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Mummy meets ideal world 

Being a mummy in my ideal world would mean:

Alarm clocks would be banned –

My babies would be able to sleep until they were not sleepy anymore and wake up ready for the day. My time would not be limited by the traffic flow or the corporate clock, my time would be a concept by which attention was staggered throughout the day

No extra long school days:

I would be able to pick up my kids when that school bell rang, and not have their aftercare angels gather them for the second half of an already long day. I would be able to bring them home for a relaxing family lunch before we chat and enjoy the day

Bedtime would be relaxing:

I would not have to fit everything into the 2 hours before bedtime. Right now we get home at 6pm and bedtime is at 7:30pm. That leaves 1.5 hours for dinner, bathtime, bedtime stories, a cuddle and evening recap. Impossible to actually enjoy it!

Weekends would be action packed:

In my ideal world I would not be exhausted during the weekend. I woulf not have to catch up on work or clean the house and be able to spend quality time with my family. Weekends would be filled with games, outings and baking!

Hubby and I would have time to enjoy each other

Its been 6 years since we have had a date, 6 years since we have relaxed in bed until 9am, 6 years since we were able to really talk. Our lives would be balanced and we would be able to concentrate on each other while life is passing us by

School holidays would be holidays

Imagine being able to actually go on holiday, having the oportunity to take the kids to the sea and see new places! Holiday club would be an option, not the only choice and the whole family would be excited to leave and a little sad to return

The balance would be easy

I struggle with the balance, with the mummy guilt, the wife guilt and the employee guilt. Having a sick baby draws emotions and energy from each of these areas and often the stress really is caused by irrational guilt at not being perfect. I prioritise family and am proud my support system does too

I probably still would not think I was doing enough

Becoming a wife and a mummy is glorious and terrifying all at once. You are no longer one, suddenly your actions affect others and their reality. All I can do is try to always build up, to always be kind, to speak from love and to understand, I’m only human!

Sigh!

In an ideal would, what kind of mummy would you be?

Manic Mummy K

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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 had 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

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10 best pieces of advice about life as a mother

So recently at a colleague’s baby shower, as I sat with a group of always entertaining ladies, the topic of kids came up. As usual we chatted about our experiences and shared some giggles, followed by a few awkward moments  (and raised eyebrows) when we realised just how different we react in situations (yes, you know who you are!). 

Now, there is no doubt we love our babies (yes, fur babies count too Lady Unicorn), but the things that come out of our mouths sometimes could not be imagined by the best authors – and our tales are true!

Later, I pondered how motherhood makes us do and say the strangest things. As mom’s we do it all the time. We often find ourselves in situations that are hilariously ridiculous, but we do what we need to do for our kids. We line up to meet purple dinosaurs that talk and dance, we hit inanimate objects when they “trip” or “hit” our babies and we kiss mud covered everythings to make them feel better. That’s part of the joy of motherhood, it makes us do things we never thought we’d do! 

So often we stumble into others in similar situations, and share a little wry smile as we wrestle with shopping bags and balance the tantrum throwing toddler and the I PAD toting 5 year old. I love those little moments when I catch the eye of someone and understand fully and completely what they are going through, or when your best friend looks at you like you are in the middle of total chaos but it really is just your happy family being “normal” (I feel you Merry M!). 

So, here’s some of the advice that I’ve been given by well meaning parents who have “been there and done that”:

1) This too will pass- no, really it will. And soon another stage will emerge scarier than the last, and that will pass too.

2) They are only that age once, enjoy them

Thanks for this one and I really am trying to enjoy them in between the whining and moaning and questioning.

3) They mature so much in a year!

This one is surprisingly true. There is a huge difference between a 3 year old and a 4 year old. Its weird because the changes are not that evident later on, but the first 8 years are crazy!

4) There will be time to breathe in a few years – and then you will have your next one!

5) Big school is not as fun as you think it will be. 

I thought it would be easy. Parents learn and mature as much as the kids do and it’s not always an easy process to transition to the uniformity

6) Discipline is pivotal. 

Yes, I know that but it’s hard! I’m not great at disciplining when it comes to my baby, so it’s been quite a ride finding what works for Pup. Some choose to deter with a firm hit on the diaper, some (like us) choose the option of the naughty corner combined with the reward chart and still others think up more creative ways – including a pet gate and a “shocking” outcome  (yes, yes I’m talking about you Madam A!).

7) Your marriage changes forever – make it for the better. 

Kids change dynamics. Don’t stop being a team. Love him more, give her the support she needs. 

8) Fill your cup before you can help others.

I learnt this only recently (after Tiger was born). With Pup I basically learnt to live on air and love. Sleep is still a scarce commodity but at least I make sure I get my monthly massage and I take 2 hours on a Saturday to do what makes me happy- scouring the 3nd.hand stores or working on my books.

9) Don’t lose yourself

Being a mum adds to your essence, it does not strip you off your identity

10) Don’t overthink or worry so much that you stop having fun. Laugh loudly, dance in the rain, ignore the laundry and the dirty dishes to cuddle and relax

Good luck with your journey, enjoy the ride!

K

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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 

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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!

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Why I think I broke my first born!

Dear Pup,
It took me a while to write this because I honestly couldn’t stand seeing it in black and white but it needs to be said. I hope that one day you will look back and say you handled things better than I did.

What a year 2016 was for you! Mummy changed into a bit of a mom-ster while Baby Bump was growing inside her and you, well you had to grow up pretty quick. Daddy’s hours mean that it’s usually just you, Baby Bump and I at home and that’s not always easy on you.

I look at you now and struggle to believe that you have grown so much. You are taller, leaner and not sure why but you seem honestly a bit subdued too. Your joy seems more restrained now as you quietly go about your business making sure not to wake baby or hesitate before you talk to me when you notice I’m nursing him.

You are strong willed and it shows now more than before. Sometimes I can’t deal with the smart comments, slamming doors and stomping feet. I expected that at 16, I guess, not 5 and so forgive me for being completely unprepared. I watch you as you chat to people when we visit or they visit and how you bask in their attention, and I suddenly realise what it must feel like to not be in the limelight on your own anymore. I suddenly feel how confusing it must be for you to go from yes all the time to sudden “in just a moment” and “I’ll do it just now”.  I suddenly see how it must be to be the other child and not the only child.

As I sit here in tears all I can think of saying is “I’m sorry”. Not for having your little brother or for being pregnant but I’m sorry that I could not have been more of a mummy to you in my time of need. I feel like I broke you a little – or maybe alot, I’m not too sure. 

I tell you I love you and tuck you in at night but I notice your lingering look as Daddy Dearest plops you into the shower when I’m busy feeding baby and I know you’re thinking that I used to share that time with you. I notice how you don’t run to me with open arms like you used to and you don’t laugh that big laugh you used to either, almost asking for attention instead of vivaciously taking it like you used to. I ask you if you’re ok and you turned to me with those big eyes and said, “I’m ok mummy, don’t worry about me”. For some reason that broke my heart. I never want you to feel that I shouldn’t worry about you. You’ll always be my baby.

You were the centre of my world for 5 whole years, you were the only one. You held all our attention and were the only one we focused all our love on. Now, well now,  we try this balancing game that I think we’re failing at. 

So, I’m going to fix it. I’m going to try harder to do better and be the “old mummy”. I’m going to hold you more, lie with you at bedtime for those stolen squeezes and maybe, just maybe we’ll get back the “us” time as the days roll by. I’m going to stop calling you a “big girl” and understand that you are still only 5 and can’t possibly know what I expect you to know. I’m going to stop treating you like an older child just because there is someone younger. 

You are my first born, and all my firsts as a mummy live with you. You made me a mummy. You said mum mum first, and all those memories I cherish, my baby. I am grateful and thankful to you for those privileges . I watch as Bump and you create firsts of your own, how you play gently with him, how you race to him when you get home and how he searches the room for you when you leave. Despite the changes, you have never blame him – your soul is wise and your love is pure. You are, as Daddy Dearest says, our Pure Joy.

At 3 months Baby Bump has already fallen in love with you as I did before you were even born.I look forward to you two building on this foundation for years to come.

So, my Pup, whether it’s you growing up or me breaking what was – I hope it all gets better as we learn how to deal with 3 becoming 4.

Love you my sunshine,

Manic mummy

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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