Category: Being a Mum

Being Pregnant With My Second Child

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Before we had kids, I always knew I wanted more than one. In fact, I wanted at least 3.

Then I had one child and I said “two will be fine” HAHAHA … when I was experiencing horrible contractions, I remember saying “why did my Grandmother do this 9 times?!” …

Anyway, clearly the trauma of pregnancy, labour, and a newborn baby wasn’t enough to deter us – we got pregnant with our second when our first was 15 months old.

I was excited to be pregnant again, but an overwhelming guilt came over me.

I struggled a lot with my eldest when we were younger. Not because of her, but because of me and my mental state.

I felt like (and still feel like) I have a lot to make up with her for being so sad, and angry; even though she had no idea …

With number 2 on the way, I felt guilty that I was no longer going to be able to give her my full attention.

That my love for her would be split in half – between her and the second child.

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Being pregnant, with a toddler in tow, was difficult too. I had really bad morning sickness for the first 15 weeks, and it was extremely draining.

I was a stay-at-home-mum, and I didn’t really go anywhere with my girl – we didn’t really do play-dates, or mainly music, or play centre or ANYTHING.

I remember I visited my Mum and Dad nearly every single day, and would chat about how my Mum did when she was pregnant with us.

Mum got pregnant with my brother when I was only 3 months old – so she didn’t have a toddler running around. She had a legitimate baby still. I can’t even imagine what that’s like.

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Anyway, the guilt I felt for having another baby slowly went away because I got so distracted with being a parent, and being pregnant.

When Ronan was finally born, I realised that my love for my children isn’t split – it grows.

Love is such an overwhelming feeling too, when number 2 (or 3 or 4) comes into the mix, the love is amplified; and at times it feels too much.

I had such a different experience as a mother with Ronan though, compared to Chloe – but I’ll save that story for another time …


Being Pregnant With My Second Child

Things Mums Shouldn’t Feel Bad About

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In a world full of people telling us what to do as parents, I’m here to tell you that it’s ok.

As a parent, every man and his dog will tell you what they think is right, and wrong, and it can sometimes be very confusing. So I’m here to say a few things that us mums shouldn’t feel bad about…

  • Not connecting with your baby right away
  • Your body post baby
  • Rocking your baby to sleep
  • Wearing active-wear all day
  • Checking social media instead of watching your kids 24/7
  • Having a nap during the day, not because you need to but because you just want to
  • Being a little over-protective
  • Having post-natal depression
  • Not wanting to have sex, ever again
  • Formula feeding, breast feeding, WHATEVER feeding
  • Not wanting to be a stay-at-home-mum
  • Looking forward to going back to work
  • Having to go back to work
  • Putting your child into Daycare
  • Worrying about your kids
  • Can’t help out on school trips
  • Not having a clue as to what you’re doing in this crazy parenting gig.

Obviously there are TONNES of other things that you should definitely not feel bad about as a parent; but ultimately I want you to know that it doesn’t matter what you do – we are all trying to raise healthy, loving, accepting, and kind human beings.

Don’t sweat the small stuff on the way to achieving this <3


Things Mums Shouldn’t Feel Bad About

Mums confess to “The laziest thing I’ve ever done”

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As a parent, I feel I am ridiculously lazy. Or as I like to call it “being smart”.

I’ve put my kids to bed in their clothes for the next day (after a bath of course), made a whole bag of chicken nuggets for dinner (and that’s it); and more often than I like to admit I’ve been to lazy to go and put the washing in the drier, so I’ve had to wash it again (a few times.

So I took to my Parenting View Facebook Group (which you’re welcome to join), and put it to the Mums and Dads out there:

Finish this sentence (about parenting): “I was so lazy, one time I …”

Here are some of the hilarious responses (thank you ladies for allowing me to post these!):

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… threw out the sh*t covered singlet (instead of washing it – ain’t nobody got time for that)

… wiped my kid down with a baby wipe because I couldn’t be bothered giving her a bath

… put a box of toys in my room so when they get up at stupid o’clock I just lie here while they play with their “lost” toys.

… some times I give my kids cereal for dinner when I just cannot adult

… finished my sons homework – handwriting and all ? just once when it needed to be finished and he was outside somewhere ??‍♀️

… over-sprayed myself with perfume before going out so I didn’t have to change the clothes I had been wearing for 2 days.

… moved everything that looked like a mess into the bedrooms, and shut the doors when we had visitors so my house looked tidy

… I rinsed clothing in the shower with me and my child after he was sick on me at a young age

… I let my 10 year old eat a bowl of spaghetti, that she cooked herself in the microwave, for dinner

… watched kids TV because I couldn’t be bothered getting up and changing the channel

… hid all the dirty dishes in the oven when I had visitors coming

… texted my kid, who was in the next room, that dinner was ready

… stayed at my parents (with the kids) for the weekend so they could parent instead of me

… scooped up my daughters dinner she chucked on the floor and gave it back to her

… we all stayed in our pyjamas all day

… put the spare mattress on floor in lounge so kids could use it as a trampoline so I didn’t have to supervise them outside

… put a couple of towels over a wet bed and went back to bed, washed everything the next day

… forgot I had wet clothes in the hamper and when I finally got around to washing them they were al covered in mould so I threw them out

… dropped the kids off at school, came home and crawled back into bed till it was pick up time

… don’t have a shower ever day because I just get so busy with other things

… lay down on the floor and let my kids climb on me while I fell asleep

… just after I changed my child’s nappy, they did a nugget of a poo, so I just tipped it down the toilet and didn’t change the nappy

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Let’s be honest, most of these things are SMART, not lazy HAHAH … and hopefully you feel a little less alone after reading that!!! What’s the “laziest” thing you’ve ever done as a parent?

LET ME KNOW BELOW!


Mums confess “The laziest thing I’ve ever done as a parent”

Being Mum Can Be Overwhelming

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I posted this on Facebook the other day and I felt like it needed to be immortalised as a blog post here on my website – being Mum can be overwhelming.

It doesn’t even matter if Dad is around, somehow they always want Mum.

It’s such a wonderful feeling knowing this, but it can be so overwhelming.

When I need a moment to myself, even if my husband is around, my kids will actively seek me out.

  • I try to have a shower; they find me.
  • I am on the toilet; they find me.
  • I’m getting changed; they find me.

My husband can be right there and they will walk away to find ME to ask me a question.

Again, it’s truly wonderful knowing they love me so much but it can be utterly overwhelming.

Especially when I just need a moment’s peace.

This photo was taken when my girl was upset and she needed a cuddle. Apparently at that exact moment my son felt left out and needed to be close by too.

Even though Dad (my husband) was right there behind me in the kitchen, they both needed and WANTED me at the same time.

It’s nice to know there is no substitute for Mum, but it can be very overwhelming.

Have you experienced this? Let me know below!

Also, be sure to tune into The Parenting View podcast! Weekly episodes, airing every Wednesday.


BEING MUM

The Lowdown: What To Do If A Child Chokes

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Kids put the weirdest things in their mouths; a lot of which aren’t even edible. When most kids are young, putting objects into their mouths is how they “test” an object out.

Whether the object is edible or not, babies and children can choke.

Recently there have been a few items in the news about children choking – one of which is on small easter eggs. Now the girl who choked was 5 1/2 years old, so you would think she would be ok, but chocking can happen to any of us.

If you want to read that news article – it is here. There is also this New Zealand Herald article about a child who had a grape get stuck in their throat.

From chocolate eggs, to grapes, to cherry tomatoes, to cut up apple; to even popcorn – children can choke on anything. Heck ADULTS can choke on anything.

You can’t watch a child 24/7, but it does pay to be aware that these kind of incidents can happen. So if you’re in a situation where a small object, or piece of food, is around your child, just keep an eye on them.

If your child was to choke, here is what you should look for and should do (as taken from the St John website):

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In partial airway obstruction the patient will be able to breathe and cough, although there may be a ‘crowing’ noise (stridor) as air passes through a narrowed space. Usually the patient can clear a small foreign body by coughing and, although the breathing may be noisy, air can still enter and leave the lungs. At this stage it is important to avoid giving back blows which may cause a foreign body to move and become a total obstruction.

Symptoms and signs – Not all may be present

  • Partial airway obstruction:
    • breathing laboured, gasping or noisy
    • some air escaping from the mouth
    • patient coughing or making a ‘crowing’ noise
    • extreme anxiety or agitation
  • Total airway obstruction:
    • the person will be unable to effectively cough, breathe or speak, with no air movement
    • the person will be making obvious efforts to breathe with in-drawing of spaces between the ribs and above the collarbones
    • the person may be clutching the throat with both hands (the universal sign for choking)

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Partial airway obstruction

How you can help

Never use back blows on a person who is able to cough effectively or breathe. 

Ask the patient ‘are you choking?’ to determine whether their airway is completely blocked. If they are unable to answer or make noise, treat as for total airway obstruction.

If they can answer or breathe:

1.    Reassure and encourage the patient

  • Stay with the patient until full recovery has occurred.  
  • Encourage the patient to cough and expel the foreign body. 

If the obstruction is not relieved – call for 111 an ambulance.

Note on Heimlich Manoeuvre

Life threatening complications associated with the use of abdominal thrusts (known as the Heimlich manoeuvre) have been reported in 32 case reports. Therefore, the use of abdominal thrusts is not recommended.

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Total airway obstruction

How you can help

Call 111 for an ambulance.

1.    If patient is conscious, give up to 5 back blows 

  • With an adult or child, standing or sitting (and leaning forward), and using the heel of one hand, give the back blows between the patient’s shoulder blades. 
  • Check between each back blow to see if the item has been dislodged.
  • Place a baby face down on your lap for the back blows. Ensure you support the baby’s head. Give firm back blows, checking between each to see if the item is dislodged.

2.    If unsuccessful, give up to 5 chest thrusts

  • With an adult or child, standing or sitting, wrap both arms around the patient, at chest level. 
  • Place one fist with the thumb side against the middle of the breastbone. 
  • Grasp that fist with your other hand and give up to 5, separate, inward and upward thrusts. 
  • Check between each chest thrust to see if the item has been dislodged.
  • Place a baby face upwards on a firm surface and give up to 5 sharp chest thrusts just below the nipple line, checking between each thrust.

The back blows and chest thrusts are given separately with a check after each one to see if the obstruction has been relieved. 

3.    If the obstruction has not been relieved 

  • Ensure an ambulance has been called.
  • Continue alternating back blows and chest thrusts until the ambulance arrives. 
  • If the person becomes unresponsive, begin CPR.

Note on Heimlich Manoeuvre

Life threatening complications associated with the use of abdominal thrusts (known as the Heimlich manoeuvre) have been reported in 32 case reports. Therefore, the use of abdominal thrusts is not recommended.

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Unresponsive patient

How you can help

  1. Call 111 for an ambulance.
  2. Quickly check the mouth
    • Use your fingers to remove any visible solid obstruction.
  3. Begin CPR
    • Begin CPR and continue until the ambulance arrives.

There may be some resistance to inflations at first until the object has been dislodged.

Note on Heimlich Manoeuvre

Life threatening complications associated with the use of abdominal thrusts (known as the Heimlich manoeuvre) have been reported in 32 case reports. Therefore, the use of abdominal thrusts is not recommended.

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Quick Video (British – dial 111 for New Zealand)

 


What To Do If A Child Chokes

The Lowdown: Dealing With Nits

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Right, let’s just tackle this head on (LOOL). My kids are 4 and 6 and haven’t had nits (head lice) YET … HOWEVER I am expecting them to happen anytime because let’s be honest – most kids get nits.

I run a parenting group (as well as my Facebook page) on Facebook, and so many people want to know how to treat nits. Some of the responses range from the usual to the down-right crazy.

Let me be the first to say: DO NOT TREAT YOUR KIDS, or yourself, WITH FLEA TREATMENT!

Flea treatment is designed for animals and for FLEAS, and is NOT tested on humans. I don’t even care if “it worked for your parents”; it is poison when administered to a human and is designed for animals only.

Check out the Poisons, Prevention & Education page for more information. To find out more information about what exactly nits are, visit the Ministry of Health.

As well as the appropriate treatment you will also need a nit comb.

Here’s what you can do if your child (or you) has nits:

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1. TREATMENT

Here are some ways to treat nits, most of the linked treatments can be bought from your local pharmacy:

  • Your doctor can prescribe you some decent treatment (I think it’s the Parasidose below)
  • Parasidose (or you can get a script through your GP)
  • Nit Enz Shampoo
  • Nit Enz Nit Repellant
  • Neutralice
  • Thursday Plantation
  • Good Bye Nits
  • Licetec
  • Home remedies including:
    • Shaving the child’s head
    • Vinegar (rub white vinegar into the hair and scalp, cover the head with a shower cap, wrap in towel and leave overnight. Next morning rinse, shampoo and comb out with a nit comb. Repeat 3 times).
    • Tea tree oil or use Thursday Plantation (as above)
    • Bicarb soda (rub into the hair, add vinegar; leave it on for an hour and then comb out with a fine comb)
    • Coke (wash hair normally; then slowly pour a litre of Coke over their head and let it dry. Once hair is dry, then wash it out and wash again with normal shampoo/conditioner the nits should fall out)
    • Conditioner (apply conditioner heavily, leave for 10 minutes and then using a nit comb get the nits out. Rinse and repeat as necessary)
    • Coconut Oil (same as the vinegar instructions)
    • Listerine (same as vinegar instructions)
    • Hair straighteners
    • Hair spray

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2. NOT JUST THE CHILD

Everyone in the household will need this treatment (whatever you use), and you will need to wash all bedding, hair ties, hair brushes and possibly car seat covers (if your car seat manual says you can do so; and continue to comb the child’s (and everyone else’s) hair regularly to ensure all nits AND eggs are removed.

Again, to find out more information about what exactly nits are, visit the Ministry of Health.

Also check out Kiwi Families for some excellent all-round information about what you should / shouldn’t do when it comes to head lice.

If your child still has lice 2 weeks after you started treatment or if your child’s scalp looks infected, call your doctor. As above in the list of treatments, they may be able to prescribe stronger treatment.

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If you have any suggestions on what can help with nits (that has actually been tested on humans) then let me know in the comments below!


Dealing With Nits

I Suck At Playing With My Kids

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I look around at other parents who really love getting down on their kids’ level and engaging in activities and imaginary play, and I think “I wish I loved doing that”.

Fact of the matter is, I suck at playing with my kids; and I feel bad about that.

I get no joy in “pretending to be a dinosaur” or imagining “the floor is lava”. Doing any kind of craft activity makes me want to run and hide.

Don’t get me wrong, I love being with my children. I love going on outings together. I love reading and watching movies with them. Heck I even like baking with them.

And despite the fact they sometimes drive me insane, I LOVE spending time with them.

I just really suck at playing with them.

I love watching my kids play imaginary games though. Once my 5 year old and 3 year old came up with a game of “cemetery” where they pretended to be dead and buried in a cemetery. HILARIOUS.

Another time they set up all of their toys and lined up their Shopkins and had some kind of showdown where the toys took out the Shopkins one by one.

My kids imagination is phenomenal and I just can’t keep up.

I feel truly terrible about it too. I see other parents doing their thing and envy them that they can get on their level and play like that.

My kids are loved, cared for and always have my attention when they need it. I’ll encourage them to play and if necessary help them start a game or activity. My thing is I just don’t want to do it with them.

Maybe it’s because I always feel busy, distracted by household responsibilities or tired. Maybe it’s because I’m not a particularly “silly” person and I don’t fall easily into a childlike state of play. When my kids want to play a board game, I’m all in – but put me in a room full of Barbies and I can’t handle it.” – quote from a Scary Mommy article that perfectly sums up how I feel.

I worry that this fact will make me look like a bad mum; that it will make me look lazy and that I don’t love my kids.

It’s not that at all.

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I Suck At Playing With My Kids

Those First Few Hours

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I don’t have anything to compare this too, but just from what I’ve heard other’s say, my first child’s birth was relatively quick.

After being induced at 7.30am, I had Chloe at 9.30pm that night after 1 hour of pushing. Obviously there’s more to the story than that, but you can read that in my Labour Stories post.

By 11pm, I was out of hospital in our car on our way to BirthCare.

I remember so vividly sitting in the back of the car, while Phil drove, and saying “I can’t believe I just had a baby“.

I think I was in shock a little.

When Chloe was born, I didn’t “click” with her straight away. It took me a while to realise she was my baby.

So that car ride from the hospital to BirthCare, I felt very disconnected from the whole thing.

It was a very surreal moment and one I’ll never forget.

It was almost like I hadn’t given birth at all, instead had just been given this baby to look after.

I didn’t know who she was, and I had no idea what to do.

That first night at BirthCare was crazy; up all night trying to breastfeed. I had midwives all over my boobs trying to show me different ways to get the baby to latch.

Every time I’d start to fall asleep, the baby would wake up.

Changing nappies.

And bleeding.

Still not knowing what I was doing.

Still feeling like I’d been given a child and had not connected with this person at all.

I found it very rough.

When my Mum came to visit the next day (she’d flown over from Australia), I burst into tears. I really didn’t know what to do, or say, or how to handle anything.

I needed my Mum.

But sadly my Mum didn’t live in New Zealand at that time, so that was another thing that added to my struggle.

So those first few hours, and days, were incredibly rough for me. I was confused, overwhelmed, had no idea what I was doing and felt very lost.

It took me a really long time to connect with my eldest, which I still feel incredibly guilty about. But it is what it is, and I love her more than anything in the world (and her brother of course).

How were those first few hours after giving birth for you?

Those First Few Hours

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The Lowdown: Pooping During Childbirth

 

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The Lowdown: Pooping During Childbirth

One of my biggest fears heading into childbirth, was that I was going to poop myself.

EEW GROSSE how embarrassing. I definitely did NOT want that happening.

Two months after my relatively normal vaginal birth of Chloe, my husband informed me that I did indeed poop during childbirth. Him and the midwife quickly cleaned it up and moved it away without saying anything to me – and for that I am grateful.

I know better than I did back then but I’m here to tell you:

Pooping during childbirth is perfectly normal.

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In fact, you have NO control over what happens down there, so please don’t worry.

The same muscles that you use to have a bowel movement, are the same ones you use when you’re pushing.

Also, when you’re in labour you have EXTRA pressure on your colon and rectum from the weight of the baby moving through the birth canal.

So as I said, you have no control over it and there is nothing to be embarrassed about.

You might still be nervous, even though you know it’s normal; and be wondering “can I do anything to prevent this from happening?“.

NO. Not really .. your body may naturally try to “clear itself out” prior to labour. Often Mums experience a few bowel movements before going into labour; which will help reduce the amount of stuff in your colon.

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Don’t be embarrassed at the thought of this happening, like I’ve said a few times – it’s completely normal and there really is nothing you can do about it.

Doctors, midwives, obstetricians … they have all seen this a million times before.

If you’re absolutely petrified of it happening – ask your midwife, your partner, WHOEVER, to make sure you DON’T know it has happened at the time.

By the time I found out about my “incident” I didn’t even care.

Couldn’t be embarrassed because my husband clearly wasn’t haha

So please, from me to you: don’t be embarrassed; and don’t worry about it. There’s really no point!

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Days When I Just Don’t Cope

 


Days When I Just Don’t Cope

GIVEAWAY BELOW

You know those days: when you wake up thinking “YASS TODAY IS GOING TO BE GREAT” and before you can even boil the kettle, there’s a child standing at the door saying “I’M AWAKE, ENTERTAIN ME”.

7am hasn’t even rolled around, yet you’re in the fetal position listening to the children scream “Mum Mum Mum” and you can see toys everywhere, and a bowl of cereal AND MILK is spilled on the floor.

Reality hits – 12 more hours until they go to bed.

THOSE DAYS. Where everything just gets too much and you can’t cope. Where normal things push me over the edge.

Where I feel like I’m one step away from being carted off and being committed.

Seriously – I feel like the crazy Mum on those days; I feel like my kids look at me and think “who is this woman?!”.

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The days when I just don’t cope, all resemblance of parenting goes out the window. It becomes a survival of the fittest challenge, and the goal is for me not to run out screaming.

I say to my kids “I’m just not coping well today guys, so can we please work together” – this just makes me feel like I am a little in control and that maybe they’ll help. They won’t.

The TV will go on, and devices are pulled out.

If I’m feeling adventurous, we might go for a walk or to a playground, but chances are I won’t. Sometimes it’s easier just to stay home and deal with it away from the public.

Nobody wants to see Maria have a mental breakdown.

All the toys come out and the lounge is a mess. No laundry gets done. The dishes pile up. I might weep a bit, I’ll probably yell a bit. All of the great coping mechanisms …

If I have to feed the children, then I stick to the easy stuff – fruit for a snack, and Maggi 2 Minute Noodles. With the saving grace being that at least the Maggi Noodles are wholegrain, RIGHT?!

Thank god my kids love noodles.

AND DO YOU KNOW HOW YOU PREPARE NOODLES?! By boiling them in water. FML that’s easy.

Then 530pm rolls around and my husband comes home – FLARE goes up and I throw up my hands, burst into tears and say “man I just haven’t coped today”.

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Then once the kids are in bed, I debrief with my husband and promise myself (and him) that tomorrow will be a better day.

I go to bed hoping it is because honestly, having two days in a row like that, is just terrible.

How do you get through those days when you don’t cope?

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This post was lovingly sponsored by Maggi – thanks for helping make a crappy day a little more bearable.

To help you get through those rough days, I have TWO $50 Prezzy Cards to give away! Opens at 7pm on Tuesday 31st October.

TO ENTER:

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