Surviving kids without family help is hard, but I’m surviving. Just.
My vision of having children when I was a lot younger was one filled with family moments, big Christmas dinners and trips to the grandparent’s house where the kids would be utterly spoilt. Fast forward to my mid-thirties and two children and these visions couldn’t be further from the truth. My reality, along with many others, is no grandparents and little to no family help at all.
When my mother suddenly passed away when I was only 28 years old, I was devastated that she would never get to meet her future grand children. When I unexpectedly fell pregnant around 6 months later, the reality of her not being there to meet my son hit home pretty hard. What I never could have anticipated was just how difficult it can be to sustain a loving, healthy marriage when you never get time alone without the kids.
My husband and I both work very hard. We are both career driven people who want to balance good family life by providing a good life for our two children. What makes it exceptionally difficult is having little to no family help around to assist with childcare or after school pick up or drops offs on days when our work rosters clash, which unfortunately happens a lot. Lucky for both of us our work rosters can be somewhat flexible, but sometimes this isn’t always the case and ultimately one of us will have to let our workplace down. On top of this, trying to get
My Facebook news feed is constantly littered with friends going out with their significant other child free, spending weekends away or sprouting about how the kids are with the grandparents for the weekend or even the week…I wish. This sounds like heaven to me, but when all of your parents are either calling heaven home or not around, well a fantasy it has to remain.
Until you are in this situation, you cannot comprehend just how incredibly hard it is. How incredibly taxing it is on your mind, body and soul to never get a proper break from your kids. As I’ve said many many times before, I adore my kids. I cherish my time with them and know I am so blessed to have them however I also unapologetically crave alone time away from them.
Recently, we spent some time away at a lovely secluded holiday house. We have family from my hubby’s side – cousins and their parents/step parents – parents who are not at all biologically related to my children. But still, very loving and acting very much like grandparents to my kids and my two adored it, lapped up all the attention and even started calling them ‘Nani’ and ‘Pa’. How adorable. But as much as it makes my heart melt at times like this, a heaviness weighs on me that they don’t get this regular “grandparent” treatment. Yes, I have grandparents still, however they are my grandparents and therefore my children’s great grandparents. They are aged 92 and 88 and live 900kms away from us. While it is fantastic for the kids to see them, they spoil them rotten call or Skype them whenever they can, that regular “let’s go to Nana’s house” is not a sentence uttered in our house. My grandparents just aren’t near us and visits are so infrequent I can’t help but feel my kids are missing out.
Most people with large families just don’t understand how lucky they are, to be able to drop their kids off at their grandparents and have the day to themselves. Having to organise a night out months in advance, factoring in rosters and availability of the one person you can rely who works and has a life of their own is incredibly hard. Sometimes too hard, so hard I don’t even bother. I am rarely envious of anyone, if ever. I’m not the type of person who wishes I had someone else’s life. I love who I am, I love my life. However, seeing people having a massive amount of family support does cause me to feel pangs of jealousy. I wish I had that, not only for my sanity but for the sake of my marriage and my kids.
The key though is to recognise how hard you have it. Give yourself a break and realise that these are the hardest years of your life. They will come to an end, it isn’t forever. Take time for yourself whenever you can. Learn to be apart from your significant other and do things by yourself. Spilt the parenting, as in you take the kids for 2 hours today and I’ll take them for 2 hours tomorrow. Don’t feel guilty If you have childcare and all of a sudden you have the day off. Don’t keep the kids home, they’ll have a blast anyway. Take the time doing something for you.
Most of all, make time for your partner. This is something my husband and I learnt the hard way. We dedicated so much time to work and to our kids, we neglected ourselves as a couple. We drifted apart and it almost broke us. We clawed our relationship back and have managed to find somewhat of a balance between spending time with the kids and spending time together without kids. We don’t have the luxury of dropping the kids to their grandparents overnight and going to the movies or to dinner and drinks. So, we make do. We put the kids to bed early some nights and schedule movie night. We have a theatre room, we buy cheese, chocolate, salami and have a wine and a beer whilst watching a movie. This is time together, to connect. While it may not be as fun as heading to the cinemas, it’s enough for us to reconnect. We go for walks together, plan days when the kids are in school or child care to go to lunch together get a coffee.
On Sunday’s, if we aren’t working, we lie in bed together for as long as we want. We tell the kids to go and watch TV or entertain themselves. The washing and chores can wait, the kids can wait. In turn, we have developed a much closer and more respectful relationship. We have also created healthier and happier children who see happy parents totally in love with each other.
It isn’t always ideal but we make it work. It isn’t forever and
There probably isn’t a parent out there with a son aged between aged 5 upwards who hasn’t heard of the online game Fortnite. To me, I have to say it’s the most boring game in history. Like, you run around wearing strange costumes with a hamburger for a head…right. But, my son like all his mates at school is obsessed with it. And when I say obsessed, I mean like uber obsessed. It’s all he talks about, thinks about and all he wants to do. So, his dad and I limit play time. We thought that was the best way to head off the obsession. I’m not a huge fan of online games anyway, for one I think they’re mind numbing. Secondly, they are dangerous. The idea that my 6 year old can chat to absolute strangers of all ages from all around the world through his headpiece is down right terrifying, am I right? So when the game first came out and Master L begged to play it, I followed a couple of simple steps in order to keep him safe:
- I logged on and played the game myself first. Seems bizarre I know, but it allows me to understand the game, how it works and all its features.
- I changed the privacy settings. Master L plays on Playstation, so his dad was better at this than me as I’m a Playstation/gaming tragic. I literally have no idea how to even drive the things. The last time I played a video game was Super Mario Bros back on Super Nintendo…yikes. However, we changed the settings so that when he was playing with “randoms” the voice function was muted, so he could not hear them nor talk to them. So if some creepy man from the other side of the world wanted to talk to him, he couldn’t hear them.
- Educate your child. Right, so we all know stranger danger right? Well in this modern era, stranger danger doesn’t just take the form of people children meet face to face. More likely, stranger danger will come in the form of online danger. So, teach your child. Educate them that there are no so nice people out there who should be avoided. This worked well in our house. My son has always been super trusting of people, he loves people. While this is a great trait in certain ways, it is also very bad in others. I weighed it up, should I allow him to keep seeing the world as a beautiful rosey place where nothing bad ever happens? Or should I teach him that hey, there is evil in the world that should be avoided at all costs? Well, the answer is rather simple. I sat him down and explained to him that there are nasty people out there who try to talk to young children on the internet. I didn’t need to go into great detail about why they do it, what their motive or end game is because this is just too much for him to digest. I explained instead that some people are rude to little kids or teach them bad words and that was enough for him to understand why I wanted him to steer clear of them.
- Monitor your child’s friends list. Do you know who these people are? Obviously each child has a “username” which makes it impossible to identify them. So I spoke to the mothers of the friends my son said he wanted to play with and I got all of their usernames, that way I could identify each child and approve the friend requests that were coming through.
- Check the profiles of unknown users who are trying to befriend your child. I’ll admit a few came through that my son just accepted without telling me so I viewed their profiles. Turns out because my son was logged into his dads account using his username, some of his dads friends added him. I confirmed that we knew each person there and if we didn’t, that person was immediately blocked. In my opinion any adult who wants to befriend a child they don’t know online has sinister motives. This might be a doom and gloom way of looking at the world but hey, if it keeps my child safe them so be it.
- As mentioned, Master L plays on the Playstation. That Playstation is in the main lounge room of the house. It will remain that way so that I can sit next to him and watch what he is doing. The idea of him sitting on his iPad in his bedroom without any form of monitoring is just plain silly. Be involved in what your child is doing. If they know you are monitoring their every move, they are more likely to play by your rules.
- Set clear rules. No adding random strangers without my permission. Play with mates in “parties” only. Tell me if someone you don’t know tries to talk to you. Have consequences should these rules be broken. Banning the game is like telling my son I’m going to take him right arm away, so that being said he will play by the rules or suffer the consequences.
- Limit the time they are allowed to play. With our busy lives, it is easy to just let them play their Playstation or iPad that little bit longer just to get some work done or a moments peace, you have to think what are the consequences in the long run? We are all guilty of it, I will be the first to admit I have done it. However, I absolutely notice a change in my son’s behaviour when he plays the game too much as opposed to times when I refuse to allow him to play it. Studies have shown that screen time does alter the chemistry in a child’s brain, so try at all costs to limit game time.
Despite all this, to say it has been a smooth run would be a lie. Currently, Fortnite is banned in our house. Why? Because Master L’s behaviour was gradually getting worse and worse. He was falling asleep in class and having random unexplained meltdowns. When we discovered he was waking up at midnight, sneaking into the lounge room to play Fornite for 5 hours before being told to go back to bed, the game was immediately banned. Despite daily protests, it remains that way. Gaming addiction is absolutely real, like any addiction it rules my son’s mind. It is something that we as parents need to be acutely aware of and to manage as best we can as we all know these games aren’t going away in a hurry.
Sometimes I use this time quite productively. Cleaning the house, washing, taking the dogs for a walk. Other times, so exhausted from my busy life, I nap. Yes, I drop the kids off at school and Kinder, I come back home and I climb back into bed for an hour or two. Crazy huh?
To think I used to be ‘bored.’ When now, peeing alone seems like a distant memory. I usually use the powder room toilet because it has a lock on it. But it seems almost instant before the kids are attempting to smash through the door, little fingers are appearing under gap and dogs are sniffing and snorting on the other side. I open the door to two kids, two dogs and sometimes a husband all staring at me like I’ve been lost at sea for years. Oh to be bored once more.
When raising children, you give up so much of yourself. Your life is no longer yours. Your life now belongs to these little beings, tiny little humans who depend on you for absolutely everything. Going to the gym, doing your makeup, getting your hair and nails done, having a coffee or a brunch with a friend takes so much planning its like you’re planning a 6 month tour around Europe.
I have had to book in coffee dates with friends a month or more in advance, save the date in my calendar and set a reminder for myself the day before so I wouldn’t forget. Gone are the days when a quick text to catch up could mean coffee, lunch, dinner and drinks until 3 am without a second thought about school pick up, after-school activities or looking after screaming kids with the worlds worst hangover. Even drinks after work require careful planning, checking hubby’s roster, making sure he does pick up, organising dinner and packing lunches all come into the fray. Life is no longer simple.
FINDING WAYS TO DE-STRESS
Okay, so this sentence seems rather simple but in all honesty, it took me years to realise I needed to take time to myself to cope and to retain my sanity. It took nearly falling apart in order to realise that sometimes I just needed to put myself first.
So, do something for YOU. You give up so much time doing things for others, you totally neglect yourself. Here are some simple tips to de-stress:
Exercise: Whatever form it takes, do it. For me, I love the gym and have taken up running. I have always loved physical exercise and found that it is great for my mental health. After having children and the busy lifestyle that comes with it, I lost this passion. It was too hard, I was too tired or I just didn’t have the time. However, after a scare with my health, I was advised to do cardio exercise at least 3 times a week. I was forced to find time to do it and low and behold, I felt less stressed, felt accomplished and felt like I was doing something for ME.
Being forced to find the time made me realise that I deserved this time and most of all my kids would survive the hour I needed to exercise. For you, it might be taking the dogs for a walk, swimming, walks along the beach, yoga. Whatever form it takes – do it.
New mom? Join a Facebook group and find local walking groups or mothers exercise groups where you can bring bubs along. You’ll be surprised at how many places accommodate new moms.
Park run is also a great initiative and it is located all around Australia. Don’t be fooled by the name, you can also walk it and bring the kiddies along too.
Find something you like doing: For me, I have always loved writing. I started when I was 14 years old and always used it as a form of expression, to find the words when I didn’t know how to verbalise it or simply just to vent on paper. Again, after having children it’s a hobby I stopped. I just didn’t have the time and my brain was so scrambled I just couldn’t.
ecently I’ve started it up again and have re-discovered just how much I love to write. You might enjoy gardening, renovating, reading, arts and crafts. Whatever your passion, find time to do it. Give the kids a hobby or a chore and set aside an hour for yourself. You’ll be surprised just how good it feels to do something you love.
Be more like your husband: You know how they have boys days, pub trips, footy trips, nights away with mates without a glimmer of guilt or worry? Be more like that and do the same. Go for after work drinks with the girls, organise a dinner date childfree, go on a shopping trip or beach day with just your friends. Forget the kids. Hubby might
Do a girls weekend away: Whether you go to the city and stay in a fancy hotel and eat take away, chocolate and drink wine, have a big night on the town drinking and dancing like you’re 20 again or spend the day getting massages and facials at a day spa, enjoy it.
Take this time for yourself, guilt free and do not think about the chaos you’ll walk back into at home when you return. Try not and stress when you get the text message from hubby saying the kids skipped their bath tonight and are eating McDonald’s for dinner, they will survive.
The best gift you can give your kids is a revitalised, relaxed momma whose batteries are fully recharged, so dump the guilt and just do it.
Find time to just be: This is probably one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. Walking away from the housework, the bickering and fighting and the chaos and taking a cuppa tea outside to sit in the sunshine is easier said than done. But I do it. I need it and I own it. Take a book, catch up on your Facebook news feed or just sit and bask in the sunshine.
Whatever it is just relax and breathe. Yes, I have locked the door on my kids and told them to go away and give mommy some time when they come scratching down the door (which they will I promise!). Does this make me a bad mother? Hell no, it makes me a mother aware that I need some me time sometimes and that is okay.
Staying sane whilst raising children is hard. I work in a high-pressure job yet after having children I can safely say that my job is a breeze compared to being at home raising my kids. But one “I love you mommy” or squishy cuddle (as we call them) from my munchkins makes it all worthwhile. After all, we need to make sure we have someone around to look after us when we’re old and wrinkly, god knows we probably won’t be able to do it on our own.
While a lot of the older generation, such as my grandparents scoff at the idea that a child can suffer with anxiety, it is sadly something I have a lot of experience in given my oldest son started showing signs around the age of four.
I myself suffer from anxiety. It is inevitable then that Master L would end up with it also. It still doesn’t stop you feeling saddened and somewhat guilty when your child starts displaying the symptoms of it. It is a condition that is hard to understand, but far more common than you may realise. According to YouthBeyondBlue.com 1 in 14 children aged 4 – 17 experienced anxiety disorder in 2015.
WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE
For Master L, it manifests itself as tantrums, fits of crying and hissy fits when he doesn’t get his own way, negative thoughts and fear of trying something new in case he fails. It has taken me a long time to learn how to deal with it, I googled the shit out childhood anxiety to find out causes (aside from genetics), treatments, supplements…anything that might help alleviate his suffering. Having suffered from anxiety my whole life and only getting a handle on it over the last 5 or so years, I know all too well the fear, confusion and crippling negative thoughts that come with the condition. A constant internal dialogue and uncontrollable bodily reactions such as a raised heartbeat, feeling ill in the stomach and sweating to name a few of the wonderful symptoms that are a daily norm for someone with anxiety.
At one stage Master L’s anxiety was so bad, he cried and told me that he wanted to die. I was heart-broken and at a loss, I never in a million years thought that I would be dealing with this so young. So, I did what I always do and researched, researched and researched. Through my research I discovered that responding to these negative comments “I’m not good enough” “I’m so dumb” “I can’t do anything right” “I’m such a bad kid” and the like actually makes it worse, feeding into the child’s attempts to get attention. The best way to tackle it is to ignore it completely. Easier said than done when your
FINDING SOMETHING TO HELP
So, more research on the google machine and I found a supplement, L-Theanine. Even better, I found it in a relatively inexpensive and nicely flavoured tablet dinosaur tablet making it easy for kids to think it was nothing more than a lolly. Although, I explained it to Master L that it wasn’t a lolly, but a multi-vitamin to help his brain. No need to make the kid feel like something was wrong with him, he has teenage and adult years ahead of him for that.
My ever sceptical hubby said I was insane, that something so cheap and inexpensive wouldn’t work. I doubted it too but had to try. I was in tears at work, losing sleep at night feeling like a was a failure and constantly feeling the overwhelming burden of guilt that I had caused my son to be like this purely through genetics and/or my behaviour.
However, I felt like after a month or so Master L improved. It could’ve been a coincidence, yes. But after running out of the product and waiting for the next shipment to arrive, I noticed Master L regress somewhat. I pointed it out to my hubby who agreed they must be having some effect. Don’t get me wrong, it isn’t a miracle cure but it’s definitely tamed the tiger to a degree. So, I ordered buckets of it. I would’ve cleared the shelf of their product to ensure we didn’t run out. And things seemed better. The negative thoughts almost disappeared. His anxiety was ever present but at bay and he seemed happier within himself, happier at school and a more well-balanced kid. Yay. A win to mom.
Fast forward six or so months and life being life, I began to slip. Being incredibly busy at work, having a friend stay with us who was going through relationship troubles and the general business that come with being a working mom with two kids, I became very slack at giving Master L these tablets. And it started to show. He started to act out and become aggressive. He was easily annoyed and clearly unable to handle his emotions. I didn’t twig, instead thinking it was just his age or a phase.
Then one weekend, one of Master L’s best mates wanted a play-date. We owed them one, it was our turn. With hubby
Back home and everything seemed to be travelling along nicely, barring the usual bickering about not sharing and not playing the way the other wanted to. So they head outside to the trampoline (thank christ I think, peace at last!) But soon after the boys end up in a bit of a scuffle and Master L punches his mate in the arm. I witnessed the whole thing and therefore dished out appropriate punishment, put Master L in the shower and sent his mate home.
About ten minutes later, Master L comes out of the shower and tells me he’s a “bad kid and doesn’t want to be alive anymore.” As shocking as this sounds coming from the mouth of a six-year-old, I’ve heard these words before. In my research, I learned that this can be an attention seeking mechanism. It can also be overwhelming anxiety, so much that Master L’s young brain cannot comprehend how he is feeling and doesn’t know how to express it.
At that point, I chose to ignore it, but once he had calmed down I sat down and had a heart to heart with him. I asked him what it meant to die to him. His response was “you become a person who floats in the sky and does nothing” I explained in terms of my mother’s death what it actually meant. I knew, at 6 years old, he could not possibly understand the finality of death nor the impact it has on those left behind.
As I explained to him how much I loved him and how much it broke my heart hearing him say he no longer wanted to be alive, I burst into tears. His little face twisted in shock as he asked me if I was crying because of him. His deeper level of thinking and understanding was so evident, it is no surprise the little bugger suffers from anxiety.
WAYS TO MANAGE IT
- Ignore the negative talk, you are only feeding into it if you give it any attention. As hard as it may seem, the more you acknowledge it the more your child will do it and the negative talk cycle will continue.
- Let the moment pass then sit down and talk to your child, ask them why they are so upset. This shows them you care and allows them to vent. We, as adults do it all the time right? So why can’t our kids? The issues might seem trivial to you, but they could be a massive deal for your child.
- Try supplements, they worked for me so they may work for you too! It’s worth a shot. There are plenty of natural remedies out there to try, as for my child a simple L-Theanine tablet for my son helped settle his out of control emotions. It may or may not work for your child but there are plenty of other options available.
- Research. Read. Understand the condition, especially if you have never experienced it yourself, trust me it’s terrifying at times and I’m an adult. It would be 100 times scarier for a child to try to comprehend.
Researchhelped me to understand behavioursin my son which were frightening and confronting, it gave me a lot of comfortto understand that it was all part of the condition.
- Talk to your doctor, tell them your concerns. They may think that seeing a child psychologist would be beneficial. We are in that process now, to address it further before habits become ingrained.
- DON’T bury your head in the sand. Do not think if you ignore it, it will just go away. It won’t. If you leave it until your child is a teenager to address, it may be too late. Patterns and
behaviourscan already be ingrained by this age, so the earlier you address it the better.
Most of all know you are not alone. Be there for your child and be the best mother you can be, having a mother who is their rock is the best therapy a child could ask for.
Tips, tricks & tools to help you get fit faster!
Are you wanting to get fit but struggling with motivation? Unsure where to start or what the best exercise regime is?
We’ve all been there, trust me. I know I have. However, after years of trials, struggles and fails, I am finally
RUNNING & CARDIO
Do you want to start running but are unsure how to go about it? I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a natural
I also have a bucket list and one of the things on my list is to run a half marathon, so this year I ramped up my running. So, here are some simple tips to get you running and keep you running!
- Start slowly. Don’t think you’re going to start running a half marathon or at a super-fast pace when you first start. Truth is, it will hurt at first and will take time to build up fitness. Aim for distance over
paceat first, but set small goals – such as 1 km today, 2 km by the end of the week etc.
- Stretch, stretch and stretch! I learnt this the hard way. I was always hopeless at stretching but when I was told my Achilles tendon was so tight it was about to snap, I started forcing myself to be better. Ensure you stretch before and after your workout to avoid injury.
- Don’t just run at the same pace. Change it up. Do a 30-second sprint, followed by a 1-minute jog, 1-minute sprint, 30-second jog and the like. This will improve your cardio fitness quicker than just plodding along at the same old
- Heard of the Beep Test? I’ll honest here and say I HATE the Beep Test. I once had a personal trainer who made me do it and I would tell him I hated him every time he made me do it. But, my cardio fitness was through the roof doing it. Short, sharp sprints that slowly increase in speed will get you fitter faster than just jogging, so give it a try!
- Don’t compare your progress with others. While it is great to be a little competitive and indeed, this can get you motivated, it is unhealthy and detrimental to your progress to compare yourself to others. Some people are much fitter than others, some people are natural runners. Go at your own pace and focus on your own goals, rather than feeling down if you aren’t running as fast or as far as your friends.
Want a beginner’s half marathon training guide? Get the one I have used here!
CHANGE IT UP
Don’t do the same exercise all the time. Ever heard of the saying “he skips leg day?” Some people do just focus on certain parts of their bodies, but this will not improve your overall fitness.
When I first starting really focusing on training, I learnt pretty quickly that despite just wanting to focus on my problem areas – my tummy and my legs and butt, I needed to change it up and work out areas I never even thought that I needed to gain overall fitness.
So, don’t skip exercises that focus on your back, shoulders, chest etc. You need to do all of these to get overall fitness. Plus, you cannot “spot” train – that is, you cannot get fit just by working out one or two parts of your body.
DO HIIT TRAINING
HIIT stands for “High-Intensity Interval Training.” Sounds hard right? Well, it is. But it is also the best way to gain fitness, especially if you are short on time.
The aim is to work out hard and fast, not allowing too much rest in between sets. It challenges your body, gets you fit faster and is great for those who are really short on spare time (let’s be honest, that is most of us these days!).
I am not going to lie, it’s going to hurt. A lot. Generally, I think to myself while in the middle of one of these workouts “What the hell am I doing?” But knowing it is only a 28-minute workout can help keep you going and get to the end. Whats 28 minutes out of your day anyway? And a bonus, at the end of it, you will feel absolutely great!
GET A WORKOUT PLAN
Join your local gym and ask for a workout plan. This will keep you on track and show you different exercises for different parts of the body.
If you can afford it and have the time, get a personal trainer. I did once and it was the fittest I have ever been in my life. Granted, this was pre-kids and I had a lot more spare time. But it is a great way of getting fit without having to think about your workout plan at all and they can be a great source of motivation for you also.
Alternatively, you can google a fitness plan and follow that. There are heaps of them online, focusing on gym workouts or at-home workouts to suit your needs.
Another great way of getting ideas on different types of exercises is to jump onto Instagram. There are literally thousands of workout videos on there and best of all they are free. If you are really serious about getting super fit, you can sign up to some of the apps they promote or you can just save their videos and use them as inspiration.
As mentioned in my other article “The Best At-Home Exercises For Busy Moms” – my two favourites are Krissy Cela —-> find her on Instagram here and Kayla
KNOW YOUR BODY
This is one tip I am still learning. As we get older, our body and our bodies needs change. I have learnt slowly that I need to listen to my body and adapt my workout depending on how I feel.
For women, where you are in your cycle is crucial to how you feel. I really struggle to get motivated and indeed workout during the last week or so of my cycle, so in this time I either do yoga or I give myself a break.
It isn’t ideal when you are training for something, such as a half marathon like I am, however I know if I try and force myself to train I will fail miserably and then be upset with myself, which sets me further back.
So, to combat this lack of motivation and fatigue, what can you do? Well, it’s simple. I workout hard (and a lot) in the first two weeks of my cycle (that being the first two weeks after my period) because this is when my energy levels are highest and I most motivated.
In the second two weeks of my cycle, I slow down. I focus less on running and more on weights because I find this easier than running during this time.
If I want to work out but I’m feeling really unmotivated for anything strenuous, I do yoga. This way, you are still working on muscle tone and are increasing flexibility also.
Trying to exercise while starving yourself won’t work, your body needs fuel for energy much the same as a car needs petrol to go.
Similarly, eating crappy junk food and trying to exercise won’t work either. This is because there is little to no nutritional value in these foods and your body will not have enough energy to output for your workout and you will wind up feeling really flat afterwards.
Eating fresh fruit, vegetables, protein, fish, lean red meats and carbs will all help give your body the fuel it needs for
If you struggle with what to eat, get a healthy eating food guide or subscribe to something like “You Foodz”, “Lite N Easy”, “Marley Spoon” or something similar to keep you on track.
ALLOW YOURSELF A BREAK
If you aren’t feeling up to exercising DON’T. If you are tired, unwell, run down etc, just don’t do it. It is counter-productive exercising when you feel like this. You simply will not be able to do it and you will feel miserable afterwards.
I remember seeing a post on Instagram that Krissy Cela put up. She drove to the gym and sat in the car crying because she didn’t have the motivation to go into the gym that day. Even super
This is, of course a lot different to the “I’m just being lazy” vibes. Then, you totally should get off the couch and get out there! You’ll know the difference, so don’t make excuses!
This is something I highly recommend but admittedly they aren’t for everyone. I use a Thermogenic supplement to give me the energy
I use one called “Body Effects” – it has more natural ingredients and I find it helps me a lot with my running. There are plenty on the market, so do your research and find one that is best for you.
What else do Thermogenics do? They suppress appetite, enhance mood, and help to burn fat. Read and research the ingredients before taking any of these supplements as they are all vary in ingredients.
Here are a few to choose from:
- Body Effects
- Shredz Protein Thermogenic Made For Women
- Thermal Switch
- NLA For Her – Her Amino Burner
Get yourself a fitness watch. They are the best at helping you keep track of how you are improving. They can also be a great motivator, with a setting that basically tells you to get up and start moving so you can reach your step goal for the day.
I personally use the “Fitbit Ionic” and I love it. It has an inbuilt GPS so it is super accurate and is very simple and easy to use.
Other options include the Apple Watch, Garmin and others.
Download Apps that will help you keep track of your runs, set goals and compete with friends. I use the Fitbit app to sync with my watch but I also have an
Another great app is called “MapMyRun” – This is a
Type in your address, create a route along your choosen streets and know exactly where you have to run to reach your desired distance.
SET A GOAL
This is a big one. What are you aiming for? Fitness, overall well-being, running a marathon?
Have a goal in mind, write it down if you have to. Mine is to run a half marathon, but yours might be as simple as “to lose my mommy pouch” or “be able to run 5 km.”
Whatever your goal is, know it and aim for it. If you have a target, you are more likely to stick to exercising than if you just do it for no reason.
DITCH THE SCALES
Oh wow, I cannot stress this enough. Ditch them, ignore them, put them in your cupboard.
After months and months and months of weighing myself whilst training and feeling like a failure with my weight going up and down, I decided enough was enough. I don’t even step on the scales now and I couldn’t tell you what I weigh today.
I did this for one reason – it is NOT a reliable indicator of how you are tracking on your fitness journey. During a woman’s cycle, her weight can fluctuate dramatically. I, for instance, can put on up to 1.5kgs with my period – and no, it isn’t from the chocolate I ate, it is all fluid. I know this because once my cycle ends, this “weight” disappears.
Second to this, the more I ran, the more my weight went up. I was baffled. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. But, truth is, is that muscle weighs more than fat. This is not a myth, it is the truth. The more I ran, the more I worked out on my legs, arms, back, shoulders, the heavier I became. So, I ditched the scales.
The best indicator for how your tracking is a measuring tape. Measure around your waist and keep track of that if you prefer.
What I prefer now is looking in the mirror. If I’m happy with what I see, then I am going well. If my clothes are fitting nicely, then I am also happy. I couldn’t care less what I weigh on the scales, this is just a number. It’s how I feel about myself that matters the most.
AFTER YOUR WORKOUT
As mentioned before, stretch. This is SUPER important.
But, what I have also found important is replacing electrolytes I have lost during my run. I sweat when I run, a fair bit. So replacing electrolytes is key to me feeling better after a big run.
Most of all enjoy yourself. Get out there and give it a try. You will be amazed at how good you feel and how much your overall health and mood improve once you start regularly exercising!!
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When I was 14 years old, my mother was diagnosed with Oesophageal cancer. It was a horrible time for all of us and I was forced to grow up very quickly.
Around this time, I started to become unwell. Everyone thought it was the
I started having issues with my bowel, I was told I had IBS. I was losing weight which wasn’t great as I was already quite skinny. I had horrible pain in my stomach that would bring me to my knees. My period became erratic, heavy, painful. It was torture.
My mother came out of the hospital several months after her initial diagnosis and was on the road to recovery. She was in remission and everything seemed to be going back to normal with our family life. But my issues continued.
My mother took me to a multitude of different doctors, specialists. Everyone and anyone. They kept focusing on my bowel but it wasn’t until a Gastroenterologist told her that it wasn’t my bowel that she forced doctors to start focusing on something else.
She was getting desperate. By 17 years old I weighed 40kg. I was pale, dizzy all the time, fainting. I had no energy and was in constant pain. I had endured too many blood tests to count. They checked me for diabetes, crohn’s disease, thyroid issues all to no avail.
Mom took me to herbalists, iridologists, chiropractors, Chinese herbalists, naturopaths. You name it, we tried it.
One doctor told me I needed counselling because I was having these issues because my parents divorced when I was four, a divorce I couldn’t even remember. We walked out mid-appointment.
Eventually, she took me to our local doctor. He had a chat to me and told me that “sometimes we feel pressure from our peers to look a certain way.” Yes, he believed I was anorexic. This is despite the fact my mother told him I ate like a horse. Mom was at breaking point.
A few weeks later, after another bout of lying on the couch crying in pain, having a heat bag on my stomach and an ice pack on my face to cool the burning of my cheeks, she took me to another doctor. She begged him to help me. I distinctly remember her words “I’m losing her.” I was so skinny and so unwell. She was desperate. He asked whether I had been tested for Endometriosis. She said no. This was the first we had heard of it. He referred me to a Gynaecologist.
A few weeks later and I was seeing the Gynaecologist. He performed an ultrasound and booked me into hospital for a laparoscopy. He put me in as an ‘urgent’ case. I was in within a week.
I recall him telling my mother I would be in and out in 45 minutes max. Over 2 hours into the surgery, my mother called
After returning to the Gynaecologist for a followup appointment, he informed me that my insides were a mess. My endo was classed in his words as “moderately severe.” I had answers, kind of. No one knows how it started, why it started, why I have it and my sister doesn’t. I had an infection in my uterus, again no one knows how.
22 years on and I have endured 7 laparoscopies, countless medical treatments, chronic pain, hormonal issues, irregular and erratic periods and more. It dictates my life and still no answers.
I was told having babies would solve all my issues. While my endo has actually decreased significantly since having children, my pain and period issues have not. This is because after so many invasive surgeries, I have been left with scar tissue and possible nerve damage that causes daily pain.
Endometriosis and the associated complications are a pain in the proverbial. In modern
If you have never heard of affiliate marketing, let me enlighten you. This is a very clever way lots of bloggers are earning a side income (or even a full-time income) online. Essentially, you write a blog post about a product you love, you insert an affiliate link into the post, the reader clicks the link and makes a purchase and the author gets a commission of the sale. Wow, right?
This article contains affiliate links, meaning if you choose to purchase any of the products mentioned, I will receive a small commission of that sale at no cost to you.
However, what I have come to realise is that a lot of the affiliate programs advertised are either from the USA or the UK. Not great if you’re an Aussie blogger like me. But, don’t despair. There are a bunch of great affiliate marketing programs that Australian bloggers can get access to and to make it easier for you, I have compiled a list of the best ones to try!
Commission Factory: This is one of the largest affiliate networks that focus on affiliates for all different niches. It has a simple sign up procedure however once you are accepted by Commission Factory, you then have to apply for individual retailers. This could mean you are not approved for certain retailers, depending on their criteria. The dashboard is fairly easy to use and has a wide range of brands to choose from, including the following:
- Boden Clothing
- Nourished Life
- Valley Girl
- Harris Scarfe
- Bing Lee & More
Best of all they accept startup bloggers so they are a great starting point if you want to look to monetise your blog.
Viglinks: is similar to SkimLinks in that you don’t have to input your affiliate links yourself as you do with other websites. After applying and of course being approved, you will receive a code that you place into your website. This code automatically “read” your content and apply any affiliate links that are applicable.
If you prefer not to have ads on your blog, this is one is the way to go.
Clickbank: This is an affiliate marketing network for digital products such as software and eBooks, so if this is your niche, these guys are well worth considering. Registration is super easy and great for those start up bloggers. If you want to get a start with affiliate marketing and you have a niche involving digital goods, eBooks and the like then head to their site and sign up.
Skimlinks: This technology is different to the ones above. Instead of embedding the affiliate links into your blog posts, this technology ‘skims’ your content then applies any merchant codes you have been approved for automatically. This is perfect for those who are not so tech savvy and aren’t quite sure how to apply affiliate links to their sites.
Want to give them a try? Sign up below.
ShareASale: This one crops up quite often in the affiliate marketing world. It has been around for quite come time and although
- Modcloth & More
So, go apply and happy marketing!
We live in a new era, a social media era. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter,
This is the single most terrifying aspect of social media for parents with children coming to the age of wanting social media accounts. Children, so blissfully unaware of the dangers lurking out there on the internet, share intimate details publicly online can leave them vulnerable to predators who have honed their “skills” over time and know exactly what to look for. But, rather than denying our children the chance to interact with friends over social media outside of school, there are ways to keep them safe. Here, I will discuss some simple ways to ensure your children remain safe in this new and complex world.
MAKING THE RULES
Firstly, the biggest thing parents need to understand and to stress upon their children is that having social media accounts is a privilege, not a right. Remember, YOU are the parent.
PASSWORDS: This is the most important rule. You set the password with your child and inform them that the password is not to be changed under any circumstance by them. Set up a recovery email and/or phone number that belongs to YOU so that you will receive notification if the password has been reset.
If you find yourself locked out of the account due to a password change, request a password reset to the email you have access to and lock them out of the account.
PROFILE PICTURE: It is best that the profile picture (which is public) be a generic picture, such as of a pet or a favourite image. This is the picture that is visible to everyone, including predators, so best not to show an image of child.
IMAGES UPLOADED: While teenagers may think that a mirror selfie in a bikini or posing with friends in micro shorts and bikini tops
Similarly, images of school uniforms can lead to a predator knowing where they attend school and can be very dangerous. Review every photo your child uploads and if you don’t approve of it, remove it.
PRIVACY SETTINGS: Facebook and Instagram have a whole bunch of privacy settings that need to be reviewed regularly to ensure your child is safe. On Facebook, features may default to the “public” setting after updates, so you need to make sure you review each aspect of the privacy settings and timeline and tagging settings to see who can see your child’s site, posts
Instagram is much the same, ensure that your child’s account is set to a “private” account and educate them in relation to unsolicited emails they may receive. The best rule to apply here is if you don’t know them, delete the message.
HASHTAGS: While most of us think
FACEBOOK/INSTAGRAM “TAGGING”: Another feature you want to be careful about is “Tagging.” This is when friends ‘tag’ someone they know in an image on their page. Seems innocent enough, however, if that friend has 1500 people on their Facebook friends list, this is 1500 people you don’t know who can see the image of your child. Facebook does have a feature in which you have to approve tags before they appear on your timeline, which is a feature you should enable.
ACCEPTING FRIENDS ONLY: Many teenagers who use social media think that having a large friends list makes them appear popular, so the more people who add them the better. When in reality, your child cannot personally be friends with 1500 or 2000 people, so they accept requests from people unknown to them or you. A simple rule to apply here is if your child does not personally know them, do not add them.
If you have Facebook set to allow friend requests from “friends of friends” you can imagine how many people your child can suddenly have on their Facebook page, seeing their every move and every photo. This opens the door to people you just don’t want speaking to your child. Would you allow your daughter or son to speak to random adults at all hours of the day or night without your supervision? Then why would you allow it online?
LOCATION SETTINGS: This is a big one. Facebook has a feature called “checking in” where you can tag yourself at your favourite location and share it on your page. While this is fine if you are out in a public space, many teenagers and indeed adults use this feature to tag themselves at home. What this does is pinpoints them on a map and advertises their home address for everyone and anyone to see. It is fairly self-explanatory why this is extremely dangerous and something you should educate your child on.
Similarly, applications such as Snapchat have a location feature, where you can accurately locate the other person ‘snapping’ you through the app. However, the location settings default to ‘Ghosting’ meaning your location is not automatically displayed. It is best to check to see if your child has turned this feature on and if so, turn it off and educate them to the dangers of sharing your location online.
Lastly, teach your children about stranger danger. Tell them that there are people out there who target children and it’s best to not speak to anyone unless you know them. While you don’t need to be specific about why predators are targeting children, if they know these people are bad they will be less inclined to want to speak to them.
Most of all, stay involved. While it may seem like a lot of effort, constantly checking your child’s social media accounts, privacy settings, messages and friends list is the best way to ensure their safety and security online.
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What I’ve come to realise of late is that my son, who is rapidly approaching 7 years old, is far more emotionally intelligent than those of his peers – who are in fact older than him. While this sounds like the typical parent-like “oh my kid is just so awesome” it’s actually not. My kid has flaws, he is a handful and he is far from perfect. I don’t believe in the perfect child. He is
I have begun to notice this a lot lately when watching him around his friends. I am a people watcher, I like to sit back and analyse and in doing so have discovered a difference in my child. While his friends seem to process things as a child of 7, my son appears to have a deeper understanding of life, death, consequences, friendships, relationships and the like. Whether it is because both his father and I are very realistic parents, choosing to teach our kids about topics most parents shy away from or whether it is just his brain is more developed, I can’t say. But it is something that comes with a small price, my son has anxiety and I put this down to his brain processing emotions far deeper than those around him, leaving him confused and sometimes angry and frustrated.
What I have learnt over time though, is to not dismiss him in times when he is curious about life and death. To not dismiss his feelings when he is frustrated or angry. To talk to him, explain things to him and help him understand. My hubby and I have always spoken to our children as though they are adults, not children. We teach them things despite knowing it is complicated, beyond their years and in turn we have discovered that our children have a more developed language and understanding.
Children are far smarter than what we give them credit for. We often laugh at some of the ridiculously complicated words that come out of our kids mouths and their explanations of things are sometimes better than what I could explain them. At 5 my son explained a combustion engine and at 4 my daughter explained photosynthesis better than most adults.
Recently, I took my children to visit their nana at her resting place. The kids asked if we could go for a walk around to look at all the people. We set off, the kids asking me questions about all the trinkets on the people’s graves or their photos on their plaques. They asked how they died, what their names were and how old they were. I fed their curiosity as much as I could.
Then we came upon “the garden of angels.” This garden was dedicated to children and babies who had grown their wings. I didn’t want to continue but the kids did. They asked just as many questions, about their toys, their lives, their names. Some of the plaques had photographs on them, the kids were genuinely interested and not at all upset. In fact, I was the one with tears in my eyes. The fact is, the children were perfectly at ease with the acceptance of death, comprehending how lucky they were to not be like these children and understanding the gravity of the loss these families had experienced.
My point is, don’t shield children from things you think are beyond their years – to a degree of course. We don’t allow our children to see all the horrors of the world but when they see a natural disaster on the news and they ask about it, we explain it. We watch nature documentaries on tornadoes and the deep sea to expand their minds. Explain life after death, trust me they can take it. It not only feeds their natural curiosity, it expands their mind, but creates emotionally intelligent children.
I will admit when it comes to the gym and exercising, I have always loved it. I first started running when I was 14 years old. The exhilarating feeling you get after completing a hard work out is second to none, not to mention the obvious results in terms of fitness, health and how you look. These have always been big motivators for me. However, since having kids, working and running a house, I find I have less and less time for me which means less time to exercise. When I do find a spare hour, I am so damn tired I can’t be bothered. But, when I actually drag my lazy butt there I always feel amazing after it.
Not all of us have the luxury though of being able to pop down to the gym for an hour or two whenever we want like we did when we were single and childfree. God knows I certainly don’t. So what is the alternative? Well, the truth is, there are plenty of at home workouts that get you fit and give great results without even having to leave the comfort of your lounge room.
Most people think that to build muscle or tone, you need to be using machines at the gym. Well, the truth is, you can achieve the same result using resistance or your own body weight. After having Master L, I decided I needed to work out from home during naps or when he was playing quietly in his walker for instance. Now I have Miss CJ as well, I am even more time poor, so I have tried a tested many at home workouts, some good, some not so good.
So, here are some the best at home
KAYLA ITSINES “BBG”
Kayla ITSINES “Bikini Body Guide” – I have used this and found it to be fantastic. You simply download her “Sweat” app complete with exercise programs, meal plans and shopping lists. Her program is designed for women on a time budget, which is perfect for us busy moms. Basically, you do a 28-minute workout, consisting of two separate sets of exercises (7 minutes each, then repeat). Her training is based around the HIIT – High- Intensity Interval Training method, which is the best way to get fit by working out harder for a shorter period of time.
I lost several kilos and toned up beautifully on this exercise program. The app has a 1-week free trialHigh-Intensity it is $19.99 per month after that. However, if you are unsure whether you would like this program or can even do it, jump onto Kayla’s Instagram page (@kayla_itsines) and watch some of her exercise videos for free. Have a go and see if you like it, essentially try before you buy!
KRISSY CELA – TONE & SCULPT
Okay so after a while, I decided I wanted a bit of variety in my exercise regime, so I starting looking through Instagram for something different. This is where I stumbled across Krissy Cela (@krissycela). To say this chick has a tidy rig is quite frankly an understatement. Her booty is incredible and I now have a slight girl crush on her body.
Anyway, I decided to try some of her exercises – which are tailored for at home or at the gym workouts. And, can I say DAMN… I literally couldn’t move for days after just the first booty workout! I have found her range of movements really challenges my body which is fantastic at getting results. They are also quite short, sharp exercises so they don’t take up much time. I have simply been following her Instagram page and doing the workouts from there, but she also has a “Tone &
If lifting weights or high-intensity training isn’t your thing, then there is yoga. I also do yoga to increase my flexibility and help stretch out my muscles after running or gym sessions. It is also a great, low impact way of staying fit on the days you just feel blah and don’t want to do anything too intense. You don’t need to go to a gym or spend a fortune on classes when you do yoga. I simply jumped onto YouTube and found a bunch of free videos from yoga instructors all around the world.
The one I stuck with was “Yoga with
MICHELLE BRIDGES 12WBT
If you are looking to really push yourself and also have more free time, I have also completed the Michelle Bridges 12WBT training program after Master L was born. I had free time with hubby home and then working shift work. I became incredibly fit with this program, however, it was grueling to say the least.
Fast forward 7 years, another child and being back at work and I couldn’t imagine completing this program however you may be far more motivated than me. I also found it too time-consuming, training was for at least an hour, 6 days a week. Recently I’ve noticed the program now has “mini-workouts” if you are short on time, though I cannot attest to how good or bad these workouts
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So you want to start a blog? Well done, go you! I have wanted to start one for a while and finally decided to dive in. I love writing and thought blogging is the perfect avenue for my creativity. So, I started typing – blog after blog on all topics I had swirling around in my brain. Words filled the pages with ease. Wow, this is fun I thought.
What I also did though was start researching, trying to understand blogging, niche’s, marketing and designing. I was like a sponge, absorbing all this information thrown at me by bloggers who had made it big. I knew I wanted to monetize my blog too so I jumped onto Pinterest and starting reading. More and more Pins and blog posts flooded my search bar about bloggers making it big overnight. I was excited. I wanted my content out there, I wanted to pass on the advice that I had learnt on my parenting journey, hoping that it might help new parents on a range of different topics. However, after starting up my website and making it look pretty, placing a few blog posts on there and linking my Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter accounts – I hit publish and waited. Needless to say, my reality wasn’t exactly this glitzy or quick as the articles I had read. It was much more of a slow burn and the more I wanted to promote, the more complex and time consuming it became.
Here are some things you simply must consider before deciding to start a blog – the real truth!
When you start your research, you will read multiple posts on how quick and easy it is to make massive amounts of money from blogging. But hold up, don’t quit your day job just yet. Because what they fail to tell you in these posts is that to earn the income they are referring to takes time, money and a lot of hard work.
Traffic To Your Blog
“How I made $3,000 in my first month of blogging and you can too!” Wow! Sounds perfect, doesn’t it? I personally find these articles to be quite misleading. Sure, they may have had a good month but no one and I mean no one goes from zero to $3,000 with ads and affiliate links in their first few weeks. Sure, some affiliate links will allow you to earn some cash straight up, like Siteground or Bluehost. But, you need traffic to your site and clicks on your Pinterest Pins in order to make this money. Same goes for ads, although most ad companies want you to be established with a certain amount of traffic (ie 100,000 page views) before they’ll even consider you.
In short, you need to spend it to make it. Hosting sites, themes, Tailwind subscriptions, courses…. these all cost money. It is impossible to have a good website without spending something and I doubt those telling you they made $3k in their first month subtracted the total they spent getting their website up and running.
You need to invest a lot of time into your blog. Writing, editing, posting, artworks and pin designs, tailwind scheduling and the like all take time. Lots of time. Most new bloggers think they just write a blog and hit send and BAM! Instant success. That’s what all these flashy articles will have you believe, right? Well, in
It can be very disheartening writing your masterpiece and checking day after day to see just 10 or 20 people viewed it. Where are the 10,000 page views mentioned in all those articles? But, the key here is to keep going, keep driving, keep promoting your page whenever and wherever you can. Write when inspiration strikes. I’m currently writing this on my phone in the back of an Uber because why not?! I have the time so I may as well use it wisely! I know as soon as I walk in the door I’ll have two little crazies demanding all of my attention so I use every spare second I can on my blog, whether it be writing or promoting.
Put simply, you won’t get paid immediately unless you are extremely lucky. I mean the chances of winning lotto are probably higher here. Many people are writing posts telling you how easy it is to make money instantly and happily guide you to all of the sites they use on their journey. What you have to realise is, is that these posts contain affiliate links designed to make the writer make money. They are attempting to get you in by writing a catchy headline “how you can make thousands from blogging overnight as I did!!” Most people will click this link. I almost see it as a form of click bait, trying to coax you in to click on their affiliate links. And while there is nothing really wrong with this you need to understand what their aim is in writing an article like this.
In short, if you put in the hard work you will (eventually) reap the rewards. I have read many many bloggers saying that it took 6 – 12 months before they saw any sort of income. If you are willing to work hard, research, be patient and keep on battling even when the results aren’t as you expected, then blogging is for you.
You may ask yourself when is unsolicited parenting advice wanted…the answer to that is never! Putting your two cents worth in when it is not asked for is nothing more than irritating. We all have different parenting styles, while I have bit my tongue not telling you the 10 things I would’ve done differently with your child, you turn around and give me “just a bit of advice…” Hell no.
We all raise our kids differently based on our own upbringing, morals, family dynamic and the like. What works for one family may not necessarily work for another. Something you think is a big deal in terms of children’s behaviours may not be seen as such a big deal by another. Unless the parents are seriously endangering their children, the advice is to zip it. No one wants to be told “just a bit of advice” from another parent. Because the reality is, you might get some truth bombs back that you weren’t expecting.
We’ve all come across them, the moms who say “oh my god, my child would NEVER do that!” Makes you feel like the worst mother in the world, right? I’ve come across this more times than I can count, yet funnily enough I’ve witnessed the child do exactly what the parent said they’d never do!
I’ll give an example here, my son was on a playdate with a friend of his while I was having a coffee with the mother. We were talking about the kids (as you do) and I said Master L had been behaving badly towards me lately and lashed out and hit me. The response I immediately got from the other mommy was “oh my gosh, my son would NEVER hit me….” Hmmm I thought, okay is there something wrong with Master L then? I felt the size of a grain of sand at this point. But low and behold, not 10 minutes later this momma’s kid started misbehaving, she pulled him up on it and BAM! He punches her straight in the arm….I at the time said nothing. I took the higher ground as I sometimes (well perhaps seldom) do, but in this instance I thought pointing it out wasn’t worth it. You see, the vast majority of parents like to think their child is a saint. In reality, very few if any children are perfect children. They are all pains in the butt in someway, they all display poor behaviour at times through whatever reason, perhaps tiredness, their age, sickness or just downright naughtiness. Whatever the reason, no child is perfect. It baffles me as to why parents want to attempt to portray a different picture. The only answer I’ve ever come up with is that they want to portray to the world that they have this parenting thing perfected when in reality, we are all just taking it day by day.
Recently we have been dealing with the “Shitty Sevens.” Yep, you heard me…we all know the “terrible twos” the “troublesome threes” the “F@#*ed fours, the “fiesty fives” the “sassy sixes” and then there are the “shitty sevens.” See we have all heard of the terrible twos, but let me tell you mommas the terrible twos are NOTHING compared to the proceeding years. So, currently we are in the “shitty sevens” filled with attitude, back chat, eye rolling and general defiance. Oh, so fun. So, with this we have had a few issues at school. Master L has always been a handful at home but on a whole, a really good kid at school…until this year. We haven’t had anything major, just little things but enough that I can see a change in behaviour.
Funnily enough, the main issues have been with his best friend. So, I’ve been forced to address his behaviour with his mates mother. All good here as I’ve known her for a few years given our sons have been best mates since school commenced. What I didn’t expect was this mother to subtly begin to blame Master L for her kids behaviour. You heard correct. Here we go again with those parents who refuse to believe that their kid can do anything wrong. Now, I’m no spring chicken. I’ve been around the bush so to speak and I have witnessed things through my career that others wouldn’t even know existed. Most people live in a bubble, let me tell you for me, the bubble burst a long time ago. So, I did what I do best and observed and what I saw was the other child baiting my son, excluding him, teasing him and exaggerating the truth in order to lessen his involvement. So, I have begun to stand up for my son. While I admit his behaviour is less than perfect, there are times when I need to defend him and this is one of those times. Of course, this mother decided to weigh in and give “just some advice” to me. Yeah, well that didn’t go down so well given her sons behaviour is less than perfect too. So, I reiterate – don’t give unsolicited parenting advice EVER unless you are specifically asked for it.
Even more infuriating is when another mother then weighs in on your relationship and how you and your husband “may not be on the same page” in terms of parenting. This comment, while innocent enough, is one that should be avoided at all costs. Your opinion is based on what exactly? A few minutes a day of interactions in the school yard a day? A 10 minute chat after a play date? Assuming you know how a couple parents together based on this is highly unlikely to give you a detailed picture of the day to day lives of another family. Unless you are extremely close with this other couple, best to keep you “well meaning” comments to yourself.
Until you have walked a day in my shoes, do not cast judgement. It is something we all should live by. We all think we are better at parenting than others, but truth is, we are all just getting by. Day by day. Ultimately our aim is the same. To raise well rounded, educated, considerate, compassionate, upstanding members of society. How I get them there is my business.
SIMPLE, INEXPENSIVE BEAUTY TIPS FOR BUSY MOMS
While I am no beauty blogger, I am a woman who likes to look good. As a busy working mom of two, beauty treatments usually take a backseat to the housework, school lunches, sports lessons and after school activities. By the time I have a spare ten minutes to myself, I am usually far too tired to be bothered doing anything to improve my looks. It’s usually a “tomorrow job” however tomorrow doesn’t always come.
As a single woman in my twenties, I regularly had my hair cut and coloured, my nails done, I self tanned/tanned on the beach, had a skin regime and regularly attended the gym. As a working mom in my thirties, time is a lot more scarce and most of these beauty treatments are a luxury I struggle to find the time to do. As a new mom, walking out of the house sporting bags under my eyes and smelling like baby vomit was not an uncommon occurrence. Now my kids have grown a little, I am actually capable of giving myself a little more time. Time is still precious however, so I need quick and easy options that aren’t going to break the bank.
Like lots of women I have tried and tested a whole bunch of beauty products over time. Some are good, some not so but I couldn’t help but compile a list of simple, easy and inexpensive products that will have you looking and feeling a million bucks in no time.
I will readily admit I am pasty as they come, like not pure redhead pasty but not far from it. My skin does tan quite easily, so as a single woman I spent time sunbaking at the beach. Living close to the beach meant I could walk down to the beautiful golden sand and sit for hours reading a book and relaxing. Well as most of us moms would know, going to the beach with kids is an exhausting (and definitely not so relaxing) mission.
So, not only is this not an option for me anymore, but I also have skin that pops out freckles like weeds in a freshly watered garden bed. I have so many freckles now my kids could use them to play “join the dots.” So being far more sun and skin conscious, I choose fake tanning to get a nice golden colour. Believe me, I have tried many many many products and have always found they leave you looking more like an Oompah Loompa from Willy Wonka. Not a good look at all and attending a salon for a quick spray tan while my two kids run around like monkeys from the jungle is also not an option.
I eventually gave a local product Byron Bay Bronze a try and WOW! It would have to be the simplest self-tanner I have ever used. Literally just wipe it on all over, leave it for an hour up to 8 hours and rinse in the shower. I usually put it on just before bed and rinse in the morning (disclaimer with this though, it will stain lighter colours so beware).
Alternatively, I have put it on, gone back to my normal nighttime duties for a few hours then rinsed off before bed, this just gives a slightly lighter result. But,
Best of all the product is all natural AND Australian made! I purchased it on a special where I got 2 bottles for $99. Several months later I’m still using the same bottles, although I do not tan every week as mentioned above sometimes I just can’t be stuffed!
I have always been a big tea drinker. Over time, I have noticed my teeth becoming more and more
I had seen the ad a few times and thought the product was another one of those teeth whitening gimmicks that never work (yes I have tried almost all of the in-home products with little to no success). So, one day I was curious and started researching it. The reviews were really really good. So, okay I said, worth a shot. I ordered a full kit for about $90 and it arrived shortly after. I followed the regime as described. The tooth polish (basically a tub full of black carbon powder) is what you use first. While it leaves your mouth looking like the coal pit of a steam engine, the taste is perfectly fine.
I had seen the ad a few times and thought the product was another one of those teeth whitening gimmicks that never work (yes I have tried almost all of the in-home products with little to no success). So, one day I was curious and started researching it. The reviews were really really good. So, okay I said, worth a shot. I ordered a full kit for about $90 and it arrived shortly after. I followed the regime as described. The tooth polish (basically a tub full of black carbon powder) is what you use first. While it leaves your mouth looking like the coal pit of a steam engine, the taste is perfectly fine.
The next step is the “organic oil pulling” If I’m honest, I didn’t like this part that much and I found the taste and texture very
ModiBodi period underwear – okay
Well, to my absolute surprise they are fantastic! They are super comfortable, no smell and they really don’t feel the same as wearing sanitary pads. Note here I am not a tampon wearer, they just aren’t for me but find I’m always uncomfortable in sanitary pads. Well, ModiBodi changed that and I am sold. And what’s better is they are great for the environment AND Australian made, win-win for everyone.
I have tried so many different deodorants, spray
So basically No Pong Deodorant is made from all-natural ingredients (again yay!) and is a mixture of baking soda, coconut oil, beeswax and a couple of other non-nasty ingredients. It comes in a tin and you apply it like a lotion or a cream to your armpit. It seemed far too simple to work, but to my surprise it totally does! Even after a heavy cardio workout on a humid day, my armpits remain super fresh and it is nice and gentle on my easily irritated skin.
It comes in two varieties – original, which contains the bi-carb or baking soda blend and a bicarb free version for those sensitive to bicarb based deodorants and fragrances. Best of all, it is ridiculously cheap. The bicarb version is $5.95 and the bicarb free version is $6.95!! I haven’t looked back since using it and highly recommend you give it a try!
FEG eyelash enhancer – Again I went into this with such a scepticism that I’m surprised I even continued using it., but I persisted. I thought I may as well. As I’ve got older I’ve noticed my eyelashes getting lighter and lighter. Once jet black, the tips started fading and becoming so fair it looked like in places I had no lashes. I honestly don’t have the time nor the patience to be applying mascara every day so I gave this stuff a try. Again, research showed that people loved the product.
After about 2 – 4 weeks of using it, I noticed my lashes becoming healthier and a lot darker. I have been using it for over a month now and the results really speak for themselves, my lashes are jet-black again, longer, fuller and generally healthier. What’s best is that all you do is line the top row of lashes at night before bed and that’s it, it takes no more than 5 seconds for good results.
Do you have short or nearly non-existent lashes? Or are you just wanting a product that makes your lashes look like those on the Hollywood starlets? I was seeing ads everywhere for “4D Silk Fibre Mascara” so I decided to try it. I was quite sceptical at first but after using it a few times and figuring out not to lather it on the way they do on the ads, I discovered I actually really quite liked it. It does make your lashes look a lot longer, not quite like the ad but that’s probably because I don’t like layering it too much or else I look like a clumpy clown (I have quite long lashes naturally).
This product you can get in multiple places, including Wish and eBay. Shop around for the best deal and the most reputable seller.
CLEAN, SIMPLE, BEAUTIFUL MAKE UP
If you haven’t tried the make-up brand Nude By Nature you are seriously missing out. I changed from using
I use the matte liquid foundation, which is super light but gives you a beautiful finish without looking like you have applied your foundation with a paint trawler. It stays all day and doesn’t come off even after sweating or exercising.
To give a beautiful airbrushed finish, I use the loose powder over the top. Again, it is light and doesn’t feel like you’re wearing anything at all. I finish off with the mineral veil powder to set my make up and enhance the overall finish.
I have also used their brushes and concealer and can confidently recommend them all.
Want to try it yourself? You can get it here: Nude By Nature
REVITALISING YOUR HAIR
While I have made a conscious decision to make time to go and get my hair done as often as I can, I still push it to the absolute limit, to the point I look in the mirror and think damn girl go and get your hair done you look like a manky lion…
I have blonde foils in my hair and yes blonde is a lot of work to maintain. I find my beautiful white foils over time get that brassy look which I absolutely hate. I would love to have enough time to slide off to the hairdresser at this point and get a nice tone and blow dry done but let’s be honest, that ain’t happening with two kids that easily.
So recently I decided I would just purchase a packet silver toner from the supermarket and use that to tie me over. Well, the results did surprise me. I regained my beautiful white blonde hair again for a $5 packet of toner, which took all up 45 minutes to apply, wait and rinse. Not a bad hair hack for busy moms to keep themselves looking and feeling their best.