Tag Archives: Mum

26 Things I am Learning About My Tween

 

I mentioned recently over on my Facebook page that I am a mid-years mama, a Tween mama if you will. You can find a wealth of knowledge and blogs full of advice on Newborns, Babies, Toddlers and Teens however I’m noticing a serious lack of talking on the Tween phase. It’s almost like we jump from Pre-schoolers to Teens and forget we have to get through the murky middle waters before the teen stage.

 

With all that in mind and a great deal of thinking on my behalf I thought I’d write a little bit on the things I am learning from my Miss 8 and the crap people forgot to warn me about. I’m hoping it will resonate with some fellow mamas who are at the same stage as me and even if you aren’t then look forward to it or read it and think back on when this was you.

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26  Things I’m learning about my Tween

  1. I am still her favourite person. Until I’m not but I know in an hour or so I will be again. Its ok, I get it. I remember feeling the same with my own mum.
  2. She hates most the clothes I buy for her. Mainly because I chose them. On shopping trips I keep my mouth shut and pray she chooses wisely. It’s still ok though because I will not buy what I don’t think is appropriate.
  3. She likes to spend my money and she neeeeeeeds everything. It’s not true.
  4. She is aware her body is changing and it is confronting and confusing for her. She isn’t sure why some clothes I used to let her wear I now tell her are inappropriate. It’s tough trying to explain.
  5. She looks older than she acts. I still let her be a child. It is unfair for people to expect such grown up things from her.
  6. She is a tiny hurricane of turbulent emotions. Pre-puberty mood swings are real and they are taking over her body and she has no idea what the heck is wrong.
  7. She still needs cuddles. She acts like she doesn’t but deep down she stills craves them. So when she scraps her knee or stubs her toe it is still easily fixed with a big bear hug.
  8. Unless we are in public. In public I tread carefully. Some days she is unreadable. Some mornings a kiss goodbye is fine but other days I dare not touch her. I am learning it depends on our audience.
  9. I can’t fight her battles for her. As much as I want to march up to that bully and sort them out with stern words and evil glares. I can’t. I have to trust her to do this for herself. I have to trust that I have taught her to cope with these situations. I know she wants me to rescue her but I also know she would be mortified if I did. It’s tough.
  10. I can’t choose her friends for her. She has her own ideas and the best thing I can do is get to know them. They are her posse and their influence on her is inevitable, I must know who these girls are.
  11. She uses my shampoo and body washes in the shower. She swears she doesn’t touch them but she smells just like me.
  12. She wants to wear my make up. Not smeared on lipstick like her younger sister but properly applied.
  13. She is still ok when I say no.
  14. She is starting to doubt herself. Gone is the fearless I can do anything attitude and the worry and self-doubt is coming in its place. It is my job to teach her she was right before. She can do anything.
  15. She is starting to need privacy. She changes in the bedroom with the door shut and is starting to dread the school swimming changing rooms.
  16. She can slam her bedroom door with the force of a strong man.
  17. But she still can’t shut the pantry door.
  18. She is not me. She is herself. I must let her be her.
  19. People at school are telling her that Santa, The Easter Bunny and the Tooth fairy aren’t real and she is looking at me for answers. Of course, they’re real. I will cling to this magic of childhood for as long as I can.
  20. She makes me cry, laugh, feel hopeless and hopeful all in one day. I want to save her and praise her, hug her, kiss her and scold her all at once.
  21. With every new emotion or mood swing I pray my mother is wrong and the upcoming teen years will not be pay back for how I behaved during my own.
  22. She has a great sense of humour. She is funny, and smart, and witty. She reassures me I am not.
  23. She has discovered sarcasm. Its crap and it’s often paired with eye rolling.
  24. She is still fragile. She may deliver the comebacks but she cannot handle them.
  25. As much as I want to be her BFF forever I am her Mum first. She is learning this and I am learning how hard it can be to step back from the friend status and be a tough Mama. Some days she tells me she hates me and I have to remind myself that if she didn’t hate me I wouldn’t be doing my job right.
  26. She still needs her mum. No matter how old she gets, no matter how determined and independent she is, she will still need me and this reassurance will get me through this.

 

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This stage is just as rewarding and tedious as any stage of parenting but that’s parenting in a nutshell really. There are good days and bad days but at the end of the day it’s a journey most of us wouldn’t give up for the world. It is a gift and a rollercoaster of a ride.

Mel x

44 Things I Want My Daughters To Know

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There are so many things I want to teach my girls that my mind threatens to explode. Half of it they are far too young to even understand yet but the life lessons I want them to learn are always front of mind for me. Some are simple wee tokens of advice that have served me well, others are bigger lessons that I need them to understand. I know I can’t save them broken hearts or hard lessons but when the time is right I will pass on my pearls of wisdom.

Things I want to teach my daughters

  1. Always make eye contact when speaking with someone. It is respectful and good manners.
  2. Live to eat. Food is delicious and there is so much to enjoy and discover. Don’t eat just to live.
  3. Never judge people. You don’t know their story and you haven’t walked in their shoes.
  4. Learn to say NO. You don’t need any reason except that you want to say no.
  5. Read books. Lots of books.
  6. Don’t take life or yourself too seriously.
  7. Tattoos are permanent. Think it through, trust me.
  8. Don’t settle in a relationship. You deserve a prince who captures your heart and protects it as if it were made of glass. Wait for that man.
  9. No matter how old or young you are, if you are drunk, ring me. Do not drive. Do not get in some ones car. I will not be mad at you and I will get out of bed for you.
  10. Don’t sleep around. Just don’t.
  11. It’s not the quantity that matters when it comes friends. It’s the quality.
  12. Don’t be afraid to do you. Be proud of who you are and be you with confidence.
  13. A naked face can be liberating. Don’t be afraid to show it.
  14. Always have wine in your fridge. For when I visit.
  15. Buy the shoes, the handbag, the perfume – you deserve them.
  16. Be a good listener. Really hear people when they talk to you.
  17. People always remember how you make them feel. Make them smile.
  18. No one is any better than you, and you are no better than anyone else.
  19. We are all in this together, be kind.
  20. Take responsibility for your mistakes. Apologise when you should.
  21. Don’t be afraid to fail. Take a deep breath and try.
  22. You can be and do anything you want to.
  23. You can also do absolutely nothing all day except eat chocolate and watch tv. That’s ok too but only every now and again.
  24. If you’re not married to him, use protection. Safety first.
  25. Just because it zips, doesn’t mean it fits.
  26. Wine/beer and pizza is a perfectly acceptable meal.
  27. Tights are not pants and you are better than track pants. Unless it’s Lazy Sunday and then anything goes.
  28. I don’t care if you choose to love women or men. You are still you and dad and I will always love you.
  29. If they make you cry, they aren’t worth your tears.
  30. Have the courage and strength to walk away. Sometimes things aren’t right for us and we must accept this.
  31. Childbirth is painful. Few things are comparable. Except bikini waxing, that’s kinda the same.
  32. Always have something you do just for you.
  33. Your youth will fade, so may your looks but your mind is forever. Keep it sharp.
  34. Never lose your sense of humour.
  35. If you have to, try the weed but stay away from the hard stuff.
  36. See the world. Go on adventures.
  37. Stay at school. Go to university. Education is your weapon.
  38. Never go to bed angry.
  39. We need the cloudy days to appreciate the sunshine.
  40. When nothing seems to be going right, turn the music up loud and dance that shit out.
  41. I am always on your side. I’ve got your back.
  42. Even if I am not here, I am always with you.
  43. Everything will be ok in the end.
  44. Something as simple as your breath, your smile, your laugh – completes me. To me you are everything.

Mel x

25 Confessions Of An Everyday Mum

Motherhood is a crazy ride and some days I'm hanging on by my finger tips
Motherhood is a crazy ride and some days I’m hanging on by my finger tips

I need to get some things off my chest. Partake in a little confessional and cleanse my mama soul. I’m hoping I’m not the only one that does some of these but if I am, I’m ok with that because they are helping me survive.

My Mum Confessions:

1. Some nights I tell my children it’s bedtime at 6.30pm instead of 7.30pm. I manage to trick them into thinking its 7.30 because they can’t tell the time yet and no daylight savings is on my side, for now.

2. About once a week my children’s dinner consists of 2min noodles, spaghetti or eggs on toast or toasted sandwiches. I just can not pull off 7 nights of decent cooking.

3. I push snooze on my alarm clock at least 3 times before getting up and rushing around like a mad woman to make school drop off in time.

4. Miss partakes in the schools weekly sausage sizzle just so I don’t have to make her a sandwich on a Thursday.

5. If we’ve run out of bread, I’ll send her to school with a can of tuna.

6. I hide chocolate and lollies on the top shelf of the pantry and I don’t share.

7. I’ve eaten cooking chocolate more than once.

8. Also, the cooking wine….

9. I go to the supermarket for bread and milk but take over half an hour and spend at least $50.

10. I do not and have never tried to make paleo treats. Or just paleo anything really.

11. I’ve recently just bought a new bra, only because I realised I NEVER wash the other one.

12. I don’t cut out sandwiches into bear faces and I do not draw smileys on the girls bananas for their lunches.

13. I sometimes have to do the sniff test to decide between clean and dirty socks.

14. I have said my babes are sick to get out of a social invite. More than once.

15. I pull the fingers and mouth ‘F you’ behind my kids backs some days. It truly helps me feel better.

16. When I’m exhausted DVDs are my best friend. We make pop corn, we grab a blanket and we all lie down. It’s compulsory.

17. I love bath time because the girls will play in there for almost half an hour but some nights we skip it and they go to bed without one.

18. I only wash their hair once a week. Shock, horror but it actually only needs to be washed that much. And, nits apparently like clean hair. We’ve never had nits, touch wood.

19. I’m a terrible housewife. I hate the washing. I wash it, I hang it out, it stays on the line overnight, I bring it in, it lives in the basket for four days, I fold it and it stays on the table until it’s back in the dirty washing pile again. I am terrible at washing. I vacuum around the washing baskets, it’s really bad.

20. I don’t make the beds every morning. I mostly straighten them up before the kids jump back in them.

21. My husband cleans the bathroom. The only time I ever gave the bath a decent clean was when I was pregnant and hoping being down on my knees would speed up labour.

22. I vacuumed and mowed the lawns a fair bit when my babes were young. It drowned out the crying when I reached the point where I had no idea what else to do to stop it. I’d put them safely wrapped in the bassinette and vacuum the crap out of the house.

23. Some days, I put myself in time out. It’s easier than trying to seperate the kids. They soon realise I’m hiding (normally with my secret treats) and sort themselves out.

24. I will be the mum that kisses my babes goodbye until I die. I still hug and kiss my own parents goodbye. I will tell them I love them a thousand times a day and I don’t feel bad that I do it.

25. I am terrified of sending my children out into this world. First days at school, first solo play dates, first camp sleep overs, all of it sends me into a state of anxiety. I pray every day in a world full of cruelty and hardship that I have taught my girls to be tough enough to be the kindness. To just be nice.

Do you have any Mum confessions to make? Surely, I am not alone. Don’t be ashamed, I’m not. My children are alive and thriving thanks mostly to me, and ya gotta do what ya gotta do to get through.

Mel x

Why Is It So Hard To Make Mum Friends?

Thank goodness for sisters, and I'm lucky to be blessed with three.
Thank goodness for sisters, and I’m lucky to be blessed with three.

I think I am a shy mum. I say ‘shy mum’ like it’s a real thing because I don’t ever recall being this shy in social situations before I was a mum. Sure I’m not ever going to be up there on a stage in a play or anything but I don’t ever remember being so unsure of myself it made me somewhat introverted.

I don’t have a lot of friends but I know a lot of people. I know people well enough to say a passing ‘hello, how are you?’ in the street but it doesn’t often go beyond that, especially with other mums. I’m that mum that sits in the corner at kindy pick up or chats to that one other mum I know and that’s all. I’m sure I come across as snobby, stand offish and maybe even rude. I promise I’m not. I just don’t know how to go about talking to you. The groups of mums at kindy and school remind me of highschool cliques, where I’m on the outside and not too sure how to break in.

I strike up a conversation or someone starts speaking to me, we chat a while, we agree we should have a play date, for the kids of course! We meet up, the kids play, we drink coffee and that’s it. We may say hello again at kindy or school pickup/drop off, one of us will say ‘we should have another play date’ but we won’t. Why is it so hard for me to forge a relationship with a fellow mother? Why does adding Motherhood to the mix change it all?

I’ve had some great Mum friendships. I’ve thrown baby showers for friends, I’ve baby sat their children and entrusted them with mine and then it all stops. I keep putting myself out there like I know I should but almost all my mum friendships seem to fizzle out. I’m not saying I don’t realise how busy other mums are but as soon as I stop inviting people for coffee etc it’s all over. Are all mum’s just like me and struggling with this sudden onset of shyness?

Being a mum can be a lonely job sometimes especially those early days at home with a new born. I thought once my girls were at kindy and school I was sure to find some mum friends I’d click with. I tried a coffee group when Miss was a baby only to leave in tears because I was so much younger than the other mums and felt completely out of my depth. I am not going to lie, in those days Facebook was my saviour. Facebook is still my saviour. Mums seem easier to talk to on those Facebook groups, hide behind a screen and we are all friends’ right? Is it because of the screen that we are now intimidated by the face to face contact of real life friendship?

I say at the beginning I am a shy mum but I can assure you that once you get to know me I am not. I guess you just need to get to know me. I promise I can be a great friend; I can even be quite funny and entertaining when I want to be. I won’t compare our children, I won’t tell you mine have always slept straight through, if you parent differently to me I won’t judge you and may even pick up some tips, I will help you out when you would rather give your kids away than deal with them and I will learn your favourite wine and keep it handy.

I’m really not sure why I find this mum friendship thing so hard, I have had many conversations with the couple of mum friends I do have and we all seem to come to the conclusion that perhaps we are all just shy mums?

Mel x

The Third Child Decision

My Girls and I
My Girls and I

Trilly, my youngest, starts school in September and I keep being reminded that I’ll ‘be free’ again. I feel like I should be excited at this prospect. People keep saying I won’t know myself and how great it will be. Yet I’m feeling dread and anxiety.

I’ve gone backwards and forwards on a third baby for years. Hubby has always been a firm no and so this has made the decision easy for me. However, he has recently done a turn around and agreed to one. Now, I’m not sure.

I’m not sure if I’m doing it to fill a void I feel coming or because I really want that third. I’m not sure if I’m prepared to go back to sleepless nights and nappies. I love our current family dynamic and I know it’ll all change and I worry I won’t be happy. I worry and feel I’m being selfish by not rejoicing at the chance to welcome a third child.

Miss and Tilly with their cousins, Aja and Skyla
Miss and Tilly with their cousins, Aja and Skyla

I held my new Niece recently and my ovaries didn’t ache and my uterus didn’t explode. My heart didn’t long for a baby but I cry when I see my nephews. So I’m going to admit right now. I want a son. I love my two daughters, I’d never replace them, I’d never change them but I long for a son.

It makes you feel like a first class w**ker when people are struggling to just have a child and you are torn up inside at the risk of another with the same genitalia. I realise you can’t choose. You get what you’re given. People are always reminding me of this and I’m not naïve enough to not understand it but I want a son and I’m unsure I’m willing to change our family dynamic for a third daughter.

Before you judge me. Before you make assumptions about me as a mother. Of course I’d love a third child no matter what and I know once I held them the love would be instant. I am not going to lie however and say I wouldn’t be disappointed. In fact I’d almost be temporarily heartbroken. I know this and I am aware of this so I must be honest about it. I would accept a third daughter and feel blessed for any child at all but I will also deal with a feeling of loss. Loss for a son that will never be mine.

I write this because I’m sure I’m not alone. I’m sure mothers before me have felt this way. I’m sure they have felt horrid about it and even hated the fact they thought and felt these things. Motherhood is life changing. It is a life long commitment. We are allowed to have hard thoughts and reservations about it. It is nice to know we are not alone.

My two little loves
My two little loves

Mel x

Please Mind Your Own Mummy Business

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A Girls Day Out brings the excitement

‘Be careful with your words. Once they are said, they can only be forgiven, not forgotten.’

It’s the last day of school holidays and we have a bit of a tradition in our house where the girls and I have a girls day out together. So today we went to the Mall for lunch, a bit of shopping and a movie. It’s all very exciting for my two little divas.

Our day was great fun. The movie was thoroughly enjoyed. Lunch of sushi and Yoghurt Story for dessert received a big thumbs up. There was only a couple things wrong with our perfect day and they were because of other people. Fellow mamas that to be honest, I always expect more of.

When we got organised this morning, the girls dressed themselves. They do a good job of it and as long as it’s weather appropriate I generally just go with the flow on their choices. While I was applying a little make up in the bathroom Trilly had decided to apply her own red lippie. I chose my battles wisely and to be honest the fight to take the lippie off would not have been worth it and so we left with her gorgeous ruby lips on show.

We were waiting in line for our movie tickets when I overheard the lady with two gorgeous children behind me say to her friend ‘hardly an age appropriate outfit’. I only assume it was directed at us because we were the only other people waiting in the queue and she was right behind us. I brushed it off. Maybe she wasn’t speaking about one of my girls anyway and the girls didn’t hear so no real harm done.

Eating our sushi in the food court was a different story. A charming lady deemed it appropriate to let me know that lipstick on MY 4 year old was disgusting and inappropriate. I normally have words, many even but I was speechless. I was speechless for many reasons, the first being it’s none of her business. Again, I am assuming this woman is a fellow Mother (because she had children with her) and as a mother she should know better. Trilly heard her words and what riles me the most is that she had no right to make my 4 year old feel the way her words did. Trilly insisted I take her to wash off the lippie because ‘she is disgusting’ with it on. Trilly cried, her shoulders slumped, her confidence visibly knocked.

The offensive red lips
The offensive red lips

While I am a firm believer that we are entitled to our own opinions, there is our opinions and there is cruelty. I’d like to know what this women was hoping to achieve. Would she have been upset had the roles been reversed and she then had to console her young daughter? Did she consider the windfall of her actions and did her words provide any enrichment in the lives of either party? As a mother does she think 4 is too young to have to try explain the harshness of the world and some of its people? Did she even consider my 4 year old daughter sitting there or was she just so hell bent on letting me know her opinion of my mothering skills?

To the woman in the food court I’d like to say to you, please think before you open your mouth. The words that come from it have the ability to build someone up or tear them down, especially a child. Perhaps worry more about your own life instead of inflicting your opinion on those that have not asked for it. I will mother my way and you can mother your way. I will not judge you and I’d hope you would not judge me because at the end of the day we are on the same side. Just doing our best to raise the best little humans we can.

Mel x

A Letter to My 8yr Old Daughter On Her Birthday

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To my Darling Miss,

Tomorrow you turn 8 years old and I truly can’t believe how fast those 8 years have gone. I think back to our first days together and remember that you slept a lot and I watched a lot. I would stare at you for hours trying to figure out what I was supposed to do and how we were going to have to learn together. You had this soft fuzz of dark hair, wrinkled tiny hands and the smallest feet I had ever seen. I held your tiny body terrified I’d break you. From the moment you came into this world and looked into your father’s eyes you became the apple of them. Our hearts never knew a love like this could exist until you showed us.

Back then I could never have imagined the young girl my tiny baby would grow into. You have surprised me at every step and we continue to learn and grow together. You are so like me and yet so much unlike me at the same time. Our differences continue to teach me and help me grow as your Mother. I know some times we disagree and you get upset with me, I hate to disappoint you but I am still learning too.

You wear your heart on your sleeve and it is one of the biggest and kindest hearts I have ever known. You see the best in everything and believe the good in all. The world is going to knock you around, the day you realise there is unkindness and cruelty within it will break my heart. I want to keep you in that bubble of yours forever but when the inevitable happens, I will be there. I will pick you up and I will help heal your heart.

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There will also be times when I will not be enough. When no matter how much I want to fix things, I won’t be able to. You will be ok. You will survive. You are stronger than you think. Though your heart is tender you have an iron will and a soul of determination. I remember when you started school at only 5 years old and you were cruelly bullied. I remember the days you cried and I wiped away your tears but I also remember the day you told me that it was ok because the bully just needed a friend. If you could kill with kindness then my darling girl you did.

Your magical imagination keeps the magic within me alive. When I ask you what you are going to be when you grow up, you firmly answer ‘A mermaid’. I love this about you and I especially love that you share this magic with your younger sister. I don’t think she could have requested a better big sister. You nurture her, you play tricks on her, you laugh with her and you tease her. She hurt her knee on the driveway last week and you picked her up and carried her all the way back to the house. I pray that the two of you are always this close. She is your only sister and you hers. Look after one another.

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Your joy is infectious and your kind heart hard to ignore. You have friends aplenty and if you see someone being left out it is you who includes them. You are popular and you don’t realise it which makes you all the more endearing. When I pick you up from school you are always giggling with someone and this makes my heart smile. I’m pretty sure the most appealing part of school for you at the moment is the chance to see your friends. You tell me endless stories about the two Charlees and how much you adore them. If I was 8 again I know I’d be longing to be your friend.

To me you are perfect. Even on the days we are mad at each other, and I know there will be plenty more of these over the coming years but I never want you to forget that. To me you are perfect. I promise to grow with you as I always have. You are my first born, the lessons we are learning we are learning together. You are my teacher as much as I am yours. I promise you that no matter what the years throw at us I will always love you. My love for you will never falter. My love for you is everlasting.

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Happy Birthday my Darling Miss.

Love Mum x

A Letter To My Fellow PND Mamas

My early motherhood days passed in a blur of grey. A rollercoaster of good days and darkness.

I inevitably suffered from PND after the birth of both my daughters. I should have been prepared for it. I should have at least been aware of the signs that I was heading to a place of darkness but I didn’t and I wasn’t. It sideswiped me.

The feeling of complete and utter failure. The self hate for the negative thoughts. The confusion that you haven’t magically bonded with your child and become a some what Madonna figure of perfect Motherhood. The dread that overwhelms you when your child begins to cry and on the worst days the way even a murmur sets you on edge. The weight of the world on your shoulders as you feel you have let everyone down, especially your new born child.

I know someone very close to me who is currently suffering. I am aware of the signs now and I want to be able to help. I want to grab her and hug her and let her know there is a light at the end of that dark tunnel she is living in. It’s a glorious light that seems so hard to get to right now but it is there all the same. Unfortunately I cant get the words out, I feel the heaviness of her heart and it gets the better of me. I’m as much a teary mess as she is, so I do it the only way I know I can and I write her a letter.

To my amazing friend,

I know you are in a bad place right now. I know you are suffering. I know sometimes things suddenly get so tough and you don’t understand why. I know that this is said to be one of the most beautiful times in your life and you feel like something is all wrong about that idea.  I also know you are strong and you are beautiful and you have the ability to have the good days. You have the strength to conquer the dark days and it doesn’t just come from the right medication, it comes from the self acceptance and belief the you are worth it.

I love you, as so many of us do. You are allowed to love yourself. It will be hard but I will be here and I will help you learn to love yourself. You are a kind, beautiful and caring soul, worthy of the love we all have for you. You have done and will do amazing things. And I will be there to support you through it. There is no better mother for your children than you. You are a good mother, you can be an amazing mother. Don’t doubt your own abilities.

I know you will read this and cry and wonder where to start. I know that you have told me that you hate the person you are. I know that you want to help yourself but you don’t know where to start. I really believe it starts with learning to accept yourself and to accept that you are valuable and truly important. You have an illness, but it is an illness you can recover from. You are not your illness.

You must forgive yourself. Let go of the hurts, the hurts to yourself and others.

 Your baby forgives you. Your family forgives you. They love you. They will always love you. You deserve to be loved.

I love you x