Tag: Parents

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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Time To Yourself: A Guide For Busy Parents

time-to-yourself
© CANSTOCK


Time To Yourself: A Guide For Busy Parents

One of the things I’m constantly reminded of as a parent, is how important it is to look after myself. “Maria you need to take care of yourself” or “Maria you need some time to yourself” are often the lines that are said to me; and as much as I would love to, it just doesn’t happen.

I am a stay-at-home-Mum who (for the most part) loves looking after my kids. I often feel guilty for even thinking of having time to myself, or “looking after myself”. Not only that, I feel like I never have the time to do it. On the weekends I do work for Happy Mum Happy Child, and at the end of the day I simply go to bed.

There’s not really much time in between to have my eyebrows done, or go out for a coffee alone. And if you’re a working parent: heck your life is probably even busier!!!

So here are seven tips on how to get some time to yourself / look after yourself, if you’re a busy parent:

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1. Get Up Early / Stay Up Late
This precious time early in the morning, when my kids are asleep, is MY time. You all know that I love this time. It gives me an opportunity to actually BREATH before the chaos descends upon the house. The same goes for staying up late; this is my husband’s time by himself. We both try to take this time so that we stay sane.

2. Scheduled Break Times
I like to think of 10am as my coffee break. As a SAHM it’s easy to be at your child’s beck and call 24/7, but it’s really important not only for yourself but for THEM that you take a step back. They need to learn to do things by themselves, it’s just a fact of life. So at 10am, no matter what is happening (roughly), I sit down and have a coffee. The TV goes on, a game gets set up, or I simply just tell my child “it’s my coffee time, I’ll come when I’m finished”. You’d be surprised at how they cope!

3. Send Up A Flare
Ask for help. If you’re lucky enough to have family who can come over, then get them to pop around once a week so that you can take a moment to yourself. Whether you hang out the washing, or go for a walk, it’s important. Plus, family / friends actually love that shit.

4. Don’t Be Hard On Yourself
Easier said than done, but a part of looking after yourself is remembering that we are all human; and we all make mistakes. Parenting is a giant bucket of fuck ups, that we learn from each day. What you are doing is not wrong, you are learning. Your child screaming because you poured milk on their cereal instead of yoghurt, is something that happens to everyone. A lot of us all yell at our kids. A lot of us swear in front of our kids. Don’t try and be perfect as a parent: bad shit happens during the day, but it’s never the end of the world.

5. Let The Other Half Take A Turn
If you’re fortunate enough to be in a relationship, then let the other half take a turn. Get them to take the kids grocery shopping on the weekend, to give you a break. You don’t have to do EVERYTHING together as a family. I often find because I am at home with the kids ALL week, it’s nice for them to spend time with my husband on the weekend. Or if that’s too much, simply ask your partner to put the kids to bed, or give the kids a bath. Just small things to let you have a moment where you can breathe.

6. Few Extra Minutes
A few extra minutes sitting on the toilet can do wonders for you. That might sound ridiculous, but I do it all the time. Take your phone in there, check your Facebook; or even take a book in there to read for a few minutes. ALWAYS remember to lock the door though …

7. Go For A Walk
I’m always reluctant to write this because I hate exercise, but I do know how beneficial it is for EVERYONE to take a walk. Even if your kids are toddlers and don’t need a pram anymore; grab their hands and take a slow walk down the road. The fresh air will do EVERYONE good. Just because you’re not pounding the streets with your heart rate elevated, doesn’t mean it’s not good for you. One of my fondest memories growing up, is going for a walk down the road with my Gran. We’d stop at every single flower and talk about it. Simple things are good for the soul.

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Looking after yourself can be hard, as can taking time for yourself; but as I said above, it is important. You might not have the time, or money, to go out and do all of the amazing things we dream of as parents; but you can work around it.

Remembering that you are a person underneath the parenting cloak is really important. When you take the moment to breathe, it allows you to be the best parent you can for your children ❤

What small things do you do to take time for yourself?

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Things You Shouldn’t Say To A First Time Mum

Things You Shouldn't Say To A First Time Mum
MARIA | HAPPY MUM HAPPY CHILD


Things You Shouldn’t Say To A First Time Mum

After reading a similar post on another website, I thought I’d put together my own list of things you shouldn’t say to a first time mum. This is based on my own experience, of things I really didn’t like to hear as a mother.

Now these are from people in real life: not people on the internet. Because internet people we can kind of distance ourselves from easier. I found it harder hearing it from friends or family …

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1. Your Life Is Over
Honestly, a new parent’s life ISN’T over. It just changes. If you’re a parent saying this to another parent, then step back. How helpful is it hearing this?! It’s not – because you can’t possibly know what it’s like unless you’ve experienced it. So don’t say it to other people because it really isn’t helpful!

2. You really should keep breastfeeding
Everyone’s experience with feeding their baby is different – and as another parent, you of all people should know this. Don’t impart any thoughts on breastfeeding unless it’s asked by the mother. It can come across as incredibly rude, and can make another mother feel absolutely terrible about a situation that’s already really difficult to come to terms with.

3. Don’t let your baby change your life
Which absolutely contradicts the first point, but is often said; and was said to me several times. A baby changes your life, no matter how hard you fight it. A lot of parents WANT this change. Honestly if your baby doesn’t change your life in one way or another then something is wrong. As a parent there is no possible way of going back to a pre-baby life. None.  So saying “don’t let your baby change your life” is a really silly thing to say in my opinion.

4. Don’t let him/her be a naughty baby
There is no such thing as a naughty baby. So please shut up.

5. If you let them do that now, they’ll never be able to stop
I’m talking dummies, co-sleeping, rocking a child to sleep – everything you do to basically help raise your child will have someone say “don’t do that because if you let them do it now, you’ll never be able to stop”. Guess what – you are in control. You can take the dummy away. You can stop co-sleeping. You can stop rocking a child to sleep. Nothing is set in concrete. We do what we do to get through the day!

6. My baby was sleeping through the night at 30 seconds old
Everyone’s baby is different. My kid slept through the night at 3 months old, and then after that one night, stopped. Babies stop and start sleeping through the night at random intervals. Just when you think you have it down, doesn’t mean it’s going to stay that way. Your baby might “sleep through the night” early on, but you never know what will happen as they grow up. My 2 and 4 year old STILL wake during the night.

7. When are you having another baby?
Like two seconds after you’ve just popped out the first one that question gets asked. My answer is always “Once my vagina / stomach heals and I can’t remember the trauma from pregnancy / labour”. Also that would mean having sex again, and the thought of sex after a baby popped out my hoo-ha is definitely not on my mind.

8. Don’t answer every single cry, you will spoil them
A bit similar to number 5 – yes because answering their cries is spoiling them. Hugging them when they need you, is spoiling them. NOT! You cannot spoil a baby!

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Those seven things really got on my nerve as a Mum, but I never said it out loud; and tried not to take it to heart. I encourage you to do the same – protect yourself and remember that each of us are on a different path in life.

Each of us experience things differently – and no two babies are ever the same.

Try not to get offended by what someone else says. I know that’s easier said than done, especially because as a new mum our hormones are all over the show.

Second time around, IDGAF what people say HA!

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Post Natal Depression: Taking The Next Step

Post Natal Depression: Taking The Next Step

Post Natal Depression Taking Next Step

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As a parent, sometimes it’s hard to know what to do when something doesn’t feel right within yourself. When you’re angry all the time, or upset all the time, or sad all the time, or numb all the time – or even all of the above.

Whatever it is, you know within yourself that you’re not you anymore, and that something isn’t right.

Let me firstly say: it’s going to be ok.

Acknowledging that something isn’t right is actually the first official step. The next step, is talking to someone about it.

That can sometimes be the hardest: verbalising it. Admitting it out loud that you actually need help. Putting yourself out there for judgement and criticism.

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For me it was no problem at all, because I’m used to speaking. Also, before I got pregnant I knew there was a chance I could get post natal depression because of my past anxiety, and also the family history of depression.

So when things started looking pear shaped, I said to both my husband AND my doctor “I think there’s something wrong here”.

Now I’m no health professional, and definitely no psychiatrist, psychologist or psychotherapist; but if you feel like something isn’t right within yourself (no matter what it is), then you need to talk to someone about it; you need to speak up.

My recommendation will always be to talk to your doctor (your GP). They will know you the best, and hopefully you have formed a relationship with them over the years and can talk to them openly.

Simply saying “I think there’s something not quite right with me”, or “I don’t feel like myself anymore” should be enough for your GP to understand and take over the conversation.

The Ministry of Health has funding available for free sessions with psychologists, the amount you get will vary depending on the area you live in, and what kinds of services are available, but will usually range between 4-6 sessions, sometimes more.

If you’ve noticed any of the following, then it might be worth speaking to your GP:

  • feeling tired all the time
  • getting too much sleep or not enough
  • feeling worthless and helpless
  • thinking about death a lot
  • having no energy and feelings of low self-esteem
  • loss of appetite or overeating
  • sadness or emotional ‘numbness’
  • loss of pleasure in everyday activities
  • irritability or anxiety
  • poor concentration
  • feeling guilty, or crying for no apparent reason
  • getting uncontrollably angry all the time

It doesn’t matter if you are the Mother OR the Father – post natal depression can affect either of you.

Also please remember, just because you talk to your doctor doesn’t mean you HAVE to take medication. If you are opposed to taking meds, that’s perfectly fine and you just need to communicate this with them.

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Post Natal Depression Taking Next Step 01

If for any reason you don’t feel comfortable talking to your GP – don’t be discouraged! There are plenty of other people out there who are just waiting to help you out. Check out my Support For Parents page.

It is really important to understand that YOU, the parent, are IMPORTANT. Mothers. Fathers. BOTH of you are imperative in the parenting journey, and looking after yourself first really should take priority.

If you wish to PM me for any reason, please do so through my Happy Mum Happy Child Facebook page.  I apologise if it takes me a while to respond – as I always say to people, I need to make sure I have a clear head when I reply, and it’s not always easy as I am a parent first and get distracted by my kids haha ????

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

  • 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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Two Amazing Deals

 

TWO AMAZING DEALS

Hey my lovely Happy Mum Happy Child team!  I don’t normally do this kind of thing but I got given TWO products last week and the opportunity to share two amazing deals with you guys.  So I thought I’d take a moment to let you know all about it …

 


 

MINIME WORKSHOP

Two Amazing Deals 01

A friend of my husband’s runs Minime Workshop and sent both of my children these amazingly beautiful and comfortable Camo Crew Sweaters.  Now this is a little more expensive than what I would usually talk about but honestly it was a bloody lovely sweater.  Made of cashmere and cotton, it is incredibly warm and so soft!  I don’t think I’ve ever owned anything so fantastic haha!

Two Amazing Deals 02

The lovely team at Minime Workshop have offered the Happy Mum Happy Child team a 20% discount.  Just use the code HMHC20 and you will get 20% off store wide for the month of May 2016.

Thank you SO much for this!  And for the lovely sweaters for my children ????

Minime Workshop on Facebook   |   Minime Workshop on Instagram

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SELFIE LIGHT CASES

Two Amazing Deals 04

 

I got sent the amazing Selfie Light Case to try out and it’s pretty amazing.  Basically it’s a phone case with a light on the front of it – but it’s an epic light.  There’s a button on the back to activate the light and it makes you feel like you’re in a movie haha … it lights up your face and gets rid of all the wrinkles (YUSSSS)!  Perfect for those low-light situations, which are often at night or first thing in the morning …

Two Amazing Deals 03

The team at Selfie Light Cases have offered Happy Mum Happy Child readers 10% off purchases by using the code HAPPYMUM.

Thank you very much for the case guys, and for the discount for my team!

Selfie Light Cases on Facebook   |   Selfie Light Cases on Instagram

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2016 Important Dates for New Zealand

 

2016 IMPORTANT DATES FOR NEW ZEALAND

Important Dates for New Zealand by Happy Mum Happy Child

As a parent it’s hard remembering everything.  Heck, most days I don’t even know why I walked into the kitchen.  So I’ve put together this list of important dates for New Zealand, that we need to know: School Term Days, Public Holiday’s, Daylight Savings, International Wine Days … you know, the important ones 😂

 


 

School Terms / Holidays for New Zealand

Term Starts Ends
Holidays Monday 21st December (2015) Friday 5th February 2016
School Term 1 Monday 2nd February 2016** Friday 15th April
Holidays Monday 18th April Friday 29th April
School Term 2 Monday 2nd May Friday 8th July
Holidays Monday 11th July Friday 22nd July
School Term 3 Monday 25th July Friday 23rd September
Holidays Monday 26th September Friday 7th October
School Term 4 Monday 10th October Tuesday 20th December**
Holidays Monday 19th December 2016 Friday 3rd February (2017)

** School 1st Term start days and 4th Term end days vary depending on the age of the child, and the school.  So please check with your local school for the exact date.

Daylight Savings for New Zealand

2016 Sunday, April 3, 3:00 AM (clocks back 1hr) Sunday, September 25, 2:00 AM (clocks forward 1hr)

 

Public Holidays for New Zealand

Holiday Date
New Year’s Day January, Friday 1st
Day after New Year’s Day January, Saturday 2nd (observed Monday 4th)
Wellington Anniversary January, Monday 25th
Auckland Anniversary February, Monday 1st
Nelson Anniversary February, Monday 1st
Waitangi Day February, Saturday 6th (observed Monday 8th)
Taranaki Anniversary March, Monday 14th
Otago Anniversary March, Monday 21st
Good Friday March, Friday 25th
Easter Monday March, Monday 28th
Easter Tuesday ? March, Tuesday 29th
Southland Anniversary March, Tuesday 29th
Daylight Saving ends April, Sunday 3rd
ANZAC Day April, Monday 25th
Queen’s Birthday June, Monday 6th
Daylight Saving starts September, Sunday 25th
South Canterbury Anniversary September, Monday 26th
Hawke’s Bay Anniversary October, Friday 21st
Labour Day October, Monday 24th
Marlborough Anniversary October, Monday 31st
Canterbury Anniversary November, Friday 11th
Westland Anniversary November, Monday 28th
Chatham Islands Anniversary November, Monday 28th
Christmas Day December, Sunday 25th (observed Tuesday 27th)
Boxing Day December, Monday 26th

 

Other Important Dates to Remember

Holiday Date
International Drink Wine Day 18th February
Mother’s Day 8th May (Sunday)
Father’s Day 4th September (Sunday)
International Coffee Day 1st October

 

If there are any date’s I’ve missed, feel free to let me know!  Otherwise here is your one-stop-shop for New Zealand Important Dates.

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Sex After Kids


© Can Stock Photo / yacobchuk


Sex After Kids!

Sex after kids!  Who the heck wants to talk about that?! Well I didn’t.  But over the last few years I’ve heard SO MANY people tell me a variety of things, which have actually reassured me.

I have also run this blog past my husband, and he has given me the OK … I would never write about this without discussing it first.

After I gave birth to my first child, which was naturally, I was SO SCARED to have sex.  Like ridiculously scared.  I had stitches and was worried that it was going to tear and hurt incredibly.

So I waited a LONG time.  4-5 months later, it happened and it was fine.  No problem at all.

Not everyone has this experience though, and my advice is to do it when YOU are ready.  There is no right or wrong.

“I have all the best intentions in the world, UNTIL 6pm, then its bugger off with those wanton eyes”

Moving forward, regular sex has kind of gone out the window.  I want to do it, but at the end of the day I am so knackered, I just can’t be bothered.

Not only that, my body has changed SO MUCH since having children, I just don’t find myself attractive. I was always borderline not liking myself before kids, so now I truly struggle to see how someone else can find me attractive too.

I had a C-Section with my second child, so my stomach will NEVER look the same.  Which meant I was even more disappointed with my body post babies.

My husband is great though. He is very very understanding, although deep down I know it’s not easy for him.

If I’m completely honest with you, we have sex maybe once every a month. If that.

It’s embarrassing. I’m not proud of it. I want to do it more, but I am so hard on myself about my body, that it stops me from doing anything. Plus, I am tired.  Like seriously, EXHAUSTED. When I lie down in bed at 8.30pm, I am literally asleep within 5 minutes.

It’s not an easy topic to talk about, but SO MANY people have questioned it on different Facebook forums that I thought it was time to tackle it.

Some Mums bounce right back and have no problems at all – but that’s not me. I don’t want it to be like this, but it is.

I can’t wait to get back into it when the kids are older and I get more sleep HAHA … and hopefully I learn to love my new body.

Because ultimately, that’s what it is about. Learning to love myself.



HERE ARE SOME QUOTES FROM MUMS:
from my Happy Mum Happy Child Facebook Page

canstockphoto9569215“What’s sex!?”

“I was so scared to have sex after birth”

“What is this sex thing you speak of!!??”

“I have all the best intentions in the world, UNTIL 6pm, then its bugger off with those wanton eyes”

“I just jumped straight back in, no problem here!”

“That’s the bonus of being a single parent, when it’s on offer I’m okay to lose a whole nights sleep”

“I have 2 kids under 2; sex is never happening here!!”

“Sex after kids, :/ , is that even a thing?”

These are quotes from Mum’s on pages I am a part of on Facebook.  I have asked their permission to quote them, but have chosen not to use their names 🙂

I want to personally thank my due groups for having an open and honest conversation about sex after kids – truly appreciate it 😀

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Introducing: Onesie Bummsie

Business Profile of Onesie Bummsie

Onesie Bummsie 001 by Happy Mum Happy ChildqOnesie Bummsie 01 by Happy Mum Happy Child

Onesie Bummsie is the first New Zealand designed and made onesie extender.  Created by Jess in 2008, for her own children, these extenders are specifically made to fit the bodysuit brands available here, in New Zealand.

Louise took over distribution of the Onesie Bummsie range in 2012.  Louise actually used the extender with all 3 of her children.

Jess and Louise work closely together to bring a truly affordable and unique product for parents.

THE PRODUCTS
The Onesie Bummsie is made of cotton, and comes in white.  There are two sizes that can be purchased – the short length adds approximately 9cms, and the medium length adds approximately 12cms.  You can purchase the Onesie Bummsie individually or as a pack of 3.

Onesie Bummsie also sells a range of bamboo onesies, perfect for pairing with the extender.

 

WHERE TO BUY
You can purchase your Onesie Bummsie extender direct from the Onesie Bummsie website, or from the businesses listed on their Where to Buy page.

LINKS
You can check Onesie Bummsie out on the following social media sites and on their website:    Facebook  |  Instagram  |  Website

NOTE FROM ME
I don’t know why I hadn’t even thought of a product like this when my kids were babies, but I tell you with my daughter, she grew length-wise SO quickly.  If I had half a brain during that time, I wish I had investigated it a bit more and found this product!

My 18 month old is also tall but not too chubby (unlike my daughter haha), so is growing out of his onesie’s faster than I can say BOO!, so I’m going to get a couple of these for him.

FOR YOU
Onesie Bummsie has got a special offer for Happy Mum Happy Child readers – to receive free shipping on your order, enter the code: happiness.  This code expires on the 30th September 2015

ALSO, to ** WIN ** yourself a white, short & medium extender pack, please enter below :

 

This post is sponsored by Onesie Bummsie

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