Posts Tagged ‘motherhood’

Wow, what a dramatic headline, right?! Well it’s true. It saved our lives by saving our sanity.

But let’s start at the beginning. Let’s start with a 20 month-old boy who we love with all our heart. We love him so much that we’ve been patting and rocking him to get him to sleep his whole life. It got so bad that at one point only a few months ago we were patting him for up to, and sometimes over, an hour every single night. One of the worst nights it took me two and a half hours to get him to sleep. That’s right folks – we have a little man who suffers from Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO).

My husband has written his account of the sleep training we undertook with our son here, so feel free to read it. But here’s my version.

baby sleeping

We decided to start sleep training one night when we were at our wit’s end. Rob’s back had given out from leaning over the cot patting Harrison for over an hour, and I was cranky because dinner had been ruined while we were trying, once again, to encourage our son to go to sleep. We’d both had enough, and knew it had to stop. He couldn’t move into a big boy bed until he learned to settle himself to sleep, and that wasn’t going to happen the way we were going. In hindsight, I wish we’d done the sleep training when he was 6 months old, as it would have been less emotionally gut-wrenching, but we put ourselves into this situation, so now we had to get ourselves out.

So the next night we started. We basically followed the “cry it out” method discussed here. We had tried the “no tears” approach before, and it had never worked, so this was the new regime. We would put Harrison in his cot, sing “Rock A Bye Baby” a couple of times to him, then say “Goodnight my love, sleep well, Mummy/Daddy will come and check on you in 5 minutes”. We would leave the room and the crying would commence. We’d leave it for 5-10 mins and go in, comfort him and resettle him in his cot, then do the same thing. And so on, and so on.

The first night he was absolutely knackered from a fun day out, and there was only 45 minutes of crying/resettling. The next night, it was 1.5hrs. The next night it was 2 hrs. Then slowly the crying time reduced, and by the end of 7 days, we put him in his cot, sang “Rock A Bye Baby” several times, said goodnight, left the room and there was no crying. He proceeded to have a chat to himself about Thomas the Tank Engine or the doggy he’d patted that day, or whatever else came into his mind, then gradually wound down and settled himself to sleep. HOORAY! It worked!

This all sounds fairly clinical, but let me tell you we were both emotional wrecks by the end of the 7 days. One more day of it and I would have given up. In fact I would have given up every night had Rob not talked sense into me.

And the irony is that now he can self-settle himself to sleep, when he wakes up during the night he goes straight back to sleep now too, whereas before he would have cried out for us and it would have taken us a while to get him back to sleep. He’s sleeping longer, and he’s sleeping better. So it’s better for him, it’s better for us, and I really can’t think how we put up with such a ridiculous routine for so long, except for the fact that as a parent you do whatever you have to do to get through that particular stage, and that’s what we did.

Now for the next scary but necessary activity: toilet training. Although I think we might give ourselves a break for a few months before we dive into that. Ah, the joys of parenting 🙂

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

 

Advertisements

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

Let’s get this straight: Winter is my season. I love the cooler weather, and I love cooking slow cooked, slow roasted, hot meals. This therefore means that Summer is not my friend. BUT, this Summer I was determined to try out a few new recipes, Donna Hay caesar salador twists on old favourites, and incorporate them into my Summer menu.

First up was a Donna Hay caesar salad. Being a parent and just generally pushed for time, I took a few shortcuts. Number 1: I bought a roast chook from Red Rooster and added that for extra protein and oomph. Number 2: I also added Cardini’s Caesar Dressing. I challenge you to tell the difference between a freshly made caesar salad dressing and this store-bought dressing. It’s my go-to dressing now, and the bonus is it has less than 1 gram of carbohydrates per serve. Making a caesar salad dressing from scratch? Ain’t nobody got time for that!caesar dressing

Then the weather dipped and became slightly cooler at the beginning of December, and I thought I’d cook up a batch of my spaghetti bolognaise. I add all the vegies I can possibly chop up into teeny tiny bits (in this case: capsicum, carrot, celery and courgette…sorry, ‘zucchini’ for the non-Brits), store-bought pasta sauce, garlic, herbs, beef mince and beef stock and then I simmer it for an hour and a half. So yes, the weather does have to be cool, because it sure heats up the house! Cooking for a toddler means that you can’t add spice to anything. Or you can, but that guarantees that they won’t end up eating it. So instead, I added Cholula Hot Sauce to my own serving before I ate.

My husband will vouch for the fact that I’m a big fan of spicy food, as I keep trying to sneak chilli flakes into everything we eat (cereal excepted), and I am a new-found lover of Cholula. For those worried about the spice level, it’s hot, but the spice hit disappears very quickly, so you’re not left lunging for the nearest cold glass of milk or slice of cucumber. It has a sweetness to it that is really different to a traditional hot sauce.cholula hot sauce

It’s going to be hard, and I’m going to be out of my comfort zone cooking ‘hot weather food’ (we usually have BBQs at least half the week in Summer!) but I’m going to give it a red-hot go.

I’m planning on trying more salads than the few that are in my current repertoire, and also even attempting a Thai Beef Salad (this could go either way). It’s going to be a long, hot Summer, so stay tuned for more…

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

Well, Spring is well and truly here! And Spring in Australia means topsy-turvy weather – hot and humid one day, chilly the next. This month a lot of great things have happened (I’m pulling together my new website – exciting!), a few not-so-great (someone ran into my car and caused me minor whiplash, so exercise is out for a bit) and the usual ride-a-minute of Parenthood has continued. These are a few of my favourite things this month…

  • Glasshouse Candles – I’ve loved these candles for years, but my current favourite is Kyoto. It’s a blend of Camellia, Lotus and Amber and seems to convey the feeling of Spring while also promising a hint of Summer. I find it relaxing, and it also helps rid the house of the smell of baby poo 🙂
    Glasshouse candle Kyoto
  • Trilogy Rosapene Night Cream – Above all else, I love the smell of this night cream. I adore rose scents, and this cream has that in spades. It’s also super moisturising, but doesn’t make my combination skin oily. A winner!

Trilogy Rosapene night cream

  • Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF 30 – I was up-sold this in David Jones a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say I’m converted. This cream does three things for me: it helps hide the slight rosacea I have on my nose, it provides a smooth base to put my foundation on, and it gives me sun protection. Loving it.

Clinique moisture surge CC cream

  • Book Yourself Solid by Michael Port – This is a book I bought on recommendation. I can’t actually remember where I saw it recommended, but it obviously struck a chord, and I bought it online. Often business books can be hit-and-miss, but this one is seriously useful. I’ve started my own social media management company (well, I started out freelancing for a couple of companies a while ago, then decided to increase my workload, and it snowballed from there) and it’s given me great clarity on what I want to achieve through working for myself, what my brand should mean to my customers, and how I want to portray myself. And I haven’t even got to the part about how to get more clients! It’s an inspiring read, and I can’t wait to finish it so I can go back over it again and again and clarify things even more.

Book Yourself Solid

  • Banana and Raspberry Bread – This is a really easy banana bread recipe, uses no butter and fresh raspberries. It does take 1hr 30mins to bake in the oven though, so make sure you’ve got the time. On the plus side, because it’s baking for so long at a relatively low temperature, it will make your house smell amazing. And it’s delicious plain, or toasted with butter.

banana bread

 

What are you loving this month?

Stay Fit & Well,
Lisa x

I’m not going to beat around the bush here – motherhood sure isn’t easy. And it can be a rude awakening to find out that being a new mum doesn’t mean just staring lovingly at your adoring baby while they sleep. No no no – housework still needs to be done, you need to eat, and also – babies often don’t sleep! Or sleep for only a few hours at a time. Hello sleep deprivation for new parents! Here are some things I have been doing regularly since Harrison was born, and I really found they helped me initially, and still help me now, to feel like myself again as well as being ‘Mama’.

  1. Go for a coffee – While that first time leaving the house along with bub may feel like it’s never going to happen (it may take an hour to get everything ready, then the baby poops right before you leave the house. Just warning you), you HAVE to get out of the house and also: COFFEE. Take your mum, your friend, your partner, your neighbour and just go to the closest and easiest place you can find. Cafes without change tables are a no-no, so do your homework before you go. You’ll feel revived, you will have gotten some fresh air and a bonus could be that your baby sleeps in the pram the whole time you’re there.I need sleep but I'll settle for coffee
  2. Make time for exercise – This is hard. There just never feels like there’s any time for you when you have a newborn baby (umm, make that any sort of child of any age actually), especially if you’re breastfeeding on demand. But do what you have to do to make exercise happen – check out YouTube for workouts you can do from the comfort of your living room, walk around the block 5 times every morning with bub in a baby carrier or pram, go swimming once a week while your partner looks after the baby. Anything is better than nothing, and your body and brain will thank you for the stress relief and endorphins. make time to workout
  3. Spend at least a few hours away from your adorable family per week – I know, I know – they can’t be without you. As soon as you leave the house, the baby will cry, daddy will cry because he can’t figure out what’s wrong, with the baby and even the dog will cry from all the noise! Trust me – this will not happen. Or if it does – I’m sorry, you’ve married the wrong person. Joking! Sort of. But seriously, getting back some ‘me’ time really does make you feel so much better it’s not funny. Some mums I know take Saturday morning to sleep in until 10am while their partners take care of the kids, other mums have monthly massages, weekly manicures or brunch dates with friends. Whatever it is, take the time to do it and you will feel better, your family will be happier with a happier Mama, and it will save a lot of resentment from building up. relax
  4. Join a Mother’s Group – This REALLY saved my sanity. Not only was it great to talk to other mums who were new to the Mama game, but we could all ask each other “Is it normal that he’s waking up every 4hrs?”, “Do all formula-fed babies have poos like that?” and “Will we ever lose the baby weight and be normal again?”. I have laughed with, cried with, supported and been humbled by every one of the mums in my Mother’s Group and I wouldn’t be without them. After you leave the hospital, the local community health nurse should call you and set you up with a Mother’s Group and honestly, it may feel like a drag to go along to that first meeting, but go. You’ll meet some amazing women who will inspire and comfort you like no other friends you have!mothers group
  5. Date nights – do them! – It will take planning, it will take preparation, it may take using a breast pump if you’re breastfeeding, but please, please, please – for the sake of your relationship, go on dates with your partner. You may often end up talking mainly about the baby, but you’ll also be able to enjoy nice food not cooked by one of you, no washing up, maybe a glass or two of wine, and a bit of quiet time to actually talk to each other about how you’re feeling. Checking in with your partner is the number one thing you can do to maintain a good relationship. If your main relationship with your significant other isn’t strong, how can you expect to build a strong and loving family unit? It’s an investment that is worth it’s weight in gold. And it’s fun 🙂

Date night when you're a parent I’d love to hear any other tips from Mamas out there – what do you do on a regular basis to keep your sanity intact as a mum? Stay Fit & Well, Lisa x