Browsed by
Tag: motherhood

A letter of thanks from a grateful Mum

A letter of thanks from a grateful Mum

To the amazing staff at Masada, and the friends I met along the way…

There is nothing like being a sleep deprived parent. The feeling of helplessness and frustration as everything you try, to help your baby sleep, doesn’t work. A few nights turn into a few months, and after a long period of time, the sleep deprivation takes it’s toll.  After nine months, and what seemed like a lifetime, I decided that I needed some help.  I was at the point of breaking and felt so many negative emotions that I simply didn’t feel like myself, or like the person who I was becoming.

I felt guilty that I couldn’t help my son sleep.  Surely given the fact that I was a second time Mum, I had a toolbox of strategies to help us help Hudson. We had been through a very challenging time with Ella when she was one, and we had used a range of strategies to get her to sleep well. Surely, we could do it on our own. I started to feel like a failure, and this, coupled with sleep deprivation made me lose confidence and become negative. I hated the Mum I was becoming. I felt terrible about the wife I had become. I was negative all the time. I felt flat. I was stressed. I was short with Ella all of the time. I’d complain each day (with good reason, sometimes I know). However, I just simply hated the fact that I couldn’t enjoy being Hudson’s Mum, and worse that I couldn’t fix his unsettled sleep, and in turn get some for myself. I knew I was so lucky to have great support. Especially from my amazing husband and wonderful family. However things were not working, and my exhaustion just kept growing. It seemed relentless and endless.

Screenshot 2015-03-08 11.10.50

Then one day, I bit the bullet and rang Masada Mother and Baby Unit. I had heard about it from lots of other people, however I needed to come to the decision to go on my own, and with the support of my husband. Upon deciding to go, and after great stories from friends who had experienced dramatic changes in their children, I had high hopes.  Upon walking through the doors, I knew that things would be great. I felt nervous, but calm. It didn’t seem like the ‘baby boot camp’ that I thought it would be. What I didn’t know however is the incredible way in which my son would be transformed, and the friends that I would make along the way.  For this I will be eternally grateful.

I hold nothing but deep gratitude, respect and thanks to all of the staff at Masada for what they have done for my family. They have helped Hudson sleep through the night. They have helped him sleep soundly in the day. They have helped me be a confident support to him, to help him settle. They have helped me to feel comfortable with my feelings prior to coming in. I was at a loss to know what to do, and they helped show me the way. Some small changes have had dramatic impact. For this, I will be eternally grateful.

Screenshot 2015-03-08 11.11.27

I have found my week at Masada to be calming, supportive and empowering. The staff was never judgemental or critical. They have simply helped us all to see a new angle, and have simply given us our lives back. For this I will be eternally grateful.

I have found new friends who have been brave enough to share their stories and ask for help. Each of us came here for differing reasons, but with the same goal of wanting our babies to be happier, and in turn, help us to feel happier Mothers. We have stuck together. Sat in the corridors, pacing the hallways, praying for things to be better. We have listened to one another, comforted and encouraged each other. We have developed wonderful connections in such a short period of time. Most of all, we’ve made friends who have come together to help each other. For this, I will be eternally grateful.

I know that coming home won’t be easy, and there will be stressful times. I know that managing a baby and a toddler can be tough, but I know that with the strategies and knowledge I have taken away with me, I am confident to tackle what may come. I know that consistency is the key. I know that I have help if I need it, and that I’m not alone. For this, I will be eternally grateful.

When my husband rang each day, he asked how my day had been. It has been a long time since I have confidently been able to say ‘great’. I am going home thankful, not only because my baby is sleeping like a rock star, but confident that I will be able to help him through the tough times. I know that this will help me to enjoy Motherhood again. I know that this will help me to enjoy being a happy wife to my beautiful husband. However, most importantly I know that this experience will help me to get a piece of myself back.

For my experience at Masada this week, for my children, for my husband and for myself…I will be eternally grateful.

kate

It’s the simple things like socks in pairs…

It’s the simple things like socks in pairs…

Alert, Alert. This post is going to sound a lot like it’s written by my Mum. Actually it could be anyone’s Mum. In actual fact, it is written by a Mum, come to think of it….me! This morning I’ve taken some time just to enjoy a couple of quiet moments to myself and write about something simple. I have been thinking a lot lately about how life has changed so very much in the seven years that Daniel and I have been together. In those seven years we have achieved a lot…. bought a house, engaged, married, children, renovation, promotions, starting a business and all a-whilst having a ball. That term ‘having a ball’ has also changed somewhat. It used to entail getting dressed up, going out on a Friday night, going away on a whim and generally spending money on ourselves… These days, my definition of having fun is very different. Sure I’d love to be able to go get dressed up and go out on the weekend, but I’ve realised that it is the simple things in life that really make me happy. It sounds all to smooshy and romantic I know, but when I actually think about the things that bring a smile to my face, some of them aren’t at all fancy. In fact they are pretty darn boring. But to a Mum, often the smallest things can feel amazing, and the most mundane tasks can bring about a sense of achievement. I’m not sure if that is good or bad, but if you are anything like me, then I think it’s better to see the good in the world…even if it is in the most mundane, boring parts of life like finding socks with pairs! Here’s my top ten…

 

1. Flowers that last longer than a week.  I love flowers, but I really hate it when your gorgeous blooms go limp after a few days. Nothing is nicer than flowers that go the distance! Screenshot 2014-10-21 09.27.49 2. Candles. Candles, candles, candles. Nothing boring about this. They look beautiful and make the house smell amazing. Enough said.

3. Puzzles with complete pieces.  This one is a major bug bear of mine. It makes me feel like I have OCD. Ella has so many puzzles and I love it when we find all the pieces to make a complete set. My boss gave her the most amazing alphabet puzzle when she was born, and I treasure each piece!!! Screenshot 2014-10-21 09.27.41 4. Cushions.  I don’t know if it is a girl thing, but I’m a fan of cushions. Lots of them. The kind that look amazing and almost cover the entire couch / bed. Can’t help it.

5. Clean floors.  Clean floors. Clean babies. Love it. Except the part when they get dirty 5 minutes after they are cleaned….

6. Freshly made bed. I heard recently that people who make their beds in the morning are more successful in life. I didn’t grow up this way, but have just recently become anal about making beds in the morning. There is something about a freshly made bed that makes you feel like you’ve achieved something! Screenshot 2014-10-21 09.37.39 7. A glass of champagne.  No explanation needed for this one.

8. Pairs of socks.  It never happens, but finding pairs of socks after a wash and not having any left over is like winning the lottery. Yesterday I threw out about twenty single socks that have not been re-acquainted with their pair. As a kid, my Mum used to sew a small colour into each sock so that she could tell whose were who. With four kids, it was a great idea. I struggle with two!!! Screenshot 2014-10-21 09.27.55 9. Photos. I take so many photos its crazy. I’m glad that I’ve taken the time to print a few and put them up in our home. There is something about walking past them each day and remembering the times they were taken. Artworks and prints are amazing, but there is nothing like photos to bring life to your home. Screenshot 2014-10-21 09.28.02 10. Smiles. I can’t really write a blog post about the simple things in life without finishing with the best of all. Smiles on my kids, smiles on my husband and family. Makes my heart melt. Nothing better. Screenshot 2014-10-21 09.27.28

What are your simple things??? What ever they are…I hope they bring you some happiness today!

kate

 

Mummy Tummy Time

Mummy Tummy Time

Mummy Time. Tummy Time. Mummy Tummy Time. Mummies will be very familiar with the term ‘Tummy Time’. Time for babies to lie on their stomachs to strengthen their necks and develop strong muscles so that they can roll over, learn to sit up and develop. Tummy time is very important for babies, and it has made me start to think about how much time I’m spending on my own body.

This week I’ve started to feel really tired, lethargic and generally out of sorts. I’ve hurt my left lower back from over straining, carrying Hudson’ on one side and general repetition that all Mothers know too well. Hudson has now moved exclusively to bottles, and my breast milk supply is down to the last bottles on the freezer. Last time round, breast feeding really helped me to get back into shape, and I felt the weight fall off. This time around, I’ve been forced to give breast feeding up earlier, and I fear that this will mean that the last few kilos will hang around, particularly around my tummy.

IMG_5544
Me and Hudson at five months old

Now don’t get me wrong. I know that I am lucky, and have not put on a great deal of weight over my two pregnancies. For both I put on 10kg, and being approx. 60kg, this was pretty good. I’m not, nor have ever been a diet person, and know that there are many, many women who struggle with greater weight issues than me. I’m not writing this to make anyone feel bad, or to compare myself to anyone. I’m just writing this because like all Mums, there comes a time when you start to feel uncomfortable about a certain aspect of your body. Whether or not you struggle with weight, we are all in this together and can all relate to the feeling of not being able to put on your pre-pregnancy jeans, or favourite pants. Hudson is now five months old, and this recent weekend, I tried on a few maxi dresses and for the first time really felt self conscious of the area around my tummy. It’s not as flat as it used to be, and with good reason. I guess I’m just starting to feel the pressure, and with an impending family holiday to Fiji just around the corner…I want to do something about it.

I know that it takes nine months to grow a baby, so we should all give each other a break and not expect our bodies to return to to the way they were quickly. Heck, I don’t think I will ever get back to the way it used to be. Our bodies go through so much, it is quite incredible. I just know that right now, I feel out of sorts, and not my normal self.

So with that, it’s time for some Mummy Tummy Time. I’m not interested in loosing a great deal of weight, just a couple of kilos and toning my stomach. I’ve decided to get back into Pilates and thanks to the recommendation of some great friends, and local Mums, I’ve found a local studio with a time that I can actually attend. I know it will be a combination of eating well and exercising, but given the fact that my recent diet has consisted almost exclusively of tea and toast, I need to do something more.

I just want to feel a little better about myself, and hope that with some hard work, I can get closer to the pre Mummy tummy I remember.

Wish me luck!

kate

A simple smile changes everything…

A simple smile changes everything…

The first few weeks of having a newborn can swing between blissful love and exhausting monotony. The song, ‘Eat, sleep, rave, repeat’ can be used to describe the routine that never ends, and I whilst we are not raving, we are certainly raving mad at times. You cuddle this little baby, kiss their forehead, change their nappy, burp their tummies, feed their apetite, rock them to sleep. You calm their cries, wipe their tears, sing them a song and shield their fears. You begin not knowing them at all, and after a few weeks, can tell the difference between their cries. When they are hungry, tired, in pain. It is all so different. And yet, for the first few weeks, it is hard to tell if they know you. If they know that you are their Mother or their Father. If they know that you would do anything to protect them or make them happy. The sleepless nights and the long days are spent together, and for weeks on end, they are there, looking around, in your arms. However it is not until that first glance, that first smile, that everything seems to fall into place.

A smile to speak a thousand words...
A smile to speak a thousand words…

With one little smile, your heart melts. With one little smile, your chest bursts and you actually feel your entire body light up. They know you. You make them happy. Happiness can be defined in seeing your child smile for the first time. You see muscles in their face that you hadn’t seen in the weeks before. You thought you knew them so well, and yet, with that first smile, you seem to meet them again for the first time. That little baby becomes a person who feels and knows what it is like to be happy. You make them happy.

It can be the moment that gives a parent the energy to keep going. The exhaustion seems to fade away, and it all seems worth it. You know that you have done something right. That little smile is the best feedback in the world. No words. Just a little signal that speaks volumes.

You are their Mum, and they know it.

Ten weeks and he smiled for the first time!
Ten weeks and he smiled for the first time!

Last week Hudson smiled for the first time. Given that he was four weeks prem, we have been told to add four weeks on to any expected milestone. The timing was spot on! It is funny that with this smile, he has seemed to turn the corner, and his colic seems to be settling somewhat. The connection that I have felt with him over the last few days has been wonderful. Seeing his sister see him smile has brought me such joy. Seeing his Dad besotted with love all over again.

Seeing your baby smile changes everything. If you are a new parent who feels tired, exhausted and a little overwhelmed…. hang in there. A simple smile changes everything, and makes you feel like the happiest person in the world.

kate

Lost and (not) found

Lost and (not) found

I’m sitting down this morning to write, to de-stress and to just get it out. I haven’t sat down to write a blog post in a while. The result of sleep deprivation, being the Mum of two and just generally feeling like I am running around like a headless chook. I normally chip away at blog posts on my phone whilst breast feeding at 2am in the morning, but lately I have found myself dosing off at night, and trying to pay attention as he is quite fussy during feeds. Whilst I’m feeling ok emotionally about the whole Motherhood thing round two, for some reason over the last couple of weeks I have really started to feel the effects of the mayhem of Motherhood.

Namely, losing my memory. No one tells you that after you have a baby, you tend to be quite forgetful, and this never seems to come back. Those who know me, know that I tend to lose things. Wallet, sunglasses (think Bvlgari, Prada), keys, bags…you know, the things you need each and every day. However after having my second baby, this tendency has multiplied. I tend to pray to good old St Anthony more than a few times a week. I have the most incredible long term memory, and can recollect something that was said on the first day of prep by one of my life long friends. Ask me, however, to tell you where my hand bag is right now and I would struggle.

carkeys

It has started to really stress me out. So much so that I find myself looking back over my shoulder in the car, just to make sure that I haven’t left one of my kids at home. My husband jokingly told me last night that it doesn’t matter if I lose things, just don’t lose the kids. A joke, yes but the scary thing is I’m worried that I might one day!

It’s just so incredibly frustrating to have trouble with your short term memory. It’s often when I’m rushing out the door that the most basic of items causes me to spend half an hour searching for them. Just this weekend, I lost my wallet again. We were at Ikea of all places and I spent the afternoon phoning security and centre management, unpacking the car and wracking my brain to think of where it could be. After checking our bank accounts we noticed that no one had used the cards, so I gave it another day before I would cancel my cards. Needless to say that I found it the next day in Ella’s back pack. I had packed a bag for her (in my wisdom) and had put my wallet in there so that I wouldn’t have to take my whole bag. Last year I also lost my husband’s wallet at Ikea. Lucky for me, some good samaritan handed it in.

Keeping it real...feeling and seeing the effects of Motherhood!
Keeping it real…feeling and seeing the effects of Motherhood!

It’s really hard to keep repeating this process over and over. You end up spending so much time searching for it, only to remember a few days later that you put it in a  logical spot. I must be so incredibly hard to live with that I’m often stressed for my own Husband. My brain just feels s. incredibly full, all the time. It’s hard to actually stop and think about where I put things. To put my sunglasses back in their case. To put my car keys in my bag. I often feel like I’m losing it and know that I should just stop, take time to think and pay attention.

Like I said, I’m sitting down writing this this morning to help myself relax and calm down about it. My only solace is that apparently research has shown that the higher your IQ, the more forgetful you are.

By those odds, I must be a genius.

If you have any ideas to help me find or improve my memory, let me know. Maybe even say a little prayer to St Anthony for me.

kate

 

*Image from www.insidethebrain.com

Being a Mum means…

Being a Mum means…

Last week a friend sent me what can only be described as one of the most beautiful things I have ever read. ‘Mommy, somebody needs you‘ is an article written by Megan Morton over at Your Best Nest. Written from the most heartfelt place, it is an honest reflection about Motherhood, and a revealing lesson for us all. It connected with me on so many levels. It made me stop and think, really think about Motherhood.

ella and me

Motherhood is the both the best thing I have ever ‘done’ and the hardest thing I have ever experienced. It took me by surprise, how much I felt at ease with being the Mum of Ella, and yet I felt so lost from my former self. During the first six months, I loved every minute of being a new Mum, and yet I morned my former life.  Being confident in my job, having the freedom to get in the car and go shopping, being able to visit friends and have a drink without even thinking about it. Have a shower. WASH YOUR HAIR. Read a magazine. Go to the toilet. These simple luxuries in life seemed to vanish overnight, and in many ways, I felt myself wishing for the time when I would be able to do them again.

In a way, you want to make the most of every moment, and yet you also long for the time when you can have ‘your own time’ back again. You go to bed with that little pain in your stomach, thinking ‘when will she wake?’. Motherhood, especially in the early days, is such a juxtaposition of wanting time to slow down and speed up.

Megan Morton spoke of similar feelings, and the experience of ‘always being on duty’. She says:

‘Once upon a time, I had time.  For myself.  Now, my toe nails need some love.  My bra fits a little differently.  My curling iron might not even work anymore, I don’t know.  I can’t take a shower without an audience.  ‘

She struggled with these feelings, and the wanting to have her ‘life back’ until one night, when it all changed for her. She says:

Right now, somebody always needs me.  Like last night…

At 3am I hear the little footsteps entering my room.  I lay still, barely breathing.  Maybe he will retreat to his room.  Yeah right.

“Mommy.”

“Mommy.”  A little louder.

“Yes”.  I barely whisper.

He pauses, his giant eyes flashing in the dim light.

“I love you.”

And just like that, he is gone.  Scampered back to his room.  But, his words still hang in the cool night air.  If I could reach out and snatch them, I would grab his words and hug them to my chest.  His soft voice whispering the best sentence in the world.  I love you.  A smile curls across my lips and I slowly exhale, almost afraid to blow the memory away.  I drift back to sleep and let his words settle into my heart.

There have been moments like this lately that have touched me in ways that I cannot describe. Ella throwing her arms around me when I come home from work, telling her Dad that she loves him, hearing her at the end of the phone. I know that one day, she will grow up, and won’t do these things (or will do, with strained effort). One day she will grow up and won’t need her Mummy anymore. Very soon, she will want to do everything on her own. She will not have an endless supply of cuddles and kisses for her Mum and Dad. She won’t want to walk in my shoes up and down the hallway. She won’t yell for me in the night to help her go back to sleep.

So for now, I need to savour this time. A time when she needs me. A time when I can give her everything she needs. A time when she depends on me to be all the things I need to be. Around the clock. I can still have time for myself, but I need to stop and think about those precious moments that I will never get back.

Soon, I will be revisiting the world of night feeds, sleep patterns, breast feeding and all other things newborn. I look forward to it with a new sense of appreciation and awareness. I know it won’t be easy, but I also know that the time goes so quick, I need to slow down and enjoy each moment. I will be kinder to myself and know that with each kiss and cuddle, I am doing something that will mean more than anything else in my life. Even if I am covered in breast milk, and am running on 2 hours sleep.

ella cot

Being a Mum means being there in each and every moment. It means being finding a comfortable place between my old and new self. It means slowing down, and not wishing for a time when I will ‘have my life back’. I’ve got my life, and it’s pretty damn wonderful.

I want to thank Megan for her beautiful article, and for helping me to see the challenges of Motherhood through a new lens. I hope it helps others too.

kate

It’s official. I’ve lost my marbles.

It’s official. I’ve lost my marbles.

So it’s official. I’ve lost my marbles. Please return them if you find them. Or perhaps hold onto them for safe keeping, because I’m sure that I will lose them again. You see, I’ve lost my ability to remember things. Simple things. Mainly where I’ve left things. I’ve always been quite forgetful and have been known to drive home with my wallet on the roof, but today things hit a new low. Twice in one day in fact….

Today whilst we were out and about I…first…lost my keys. We were having a lovely breakfast when, after a stroll through the shops, we returned to our car minus a set of keys. There I was, on the side of the road, unpacking my handbag on the pavement for all the world to see (think of all the things in a woman’s handbag. No make that a pregnant woman’s handbag). I kept thinking about my good friend Anneiliese who always says ‘do a Mum search’. This means taking every single thing out of your bag to ensure that you have not skipped anything. Needless to say the keys weren’t there. Dan went back to the restaurant. No keys. So up we walked to each shop we had visited, and low and behold, I found them in Cotton On Kids. Feeling thankful, but a little embarrassed, we ventured back to the car, and and set off for DFO South Warf to shop for some important renovation items.

mother-forgetful

After a successful shopping trip and thrilled to find some amazing ‘one day only’ bargains, we purchased our new sofas and pendant lights for our kitchen. Feeling very happy with ourselves, we then set off for the car park. After I paid for the ticket and packed the car, I sat in the passenger seat and searched my handbag for my phone. No phone. No phone anywhere. So again, we pulled over and I did a “Mummy search”. This time in the car park. I checked my bag, the car and the pram. No phone. Dan went back to each shop we had been to. 20 minutes later. No phone. So we set off for home, but when we went to pay, our ticket time had lapsed and we then held up cars in line whilst we had to pay at the terminal. As I sat in my seat trying really hard not to cry, I felt so frustrated and annoyed with myself, and also sorry for my husband who was being so patient and trying to help me.

I knew that if I could get to my computer, I could log into the ingenious app ‘find my phone’ and it could tell me where the phone was. I just needed to access it through a Mac. Dan tried to call my phone all the way home, and even made a spontaneous trip to McDonalds to buy me a junior burger to cheer me up. Yep, he is a keeper.

So when we arrived home, I got out my Mac and did the search. It was at DFO. Dan called it again, and a lovely man answered who told us that Centre Management had it and that all would be fine. There are good people in the world.

The thing is, I wasn’t so upset about the phone, but rather more embarrassed and frustrated at myself for losing it. Again. I recently read this fantastic article by Jennifer Chandler called ‘I had a baby and lost my brain‘. It explains be perfectly. It’s hard to explain, but when you’ve had a baby, let alone pregnant with another one, you really do seem to lose brain cells. Quite ironic really when you need more of them to problem solve and cope with a new realm of challenges each day. There must be Mums everywhere, walking around feeling the same. It’s so hard, especially when I know that in my work, I’m on the ball, make decisions quickly and feel 100% confident in what I do. And then I go out on the weekend, and lose my keys and phone in one day. It honestly feels like I’m losing my mind, and I know that its a combination of lots of things. Business, tiredness, craziness. But I still feel as though it shouldn’t be this way! I should be able to do something as simple as put my keys in my bag!

So if you happen to find my marbles, please let me know. Actually, if you happen to find a set of keys, phone, wallet…heck anything, please hand it in to lost property. They probably belong to some poor Mum who has lost their brain too.

kate

 

*Image courtesy of some-ecards.