Lately, in the Sunshine House

It’s been a busy time in the Sunshine House, as you may imagine.

We’ve been Quincy’ing, and creating, and working…Leading up to launch, Gregor told me to relax, it was all going to ease up after the big day, but noooo…Now the Quincys are alive, we need to look after them!

Not that I am complaining. It’s an adorable project, and I love all the creativity it’s opening up for me. I have started painting again. I love the marketing side of the project. I love the connections we are gaining from it. And the school visits.

I love the feedback we are getting, especially from the kids themselves. They love the first song! It’s getting shared widely. One person told me it was the only thing that stopped her baby screaming that day. Wow.

Meanwhile, I’ve been working on my picture book manuscripts. We’ve both been working loads.

What’s the sacrifice?

Time. Down time. Our laundry. The weeds.

A friend, Renee, recently commented that it must be lovely for our girls to be growing up in such a creative house. In many ways it is, particularly if this wall is anything to go by:

Elkas art wall

Creativity rules the house. And the fridge. It’s more important than laundry, and weeds.

But not more important than love.

We were a bit frazzled yesterday afternoon, following a birthday party and a quick visit to the Lennox Head Markets.

The frazzledness started with the purchase of a bee suit for our school visit bee mascot, and ended up in hours of tears from our older daughter.

In the crazy heat of the afternoon, and the post-sugar slump, my daughter mourned the fact that she did not have a bee suit too.

The Notorious Bee Suit...but it looks so cute!

The Notorious Bee Suit…but it looks so cute!

The compromise was that I was to make her a ladybird suit, but when my sewing machine broke, the mourning turned hysterical. It continued well into the afternoon, and until pre-dinner, when I found myself screen-painting stripes onto a yellow tee-shirt. It was a vague substitute, but one that got her to the table for dinner without too much resistance.

Eating together that evening, my girls either side of me, all was quiet. Calm washed over me, and over them. We ate cucumber, carrot, and hummus, and no-one complained.

We sat nestled together on the day-bed, turned evening-bed. A small head rested on each of my shoulders.

We fell asleep in our usual position, on the mattress on the floor. Me between the girls. Me still singing Hallelujah {every night for almost five years and counting}.

It’s good being busy, and creative. It fills me, and my husband. It connects us as a couple. But like every parent, I carry with me a bucket for my guilt. Its content is a weight I am responsible for, that keeps me in check, and grounds me when it looks like I could soar into creative land forever.

But the other side is this:

If you were at our Creative Business Women’s High Tea earlier this year, you will probably remember my godmother Jenny Johnson’s talk about being a creative business woman, and the unforgettable text she asked Monique, a dance teacher and business woman of many years, to read aloud.

It was a text from Monique’s daughter, who lives overseas. She wrote thanking her mother for the inspiration of being a busy, industrious, creative mother during her upbringing. From her mother, the daughter wrote, she learnt skills which have set her up for life.

Jenny said she could hear us young mothers talking about the torture of guilt, and our promise to ourselves and our children to spend as much time as possible with them during the day. We diligently do our creative work at night, or pre-dawn.

“Don’t feel guilty,” Jenny said. “You are role-models for your children.”

And yet another side of it is this:

My daughter was drawing at our kitchen table. She scrunched up her page. She started again, and scrunched the page again.

“I can’t do it,” she said.

“Of course you can,” I affirmed. “You are a brilliant. See your wall? I think everything you do is amazing.”

“But I can’t draw as well as you.”

I felt bad. That bucket tugged at my arm. Should I be hiding my drawings away, so hers will shine? So her creative self will flourish, undiminished?

I decided no. We talked about it.

“Your stuff is amazing. When I was a kid, I couldn’t draw like I can now. But I did draw a lot. And so do you. That’s how you learn,” I said.

That’s the beauty of being human. We learn from each other. We appropriate. Copy. We add to each other’s developments, and sophisticate.

Life is full – busting sometimes, and bustling other times. My laundry pile is screaming at me, as are the weeds. But it’s sunny here and blooming, and hopefully, so are our kids.

How’s your week been? Ever found yourself making an imitation bee suit, just to stave off hysteria?

For more tales from the sunshine house, book ideas and imaginative activities, visit me over at Facebook. You might also like to visit my new website, The Quincys ~ Good Music For Kids.

The Quincys-logo


Linking with Essentially Jess

  • This is lovely. I would be jealous not to have a bee suit that adorable too!
    I have been immersed in half a dozen writing projects this week, and I had points of feeling guilty about my babies too, so reading this post was timely. Thank you. What I most want is to teach my children to do what they love, and to follow their dreams, so doing thus myself can’t be bad.
    Loving The Quincy’s x
    Dani @ Sand Has No Home

    • Do we ever escape the guilt? But maybe that’s ok. What you want to do sounds absolutely perfect to me. xx

  • Ahh Zanni. There is so much beauty in this post, I don’t know where to start. Just promise me you’ll never stop writing. It’s gorgeous. Poor Elfie with her bee outfit. I can see the same situation happening at our house. You are such an amazing mum going to all of that trouble to try to replicate one. As for the drawing situation, you handled that with your usual grace as well. Parenting is hard and I do feel guilty more often than I like. I’m still learning how to follow my dreams and be the mum my children need me to be. It’s a big learning curve, but we’re all getting there and doing our best in our own individual ways xx

    • Thank you Renee…breathe… yes. It’s hard finding that balance, but I am sure there’s never a perfect situation; or maybe it’s all perfect for the kids that we have, and the lives we have chosen. It’s so great you have been pursuing your writing through blogging, and given your girls someone to look up to xx

  • Gorgeous post and what a beautiful message not only to your daughter but for all of us.

    • Thank you Rachael. I am glad is resonated with you. x

  • I am never disappointed when I visit My Little Sunshine House and today is no exception. A beautiful post Zanni, I love and can relate to it so much. I love The Quincy’s too – something amazing is growing there. I think the best way to stave off mother guilt is to hit back at it knowing you are being an awesome role model for your children – in every capacity that you can. Good things here Zanni, even the laundry and the weeds, good things xx

    • Oh Josefa. You are always so generous and kind. Thank you for your words. xx

  • I feel guilty every time I’m on the computer when shes awake, but at the same time I think its good for her to play independently for a bit and Im not ignoring her, I am still watching and talking to her, just not on the floor actually playing with her. Its probably a good thing for her to see me doing some work on the computer as well to show her that mums can do things other than housework. We have a Peppa Pig book about “my mummy” and one of the pages has mummy pig typing on the computer and it read my mummy works very hard at home.. I really like that and I hope that she’ll learn that when Im on the computer Im working not ignoring her.

    • Mmm….it’s an ongoing, universal thing it seems.

      I toy between feeling like I should give my full attention and focus, and encouraging independent play. It’s balance, I guess, like everything. Maybe guilt is just a necessary component to parenting.

  • Punky has been asking for a bee suit lately, and I have a feeling the requests are going to come more often now that she has seen The Quincey’s first song. She loves it! It sounds like life is good despite the weeds and the laundry. xxx
    (Visitin on behalf of #teamIBOT today x)

    • Oh sweet! I am so glad Punky likes it! I just love hearing this. x

  • TeganMC

    This parenting gig is hard sometimes isn’t it. One of the things that my psychologist often says to me is that there is no set rules for what a successful parent is. That our children are the measurement and often they move the goal posts. I also believe that worrying about how we are parenting and striving to do something about it is better than those who believe they have all of the answers because they leave no room for learning from their child.

    • That’s so perfectly put Tegan. Thank you. It really helps. x

  • Zanni it is those sleeps cuddled up to you and that song that your girls will remember. To me it sounds like you need to take that bucket of gulit and throw it over the side. Your are a beautiful mamma. You are so mindful in everything you do. ps. I love that you are doing school visits with the quincy’s sounds gorgeous.

  • Ohhh but that bee suit is sooo darn cute! I think you do an incredible job Zanni at being a mama. I would love to live in your home as even from here I can see it is so full of warmth and love xx

  • Let the weeds grow while your children’s and your creativity soars! You sure are so busy but it’s all good for the soul stuff. My daughter screws up her writing all the time.. it’s hard to see but I’m trying to encourage her.

  • Love all you do Zanni, let the weeds stay where they are xx