2

When mummy threw a tantrum 

I couldn’t breathe! My head was pounding, I was hungry and thirsty and just needed a break. Both kids had been bathed and fed, the house has been tidied. I had had a full day at work, virtually no sleep since Tiger was born 7 months ago and huge deadlines to meet. I just needed a break. And then it happened. They called for me…..each in their own way – all at the same time. 

I felt my insides turn, my head spin and I wasn’t sure if I wanted to scream or cry. Why did everyone always need me? Can no one make a decision? I didn’t want to decide what to eat, or what to play with or what to watch. I wanted to sit in the dark and stare at my phone or read a book or shower without someone needing something.

I heard myself scream….but it was more like I was watching someone else scream. I told all of them to leave me alone, then I stormed around in a circle and moaned about how no one ever put anything where it was meant to be. I didn’t make eye contact, I didn’t “adult”, I tantrumed!

I felt little eyes and big eyes open wide. I saw first concern, then confusion and then irritation, but I didn’t care. I stormed off to the car and proceeded to start it. I drove out the gate, 2 streets down and then turned back and sat in the parking lot and cried. Honestly this is not the first time I have felt this way and I don’t know why I feel this way either. I don’t hate my responsibilities, I don’t want a break from my kids or my husband – I just don’t want to adult all the time. 

I walked back into a house filled with toys and things piled where they shouldn’t be. Back into a space where eyes watched me, while loving hands hastily make me a cup of hot tea and little hands played with my hair, all to the tunes of Frozen. I walked back to drooly kisses and absolute love. And I decided that I could adult for just a little bit more….maybe!

K

0

10 lessons learnt from my in laws

So, my in laws recently arrived from halfway across the world and have been with us about a month now. They had not seen their me or their son (Hunky Hubby) for 6 years, and it was the first time seeing Pup (5 years) and Tiger (4 months). I must say I was a bit nervous not knowing what to expect. It has been a magnificent reunion and I have learnt certain lessons that I will carry with me for always.

1) Retain your innocence

My in laws are in their well into 70s, and I really am in awe of their ability to just “be”. They are truly honest in their interactions and they impart a certain aura of innocence. Nothing is ever said in malice and nothing is taken too seriously. Conversation is light, words are simple and the emphasis is always on what went right. It make me realise that somewhere along the way I had started taking life way to seriously and stopped enjoying it!

2) Marry for companionship 

I watch them together as they sit in comfortable silence, pray together or help each other prep a meal, and love the ease they interact with. Obviously this has been perfected over the years, but it is evident they truly enjoy each others company. Even little annoyances are handled with good humour and a good measure of respect. Its more than love, they genuinely care for each other. I have learnt that we should keep talking to each other, not at each other and that marriage is a wonderful journey that keeps getting more exciting – if you nurture it. What amazing role models for marriage!

3) Kids will be kids

I’m actually talking about Hunky Hubby and I here….his mum and dad treat me with such love and tenderness that it literally brings me to tears. When I am tired or hungry or a combination of both they go into parent mode immediately and without a sound food is brought, and full attention is on me. Feels good to be a kid at the tender age of 35. I am lapping it up. I will always be sure to love Pup and Tiger the same way……never intrusive, never invasive, always supportive.

4) Silence doesn’t mean anyone is upset

I’m not sure why but I have always associated sudden silence with someone being upset. I have learnt that it probably just means they are busy doing something else or just having a quiet moment. It’s been amazing to not have to think about the emotions everyone else might be feeling, and walking on egg shells, and to be able to just get on with being me! I never have to ask if they are ok, because they never make me feel like they wouldn’t tell me if they were not!

5) Laugh loudly and freely

Why do we often lose the ability to truly laugh? The overly joyous moments become fewer and fewer replaced by the need to seem in contril. Since my in laws have come to visit I find myself laughing with reckless, wild abandon again….head in the air, belly aching kind of laughs. Their joy is infectious I guess! I’m a big kid laughing at funny noises Pup makes or at the weird sound that came from the blender, instead of the usual “what was that sound?”. I like this me!

6) Don’t sweat the little stuff

I found that I have stopped asking why, and I have lost the need to always be right. I’m not sure when it happened but when it did I felt lighter and kinder and happier. No more random bickering, no more questioning of everyting, no needing to know every detail. My in laws never ask too many questions or try to give advice. They accept that some things are a certain way (like my routine with the kids, the Sat as-much-TV-as-you-like rule, etc) and go about their merry way enjoying these moments as if they approve 500%. One of the most powerful lessons to date as been this one.

7) Do the things you love

My mum in law loves gardening and my father in law loves reading. He naps in the morning, she naps in the afternoon. She’s a adventurous eater, he isn’t. They do not try to adapt these preferences. They each do what they enjoy doing and embrace their differences with ease. They have never raised their voices to anyone or used a harsh word. Everything they do….they do with love.

8) Enjoy life!

At their age they have such gusto and passion for life. They truly enjoy each day, savour every morsel of food and appreciate the little things. They have such patience with the kids (and us big kids too). In the month they have been here there has not been a single sideways glance passed between them or a single moody moment, it’s like living in a zero judgment zone – enlightening!

9) Love equally

Never once have I felt side lined or overlooked. I have had some quiet moments and even then what I got in return was a back rub and hot tea! When Tiger and Pup bring their chosen loves into my home I will treat them as I have been treated….with love, acceptance and not an ounce of judgment or superiority. I am a lucky lucky lucky girl!

10) It’s ok to be different 

I have yet to meet 2 people so different and yet so alike. Any difference of opinion is acknowledged and accepted as a point of view and that’s it – they move on. They have, through the years, determined who is good at what and an immediate balance is seen. They are not clones of each other and neither is trying to change the other. 

Sigh, I am going to miss them terribly when they leave but they leave me changed in ways that they probably will never realise. I guess this is my way of thanking them for making me a better wife, a better mom, a better me! It really is possible to love your in laws!

Love

Manic Me

0

Kids party etiquette – what NOT to do when hosting

Pup’s parties are always a source of great excitement and we really go out of our way to make sure it is memorable for all. Memorable does not mean costly and often my little DIY customised bits are the ones Pup and everyone else loves the most!

Recently though I have noticed a few weird trends when being invited to other kids birthday parties. For example, we get invited to these “awesome parties” with “amazing things to do” but have to pay for all the activities on offer. Now, I understand that it’s a way to cut costs and keep the fun, but what about the parents that did not budget for it? And what happened to the old fashioned notion of paying for your guests? You did invite them after all – and they did bring an awesome gift!
So here’s my list of do nots:

1) Please don’t send invites to school if you are not inviting the entire class. Some little kid is going to feel really left out and your child might feel really bad. Rather send digital invites to your child’s friends parents. I’m sure the teacher will be happy to provide email addresses or at least forward the invitation on

2) Please specify it is a drop and go or if the parents should stay. This makes it less awkward at drop off

3) Please advise the total possible cost for activities at the party if you are asking the other parents to pay. This way they can make an informed decision. I would rather invite fewer people and pay for them.

4) Please mention if there will be no food provided so that I can either ensure my child has a full meal beforehand or buy a meal before I leave (if it’s a drop off). A hungry child fueled by candy alone is a grumpy child

5) Please choose activities that are fun, safe and age appropriate and advise if an activity requires certain clothing or if the activity is outdoor (e.g. sunscreen, sun hat, close toed shoes, etc)

We will continue to treat out guests to great food, great fun and great memories. I feel that a party is a party when you arrive and are pampered as much as the birthday child is. 

What are your thoughts?

Love

Manic Mummy 

2

10 Steps that made me a better mummy – The 10 day mum challenge

Are you ready to bring fun, laughter and joy back? Let’s be honest, we tend to get lost sometimes in a sea of “no” and “don’t do that” and we forget to just let go!!!

This has made a world of difference for Pup and I. No tantrums to date since Day 1. Each day includes an activity that you need to do but keep the momentum of the day before by incorporating elements of that day too.

Day 1

No raised voices. If your surroundings are loud, lower your voice so that your little one has to look at you to understand. No screaming across the room or across the house either (we all do it!). Make sure you are looking at your little one when talking 

Day 2

Start a spontaneous tickle fight and end with a long hug. Add kisses and maybe a pillow or two for more fun!

Day 3

Say these 3 things a few times today. Make sure there is eye contact each time 

  • You are so kind and thoughtful
  • You make me smile
  • Mummy is so proud of you

Day 4

Eliminate the word no. You cannot say no at all. Find alternatives.

Day 5

Cover up in blankets and watch the stars for a few minutes before bedtime. Cuddles and/or conversation about aliens or the planets are welcome. Make a wish upon a star!

Day 6

Watch a movie together with tons of snacks. Pause it when someone needs to use the bathroom or when there is an interruption….this shows you are invested in this activity. No cellphones allowed!!!

Day 7

Prep some flour and water and let them mix it up and play either outside or in your bath tub. No, you may not say “Don’t make a mess”. You may say “let’s see how we can keep this inside the bath/container/basin”

Day 8

Have a silly face competition in front of a mirror

Day 9

Switch your cellphone off from the time your child comes home from school to bedtime or from the time you get home to your child’s bedtime. If you are home executive, switch your phone on vibrate when baby is awake and only answer urgent calls. No social media.

Day 10

Reward you and your little one by making a list of the changes you have seen over the past 10 days in you and the kids. 

Now repeat!

Let me know how it goes!

2

Letter to my Daddy on the morning of my birth – Love Your Son

Dear Baby Bump,

This is the letter Daddy Dearest got on the morning of November 28th as we waited for you to be born. We were so excited to meet you and you have far exceeded our expectations with the amazing light and experiences you have already brought to all our lives.

You arrived at 9:17am, 3.75kgs and 53cms.  Our hearts skipped a beat and continue to do so every time we look at you. 

” 28 November 2016

Dear Daddy
I cannot wait to meet you daddy
And have you guide me on
I heard your voice around me
Everyday before I was born. 
My feet are very little now
And I cannot run its true
But I look forward to walking along
This journey called life with you.
Mummy told me stories of how she met you 
And how she loves you more every day
And Rachy said that you’re the bestest daddy
That ever came her way.
I’m excited to say I’m almost there
I’m imagining you in my mind
I already love you daddy
God said you were mine to find.
I hope one day I am just like you
In every single way
And I hope we have tons of magical memories
Starting when I meet you today!”

Mwaaah!!! 

Mummy and Daddy

4

10 things I had forgotten about newborns

Dear Pup,

So by now you have discovered and made peace with the fact that Baby Bump was not born ready to play. In fact he doesn’t really do much at this point  (he’s 8 days old today) except cru a bit, eat a lot, dirty lots of diapers and lie around looking cute).

You turn 5 in a month so mummy had really forgotten what newborns are like. Here’s what I had forgotten about newborns!

1) They are teeny tiny

You are little, 4 years old and gorgeous. I have always held  your hands and feet in my hands and thought how little you are. Now, as you hold your little brother I realise how really teeny he is (and you were smaller than him!)

2) They sleep – alot

When you were born I always felt I had no time but this time around it seems a little more (ok alot more) do-able. Baby Bump wakes and if we’re lucky we get 30min just to play with him, then he eats and sleeps pretty much for 4 hours until the cycle starts again. I’m actually relieved because I actually have time for either a really long nap or time with you if you are home from school.

3) They are born to be stared at

How we enjoy just staring at Baby Bump and his facial expressions. He is a natural entertainer with his cute smile and huge cheeks. He is even cute when he sleeps! You especially love the way his cheeks overflow when Mummy burps him – I used to love that about your cheeks too!

4) They poop and wee – alot!

Oh my word!! So many diapers and so few wipes!!! Baby Bump has already gone through a record numbet of diapers and wipes in his 8 days with us. No one is more shocked than you at the multi coloured contents of the diapers that you and Daddy Dearest watch Mummy change. How can so much come out of someone so little?

5) They are insanely manipulative (in the cutest way)

Baby Bump has  already figured out that it is easier to drink by bottle than mummy’s natural milk dispensers. He archs his back and cries and screams until he hears Daddy Dearest shaking the expressed version and then suddenly all tantrums stop – all hail the bottle! 

6) They always seem to cry or move when Mummy needs to eat

I’ve tested this and it’s true. Every mealtime is disrupted by Baby Bump waking up, cooing, needing a blanket, needing a blanket taken off him or similar. It’s like baby knows Mummy is about to relax!

7) They are incredibly soft

From the hair on their little heads to their chubby cheeks and down to their tiny little toes – babies are super soft. I had forgotten just how soft a human being could possibly be! All this results in more cuddles and more staring.

8) They re-unite you with people you haven’t heard from in years

All you need is one upload of a single photo and your social media accounts explode with well wishes from people you haven’t seen or heard from in years! Everyone wants to see more and hear all about him and your phone suddenly starts ringing! 

9) They make you fall in love – fast

I cannot explain it but it’s true. Once you hold your baby in your arms, it’s love at first glance. I always wondered how I would love Baby #2 when my heart was so full of you Pup, but it’s like your heart’s capacity suddenly doubles! 

10) They make you re- prioritise 

Suddenly doing the laundry is not as important as quiet time or cuddle time. WhatsApp messages go unanswered and the laptop gathers dust. Phonecalls are not always returned as quickly as they used to and life takes a slightly different turn. It happened when you were born Pup, and it happened again. Bringing a new life into the world means you are responsible for the people, the energy and the resources around that little person.

Can’t wait to share this with you one day when you are holding your own newborn!

Love you!

Mummy

 

2

What we have planned for the last weekend before your baby brother makes his arrival- Letters to my daughter

Dear Pup,

You woke up earlier than usual this morning and we had some extended cuddles and lots of kisses. We pushed Daddy Dearest to the very corner of the bed and we laughed and played until we had to get up. You asked me what the surprise was (it is surprise Friday after all) as your reward chart is full of smily faces for this week.

I smiled and told you you would see later….you have no idea what is in store for you. See, it’s your last weekend of being the only child and mummy at first wanted it to be just you and mummy and Daddy dearest until I realised this weekend should  be all about fun things you love to do.

Friday:

Mama arrives!!!!! (Indian word for uncle) – mummy’s brother. What an awesome surprise and he’s bringing Splendid Sammy with too!!! You have no idea that the house is about to be filled to the brim with people who love you insanely and are here just to pamper YOU! They have taken time off during exams, pleaded with their new jobs and the like to make sure they are here for you, my love. 

Saturday:

A day full of make-over fun, from nails to hair! Then to the park and as much ice cream as you can eat! Pyjama party to follow and more cuddles!!! Baby brother got you a little surprise for the pyjama party ….it’s a mermaid tail blanket….!!!

Sunday:

More people you love are coming over. Aunty Bestie and family will be here too! It will be loud and busy and amazing….just the way you like it. 

Mummy will not have to say “I can’t do that baby” because someone else will be there to bend over and help you with that or carry you when your legs are tired.  You will have an amazing weekend not because Baby Bump is coming but because you are just amazing!

Hope you enjoy the love and attention.

Love you!!!

Mummy