Posts Tagged ‘parenthood’

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

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

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