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Family Life

embracing-mediocre

My Instagram feed is like my wardrobe – eclectic.

There’s no one particular theme to the accounts I follow. I tend to gravitate to those whose creativity, or style, or perspective, or habits, or environment, or language inspire me.

Then there are the simpler accounts, casual personal accounts like my own, owned by wonderfully mediocre women like myself. Who take the photos with their phones, some snaps blurrier than others and the kids are usually dressed by themselves and not a sponsor* (*If you’re a brand who sends clothes to InstaMums for features– holler, my kids are size 3, 7 & 8).

These unprofessional, personal, heartfelt accounts, I think, are imperative to my Instacommunity.

They remind me of games I might like to play with my children again, or a beach I haven’t visited in a while, or give me insight into what a Northern hemisphere Christmas must be like. They also aren’t polished to the point where I wish my life or house or kid’s wardrobe was more like theirs. Their spaces and days are similar enough to my own. It’s a little bit of ordinary that I need to see, so that I do not get trapped in the habit of comparison. As I frequently tell my children, “comparison is the thief of joy” (Thanks Theodore Roosevelt).

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network-marketer

The following words have been on my heart and mind for a long long time… But fear of judgement has kept me from sharing.

Today, I’m jumping in! I often say fear is never a good reason to not do something, so here I am, walking the talk and doing it scared!

Hello, I’m Keren, I’m a mom, homemaker, registered nurse and… network marketer.

EEEK! See what I mean?

Now you wonder how in the world a reasonably intelligent, somehow articulate adult woman would fall into direct sales?

Here’s a short version of my story, and how I became a network marketer:

We arrived in Tennessee in April 2013, two young children in tow, with no idea of what to expect. It quickly dawned on us we were earning a bit less than we were in good old Perth, and our expenses were much higher. Doesn’t take a genius to do the math: I needed a job!

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in Family Life

The Place Where I Belong

at
belong

Growing up, I never felt like I belonged.

Anywhere. Not because I was weird, or shy, or couldn’t make friends.

Nope. I had numerous friends as a kid and teen and young adult, because I was funny and loud and listened and adapted to any group I found myself in. People thought I belonged with them, they enjoyed my company and found my story fascinating.

But the truth is, I never did belong. I knew it – they didn’t.

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motherhood-pride

About 18 months ago, I was tagged in a Facebook post to participate in the “motherhood dare.”

You know the one: someone dares you to post one photo that makes you proud to be a mother.

I struggled with this. I flipped through the photos on my phone, but felt that none of them reflected pride. You see, it didn’t matter how cute the photo seemed, I remembered what happened behind the scenes just before or after it was taken. The tantrum or the complaint or some form of defiance from (mostly) one of them and the way I reacted to it.

I had to admit to myself that I wasn’t particularly enjoying motherhood at that stage and definitely did not feel proud.

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family-traditions

From the star-topped tree to midnight mass, traditions are a big part of Christmas.

I have a confession to make:

I avoid most of them.

As a family we are inconsistent with gift giving and decorating. We have no annual holiday cookie bake-ups, traditional meals or Christmas craft activities.

I’d love to say my lack of traditions has come about because I’m expertly self-controlled and limit our commitments at Christmas in order to refresh our souls with the awesome news of the birth of Jesus, but that wouldn’t be entirely true.

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breaking-routine

Recently, I have implemented a daily routine, and not to be dramatic or anything, but it has changed my life.

My routine keeps the day moving, it carves out time I never took advantage of for household chores, and it blesses me with a to-do list I can reliably tick off every 1-2 hours throughout the day. I go to bed feeling satisfied. I awaken refreshed, ready to rinse, wash, repeat my fabulous new routine.

Recently though, things got a little out of hand.

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marriage-after-kids

Before I had kids, everyone told me that marriage + kids = HARD.

Little naïve me did an internal eye roll each time I heard this and thought to myself: how hard could it really be? I mean, we’d survived a couple of things in our marriage at that point, so why would kids upset the apple cart?

It turns out they were right of course, and having our two boys certainly did have an impact on our relationship.

Now, I am by no means an expert, but with my oldest having just turned seven and marital bliss still (mostly) intact, here are some tips to negotiate the rocky road:

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lessons-firstborn

I have a soft spot for my firstborn.

I know, I know, it’s not politically correct to say so.

Maybe because she’s the oldest, like I was, growing up.

Maybe because she’s the only girl, or maybe… because I have higher expectations of her. After all, she is older and should ‘know better’, right?

Ouch.

Can you feel any tension in all of this?

Brett and I had no clue what we were doing 9 years ago as first time parents. Believe me when I say I made aaaaall the rookie mistakes, trying to find my own way in parenting.

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