A few years ago, when my three children were still toddlers I had this idea of starting a parenting blog. It was going to be called 20 Jumps on the Trampoline. When my family and I were discussing possible names for my blog, 20 Jumps on the Trampoline stood out. Santa gave us a fancy trampoline for Christmas, providing family fun. The trampoline also became a therapeutic tool. In the midst of a temper tantrum my youngest son was told by my husband to jump 20 times on the trampoline. My doctor husband had a scientific theory to test, which was that grumpiness would improve when jumping on a trampoline (we would fail Parenting 101 for rewarding bad behaviour). At first, our son was reluctant, but after encouragement to jump higher and higher his tears gradually disappeared, a smirk appeared, then a laugh and my husband’s experiment affirmed. The phrase has become common in our family with not only the children sent out for a jump.
I never got around to starting my parenting blog, between building a new house, still freelancing as a journalist, in PR and marketing and raising the kids. However, in my new role working to help raise the voice of women I thought it would be great now and again to still share the ups and downs of parenting life – after all, I even have a 20 Jumps on the Trampoline logo.
After a week of chaos and trials in my household, I have been in need myself of 20 Jumps on the Trampoline. Leading Business Coach for women Sonya Stattmann calls it the “perfect storm” – those moments where everything seems to happen at once. In a recent episode of her podcast, The Liberation Lab, Sonya talks about coming back from an overseas conference with jetlag to a toddler with gastro, no Internet along with various other household and client problems to sort.
I’ve felt like I had my “perfect storm” lately and yesterday was saying to myself: “Really, you’ve got to be kidding me”. My daughter came home from camp sick. Queensland has had what the media terms “a significant rain event”, which simply means it’s been raining non-stop for days. I had piles of dirty washing from camp (some things like sleeping bags just can’t go in the dryer). Last week, I had a child who hurt himself, others to run around to various extra-curricular activities and a husband unwell (so in need of extra attention). Even our golden retriever Buddy had an ear infection to sort out.
All the while I had my own business and work. Sometimes life will just keep coming at you. While you may want to curl under a doona and say: “You’ve got to be kidding me”, understand there are many working mums who may feel the same.
“I don’t think we ever reach a time in our life or business when everything is completely smooth,” advises Sonya.
“We constantly have to deal with the curve balls. If we learn how to navigate life more effectively, we can manage anything that comes our way.
“When we expect that somewhere in our future there is a utopia, I think we set ourselves up for disappointment and failure.”
It’s at least not raining in Brisbane today so I can get the washing dry. I’ve got lots planned for my working week and there’s still a few family dramas needing my attention – but that is life.
If all else fails, go and do 20 Jumps on the Trampoline or reach out and have a whinge to a good friend – I have my Mum and a few on speed dial waiting to take my call.