No photos on social media.

20170311_221325I’m super super low on iron at the mo so I’ve been put on iron tablets. Downside is is that they bung you up. So I’ve had a fair lot of time on the loo. And it’s here I’ve done some reading and pondering…

Here is the crux of it; We don’t put Lily, photo wise, onto public social media. Our decision is based on a few things and reasons.

Before I get into them, wanna say IDGAF (Mum, Dad, it spells I don’t give a f***) if you put photos up of your kids. I’m not on a buzz kill of baby cuteness or on a high horse of privacy superiority. Your family, your choice.

I bloody LOVE seeing friends and families kids on social media, because most of the time, that’s the only way to see them! No judgement here, keep ’em coming. No justification on your behalf why you do it either! Post them, it makes me happy ūüôā

Also, this is me typing at 3am as I can’t sleep (well duh, get off ya screen Jess!). It jumps around ¬†with how I’m feeling about it all. I just needed to get it out of my brain. So bear with me and my scattybrainness (a word).

So why aren’t photos of Lily on Facebook or Instagram PUBLICALLY? Cause she is so bloody cute, why wouldn’t I want to splash her on public pages?

1. She doesn’t have a choice in the matter. Although her verbal communication is good, she can’t look at a photo and be like ‘No thankyou mum, I dont want that photo on the interweb’.

Heck, the start of this post was about constipation. But that’s me. I’m old. ¬†I have a choice. I choose to put that out there into the world.

There is a Lilypieandi Instagram account, set at private. Is that enough? Has she had a say in what is on there for friends and family to see? No. In that sense, I’ve gone against what was said; she has no choice. Such a pull, as I want to show friends and family what we are up to. It might be bloody boring to them, to which they can unfollow but it matters to me, for us to visually be connected to loved ones. So how can we get around this? Without breaching her privacy and choice. Agghhhhh.

2. It’s forever. Forever. Delete delete delete? Too late. Creepo has already screengrabbed ya baby. Those words or images are forever in the big cloud of unknown.

Granted, I write about our antics. Is that being a hypocrite as our lives are public? Possibly. I do think carefully about things I write when it comes to putting Lily out into the world. I hope not to put stuff personal about Lily on here that would shame her (child shaming exists. Usually it’s done harmlessly for laughs or relatability. Putting down your kid in a status for being a lil shit or posting a photo of them hysterically crying for our laughs and likes etc…).

Maybe writing this blog is not much different. But I guess it’s not a physical thing? Hmmm something to ponder for myself as I tap away…

3. Creeps. Bring back to the reading on the loo. A former police chief in Oz has spoken out about her involvement in busting paedofile rings. She was horrified (as was I, in tears, when reading it) at:

——* The depth and spread of some syndicates. Worldwide. And not just men pedaling in pictures.

——* The content that was so easily screenshotted and then photoshopped from every day old Joe blogs social media accounts. This then gets shared around and often certain families become ‘in demand’, thus pay a higher price for the media. Photoshopping the creeps posing rudely onto photos where kids are innocently lying on a bed, or a baby in their nappies or asleep in a pram. Photos you think would be harmless can be manipulated. Even those ones where people put little stars over their kids privates, can be photoshopped out.

——*It’s all access once it’s put out there. She mentioned just because your privacy settings for photos are set to ‘friends’, doesn’t mean jack. A friend of a friend may still see it. And then who is that friend of a friend?

My dad put up a photo of Lily, unknowingly, on his Facebook as he is so proud of his little Moko that he wanted to share. The privacy was set to friends. Yet somehow one of his friends had shared the photo!!!!! WTF!!!! We don’t know the person or that persons friends!? Quick words were spoken.

A friend had posted a photo of her baby, which was super gorgeous, and someone had made it into a meme! Which she found out via being tagged in. By that stage it had like 500 likes and 100 shares! Double WTF! Did they have permission to use that photo and make a meme? Hell no!

4. My husband has strong views on photos and their use on social media. And I respect that. We are a partnership, so I will (try) honor his wishes. Yes, sometimes I will try creatively to put Lily into a photo (as you can see on some of these posts. Lots of blurry, back shots) and yes sometimes I get told off. Maybe even those photos are too much for him?Is it true that if you #hashtag something it becomes public? Even if your settings are private? I’m in deeeeeep trouble if that’s the case..But nothing a piece of chocolate brownie and lasagne (his favs) won’t fix…

Speaking of fixing, this low iron levels better sort themselves out soon or something else will need a fixing. And I don’t mean the toilet.

*Edit: This was most certainly NOT meant as a rant to make anyone feel shitty about posting photos of ther kids. Be proud! Share away! It’s your choice.

X

Acknowledge it.

 

DSC_0027I’m scared. I’m scared that it will be similar or worse; I’m scared for the upcoming birth of baby baker two. 3 months to go.

The body knows what to do. Baby will arrive when it’s ready. Just how it arrives makes me nervous.

I’m not going to go into massive details about Lilys birth. All 57 hours of it. That’s another blog post.

But I will acknowledge it. Birthing happened. Not the way we envisaged or wanted or ‘planned’ hahaha ROTFL LOL PMSL (Mum, Dad, these are abbreviations for laughing). But it happened and Lily and I are both here. Safe.

We do this. We keep it in or disregard it. Maybe we don’t want to bore people with it? I’m not saying tell everyone you meet. Or if thats your thing, then do. Talk to someone you trust who will LISTEN with an empathetic ear. It is nice to be listened to without judgement or fear. Let those tears flow! If you are a private person and not keen on talking, write it down. Stash it away. Frame it. I don’t know.

Maybe we feel our story isn’t worthy of hearing? It’s not dramatic enough. It’s not beautiful enough. It’s not shocking enough.

But it is enough. It is enough to tell and it is worthy of expressing. It might have been all those words for you; Embarrassing, unexpected, raw, shocking, beautiful, empowering, dramatic, traumatic.

By putting it safely out there, whether it be through writing  or talking or interpretative dance, you and your birthing story are valued. And that relief of doing so will be wonderful, be it a painful or joyous journey birth took you (and your partner!) on.

I’ve never really talked about Lily’s birth. Not because I haven’t wanted to. Simply because I think majority of people don’t want to hear it. Understandable! But maybe it’s what needs to happen to be less scared of what is to come in 3 (ish) months time?

X

Saving coin. Being cheap. Tight wad. Frugal. How to.

20161011_155007Being on two incomes is a balancing act. But being on 1 income is bloody tough too! Financially, we don’t have much wiggle room at the end of the month once everything is paid for. That’s me being honest, my husband might cringe to know I’ve put this out there into the world but that’s our reality. We’ve gone from two incomes to one, plain and simple. The choices we’ve made are for our growing Whanau; me at home while Lily is little.

It has been, and still is hard seeing friends and family have more of a disposable income than us. But that’s the way it is. So I changed our mindset. We could sulk. Or we can find ways to have things (I’m talking toys, books and clothes predominately. For Lily). And shut up and be thankful.

So below are a few tips, from advice given by others and using my foggy brain to come up with.

  • Op-shopping and buying second hand. I love a good trawl of an op shop. We (Lily and I) make a fortnightly browse to one of the 7 local stores. We don’t always buy something, but if we do, we stick to a budget of $10. And ohh the delights $10 can get you! What do we look for? Quality toys and books! One of our local charity shops has 4 kids books for $1, regardless of if they a ‘popular title’!

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    Top 2 shelves are new books (gifts or bought by us) total $ unknown. Bottom shelf is Op-shop books, totaling about $25.

 

  • Library books.¬†Books are so super expensive, yet such a valuable resource for growing little minds!! Every month we toddle to the library to get some books out. The ones Lily has a tad obsession with, we will look into buying new. We try to buy NZ authors books brand new (A few faves are by Betty Gilderdale, Bob Darroch, Brett Avison, Margaret Mahy). Someone said book depository is pretty good for buying books?

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    The latest selection of library books.

 

  • Toy library subscription. If you’ve ever been shopping for kids toys, you’ll know that shit is expensive! And you never know if it will get used. Yet at times, the old sock and wooden stick doesn’t quite cut the playing mustard. Cue the toy library. Payment options, vary; we pay $20 a term and can take out 5 toys for 2 weeks. I have to do a 2 hour duty every term but that’s it. Other payments are more or less $ depending on what you want to do. If Lily thinks its pretty cool and it keeps her entertained while mum lies down (kidding) then we may look to purchase it. If it’s shit, we wasted 50c or something like that instead of $$$. We’ve had slides, mini roller-coaster thing, trainsets, kitchens, water toys, bikes = so much variety.

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    The latest toy library haul – BBQ, dolls house, Vet clinic, Wooden vege set and a puzzle

 

  • The famous Farmers half price sale. Thinking ahead to the upcoming season and what size your little one will be in. We stock up on winter woollies. And in the off season (summer) you can get 70% off merino woollies at farmers!

 

  • Buy a couple of nicer pieces of seasonal clothing (we try¬†shop NZ made to support local…Nora’s closet, Littleflock of horrors, Nature baby to name a few) and then second hand to buy the rest. ‘Cause they are only going to get messy, and grow out of them quickly anyway right? Seriously, the decent quality clothes I’ve found at the op shop is crazy. Except that one time I found a skiddy pair of kids undies. Spew. I’m not embarrassed to put Lily in second hand clothes. Why should I be?

 

  • Breastfeed. I know¬†this isn’t for everyone. I know¬†it’s¬†not possible for everyone. It just worked for us. For free.

 

  • Make your own mashed up baby food when starting solids. And freeze. That store bought stuff is convenient, I know, but it’s expensive! 1/4 pumpkin and a stewed apple cost 70c and would make 8x what one jar can provide at $1.50.

 

  • Using cloth nappies. We aren’t full time at this (although I want to with baby number 2) but try to do one change a day using them. We bought some new, second hand and were gifted a couple. Gross you say? The feral second hand ones I binned, the lovely clean non-feral ones we kept. Hot wash, sunshine and a bamboo liner against her butt and we are good to go. Kate, the Nappy lady worked out some facts comparing costs. On average for one kid to 2.5 years cost $5500 disposable vs reusable nappies $2070. I’ll take the ‘hassle’ (it’s not hard once you get into the swing of dealing with cloth naps) if $ saved.

 

  • Playcentre. We started attending playcentre end of last year. So far, it’s been awesome. Not only can Lily go somewhere with almost unlimited things to do, but I get support/make friends/build our village. And it costs a donation of $25 a term.

I’d LOVE to know your little tips to saving $ whilst still giving and doing things to your kiddies, regardless of your income. Because we all love a bit of tightassness right?

X

 

 

It’s not in the pregnancy body manual.

20170220_152541I’ll start off by saying that below is a list of things that women can experience whilst pregnant. You may experience none, 3 or all of them. This is not an exhaustive list, just one that has been put together by chatting to friends, family and myself. This is also not a wahh wahh poor me post.¬†

Second thing is; if things don’t feel quite right, contact your Midwife or GP. ¬†Ask them – not Dr google. This list is in no way meant to replace their professional advice; just inform.

Thirdly (and most importantly). Although some of the things are gross, unexpected and straight WTF, many women near to my heart and far who I’ve yet to meet would have all these things 100000x over but they can’t, for whatever reason. We acknowledge you, we love you and we support you. Matou tu e koutou xx

-Stretch marks. Purple and angry or silvery Charlie sheeny white. Oil oil oil!

-Itchy skin. Crawling itchy skin. *NOTE: If it becomes severe, seek out medical advice ASAP as it could be obstetric cholestasis. 

-Cravings. Wheather it be freshly cut fruit, skins removed, cut into little soliders or KFC double downs, go with it (unless is harmful, like swallowing pins or sniffing glue). Often its our bodies lacking in certain minerals and nutrients. My nutrient must be FAT and SUGAR cause that’s all I want to have this time around.¬†

-Puffiness of hands and feet. Good bye shapely ankles, hello TANKLES. *NOTE: Swelling of the body (Edema) is waaaaay more serious than just a bit of puff. If it’s accompanied by pain, headache, blurry vision and just feeling uneasy, contact your health professional immediately.

-Leaky nipples. Soaked through a flimsy bra yesterday onto my t-shirt. Classy. Just preparing me for postpartum leaks. But why so soon???

-Morning sickness. It is a feeling like hungover 24/7 without the fun. And what a cruel word, morning sickness is as it doesn’t just last for the morning but can go on for the whole day and often, the whole 9 months of pregnancy. In some cases it is so serious, no food or water can be kept down and can lead to hospitilisation (Hyperemesis Gravidarum).

-Farts that stink, are huge and rumbling. Maybe that is what caused Kaikoura earthquakes; pregnant women all around NZ letting rip. 

-Diarrhea. Get the poo runs more often. Or go the opposite way. Backed up for days. 

-Hemorrhoids. Kinda pop out if you’ve been backed up for days. I named mine Herman and Henrietta.¬†

-Flood like vaginal discharge. Seriously, invest in shares of carefree or tampax. These shares will come in handy postpartum too Р6 weeks of bleeding (Another post). *NOTE: Vaginal discharge that is super watery, green/brown/red or smelly, contact your health professional immediately.

-Spider veins on legs/body. Increased pressure on capillaries due to increase in blood volume causes those little capillaries to work over time and sometimes – pop! Not sure there is anything out there to help with this? My legs and waist look like they’ve been in the ring with Joseph Parker.

-Varicose Veins. Similar to above, just a little larger and thicker. Pop those legs up when you get the chance.

-Insomnia. Wakeful nights as the mind wanders about this that and the other thing. It is f****ing crap. I had it bad with Lily, 3 hours sleep a night max. This time it’s there but not as bad. No doubt putting this out there now has jinxed that. And nothing, NOTHING I could do would alleviate it.

-Sciatic nerve pain. Something is a pinching, a stabbing and radiates down your leg, which makes your leg collapse.

-Sacroilliac joint pain. Similar to above but more constant. Literally, a pain in your butt. Walking, movements that allow your legs to part too much and standing too long will aggravate the pain. So no sex (jokes) and no moving or standing. Basically lie down and don’t move for 9 months and eat FAT and SUGARY foods…

-Symphysis pubis dysfunction. Your ligaments are greeted by the hormone relaxin, which causes them to soften and relax. But ALL ligaments will loosen and relax, particularly the ones in your pelvic region, causing great pelvic bone pain from the shifting pelvic position.

-Ligament softening/pain. Linked to above. That dull achey pain down in your nether regions? Yup. Be wary; this means if you like a bit of exercise, you are more prone to ligament injuries whilst prego. *NOTE: If you feel uneasy about any pain down south, contact your health professsional ASAP.

-Bigness. Too large to see legs or fanny to shave. 

-Peeing frequently. A ‘lil human is pushing on your bladder!

Vagina lips can hang/extend more than previous. WTF. All that gravitational pressure from baby! I can see why women get designer vagina surgery…

SO fucking emotional. Bloody hormones. Apparently you can cry because you wanted a cup of tea so hubby gets you one but he can’t read your mind and then he gets you the wrong type and it is all over.¬†

….list could go on and on. Know your body, know what feel right and know you aren’t alone in the wonder that is pregnancy.¬†

What did you experience in pregnancy?

 

X


Complacency and being lulled.

40488_415492011007_1849624_nAs a teacher, the first few weeks of the new school year are bliss. Kids are angels who listen intently, write down everything you say, follow instructions and make you feel like ‘Yes! These little cherubs are the best behaved kids!’

Come about week 7, they start to be a tad too cool, they test the boundaries and test your fake smiling ability of ‘No thankyou, we don’t light the wall on fire with the Bunsen burner little Johnny’ (cough*devil).

The honeymoon period is over. Christmas holidays are only Ohhh about AN ETERNITY AWAY.

The same was felt for the first 2 weeks of Lily being here. We were lulled into a false sense of ease. I remember saying to Joshs friends who came to visit him, that it was easy, it’s pretty sweet actually; she sleeps, poops, cuddles, feeds and repeats. Could do another one soon…..

A big fat LOL to that statement. I’m pretty sure that same night, once I opened my big mouth, I jinxed it. From then on it it was ridiculously NOT easy. I won’t bore you with the details of that uneasiness (that’s parenting huh?) but the message in this post is don’t get complacent. Ever.

Don’t get cocky young lasses and lads.

My lovely friend is pregnant with her second bubs. We talked about how she’s feeling and how interesting it will be to see if X is the same as Y in terms of newborness. Her first was what text books might call a cruisey baby; BF easily, burped easily and of course the one everyone obsesses over, slept like a baby. Hahahhaa, what a silly idiom. If you call snuffling like a hedgehog, waking every 2 hours for a feed, pooping, wrestling with your own arms and crying out randomly sleeping like a baby, then yes you sleep like a baby.

She said that if X wasn’t like Y in terms of cruiseyness, she wouldn’t know what to do! She’d be calling me up and asking for help (her words, not mine) as she knew Lily was a little lioness with her newborness (still is TBH). Then she said something in passing that has stuck with me. My beautiful friend, no shit, said ‘Here I am thinking I was the perfect mother and doing everything right and perfectly because Y was so cruisey, but what if it’s not like that next time?…. I’ll definitely have to ask you for help because, ya know?….’

Errrrmmmm ya know what?

I know my friend made the comment in complete passing and nothing meant from it but it got me anxiously thinking; do mums who have so called ‘cruisey babies’ think that they have this motherhood shit down better than those who do not have ‘cruisey’ babies? I BLOODY HOPE NOT! And if so, slow down there cowgirl. Because the take home message is; Don’t get complacent.

I remember Lily slept ‘through’ the night (10-5) and I bloody lost my shit. I woke and she was still asleep. First thoughts were

  1. Is she Ok??? 2. WTF my boobs are the hardest sorest most gigantic things EVER! 3. Do I wake her?

I jumped on facey and asked my friends what do I do about my tits and do I wake her. Now I know that in that moment, I had a few friends who were battling with sleep. And here I was announcing Lily had slept through. I was genuinely concerned for her and my boobs, which were now leaking on the duvet. But they didn’t want to hear that! And ya know what, I was secretly like OMFG this is bliss! Extra sleep!

Next night, we were back to waking every 2 hours. Fucking big mouthed, big boobied Jess. You jinxed it. AGAIN.

If you are in the throws of this fuzzy jaded stage of babyness, know things WILL change. Will they get easier? What does easy mean? Rephrase it. They will CHANGE and you will face other challenges that you will need to navigate. But navigate them with an open mind and know change/difficulties are a positive thing.

And if you’ve got a cruisey baby, wait til teenage years. If those lil menaces by week 7 at school are dicks, what will they be like at home? I was a cruisey baby according to my Mum. School was a riot. Full circle baby tehehe.

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X

Tripping. And not the fun kind; Guilt Tripping.

273112_10150312359181273_2152316_oWhen I was about 14, I ‘borrowed’ my nanas foundation creme she used. It slipped into my bag somehow and was never returned… Clearly it was me, as she only had one jar and I was the only grandchild around at the time. She never said anything. I never used it once it got home, it just sat guiltily in my drawer until I had a clean out and threw it away. I had the guilts of doing something wrong, which of course I had! It was morally wrong! I’m not a klepto, just FYI.

Over the last while, I’ve been volunteering at a new Mums course. One thing that has commonly popped up is the guilts. The parenting guilts. The mumma guilts. The guilts of not doing things ‘right’. The guilts of not being able to use everybodies advice and not offend them. The guilts of not being able to say no to the smelly strange lady who wants to coo all in babies face and hold them. The guilts of just feeling you aren’t doing a good enough job.

But what is a good enough job? Providing them with labeled clothing? Dragging them around to every baby activity possible? Having the most and coolest gadgets to entertain them? Forcing them into a sleep pattern so far from what is natural for newbies to the world just for them to sleep more hours than ya neighbours whilst you are personally going insane? Placing unnecessary pressure on yourself to breastfeed because thats what your told to do is best, yet suffering PND?Having a banging body 2 weeks post birth whilst maintaining a well kept home, mind and image?

Or…

Is your child nourished? Are they clean-ish (by this I mean no soiled nappies for days on end…I read a story of neglect recently that make me spew in my mouth) Are they interacted with? Warm? Are they so loved it’s ridiculous delirium for all.

Yes? Good enough job parent! High 5! No guilts should exist in your vocabulary. Erase the ugly word guilty.

Often it’s outside advice or influence that can make us feel guilty. People who have those 1% babies who sleep at the click of their perfectly manicured mumma fingers. Those ones who dont cry. Ever. The ones who are just chilled. Which makes us question well hang on, what am I doing that’s not right? Why isn’t MY child doing that? What am I guilty of to cause this? Thus begins the guilts…

This can also work on reverse too. Those mummas who have these strange 1% kids also feel guilty whilst talking to friends about it, knowing it’s the opposite for their friends. Knowing too well it could be different. They don’t want to shout it out or they risk coming across as a dick. So they feel guilty. And keep it in.

So don’t feel guilty in that case . Or any case. Maybe empathetic. Maybe say, “yeah they do x y z but it’s a fluke. It’s nothing I’m doing (it might be, but your mate doesn’t need to hear that while she’s bawling her hormone ridden eyes out), this kids just a weirdo” (A well loved weirdo of course!)

Same goes for advice given from EVERY ONE. As well meaning as it might or might not be, nod your head and say “thanks, I’ll take it on board.” And if it’s something you don’t believe will work for you AND your baby/kid and partner, don’t use it. And don’t feel bloody guilty for NOT using the piece of advice. Fack, ignore this bullshit whole blog if you like, I won’t be offended.

You won’t and shouldnt feel guilty!

AND NEVER feel you need to justify why you are doing what your doing for YOUR family, to anyone. It’s your choice, you’ve chosen what’s best for you all in that moment.

The old saying, which I’ve mentioned before. Is it safe? Does it work for you and your family? Yes yes fucking yes!! Then carry on.

March on beautifully strong mumma, with your messy bun head held high, shoving those 2 chewed down-chipped nail polished fingers in the air, wave them at the face of GUILT.

You are doing enough. You are enough.

My nana passed away about 10 years after the misplaced foundation. The strangest thing I did while in the funeral room alone with her, was to apologize for the stolen foundation. I had done something naughty and wrong ¬†and I felt like I needed to amend it with her, which is pretty weird, ’cause she was dead (love you mana). I had carried that naughty guiltiness with me til it was too late.

Now THAT is guilt.

YOU should not feel guilty for being the best you can be for your family.

X

It’s all about you, dear mumma.

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I’m sure you can trawl the internet and find a million posts out there about looking after you post baby (or in general!). So this is post number one million and one. Because I care.¬†

Time for you

This old cliche.

You have just given new life into this world. Fucking high 5 to you! You are a powerful, wonderful, awe inspiring woman! So give yourself a break, both physically and mentally.

Expecting to bounce back to prebaby shape within the month? Expecting to get 10hours uninterrupted shut eye per night? Expecting to flit around being life of the party, passing around your bundle of joy to everyone? Expecting to have a beautifully clean and tidy house, with fresh cookies baked every day, birds chirping through the window singing lullabies to baby while you prepare a hot meal for hubby then ready for some ‘Netflix and chill’ after?

No.

All the above are what I expected. All of the above did not manifest. All of the above placed pressure on me and made me anxious that I wasn’t fitting the ridiculous made up expectations. I slowly realised that ridiculous expectations are not good for ones mental health.

Let. It. Go. You are goddess and you deserve to be cherished, pampered and have no pressures placed on you.

Do something for you. Take a loooong hot shower. Baby will be ok sleeping for 15 minutes!

Go to the supermarket on your own and wander aimlessly.

Take a drive with the music cranked up, windows down.

Do your nails.

Go to the hairdressers (or get someone in to your home) and let them just wash your hair. God that feels good. Orgasmic.

Get a box ready of nourishing snacks and sit it next to where you nurse bubs. Get the remote, feet up and chill with bubba.

Yourself and exercise 

Be gentle on yourself body wise. Give it time to heal before getting into exercise postpartum. I wish I had listened to those around me (physios, chiropractors, friends, family) who said this.

I’d heard it multiple times. Ease into it. Otherwise you can do more damage physically to your precious body than before. Did you know your body still has the relaxin hormones 6 months AFTER stopping breastfeeding that can make your body more susceptible to injuries? And the hormone relaxin is still coursing through your body up to a year after giving birth?! Meaning your joints and ligaments are under HUGE pressure, especially if you run or do high impact joint activities.

I learnt the hard way. My ankle is screwed from playing competitive netball just 6 months after birth with Lily. I won’t play again. I’m still having issues with it and will continue to see a physio. Next step is surgery. Guttered. But my body wasn’t ready! Yet I didn’t listen to all the niggles. It was in fact the most injury riddled season I had ever had; shoulder injuries, fingers, back injury, calf injury. And my main story is just an ankle!

Many women go through enlarged and damaged Diastis recti issues due to exercise not suited to your new body. Prolapsed uterus can be exaserpated with exercise, particularly with running. Posture problems, joint issues, not to mention the ‘pee when you cough’ issue. Not trying to be a debbie downer here, I would like those reading to be aware. Cause I freaking care! These CAN be remedied with proper care of yourself, time and if need to, work with professionals for some help. (*I rant about this often as this is the field I want to study in – working with pregnant and postpartum mums and their SAFE exercise needs).

One thing 

Your not just a mother. You are a human who needs something other than your family to focus on once in a while. Find something. Do something you used to do pre baby. Or do something with the fam, if that makes you have your own mental break ¬†Maybe not hit up the old raving scene, popping pills, fluro wearing sweatyness. Or whateves. But find or do something you enjoy. And stick at it. Maybe it’s being the best candycrush player ever. Maybe it’s losing yourself in a good book or hitting up the gossip magazines every week. Maybe it’s collecting teapots. Maybe it’s baking or cooking up a storm. Or stripping off your clothes and dancing naked every full moon…wait, whatttt….?

I found Zumba. I guess a substitute for the old raving scene? It makes me happy, it takes me away from home (I bloody love my home, I’m not abandoning them) and into a place of fun, sweat, looseness. Free from poopy naps and grabby hands. For 2 hours a week.

beto_class

Many friends sew, do craft, import things, bake, start new hobbies, brew, smash stuff on their xbox. And they thrive! Cause it’s theirs for 1 hour a week or what ever. Too busy? Schedule it in. Too busy to have your own mental break? Please. It will be a mental break soon. I know.

Support to vent

Find support in some shape or form. So you can vent, cry to, laugh with all that’s going on with yourself. I’ve found this, writing *cough ramblings* helpful. Not everything I write at 3am is published, I’ve got about 10 drafts of rantings and ravings stored up. But it helps.

That and wine. And humans, they are pretty bloody valuable too.

Sometimes social media can be a blessing but sometimes, a curse. Realise what gets put out there by others is not always the perfection you may so crave.

And really, super, try not to compare yourself and your life with others. It’s tough, but it’s also very easy to get suckered into the prettiness of social media #flatlays #blesssed. I know cause I do it, and often need to deconnect from it in order for myself to not get down or angry about shit I see. And if my focus is on that, it’s not on myself or my family. And that’s not reality.

Number 1.

As hard as it is to realise, your focus is you. Number uno. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Recharge you, be kind on you and then the rest will follow. And know your signs of deflation! Let others know too, so they can help out. I seem to get (sorry, medical history of Jess coming up) mouth ulcers, coldsores and tummy bugs/flu when I get run down and I look back when I get them and always say ‘huh, I must be run down’. Hindsight.

Know what they, step back and assess. Cause we need you! The world, your loved ones, friends need and want you.

Be nice to yourself. It’s hard to be happy when someone is mean to you all the time.

X

WARNING: A long post ahead; The 4th Trimester.

20150727_161637So something in the water about 6-9 months ago has gotten many friends pregnant. Not sure what it is…

So I feel the need to impart some information about those first 3ish months of your glorious bundle of newborn joy into the world. By newborn, I mean up to 3months old. The 4th trimester. It exists.

I am NO expert! Let me make that bloody clear!! I only have 1 kiddo. Butttttt I have volunteered at a new Mums n bubs course for nearly a year, every week. I hear the passionate speakers. I listen to the same questions get asked by anxious new mummies (me included!) and I hear the wonderful knowledge that is open minded, honest, holistic and in my personal experience with Lilypie, a lifesaver. I’ve listened to my mum friends and I’ve done a bit of research on some topics (albeit, I took my science hat off in many situations and put it back on for others)

I want to pass it on. Edit: I started typing and realised it was waaay too long and I went on about mums health. So surprisingly, its been cut down. Mumma stuff will be in another blog post soon!
So here it is, take it or leave it. Pin it or poo on it. Or pass it on. Preferably not with the shit on it.

1. Newborns can’t tell the time.

Strangely enough, their lil scrunched up faces cannot see the clock nor then put the idea together that oh shit, it’s been 4 hours, I now demand a feed. Or it’s now 2 am, I think I will stay super quiet and let mummy and daddy sleep, even though this room is kinda scary and I can’t feel my mummy, and I WANT food!

The biggest shock was that damn this little tyke isn’t fitting into our ‘expected timings or schedule’ (I LOL to that now)! I mean we’ve read that newborns can go for 4 hours between feeds right? Thats what they did ‘back in the day (F*** back in the day)..yet here she is, crying AGAIN…..

Uh…Reality check.

If you are a regimented schedulely type person, you may have to lower your expectations of what you expect your new born to do TIMEWISE. Like low. to the ground. Flat. Other wise you may make yourself sick with stress. Take it from me, loosen that shit up.

If you are schedule type person go for it…but, schedule the shit outta what you want to do after baby is 3ish months. Because by that stage, their brain connections are becoming stronger. And what worked one day will change the next and this is where frustrations can build ‘why won’t you do what you did yesterday!? It worked! Just do it!’ (Unless your baby falls into the 1% of angel baby who does everything by the book. You dick.)

Schedules are time based. First 3 months, middle finger that shizz (or not, if you want to do them, just breathe when shit doesn’t fit into what you expected or changes nek minute).

Routines are activity based. We followed a routine.There were no clocks. Just Lily’s cues, our intuition and our flexible routine. Routine is similar activities in a similar pattern. And are soooo different for everyone.

Eg: wake, one boob. burp. other boob. burp. change nappy. tummy time/floor. cuddles/sleep on me, sometimes put down in bassinet, sometimes not, sometimes feed more til asleep. wake and repeat. That was the first 2ish months. Then after that, ’tis another blog….

2. They’ll get used to what we do for them

There is this fear that ‘oh but baby will get used to it if I hold/rock/cuddle(godforbid)/sing/play lullabies/white noise/feed/walk in pushchair/wear him or her to get them to have some sleep. Stop yourself right there. Please. Their brain connections are only at about 14% in new born stage, so any associations made with those ‘tools’ are irrelevant. You will not be rocking them to sleep when they are 5. Nor will they be suckling at your boob to calm or sleep when they are 8. Do what you gotta do to get through.

Hold bubba! Sit in the couch with them! Watch crap TV! Let it be your excuse to do absolutely¬†NOTHING else! Now is the time to relish that quiet state! Sniff (pretty sure I’ve said that many times in previous blogs. I don’t have a sniffing obsession. I don’t think…?) that newborn goodness. Seriously, you’ll catch your self saying, ‘but they’ve grown up too fast! I want the newbornness back!’ And did you actually be in the moment with them when they were a newborn? Possibly not. So I’m telling you this NOW. RELISH IT!

Will you look back in 10 years time and say ‘Man, I wish I did more housework when baby arrived….’

3.You baby, your choice.

When pushy Aunty Lola comes by unannounced, stinking of perfume and all loud and baby is about to feed (you can see the hanger signs) yet she wants to hold and play with baby and then bubs starts howling, and she says oh what’s wrong (all in babies face), Politely say oh thanks, but I’ll just feed her now. Scoot away to the bedroom and feed. And once bubs has fed, stay in there a bit longer. Then come out and say, oh she’s asleep now, sorry, another time. And DONT let that Aunty/uncle/neighbour wake your baby for their own satisfaction! You know what’s best. If bubs is tired, let them sleep for the love of god!

I remember bravely heading to a cafe on my own at about 1 month old. I just wanted to sit in public, be somewhat normal again. This lil old lady, possibly well intentioned, decided to actually get all in Lily’s face while she was sleep on my shoulder and STROKE her hair and talk awfully loudly to her then woke her, crying inconsolably. In my sleep deprived state, my reaction was slow, I didn’t click, I just smiled politely. Then my instinct kicked in, I pulled lily away from her and said thank you, I’ll just go change her nappy, and hid in the toilet. Tell people politely to back off if you can sense baby getting worked up at this person. Your allowed to! Your baby, your way! They just want mum or dad. Not 50 other people’s different smelly hands on them. Plenty of time for smelly hands later on.

4. Mumma knows best (And dad!)

Mothers instinct exists. It’s innate, built in. Trust it. If you feel something is up with baby, talk to someone, seek professional advice. Healthline, plunketline, your midwife, your GP and try stay off uncle google. It can bring a raft of anxiety (she says as she does research on ‘is it normal for poo to be smelly and runny then hard and no smell within 2 days?’). My friend had a refluxy baby, way worse than Lily. This Mumma wasn’t getting the answers she felt she needed. She knew something was up. She was a trooper, she approached various healthcare professionals, all giving the same advice. She had enough, in her gut something wasn’t right. So she forked out to see a specialist and turns out bubs was completely lactose intolerant, like severe allergic reaction intolerant! I admire my friend as she never gave up looking for answers, trusted her instinct. Go get a 2nd, 3rd, 100th opinion on something.

5. Cluster feeding

They are growing, and at certain times (first one is around 12ish days old) they take more milk in then usual. It may feel like you are glued to the couch or where ever you feed. It may feel like you have a second appendage which is attached to your boobie (or bottle) and you think god this is draining!! This can’t be what it’s going to be like? For a day or so, maybe. Sometimes on certain hours each day, sure. But it does pass. I remember lying in bed, about 2 weeks into it, hubby was home and also my mum was there. I had lily on the boobie what felt like every half hour. By 4pm, I broke down. I was a blubbering mess. I no shit said, ‘what did we do? Why did we have this baby.’ I of course, was hideously hormonal and tired and all the rest that comes with a 2 week old bubs. But I couldn’t see it changing. The next day, poof! Different story. Back to feeding more than every half hour at least. In those times, have a nourishing snack box and the TV remote ready. Sit back, munch those snacks, re-hydrate! And rest. The washing can wait. Dinner can come outta the freezer and be microwaved. Or have toast. What ever it is, cluster feeding will pass.

Ok, I’ve rabbited on way too long. I’ll bullet point-ish the next stuff as to keep you interested, if I haven’t lost you already.

6. Choice is power

As I said, your baby, your choice. Choice is powerful.

7. Is it safe? Does it work?

With everything you choose to do with baby, ask yourself, is it safe (for you and baby) and does it work? (For you and baby). If you answer yes to both questions, then keep on truckin’ Mumma! Ignore the naysayers. Ignore the parents that say ‘ well my baby slept thru at 1 weeks old’ (not safe). Ignore the ‘back in my day’ people. Do what works for you IN THAT MOMENT.

8. Poop

Breast fed babies can go up to 2 weeks without pooping! And when it happens, perhaps surprise hubby with a beautiful pxt of the gloriousness. Seriously, it’s exciting and a relief. Formula fed less so.

9. Tongue and lip ties.

Get them checked and rechecked. It can help with breastfeeding big time if you get it sorted early on. Saves a lot of pain for both you and bubs.

10. Bubs will cry

Attend to them! A ridiculous baby whisperer person once said you spoil a newborn if you attend to their crying, let them cry to find their place. Excuse my language but what the fuck.You are attending to their needs! Scoop that baby up and calm them ASAP. They have different sounding cries for communicating. Check out Priscilla Dunstan on Oprah, below in the link. You can also get an AP called baby ears. HOWEVER, this is just a tool. If something doesn’t seem right, don’t wait around for the wailing of baby! Don’t wait and say oh that might be a hungry cry…or a windy cry…Attend to them! See number 11 and 12.

11. Wonderweeks.

Get the wonderweeks AP.  Or book. Saved our marriage. Enough said.

12. Tune in

Get in tune with baby. Watch them. Get on the floor with them. Tune in with is their tired signs. Jerking arms? Blank stare? (I must be tired all the time..) Looking away from eye contact? Grizzly? Perhaps time for sleep. Check them out in the link below. They will help.

13. Less stimulation

Goes without saying. Overtiredness is very quick with babies. Miss their tired cues = overtired baby = hard to calm =stressy mum. They have no filters. They download everything all the time. And when it’s sleep time, it’s download time. Too much stimulation while awake? Not great sleep. Babywearing came in super handy with this. Pop them in against you, they can shut out the big world and have a snooze. Plus you get snuggles!

14. Little humans.

They are little humans after all. People think they don’t do much. They can’t think much. Sure, complex algebra isn’t on their agenda yet, but they are highly intelligent beings. And they have senses, feelings. Ask yourself would you like that if someone was doing it to you? (in ya face etc…) If not, then why do it to them..?

15.Support network

Find a group/forum what ever that you feel comfortable asking question to and chatting to. I swear I am the luckiest lady to have my coffee group/antenatal ladies and their kids. They are the tits. Find that support, don’t feel you are alone, cause you aren’t! There is a network of queens (love Constance!) out there who have been through it, ready to support you. Shit, message me if you like. I’ll wait. Here. Patiently. Hoping someone contacts me…..sigh. ūüėā

16 Breathe. 

Pat yourself on the back. You are wonderful. Your baby thinks you are wonderful. They are finding their way, as are you. It’s scary! ¬†And they need you! You are their all! Be there. Breathe them in.
You got this ūüĎä Especially for getting through this bloody long blog.
X

Dunstan baby language (long version)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgkZf6jVdVg
Short version

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ValdMXD5wQI
Baby tired signs

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDEW36ru1iw
Wonderweeks

https://www.thewonderweeks.com/
Pinky Mckay who has awesome advice

http://www.pinkymckay.com/blog/baby/

Explosions, adulting and no books.

20150729_143324Today, I can’t adult.

It’s 330am. The cat is meowing and scratching at the door for food already.

I’m awake, I’m up.

Bump into hubby who is sleeping in the other room due to ‘infectious’ me. Charming. It’s 520am, he’s off to work. I collapse into him, a sobbing mess. He guides me back to bed, says some kind words of ‘look after yourself (trying to), everything can wait today (good), love you (sorry about your work jersey covered in snotty tears).’

I’m not well. Fluey, throat is on fire and bunged up from taking pills doctor gave me to stop my butt explosions 4 days ago. I still haven’t gone and feel I need to every 4 minutes. It feels like a small cat is trying to claw outta my tummy. You didn’t need to know that. But it’s out there now.

And my mind and eyes are tired. Get off the screen? Need to. I was going away this weekend for a netball tournament, my 1st overnight trip away from Lily. But that won’t be happening. Gimme a break.

Blah blah moaning murtle.

Lily is stirring. Already? Pop ear plugs into ears. Give me 30more minutes please. Deep breathe.

We made it to 615 before the grizzles start winding up.

She woke not happy, I think she is getting ill too. Nothing, NOTHING is worse ūüėē. Back to bed with her, I reach for my IPad and find some nursery rhymes on YouTube. 2 minutes of resting eyes before

‘Nana, nana, pear pear, toas toas (toast toast) ma-mit ma-mit (marmite).’ It’s feeding time at the beautiful Zoo. I actually feel ripped off at this stage cause I feel like I’ve had the best weekend out in Vegas or somewhere party-like, yet this never happened. My mouth is all cottonmouthy metallic tasting from those bloody shit blocker pills the doc gave. My eyeballs are hanging, my voice is raspy, my nose is running like I’ve snorted something up it on my Vegas nights out and damaged the nerve endings (I’ve never snorted stuff up my nose Mum, just know that your nose runs if you do snort stuff of the White powder variety. It’s science).

I take away (god I feel guilty at this stage, terrible terrible parent) Lily’s bookcase and books while she’s obliviously munching on her tar covered toast. We pretty much read all day, each book, 100x over. Now, I LOVE to read with Lily. I read what ever she bring to me, what ever she is interested in. It’s takes energy! Sounds stupid? You try it. All freaking day. But today, we have no books. It’s a no spot the dog, hairy mclairy, green sheep, each peach pear plum, ¬†I love you always kind of day. Nope. I lay on the couch, vaguely encouraging the play. 8am. Doctors are open to ring.

Doctors visit goes swimmingly. I’m on antibiotics.. Lily screamed the roof off and she wasn’t even being checked over. She hates that place. And I’m starting to feel the same. Waiting for the prescription, Lily has found some items and pulls them off the shelf with enthusiasm. Condoms, Lube and ‘Old spice’ deodorant…..? Hastily putting them away, fake smiles all around, we leave for home. ‘Pear pear chee chee water water’. Its nearing lunch time already.

Drive through macdonalds it is. First happy meal Lily has ever had. Chicken nuggets, Apple pieces. Fanta for the drink please. That’s a double Fanta for Mumma. Give me that suuggaaarrrrr. (Note lily did NOT have Fanta, so don’t you be calling child services on my greysweatpanted ass).

Greeeeeeeeaat for a recovering gastro tummy!

It’s nearly nap time. Praise the gods above. Its. Nearly. Bloody. Nap. Time.

‘Mumma Mumma book book boo boo (her cuddly)’. Bless her little cotton tail she has found two books behind and under the couch. Oh she can sniff them out. At least her nostrils are working.’Yes darling, it’s nap time.’

Snuggling into the well moulded couch, (let’s be honest, I havent moved all day apart from the doctors trip) we cheerily read The Jungle grapevine Book and sleepily read Guess How Much I Love you, those books that Lily snuffled out. I breathe in her auburny hair smells. Her small body eases into mine, giving up to the mornings antics. I bundle her up into her sleeping bag and lay her down with her booboo. She grins cheekily up at me, kicks her legs around like a worm, bites booboo, rolls over and slowly nods off.

Today, I can’t adult.

But today, I can be thankful.

And tommorrow, I can live.

X


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