Category: Being a Mum

Being Fun Parents

 


Being Fun Parents

Yesterday afternoon when I picked my daughter (5) up from school, she was upset because we are not the “fun parents”. She said that we yelled at her all the time, and that we told her off too much.

She said that she wished someone else was her parents.

I was shocked and a little upset, but to start with I didn’t show her that. I questioned her and what she meant, and we spent the 5 minute drive home chatting about it.

My heart did break.

If you follow me on Snapchat (happymumnz) you will have seen that when we got home, I changed it up a bit and we did have some fun.

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After the kids went to bed, and Chloe and I had a chat, I realised where the comments from her may have come from.

When she was sick, my Mum came over (her Gran) and she had a lot of fun with her. Just like most kids have with their Grandparents, or Aunties, or Uncles, or ANYONE outside of the immediate parental unit.

When we debriefed together at bedtime, I explained to her that we will always be parents first and friends second – and that every other parent out there is the same.

I explained that “Gran and Pa” will always be more fun than Mum and Dad.

And that’s right – Grandparents (for the most part) have done their time as parents, and it’s their time to enjoy the grandkids.

They don’t have to parent the child 24/7, so they can be the fun ones.

Of course I realise she might not understand this, but one day she will and until then I will be doing my best to encourage her to continue talking to me when she feels upset about something.

I am beyond proud of her for telling me how she felt, and I hear her loud and clear.

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It is a hard wake up call for me but one that I truly appreciate I have the opportunity to have.

Our family have a lot of fun together, but we are always parents first because it’s our job to guide our children in this world.

Yes I do yell at my kids. Yes I do tell them off. But we also laugh a lot more than both of those things and for me that is just as important. Our family is full of fun and laughter, but with guidance inbetween.

What do you think? Parents first, friends second?

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When Morning Sickness Kicks Your A$$


(c) Can Stock Photo / Mark2121


 

With both of my pregnancies, I had bad morning sickness. Well, I would say it was bad, but compared to others it was probably a walk in the park.

Constant nausea and throwing up for the first 14 weeks.

It got worse the second time (when I was pregnant with Ronan) and I ended up having to take anti-nausea medication.

The first pregnancy I was working full time, and I found it hard to sit at a desk and concentrate when I felt so bad. I would often have to take trips to the toilet to go and throw up – all the while trying to keep it private as no one knew I was pregnant.

The second pregnancy, I was a Mother to a toddler. Chloe was around 15 months old when my morning sickness hit. It was rough. I am a full time mother and my daughter was never in any kind of care until Kindergarten.

Recently the Duke & Duchess of Cambridge have announced they’re pregnant with their third child. This brought a lot of warmth to my heart knowing this – not sure why but it did.

Britain’s Prince William, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George and Princess Charlotte arrive at a children’s party at Government House in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Wattie TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – D1BEUEDHETAB

I instantly thought about the fact that the Duchess was going to have hyperemesis gravidarum yet again.

Hyperemesis gravidarum is an extreme form of morning sickness where the symptoms are so severe, or last so long, that they are unable to keep down enough food and fluids to nourish themselves and their baby.

It’s not just “bad morning sickness”, it’s usually totally debilitating, and for some mothers, requires periods of hospitalisation and medication to manage the nausea.

I can’t even imagine what that’s like for ANY woman out there. Being pregnant is hard enough as it is, but to have something like this happen must be incredibly difficult.

And to then go on and have MORE children knowing this would happen again.

Major props to you ladies out there.

Did you have morning sickness or hyperemesis gravidarum? What was it like for you?

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The Perfect Parent


© Can Stock Photo / prawny

 


The Perfect Parent

There is no such thing as a “perfect parent”.

I see so many times online when someone writes a comment about how they do something different from others, and out of the woodwork comes the comment “oh here comes the perfect parents”. Or “perfect parent alert!”.

Nobody is perfect.

Everybody is just striving to do the best for their children and their family.

Exclusively breastfed? Not perfect, just doing their best.
Never has takeaways? Not perfect, just doing their best.
No TV during the day? Not perfect, just doing their best.
Washes their kids PJs every day. Not perfect, just doing their best.
Doesn’t allow their child to play on devices? Not perfect, just doing their best.
Able to afford things that others can’t? Not perfect, just doing their best.
Vacuums every day. Not perfect, just doing their best.
Doesn’t yell at their children? Not perfect, just doing their best.

We all live different lives, and have had completely different upbringings. This helps to shape us into the person we are today – defines our decisions we make as a parent.

That doesn’t make anyone “perfect”.

You can’t see what goes on behind the scenes of someone’s life. They might have a perceived one moment of “perfect parenting” but in fact they’re just regular like ALL of us.

If you flip the coin, the same goes for being a “shit parent”. Just because someone doesn’t do what other’s do, doesn’t make them a shit parent either.

Every single person (for the most part) is just doing their best, regardless of what anyone thinks.

Just because someone does it differently from you doesn’t make them any better or any worse than you – it pays to remember that before commenting online.

Have you been called a perfect parent? Or a shit parent?

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Regretting Motherhood Does Not Make You A Bad Mother


© Can Stock Photo / halfpoint

 


Regretting Motherhood Does Not Make You A Bad Mother

I read an article on The Sydney Morning Herald website about when women regret motherhood.

This happened to me when I first became a mother. Up until my baby was born, I couldn’t wait to be a Mum. In fact, I’d probably spent at least 10-15 years imagining myself as a Mother.

So when I had a baby, one of the things I really struggled with, was the fact that I was pretty sure I had made a mistake. A mistake that I couldn’t change or take back.

For a while, I did regret Motherhood.

Mainly because it wasn’t what I thought it would be. Nobody can really explain to anyone how hard it is. That first year when you pretty much get zero sleep, and are held to ransom by a child who can only communicate by crying.

Not everyone plans to be a Mother; to some it happens by accident. To others for reasons that are out of their control.

It is ok to regret Motherhood.

“When a woman tells you she regrets becoming a mother, she’s not telling you she dislikes her children. She’s telling you she dislikes the job. How many times have you worked with co-workers you loved but hated the job? It’s the same with motherhood but it’s a job no woman is allowed to quit.” (taken from the SMH article)

So many times you see in online forums where a Mum (or even a Dad because it’s just as hard for them too), complains about something to do with parenting and they get the cliched “why did you have children if you can’t handle it”

OR “shouldn’t have had children if you’re going to moan like this”

Just like the quote from the SMH article – when was that ever a helpful statement to make. If you’ve ever bitched and moaned about your job you should understand that it’s cathartic to get it out. It’s cathartic to say “actually some days I find it hard and I wish I could go back to the other job I had”.

It doesn’t make you a bad person.

To everyone out there who has struggled: you are not a bad Mum for regretting motherhood.

I say this a lot but each day something changes; your child does grow up. Every day life changes – it’s never the same. It might not get easier but you won’t have a screaming baby for 20 years (thank God!).

To everyone out there who HASN’T struggled: it always pays to check yourself before you comment online. Just because you haven’t experienced it, doesn’t mean you’re right and they’re wrong. Everyone experiences things differently in life and you should thank your lucky stars you didn’t have that additional struggle to deal with.

Have you ever regretted Motherhood?

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Stay At Home Mum vs Working Mum (NO, JUST NO)


© Can Stock Photo / Paha_L

 


Stay At Home Mum vs Working Mum

This was written because of my opinion piece about Kindergarten changes here in Auckland post. Some of the comments got me a bit down, and instead of getting angry or mad, I thought I’d set the record straight …

First things first – there should be absolutely NOTHING between stay at home Mums and working Mums ok?! FFS … it’s not a competition! It’s called reality!

If my Gran was around today (Stay At Home Mum to NINE children) she would think it was sad that parents had to go to work but would understand it was a reality now-a-days with the growing cost of living.

Let me be the first to say – I HATE it that people feel they need to justify their position. Heck, even I feel like I need to!

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I get a lot of grief as a SAHM because I’m “luckier than most” and I should be “grateful” to be in this position.

For starters – I am beyond grateful. RIDICULOUSLY grateful.

I am grateful to my husband for working his ass off to allow me to stay at home. If you follow me anywhere on Social Media you will have seen our house – we live in a 1970’s sh*tty house in South Auckland. Our walls aren’t even painted.

We have one car, and my husband bikes to work. Both of our parents help us out where they can.

I am also grateful to be in the position I am in with my wee business (Happy Mum Happy Child). Something that happened by pure chance and luck.

HOWEVER, yes, being a stay at home mum is a blessing, but it also has it’s downfalls – I felt like I never got a break. It’s a bit different now because the kids are older and starting to go to School / Kindy, but it was very difficult some days.

Most days when the kids were younger, I felt lost. I would envy my husband for being able to go to work and get away from it.

I’m sure my post natal depression was attributed to the fact I stayed at home.

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With regards to working parents – my heart goes out to them. I realise most parents would much prefer to be at home with their kids, but financial strains mean it’s not possible.

So you do what you do best as a parent – you work your ass off (just like Phil does). AND you feel BAD about it. You feel horrible compared to us SAHM’s because you think you’re not doing as good as you can. But honestly …

That doesn’t make you ANY less of a parent than anyone who stays at home.

But it doesn’t make you any better either, because we’re all the same.

We have the SAME GOALS in mind.

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We are all doing the best for our families; we want the best for our children and would sacrifice anything to achieve that. Whether it’s time with our kids, or our sanity.

Please don’t think you are any less of a parent because of your choice, because you’re not.

We love our children and our family; and would do anything for them. Your children LOVE you no matter what you do.

I’m over the working parents vs stay at home parents thing.

It’s not a thing. Don’t feel insecure with your choice as a parent (or the fact you didn’t have a choice).

And those of you who are in whatever position you are in – hold your tongue before you pass judgement on someone else. You NEVER know their back story or how much they struggle.

Just because I’m a SAHM doesn’t mean I have it easier than anyone else. Same goes for working parents. BOTH have their positives and negatives. BOTH struggle.

Please remember that we’re all in this together!

FOLLOW ME ON SNAPCHAT: happymumnz

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How To Survive The Day

 


How To Survive The Day

We all have those days (or weeks) where we just don’t know how we’re going to make it through. I’ve had it before and it’s seriously terrible: you have no one to turn to, no one to ask to help you out … you simply have to make it through until bedtime. It could be because you’re sick, or your kids are sick. Or perhaps you’re having a sh*t day mentally – either way, days where we want them to just be over happen to us all.

Here are some tips / tricks that I use to help me get through:

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BREATHE
Just breathe. Each day is a new day and what you’re feeling today you may not feel tomorrow.

TALK TO YOUR KIDS
I find honesty the best policy with everything in life – especially to your kids. I tell mine “Guys I’m not having a very good day today, can we please work together to get through”. Even if they’re too young to understand, sometimes it’s nice just to say those words.

EMBRACE WHAT YOU HAVE
Embrace the TV. Embrace the device. Embrace the mess … just embrace what you have. You are not ruining your child’s life by letting them watch TV / Netflix, or by letting the messy lounge remain messy until they go to bed.

GO FOR A WALK
You don’t have to go anywhere in particular: just walk in one direction for a few minutes and then back again. The fresh air will help not only you, but your kids too.

DO IT TOGETHER
Sit down and play with your kids and fully immerse yourself in their world. Play with lego, play with play dough – bake together. Even just sitting down and watching a movie together can be a great way to get through the day. Just STOP feeling like you have to do everything, and sit down with them. It can be a great way to help pass the time, and sometimes acts as a bit of a reset button.

TAKE TEN MINUTES
Kids can be relentless, so if you need ten minutes peace to have a coffee, or check Facebook or watch whatever; then you should be allowed it. Simply say to your kids “Mum needs a few minutes to herself – you guys play and I’ll come when I’ve finished my coffee”. Now we all know it’s never as simple as that but it’s good for your kids to know that you’re allowed a break too. I have to repeat myself a million times, but I get the time eventually.

REACH OUT FOR HELP
If you have friends with kids, or family – reach out to them. Ask them to pop over for a bit, or perhaps ask if you can visit them. It will help to break the day up and give you (and the kids) a well deserved distraction.

HAVE SOMETHING TO LOOK FORWARD TO
I know not all of you have this, but I look forward to when my husband comes home. 5.30pm and I’m clock watching ALL DAY for that moment. I also look forward to the weekend … and to a glass of wine. Perhaps you look forward to when the kids go to bed, or the day they’re at Daycare / Preschool / School. Whatever it is, having something to look forward to can be a great way to get through the day.

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Some days seem to swallow me whole and I’m clock watching the whole day, waiting for 530pm when my husband gets home. Or even 7pm for when the kids go to bed (if my husband is away). Some days are such a struggle.

Trying to remain positive is hard, but really is the key to getting through. Try and distract yourself and your kids.

The old saying “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” really does apply.

If you’re having a bad day, let me know below – how do you get through?

PIN ME AND SHARE THE LOVE:

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Things I Don’t Give A Sh*t About As A Mum

 


Things I Don’t Give A Sh*t About As A Mum

Completely and utterly inspired by Scary Mommy’s “8 Things I Don’t Give A Sh*t About As A Parent”. I didn’t agree with everything on the list, but it did have me giggling and made me think “what do I not give a sh*t about as a parent”. Here’s a few things I definitely don’t give a sh*t about …

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1. I don’t give a sh*t about feeding my kids healthy food all the time
Seriously, if it was that easy, I’d do it. My kids eat pretty damn well but I’m not ever going to deny them a treat. And by golly if a Kinder Surprise gets me through a shopping trip then I’m not only going to get it, I’m probably going to buy shares in the company too.

2. I don’t give a sh*t if their clothes have holes in them
A small hole in the knee of my kids’ clothes is not going to wreck the clothes. When I can see more skin than clothes, then it gets tossed.

3. I don’t give a sh*t if my house is a mess from 7am-7pm
As long as the house is clean when I go to bed and when I wake up, I don’t really care. The house rules are “clean up before you move onto the next activity”, and some days there are lots of things happening. And some days, I can’t be f’k cleaning up. Some days its quite liberating just leaving a mess – although you know it’s messy when the kids say “Whoa what happened to the house” …

4. I don’t give a sh*t about screen-time
We have a no tv rule during the week before school. But I understand after school the kids can get very very tired. Sometimes we all need to chill out – including myself! Some days I struggle to the point I want to leave the house – if putting a device in front of my child helps me to calm down for five minutes, then I’m going to do it.

5. I don’t give a sh*t about after-school activities
At this stage my kids are too young, but I can tell you without a doubt I will never pressure my kids to do activities outside of school UNLESS they specifically request it. There’s nothing worse in life than making someone do something they don’t want to do.

6. I don’t give a sh*t about having a clean car 
Seriously, my life is spent organising little people in and out of the car. If I could, at the same time, keep it clean I would. Somehow that car always ends up in a mess and I always look at it and think “why” or “how” …. and then I remember that the main goal is to never be in the car for an extended period of time with the kids – so we just usually bolt and run inside to escape from the lava monster … oh wait that’s the kids. Anyway … the car is always the last on my list of things to keep clean.

7. I don’t give a sh*t about coffee groups
They were just never for me. It doesn’t make me a bad parent for not wanting to partake in them, I was just never interested. I also never took my kids to playcentre either… *gasp*

8. I don’t give a sh*t about my kids not making their own lunches
I actually secretly love making the kids’ lunches. If they willingly want to do it, then great. Otherwise I LOVE DOING IT.

9. I don’t give a sh*t if my kids don’t have a bath every day
Some days as a Mum, I really do struggle. Bath time can be difficult with fights, so some days I just don’t do it. Do I care? Nope.

10. I don’t give a sh*t what other parents do
As long as their kids are fed and happy, IDGAF what anyone else does.

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Losing Yourself To Parenthood


© Can Stock Photo / mikeexpert


Losing Yourself To Parenthood

A Mum posted a question in my Parenting View Support Group saying that since becoming a mother, she has felt like she’s lost herself. Her post resonated so much with me that I wanted to write this post to remind myself AND you that it’s ok to feel like this.

Becoming a Mother (or Father) is life changing. The life you’ve lived before having children becomes a distant memory. You will never ever go back to that moment.

You will lose a part of yourself when you become a parent.

You won’t be able to do the things you used to, before becoming a Parent, but eventually you will be able to again. Time changes everything.

Parenthood won’t define you as a person, but it will teach you things you never thought you’d learn, and will open your eyes to so many new experiences.

You know what though? It’s all ok, because as I said above, time changes everything.

When I became a Mum, I struggled big time. In fact that’s one of the contributing factors to my struggle with depression – I struggled to come to terms with the fact that the life I had was over.

I didn’t have many friends before becoming a parent, so that much didn’t change, but everything else did: suddenly I had no idea who I was.

The older my kids got, the more I felt this. Until I started my Happy Mum Happy Child website. I feel like I have a bit more purpose in life now … but I am very aware that not everyone is in this situation.

So here are some tips from me to you, to help you find your feet in your new role in life:

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1. REMEMBER
Remember that nothing in life ever stays the same. Your children will grow up. Things do get easier, but they also get harder. Everything changes all the time – nothing is set in concrete especially the moment you’re living right now.

2. CONNECTIONS
If you don’t have many friends like myself, then join local pages on Facebook and reach out to others. Ask for someone to organise a catch up somewhere for coffee, in a child friendly environment. Talking to other adults will keep you grounded, and remind you that there are others out there who are in a very similar situation to you.

3. EYES OPEN
Keep your eyes and ears open for ANYTHING that takes your fancy in life. Your new role as a parent is actually a wonderful opportunity to grow yourself as a person. I found initially I had no idea what I liked or disliked, or what I wanted to do – so I just kept an open mind. Every time I did something that I enjoyed, I wrote it down. I started thinking about what I wanted to do, and what makes me happy – because I needed to try and figure out how to become me again.

4. YOUR PARTNER
If you have a partner, or even a close family member, please talk to them. You never know that they’re not feeling the same way as you, or understand how you’re feeling. A date night / night out without kids can do wonders for the soul and your relationship.

5. THE INTERNET
If you’re like me, playgroups, play centre, and interacting with others wasn’t really on my list of things to do. So I turned to the internet for comfort. There is nothing wrong with this. Facebook kept me in touch with friends, and groups kept me in contact with Mums. The internet made me feel less alone and for that I am grateful.

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Becoming a parent isn’t a death sentence and it’s important to remember that. As I said above, if you keep in your mind that you are looking for something to help define you, you will find it. Keep your eyes open. Connect with other Mums. ASK QUESTIONS. Find out what others are doing to keep themselves sane.

What kept me sane was providing my kids with activities which ultimately gave me a five minute break from them. Selfish, I know. But it’s the truth. I then decided to document those activities on the internet, and that’s how Happy Mum Happy Child started.

You never know where a single idea in life is going to take you. Don’t sell yourself short – you might be a parent, but you are still YOU.

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Things New Mums Need That Aren’t Baby Related


© Can Stock Photo / 4774344sean


THINGS THAT NEW MUMS NEED THAT AREN’T BABY RELATED

Reality is, when you become a Mother, you spend a lot of time sitting on the couch feeding a baby. When you’re not feeding they say you should sleep, but you know you’re going to be doing housework and wondering if your baby is ever going to stop feeding. We all know the baby essentials to get, but what about for the parents? Well here are some things that new Mums need that aren’t baby related:

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1. A Coffee Machine
You can get a pretty decent coffee machine now-a-days for under $100. When you’re in zombie mode (or mombie mode as they call it), it’s so nice to just push a couple of buttons and you have a coffee. Also if you get something like a Nescafe Dolce Gusto, it adds the milk so you’ll never mistake your regular milk for breast milk 😂

2. A Netflix Subscription
Being up all night constantly feeding a baby can be soul destroying – especially if you’ve never done it before. Netflix is the friend you never thought you’d need at 1.33am. Why not use all of the fabulous (not) extra time you have to smash out as many tv series/movies as possible.Being able to flick something on like Netflix is an absolute Godsend. If you’re thinking of a gift for a friend – get them a Netflix subscription. They’ll love you for it.

3. A Decent Vacuum Cleaner
Shit is going to get everywhere. EVERYWHERE. The older they get, the worse it is. And when you put your baby down on the floor for tummy time, you’re going to be down there looking at it all the time. Get a decent vacuum cleaner that will make you feel like a cleaning queen.

4. A Mobile Phone with Wifi
Along with Netflix, having a mobile phone that is connected to the internet is an absolute must in my mind. You can connect to Facebook and reach out to other adults. Being a parent can sometimes be very lonely, and having that connection when you’re unsure of what you’re doing; or when you’re feeling lonely, can be amazing.

5. Flexi Tubs
Flexi tubs will save your life. I’ve recently discovered them, but in the past have used something else. Flexi tubs are big enough to hold the washing, soak clothes, carry dry clothes, and store toys. They’re inexpensive, and well worth having several of. They’re also extremely durable – they work much better than your traditional washing basket!

6. A Nice Bottle of Wine
Heck even a bottom shelf bottle of wine will do (or beer, or sparkling wine) … its nice to have a wee drink to celebrate the fact you’ve just brought a baby into this world. And let’s be honest, some days are pretty rough and as parents it’s nice to have a chill out together.

7. Yummy Snacks
Whether you’re breastfeeding or bottle feeding – staying up and looking after a baby is tiring. Have some yummy snacks to keep you going and give you energy – stock up on chocolate, popcorn, energy balls, biscuits. Treat yourself.

8. Frozen Meals
Friends – prepare meals. Take them over and put them in the freezer. You have NO idea how valuable this is to a new parent. At the end of the day, you don’t even know which way is up; being able to reach into the freezer, and pull out a meal is the best thing in the world.

9. Dry Shampoo
Invest in it. It can make a shit day feel so much better – especially if you’re on day 3 of what feels like non-stop feeding and you haven’t had a chance to have a shower. Dry shampoo can make you feel like a new person.

10. Your Love And Understanding
All new Mums need love and understanding. Not judgement. Not criticism. Just love and understanding. Being a first-time-mum isn’t easy. You’ve gone from looking after yourself, to looking after another human being. It can be traumatic. It can be hard. So remember to be kind.

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What would you give to a new Mum that wasn’t baby related?

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How I Feel About My Kid Starting School


© Can Stock Photo / tobkatrina


How I Feel About My Kid Starting School

2017 marks the year my daughter will officially start at school. A few of you have asked how I feel about this, so I’m going to lay it out for you:

I’m fucking terrified.

I’m not terrified of me not having her at home, because she already goes to Kindergarten 5 days a week. My husband and I made the decision to send her to a Kindy to help prepare her for school. That was one of my biggest fears, and still is, that she isn’t ready for school.

I’m terrified that she’s not going to like school. I’m terrified that she’s going to struggle. I’m terrified she is going to be bullied.

I was bullied at school, and I remember it so vividly. Even the teachers were dicks to me because I wasn’t one of the “cool kids”. Some days (a lot of days) I dreaded going to school. It only really got better when I got to 5th Form (so old school I know) and we could actually choose subjects and the bullies went to study other things.

I realise that some things are a part of life: struggling is a part of life; but it still terrifies me to think my daughter might have to go through the shitty stuff. Especially the bullying.

I definitely think Chloe is ready to start school. Her school visits went really well, and although being in a new situation is scary for her, I know that the school she is going to be great. I am not worried about her in the classroom at al, as the teachers are amazing.

I am determined not to have my fears put on my daughter, and I would never verbalise them to her, but it still terrifies me for her.

I don’t even know if that makes sense, but that’s how I feel about my kid starting school.

How did you feel about your kids starting school?

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