Category: Blog

My Time On Social Media

 

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My Time On Social Media

I’ve decided to draw a line in the sand when it comes to social media and my family.

I know this sounds weird, but I spend a shit tonne of time online. I mostly do it when my kids are occupied, or not needing me; but from time to time I definitely use it when I shouldn’t be.

So I’m drawing a line in the sand.

I wake up at 430am, and from then until 630am is ME TIME. I can do whatever I want in terms of watching Netflix / being on the internet.

From then (630am) until 9am, my time is my family’s. Unless you follow me on Snapchat (happymumnz) and then I might occasionally post a picture of me making my kids lunches, etc.

While the kids are in Kindy / School obviously I can do whatever I want, however from 3pm until 4-5pm, this time is also my kids.

Because once 4-5pm hits, I’m cooking dinner so I’m away from them anyway and they’re usually doing their own thing.

Again, I realise this is common sense to most, but as a heavy user of the internet it’s easy to get into a habit of constantly checking my social media accounts, and feeling like I need to respond to everyone.

Why even bother telling us Maria, just do whatever you want” – I totally get it. However if I keep quiet for an hour or so, I often get inundated with messages asking me if I’m ok.

You might notice posts going up on Facebook during this time, but believe me when I say these will be scheduled. When I wake up at 430am, I start my day looking through the internet … this is when I look what to post.

My family mean the world to me and I don’t want to be remembered as the Mum who was always on the computer / phone.

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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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Emma’s Food Bag Giveaway – Snapchat Entry

As you probably know by know, we (myself, No Filter Mum and Hanging With The Hays) are giving away an amazing Christmas Day prize – $298 worth of food from Emma’s Food Bag!

Entry from me is on my FACEBOOK PAGE.

And if you have a Snapchat, simply be following me (my username is happymumnz) and fill out the below form:

Remember: delivery is NOT nationwide. If you live in Auckland, the Waikato, or Bay of Plenty then you’re fine. If you live outside of these areas but know of someone who lives there and can accept delivery on your behalf, that’s also fine. Delivery areas are here: emmasfoodbag.co.nz/delivery-area

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New Australian Series “The Letdown” Needs To Be Aired HERE

 

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New Australian Series “The Letdown” Needs To Be Aired HERE

You might have seen a clip from the new Australian series called “The Letdown” :

That’s just ONE clip from the series and I’m already hooked!

It is a comedy about parenting for the first time, and the Aussie series is every bit as real and relatable as it is laugh-worthy. Not only is it funny but it shows the darker side of parenting, which a lot of us simply don’t see anymore in a TV show …

Here’s a few snippets:

AND

They’re up to episode three already and I hope like heck we have bought the rights to air it here because WE NEED TO SEE IT!!

And also, if they need some random to make a cameo, I’d be happy to do so LOOOOOL

Have you heard of The Letdown? Or have you seen it? What do you think?!

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Christmas Is Coming

 

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Christmas is Coming

Christmas is my FAVOURITE time of the year. I love every single thing about it.

I love the terribly annoying music, the impossibly early decorations, and all of the lights. OH THE LIGHTS!!

Most of all though, I love being with my family and seeing the joy when they get to open a gift. I feel very blessed to be in a position where my children can have gifts.

Did you know there are SIX more Mondays until Christmas folks. HOLY SMOKES!!!

Even though I brought the kids presents six months ago (during The Warehouse’s mid year toy sale), I still am on the hunt for a few last little bits and pieces.

I’ve trawled through my favourite sites and found their online catalogues for you to look through. You can buy most of this stuff online, but in some instances you will have to go in store.

I’ve got Kmart, The Warehouse, Farmers, and Whitcoulls. Grab a cup of coffee and get browsing!

Click on the image to access the catalogue and you can shop directly off it! SCORE!

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So there ya go! Get shopping / saving / bookmarking.

Have you done your Christmas shopping yet?

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Private Or Public? IDGAF

 


Private Or Public? IDGAF

I recently saw Constance Hall’s post about how she said she was afraid about giving birth in a public hospital, and I saw that she received a lot of backlash about it.

Namely people were saying that they thought she was too good for public health and then those people raved about their own amazing public hospital birth experiences.

For starters, let me just say how incredibly unfair that is to Constance, or ANYONE who does things slightly different than the norm.

I did a big sigh before I wrote this because I get sick of this attitude. The type of attitude where people think others are better than them, or think “she thinks she’s better than us”.

That’s not true.

And if it is, who cares!?!?!

If I want to go and have a baby in a private hospital, that’s my business. It doesn’t make me better than you, it means I have a choice and it’s one I’ve made.

Did you know I had an Obstetrician rather than a midwife?

I made this decision after talking to my Mum, who had had a horrible experience with a midwife and refused to let me go with one; she also knew about my experience with anxiety.

She felt so let down by her midwife at the time, and most definitely didn’t want that happening to me; although she realised that could obviously happen with an OB. So she helped me pay for one. I also had Health Insurance for my pregnancy with Ronan.

I did, however, birth publicly at Middlemore in Auckland for both of my pregnancies and I loved it BOTH times.

This doesn’t make me BETTER than anyone, I simply made a choice to go with someone else.

Just because I have parents who are able to help me out, doesn’t mean I am better than you.

We all have different experiences in life, but it doesn’t make us better OR worse than anyone else.

It just makes us different.

I would never in a MILLION YEARS think I was better than anybody. If anything, I criticise myself and think I’m LESS than everyone, ya know?

I know there are lot of people out there who don’t have a choice; who don’t have the money or insurance to afford any kind of different care, but again … that doesn’t mean anyone is better than anyone else.

IT JUST MAKES US DIFFERENT.

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Nowhere On The Internet Is Safe For Our Kids


Nowhere On The Internet Is Safe For Our Kids

This afternoon I was approached by Seven Sharp and asked to be interviewed about a news piece to do with YouTube and kids.

You can watch the piece here:

They also followed it up with this video from me with some tips for parents about helping your kids when it comes to devices and what they’re watching:

I really want to let you know that nothing is safe on the internet. Not even YouTube Kids.

If you truly want to make sure your children aren’t exposed to any nasties on the internet, don’t let them have access; it’s that simple.

Although as a heavy internet user myself (and my husband is too), we made a decision early on to let our kids use it from time to time.

If you’re happy with your kids being on devices but are worried about what they’re watching, you can set up the settings on your device to lock out certain apps, or connect to the internet (depending on what you’re wanting them to do).

Stuff Fibre has a special program called “SafeZone” which works in behind your internet connection. You can set specific websites, apps and programs not to be allowed access when connected to the internet.

Every parent is different, but I like to make sure I am within earshot of my children when they’re on devices too. I can usually always hear what they’re watching and if they ever stumbled across something that didn’t sound right, I’d be right there to move them onto something else; or remove the device from them altogether.

Ultimately it’s up to you, the parent, to police this. It’s important you are aware that nowhere is safe on the internet, and you need to be the gatekeeper if you can.

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Stop Saying Fathers Can’t Get Post-Natal Depression – Because You’re Wrong

 


Stop Saying Fathers Can’t Get Post-Natal Depression 

I’ve seen it said more and more frequently online … “the Dad just needs to harden up“.

or “Dad’s can’t get Post-Natal Depression – only Mothers can“; or “it’s a women’s hormones that are out of wack, men can’t get it“; or even “it’s POST NATAL which means it’s only for women“.

For starters, you’re wrong. Men CAN get post-natal depression.

In fact, 1 in 10 men, who are Fathers, suffer from post-natal depression.

The definition of “post-natal” is “relating to or denoting the period after childbirth“. This does not mean woman OR man; simply a period in time.

Depression is sometimes triggered by emotional and stressful events – and having a baby can definitely be both of those. The increased pressures of fatherhood, more financial responsibility, changes in relationships and lifestyle, combined with a lack of sleep and an increased workload at home, may all affect a new dad’s mental wellbeing. Concern about their partner is another worry for new fathers.

You can read more about Fathers and Depression HERE on the pada.nz website.

Just because the man didn’t birth the child, does not mean becoming a parent is any less traumatic, or overwhelming.

The same stigma surrounding post-natal depression for women, is there for men. In some instances it’s worse for men because most people assume (incorrectly) that men can’t get PND.

My biggest piece of advice for ANY parent who is really struggling, is to talk about it. Talk to anyone you feel comfortable with, and if you feel you can take the step, definitely chat to your GP.

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COMMON SYMPTOMS IN FATHERS

Post-Natal depression symptoms in Fathers can be very similar to those experienced by Mums who experience depression:

  • Feeling very low, or despondent, that life is a long, grey tunnel, and that there is no hope. Feeling tired and very lethargic, or even quite numb. Not wanting to do anything or take an interest in the outside world.
  • Feeling a sense of inadequacy or unable to cope.
  • Feeling guilty about not coping, or about not loving their baby enough.
  • Being unusually irritable, which makes the guilt worse.
  • Wanting to cry/crying a lot or even constantly.
  • Having obsessive and irrational thoughts which can be very scary.
  • Loss of appetite, which may go with feeling hungry all the time, but being unable to eat.
  • Comfort eating.
  • Having difficulty sleeping: either not getting to sleep, waking early, or having vivid nightmares.
  • Being hostile or indifferent to their partner and/or baby.
  • Having panic attacks, which strike at any time, causing a rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms and feelings of sickness or faintness.
  • Having an overpowering anxiety, often about things that wouldn’t normally bother them, such as being alone in the house.
  • Having difficulty in concentrating or making decisions.
  • Experiencing physical symptoms, such as headaches.
  • Having obsessive fears about baby’s health or wellbeing, or about themselves and other members of the family.
  • Having disturbing thoughts about harming themselves or their baby.
  • Having thoughts about death.

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WHERE TO GET HELP

YOUR LOCAL GP
Talk to your local GP.  I found my local GP to be absolutely amazing and he asked me a specific list of questions which determined where I sat on the depression scale – this will be the same for a Father. We then discussed the different options of dealing with my PND, and what it meant for myself and my family. It was not a forgone conclusion that I would go on medication – that was ultimately my decision.

PLUNKET NURSE OR MIDWIFE
If you feel like you can chat to your Plunket Nurse or Midwife, then I suggest you do so. Often they are a wealth of knowledge and worth chatting to.

MENTAL HEALTH FOUNDATION
The Mental Health Foundation website is a great source of information for EVERYONE with concerns. They help to spread mental health awareness.

GREAT FATHERS
Great Fathers is a website with a huge amount of information for new Dads.

FATHER & CHILD
Father & Child is a great website with a huge amount of resources for Fathers.

PADA
The Perinatal Anxiety Depression Aotearoa organisation is a wonderful website full of information designed to eliminate the stigma surrounding depression and mental health.

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IF YOU NEED HELP OF ANY KIND:

  • 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 www.whatsup.co.nz.
  • 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).

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Post-Natal Depression Awareness Week

 


Post-Natal Depression Awareness Week

This week (5-12th November) is Perinatal Awareness Week here in New Zealand. Some call it Post-Natal Depression week, but I’m going to say Perinatal because it covers more than just depression.

Perinatal covers the period from conception until 2 years old and can be anything from anxiety, to depression, to psychosis.

As most of you know, I have struggled with depression for a long time now. When Chloe was 6 months old I finally reached out and got help.

You can check out my original post about my struggles HERE.

Today I was invited onto The AM Show to chat with Duncan Garner, Amanda Gillies and Mark Richardson. It was really great to chat to all three about parenting struggles – both for the Mother AND Father.

10% of men experience depression after a child is born; it’s a good reminder that Perinatal depression isn’t solely for Mums.

ANYWAY … see below a link to an article on the News Hub website. The video of my chat with The AM Show is in here:

‘Something in your head has flipped a switch’ – post-natal depression awareness week

As many as one in five expecting or new mums suffer from depression in New Zealand, and the issue is being highlighted this week for Post-Natal Depression Week. Parenting blogger and post-natal depression sufferer Maria Foy told the AM Show she realised something was wrong when her daughter was six months old and she found herself on the floor crying, thinking terrible thoughts, considering harming herself.

Thank you to the Mediaworks team for inviting me to be on The AM Show and thank you to the hosts for making me feel comfortable to chat about a topic I am very passionate about.

The more we talk about Depression, the less stigma there is about it.

Don’t forget you can still buy tickets to the High Tea fundraiser down in Wellington on Sunday 12th November. I’ll be there, along with Jude Dobson and Emily Writes chatting about our struggles and raising funds for the Perinatal Anxiety Depression Aotearoa Organisation.

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Netflix Shows You Must Binge Watch

 


Netflix Shows You Must Binge Watch

I always find that once I’ve finished a really good series, I feel lost. Like a really good friend isn’t coming back anymore – it’s call the “binge-watching effect” and it’s where you were excited to watch a series and it’s suddenly over.

Well have no fear! I’ve put a list together of shows I’ve watched to help you continue your binge-watching addiction.

These are all recommendations by myself as I am a huge Netflix fan. You can catch me most mornings on my Snapchat (happymumnz) watching Netflix whilst writing a blog. Or at the end of the day (if I can stay awake) with my husband once the kids go to bed.

We LOVE a good series and Netflix is not short of them. So here’s the Netflix shows you must binge watch:

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NETFLIX SHOW IMDB RATING
Rick & Morty 9.4 /10
House of Cards 9.0 /10
Stranger Things 8.9 /10
Narcos 8.9 /10
Black Mirror 8.9 /10
Arrested Development 8.9 /10
Making A Murderer 8.7 /10
Daredevil 8.7 /10
Luther 8.6 /10
Ozark 8.4 /10
13 Reasons Why 8.4 /10
The Originals 8.3 /10
Bates Motel 8.2 /10
American Horror Story 8.2 /10
Orange Is The New Black 8.2 /10
The Blacklist 8.1 /10
Bloodline 8.1 /10
Travelers 8.0 /10
The Vampire Diaries 7.8 /10
The OA 7.8 /10
Riverdale 7.8 /10
Arrow 7.8 /10
Santa Clarita Diet 7.7 /10
Pretty Little Liars 7.6 /10

 

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I have watched all of the above (AND MORE!) and love each and every single one of them.

Do you have a TV series that you love that I haven’t listed above? Let me know below!

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