Thursday, March 13, 2014

Giving A Bit Back

Since Elke was born I have relied SO heavily on the help of my family. My parents are pretty much always available to lend a hand and i'm pretty much always begging for favours. Of course they lovingly oblige day in day out, week in week out* and I gratefully go about the business of being stressed and anxious over doing the washing and wiping the kitchen benches.

When I stop and think about it, it's been almost forever since I've done something for someone outside of my immediate family. In fact, it's been an eternity since i've done something for anyone OTHER than my children.

I'm consumed by their needs, wants and desires. They take every ounce of energy I've got and them some. Lately I've been wondering if they've stolen my sanity along with my spare time.

It's time we here at The Beetle Shack pull our finger out and give a little bit of love back. Not in a practical way or anything, that would just be beyond me, but you know, in simple trivial ways- like making recipe-less Jam Drops with the kids and inviting Nanny and Pa over for tea.

That's giving a bit back? Right?

Okay, I confess, I'm terrible at this kind of thing.

Are you one of those amazing people who manages to drop a home made meal around to a friend in need? How do you show your appreciation/ support of the people around you?

*year in year out


  1. Once the kids (or one or two of them) are at school, you'll find helping other Mums (and vice versa) with drop offs and pick ups or playdates will happen, it becomes a community thing which is nice.

    I've had two school Mums close to me and my last neighbour diagnosed with breast cancer within the last year, so that's really taught me the value of giving home cooked meals and how appreciated they are. Same as if a family is struck down with the flu in winter, a homemade banana cake or some muffins are always welcome :)

    Definitely the giving back happens more once the kids are a little older. I wasn't as giving when mine were babies and toddlers as you're consumed by them and you simply don't have the time or headspace to be thinking of giving elsewhere. It will come!! xx

  2. Everyone has a season. You're getting the help you need now, and one day, some time in the future, you'll be able to be the one who helps someone else with little kids. Pay it forward. Our family had a doozy of a year last year and we gratefully accepted lots of help. This year, my husband isn't brain damaged and my baby's not a newborn anymore, and I've set aside my (very minimal!) spare time to help two of my friends who are having their fourth babies. For me, that looks like sometimes doing her school run, sometimes having a non-kinder-going child for a few hours, making extra dinner one night and handing it over the next day. I don't have much energy to spare, but what I have I want to bless my friends with - in some, small, hopefully helpful ways! We all just do the best we can with what we have.

  3. Don't underestimate how little it takes to be something for someone else. Of course, we love to bake around here, but even a little bag of jam drops for someone who needs a little cheering up, or a few flowers from the garden with a pretty ribbon tied around them, can do wonders, is easy, and is a great way to help children understand about seeing outside themselves. Most of our neighbors in Denmark were elderly or retired. When we had babies they popped over with fresh buns or beautiful bouquets from their gardens, so giving back felt a bit overwhelming. But a bunch of misshapen biscuits we'd made ourselves in a cellophane bag, handed over by a child, was the best thing they could imagine. Don't expect too much of yourself, but blessing someone else can be as easy as babysitting a couple of hours or some lovely hand painted pictures sent in the mail. It's never convenient to give to others, especially with small children, but it's so rewarding! Good luck finding your own ways of giving back :)

  4. I little card left in the letterbox for someone is nice. X

  5. I have 4 kids under 7 and one FIFO husband. 2 of the kids are chronic asthmatics. I have an amazing army of people who swoop in (often at 4am) and cook meals, clean my house, bring dinner to the hospital, care for the kids, tackle mount washing and soooo much more. For the last 12 months one or both of the boys has been hospitalised every time hubby has been away. I often feel as though people give so much for me and that I haven't had the opportunity to return the favour. Recently one of the families in my daughters class (recently arrived from overseas) had a situation where mum who was pregnant with no 4 was hospitalised with pnemoneur. I didn't know them at all but took the opportunity to send their son home with a lasagne. I figured what goes around comes around and hope that all the fantastic people who have helped me would benefit in the long run.

  6. Oops. Obviously she had pneumonia!! Whoopsie!!

  7. I do things for others because it (amongst other things) makes me feel capable! And helps me tackle my own stuff with more force. I know it sounds a little counterintuitive to help someone else when you don't feel like you can even help yourself, but for me it totally works!

  8. I've managed to drop over a meal to a grand total of four different people on a few occasions over the years. I've fed pets, mowed lawns. And a very few people have reciprocated. I think partly when we are absorbed in the midst of our own chaos we don't necessarily know of other peoples chaos...and don't know that help is needed. And some people hunker down and hide. I sometimes wonder whether I am not hearing people, or not listening enough to realise when people need help...or maybe people really do just hide it too well. Who knows. Either way, don't beat yourself up, even when we have the energy to reciprocate, it's not always in front of our noses that it is needed.

    I reckon and cake or cookies are a good middle ground. They are always welcome and never need a reason. You can drop around some cake or flowers just because you made some and found some in your garden...and that in itself is a nice thing right!

  9. Em sometimes we are the givers and sometimes the takers and it all works out in the end xx


Thanks so much for your words of encouragement, advice and solidarity.

xo em