Posts Tagged ‘life’

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of having your first baby. What will it look like, what will you name it, will you ever sleep again? But in all seriousness, there needs to be a bit of discussion going on about the big picture before bub comes along, because let me tell you, there ain’t a whole lot of time to talk when you’re dealing with a new, tiny human 24/7. In my humble opinion, here are the things you need to make sure you’re clear on BEFORE the baby comes, if you’re in a relationship…

holding baby's hand

  1. Discuss how you want to parent – Look at how you were raised, and talk about your thoughts around discipline, displaying affection and gender roles. Are you both going to be on the same page? You may have been raised in a very loving environment, where you were always told that you were loved, whereas your partner may have never heard ‘I love you’ from their parents before in their life. As a woman, were you made to feel that you were equal to the men in your family? How will that impact how you raise your own children, and the messages you send to them?
  2. Discuss practicalities around your living arrangements – Do you need to move to a larger apartment or house? Do you want to stay living in the area you’re currently in, or do you want to move closer to family, friends or a support network? Can you afford to rent where you are, or pay the mortgage on one wage?
  3. Discuss money – Do you have a joint bank account already set up? What will you do when the main stay-at-home parent needs money for groceries, activities and everyday needs (like coffee, you always need coffee)?
  4. Discuss your relationship – When a baby comes along, you will be absorbed in that baby 24hrs a day, 7 days a week. Get in some couple time before you have a baby, and commit to making time for each other before you have the baby. Acknowledge that having a baby is not the sole responsibility of the woman actually having the baby, and that both parents need to be elbow-deep in poo and milk if you are going to get through it sane. Discuss what might happen after the baby is born in regards to the primary caregiver returning to work, but be prepared for plans to change (mine did).
  5. And of course the fun discussion: baby names – This will take time. You will LOVE one name, while it might remind your partner of  a colleague who annoyed the sh*t out of them, so that one will be ruled out. Compose a shortlist and see what comes up. Most of all, enjoy the quiet time while you still can.

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

This is a fairly personal post, and one which I have been pondering for a while. My situation was fairly unique, in that I was 6 weeks pregnant when I got made redundant, which definitely, erm….’complicated’ matters.

But let’s start from the beginning. Backtrack to 2013. I was going along happily in my role as a marketing manager for a book publisher based in Sydney. Rob and I had just got back from several weeks in London and Thailand, we’d gotten engaged in London and I was already in full throttle wedding planning mode. We’d decided to try to fall pregnant, as we thought it might take a while due to my polycystic ovarian syndrome. We tried for 2 weeks and lo and behold, we shouldn’t have worried, as I feel pregnant immediately! Cue some trepidation, but excitement too.

I had a blood test to confirm the pregnancy, got the positive results on Friday, had the weekend to let it digest, then went into work on the Monday to find out 5 people in sales & marketing were being made redundant, and I was one of them.

redundancy

 

It’s a funny thing, redundancy. You never think it’s going to happen to you. And then it does, as it will at least once in your life unless you work for yourself (statistics show).

In hindsight, I should have taken a few weeks to relax, sleep in, think about my options and enjoy the payout and the time off. But I was conscious that I had a deadline – I had to find a job before it was obvious that I was pregnant, as let’s face it: who would hire someone when they knew they would be leaving 8-9 months down the track? It turned out that I found a job 3 weeks after I was made redundant, and I was honest with my employer and asked if they would consider the role as a contract role for 8 months, to which they agreed. They said they appreciated the honesty, as I wasn’t obliged to tell them I was up the duff, but I couldn’t have consciously lived with myself if I had lied to them. So, there was a happy ending to the story, however it was still tough going.

You battle with feelings of not being good enough when you’re made redundant. Even if circumstances dictate that people had to go, and it wasn’t a personal reflection on you, it still FEELS personal.

So if you’re going through this right now, know that I know how you feel. That it’s a constant battle between motivating yourself to check out jobs on Seek, or lie on the couch watching bad daytime TV.

Here are some things I did after I was made redundant, which helped me. I thought I’d share them, as they could help some of you out there too.

  • Get some regular exercise – I started swimming, because I had the time and I also needed someplace to go every day, a sort of schedule if you like.
  • Do nice things for yourself – Treat yourself to a pedicure, have a long lunch with a friend, go away for an extended weekend or just buy yourself something beautiful. It helps to indulge yourself (just don’t go overboard once the redundancy payout comes through!)
  • Use the time to really think about what you want to do next – Don’t just switch into auto-pilot and start looking for the same job you had. Take the time to think if you want to continue down your career path, or try something new. Maybe you might want to study? Maybe travel? For me, I took the 8 month contract role in marketing, had my baby, and then chose to study counselling and set up my own social media management business. Which I would probably never have done, had I not had the wake up call to get off the work treadmill and really think about my future.
  • Revise your CV and make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to scratch – I may be the first to tell you this, but LinkedIn has been an amazing avenue for me in terms of finding work. Quite apart from being contacted by recruitment agents via LinkedIn, three of my current clients reached out to me on LinkedIn because we had connections in common. And let’s face it – if your CV isn’t up-to-date, well-formatted and spell-checked, you aren’t even getting a foot in the door when it comes to interviews.
  • Think about starting a creative project – Start a blog, write the first draft of the book you’ve got in you, paint or draw. Start cooking all those long and complicated recipes that you’ve never had time to make before. Or declutter your house. All productive uses of your time, and you’ll feel a sense of achievement as you’re doing them and afterwards.

And remember, this too shall pass.

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

Before I became a mum, I remember wondering what stay-at-home mothers did all day. Now I know. Granted, not all SAHM’s are studying full-time online and working part-time from home, but I thought I’d give you a little glimpse into my life. Buckle your seat belts, here we go…

motherhood is an experiment

7.30am – Harrison wakes up. Therefore Mummy & Daddy wake up too. I know, I know, we are VERY lucky he’s sleeping in this late, but it’s a pretty recent thing. A few weeks ago he was waking up between 6am & 6.30am so I think we’ve earnt 7.30am. There are cuddles in bed and then we start the breakfast routine. I get dressed, put makeup on and eat my breakfast while Rob’s there.

8.15am – Rob leaves for work. The book reading begins. Currently Harrison just wants to read the same book over and over again. I have to tell you I think Spot could really be improved upon in terms of personality. And his manners could do with some work. But I digress…Harrison usually comes and gets his shoes and gives them to me and says “ball” over and over again, indicating that he wants to go outside and play with the ball.

8.30-9am – Mummy makes herself a coffee (thank god for Nespresso!), puts the washing on, washes up, dresses Harrison and feeds him morning tea. The current favourite morning tea is an apple, which he insists on holding and eating like an adult (only with tiny, mouse-like bites taken out of it) or an entire Lebanese cucumber. That’s right, an entire cucumber. This kid is in no danger of wasting away that’s for sure!

9am – We leave the house and drive to Gymbaroo. Gymbaroo is a class for babies, where the teacher does different activities while each parent & child sit there and participate. This week we played with balls, sang songs, lifted a massive parachute up and down over the babies heads, and then the kids had ‘free play’ time where they wander aimlessly around the ‘gym’ which is filled with trampolines, wooden ladders, steps for babies to practice walking or crawling up and tunnels to crawl through. In Harrison’s case, once he had hold of a ball, all he wanted to do was go in the opposite direction of everybody else. All the other babies sat there happily while bubbles were blown at them, marvelling at the pretty colours, etc. Harrison took one look at the bubbles, clearly thought “well this is boring!” and ran off in the other direction shouting “Ball, ball ball” and kicking the ball. I’m beginning to think Gymbaroo is wasted on us.

9.45am – Gymbaroo ends and we head to the shops to do chores – picking up anything we need from the supermarket, going to the pharmacy or bank, etc. Harrison charms everyone he meets by waving at them and giving a big toothy grin. That, or he’s in a bad mood and screams his head off at being confined in the stroller. Either or.

11am – We’re home and out we go to the backyard where Mummy hangs out the washing if it’s a sunny day, and Harrison runs around in his gumboots, playing with the muddy water near the tap, saying hello to the mint, rosemary and basil bushes, trying to find some buzzy bees to say “Bzzz” to, pointing to the sky whenever a bird or a plane flies overhead, playing in the sandpit, and always, always throwing or kicking a ball.

11.30am – We retire inside and I start preparing Harrison’s lunch. In this case it’s leftovers from last night’s dinner – homemade chicken and veg soup – served with toast. Harrison takes about half an hour to eat it as he also needs to attempt to feed himself  – one spoon for Harrison to hold and stab the food with, while I actually feed him. It’s a slow process, compounded by his desire to read a book at the same time, and point to the picture of the cow saying “Mmm” (his version of “Moo”) constantly.

12noon – I have my lunch. Harrison insists on eating from my plate as well, even though he’s already had his own lunch.

12.30pm – Harrison retires to bed, it takes me about 5 minutes to get him to sleep in his cot rubbing his back, and now I have roughly 1hr 30 mins to myself. In this time I do the following:

  • Wash up
  • Sort out the washing
  • Generally tidy up the toys, books and food strewn around the house
  • Prep tonight’s dinner – chopping the veg and assembling all the ingredients ready to go as much as possible
  • Check my email
  • Make myself a cup of tea and start studying – I’m currently studying Counselling full-time online and it’s a struggle to find enough time so as soon as Harrison is down for his nap and I’ve done the house stuff, I’m into it!

sleep when your baby sleeps

2pm – Lord Harrison wakes up and we have afternoon tea. Today it’s a crumpet with honey and a few bites of banana. Then we’re off to the local park, taking a ball of course. We walk to the park and Harrison is off, kicking and throwing the ball while saying “Ball ball ball”, and occasionally climbing the stairs (very slowly, he is only 14 months old after all) and then going down the slippery dip with Mummy. He’s also busy charming everyone who walks by and pointing to the dogs.

3.30pm – We arrive back from the park, and Mummy needs a green tea to get through the afternoon with enough energy! Harrison needs nothing but water. We play inside, reading books and playing with shapes, blocks and toys.

5pm – Dinner commences. Harrison is having steamed carrot, sweet potato, zucchini and broccoli with fish fingers. He wolfs it all down just in time for Daddy to arrive home at about 5.25pm and take over the book reading and ball throwing.

5.30pm– I throw my gym clothes on, jump in the car and head to the gym for a workout and a good stretch on the foam roller. I do this about 2-3 times a week and it really helps my back, as well as being great for relieving the frustration that can sometimes come with trying to argue logically with an illogical midget who has minimal speech skills.

6.45pm – I come home and Rob is bathing Harrison. This is something he does each night that he’s home. It’s a great way for him to spend some extra time with Harrison and also gives me a chance to have a shower and start getting our dinner sorted. Tonight we’re having meatball pasta bake – a family favourite.

7-8pm – Rob puts Harrison to sleep after his bath and bottle and we eat dinner and watch a bit of TV recorded on Foxtel. Current favourites – Wayward Pines or Dating Naked (don’t knock it until you’ve seen it).

8pm – I start working in the dining room while Rob watches TV in the lounge room. I’m working as a social media coordinator for The Healthy VA, a brilliant company that helps people in the health and wellness industries manage their businesses. I currently manage the social media for 7 clients ranging in professions from naturopaths and personal trainers, to health coaches and organic cafes. It’s a brilliant job and works in so well with my life. I work 1-3hrs a day, 5-6 days a week.

9.30pm – I log off for the night, make myself a chamomile tea and try to relax and have no screen time before bed.

10.30pm – The long-awaited bedtime! I fall asleep hoping that Harrison won’t stir in the middle of the night so that we can all have a good night’s sleep.

PHEW, it’s made me exhausted just writing this down!

I have to say I couldn’t live the life I do without taking Iron, Omega 3, Magnesium and Zinc supplements and without regular exercise and sunshine. Cakes and coffee have their place too – I spend my weekends baking. I’m afraid the thing that has had to fall by the wayside in this new life of mine is any sort of social life. But I have discovered that while we’re taught that we can have it all, we really can’t. It’s impossible – at some point you have to compromise and sacrifice and for now, this has been what I’ve let go.

Motherhood

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

I gave birth 2 weeks ago. I gave birth – it still seems strange to say that. It was simultaneously the most amazing and intense experience of my life, and the most painful. After an 18 hour labour I am VERY glad it’s now over, and we have our gorgeous baby boy, Harrison.

I still can't believe we created something so perfect...

I still can’t believe we created something so perfect…

The number one thing people who have already had kids say to you when you’re in these early days is “It gets better”. Which is some comfort when you’ve been up for hours with an unsettled baby, you’ve changed his nappy, you’ve fed him, you’ve made sure he’s warm enough but not too warm, and he’s still crying. But not much.

Sleep deprivation, hormones, issues with breastfeeding, and really not knowing at all what you’re doing all contribute to the first few weeks being an emotional rollercoaster, It’s worth it to see his content, perfect little face but boy is it hard. I can’t believe that this government only allows 2 weeks paternity leave – I feel like I need Rob for at least a couple of months to help out. He has been amazing. I can see I won’t get a chance to shower, leave the house or even feed myself some days. And I already have so much new-found respect for single parents – how they do it alone and don’t go out of their mind I will never know!

In terms of my physical recovery, it is going well. I didn’t have to have any stitches, so it’s all pretty straightforward. I do have abdominal wall separation, which isn’t painful but sounds it. It just means I can’t do any sit ups for a while. I’ll be documenting my return to the gym and exercise once I get the go-ahead in 4 weeks time. The weight has come off quickly, I think due to breastfeeding, but it’s muscle tone I will need to work on. And, you know, cardio fitness.

For now, we’re still getting our bearings. But every day we know our son more and more, and I can’t tell you how amazing it is to stare into his eyes and know that you are his world. The word love doesn’t go anywhere near describing it.

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

Today nothing went right. It’s Father’s Day in Australia, and my parents were flying back from Queensland. I wanted to surprise my Dad at the airport but their flight was delayed. Then I went for lunch and everywhere was booked (NEVER try to go for lunch on Father’s Day, unless you’ve booked somewhere). Then we finally found somewhere and they didn’t bring us menus for 10 minutes, and still hadn’t come over to take our order when we decided we’d had enough and left 15 minutes later. Then the door handle fell off the balcony door at home. And so on and so on…

We’ve all had days where nothing goes right. Sometimes there’s whole weeks where life sh*ts on you from a great height.  And it’s hard sometimes to pull yourself out of the bad mood that goes with it. Even worse are the days where the existential crisis hits – “what am I doing with my life?”, etc.


Don’t panic. Everyone has days like this. Some people have YEARS like this. I’m currently trying to get over my negative self-talk and start up a part-time business. Other people I know are having health issues, work issues, trouble finding a lasting relationship … I could go on. My point is: everyone, whether ‘successful’ or nor, is dealing with crap every day of their life.

Well fine, you say, but how do you combat the down times we all come up against? These are some of the ways I get out of a funk. And by no means do they always work, but they’re worth a try, right?

  • Exercise. I know, predictable. But the endorphins after exercise seriously make you feel better. And if they don’t, at least you’ll look fit while you’re sad/angry/down.
  • Read a book. Ok, I am a book nerd, but I think this works for a lot of people – when you escape into a good book, you forget your own problems for a while at least. This also goes for watching films.
  • Speak to your significant other or call your mum, dad, sister, brother, friend, random person you met the other day. And just vent. This is probably my favourite way of getting rid of bad moods. It also helps you get a different perspective on your problems.
  • Cook. I like baking, or making a soup which requires slow-cooking so it’s a project to get into.
  • Go to the beach and stare out at the ocean. Even in the middle of winter, even in the rain, this can be cathartic.
  • Write a list. A list of the negative and positive elements of your life, or a To Do list for a positive project or a new direction, or a list to help you make a decision. I love lists – they focus you and give you an action plan.
  • Get a massage. It’s good for your body AND mind. I once had a remedial massage therapist who talked all the way through the massage, about how we keep negative feelings inside our body, and at the end of the massage I felt like I’d just walked out of a counselling session, refreshed and energised.
  • Look at old photos. I like doing this. Not only do you see how far you’ve come but you remember good times.
  • Clean. I find this particularly therapeutic for problems that can’t really be solved but you want to not think about them for a while. Admittedly, this isn’t for everyone 🙂
  • Do something you’ve not done before. Whether it’s being a tourist in your own city, going paddle boarding, attending a yoga class or trying a new food, it will get you out of your comfort zone and might make you realise you CAN do anything you want to do, you just have to try.

Need a bit more motivation to help you get out of a funk? Check out these words of wisdom from Andre Jordan – a man who has been on a very interesting journey through depression and is living his life in a very different way now:

 

Most of us don’t give ourselves enough credit. We are actually pretty bloody brilliant! So you know what, try thinking of all the awesome things you’ve done in your life, who you’ve met, what impact you’ve had on the people around you. And if you think that needs work – begin. It’s not going to be easy, but as Katherine Hepburn said – life is hard. After all, it kills us.

What does success look like?

Do you have any tips for getting through difficult periods in your life? Any ideas for things you can do to get out of a funk?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x