Category: Being a Mum

I Suck At Playing With My Kids


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.


I Suck At Playing With My Kids

Those First Few Hours


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


The Lowdown: Pooping During Childbirth



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.


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.


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!


Days When I Just Don’t Cope


Days When I Just Don’t Cope


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?!”.


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”.


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?


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.


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Open to New Zealand residents only. Closes 14.11.17.


Admitting You Have PND Doesn’t Mean You’re Weak – It Means You’re Strong


Admitting You Have PND Doesn’t Mean You’re Weak – It Means You’re Strong

There’s never a right or wrong time to talk about depression; in fact the more we talk about it, the less stigma there is about it.

Having Post Natal Depression does not mean you are weak.

Admitting you have Post Natal Depression does not mean you are weak.

In fact, it’s the exact opposite.

Admitting it is the first step, and is an incredibly brave thing to do. It basically means you’ve been struggling for so long you can no longer do it alone; and need help.

Whether you take medication or not, to start on the path to becoming yourself again, means you are an incredibly strong and brave Mother (or Father!) for looking after yourself.

Happy, healthy Mum/Dad = happy, healthy baby AND family.

Even though a lot of people will say that their baby or their children are everything to them, and that they should be the number 1 focus; I wholly believe the parents should actually be the number 1 focus.

You can’t parent properly if you don’t look after yourself.

You are a better parent when you look after yourself, and having PND takes a piece of you away.

In my instance, it turned me into someone that wasn’t me.

When I admitted to myself, my husband and my doctor, that something wasn’t right, I felt like I had truly taken a step in the right direction.

I took medication from when my daughter was six months old, right through my next pregnancy; and now 3 years on, I am still on it. In fact, I am sure I just have depression now as my youngest is 3 years old.

Taking medication, for me, was the best decision I ever made.

Whatever decision you make, just know that you are incredibly strong and brave for doing it. Whether you have support or not – talking to someone about your struggles is truly an amazing step.

Whatever anyone says to you about you being any less of a person for having a mental illness, believe me when I say you are more than they will ever be.

Because you have struggled and come out the other side. Admitting it is the first step to coming out that side, which means you’re a wonderful person.

WELL DONE TO YOU! You are braver than you know.

If you’d like to read more about my struggles with Depression, here are some posts I’ve written:

If you’re in Auckland, would love you to come along to the PADA High Tea Event in Auckland on the 11th November. Tickets are $50 and you will be treated to a High Tea and bubbles, and get to come and hang out with myself, Emily Writes, Jude Dobson and other amazing women who have struggled with depression. The event is held yearly to raise funds for the Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Aoteroa Organisation.

Check out the event here.


Here are some more links if you need to get help, of any kind in New Zealand: 

  • Lifeline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 354
  • Depression Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 111 757
  • Healthline (open 24/7) – 0800 611 116
  • Samaritans (open 24/7) – 0800 726 666
  • Suicide Crisis Helpline (open 24/7) – 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO). This is a service for people who may be thinking about suicide, or those who are concerned about family or friends.
  • Youthline (open 24/7) – 0800 376 633. You can also text 234 for free between 8am and midnight, or email [email protected]
  • 0800 WHATSUP children’s helpline – phone 0800 9428 787 between 1pm and 10pm on weekdays and from 3pm to 10pm on weekends. Online chat is available from 7pm to 10pm every day at
  • Kidsline (open 24/7) – 0800 543 754. This service is for children aged 5 to 18. Those who ring between 4pm and 9pm on weekdays will speak to a Kidsline buddy. These are specially trained teenage telephone counsellors.
  • Your local Rural Support Trust – 0800 787 254 (0800 RURAL HELP)
  • Alcohol Drug Helpline (open 24/7) – 0800 787 797. You can also text 8691 for free.
  • For further information, contact the Mental Health Foundation’s free Resource and Information Service (09 623 4812).

If you’re in Australia, here are the links for you:


My Friends Help Me Be A Better Parent


My Friends Help Me Be A Better Parent

I don’t have a lot of super close friends. I never have, and never will – although funnily enough, having a large audience on social media does make me feel like my friendship circle has increased a lot.

However, even at school my close friends could be counted on my hand. As I grew older, and moved through different stages in my life, the people who I classed as close friends still existed but moved on to do other things in life.

So my friends changed too.

I have now got a couple of amazing friends, who over the last year, have helped me to be a better parent; and I don’t even think they realise they’re doing it.


The last time I had friends like this, I was at High School. You know the ones – where you would chat every day on the phone for hours.

The way we chat has changed, but it’s effectively still the same thing.

While the kids are at school, we have a group chat that we talk in all day long. If we need some support of any kind, then the group “chat” becomes a video chat.

And this is where things really change.

Because we chat through video, we get an insight into each other’s lives; including how we parent our children.

I have seen my friends parent their children, and it’s actually a truly wonderful thing to be able to do.

Because it made me realise I actually am a normal mother; who parents pretty normally.

It’s so easy to get caught up in my own bubble where I criticise myself over every decision I make as a parent, and forget that others are out there doing the same thing.

When you get a glimpse of someone parenting – TRULY PARENTING – it really changes things.

We see parents at the supermarket, or out in public, and they’re parenting. But more often than not that isn’t REAL parenting. I mean, it is, but it’s more of a facade.

I know when I’m out in public I don’t parent the same way as if I was at home – mainly because I try to make it look like I’m a sane person and not a batsh*t crazy mum.

But when all of that facade crumbles away, and you’re suddenly with friends, in an environment where everyone feels comfortable; that’s when the magic happens.

That’s when you see what it’s like for them when they have screaming kids, or when their kids do something “naughty”.

Or you see what it’s like when their kids push them to the brink of insanity.

I have seen these moments with my friends, and by golly I feel so much less alone now after actually having seen it.

I wish all of us could get some insight into how other people parent, because it’s wonderfully encouraging to know that none of us are actually doing it wrong.

So the way my friends help me be a better parent, is by feeling relaxed enough to be themselves. I feel absolutely privileged to have them in my lives and to see that we are all the same: struggling with the day-to-day grind of parenthood.

Having the clarity of this really helps me relax more as a parent. And that’s good for everyone.

Nobody likes uptight Maria LOL.


School Trips & The Emotional Child


School Trips & The Emotional Child

My 5 year old has always been an emotional child, which isn’t a bad thing; but can be very stressful at times (for us all).

Most days, when I’d drop her off at Kindergarten, she would cry and not want me to leave. After about 6 months she got used to the fact that I’d leave and would be ok; but every now-and-then would get quite upset.

However, when I helped out on Kindy trips she would take a step backwards.

She would become clingy and not interact with others, and she would wear her emotions on her sleeve.

Now I know this is normal, because children feel way more relaxed around their own parents, so that I understand. However, I feel bad because it actually hinders her social-ness (if that makes sense). Because she just wants to be with me, and doesn’t play with anyone else.

She also gets incredibly upset at the smallest of things – and if I wasn’t around, she wouldn’t get upset.

So I started backing away from these types of trips, because ultimately I feel she would have more fun if I wasn’t around.

Now that she’s moved on from Kindergarten to School, I am hesitant to put myself forward to help out because again I don’t want to be the reasons she doesn’t have fun.

Has anyone else experienced this? What happened / what did you do to handle it?



Confessions of a Mum (Part 2)


Confessions of a Mum (Part 2)

Being a parent has it’s challenges; and sometimes when it’s particularly challenging I can do some weird stuff. Or at least the house rules go out the window.

Here are some more confessions I have:

  1. Sometimes I sneak into my kids rooms early in the morning, and change their Sleep Training Clocks to a different time, in the hopes they will sleep longer.
  2. Sometimes I wear the same clothes two days in a row
  3. My car is usually a complete mess
  4. I tried the “cry it out” method and failed miserably. Almost an hour of crying and it broke me.
  5. My kids eat Nutella
  6. I get bored with imaginery play
  7. Twice I’ve forgotten to buckle Chloe into her carseat and SHE has said “Mum you forgot to put my belt on”. Bless her.
  8. I look forward to the days when the kids are at school / kindy at the same time
  9. I worry all the time about the world my children are growing up in
  10. I wake up early to have time to myself before my kids wake up
  11. I give my kids Kinder Surprise Eggs as a treat
  12. Most weeks I don’t put the clean clothes away – I just let them sit in the laundry basket
  13. I don’t wash my kids PJs every day (or every second day)
  14. I don’t “make” the kids’ beds the traditional way – I actually pull back the sheets each morning to air the bed out
  15. When my kids were screaming at each other, I turned around and screamed at them (like literally screamed because that’s what they were doing) and it gave them such a fright that they never did it again
  16. I don’t vacuum the house every day
  17. The two second rule (about food on the floor) has been extended to five minutes before
  18. Sometimes to get out of the house (without actually piling into the car) we walk to the dairy and get a treat
  19. Spaghetti on toast has been dinner a few times
  20. When Phil (my husband) goes away, sometimes I let the kids sleep in my bed so I’m not so lonely
  21. We use white bread
  22. Sometimes I buy toys for my kids but really they’re for me to play with
  23. My kids have never watched the Wiggles
  24. I did not enjoy the newborn phase of my children’s life – I much prefer the infant / toddler
  25. Even though I have a whole section on Activities For Kids, I dislike doing activities with my kids. Specifically play dough …
  26. I banned my children from watching Horrid Henry on YouTube because his horrible antics (whilst funny) were encouraging them to behave negatively.
  27. When my kids aren’t looking, sometimes I throw out toys that annoy me

To check out Part 1 of my Confessions of a Mum, click here.

Do you have a confession to make?


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.


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.


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?


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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