4 things I have learned in my 4 years of parenting so far.

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  • 1) Time goes too fast: It feels like one minute you are holding this sweet little baby that is dependant on you for everything. Before you realise it that little baby is smiling, crawling, pulling itself up and taking first steps. Then comes the first birthday, learning to run, talk and riding a bike, making their own friends and heading off to kindy. And needing you a little bit less every day.

          When the second one comes along time seems to be speeding up even more.                           Especially now that they have someone else to copy.

  • 2) Labour was the “easy” part: Ok so before you tell me your labour wasn’t easy let me explain. The babies do not come with a owners manual, they just don’t. It is a game of trial-and-error. No one knows what they are doing. It’s part of the joy and chaos of parenthood. What makes it even more interesting is, what worked last week isn’t necessarily going to work this week. And yes you guessed it, what “worked” with one child does not always work for the second.
  • 3) You can’t make a baby who isn’t tired sleep: or even who is tired but refuses to sleep. No amount of feeding, rocking, singing, shushing, pram pushing, baby wearing, dummy giving, or any of the other million things you are likely to try is going to work. I have had this happen to me heaps over the last 4 years. Neither of my kids are fond of sleeping, but at least with F it has started getting easier. His sister seems to be following in his footsteps so I should be able to have a full night’s sleep in another 3 years. I miss sleep.
  • 4) You will never be prepared for the love you  feel for your child: For me personally I can’t explain the moment I first laid eyes on both my kids. It’s indescribable. I did not think I could love my second as much as my first but somehow you just get all this extra love. Some days I can’t wait for bedtime, but then when they are in bed and you look at them your heart just swells up with love and pride. My son is at a stage now where there is a fair bit of “I love you to the sky and back a million, billion times” and “ you’re the best mama, I love you” It makes all those hard moments worth it. The baby is starting to give bit slobbery open mouth kisses, smiles and some cuddles. It is one of the best parts of parenting when the kids start showing some affection back to you.

 

What  have you learned in your parenting journey?

 

Girls night before kids VS Girls night after kids

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Tonight I had a girls night. My first one in a very very long time. I can’t even remember the last one I had,it was sometime before the kids came along.

The girls

The girls

Here are 5 differences between girls night before kids VS girls night after kids.

Before kids:

You meet up after work or any other time or day  that suits you.

After kids:

Getting a night out needs to be organised at least a few days to a week in advance. If you even go out somewhere.q

Before kids:

You leave your house when you want and get dressed up and put make -up on – if you want!

After kids:

You organise for your friends to come to you and you all wear your most comfortable clothes and NO make up AFTER the kids are in bed!

What we watched

What we watched

Before kids:

You go out to see the new movie at the cinema. Gold lounge perhaps?

After kids:

Everyone brings a dvd and you decide what you want to watch when they arrive. Gold lounge = your couch that you have only recently cleared of the overflow of laundry that covered it all day.

Gold lounge? Think not

Gold lounge? Think not

Before kids:

You may go out for dinner or just dessert before the movie

After kids:

Everyone brings dessert or something to nibble on.

Yummy nibbles

Yummy nibbles

Before kids:

You may go out for a coffee after the movie. There’s no rush to get home.

After kids:

You are either already in your pajamas or you are in bed before your last guest is halfway home. Better get some sleep before the kids wake up again.

What would you ad? How has your nights out changed from before you had kids to after you had kids?

Why I love Sofia the first

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If you are a parent of a preschooler you will be familiar with shows like Sofia the first.

You know the show about a little girl who became a princess after her mum married the king, and now lives in the castle trying her best to do things right and learn how to be a princess.

I caught some of it yesterday while feeding the baby and keeping my boy entertained with the miserable weather we’ve been having.

It went like this. Sofia and her family went to go see the horse racing. The flying horse racing. (The story is about a  princess after all.) She wants to enter the horse racing too because it looks so fun. But there is a catch. It’s a boy ONLY sport.

Her family encourages her to give it a go and see if she can make the team. She does. But not without overcoming some obstacles.  Like her sister telling her to give up, Sofia getting the smallest “weakest” horse who does not believe it can do it. So she has to have enough belief for the both of them.  And of course one of the other racers bumping her off her horse. She almost gives up but with the help and encouragement of her brother she makes it.

In the end she makes the team alongside her brother James. She is the first girl to make the team. Everyone is very proud and happy for her. So the classic happy ever after ending.

The show got me thinking though about the strong and the important messages) it sends to our children.

This is what the show aims to teach:

“Sofia learns that looking like a princess isn’t all that hard, but behaving like one must come from the heart. The stories focus on the idea that what makes a real princess is what’s on the inside. The show highlights character qualities such as kindness, courage, generosity, loyalty, honesty and grace. Subjects such as sincerity and forgiveness are heavily focused on.”

Despite the fact that it encourages girls and boys to give all kinds of activities a go, regardless of whether they are classed as more girl or boy oriented activities, it also teaches kids to work hard and give things a go. To never give up and that if they persevere they can achieve many amazing things.

The show has made an impression upon my boy because he was talking about and asking me questions about it at bedtime that night. He asked about Sofia’s horse not being able to do the obstacle course to start with and how after working hard together they achieved it.

So thank you to the people who writes these shows for showing kids that hard work and perseverance pays off. The kids might not fully understand the lessons now but in time they will and I can only hope that they take it on board.

A moment in time

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As I hold your small body against mine

I wish I could slow the hands of time

I look at your small hand gripping mine

And smell your baby scent divine

I admire your beautiful, steely blue eyes

And laugh with you at the surprise,

I see in them when you discover something new

Your easy gummy smile captures my heart every time

I’ll remember it fondly long after it’s gone

Time is flying my darling girl

Soon you will be wanting to roam free

But for now I will hold you close and enjoy every moment

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That used to be us

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While my husband and son were biking with a friend I was walking in the forest with baby in her pram, enjoying the weather now that it finally stopped raining, when a young couple passed me on their mountain bikes.

As they passed and greeted me with their big energetic smiles I could not help but think “that used to be us”. My husband and I had 6 years together before we started a family, where we could up and get out into the forest any time we wanted.

And we did.

We used to be fit and energetic. We used to be just like this couple.

I felt a slight stab of jealousy towards these two and their care free appearance.

We have willingly traded it all for our children and even though it is great having kids and being able to do things with them I  miss being able to ride my bike with my husband.

For now we will have to wait for baby girl to get bigger so that she can go into the seat that attaches to our bikes and we can get out for family rides.

That will be a great new adventure.

When three became four

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Six weeks ago baby girl joined our family and in this short time we have already had a few crazy moments. I knew parenting two kids would be different and have challenges but I wasn’t fully prepared for how crazy things could get.

On our first trip into town taking F to kindy hubby and I were so focused on getting everything ready for baby, who was 5 days old, that we completely forgot to pack little man’s kindy bag. We never even thought about it until we were halfway to town. Luckily we didn’t need a bag for him that day.  After getting home that night I made sure that I packed little man’s bag and put it in the car so we didn’t forget it again.

I had another crazy day when I took both kids to the hospital for an appointment for baby girl. We got to the children’s ward on time and because baby girl was only a week old the kind nurses put  the kids and I in a private room. While waiting for the Doctor F needed to use the bathroom. So I put baby girl in her push chair and went in search of a toilet. We eventually found a toilet, the room wasn’t big enough for the three of us so I used the pram to keep the door open so baby could still hear and see us.

She was upset and needed a feed so I was trying to rush F so we could get back to our room. Just as she was ramping up I realised F needed a change of undies so off I went to go get some out of our bag. I reach the room we were in and found that I had locked myself out. So after finding a nurse I can get to my bag only to hear little man (who has a loud voice as it is) shouting from the toilet down the hall “I am finished mama!!”. We made it back to the room before baby girl really got going!

After the toilet fiasco we were all hungry. I had brought some snacks with us as I didn’t know how long we would be at the hospital. I was trying to encourage F to use the lid of his lunch box as a plate which worked but after he had finished eating he tipped the lid and all the crumbs ended up on the white sheets which covered the table we were sitting on. We also managed to get crayon stains on the table while doing some colouring in.

While  we were still waiting for the Doctor to come I needed to use the bathroom. So I left both kids in the room  and ran down the hall to the toilet. Luckily there was a ladder in the room so I could prop the door open. I told little man to stay in the room with his sister while I was away. She  had just woken up and needed another feed! ‘

As I am in the bathroom I hear F running up and down the corridor, so I hurry back to the room. When I get there he had opened up his container with scroggin in and in the process had spilled it all over the floor. One of the nurses came in and as I was profusely apologizing for the mess she did her best to reassure me it was fine and started looking for a broom and bucket to clean it up. She could not find it. So I get down on my hands and knees to pick it up while trying to convince F not to eat it off the floor. By this stage A is most upset because no one has picked her up yet and she was getting really hungry.

During all of this the doctor finally walks in the door.

He took stock of this crazy situation and very kindly offered to pick baby up out of her push chair. She finally stopped crying as he was holding her and rocking her on his knee.

I was so embarrassed but he reassured me that all was fine and he understood as he had a very young baby too. I then also had to apologize for the mess we left on the table.

Despite my best efforts to appear in control and relaxed being out with two kids I was not. I was getting overwhelmed and could not wait for our appointment to finish so I could leave.

The thing I have learned though is that when situations like this happen to not loose my sense of humour and to remember that everyone goes through this at some stage when out with kids.

It has also made me aware to be kind to myself and other parents and to look for ways in which I can help them, instead of making them feel judged for having a rough day.

I am sure we will have some more crazy adventures as time goes on.  

Maybe I will even run into you and we can share a smile and knowing look. 

What adventures have you had while out with your children?

 

Things I want my daughter to know

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Since finding out on Christmas day that we will be having a daughter, I have had a lot of things on my mind. I feel an extra amount of pressure being the mother of a daughter. Extra responsibility to teach her things and to be a good role model for her. Sure I felt pressure with my son too, to be a good mum and role model but with my girl the pressure feels more and different.

Here is a list of things I want my daughter to know:

1 You are beautiful: Do not let anyone tell you otherwise and DO NOT get caught in what the world perceives as beautiful. A beautiful heart lasts a lifetime. Outer beauty fades.

2 Look for the good in others: Always look for the good in everyone you meet. It might be hard to find, but it is there.

3 Self confidence: You have a voice and it is important that you let your voice be heard. Speak up about things that are important to you or that bothers you. And know you can always talk to me about anything. On the flip side it is also important to know when it is best not say anything.

4 Your body is special and beautiful just the way it is: Celebrate the body you have. It is unique and beautiful. I promise to work hard on this self acceptance too and to show you how to take care of your body.

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5 Do things that make you happy: Don’t worry about what other people think of you. Your opinion of yourself is more important than theirs.

6 Take every opportunity you can to travel: Traveling will teach you many things about yourself and give you a new appreciation of life.

7 Read as much as you can.

8 Believe in yourself: You can do anything you set your mind too.

9 Know that you will always be loved: No matter what happens, we will always be there for you.

10 Try new things: Don’t let fear hold you back from trying things. Because by trying things that scare us we grow and learn more about ourselves.

What would you add to this list?