Category: Parenting

Glow Dreaming Review

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Before I launch into my review, I just need to give a little background information as to why I got sent the Glow Dreaming unit.

My 6 year old had a lot of trouble winding down at the end of the day. She’d had this issue for maybe 6-8 months. I’d put her to bed at 8pm, and by 9pm she’s still coming out and making excuses as to why she wasn’t asleep.

I KNEW this was affecting her the next day and honestly had no idea what to do.

This was when Fiona from Sleepytot sent me a Glow Dreaming to use.

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WHAT IS IT?
The Glow Dreaming is the world’s most successful sleep aid. It sits next to your child’s bed and has the following features:

Light Therapy – The red LED light used by Glow Dreaming combats the damage caused to our sleeping patterns by technology, helping reset our internal clocks. Red spectrum light has been scientifically proven to help tell our bodies it’s time for sleep – it stimulates melatonin production (which is the natural sleep hormone). It is the same technology used by NASA for their astronauts.

Slow Wave Sleep Sound Therapy – Utilises what’s called Pink Noise. This is commonly found in nature, in things like waterfalls, rain and thunder. This frequency was recreated but in a unique rhythm and timing so that it helps cause drowsiness and gets us to fall into a state of sleep. This is the sleep you go into when you go past dreaming. It is the most restful and best type of sleep.

Humidifier – The humidifier makes breathing easier, improves comfort and has been proven to reduce the risk of cold and flu’s. It is ideal for children who snore, have asthma or get sick often.

Twinkle Star – Using only medicinal grade organic essential oils Twinkle Star relaxes and calms even the most active child helping their bodies and minds get ready for sleep.

It also has safety features: with cool-mist technology, Glow Dreaming produces a cool touch mist with the entire unit being always safe to touch. It also has an auto switch off function – so you don’t have to worry about it being on all day.

It is suitable for babies (8 weeks +) all the way up to fully fledged adults.

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MY EXPERIENCE
At first the whole thing seemed complicated and I was a little nervous I wouldn’t understand how it worked; but it is actually very straight forward.

The Glow Dreaming went straight into my daughter’s bedroom and next to her bed. They say to have it less than 1 meter away, just so that when using the humidifier it actually has an affect.

I explained what I was doing, with Chloe, so that she understood it was to help her get to sleep.

That night we continued our nightly routine as usual – toilet, brush teeth, read a book and then bed. Except this time I added in the Glow Dreaming.

I switched on the sound therapy, light therapy and the aromatherapy part of the unit – I wanted to relax all of her senses.

Amazingly she fell asleep within the first 10-15 minutes.

I thought this was a fluke, so just kept using it and it’s now been almost a week and she has fallen asleep within 10-20 minutes each night. NOT TAKING AN HOUR LIKE IT USED TO!

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THINGS TO KNOW
All good things take time – I know my child responded straight away to it, but the Glow Dreaming team say that on average it takes 6-10 nights to see significant changes in sleep behaviour. On the first few nights you may see a regression as your child adapts to the new exciting addition to their space.

The Glow Dreaming comes with instructions that were kind of helpful but I still had trouble (HA!). So Sleepytot also sent me this Glow Dreaming Tips file.

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WHERE TO BUY
You can get your Glow Dreaming from Sleepytot New Zealand. It’s not cheap, but they have Part Pay (which is a layby type system). This allows you to have the product, whilst paying it off over 6 weeks.

I want to thank Fiona from Sleepytot for sending me the Glow Dreaming for Chloe. It really has helped her to get to sleep better and I would recommend this to anyone who is struggling.


Glow Dreaming Review

Why Nuts Aren’t Banned In All Schools

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The other day when I shared an image of my daughter’s lunchbox, that my husband had put together, I was actually surprised at the number of people who said “why is she allowed nuts” or “I thought nuts would be banned at school”.

My son, who is 4 and at Kindergarten, is not allowed nuts in his lunchbox, or kiwifruit, because of allergies. A Kindergarten is one giant classroom and children are more likely to share lunches, or at least come into contact with them.

However at my daughter’s school, the policy around nuts is classroom dependant. This is because they eat with their class, and not just anywhere at the school.

So last year, and this year, she just happens to be in a class where children had no nut/food allergies. So she was fine to take whatever she wanted, including nuts.

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A few people in the comments were upset at the thought that there could be a child who was allergic to nuts and felt that EVERYONE should be nut-free just in case that child was affected.

I personally don’t believe that to be necessary, and Allergy New Zealand agrees as well.

Allergy New Zealand acknowledges that there has been a jump in food allergies in young children, and knows more schools are now implementing bans.

Inga Stunzner (Allergy NZ spokeswoman) has said blanket food bans could do more harm than good by giving allergy sufferers and teachers a false sense of security and cocooning young people from the real world.

Children with allergies need to develop the skills to survive once they’re out of school. When you put bans in place, you’re not allowing the child to develop those skills.”

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Each school will have it’s own policy. Some will not allow nuts, whilst others will, and in some instances (like ours) each classroom may also have it’s own rules depending.

If you are concerned, check out these 10 tips for when your child starts school (this is taken from the Health Navigator New Zealand website):

  1. Notify the school about your child’s allergy as early as possible. Be clear about which foods or other allergens may trigger an anaphylactic reaction.
  2. Provide the school with a written diagnosis and an individual management plan from your treating doctor. This should include details of prescribed medications such as adrenaline or antihistamines.
  3. Supply necessary medication and ensure it is clearly labelled, stored correctly and kept up to date. Ensure an adrenaline auto-injector (such as an EpiPen®) travels with the child at all times between home and the classroom; while a second, back-up unit is stored in an unlocked cupboard in the school office.
  4. Visit the school and enquire about any other potential risks. For example, are children exposed to food allergens during cooking and craft lessons? What can the school do to reduce the risk of insect stings?
  5. Ensure teachers and other staff are aware of prevention strategies and ensure they are implemented. Especially plan ahead for special events such as excursions, sports days and parties.
  6. Work with the school to develop an emergency action plan. Ensure appropriate staff members are trained and confident to administer medications.
  7. Teach your child from a young age not to accept food from others. Provide a lunchbox that is clearly labelled and remind them not to trade food with friends.
  8. Be creative in providing safe food treats for your child. Ask the school to store some of your cupcakes in the staff room freezer so your child can join in with birthday celebrations.
  9. Encourage your child to become independent. Remind them to always take their medication to school. It can be kept in an insulated lunch bag, together with a copy of the emergency action plan.
  10. Record and check expiry dates of auto-injectors used at school and at home and ensure each unit is replaced prior to expiry.

You know your child best and if they have an allergy, you will know what needs to be done. If you don’t, talk to the school!

If you DON’T have a child with an allergy, make sure you familiarise yourself with the school’s policies around what you can and can’t take to school.

What do you think? Do you think nuts should be banned in all schools?


Why Nuts Aren’t Banned In All Schools

Kids Chores Around The Kitchen

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I get asked a lot “when should I start letting my kids help out around the house”, and my answer always is “when you think they can do it“.

I don’t necessarily think there’s a set time at which a bell rings and suddenly they can do stuff. I think each child is different, and will be able to do different things at different stages.

Often the reason a child doesn’t do something is because you don’t think they’re ready. Heck, I’m exactly like that.

However, after seeing my kids at Kindergarten, I certainly know I underestimate how much they can actually do.

I’ve seen my kids sweeping, tidying up, cleaning, putting toys away, nailing nails into a board, sawing a board with a saw … SO MANY THINGS.

Pretty sure they figured out how to put socks on while at Kindy HAHA

Anyway, this got me thinking what they could start doing around the house so I did a bit of research. I saw some amazing suggestions and decided to put together my own list. This includes things I think my children can do as well:

Click to download OR pin to PINTEREST to save for later:

 

Do your kids help around the kitchen? What do they do?


Kids Chores around the kitchen

One Thing Not To Say When A Mum Asks For Advice

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Too many times I have seen a Mum (usually a first-time-Mum) ask for advice about a certain situation, and the response from people is “mind your own business”.

For the most part, this is usually related to an incident where the Mother is worried about another child that isn’t their own; or a friend who is a parent.

As a new Mum it can be very confusing when you have no idea what’s normal and what isn’t. You’re struggling to deal with your own stuff and then you come across a situation that causes you concern.

Do you confront the person? Do you ignore it? What happens if something was affecting a child, what to do then?

It’s hard to know what to do and most of us don’t want to offend anyone, so we ask the question to a group of people.

What do I do?” …

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For starters, there really is no need to say “mind your own business” to anyone asking a legitimate question. Saying “oh I don’t think you need to worry about that” is a much kinder way of saying it.

When you’re in an online situation, text is often misinterpreted as “tone” is removed.

So saying “I wouldn’t worry about it“, acknowledges the question and reassures the Mother. “Mind your own business” is often used as an attack, so automatically has negative connotations. It’s cutting the person off and is almost a put down; which is not helpful at all.

Even in situations where it’s very clear the Mum should just stay in her own lane and not be concerned about someone else, doesn’t really need to have “mind your own business” said.

Saying “I don’t think you should be concerned by that” is a much kinder way of approaching it.

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In my opinion, it really does take a village to raise a child. Whether that village is in real life, or online – support is needed for every parent or person.

Given New Zealand’s ridiculously high child abuse statistics, the whole “minding your own business” malarky does not help.

If you are concerned about something you have seen, you have every right to question it, and if you aren’t sure how to approach the person (or situation), then ASK.

Ask your friends, ask your parents, ask a group of strangers on the internet.

Ask until you feel confident that you either a) don’t need to worry about it, or b) move forward and perhaps address the situation.


One Thing Not To Say When A Mum Asks For Advice

Research Shows You Can’t Spoil A Baby

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Before I launch into it, please remember this is just my opinion based on research I’ve done. You can all do whatever you want as a parent, because ultimately you are the parent and you know what works best for you and your baby …

I struggled hugely with parenting and becoming a Mother, but my instincts told me that although I needed sleep, and felt like I needed to do the laundry; my child’s sleep and well-being was more important than any of that.

So I let my child sleep on me during the day, and tried my best to get them to sleep in their own bassinet at night (although we know that doesn’t always work out, so she ended up sleeping on me anyway).

We didn’t co-sleep, instead I had a rocking chair we would snuggle into.

Ronan (my second child) slept on me more than my first, because with my first I had no idea what I was doing. However that didn’t stop the comments from coming in …

Don’t let her sleep on you, she’ll form a habit and it’ll be hard to break – you’re spoiling her

That baby is manipulating you by crying, they know you will pick them up when they cry

Don’t give her a dummy, she needs to learn to self settle by herself

These are all comments that were said to me when I had a newborn baby right up until she was a year old. Basically telling me that not only am I spoiling my child, but I’m setting them up with terrible habits that they’ll never be able to break.

It was rough, and one of the reasons I struggled was that this child was so dependant on me (and rightly so), and I received so much judgement from around me.

However, looking back on this time, I personally feel that you can’t spoil a baby.

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After a baby has spent 9 months (or thereabouts) in a nice little warm cave, they come out and are exposed to a new world. They have no ability to speak and they can only communicate through crying.

Everything is new for them; but YOU are their one constant.

They’ve been inside you and know you. They know your voice, your smell; and now they’ll know your touch.

Your skin on your baby’s skin does so many amazing things: your baby’s breathing, heart rate and temperature will all stabilise after birth because of your touch.

Even if you don’t get that initial skin to skin moment, you will help them relax by being close to them; by holding them. This continues throughout their LIFE.

Picking your baby up, and comforting them, doesn’t mean their cries are manipulating anyone; it means they need you for something and you being their parent and attending to them.

It reassures them that when they call you, you will answer.

Just like when my own kids call me now at ages 4 and 6 – if they say Mum (no matter how annoying), I answer. When they cry, I go and see what is wrong.

Research I’ve done here and here has shown that my instincts were right; babies do need to be held when they cry. Holding them is actually hugely important for their development and their health.

One of the papers I read was all about Kangaroo Mother Care – which is used for preterm and low birth weight infants. “It took the long view, looking not just at the immediate effects of holding preemies against your skin in their early weeks, but also how it affected these babies 20 years down the road.

The babies who experienced skin-to-skin had higher IQs, significantly larger areas of grey matter in the brain, and even earned higher wages at their jobs than those who did not experience skin-to-skin care. The skin-to-skin cohort also showed less propensity toward hyperactivity and aggression in school and were less likely to experience school absences“.

As I said, not all parents and babies get the skin-to-skin experience (I didn’t hold Ronan immediately after birth), especially in those first few hours after birth. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that your children will turn out any less brilliant or well adjusted.

Another paper I read stated that during the first three months of a baby’s life, if they were held they fussed less. Responding and attending to your baby’s cries, meant they settled easier, and were happier.

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When it comes to habits being formed (such as a baby sleeping on you, or a dummy being used), my experience has shown that ultimately YOU are in control of this.

No habits, in my personal opinion, can be formed that can’t be changed.

Sure it might take time to change something, but you can do it. Ensuring your child is happy and settled comes above everything and they will eventually learn they can do it themselves. Sometimes, however, they need extra help.

What you have to do is remember that you are the parent and you can change ANYTHING that you start. It might take time, but you can change it.

My kids eventually slept in a bassinet and then in a cot, and finally in a bed.

They used a dummy until we decided they didn’t need it anymore.

So I personally believe you can’t spoil a baby, and habits at that young age aren’t something to worry about. What do you think?

Do you agree or disagree?

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You Can’t Spoil A Baby

What The Heck Is BYOD?

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What The Heck Is BYOD?

This post has been sponsored by Noel Leeming, however all words, and opinions are my own.

GIVEAWAY BELOW (read and scroll down!)!

When I went to school, all I needed was a pencil and a piece of paper. Now-a-days you don’t even have pencils. You have to use a pen because they want to encourage kids to make a mistake. They found kids were obsessing too much with having “perfect work” and spent the majority of their time correcting their mistakes and not doing the work.

Now at school it’s pens, books and as they get older: DEVICES.

My husband and I are heavy technology users, so our children have had access to tablets since they were about 2 years old. HOWEVER, none of them have used a computer.

An iPad / Tablet is one thing but a computer is another, and one I am a little hesitant about introducing to the kids.

However, now-a-days schools are asking that parents provide their children with a computer to help them with their school work.

I had no idea what this meant as Chloe (my 6 year old) isn’t quite ready for it yet but I know a lot of parents out there are going through this now.

The team over at Noel Leeming invited me in-store to chat to me about what BYOD means and what options they have, and what the schools actually do with it.

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WHAT IS BYOD?
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is when a school encourages a student to bring their own device to assist with learning (in the classroom and at home). For the most part the student decides on what they will have, but in some instances the schools have specific requirements.

The student takes responsibility for the device and uses it in their studies; to assist with research, completing homework, working on projects, etc etc.

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FOR STARTERS:
Laptops aren’t as expensive as they used to be – Chromebooks can range in price from a $300 – $900 depending on what you want; and thankfully places like Noel Leeming offer really great finance options (most of which are interest free). They also have packages that you can buy which includes a case, a mouse and ear phones; making it super simple to get everything in one go.

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HOW DO I KNOW WHICH DEVICE TO CHOOSE:
Your school will guide you on which device they recommend. The device will fall into one of three categories: Windows, Apple or Chrome. For the most part, a Chromebook is what will be recommended as it is a great starting device and operating system for a child. It doesn’t pigeon-hole them into something specific like Windows or Apple, and it means later in life they will be able to switch easily between all three if necessary.

The Tech Solutions Specialists at Noel Leeming are amazing at guiding you and helping you make a decision that is right for you and your child. When I went in store, we chatted about what sort of things we used at home, and what we thought Chloe might need later on down the track. If you’re after a device you will probably have more specific information than I did.

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WHAT ABOUT INTERNET SAFETY?
This is a big one for me. With a tablet I am able to restrict access pretty well to certain apps and the ability to download or access things; but when you’re on a laptop it can be daunting letting your child have free reign over the ENTIRE INTERNET.

For starters, when they’re younger you will need to monitor their use and guide them. Let them know what they’re allowed to use and what they’re not allowed to use. Each device will have it’s own parental controls so you’ll need to look into these and use them as required.

When they start getting older then I guess you’ll have to trust them (I know it’s weird, but it’s true). Checking their internet browser history is a must but I’d like to keep open with the kids about that ya know?

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The Noel Leeming team have a great wealth of knowledge on their website including Ten Tips for BYOD.

Noel Leeming has been working with schools for many years, and providing BYOD solutions to help their children succeed.

When you head in-store one of their Tech Solutions Specialists will help you with everything you need. As well as a range of services such as:

  • Free 15 min device quick start where our experts help get your new device started and you on the right track straight from the start
  • Delivery, installation, setup and in-store learning for all of your computer products to make sure you get the most out of your purchase (this is a paid service)
  • Plus Noel Leeming have a Helpdesk service, 7 day tech support via phone, webchat and remote access to help solve your technology challenges (this is also a paid service)

Thanks for teaming up with me on this sponsored post Noel Leeming – going in store and chatting with the Stephen (the Tech Solutions Specialist) was amazing, and even though I know a bit about technology, I still learned a lot and feel more confident in the fact Chloe will be using a laptop.


 

Remember to head back to Happy Mum Happy Child on Facebook and like / comment / tag and share on THIS POST.

All comments count as extra entries. Open to NZ residents only.


 

Clutter Really Does Cause Anxiety

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As they say “cluttered house, cluttered mind“; and it’s true.

We don’t have a large house (80 square metres), and the storage space within the house isn’t huge; so a lot of stuff just “sits around”.

Sometimes I stand in the kitchen and look into the lounge (which is all of ten steps away) and I can feel the panic rising up in me. The floor might be clear but the couches take up half the lounge, and then there’s the book shelves FULL of stuff; most of which are kids things. On the couch is usually a basket of laundry that I have to fold and the table usually is full of kids things (until I find some random place to put them – usually on the book shelf).

We try to clear out as much as we can, so our garage ends up being full of stuff.

If you follow me on Snapchat (happymumnz) you will see me clearing shit stuff out all the time; it’s almost a monthly thing that I have to do to keep on top of things.

Then things can sometimes go backwards when the kids go into the garage and find stuff they haven’t seen for a while and then bring it back into the house … 🙄

Some days I sit in despair at how small our house is; I feel trapped. I feel like I could open all the doors and windows and still feel like I’m in a box.

This sounds weird, but as much as I hate clutter and mess, my bedroom is an utter pigsty. It’s actually really out of character for me, and more of something my husband would do but I’m terrible for throwing clothes on the floor and using the whole floor area as a “floor-drobe” (instead of the actual wardrobe). Now don’t get me wrong, that’s not clutter, that’s me being messy haha

I know we are lucky in the fact we have a house, don’t get me wrong. And I know our house is bigger than others; but I still struggle.

The view from my kitchen to the lounge

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Psychologists say that clutter most definitely plays a role in how we feel about our homes, and ourselves. Messy and cluttered homes can make us feeling anxious, helpless, and overwhelmed.

Here are some of the reasons clutter can cause us such grief (taken directly from Psychology Today):

  1. Clutter bombards our minds with excessive stimuli (visual, olfactory, tactile), causing our senses to work overtime on stimuli that aren’t necessary or important.
  2. Clutter distracts us by drawing our attention away from what our focus should be on.
  3. Clutter makes it more difficult to relax, both physically and mentally.
  4. Clutter constantly signals to our brains that our work is never done.
  5. Clutter makes us anxious because we’re never sure what it’s going to take to get through to the bottom of the pile.
  6. Clutter creates feelings of guilt (“I should be more organised”) and embarrassment, especially when others unexpectedly drop by our homes or work spaces.
  7. Clutter inhibits creativity and productivity by invading the open spaces that allow most people to think, brain storm, and problem solve.
  8. Clutter frustrates us by preventing us from locating what we need quickly (e.g. files and paperwork lost in the “pile” or keys swallowed up by the clutter).
When we have kids over it can feel even smaller

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When I was researching and read the above points, I felt a little bit of relief knowing that my issues with clutter weren’t just “in my head”. They were a legit reason as to why some times I get overwhelmed in these four walls.

Obviously a way to get through it is to tidy up, but honestly sometimes the thought of tidying up when you have no where to put things can be extremely daunting.

I try to live by a “if I haven’t used it in a long time, I probably don’t need it” rule; but we all know there’s a part of us that’s “maybe I’ll use it one day” so we also have to battle that at the same time.

My friend recently went on a mission to clean up her house and instead of doing it in one day, spread it out over the week and worked on one bit at a time.

I think this is a great idea – there’s no need for your house to be absolutely perfect within a certain period. Just work on different areas one day at a time.

Minimise the clutter. Remove any mess and anything you do not need.

And as always, if you are experiencing anxiety and it is overwhelming, please chat to your GP. They may be able to help more than you know!

Do you experience anxiety around the clutter in your house? 

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Clutter Really Does Cause Anxiety

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern Is Pregnant And I’m Excited

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Right, so let’s lay all the cards out on the table: The Prime Minister of New Zealand (Jacinda Ardern) is pregnant.

Like many millions of women before her, she is with child. The major difference is she is the leader of a country (obviously not a common thing).

I have read so many opinions on this. From people loving it, to people thinking it’s ridiculous and that she shouldn’t be Prime Minister; to people thinking it will be bad for the rest of the Mother’s here in NZ.

So I’m finally going to add my two cents worth in – and please remember just like everyone else, this is my opinion and how I feel. It’s ok if you don’t agree!

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I am beyond excited for her and New Zealand.

As a Mother I am secretly chuffed knowing our PM will have a child and know what it’s like to be a Mother herself; because when you become a Mum I believe something shifts in your brain.

I am excited for our children who might benefit from this; and even us Mothers!

I don’t doubt PM Jacinda’s ability as a Mother or a Prime Minister one bit; and if something was to happen and she had to step down, then that’s completely and utterly up to her.

I am behind her 100% and gunning for a great outcome.

I am excited that her partner Clarke will be looking after the baby, as a stay-at-home-dad. I am looking forward to hearing his perspective on being a parent, and sharing what it’s like to be a Dad at home with a new born.

I have seen a few people saying that PM Jacinda’s pregnancy and being PM with a baby will set a precedent where people will say to other Mothers “well if the PM can do it all, why can’t you”.

To that I say “stand up for yourself and tell them to bugger off.” Every single person is different and we all need to have the courage to know that. I couldn’t run a country and be a parent, but that doesn’t mean PM Jacinda can’t.

And just because PM Jacinda can run a country and be a Mother, doesn’t make her better than anyone else. She is simply doing what she has to do in a unique situation.

I don’t think it will be easy for her, and I am sure she will struggle like we ALL have at some point; but I’m here standing with her. Virtually of course (because if I stood right next to her it might be a little creepy) hoping for the best.

So many other women go back to work and are amazing Mother’s, and employees, AND business owners.

There is no reason our own Prime Minister can’t achieve this.

So I’ve got faith.

And if for some reason she struggles so much she has to step down, then I’m also with her. We’re actually all in this together, and I think it’s really important no matter what happens, we’ve got her back.

No one knows what it will be like, not even her; so let’s be positive.

Because we’re Mothers – we of all people know how hard being a parent is. We know how rewarding it is. And we KNOW how much we are actually capable of.

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BTW she’s only pregnant, she hasn’t even had the baby yet and so many people are already predicting doomsday.

I really loved what Megan from ZM said about this (so thanks Megan!):

What do you think? All opinions welcome but please remember to use kind words …

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Alcohol & My Anxiety

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ALCOHOL & MY ANXIETY

So I went to the doctor to chat about my ongoing anxiety issues (I also have depression but never thought I had anxiety issues); if you want to read about them, check out this LINK.

My doctor is incredible, and after chatting to me about it said “often in these situations people can use something else as a crutch to help you get through: drugs, smoking, alcohol, etc; do you find you’re having to have any of these to help you get through“.

Instantly my mind went to alcohol.

I enjoy my alcohol, I’m not going to lie. I enjoy having a glass of wine at the end of the day (and a couple on the weekend when my husband is around); but always in the back of my mind is “what if it’s too much“.

So I do go through periods of not drinking to prove to myself I don’t need it, but after a shitty day with the kids sometimes it’s nice to unwind with a glass.

THIS IS WHERE MY ISSUE LIES (and what my doctor is saying): when you’re using alcohol to help relieve stress, or take you away from issues. Not just once, not just twice, but all the time.

So when he asked me that question, I said “actually yes, I do drink a glass of wine each night“. It was actually a big thing for me to admit this.

I have actually had this conversation with my husband MANY times; about how I love having a glass of wine, but don’t want it to become something I am dependant on.

It always worries me.

So when I told my doctor, he asked “when was the last drink you had”, I confidently said “not since the 31st December”.

I’m actually partaking in the Fizz Free Whanau challenge where our family gives up fizzy drink. Now because we don’t drink a lot of fizzy, I took the challenge to cut out alcohol; and that’s what I’ve done.

Without alcohol in my system (even just a glass), I am finding I feel a whole lot better in myself. I feel more in control throughout the day. I have a lot more clarity; and heck, I sleep a lot better.

I have since done a bit of research into this, and I wanted to share what I read as the experts have said it much better than I could ever put it:

We think of drinking in two ways: Either you’re a normal drinker. Or you’re an alcoholic. Either you have a serious problem. Or you don’t. But drinking is way more nuanced and much more layered than that.

Maybe you drink a glass of wine every night to alleviate stress or numb the pain. Maybe you drink to temporarily forget your anxiety. Maybe you have a single drink before attending social events because it helps you feel more confident. It helps you to loosen up. Maybe drinking helps to brighten the dark edges of your life. For a few moments. Maybe you’re worried that you look forward to drinking. Too much. Maybe you spend most Sunday mornings worrying about what you said or did the night before.

Whatever the specifics, maybe your drinking just doesn’t feel right.” (taken from Psychcentral.com)

When I read the above my stomach sank because I realised I was like this. Not all of it, but certainly some of it. I read the rest of the article, and finally it went on to say:

Quitting drinking may or may not be right for you. The key is to explore your relationship with alcohol and to remember that there are many dots along the spectrum (not simply “normal drinker” and “alcoholic”). The key is to explore how you’re using alcohol in your life—and whether it’s time to find healthier ways to navigate underlying issues.

Obviously I have stopped drinking and will be re-evaluating where I stand, and I want you to know that by writing this blog, I’m not saying, by any means at all, that every person who enjoys a glass of wine each night has an issue. I’m just saying “this is my story and this is what I relate to”.

I recently said to my husband “I think I might just drink on special occasions until I have sorted the shit out in my head”.

Because clearly I have shit to work through and alcohol shouldn’t be used to combat it. Alcohol serves no purpose other than to numb something; it doesn’t help me deal with it.

I usually like to ask you guys a question at the end but honestly this was more about me just getting the shit out of my head. If you can relate, let me know. If you have any thoughts, let me know.

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The Truth About My Anxiety

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The Truth About My Anxiety

Since sharing my first post about anxiety, I have been inundated with messages from people with their own stories about anxiety.

It has made me think about the fact that I suffer from anxiety more than I’m willing to admit.

On Christmas Day I finally admitted to myself and to my husband that something wasn’t right. I was thinking about the possibility of us being involved in an accident too many times, which caused me a lot of panic every time I got into the car; and this has been happening for a few months now.

Prior to this, the thought of leaving the house with the kids to do ANYTHING was making me feel sick to my stomach.

When they were babies, I also didn’t leave the house much because of the fact my daughter was a spilly baby. This meant I had to change her clothes multiple times a day, regardless if she had a million bibs on. I just didn’t want the grief of being looked at, or even worse, judged. So I just never went out. I didn’t really go to playgroups, and I never did any kind of activity other than the playground and the occasional zoo visit.

Even that one time I went to the zoo was a disaster because I’m sure my child picked up on my anxiety and was crying pretty much the whole time.

Now, I always worry my kids will play up and I’ll have to be a beast and I’ll be judged. It doesn’t help I get recognised quite a bit (I don’t speak about it but I do), so I always worry they’ll be thinking “what a terrible parent”.

I think I’m a fair parent, but when we go out my kids have a tendency to push my buttons. Plus I’m already on edge from just being out … I’m pretty sure my kids know when I’m on edge so they just push me even further.

Having a smallish house (80 sqm) with little storage, has meant it feels like we have A LOT of things. My mind often feels cluttered if my house feels cluttered and sometimes it causes me a bit of anxiety. If you follow me on Snapchat (happymumnz) it feels like I’m always tidying up / reorganising.

I recently came across this wonderful Instagram profile called “Mamas Scrapbook“. Anna is not only a mother, but she’s a psychotherapist. It was this post here that I connected with incredibly … I have definitely had some of these thoughts:

What if I fell down the stairs right now? I could push that guy under the bus. I could swerve my car and cause a pileup. Flashes of thoughts run unprompted through my mind, playing out vivid worse case scenarios. I see myself flying down the stairs carrying a child or purposefully crashing my car on the motorway. You wouldn’t notice the tiny grimace and shudder that sweeps across my body as the thoughts move through my head. I used to be utterly ashamed, thinking there must be something wrong with me. I avoided driving for almost ten years as I felt overwhelmed by thoughts that assaulted my imagination. I must be crazy. These intrusive thoughts happen to MOST of us (94% off you as per my Insta poll today), often heightened by anxiety and depression. Yet nobody talks about it because they are horrified by their own thoughts. I want to normalise things for those of you who experience this and have never spoken about it. Intrusive thoughts DO NOT reflect who you are, they DO NOT reflect your personality. You are NOT crazy. The thought itself isn’t a problem, it’s what you do with it, whether you engage with it, let them dictate your wellbeing, and add narrative..that’s what makes them problematic. We can fear them and desperately push them away, which often makes them enter more frequently. When they cause distress and action is taken to avoid triggering or acting on them, that may be veering into OCD and would benefit from support. 
So, when a thought strikes you, leave it alone to pass and wilt. Know that you’re not mad, you’re not bad, you’re normal xxx This is my #mindfulnovember post for today’s ‘about me’ topic #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #anxiety #depression #ocd #mindfulness #therapy #wisdom #phobia #driving #mumlife #momlife #mumoftwo #mumofboys #mumblogger #mummyblogger #mommy #mommy #pnd #postnataldepression #therapy #psychology @mindcharity #depressionquotes #depressionwearslippy

A post shared by ANNA (@mamas_scrapbook) on

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I would never do anything with my thoughts, but my thoughts are there.

It was on Christmas Day though, after suffering for months with these thoughts, that I verbalised my concern. As soon as the words left my mouth, I knew I needed to seek help.

So I will be making a doctors appointment (he’s away at the moment) and I will be chatting about therapy and / or medication. I am already on Citalopram for my depression but am open to having something else if it helps.

I have received SO MANY messages from you guys telling me your anxiety stories. I am gobsmacked at how many people suffer (and I realise it’s more than just this) and astounded at the level of bravery shown by these women in being able to share with me their stories.

So many of you have reached out and offered me support, kind words, and advice: all of it I have taken on board and am now using an app called “Headspace”.

I used to use this but forgot about it. Last night I got my Shakti Mat out and lay on it for 15 minutes whilst listening to Headspace. It was actually quite wonderful.

I have a lot to learn in life, and one of the lessons is to not let my mind control me. I am in control of my mind, not the other way around.

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If you’ve read this: thank you. If you’ve reached out to me: thank you. If you’ve spoken to no one but your GP and/or your partner: I’m proud of you.

If you know something is wrong and haven’t done anything yet – I’m still proud of you. Acknowledging something isn’t right is actually the first step.

The next step is probably the hardest – seeking help.

My advice is chat to your GP. I know not all GPs are helpful, but they will know what to do. If you don’t feel confident with their answer, please seek a second opinion.

I am on Instagram (happymumhappychild) and on Snapchat (happymumnz) if you ever want a chat.

If there’s one thing I know is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Don’t suffer in silence. Reach out to someone .. even if it’s just me.

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