“I am raising a son that your daughter will be safe with. I PROMISE!

Last month we celebrated International Day for the Elimination of Violence and I noticed on Social Media there were dozens of women posting the following quote:

“I am raising a son that your daughter will be safe with. I PROMISE!

Now I’m the first to agree that we as parents hold a huge responsibility when it comes to changing the pattern of violence against women, children, family, friends, and human beings alike. But for some reason this quote really got me thinking. Upon reading it I felt pressure and honestly I’m still reflecting on why I feel this way.

One idea I have pondered is that I feel so passionately about raising my sons to be gentle, kind, supportive, loving partners. That won’t respond with violence in any situation let alone towards their families and friends. But what I realised is that I’m not sure exactly what I should be doing to prevent this. It’s all well and good to say that us as parents are responsible for raising our children to respond appropriately in every situation they face as teenagers and adults but how are we educating our parents to do this. I don’t have any experience of violence at home, I’m one of the lucky ones and I still am baffled as to how I’m going to raise my boys to be men that your daughters/sons are safe with. My boys are beautiful, intelligent people who are gentle natured and extremely empathetic and caring. It makes me feel so sad for them that they’re growing up in a world where men are to be feared and distrusted and I feel a immense pressure to raise them right and turn that notion around because I can’t imagine that they would be violent towards anyone. We don’t have violence at home so we’re not modelling violent behaviour, they’re not hit ever, and we teach them how to breath and calm down when they’re angry. When they do play too rough or hit each other they’re told off and we say ‘we don’t hit people’ and ‘that’s not the way we act’ but is it enough? are there other things I could be doing?

After a lot of reading one of the main suggestion was to teach young boys about their emotions. Teaching them to express themselves in healthy ways and not to bottle up their emotions. Encourage them to talk and avoid telling them that ‘boys don’t cry’. Ensuring that we don’t teach them in any way that they are smarter or more powerful than girls. This starts with the chores we set them around the house not being stereotypically male and giving them a range of non gender specific toys.

As they get older we need to ensure that we teach appropriate ways to communicate with all people, and model healthy relationships at home. Make sure the programs they are watching are appropriate and watch tv with them so that if a character is behaving inappropriately you can use it as a teaching moment. Focus on keeping your relationship with your son strong, talk regularly, a good relationship will ensure you know what’s happening in their life and you can give them advice when difficult situations in their lives arise.

Ensure they have good male remodels in their lives, this can include family members, coaches, teachers, family friends the more they see adult males responding with gentleness, kindness, calmness the more likely they are to behave that way as adults.

Teach them what inappropriate behaviours look like from a young age. This is very important for keeping them safe as well as others. Tell them who they should tell if they see any inappropriate behaviours. Teach them about consent, this include consenting to hugs and kisses even from family members. Teach them conflict resolution and give them phrases to use when they’re upset of angry “stop I don’t like it when you…” “when you did_______ it made me feel _________”

Call out people if they make sexist comments or jokes. In fact this might be one of the most important things you do especially if its someone your son sees a lot. If a grandparent or uncle is talking about females in a derogatory way even if it is a ‘joke’ use it as at teachable moment for your son and the adults involved.

Avoid comments like ‘you run like a girl’ or ‘that outfit looks too girly’

Not every man that’s been violent towards his family learnt to be that way from a violent upbringing. So we can’t be complacent that just because our households aren’t violent are children won’t be.

There can’t be a perfect equation for how to ensure you raise your kids to be non-violent empathetic adults but every skill you equip them with will make us closer to that goal. It will raise awareness, it will change attitudes and it just may save a life.

Mumma Z xxx

Stay at home Mumma seeking to work from home… how hard can it be?

Job Wanted: Must suit mum with small children, can work from home, flexible, doesn’t cost a fortune to set up, earns decent income.

I wouldn’t be the only mum who’s looking for more flexibility in their work. Coming from a full-time position with 8-hour days work life balance is a joke. When I went back to work after my first, I was lucky enough to have my mum care for my son every day, but I still found the mental load of mum-life, work-life and homelife extremely heavy and draining. I was missing out on so many firsts with my son and when I was home, I was so tired I barely had energy to play. Now with two sons I have spent countless nights restless trying to come up with ideas that will allow me to work from home and be there for school drop offs and pickups. I’m seeking a job that allows me to work the hours I want whilst earning the same amount I was whilst working full-time..how hard can it be?

Turns out there’s a reason so many mums have to go back to work after babies. Establishing a business or income from home that provides enough income is bloody hard. Not to mention the fact that even entertaining an idea is extremely expensive. Setting up blogs, buying inventory/materials, marketing all comes with quite a substantial initial investment which sometimes isn’t viable whilst you’re living on parental leave payments. 

 For example, I brainstormed the idea of having my own baby clothing website. I research suppliers who quickly pointed out how much in advance you have to buy stock, and that they wouldn’t even consider selling to you until you’ve set up a website. Enter in another cost factor, setting up proper websites with payment options, logos and hosting even on a budget is close to $1000 minimum. Then add the marketing needed and small business insurance, it’s quite the risk for a stay at home mum to take especially if money is tight. Even if you do take the plunge and invest in yourself the hours required initially take you away from your babies the very people you are fighting to spend more time with.

In the great quest to gain financial freedom and work for yourself you may find you’ve ended up spending money and time instead.

I’m not particularly crafty so making something to sell would be quite difficult for me, but again selling your own work may also require selling at markets on weekends again being away from your babies.

Alternatively you could study something that allow you to work from home such as Marketing or Design but again there’s a large financial and time commitment to make before any income is made, and you may need to return to work whilst studying again taking you away from your babies. 

As a teacher I could hope that my Principal offers me part-time work but it’s rare and still wouldn’t allow me to do school drops offs or pickups. I could tutor but this involves working hours when the kids are home, normally around dinner and again defeats the purpose of me wanting to spend more time with them.

I don’t mean to dishearten you or your ambitions to work from home. You have every chance of succeeding in whatever goal you set. Even I’m not giving up yet I’m still going to try for my family. I guess that shows the world just how great us Mum’s are. Even when we’re working as full time Mumma’s and managing the household we’re doing extra work on top, always trying to make life better for our families. We are the heroes of multitasking and through all the hard work we’re teaching our children vital skills for life. Not to settle, to work hard, chase your dreams, and that family is the most important thing.

Good luck in your endeavours Mumma’s, and if you do come up with a solution for me let me know!

Mumma Z xxx

TWELVE years teaching how to have a career vs ZERO years to be a mum

In Australia our kids spend a minimum of 12 years in education. They get taught English, Mathematics, Science, Arts, Humanities and Health. We give them opportunities to perform, compete, design, cook and experiment. We reward them for high grades and focus on teaching home how to have successful careers.

Just think about it…TWELVE years teaching how to have a career vs ZERO to be a mum!

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Many parents are lucky if they even receive a 1 hour parenting class after the birth of their first child. We don’t adequately invest in preparing people for one of the most important roles they will ever play, the one in raising the next generation of citizens.

I’ve heard the argument that its not the schools job to do this, its the families. Although I agree with this statement, when parents work 8-6 and kids are at school 8:30-3pm there leaves very little time for teaching about family and values. You may say we have all weekend long, but again these days those weekends are filled with extracurricular activities.

It’s just a thought, but maybe if society rethought what we wanted schools to achieve we might not have such a huge discrepancy in societies value of stay at home mums and career success. Just maybe they’d be less of a pay gap between men and women. Maybe the value of family time would override the expectation to answer late night work calls and working weekends.

We could equip people with a few more parenting skills instead of dumping us in the deep end and saying good luck. I know there’s not instructions for children or perfect ways of raising them. However, I personally would have loved a little more education on sleeping, feeding and coping skills for mid 2 year old toddler tantrums.

Parenting shouldn’t be learnt alone. It’s a role that goes on longer than most careers and there is so much wisdom to be learnt in a community that could help so many. Let’s place more value on being mums and dads because this life is all about family!

Mumma Z xxx

Mum’s NEED Cafes & Cafes NEED Mum’s! Please make them mum friendly

Cafe’s have been my soul food for many years. Not only do they sell my favourite beverage they make me feel human. Each cafe brings back memories of time well spent with friends, favourite dishes, or cold mornings waiting for a hot caffeine hit,

Recently my favourite drive thru cafe closed and it really got me thinking about just how important it was for to have a place like this when I was in the early newborn days.I couldn’t tell you how many times I loaded my eldest in the car and drove around the suburbs just to get him to sleep. That cafe was my sanctuary. I was so regular I could hand over my keep cup without having to speak my order. They’d let me know when my favourite mini carrot cakes were in stock and made the best breakfast toasties complete with gooey cheese . I could rely on them to make me nutritious food when I was sleep deprived and could have easily be lined up in the machos drive-thru instead. Now with my second son I regularly think of that cafe, there is no where close to home to get a good drive thru coffee and the thought of having to get two kids out of the car to meet my caffeine needs is exhausting. The only thing that could have made that place better is if they did drive thru milk and bread as well because I would be there daily.

Drive thru cafes are also amazing because they don’t make us mummas feel like unwanted and burdensome. So often when I do get to a cafe they have failed to consider young mums in their design. The staff want to hide you up the back, or outside if they can.

When my first son was a year old I stopped at a shopping mall cafe trolly loaded with groceries it had been a long morning and I just wanted a coffee and some morning tea. My son got hold of a spoon and started tapping it on his highchair, the lady on the phone at the table next to us shoosed me and rudely indicated to me to make my son be quiet. I know it must have been frustrating for her as she was on the phone but we were at a public place in a mall. She wasn’t entitled to make me feel small. I had every right to be there with my 1 year old. We need to support young mums. Getting out of the house can be hard and we should be supported when we actually do it. Forcing us to stay inside is not good for our mental health.

I recently went to a cafe with my two kids where I could barely get inside because of my pram. Once inside I felt in the way as they really wasn’t anyway to have the pram and highchair set up without blocking a walkway or someone else’s table. Later that week I went to another cafe to meet a friend again with the two kids in the pram. The waitress watched me struggling to find the highchairs and get the boys organised. When I asked her where they were she explained they were out the back of the restaurant making it pretty clear she want going to get it for me. I’m not sure how she expected me to get the highchair and carry it back whilst pushing the pram, or maybe she thought I’d leave my two boys unattended to go and self serve the highchair. I don’t know but both options made me feel uncomfortable and unwelcome. Instead I had to wait for my friend to arrive, then I went and got the highchair. The whole thing was awkward. Later on when ordering our coffees I also ordered my son eggs and toast from the kids menu. When his food arrived it came with adult cutlery..he’s 2. When I asked if they had kids cutlery I was told again it was self service at the back of the restaurant, once more making it pretty clear I was expected to go and get it. . Look I get it some places don’t want to be family friendly and I pay that for bars and fancy restaurants but cafes come on. My son wasn’t eating for free and it really made me feel like I was being treated as lesser because I had little kids. Sometimes us mum’s just need to be cut some slack. Most of the day these cafes their empty, and us mums are good business. We not only order coffees and food, but babyccinos and snacks! We’re desperate to get out of the house and it’s highly likely we will go for the second coffee in house and maybe even a takeaway too. Try to consider us in your cafe layouts and make us feel welcome when we enter your establishments. It means so much to us and makes our lives a hell of a lot easier!

To the cafes that are already family friendly and provide those kids corners, or colouring books and pencils THANKYOU! You will never know how much you do to make me feel human again and allow me to steal 10 minutes of peace to drink my coffee.

Mumma Z xxx

MY PCOS PREGNANCY JOURNEY: PART ONE

I have PCOS (Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome). I was diagnosed at 15 after experiencing irregular periods. All I recall form the diagnosis was that the doctor did a blood test and quickly prescribed me the contraceptive pill which I remained on for the next decade. My story is not unique. Many women I speak too experienced that same thing. Just like them I didn’t understand my condition or how it was affecting my weight or mental health.

As I entered my mid 20s I had a growing underlying fear that I wouldn’t be able to have children and very little information to console me.

I stupidly went off the pill shortly after getting married thinking I could fix my PCOS on my own and my hormones went nuts. I’m talking cystic acne on my jawline the size of blueberries that needed steroid injections. Mood swings, weight gain it was terrible and made me feel like never leaving the house again. I went back on the pill and regained control of my skin and weight. As much as I’d dreamt of conceiving naturally I needed help. I saw my GP who referred me to a fertility doctor.

What a game changer that fertility doctor was. For the first time ever he explained PCOS in a way I understood. I remember him explaining it like this: He said your body makes eggs but my body doesn’t release the right hormones to make those eggs mature and release. So they get stuck like a string of pearls or cysts. The reason we put you on the pill is to ensure your uterus shed and renews. This prevents you from developing endometriosis. He said PCOS is a condition that doesn’t discriminate, it affects women of all shapes and sizes with varying severity.

Next he sent me for every test to assess me. I had literally so many bloods done I had to go over 3 days because the nurse refused to take so much in one sitting, I had a internal ultrasound (yep they’re a thing- think wand up you know where) to count the ‘pearls’ stuck in my ovaries. I had ink squirted up again you know where, this allows them to X-rays to check your Fallopian tubes are all good- this by far was the WORST test…. vomit!.

The fertility doctor started me on ovulation induction, This is like the first level treatment that they try before IVF. In brief it means they force your body to mature and release the eggs.

Round 1

It started with me doing a month of contraceptive- this is to work out when Day 1 of your cycle is. Following instructions on the first day of my period I rang the clinic. They told me to come in the next day for bloods- which would be day 2. Bloods opened at 7am at the hospital. When you arrived you signed in and nurses saw you in order of arrival. Needing to be at work by 8 the process alone of getting early enough was slightly stressful to say the least. Anyways enough complaining here’s what happened:

  • Blood Test 1: The bloods measured my Estrogen, Lutenizing Hormone and Progesterone. My results meant I needed to start a course of Letrozole for 5 days and have no unprotected sex. Well Letrzole is a interesting drug and the fertility doctor told me not to google it because the side affects can be scary. For me it was mood affecting and caused weight gain- not fun!
  • Blood Test 2 : Five days later I returned to be pricked again- result- waiting for oestrogen to rise, no unprotected sex, return in 3 days
  • Blood Test 3: Still waiting for estrogen to rise, no unprotected sex, return in 4 days
  • Blood Test 4: Still waiting for estrogen to rise, restart Letrozole at double dose, no unprotected sex, return in 7 days
  • Blood Test 5 : Waiting for estrogen to rise, no unprotected sex, return in 3 days
  • Blood Test 6 : Estrogen starting to rise, no unprotected sex, return in 2 days
  • Blood Test 7 : Getting close to ovulation, no unprotected sex, return in 2 days
  • Blood Test 8 : Administer Ovidrel Pen tonight. This is a injection you give yourself. You basically get this pen out of the fridge, attach the needle, turn the cap to the right dosage, pinch your stomach fat, insert needle and press down until the whole dosage has gone in. It sounds awful, but its really not that bad, and doesn’t really hurt at all. Following the injection instruction said to start trying to conceive that night, the next day and the day after. I also had to do booster injections of a reduced dose 3 more times that week.Then the waiting game began. I couldn’t do one of those over the counter pregnancy tests because the booster injections contain HCG, the same hormone a pregnancy produces. So a home pregnancy test would give a false positive.
  • Blood Test 9 : Not pregnant- ring us on the first day of your period.

I wasn’t overly disappointed to find the first month hadn’t worked. I’d already accepted that this could take a while and felt with the medication dose changes, that this month was more of them working out my body than anything else.

However the physical effects were noticeable. My arms were so bruised. I naturally have low blood pressure which meant sometimes only one arm would play the game and they’d have to use that same arm over multiple dates. It also didn’t help that the weather was warming up and I was having to wear long sleeve shirts to hide my arms. I found having hydrolyte each morning helped them find the veins quicker and really tried to up my water intake for round 2. I’d put on weight and was soo tired all the time but we persevered.

Round 2

  • Blood Test 1: Commence Letrozole at double dose for 7 days and have no unprotected sex, return in 8 days
  • Blood Test 2 : waiting for estrogen to rise, no unprotected sex, return in 4 days
  • Blood Test 3: Small estrogen rise, no unprotected sex, return in 2 days
  • Blood Test 4: Estrogen rising, attend an internal ultrasound, no unprotected sex, return in 2 days. The ultrasound is to count how many eggs your releasing to prevent you possible falling pregnant with 3+ babies! I only had 1 that on the scan- not gonna lie at this point I though twins would be awesome. I have since changed my mind.
  • Blood Test 5 : Administer Ovidrel Pen tonight. Do booster injections of a reduced dose 3 more times this week.Then the waiting game began. I couldn’t do one of those over the counter pregnancy tests because the booster injections Start trying to conceive that night, the next day and the day after. Commence progesterone, return in 8 days. *progesterone are pessaries that you have to put up your bum..wonderful
  • Blood Test 6 : Mid luteal (which means you are a week post ovulation) return in 9 days.
  • Blood Test 7 : Good levels, continue progesterone, return in 4 days.
  • Blood Test 8 : Pregnant!!!!!! continue progesterone, return in 3 days.
  • Blood Test 9 : Good pregnancy levels, continue progesterone, return in 3 days.
  • Blood Test 10 : Good pregnancy levels, continue progesterone, return in 3 days.
  • Blood Test 11: Nice rise in pregnancy levels, progesterone levels have dropped but remain at good level, attend ultrasound, continue progesterone, return in 4 days.
  • Blood Test 12 : Good pregnancy levels, continue progesterone, NO MORE BLOODS!

I was so lucky! I know this is not everyone’s experience but the treatment was really effective on my body. I continued to take the progesterone pessaries everyday for 14 weeks. It’s my understanding that sometimes people with PCOS don’t produce enough progesterone naturally which can cause miscarriage. I had a really healthy pregnancy resulting in a beautiful baby boy.

What I learnt the most though was that I didn’t need to fear my PCOS. I just needed to learn about my body. The fertility doctor took such good care of me and helped us to create a family of our own.

To all my PCOS girls and mumma’s out there I’m thinking of you, make sure you get all the help and support you need. It’s certainly not a easy journey but you will get through it I promise.

Mumma Z xxx

Hell-ride: When the kids cry in the car!

My eldest son hated the car. This was not particularly helpful when we needed to drive in the car with him for 40 minutes minimum every single day. To this day the thought of getting in the car with him when he was a newborn fills me with dread. The gut wrenching screams from the back of the car. My anxiety levels rising with every minute of being trapped in there with him. The stress of repeating “its alright we’re almost there” even through we were no where close. The inability to do anything because I was stuck in traffic and couldn’t reach him to comfort him. The choice to turn up the music and try to ignore the cries so that I could focus on driving safely. It was the definition of hell!

Even now two years late we can have ‘hell-rides’ as I like to call them. The exception is that this time they’re caused by my son dropping a toy or book, and the crying is just his frustration that I can’t just magically pick them up whilst driving and give them back to him. To date my second son likes the car but only when it’s moving and he generally falls asleep which causes other problems but let’s not go there right now.

So here’s a list of things that have helped reduce our hell-rides that work… most of the time:

Check the car seat: Our sons first car seat was a capsule with a suede like lining. We think it made him too hot and uncomfortable. We replaced it with a Britax Safe N Sound Graphene Convertible which has bamboo fabric that keeps him cool. The change was instant, the crying stopped!

Check the car seat straps: I find when you pull the car seat straps tight they really dig into the shoulders. After pulling tight I pull on the leg straps which always gives a bit, then I move that give up to the shoulder area and pull tight again. This creates a more even firmness across the hold harness. My boys are more comfortable and more secure this way.

Time your car rides: For newborns make sure they’re fed, have clean nappies, and if you can do some tummy time beforehand so that they’re worn out and more likely to sleep. For toddlers tell them the night before that you’re going in the car the next day and where they’re going. This helps the next day because they’re prepared. When I had regular car rides to work I used to put my eldest straight in the car when he woke up pyjamas and all. That way he was still sleepy, then I’d dress and feed him at my mums house. This way we weren’t rushing activities at home or interrupting his play. Now days I’m at home so car rides are more casual. I always make sure he’s got a clean nappy and we pick a book or toy to take in the car with us.

Music: My toddler loves music in the car and has become quite picky! He now tells me when he doesn’t like a song, or when he wants to hear one on repeat. I got a much needed reminder this week when he commented the music was too loud. It wasn’t louder than usual but he found it too much. Remember you have little ears in the car, so maybe try changing the volume levels and see if it helps. Also try changing up the playlist and see if different styles make them more comfortable.

Avoid rewards in the car: Whether its food or technology try to avoid things in the car that you’re not willing to give them every single car ride. This may be hard because you want a quick fix but I promise its worth a few hell-rides sticking to a safe car routine then dealing with tantrums because they want rewards every time you need to go somewhere.

Good luck mumma, the crying in the car will pass!

Mumma Z xxx

How a Boy Mumma dealt with gender disappointment

Its weird before I had kids I never really thought about the gender of my kids I guess I just kinda assumed I’d have a boy and a girl. It never occurred to me that I’d only be a mumma to one gender and that that gender would be boys!

When I was pregnant with my first the gender didn’t really matter but I won’t lie. When I found out it was a boy I was momentarily disappointed. I think it was a mix between my mum saying she thought it was girl and the fact that I’d got it in my head that it was. Or maybe it was the idea that having a kid the same gender as myelf felt safer, like I would be more prepared for a girl than a boy.

The feeling didn’t entirely go away and I didn’t honestly believe it was boy until he was born. But as they say the moment he arrived it was overwhelming love at first sight and I have loved being his Mumma. He cracks me up everyday. I’m navigating my way through his construction obsession and love playing trains, cars and firemen with him. I love little boys fashion and spend way too much on chinos, boat shoes and gorgeous wooden jumpers for him.

When I found out I was pregnant with number two though I found conversation about what gender was really difficult. So many people commented that we must be hoping for a girl that I started to feel like I’d be a failure if my baby wasn’t. A good friend of mine with a boy the same age as me had just had her second and it was girl. I felt jealous that she had created the textbook family and wondered what my future held. At the 20 week scan they told us we were expecting a boy. the extended family were excited but there was definitely disappointment on a few faces that they weren’t going to be little girl outfits or seeing a mini me running around. I too felt upset. My good friend who’s second was a girl said something really profound to me though. She said” you have to mourn the one you don’t have. She hadn’t found out the gender of the second until she was born, and even though she had hoped for a daughter she had slight gender disappointment at the birth. You see when she realised it was a girl she had to mourn the boy she thought she might have. She had envisaged a little boy as well, picked a name for him, and part of her was sad about not having him even though she absolutely loves her daughter.

I too had to take the time to mourn the daughter I wasn’t having. I also had to mourn the idea that this may be my last pregnancy and I may never have a daughter. I will always be the mother in law. I will always be outnumbered at home, and may not have a sidekick joining me shopping or getting our nails done.

Interestingly though I found as I entered the later part of my pregnancy I started to feel relief that I was expecting another boy. I loved being a mum to my first boy and having sons felt like familiar territory. The two of them will be best buddies, they will be able to enjoy the same toys and similar activities not to mention all money id save on boys clothes. Boys love their mumma’s and they are so affectionate. I just love all the cuddles and kisses and the way they’re teaching me to look at the world differently. I am at peace with having two boys, and just want you to know that even though you may be disappointed now I promise you it will change when you meet your baby. Don’t feel guilty about how your feeling take the time to mourn the one your not having, it doesn’t mean you love your baby any less.

Mumma Z xxx

How I’m coping with two kids!

Being a mum of two is really hard. I have a newfound admiration for mums of multiples. I literally do not understand how you do it when kids in your household outnumber the adults. I get anxious enough thinking about all the things I need to pack for two just to leave the house. Let alone the amount of washing, cooking and entertaining!

A lot of people have been asking how I’m coping. The word cope literally means to ‘deal effectively with something difficult’. Yes we’re coping but life with two kids is difficult. Some days they’re both chirpy and I have no issues. Other days they’re both crying, and I have to decide who needs me more in that moment. 

I constantly feel guilty for not paying attention to each of my boys enough. My day revolves around putting one down to pick the other one up on repeat. I would literally pay someone to teach me how to get both of them to nap at once. 

No, I don’t have a routine for my newborn yet and I’m fine with that. In fact, I’m trying not to over think it all. The only structure that exists in our day revolves around my toddler’s routine:

  • Breakfast by 8am
  • Morning Tea 10:30am
  • Nap time 12:00pm
  • Lunch 2pm
  • Dinner 5pm
  • Bath time 6pm
  • Bed 6:30pm

Survival is key, and the activities that we do between these mealtimes are all about coping.

  • I keep books on the couch so that I can I feed on demand whilst reading to my toddler.
  • The TV goes on when I need a moment to prep food or change a nappy and I refuse to feel guilty for the screen time.
  • When I get a chance during my toddler’s nap, I set up activities outside such as playdoh or water table so that when he gets up, he has something to occupy him for 20-30 minutes.
  • His play table always has pencils and paper our ready to go. 
  • We go to the park if its sunny or walk around the shops if it’s raining just to get out of the house. 
  • Luckily my toddler loves babyccinos (just milk foam) and will sit quietly at a café drinking one so that I can have a coffee. I save this activity for mornings following nightmare sleepless nights.
  • Mum is on speed dial to lend a hand or take my toddler for the day so that I can catch my breath and prepare to do it all the very next day.

Coping with two is crazy but we’re doing it, and you can too. Don’t be too hard on yourself, you’ve got this one day at a time.

Mumma Z xxx

The Kitchen Dilemma

There are many things I love about being a mum. The laughter, the pure joy my sons having playing games and discovering new things and those super snuggly cuddles when they first wake up from their naps. But I have to tell you, I was never made aware how much time I would spend trying to keep my kitchen clean. Long and behold my kitchen dilemma. My kitchen is like an all-consuming never-ending dirt accumulating monster. I don’t remember the last time I entered the kitchen to see it clean without a dish in the sink or a dishwasher that didn’t need to be emptied. See our household is a strict dishwasher using society. Our routine goes something like this:

The Kitchen Dilemma
  • We load the dishwasher with the dirty dishes
  • Turn dishwasher on
  • Dirty dishes pile up in sink whilst dishwasher is on
  • Empty dishwasher
  • Load with dirty dishes from sink
  • Turn dishwasher on
  • Empty dishwasher
  • Load with dirty dishes from sink 

On repeat all bloody day! 

It is a ridiculous roller-coaster of loading and unloading that I never remember signing up for and that’s just the dishwasher. Don’t get me started on everything else that grubby in my kitchen!

At least three times a day I can been seen washing the benches down, curled over the dishwasher or on my hands and knees picking stuff up from the floor. No need to ask where mummy is, she’s in the kitchen because in between the cleaning or she’s creating the mess in the kitchen by making the many meals and snacks my family needs. I have not secret solution to it; I haven’t worked out some fandangle routine to keep in spotless and I’m not going to make any promises that it’s going to improve. So instead please enjoy this silly poem I wrote and send me a comment if you know the fix to my kitchen cleaning dilemma.

Oh kitchen you marvellous room

You allow our MasterChef ambitions to bloom

My only gripe with you, you see 

Is that no matter how hard I try you fail to be clean?

I wipe, I sweep, I rinse, I dry

And yet the mess continues to be in oversupply.

Almost every day I wish and hope 

That I’ll wake up in the morning without you requiring soap

But for now, I’ll persist with the endless decree

Of mopping and spraying as your loyal trustee

Mumma Z xxx

Grocery Shopping is NOT a break!

How much easier would it be to do the housework without having to watch the kids at the same time? To make dinner without little ones at your feet or fold the washing? But if us mums do get a chance to do these tasks kid free let me be clear- it is not a break! I am still working; I am indirectly still looking after them.

https://community.whattoexpect.com/forums/hot-topics-1/topic/mom-breaks-101139834.html

Many of us mums have seen this post it’s been circulating quite recently and quite honestly, I could not have summed it up better. There seems to be this universal idea that when you became a mum you decided that for the rest of your days you would have no break!

How is it in 2020 we could even presume that doing household tasks kid free was time off for mums? The mental load of the household has not stopped during these times, she has not wound down or taken a minute for herself. She has not had a moment to think of herself. It has been all consumed in the household and her kid’s needs. Also, what is with the 1950 mentality? Housework is just that- work, it is not a relaxing task we just can’t wait to do.

A break is going out to dinner with a friend, getting my hair done or binging Netflix alone!  

I haven’t showered alone since my second was born- we’re going on 6 weeks now! When I do take a break, I’m conscious of the time I take and always race back because I feel guilty for going out. My husband seems to be able to go out carefree to play golf or go out for drinks and never feels guilty for the time he takes. 

So why don’t us mums take more breaks. For me I find taking a break really hard. The prep work taken to even think about having a break is huge. To leave the house I need to have expressed milk and found clothing that is clean and fits. By the time I’ve accomplished this I am so exhausted that I need a nap instead.  The other thing that plays on my mind is the knowledge that whilst I’m gone half of the work, I would have done won’t be completed. When my husband watches the boys, he does just that, he plays with them and supervises them. He doesn’t try to cook dinner, clean the house and put a load of washing on. He doesn’t think to do it and to write him a list of things I would normally have done during that time would create even more work for me.

 It seems somewhere along the line I’ve contributed to this problem. I’ve set ridiculous standards for myself that no one is holding me to- especially not my husband. I’ve used my breaks to go to the grocery store on purpose because I’m stressed about getting things done and I feel better for having completed a household chore. I’ve not taken the time to relax and unwind even when I’ve been given the time. Instead when my husband’s watching the kids, I’ve pounced on the opportunity to get something done around the house that I can’t do when I’m watching them. 

But I’m tired and grumpy and I need some me time. This Mumma is not her best self when I allow myself to become this burnt out. I need to prioritise break time and plan activities for this break time that does not involve the household in any shape or form and I’m starting today.

Do your self a favour and take a break mumma. You deserve it! Mumma Z xxx