summer, so be it.

I’m also accepting the fact that Che will start kindergarten next year and it will be wonderful. But because I am his mum I am allowed to cry every time I drive past the school gates, every time I think about him in a too-big-for-his-head hat, every time I smell wattle, gumtrees and vegemite; the scent of the playground.

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Showing 35 comments
  • Greer

    This all sounds so familiar, Jodi. I don't even have time to write the lists at the moment, let alone check them off. I shall take your words – "be here now" – into my next few days and see if I can't feel a remove from all the crazy! x

  • jay

    what a beautiful revelation, 'juggling is the norm', why fight it indeed. i guess there is the longing of downtime, of exhaling, of reflecting but so often it is the constant that stays with us that we need to acknowledge.

    my heart still lurches and i sometimes have a sob at the thought of poe at school, and it has nearly been a year, it is oh so big to have them out there, in the world.

  • joanna

    Beautiful and wise, as always, Jodi. I want you to know that your post on you being the main breadwinner really inspired me. I am about to become the main breadwinner (after 4 wonderful years at home with my little boy)….and although I have mixed feelings, I am excited to feel empowered once again and happy to be able to support my family in this next chapter. Your words about how you realised that you had the power to change your situation really hit home with me. So, like you, because I am a mum, I will probably cry on MY first day back but be happy in the thought of Olly at home with his dad (lucky enough to be in a situation where one of us at least can still be totally available to him), hope that he has good days at preschool and be happy at the thought of the fact that we will be able to afford little holidays etc….and yes, like you, my spring de-cluttering is going slowly! I look forward to any posts you have on the work/family juggle.

  • Nikki Fisher

    I can relate to a lot of that Jodi. I was lamenting to myself last week that I must have an issue with time management surely I must be able to do more if only I managed my time better. Just at the moment I received a text from a friend and among other things she wrote 'I'm impressed with how much you manage to do'. That made me laugh! It is all about perception and expectation of self. 4.30pm play outside time great idea! Congratulations on your revelation I think acceptance and surrender to 'what is' always helps x

  • Jo

    We're about to start the process of choosing Beaux's school for next September, she will only have just turned four, get a bit teary even thinking about it. We are also in the middle of doing our kitchen and the house feels like it will never be 'normal' again, we are destined to be surrounded by rollers and tins of paint 🙁

  • Maisy Dee

    So true Jodi.. We should defiantly live more for now as my oldest (son) goes to kinder next year too and I'm sad just thinking about it. So let's just enjoy the now!! (while we can still have cuddles anytime of the day!) x

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for this post Jodi. After reading your blog for some time, it is a relief to know that you too are human. I was beginning to wonder. Thank you for the constant inspiration. Best wishes, Sophie.

  • kristi

    i must say i miss your little visits to my blog and the simple inspiring words you used to leave. i can see your busy beyond belief since the sponsors and opportunities started popping up in this space. i know your grateful for it, i can see that. i also know it brings more work and time away from other things right along with it. your lovely, either way, with or without all the juggling. i just hope you take time for more cups of tea. x

    ps. your going to love being a primary school mum. i promise.

    • georgi

      i love everything about this comment. x

    • jay

      i agree kristi, i too miss the visits, but at least we can see, admire and cherish Jodi's words over here. and yes, tea time needs to take priority, i wish i could live up to that!x

  • Reply

    You took the words right out of my mouth Jodi. All of them!!!!

    Funny….I blogged today about a very similar feeling I've had this year. That feeling of being so busy, and juggling too much. I feel undefined and quite unsettled. Now that I'm aware of why I feel like this, I'm going to fix it. Fast.


  • Anita

    I think this is something we all go through, but rarely do we handle it in just the way we should. You've got your priorites right and getting your head around the idea of just being here for now, is exactly what is needed! Hope you get to enjoy more of those cups of tea!

  • Steph

    Juggling is the norm! Just the revelation I needed in my world at the moment. It's so easy to fall into the trap of, "when I do this/done this/tidied that/organised this it will be better, easier…" Time to be here now. Such wise words lovely soul. Wishing you much peace and laughter as we approach the weekend 🙂 x

  • Rebekka Seale

    I don't know what "wattle" is (you are sooo Australian and I love it) but your descriptions of that and hats and stars and all are so evocative. I just love reading your words 🙂

    • Jodi

      hehe…wattle is a vivid yellow (almost fluro) native Australian flower. It's soft and fluffy and so typically Australian x

  • Amanda

    Great post with such wise words and thoughts to ponder. I have come to the realisation recently too that I will never be 'completely finished everything I have on my list to be done'. There will never be that magic time when the house is clean and other commitments all taken care of. And so, for now, I live in the now. I ignore the chores I haven't yet gotten around to and instead live in the moment as much as I can with my girls. My wise friend Jane (of Life On Planet Baby) gave me the advice when I had my second baby "it's a time to be, not a time to do" and I have carried these words with me throughout the year.

    As for Spring cleaning, I'm sure mine will carry through later in the year also. I am taking 'baby steps' and feeling good about accomplishing small decluttering and cleaning tasks which I've putting off for far too long 🙂

  • Natalie

    Oh this resonates with me too….I never feel like I am finished and it is so hard to feel like I have been productive during the day now with my little Milly. I am too forcing myself to slow down and just enjoy the moments and if a nourishing meal is prepared and a load of washing done, then its been a good day!

    Beautiful beautiful image.

    What a description…..I feel like I am back there in the playground. My you have a way with words….a good way 😉

  • Mariela

    Great post a normal and honest one, thank you!

    Have a lovely day!


  • Shelley

    Small steps here too! I never get to the bottom of my list either, not enough hours in the day! My son starts school here next term & I still can't quite believe he is 5!

  • Noelani

    It's truly amazing how fast time flies.

  • Coryann

    Don't focus on things you haven't done but, instead look at things you've completed. You'll feel so much better having this perspective!

  • Kate

    The spring cleaning one drawer at a time bit… I love it. This has helped me make peace with the thought that my house will never be completely decluttered all in one day. Thank you Jodi! I love this series, I think writing with the seasons is such a great idea! May have to think of something for our "fall" 🙂 x

  • Laura

    I just love the revelation that juggling, is normal and that to-do lists are never done. It's quite a liberating thought actually. x

  • Anaïs

    the word normal is in the air of time?!
    (I laughed because of our new president named Mr.Normal)

  • Nicola

    This made me so teary! It is so hard to battle the never-ending to do list. Some things can wait… My little one is almost two now and I don't know where the time has gone either. A good friend of mine says "motherhood is a slow process of letting go, one step at a time." So true! Have a great weekend Jodi.

  • kirst

    Oh stop – now I am a tad weeping at the thought of my little one going off to school/University/the retirement village, and he's not even three…. but I know that one day I'll sit on the chair with a cup of tea, weeping, muttering "how can you be 5…7…19?".
    I guess we must take solace in knowing we loved each of those years, and are likely to love the ones ahead.

    At least we do not live in the middle ages – when mothers sent their sons off to marry a wife, and chances were they would never see their sons again. Imagine if he wasn't even literate so you couldn't receive a letter.

  • ms.pea

    i can totally relate! my lads are older now, my 'baby' heading to high school next year. i wish i could tell you it gets easier, however i think the older they get the more i want to hold on.
    as for normal – i whole heartedly agree, juggling is the norm. 🙂

  • jenniferacdewey

    Thank you for sharing your experience with "normal". It's comforting to me, as I just picked up and moved from the USA to Wellington, NZ, and am trying to embrace everything outside of the realm of comfort, forget my endless to-do list, and just enjoy the passing of time, however it goes.

  • felicita

    reading your blog makes australia feel a little less far away. oh the playground description! thanks for sharing!

  • Rachael @Mogantosh

    The drawer-at-a=time declutter is happening over here too. Slow and steady spring clean. I loved Maxabellas post and did you read Mrs Woog this week too? Lower your standards, her tip. I love this too. For what its worth, school has been unexpectedly wonderful around these parts. The maturity and growth that comes from new learning has brought with it, for me, a next glorious stage of motherhood, where Ivy and I have an increasingly layered friendship. The jokes and conversations ahve just that much more depth. So these beautiful little kindy kids are still so tiny and needy and attached to Mum, but also able to relate on a new intellectual and emotional level. It is lovely Jodes. You will love it!

    And now, I am planning a trip to Tassie and must trawl your archives to find that info you had. xx

  • Maxabella

    Being a little overwhelmed is our new normal… hmmmm… I think something's gotta give! (Here I am in Avignon and I'm missing the kiddos HUGELY, so that rules out THEM being the 'something'!?!). x

  • Squeak & Squirrel

    Jodi – I love your words. They are always so real. And they make mums like me, grappling with the same juggling pickle, realise it's not through want of trying that some things just never get done.

  • Cherie @ raising master Max

    I could have written every, single one of these words.

    Every one of them.

    But never as perfectly as these were articulated.

    I guess juggling, & heart palpitating 'oh my lord, I have so much to do, & not enough time to do it' is my new kind of normal.

    And as much as I don't like the associated stress, I enjoy trying to find new & creative ways to tackle to-do lists.


  • Sarah Humphreys

    I cried packing Jude's bag for montessori the night before, was on the verge of proud tears as he did puzzles with one of the teachers and had relief tears choke up my throat as he ate fruit like all the other kids in fruit sharing. Tears and motherhood are besties! x

  • Sarah

    Shared on fb, would love the linen in plum!

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