kate5kiwis: winteritis


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome

Monday, June 30, 2008


I have two things to say. One: I’m leaving tomorrow. Two: That could change.

We watched D18’s namesake in Eagle vs Shark on Saturday night. Nope, the littles didn’t watch it. Yep, it’s worth seeing at least once. That’s one of my favourite lines, and I think that the film will become one of our family's "cult movies" for sure.

Over the last fortnight, while I’ve been journaling pink and sparkly and delish and sunshiney and sparkly and speshal days, my head has been whirling on an off-centre roundabout. Ever since I was six, I’ve naively fought every Change Of Season tooth and nail. I have a love-hate relationship with Growing Up. I am deeply in love with my current season of “Mummy who goes beaching with her babies, relishing in beautiful things and making sparkly days”. But babies grow up. I can sense another Change Of Season about to happen and I am doing my usual fighting-it-off.

I’ve been in my timewarp for sixteen years now and I am Just Wondering if the grass is greener on the other side of the fence? See, Bulldog has applied for a scholarship next year to knock off his Master’s Degree. The last few years have seen him juggling a full time job, five kiddos, a Rather Blonde wife, keeping fit, mowing the lawns, and getting an A grade in four university papers, not to mention sleeping. I’m over it too. We need an oasis. So I am thinking, if he’s having a year off teaching and is gonna be in Study Mode, perhaps I could take a year off and do it too? Ya know, upgrade my teaching degree and go back to *duh duh dunnnn (drum roll)* The Classroom?

Part of me feels a desire to prove myself to myself, getting back to uni and Being Intelligent could be a fabulous confidence-booster (or it could be hell lol). Money is getting so tight and a beautiful sunny artsy classroom part-time could be just the ticket (the ticket to the snow - which my kids have never seen, the ticket to Sydney to see Sue and Cambodia to see Fleur and London to see my Brother and Sister, and a ticket to the cinema for the kids, and all those things I THINK we’re missing and kiss off because I've spent my life pouring into my own kids’ lives instead of the bank account). I love kiddos and if mine are ready, then I’d be the ninja at creating a gentle growing-up environment for other peeps’ kids. But could my Unschooling Buzz translate to the classroom? And could I find a Happy Place for my fellers? Could I bear to be separated from them? Would they be okay without my kisses showering them every minute?

Maybe my timing is a little rushed - originally I thought that S10 and M6 would have 2009 and 2010 at home, then go to school when S10 is year nine (the entry point for all the other brothers and sister) and M6 is year five. But I’m also seeing that I’m running such a Boring Ship here at home: I am running outta enthusiasm. I need an injection. That could be the effects of Winter...

I’ve also noticed that I’ve been holding my kids' hands a little tighter since I started thinking of The Big Wide World for them next year. We do have a family-ish school up the road with small classroom sizes, but it’s a highly structured environment and rather prescriptive in its expectations, which doesn't really fit with my idea that kids thrive in The Big Wide Open Spaces.

Still, I wonder if there’s change in the wind...


Blogger Little Miss Flossy said...

It's not greener... cos I wanna be you! I don't want to be run by bells and timetables, and have to stay inside when the sun shines and do PE when it's snowing... just because someone else said.

But that aside, teaching is a fabulous game and of course you would create a marvellous growing up space for other kids - that's why I keep doing it. Kids need love and time and praise from other people too, not just their parents. And there will be someone out there to love your kids almost as much as you do.

And I understand about the change... I waited 16 years in the secondary system before leaping into a job that I am absolutely crazy about with kids who are like my own, and who I love and pat (not quite kiss!) and am proud of.

Lots to think about eh?

12:28 PM  
Blogger Sharonnz said...

My head would be exploding if I was in your place...I'm so not ready to be thinking those thoughts yet;-) That said, schools DO need people like you in there. Just not sure how you make these kind of choices.

12:47 PM  
Blogger LeighLeigh said...

Man.... it seems change is in the wind everywhere I turn. We are moving house in a few weeks, looking at our life and deciding on major life changes for the Baddeleys. Life is too short to do stuff that goes against the grain of your soul...and so we are looking and reading and talking and watch this space...soon we will be changing....big scary steps that have me awake at night...but in the end will be great.
Love you - you could teach my kids - Ems would adore Mrs G!!

1:59 PM  
Blogger Our Home Schooler and Jen said...

wow wtg Bulldog his masters wow im in awe

i am wondering whether it is winter

what ever you decide I luv ya babe and youre an awesome person
I pray you will find out and decide what to do

2:06 PM  
Anonymous monica @ transplanting me said...

we made this change. 3 years ago. and the only regret i have starting our youngest when we did. he went straight into kindergarten. and he was young - only 4. there is a pretty noticeable difference between him and the other two. academically he's fine, but he doesn't seem to have the same love of learning they have.

it's all in the timing. for some it's never. but you'll figure it out - you're a smart gal!! and i can't even imagine all the parents and kiddos who will adore you. they'll think you're b-a-n-a-n-a-s

3:00 PM  
Blogger Ang Jackson said...

Mmm, this is a substantial little morsel you have put out there today lovie. I am still chewing it, and I am contemplating the same questions (as you know) but I think from the other side of the dish cloth!! Coming from having been a fulltime working mum to now being a stay at home mum - and weighing up which one I will devote the next 10 odd years of my life to. Will the real me please stand up!

I agree with little miss flossy and sharronnz, in that schools do desperately need people like **Poppy** who actually LIKE the kids, and WANNA be there!

I hear you from every angle, the only thing I would say doll is dont rush the decision, it will come naturally, and this phase of "gathering both sides of the story" is uncomfortable, but I am sure things will fall into place one step at a time.


PS I dont think you'll have any regrets either way, only more wisdom!

6:31 PM  
Blogger Barb the Evil Genius said...

Sounds like you have a lot of decisions to make. The best thing I can do is pray for wisdom for you. You can look at it as being a good thing that you have options. :)

5:25 AM  
Blogger Jess said...

You know what Kate? You are awesome. I love how you never do things half-hearted. What huge desicions you guys have to make! I know that which ever way you decided you will make it wonderful, your kids will still love you! Your family dynamic is inspirational. And i second Leigh, my Zozo would thrive with a teacher like you! (If it couldn't be her Mummy!) Maybe you and BD should set up an Unschooling school! ;P

9:09 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

Wow your post seems to have everyone thinkin up a storm.... I am SUPPOSED to be started on my journey in to midwifery next year, already I am having serious doubts that I will be able to leave my babies, especially my littlest! The only thing that will make it slightly bearable is that my hubby is going to go part time, so he will be there a lot for the kids instead of me. What if they need meeeeee though????? I don't really feel that I can leave it much longer to go study, the years are ticking by pretty bloomin quickly........
Good luck with your decision making. I know one thing,I would love a teacher with such passion and enthusiasm at my little boy's school............X

10:07 AM  
Anonymous Jacinta said...

Katie ... whoa!!!

I LOVE that you shared that.

As much as I'd love to homeschool, which I'm not yet (and that's a big YET) ... I've been thinking seriously of training to be a primary school teacher. Not that I want to work in a class-room fulltime, but the idea of being a relief teacher, or a reading recovery teacher, or something similar that's part time, really appeals. As does the whole being in "training mode".

Similar to you, my hubby's gone back to school too ... for his management degree (while working full-time)

I don't think we ever truly stop learning do we? But sometimes the need can be more persistent and wants to be acknowledged in a formal way.

My mum took time off to retrain when I was a teen at polytech, and my younger bro and sis were still primary school. Sure it was tough, but time flies ... it would be awlful to look back and regret not doing it (or vice versa).

Take care!

2:25 PM  
Blogger Carnies said...

I almost came as a shark actually, but then I realized an eagle's slightly better


4:07 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Know what you mean. Tom is such a darling - only 9 months - but every day I can see him making vast leaps further and further into the big old world. Scary. Uni would be a great idea - I'm now on my last year of a part time degree. Don't get me wrong, it's been a long hard slog but hell has it been worth it.

6:26 PM  
Blogger Reluctant Blogger said...

See if you feel the same when spring comes around eh?

I have to say that having worked for years, I would never go back to anything where I "had" to do stuff at a certain time ever again. I do work obviously but generally I choose when I do it.

But doing a course sounds like a good idea - just don't necessary see it as a means to an end - do it for YOU because it is something that you will enjoy and make you feel good.

Oh i don't know anymore than you do - I guess the thing is that any decision you take does not have to be a permanent one. If you do something and end up not liking it then you can easily go back.

For me freedom is everything - nothing else is as good.

More money is not all it's cracked up to be - but snow is!!!! Oh and yes, if you come to London, well that would be great.

Don't rush into anything eh?

9:52 PM  
OpenID hippyhappyhay said...

You'd be wasted in some decile 9, laptop laden, factory, er, school. If there is a place for you in the classroom, it's to shine your sunshiney light and warmth into the lives of kids whose only refuge is school. To love the unloved, and give hope to the hopeless. You have a gift for brightening lives, and there are so many lives that need brightening. Something to contemplate at least?

9:05 PM  
Blogger kate5kiwis said...

woah, am really loving digesting all your beautiful comments. thanks so much.
i still find it strange sometimes to come to kate5kiwis and find people here. cos i mostly pretend i'm writing to myself, otherwise i get stage fright.
strange but true.

you are one of my classroom-inspirers. thanks X

i’m not really ready either, but i might be one day X

i still find it funny that you are only five years older than the kids i used to teach are now.. and you’re inviting me to teach ems? that makes me feel like a nana, when really, i’m your peer... yeah X

thanks so much for your love, as always X

oh! how i *love* gwen. she is b-a-n-a-n-a-s. and i know what you mean about the love of learning. i remember watching D18 and noticing that it took him about two years to slip into the complacency of doing his homework at morning tea before that class. now, he’s rediscovered his passion at university. but then, he’s doing all stuff that he loves X

yeah, you know we extroverts process our stuff out loud. i am a great believer that the *right* thing “falls out of the sky” – it falls into place and *feels right*. and the most important thing for me is that EVERYONE is happy. not gonna make a move unless we’re all on the same page X

thank you, your prayers mean the world to me X

babe, see... one of the things that concerns me is: will our family still be strong/together if i’m off on my own tangent? i hope so, it’s the hub of the wheel to me. loving your unschooling school idea lol X

i think i would *love* to be a midwife. my friend kate is a midwife. how special is that? getting to birth beautiful babies, inspire confidence, give love. i wish you a wonderful journey with that, as you find the right timing too X

loved hearing about your experience with your mum doing that. my mum used to cook two dinners when i was little. my dad did his master’s part time while working a full time job and mum used to come home from the classroom and cook for me’n’greg, then make dad and herself dinner at ten o’clock when dad’s evening’s study was finished. i really admire her support of dad, he got his degree with honours!! so yeah, it’s my family history here too.
maybe you’n’i’ll teach in the same school one day? that would be cool (i’ll sort my aversion to capital letters by then, k?) X

Do you want cheese on your burger? It's free, too. I'll give it to you. You'll save sixty cents.
G,L&L (and bitters?) very soon X

oh well done you!!
*clapping and cheering*
that is blimmin’ awesome.
yeah, that big old world is scary sometimes, but mostly it’s really fun X

yeah, i wonder if spring/summer may change the wind...
big decisions, no rush: just like you say.
and i am a big freedom-lover too.
thanks X

this has been in my head since you wrote it - and i hear you. and i’m thinking that there are people needing love and hope at all stages of decile-rating. i think the school i taught at was 8 or 9. and there were lots of kids and mums and dads who needed sunshine and refuge. so i am completely open to something perfick-for-me falling out of the sky when the time is right.
and i’m scared. a little. ok, rather a lot X

11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

sweetheart those kids have had u long enuf i need you in cambodjia waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

so where you at? I know change for me is so exciting too, and sometimes it is enough for everyone to say yeah you CAN if you want and then only then do I let what i really want or know to come to the fore.

but you know you and the dog have always dont the right thing by your very gorgy kiddos and you still will... loads of love baby - book a ticket : I pwomise to take ya dancin...
floss the der

3:20 AM  
Blogger Little Miss Flossy said...

Oh yeah baby - EXACTLY what hay said.

4:21 PM  
Anonymous BeachMama said...

I read this a while back and wasn't able to comment through Blogger, argh.

I know that whichever path you choose will be the right one. I think you have such a give to teach your kids and your gift should be shared with others, whether it is now or later. I only wish you were able to teach my children, they would be so blessed to learn from you. Will wait to see what your choice turns out to be.

1:52 AM  

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