Tag: motherhood

An open letter to the Little Mister.

Hey dude,

I know it’s not your birthday or any particular milestone, but I’m your mum and I reserve the right to be mushy at any time I like. I think it’s just this stage you’re at, which makes me feel particularly sentimental. I thought I’d write you a letter to tell you what it’s like to be your mum right now. Spoiler alert, it’s pretty cool.

You’re five and a half. You’re in pre-primary at school. You’re so little, but you’re so grown up. Your thirst for learning is amazing to me. Even though you spend five full days at school a week, you spend every other moment you’re with me asking questions about the world and how it works. You want to practice writing and drawing and finding out about numbers. Sometimes it’s exhausting and I might occasionally tell you to take a little break, but I am grateful you want to practice what you’re learning. Your enthusiasm for life in general is just amazing. I’ve learned a lot just by trying to teach you!

Something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately is how special this time of your life is to me. I realise you’re growing up so fast, but you still need me in so many ways. It’s actually a pretty sweet spot. Like you can wipe your own backside (haha sorry to bring that up), dress yourself, take care of some chores (often with a bit of nagging/bribing/bargaining/disciplinary strategy haha) and play independently, but I still have an important and active/hands on role in looking after you emotionally and physically.

You jump all over me because you need to be close to me. You will spontaneously explode with “I LOVE YOU” at random times. You’ll say, “Look how much I love you, Mummy!” and you’ll reach up as far as you can, arms stretched, tippy toes in full effect.

“THIS MUCH!”

Your eyes search for me in a crowd with such an urgency that it makes my heart want to burst (dude when you are old enough to watch the movie Lion you will understand why I bawled during it). It makes me feel so good to know that you don’t have to worry – I’m right there (in a not creepy, not too helicoptery way of course).

You want to be seen with me. You’re so proud that I’m your mum. You introduce me to people like you think I’m the most amazing person ever. Even though we both know I’m far from perfect! I mean, you’ve met me during the bitching witching hour. You’ve seen when I’ve forgotten things for school or when we’re running late. You know I sometimes slip up and say ‘naughty’ words. Oops! We both know what’s up haha.

I know that one day you won’t even want your friends to know you have a mother so I’m treasuring this!

You can walk alone without me worrying as much as I had to during the toddler years, but you will still hold my hand and let me keep you safe. Sometimes you will put your hand in mine just because you love holding hands.

You compliment me when I wear something new. You always tell me I’m looking beautiful or pretty. Even though I will always want you to know there’s much more to a woman than her looks, it really does melt me. Never hesitate to pay compliments when you feel them bubble up inside you. We need more kind words in this world!

There’s just something so freaking endearing about seeing a little boy behaving in such grown up ways, but also needing his teddy bears, all of his sleepy toys and his cuddles with his parents.

It means so much to me that you tell me you want to grow up to be a daddy, husband and a teacher (also a rock star – I guess your mum’s taste in music has rubbed off on you a bit haha). You see all three of those things as equally important and noble. Holy shit I’d love to take credit for that, but I think this is all you and your beautiful soul. It’s so gorgeous when you look at me with a furrowed brow and say, “How am I even going to be able to do it all??”

Oh, buddy. I can’t even begin to tell you the half of it!

I know this letter might be quite flattering to your little ego, but try not to get too big a head. Don’t forget to stay humble, be a little less of a busy body, don’t throw your weight around when you’re tired, use your inside voice and CLEAN UP YOUR DAMN LEGO.

I love you so much,

Mum.

What is this? A handbag for ants?

When the Little Mister was born, my handbag situation got ridiculous. Every day, a trip to the shops was like moving houses. An overnight stay somewhere took the same preparation time as that of a month long overseas holiday. There was a pram, nappy bag, my handbag…actually, scratch that. For a while, my nappy bag was also my handbag. Because babies don’t give a damn about style. They just need bottles, wipes, mashed up baby food goo, nappies, nappy rash cream, spare outfits (because poop tsunamis), teething toys, bibs blah blah. You name it, I had it in my bag. I was awesomely over-prepared (yet it never felt like it).

When the Little Mister reached toddlerhood, I managed to get away with carrying just one massive handbag (it was a way of fooling myself into thinking that nobody would be able to tell it was a total ‘mum’ bag – not sure it fooled anyone). That habit has truly stuck. I win all of those silly baby shower/kitchen tea party games – you know the ones where you get points for every ridiculous thing you find in your handbag? Yep. I am a freakin’ champ. I will come to your baby shower and fuck shit up. Woo. Last time I won, it was because I had a toy Hot Wheels car and an odd sock in there.

I am that uncoordinated jerk filling up the aisles on aeroplanes with my massive jerk bag. I am the idiot who bangs her handbag into people at the shops. Mostly accidentally of course. In my defence, some people just walk right into it. I guess they just can’t handle someone with that much swag bag. I am always being told, “WATCH OUT” by the people I’m with, because if anyone’s going to turn around suddenly, swiping several fragile things off a shop shelf…I’m your guy.

(PS Kate Hill does some awesome ones if you’re in that awkward toddler phase BTW – you’re welcome – you too can be a jerk with a big jerk bag but it will be a pretty jerk bag)

So anyhoo…with the Little Mister starting kindy this month, I thought I deserved a little treat. Key word: little. Because now I’m going to spend more days getting out and about without him than with him – which is a little bit bittersweet if you ask me but let’s move on without being a sentimental fool for once, Kez – that means I don’t have to carry so much crap. YESSSSS.

I found this beauty. She was on sale ($30 WHAT?!). She was much smaller than the big arsed bag I’ve been lugging about. She was a pretty colour. She had zips and pockets in all the right places.

IMG_8828

Yep. People have ‘first day of school’ photos. I have a photo to commemorate my first smallish handbag. OK, so maybe I have a ton of first day of school photos too, but shhhhh. I’m having a moment.

I feel like this milestone is completely underrated.

I took my new bag with me to school drop off and the shops today. It was fantastic. It tucked so nicely under my arm. My shoulder didn’t want to dislocate itself from the weight. Sure, it will take some getting used to. I mean, it’s really weird being able to find stuff in there right away. And it does feel like a little handbag for tiny ants.

I feel like someone’s going to yell out, “OH LOOK. WHAT’S WITH THAT LADY’S TEENSY TINY HANDBAG. IT LOOKS LIKE A DOLL’S HANDBAG. THAT HANDBAG IS TOO SMALL FOR HUMANS.”

But the truth is, it’s really just a normal sized handbag. You know? The type that normal women use every day without incident?

It’s liberating. Let me illustrate how it feels, with the use of a Nicolas Cage gif.

nicolas_cage_breeze.0

So tell me.

How big is your handbag? What’s the weirdest thing in it, right now

A day in the life with an almost 2 year old.

7dcaf6a472ae68b3e0b9ad3c3397bed3

pic

This morning I awake some time just before 7am to the dulcet tones of the Little Mister singing and playing in his cot. I get him out of bed and noticed he’s wet through his nappy, PJs, sleeping bag, fitted sheet and through to the (thank goodness) mattress protector. I chuck everything in the wash immediately and replace his bedding with spares. Aah, nice and fresh.

The Little Mister drinks his milk without spilling it and it’s a very proud moment. It’s the little things, y’know?

I let him watch a little TV (oh the horror!) while I try to sort out the family budget. The mortgage has just come out, my car has something computery wrong with it and has to go in on Monday, and the Little Mister has his family birthday celebration coming, so it could look a little healthier. Oh, sh*t! I realise it’s the last day to renew the local council registration for our two dogs. Looks like a trip to the library is in order (that’s one of the local places you can sort that kind of sh*t out). I scoop up the Little Mister and we head out.

“Aw he’s so cute! Can I take him home?” asks the lovely customer service lady. She has given him a cute dinosaur stamp and he turns on the charm with his adorable (fake coy) smile and has already said ‘hi’ to her in a cheery manner (a couple of times). I can see how a mere mortal could be sucked in. Especially when he shows her the lion on his tee shirt and gives his best little toddler “rawr”.

“Are you sure you really want to take him home? Really?” I ask a little too eagerly.

After the dog regos are sorted out, I feel obligated to show the Little Mister the children’s books. I start to feel like one of those good mums. You know the ones. The ones who take their children to the library and stuff. Sure, I’m there with another agenda, but no-one else but me and the customer service lady knows that. In my mind I’m strutting about, like “Oh, yes. It’s me. At the library. I do like to give my son the best literary experiences. Oh, you know. It’s nothing. Just a part of the job.”

In reality, I’m all like, DON’T RUN AWAY! PLEASE DON’T DISASSEMBLE ALL OF THE LOAN PUZZLES BECAUSE MUMMY DOESN’T WANT TO PUT THEM ALL BACK TOGETHER BY HERSELF. OH, LOOK AT ALL THE FLIMSY PAPER PAGES IN THOSE BEAUTIFUL STORY BOOKS. YOU’RE GONNA RIP THEM IF WE TAKE THEM HOME. WE’RE NOT BORROWING THE YO GABBA GABBA DVD – MUMMY CAN ONLY HANDLE SO MUCH. COME BACK HERE!!

Don’t get me wrong, the Little Mister always has new books to read and we’ll read every day without fail. I just think of the library as a magical place where I never end up going haha.

Turns out, being a good mum that borrows books from the library (the card ones that aren’t so easy to rip into shreds and then present them proudly to mummy as if you’ve just given her the best present in the world that you made yourself with your own destructive little hands) isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Your child will be so in love with his little library finds that he will not want to be separated from them for anything and while you will have a smug, heartwarming hour reading them to him on the couch at home, while he nuzzles in and learns so much about what he’s ‘reading’, you’ll first experience him crying for the books in the car on the way home because he won’t let you put his seatbelt on in case he loses his grip. Then he’ll be crying for the books at nap time, crying for the books at lunch time, and because you let him borrow a Wiggles book, you’ll realise that when he points at each character in the book, you have no idea which Wiggle is named what. Stumped.

Just FYI.

This afternoon the Little Mister awakes from a (too) short nap crying, all sad and a little too hot and bothered. He then won’t settle by himself so it’s couch cuddles until he feels a little more alive (I take pity on him and it’s the one time I’m guaranteed non squirmy/kicky/bouncy/flailing cuddles). I use this opportunity to serve up some lunch for him to consume in his high chair (which he oddly prefers to his booster seat) – grapes and cheese (his favourite) while I resist the urge to pair water crackers and a nice glass of vino with it (for me).

We spend the next half hour playing a fun little game called, Don’t Look at The Toddler or He’ll Cry.

I have to give sneaky little sideways glances to check if he’s eating and if he catches me, his bottom lip quivers and the snot flows freely. The cheese or grapes hang suspended in mid air just outside of his mouth as he bawls his eyes out. If I look away, order is restored immediately. Forget lovely meal time conversation. I’m not permitted to speak. I just sit and stare at the middle distance (and eventually my iPhone) trying not to laugh (I take a leap and assume laughing is out of the question too).

After we abandon lunch – yes, abandon – the Little Mister heads in the direction of his play room where he is unusually quiet. He’s in his favourite spot behind the IKEA children’s circus tent, where he goes for privacy when he has business he feels like doing in his nappy. I ask him in a gentle, positive tone, “Little Mister, have you done a poo?”

He runs away. I find him playing so nicely by himself. He’s set up camp on one of his dad’s singlets* (stolen from the clothes horse), with a plush giraffe and a story book. He’s obviously being extra peaceful and lovely to avoid any suspicion – pretty transparent, really. Pity about the smell giving it away. Nice try, little buddy.

Afternoon snack time means a little peace for me. I hand the Little Mister a yoghurt squeezie and he seems to be having a lovely time sucking that dairy goodness down. I keep an eye on him from across the room as I field a phone call from Mr Unprepared who has finished work. I answer, “Hello, Tactical Response Group – where can I direct your call?”

In the five seconds that I take to blink and collect myself, the Little Mister is pointing and gesturing. I look. Yoghurt is splattered all over the floor, with just a little artistic splash over the couch for extra effect. I hand the Little Mister a bunch of tissues (a blogger who shall remain nameless forgot to buy paper towels yesterday) and we both get to wiping. The Little Mister gives up half way and of course, good old mum finishes the job.

Seconds later, he’s balancing on his little chair and peering over a divider wall with an “I’ve got an idea and I’m not afraid to make bad choices” look on his face…

What is it they say about toddlers being like terrorists or dictators? I wouldn’t know. *snooty face* I’m too busy taking my child to the library.

All I know is that it’s my job and I’ll do it all over again tomorrow! I also have about a million things I would like to add to my resumé when I return to paid work. Some of which include…

  • Tactical Response Negotiator
  • Advertising Executive (I have to sell almost every task we do to the Little Mister before we can perform said task – creativity and knowing your demographic are a must)
  • Crime Scene Investigator (putting evidence together to figure out what’s gone wrong and who’s done it)

What would you like to add to your resumé to reflect your experience as a parent? How has your day been?

*I love the idea of Mr Unprepared reading this blog post after the fact and thinking, EW MY SINGLET WAS A TEMPORARY RESTING PLACE FOR MY SON’S STINKY BOTTOM. Bonus points if he’s wearing it at the time hahaha. 

Don’t bother having a birth ‘plan’.

03503a7d6b95f7e09aaa01d6462f99fc

I honestly don’t know why they call them that. The fact is, you can’t PLAN your birth process. Even if you have a wonderful labour, you didn’t plan it. It was just a wonderful surprise to know that you were able to have a relatively good experience! To suggest that we can plan childbirth just seems like bollocks to me. Big sweaty ones. It says we’re in control of the process. I’m sorry, but while that thought is nice and sometimes keeps us sane, it just isn’t true.

My advice to first time pregnant mums is to throw out any notion that you are in charge and that everything will happen the way you want it to, because you’ve thought positively, avoided all negative horror stories and you’ve got a birth plan. Hasn’t anyone heard?? You have a birth plan! You did research! People who do research are better at this, right? Everything’s going to go just as you want it to! The truth is, positive thinking and making smart choices are never a bad thing – in fact, I recommend them. However, they don’t make a ‘good’ labour (ie the one you hope for) a sure thing. I feel like society keeps telling us we’re in control of everything. It feels like a comforting thought, but when despite all of your best efforts, something goes wrong…you feel like a failure. You’ve been fooled and pressured into thinking that you’re in charge of such a crazy biological process.

It’s actually liberating to realise you can’t be in charge of all of it. When my pregnancy started to get a little bit nuts, I blamed myself. I was ashamed that all these weird things were happening to me. I thought that those around me (the lucky ducks who have pregnancies that make them feel great) would think that I must be doing something wrong. That I must be thinking negatively, making some erroneous choice with my lifestyle or my diet etc. I knew it wasn’t my fault on an intellectual level (and was told so by more than one doctor/medical professional), but the fear of judgement was probably my biggest mistake of all! It’s just that we have all been brainwashed. It’s misguidedly comforting to tell ourselves that the other person over there with the pregnancy problems or the terrible labour must have done something wrong, because then we can just do it all ‘right’ and we’ll be fine. In a sick way, it reassures us.

In some ways, my crazy pregnancy was the greatest gift. It taught me that I’m not the one driving this bus (at times I looked like one haha). That you can do all of the ‘right’ things, think all of the most positive thoughts, and nature will still take its course. By the time I got closer to my due date, I threw all ideas of a birth ‘plan’ out of the window.

I had birth ‘preferences’. Birth ‘hopes’. Birth ‘wishes’.

I wrote a list of what I hoped for. I wrote a list of things I was willing to do to save myself or the baby (I kind of knew it wouldn’t be straight forward – intuition perhaps). I wrote a list of guidelines for my husband and my family – who I wanted there and when. It wasn’t fancy. It was pen scrawled all over an A4 piece of scrap paper, written off the top of my head. Maybe a list of only about 15 items. Some being very significant, like what I hoped would happen if something should happen to me (incapacitating me in some way), to the not so earth shattering, “Here’s my iPod, if my labour gets long just play it on shuffle – the songs on it keep me calm and inspire me.”

I was obviously hoping for a natural, vaginal birth, but I knew that drugs might help (I was quite unashamedly open to the idea) and that a C-section might be an emergency necessity. I knew from the start of the whole process that I would just be happy to have a healthy baby. I would not spend time mourning the death of a ‘plan’. I had already mourned the smooth, normal pregnancy I hoped I would have. I wasn’t going to do that to myself again.

My new attitude paid off. Because, as you may know, sh*t got crazy. I was in hospital for a mere 3 hours before I was in surgery. I only knew I was in labour about 2 hours before that. My labour was brought on by an infection. I got to 9cm dilated before they had to get me in for an emergency C-section. The epidural was administered in full dosage ahead of time (which made it a bit weird when I tried to push in a last ditch effort – can’t feel ANYTHING down there). I had no choice. I was then tethered (by catheter) to my hospital bed for two days (rather than the customary one day), while my firstborn spent the first 3 days of his life in another hospital without me because he was sick too.

If I had been all about a ‘plan’, I would have been exponentially more devastated and traumatised. Instead I was just shocked and dazed (perhaps it was the pethidine too) and later realised the enormity of what had happened to my baby and I. It took weeks to come to terms with what had happened. It was the biggest thing that had ever happened to me, my baby, or my body and of course it was going to take some getting used to! I am just glad that I didn’t also have the added sadness about things not going to ‘plan’ during the birth. I’d made my wishes known and they’d been respected, but I hadn’t outlined my preferred labour process without having an open mind. I knew anything could happen.

The important things happened. My parents were there to share in the experience (they stayed at the ‘right’ end of me haha) for the first time (I am adopted so it was hugely meaningful for the three of us as my mum has never experienced a pregnancy and I wanted to share this with her – I was so moved by my parents’ gratitude at being invited into such a special and private ‘event’). My husband got to the hospital quickly and was there for just about the whole time – by my side, encouraging me and saying all the right things (seriously!). I was kept safe, as was the Little Mister. No-one tweeted or Facebooked my labour process to the world in real time. I was given gas right when I needed it, surgery before things got horrible, and my baby was alive and likely to stay that way.

What didn’t I expect? What didn’t go to plan?

By complete chance, a top obstetrician just happened to be present when I came into the hospital. He was amazing and kept everyone calm in a tricky situation. Including me. I got optimum attention and care because while the time of my labour was unexpected (I was due to be induced almost a week later), I was the only person giving birth in the ward that night. The ONLY one! If I had been induced when I was expecting to be, the ward would have been FLOODED with people hoping to have their babies on the 11/11/2011 (as I found out later that week after a 6 day stay in the ward). Resources and manpower would have been stretched. The paediatrician who was present was also very good at her job (and to my mum’s delight – the wife of her favourite former professional AFL footballer)!

While not much went remotely as predicted, a lot of things went really right. I am so grateful. I am so glad I can see those blessings. Blessings I could never have planned for.

I’m calling on everyone to stop telling each other that we can plan our destinies. We can’t. We can’t be in control of everything. We can put our ducks in a row. We can be educated. We can make the best choices possible to encourage a great outcome. We can be positive and keep a great mindset. We can work hard. All of this might put us in the right places at the right times, but ultimately not all of it will always work out how we expected. Childbirth is no exception.

I love the way Mia Freedman of Mamamia puts it in her article about “Birthzillas”:

For many, it’s about control. One of the most confronting things about pregnancy and birth is the unpredictability of it and women often believe they can regain control by planning. Babies, however, like to raise their middle finger at your plans. They come early, they come late, they get stuck, they get suddenly distressed or tired or tangled…

After my personal experience, all I think we should care about is what’s best for the baby in that moment. I’m not going to compromise my child’s safety, by refusing treatment (or at least prolonging the inevitable) because I want to stick to a plan. Birth plans? Total first world problem/privilege. I’m sorry to put it so bluntly. My baby was in real trouble (as was I) if I did not have the first class care that I received. Who cares what that care involved as long as everything turned out for the best? A child who was/is alive (even if he didn’t breathe for four agonising minutes). Healthy after a little special attention.

Childbirth might not feel like the magical miracle everyone dreams of (at least it isn’t for everyone), but the result is what matters. It’s really important to go in knowing what is the most important.

If you got out of it healthy (if not worn out and needing some stitches somewhere) and you got to hold your healthy baby, take him/her back to your hospital room for cuddles and bonding for the first few days of his/her life… YOU ARE LUCKY. Your birth went well.

The birth of the Little Mister was shocking, surprising, a blur and hard to wrap my head around later, but I do not regret it at all. It went the way it needed to go. I wouldn’t and couldn’t change it. It brought me the most amazing gift and we all survived! I feel like a much stronger, more resilient person for it. I am proud of the fact that I was able to accept what happened (it took some time but had more to do with the trauma of being separated from my baby – as an adoptee since birth this was difficult to accept – my little man had to experience an immediate separation from me – something I’d dreamed he’d be spared of ever experiencing) and I feel like anything that brings you your gorgeous baby alive and well (even days later) is a success. I refuse to think of it as anything else.

P1040397

My advice to mums to be is to accept that life brings no guarantees. Know stuff. Do the stuff you can do. Then let the universe (and your beautiful baby you are so excited to meet) take its course. Some things are just bigger than us. Our self esteem and our pride should have nothing to do with something we can’t really control. We should not feel ashamed if something turns out differently to how we hoped. We did our best and life had other plans. That’s OK.

Sometimes life might put us on a path that will teach us the most, if we’re willing to learn.

Did your birth/s go to plan? Did you have a plan?

For some women, a traumatic birth or a birth that did not go to plan can be a trigger for post natal depression. If you are struggling, please click here for some resources. 

The (not really) Yummy Mummy’s Guide to Preparing for a Big Night Out.

20130618-131442.jpg

…results not guaranteed.

When preparing for a girls’ night out, a mummy must start planning months in advance. Not kidding. If you’ve got other friends who are mummies then you need to maybe just make it a year in advance. Then tell your husbands/partners/parents/in laws to Lock. That. Sh*t. Down. It’s going in the diary and you WILL have babysitters. ALL of you. Determination is the key.

Give yourself ridiculous amounts of time to become human again. Save money for a dress/outfit far in advance with the financial planning precision you would use to save a deposit for a house or something equally as life changing (tip: your outfit shouldn’t actually cost the same as a house deposit or I might need to give you better advice). Book a hair appointment. Let’s face it, girl. Your hair is a mess. Is that a toddler’s meal I see in there?? Again, things like outfit shopping and hair appointments involve having a small amount of time away from your precious bundle/s of joy. Book these further in advance than you booked similar services/shopping trips when you planned your wedding (or that of a friend’s should you not have had the urge to tie the knot yet).

Life changing.

On the day:

Before…

Paint your nails frantically while your toddler cries from behind a safety gate and your co-parent figure tries desperately in vain to pull them away. It’s a nice, peaceful activity for you to indulge in and the sound of a sad, guilt inducing child really enhances the experience. Nothing like taking some time to pamper yourself.  When you inevitably smudge your nails, trying to be everything to everyone, just put some glitter over that sh*t.

Remember at the 11th hour that your eyebrows look like little hedgehogs saying hello to each other on your face (seriously – one of them is literally waving to the other overweight one). Break out the tweezers and in a desperate rush, almost take an eye out. It keeps the excitement alive because in all honesty, you feel like collapsing in bed for a very long sleep. Like a Sleeping Beauty/Snow White kind of epic sleep.

When blow drying your hair, you must also pretend to blow dry your toddler’s hair. You won’t be able to finish the job because your toddler will start raiding the bathroom cupboard and trying to climb into the bath. Never mind. You still have straightening and a plethora of hair products to get to. Also, your toddler now looks AMAZING.

Put your dress on last. Seriously. LAST MINUTE. Must avoid toddler snacks, drool, the pulling and tearing of fabric. Who cares if you’re running around the house with your boobs hanging out of your dressing gown, while the family stares on, because you’ve misplaced the sash for it?

When leaving the house, say “bye bye” to your child while they cry and repeatedly mention the car…because they want to get in it and ride around with you and never be abandoned by you ever ever again. Never. Brush off the guilt and turn up the car stereo so you can’t hear the crying. Aargh.

Sing along to your favourite songs (the ones with rude words in them) really loudly in the car. You’ve reached a stage in life where you just don’t give a damn what people think. You’re a mummy. On a mission. Also, you’re trying not to cry because you have so many feelings. SO MANY. You’re alone in a car, you just left your child behind so you could booze it up, you are going to see your friends, you’re exhausted on a whole new level you didn’t realise existed. The little hook on the zip of your dress digs in a bit.

During…

Arrive at your friend’s house for pre-drinks. Pour yourself a vodka and soda water, because it’s “healthy” (bahaha!) and then drink a couple of shots, exclaiming loudly about how strong they are. It will make you feel like you’re being really wild and not a light weight at all, because at home you get drunk off one standard glass of wine, before passing out on the couch at 8pm.

Hug everyone and squeal. It’s a girl thing.

When the bus (yes – party mini van – woo – not to be confused with a mummy’s people mover) arrives, jump in and warn the driver about your loudness. Take selfies while inexpertly trying to figure out how to use the flash on an iPhone, sing along to rude songs and secretly feel satisfied that you are much more fun than the boys are when they hire the party mini van (who do you think recommended the service?)!

Talk about your child for a little while at dinner, but then have a couple of cocktails and start saying much more inappropriate things that involve scoring things from 1-10 and generally hypothesising about the kinds of things you might see in those awful men’s magazines.

The drinking must slow down eventually, because you plan on (legally) driving home from your friend’s place later in the night. You want that damn sleep in – in your own bed! Also? Your friends are that hilarious that you don’t need an alcoholic buzz – seriously.

Visit somewhere that proper ladies (especially the married with kids types) should never enter. What happens on girls’ night, stays on girls’ night. Kind of.

Head to the casino. Wait in line for the night club. Don’t worry. Times have changed. You have to show your ID, have your face scanned by facial recognition software and still remember to pay the dude at the desk a cover charge. It’s like waiting in customs at the international airport. Note that the dress code mentions you can wear 3/4 pants on Sundays. Damn. It’s Sunday and I left my mummy pants at home. Hear that?! I left my mummy pants AT HOME! I’m in a party dress! Let’s goooooo!!!

When leaving the night club, “Beyoncé and Jay-Z” (verb) the f*ck out of there with two of your girlfriends. Someone must sing back up vocals, someone must be Beyoncé and another must rap like a motherf*cking Jay-Z. ALL the way out of the club and down the stairs. You can’t sing high notes. But you try anyway. You are glorious. Again. You get to a stage where you just don’t care. People might look, but you’re not sippin’ on that Haterade.

Complain your feet hurt because you don’t wear heels anymore. Buy MacDonalds.

After…

Eat your cheeseburger in the bus while your seat buddy changes completely into a onesie and pulls a sleeping bag over her (from her massive overnight bag). Look to the left. Your other friend has her dressing gown on. Eventually, everyone falls asleep. Yeah…

Wish you brought a onesie.

Drive a couple of friends home in your family car. You don’t want them to die walking home. Now that you’re older and wiser, you really start to care about that stuff.

Get home. Park outside the garage because the door clunking up and down might wake your child. Tiptoe into the house to hear nothing but silence. By now you’re wearing flat shoes, of course. Relish the feeling of unzipping your rather tight dress (thanks a lot, cheeseburger). Climb into bed with a full face of make up and overly styled hair.

Wake at 7am on the dot, despite being allowed a sleep in. Turns out your body clock doesn’t know you weren’t a mummy last night.

ZOMBIE.

Any questions?? 

Find me on Facebook x 

I was too scared to publish this a year ago. I shouldn’t have been.

67268_10151466425800937_1300897629_n_largePic

I wrote this post a whole year ago (March 2012) when the Little Mister was about four months old. I just found it saved as a draft today. I remember why I didn’t publish it now. I was scared that I would reveal that I wasn’t a perfect parent and that I might be inviting criticism of my parenting abilities. At the time I was very nervous about what other people would think of me as a mum. I cared too much and I gave toxic people/books/expectations too much power over how I felt about myself. I read it now and I’m cool with it! I even have some new thoughts to add to the theme of this post! I might start digging back through my drafts every now and then – have a look at what I was too scared to post and reassess.

I always knew that having a baby would be one giant learning curve – probably the steepest, most Mount Everest-est one there is. I anticipated learning sooooo much about having a child. Things like their needs, their physical development, the impact it has on your life as a person who didn’t used to be a parent, the joys, the tough moments. What to do when they don’t feel well. How to figure out what their cries mean. Stuff like that.

I am constantly surprised by how many things there are to discover about my Little Mister. He changes literally every single day and there are constant new challenges, milestones and celebrations.

One thing that shocks me is that I didn’t really think too much about what I would learn about myself. That learning curve seems just as steep and full of crazy revelations (lots of which are fantastic and pleasantly surprising may I add).

Let’s just say it took having a baby for some of my … issues to come to light. Well, for me at least. I am sure those who know me in real life would have figured it out years ago and are just waiting for Slow Learner Kez to get around to it!

Apparently I have a fear of being seen to “make a fuss” or waste anyone’s time with trivial matters. No, I never thought that would be true about me in a million years. Turns out it’s not a problem when it truly is about trivial matters (I can annoy you no end quite happily if that’s the case), but I have this thing where, when it isn’t a waste of time, when it IS really important – that’s when I decide I might waste peoples’ time or seem like a drama queen. You know – those occasions where it’s not just warranted, but necessary.

I don’t even know if I’m making any sense, but please try to follow…

Case/s in point:

I didn’t call anyone about possibly being in labour until I was almost halfway. I timed my contractions, just you know, on a whim out of interest and when it appeared that my contractions were 4 minutes apart, followed by 2 minutes apart, followed by a painful period where it seemed there was no beginning or end to each one…then I decided to get serious about going to hospital. The baby was delivered 3 hours after I arrived at hospital and it turned out I had a serious infection and needed an emergency C-section ASAP. Yep, that “kind of fever” I had – didn’t wanna bug anyone. Didn’t want to call the hospital in case it was a waste of the busy staff members’ time. Didn’t want to interrupt my parents’ nice weekend. Didn’t want to call my husband’s work number in case I disturbed him at work or annoyed his colleagues.

Yep. Ridiculous.

Of course I was very lucky with the outcome we had. Although the Little Mister and I weren’t super healthy at first, we were OK, alive and going to recover and enjoy each other.

Next time? I’d bug the hell out of everyone at the first sign of a fever or any crampy contractions. What’s the worst that could happen?

This last week the Little Mister was reacting a bit badly to his four month old immunisations. He’d had a slight temperature for the first couple of days (treated well with paracetemol and lots of love), become constipated and was quite gripey in the tummy area. I’d worked on those symptoms making sure he was hydrated and introduced some fruit puree to his diet (which he was so ready for and loved). I massaged his little belly and I gave him a break between being fed and having play time. I’d noticed some little lumps around his bottom, but thought perhaps they were maybe haemorroids or a temporary reaction to his needles (seriously – all bets are off after immunisations – so many crazy things happen to their poor little bodies).

I didn’t want to be that parent who rushes to the doctor over every single little thing. See, I didn’t want to be a silly time waster. Of course things got worse and the rush to the GP happened at 4:30pm on a Friday afternoon – I must have been reeeal popular! I felt heartbreakingly awful when I found out he had an infection that was only going to get worse. I could have sucked it up, seen someone about it earlier and it might not have got so bad that he was crying whenever my husband or I sat him on his bottom. Lesson learnt. He needed anti-biotics and if I’d left it any longer, we would have had a trip to emergency at the hospital.

In all of this, I ignored my gut feeling and let my fear of wasting someone’s time or appearing stupid/paranoid get in the way. I didn’t even know that stuff was an issue for me until this past week!

I was completely and utterly unprepared for all the revelations I’d make about who I am when I had a little one of my own. I am certainly going to work on this because it’s one thing for me to be completely stubborn, proud and concerned about my ego when it’s just myself to worry about, but it’s another thing if I let it get in the way of my baby’s care. I won’t make that mistake again (I hope)!

In the year since I wrote this, I have actually taken my own advice (would you believe it?). I’m no longer afraid of being impolite or inconvenient. My son’s health matters and so does mine 🙂 The worst that can happen is somebody says, “No.” Whoopee-do. Eventually someone will say ‘yes’.

I’ve made doctor’s appointments (why does everything always happen on a Friday afternoon?!) where I’ve had to insist that they fit me in because I’m not just some whining mum with a silly complaint. I know something’s not right. I’m not rude and I’m not inconsiderate. I show my appreciation when someone has to make special changes to accommodate me. I just refuse to let my self consciousness get in the way of the care of my child. I’m proud of how I’ve grown.

It was scary having a little baby. My first little, real, right there in my arms, baby. I put so much pressure on myself to get everything right, despite not having a clue! I would research everything to death and worry all the time about the tiniest decisions. The worst thing I did was let my fear of “other people” take over. What if this person thinks I’m wasting their time? What if that person thinks I handled this wrong? What if people think I’m just some paranoid new mum who thinks she’s all important and sh*t? Pffft. I AM important. My gut feeling and my parental instinct IS important. Too bad what other people might say. Besides, they’ll just give me something to rant about on my blog 😉

Have you listened to your gut feeling (and taken action) lately? How did it work out for you?

Murdering Monday-itis. My inspiration for the week.

OK, so I haven’t blogged since last Monday’s post that was full of inspirational tid bits. I was going to skip this week’s little motivational interlude, because I thought that it would make my blog all boring, like it’s all filler and no killer. I don’t want my blog to be all about pretty little inspirational quotes stolen from the internet all the time!  However, the ideas I had for blog posts this past week have all just seemed too…big…for me to eloquently form into written word, so I’ve suffered from a little bit of writer’s block. I’m working on it!!

However, Monday-itis kicked in (I start the week tired after getting normal human person sleep during the weekends) and I thought, f*ck it. I need some happy.

748ad6d7a9449be60eb1dcdcc53a7260Pic

OK, so I spent most of the weekend getting all excited about what I can only describe as ‘sh*t I saw on Pinterest’. I went batsh*t crazy over home decor ideas and my husband was very supportive of me rampaging around the house, purging it of junk and addressing my ‘floordrobe’ issues. It was probably in his best interests to be supportive as I’m not known for being a domestic goddess of any description. More like a domestic…well, whatever the opposite of a goddess is, really. I seriously lay awake on Saturday night drooling over my Pinterest app, while my husband slumbered away, oblivious that I was plotting and scheming.

Anyway, to get to the point, the picture above of a beach themed centrepiece is something I want to have achieved by the end of this week. I think that even with a toddler in tow, I can be a little bit crafty. I am sick of staring at the glass bowl on our coffee table (in the lounge room – somewhere the Little Mister cannot get his grubby hands all over everything), that has four pathetic tea light candles in it, just sitting on some ugly brown pebble things because they don’t float anymore on account of the fact that the water evaporated and I was too lazy to clean and refill it. It’s GROSS.

Doing something for my house will lift my mood for the week and I think I’ve set myself an achievable task that won’t kill my morale in the making of it! 😛

f61807f83bde210da47fc4cac19558dfPic

Sixteen and a half months into this whole parenting thing, I have finally figured out how to not give a f*ck about how perfect I seem as a mum to the judgey eyes of the outside world and just get on with being the best I can be. It may not be as perfect as someone else might be (or seem to be from the outside), but I’m cool with that. I’m happy to be a good mum, not an impossibly stressed out person whose ‘perfect’ facade might break at any given moment because I’m scared of being found out as only being ‘good’. I just want all my friends to know that they’re really really good mums and I love them because they’re not perfect. It’s comforting.

Besides, perfect is a little creepy, don’t you think? 🙂

1ca2a3a6a1f72f23cac7c3fe59185d0aPic

9326011fe66960aa348ab220da375cebPic

I think that being happy is a choice. I especially need to make this choice very early on a Monday morning!! How I choose to feel in those first minutes of the day can really affect my whole day and I need to focus more on what I can achieve and what good things I will experience, rather than thinking about how tired I am and how annoying it is that my husband gets up so early for work (disturbing me without fail – not entirely his fault – it’s how our house is designed). I need to not think about all the hours in the day ahead that I will have to try to get through. I need to ask myself what awesome things I can do? Can this be the magical day where I get all the dishes done, some washing, arrange an outing with the Little Mister, tick something off the ever growing to do list? What blessings can I focus on? What can I look forward to?

8ec3bf41a47e998dc1e59c552c695144Pic

I think that sometimes it’s easy to get all overwhelmed by the big picture. I know I get like this with my housework and my dreams of creating the home I really want to be in (sure we’ve lived here five years – shhhhh). So I’m gonna start with that damn centrepiece and who knows where it will lead 🙂 Same goes for being a parent. Same goes for being a mother. I don’t have to get everything done all at once. Just chip away and we’ll get there.

Hope you all have a happy Monday and I will try to blog about some other stuff soon – can’t be all inspirational ALL the time. What do you think I am? Haha.

xo

FAQ: So what have you been up to lately?

Pic

Hmm. Whenever somebody asks me this question in person, I get into some kind of brain fart situation and I can’t think of a thing. Anyone else do that? My answer just ends up being something awkward along the lines of, “Not much. Just parenting and living and stuff. Y’know.”

Yeah. I know.

So I am going to try to summarise it all in writing for you, because I’m sure you really really care, and also I can’t think of anything else to write about this week that actually makes sense.

So…
I spend a lot of time walking in circles around my house. Seemingly aimlessly. So there’s that. Besides my usual insanity, this is often done with my pinky finger attached to a chubby little toddler hand. The Little Mister has decided that he loves long strolls with the lady of his choice (until some time around puberty I imagine that’s me). He hasn’t figured out where it is he would like to go, but it’s all good as long as he has his walking buddy. Each time he takes a break by plopping onto his nappy padded bum, he then reaches up for my hand and it starts again. So that’s about an hour of each day (at least) accounted for.

I have also been very busy planning each trip I take to the toilet. I’m surprised I haven’t had to write it down in my day planner, along with a long list of reminders of the very detailed process. If my husband is home it’s slightly easier. It involves loudly announcing, “I’m going to the toilet. ALONE.”
This is my husband’s cue to intercept the Little Mister before he catches up to me and busts through the door action movie hero style, to catch the bad guy (that’s me – guilty as charged for not inviting a toddler to watch me do my business). If I am alone, I have to announce subtly that I am leaving for the toilet. I then have to gently walk away down the corridor. I have to shut the door, jiggling the handle just right so it’s harder for a little monster to open. I then have to pee, wipe and flush in record time before I am caught up with. If I want to do number 2s (sorry for the TMI but I poop just like everyone else), this process involves me turning on the kids’ TV channel, praying it’s a bright, colourful show that will keep the Little Mister’s attention and sneaking off like a ninja. Whoever says that letting the TV babysit your child for even a minute is evil, because it will rot their brains, can look after my child when I’ve gotta ‘go’. Seriously. I just have to do what works. Although, occasionally it doesn’t work. Sometimes I get a crying child outside the toilet door. I have been known to spend time doing my business and singing kids’ songs at the same time. I’m glad we have no neighbours on that side of the house, because I can tell you, they would think I was a lunatic. I mean, we know I kind of am, but SHHHH. IT’S A SECRET. I once sang “If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands…” (that’s multi tasking for you) and when I finally emerged from my hidey hole, I found the Little Mister, tears streaming down his face (all that awful parental rejection does that to you) while pathetically clapping his hands. Aw, it breaks your heart.

Hmm, what else can I tell you? I actually occasionally do do (haha I said “do do”) something interesting, but I usually forget this when someone asks me what I’ve been up to lately. I give my standard awkward answer and then everyone (including me) thinks I’m boring. Last Thursday I was lucky enough to attend a luncheon where Mia Freedman was the guest speaker at Bistro Guilluame. Mia (Ha! Look at me acting like we’re on a first name basis!) was everything I hoped she would be in person. Bubbly, candid, inspiring and so down to earth that for a split second I honestly thought we could be friends if I just spent a few minutes stroking her hair and talking about motherhood with her. If you haven’t heard of Mia (Shock! Horror!), then you should first reassess your friendship with me, and after you and I agree that we will overlook that transgression, you would know that Mia has been editor of the Australian Cosmo, Cleo and Dolly magazines. She now runs a very successful website called Mamamia, which features amazing blog posts by a diverse bunch of contributors who really get me inspired and inform me about the world around me (outside of my Living with the Little Mister bubble)! It makes me laugh, cry and really think deeply about topical issues. Have I raved enough yet? So that was really really fun. I now want to be a power blogger…or a lady who lunches. Can’t decide. Either way, it was a great day out with my friend Bec where I could eat with both hands and concentrate on full conversations. Hooray!
Check this out, y’all:

I’m a little embarrassed by how excited I was to have my tweet replied to. I sound like such a tragic fangirl. I just have to put it out there: Mamamia and Mia’s work have really been a sanity saver since I became an Awesomely Unprepared Mummy! I’m not too cool to admit it 😉

We had weather again in these parts. Last night I was very outraged when I couldn’t hear the television over the wind and rain. I spent ages thinking deeply about the bad acoustics in my living room (our backs to a big window which lets in outside noise) and frantically adjusting the volume up and down. My husband had to almost remove pry the remote from my hands because I kept pausing the live TV (my new DVR IS AMAZING) each time a gust of wind passed by. However, things got a little worse when we went to bed (it’s always just as you snuggle down and you’re almost peacefully slumbering) and the fence started flapping about. So there’s something new for my poor husband to fix. He had to dismantle the flappy bits (haha flappy bits – I’m juvenile) while only wearing a pair of boxer shorts and an old work shirt. Well, he didn’t have to only be wearing those items, but the point is, he volunteered himself for the job and I couldn’t be more grateful. When he returned to bed it was like sleeping next to a very dejected ice cube.

Other than that, I dressed the Little Mister up as a cowboy for one of his friends’ birthday parties. He drank half the pool at swimming lessons (he gets really excited when his face gets near the water and opens his mouth really wide in a look of enthusiastic awe – EVERY TIME). He’s been teething. He points at things so I can tell him what they are, but sometimes I think he just points at one thing when he’s looking at something else and it’s all really just a big confusing game – he’ll probably spend the first few years of his life thinking that a dog is called a wall and a light is called a sippy cup.

It’s not the most glamourous, high powered kind of life, but I like it 🙂

What have you been up to lately?

So I didn’t really think that through…

Pic

So on Wednesday, we took the Little Mister to have his 12 month immunisations (having a birthday isn’t always that fun). As usual we rocked up to the local family health clinic where we waited to have his name called out. Of course, just like every other time, the little man was super happy, talkative and cute. I was feeling guilty (and dreading the days ahead) and my husband was…well, he was there. He knows I need my support person 🙂

On that day, three needles were to be administered.

“Would you like two in the arms and one in the leg, or two in the legs and one in the arm?” the nurse asked.

My husband and I looked at each other, like “WTF? It’s all bad.”

But we muttered something like, “Um…you decide?”

Two in the legs and one in the arm it was. The Little Mister was such a good boy. I distracted him with a rattle and a maraca (why do nurses always have maracas?), and he only cried a little. We gave him a dummy and big cuddles, which he responded to very well as the nurse reiterated what the side effects might be. Mostly that he’d be grumpy as f*ck for a couple of days and that we would be waiting in complete and utter suspense to find out if he would get cold and flu symptoms anywhere from 5-12 days later (it’s been 2 – I’m still waiting and hoping we’ll sail through it). Fun times.

Fast forward to today and the Little Mister was (over)due for a haircut. That kid has won the hair lottery (he probably won’t thank us for it later). He has two parents with very fast growing hair, the volume of his dad’s hair and the straight, softness of mine. This all equals a massive head full of voluminous, but straight hair that goes in many directions. Until today, I had procrastinated about getting his hair cut. I had felt like I had all the time in the world, but it all caught up with us. I knew that the day it started to look a bit like an 80s mullet, something had to be done.

So…what did we do? Here’s my first mistake: Taking the Little Mister to sit in a chair while a lady he doesn’t know stood behind him with a sharp implement. Yeah, I’m thinking big time flashbacks. He started crying and looking so sad. He spent half of his haircut gripping me around the neck in a hug that said, “Don’t let me die!!! I’m tooooo young!!! Not again!!!!”

The hairdresser was a lovely lady and she did a great job. She mentioned that she had three sons, so I guess she knew the drill. She kept her cool and got the job done as calmly and quickly as possible. I kept telling the Little Mister that she was nice and she wouldn’t hurt him, but he was reliving his own little nightmare. That kid was back in the trenches, man. It was tough!

My second mistake?

Trying to distract him with a rattle. Yeah. You can see where that’s going. Same thing I tried when we TRICKED HIM the other day so a strange lady with a sharp implement could jab at him THREE TIMES. His accusatory/terrified face said it all.

Sigh. I feel like I wasn’t quite on top of my parenting game today.

I backed out of the salon saying, “Sorry! He’s normally so great in these situations! I don’t know what happened.”

Of course it dawned on me as soon as we were back in the car. Picture the biggest face-palm EVERRRRR. DUH, KEZ!

Pic

So, learn from my mistake. Do not take your child for their first proper salon haircut two days after immunisations.

You’re welcome.

It was just one of those days.

Pic

Do you ever have “one of those” days? The ones where strange things keep happening and you start to take it all a little personally? As a parent, I have those days on and off all the time. The exact same events could play out on any given day and you can laugh it off and think, “Well, that was hilarious! Carry on, then!” and on another day those same events can feel like utter crap, making you doubt everything you believed about yourself as a parent.

A couple of weeks ago I noticed on my twitter and facebook feeds that other baby mamas like myself were struggling from day to day. They felt awful because someone (just the one nosy person) had told them their new awesome way of getting their baby to sleep (which was working and not harming the baby at all) was wrong and would scar them for life, or they simply had one of  THOSE days where they just felt like they weren’t doing their best. This made me feel really sad. Why do we do this to ourselves?!

I wrote this (a shortened version) on my Facebook page that same day:

YOU ARE AWESOME, YOU LOVE YOUR CHILD, YOU ARE DOING YOUR BEST and that is GOOD ENOUGH. YOU ARE LEARNING AND GROWING JUST LIKE YOUR BUB. BE KIND TO YOURSELF AND TELL NOSEYPARKER KNOW IT ALLS TO GET BACK IN THEIR BOXES (even if only in your head to make you feel better hehe). I hope this reaches those who really needed to see it today xxx

It’s something I need to remind myself of all the time.

The other day my child tried to eat a dead fly. It was a big one too. I got to him just in time (before it ceased to be in one piece anymore). I had a vague recollection of spraying an annoying fly a few days earlier with my favourite brand of bug spray…and I felt awful. Have I poisoned my child? Do I find the number for poison control? Where did he find it? Could it have died of natural causes? WHY DID I SPRAY A FLY IN THIS HOUSE? THAT’S DANGEROUS NOW. I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN BETTER. Of course I just laughed about it on Facebook later, but I felt a bit crap first. Of course the Little Mister was fine in the end (thanks for asking) and I learnt a couple of things: 1. Be more conscious of the chemicals I use around the house, and 2. The Little Mister really doesn’t like it when I won’t let him eat flies.

The Little Mister has been practicing “walking” with me around the house as I hold his hand, and that same day was no different. Except…he stopped to take a rest against a wall, then obviously a bit tired from all the new skill learning he bopped his head on that wall and bruised his forehead. I felt bad, like I should have seen it coming. He only cried a bit and was very good about it, wanting a cuddle. I had doubts. Had I put him in a position where he could hurt himself? Was it my fault for not catching him quick enough? I tried to forgive myself and move on.

Later that day, I took the Little Mister out to a cafe to meet my mum for lunch. As he’s now such a big boy (just turned one), I thought it would be fun to order him his own little meal off the kids’ menu, instead of feeding him something I’d brought from home. We ordered scrambled eggs on toast for him and poached eggs on toast for myself. The order was botched and his pint sized order came poached, while mine was scrambled. We switched the eggs from one plate to the other and didn’t think anything more on the matter. I hadn’t realised the hot yolk from my poached egg was still on his plate and the Little Mister (being so excited to eat what the grown ups were having) reached out for some yummy scrambled egg a bit too quickly. The heat of the leftover poached yolk hurt his little hand and he started screaming bloody murder, looking so shocked and in pain (there seriously is nothing like the pain of hot egg yolk running down your arm). My mum realised what had happened before I did and we started to fix the problem, but I felt awful. I hadn’t thought about it in advance. I’d been so excited for him being a ‘big boy’ that I hadn’t concentrated on how hot the food was and froze when he cried instead of having my wits about me so I could identify the problem quickly. He got over it, with a tiny little burn on his mouth, next to his lip (which didn’t seem to bother him) and he LOVED his eggs and toast once they were properly cooled to the right temperature. My mum reassured me that these things happen and that he was OK in the end and that’s all that matters. Perhaps he might have even learnt the difference between hot and cold (albeit the hard way), and that we all let our guard down occasionally, even if we’re good parents.

Again, I had to choose to think of it as a story to remember and something to learn from. I won’t make that mistake again and the Little Mister has actually started to approach his meals a little more cautiously when he knows they’ve been warmed for him. I now check more carefully when I serve his food (even though before the incident I usually did anyway).

As the day went on, I needed to look for a couple of wardrobe basics (it’s a long story about a stay at home mum who only wears one outfit – ever) and having my mum there meant that I could take some time to try things on in the changerooms. The Little Mister loved the bad music playing in the clothing stores and was rocking out, dancing and nodding his head to the side in time with the music (stupidly cute). He loved being with his Nanna Unprepared and I managed to find a couple of dresses that made me feel a little less frumpy and boring. I realised that he had long forgiven and forgotten, that he was fine and that I should be kind to myself, perhaps even laughing about what a day he/we had had. We all have one of those days occasionally, right? Everything had turned out OK in the end. We had survived.

Could I have done better? Sure. It’s a full on job looking after a one year old. You have to be on the ball every minute of the day and it’s exhausting. There’s always something new to worry about. To childproof against. Sometimes you catch yourself staring into space for the teensiest of moments, before reality pulls you back as your child tries to climb inside the kitchen bin or the television (even though it’s not even turned on – much).

I think that it’s just a matter of remembering to be kind to yourself. At the end of the day, you’ve done your best and you’ve learnt some lessons along the way. It’s about trusting in yourself as a good, caring, loving and proactive parent – remembering that you’re not just turning into a Bad Parent just because you’re not perfect. The fact that you want to be a good parent and you’re taking those little not-so-perfect moments quite seriously (while being able to laugh or blog about it later) means you probably already are.

We also need to be kind to each other. Support our friends who’ve had a bad day. They already feel bad. They don’t need us telling them just how bad to feel or giving advice that is designed to show our judgement, rather than to actually lift that person up and make them feel better.

We’ve all made small(er) scale, completely accidental mistakes that turned out OK in the end. We’ve all thought, “Wow – close call. Thank goodness it went our way.”

Forgive yourself and don’t let other peoples’ throwaway comments wreck your whole day. I bet hours later while you’re feeling really awful about what they’ve said, they’ve forgotten they even said it. Do what works for you and always follow your instincts. Trust your own judgement.

We just have to not beat ourselves up over it all. Every week is a new week. Every day is a new day. Every hour is a new hour. Every minute is a new minute. It’s never too late to put our big girl pants back on and try again.

Now I just have to take my own advice 😉