3 minutes of downtime

What do you do in your 3 minutes of downtime? Sure you’re probably thinking what is this woman on about…3 minutes of downtime…she’s a stay-at-home mum she has heaps of downtime. Ya right! I wish.

Between taking care of my beautiful baby girl, housework, cooking, car seat rentals, event managing the Central Otago A&P show, and managing our small farm, I get about 3 minutes of downtime, that are just for me. And in this time I am usually trying to gulp back a latte, peruse facebook, pinterest,twitter and instagram at the same time, or I am working on my photos, editing and playing with my camera. It’s my time. I can do with what I want and I enjoy it. Although it may be short, it’s re-boosting and invigorating and I need it.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not complaining here. I love being a stay-at-home mum and love managing the farm and all of the other jobs I have taken on. It’s busy but that’s how I like it. But it does mean I just need these few minutes of me time a day to enjoy everything I do just a little bit more. And in today’s 3 minutes I wrote this blog, and the baby is up again so here we go. 🙂

Lots of love out there!

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Stop Asking Mums These 3 Questions…

As a mother of a newborn or young infant there is a lot we are going through, from sleepless nights, to dirty nappies, to figuring out feeding cues and just generally trying to keep our baby happy. Do not add fuel to the fire by asking these three seemingly harmless questions.

1) Is he/she a good baby?
In short, of course she’s a good baby! She’s my baby and I love her to bits. She could be screaming like a banshee and in my eyes she’s still a good baby. What would you do if I said no, she’s a little shit and is very naughty? It would shock you and disgust you. Although, I probably should next time though as it would end the conversation and I would not be asked the following two questions.

2) Is he/she a good sleeper
NO! Of course not! She’s a baby!!!! But if you say no then they have advice for you on how to get your baby to sleep, mostly ‘oh you should just let her cry’ (WTF this is not the 1960s we know so much better now). I have said yes before too, and then was told ‘oh if shes a good sleeper now, she won’t be when she’s older’. Thanks for that, I needed to hear that tidbit of information from you, older pompus male!

Babies are not meant to sleep – they are actually programmed to wake up frequently to protect them from falling in a deep sleep and reducing their risk of SIDS. They need us to come check on them during the night to make sure they are not too hot or too cold, or blankets aren’t over their head and generally just comfort them and perhaps feed them. This misconception that babies need to sleep through the night needs to change. Sleeping through the night for a baby is 5.5 hrs. I consider it a blessing that my daughter still gets up, as I know she is safe and I can comfort her gently back to sleep. Sure we have some rough nights where the waking is all to frequent but there is usually something else going on at that point like illness or teething. So STOP asking if my baby is a good sleeper! You have probably been there yourself and know very well they are not.

3) Are you feeding him/her?
Yes of course I am! Does she look like she’s starving? Now if you mean breastfeeding or bottle feeding you have just entered a whole different ball game and your judgey eyes can take a step back before my lack of sleep blurs my judgement and I throw a punch your way. Bottlefed or breastfed, FED is ALWAYS BEST! If I say yes I am still breastfeeding, I would sometimes get rounds of applause or a pat on the back, or the look of isn’t it time you weaned her. If a mum said she was formula feeding then the looks would come out and judgey eyes would appear and be like why you not breastfeeding? It is a no win situation for anyone! There is no taboo against breastfeeding just as there is no taboo against bottlefeeding. STOP judging these amazing mothers and start supporting them!

So in order to keep the peace and leave a new mothers sanity intact! PLEASE stop asking these degrading questions, that only really make her question her own parenting skills and what she knows is best for her child. After all it is her baby, not yours, so really its none of your business. So unless you are going to tell her what a fantastic job she is doing and that her baby is the cutest darn thing you have ever seen in the whole entire world, and here let me buys those nappies for you (disposable or cloth) (sidenote: True story a lady did buy nappies for me at the grocery store, amazing act of kindness)  KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT and let the mummy be.

The Right to Breastfeed

So a bit of a rant today. This has sat on my conscience for a couple of days now and I have to get it off my chest. On Thursday I was out with my mummy friends. We do an exercise class and then out for coffees/lunch at the local cafe. It’s great we have a fantastic time and its good fun to catch up and swap baby stories, ask questions and just be with other adults and out of the house. I look forward to Thursdays every week! We are a diverse group of mums, ranging in age, culture, breastfeeding, bottlefeeding, etc etc. And the best part about it – is there is no mummy shaming in our group. We support each other in our choices and help out each other when we can always providing a listening ear and perhaps advice if needed.

So as a breastfeeding mummy, I don’t feel ‘ashamed’ per se to feed my beautiful bubs when she needs. I am quite happy to feed her in the cafe and continue having my coffee and enjoying the conversation. And I am not the only one. I have never felt shamed or awkward about feeding my baby in public. I’m discreet about it, I will say that, not flashing everyone in sight. But to me it’s natural and let’s be honest you see more of my breasts when I wear a bikini. So let’s not get all freaked out about it, ok. Great now moving on to my ‘rant’ I guess. A new mum joined our group this week. Fantastic! Love new friends and bubs joining us. But we got on the conversation of breastfeeding or bottlefeeding and I had asked what she does, a breastfeeding mama as well. But the next comment out of her mouth struck me “but I won’t feed in public!”. Ok fine, to each their own, it’s her choice, but her reasoning. Because she is afraid of what someone might say to her. That got me. I felt hurt for her. She is so afraid at one someone else might think or say that she won’t do it. Since when is breastfeeding anyone’s business but mummy and baby’s? Since when does someone else have the right to comment on what a mother is doing for her child? Again it’s natural, she is nourishing her baby and giving her the best start she can in life. There is no way she should have ever been or be made to feel ashamed about how she feeds her child.And the best part about it -is we have a right to breastfeed. That’s right it is against the law to discriminate against a woman for breastfeeding and she is allowed to do so when and where she likes. Don’t believe me check out this link “The Right to Breastfeed”.

We need to normalize breastfeeding! And fast! This crazy world that we live that thinks that women should not be using what their beautiful bodies have in order to nourish their children is absurd. Fifty years ago this would never have been an issue. This is just the way that babies were fed and there was no shame in it. Formula was not around and there was not a push for mothers to stop breastfeeding and switch to formula. Why we think formula is better than 3 million years of evolution is beyond me. I will not hide away in a bathroom to feed my child because you are uncomfortable. If you don’t like it – don’t look. Again I am not flaunting it in your face so this should not be an issue. I feel where we live is quite progressive and I have not run in to a single issue breastfeeding in public here, and it makes me wonder what this mother’s previous experiences have been. It makes me a bit sad, that she has felt she had to consciously make this decision. And then that got me to thinking again…haha never a good thing. What would I say or do if someone actually said anything to me? Well let me tell you, I have an argument that would tear a strip up and down someone so fast they will wish they would have just kept their mouth shut! Backed up with facts and a lack of sleep you will wish you never crossed this mama bear. I will save you the brunt of it my lovely readers, but I pity the fool who dare to comment.

That being said I am travelling home to Canada in the next month and wonder if my experiences will be the same there or if I will run in to more negativity about breastfeeding and especially in public. At least I know that I have every right to feed my baby and no one can tell me to leave or actually pass judgement. “The Ontario Human Rights Code (the Code) is a law that provides for equal rights and opportunities and recognizes the dignity and worth of every person in Ontario. The Code makes it against the law to discriminate against someone or to harass them because of sex, including pregnancy and breastfeeding”. So again I should have nothing to worry about.

Sorry about the rant, just needed to get it off my chest.

Lots of love to all you breastfeeding mamas and supporters! xx

 

When it rains…it pours…

When it rains…it pours and not in the literal sense unfortunately. As farmers we pray for rain, it can be the difference between a good year and bad year. But when it comes to managing my household I prefer calm sunny days please. But this week is proving to be a thunderstorm.

Poor wee bubs is sick. Which is normally fine and we will take it as it comes. But we ended up in hospital this time with bronchiolitis. The poor girl. Mind you, even though she was sick, the doctors were calling her the ‘Happy Wheezer’ as she was still all smiles for them. But if I could trade places with her, I would, in an instant. We have had a rough few nights and I am running on very little sleep. If it’s not her waking up it was the nurses last night coming in to check on her waking me. I’m not complaining we were in the best place for her considering the circumstances. Mind you I will say some of the night shift workers need to pull their shit together. I could have throttled one of them for their bedside manner and unnecessary loud talking which woke up my wee girl. If you don’t know how to use or read the equipment checking her ops please don’t come in here blubbering away to yourself and turning on all of the lights. A completely unnecessary move on her part and rude I might add. When the doctor came in to help he was extremely unimpressed with attitude, which I’m hoping lead to her being read the riot act. On the other hand with my wee girls coughing fits and vomitting I am glad we were in hospital.


We luckily were discharged yesterday and were able to go home. At least I won’t be so bored being stuck in one room under no contact. But we came home to no hot water. You have got to be kidding me. I was dying for a hot shower. Guess that is going to have to wait. The house is a disaster and I’ve got washing pile up higher than my basket can handle. I do wonder what else this week is going to throw our way. But I am hoping we are in for smooth sailing. A wise woman said to me these things are sent to try us and that they are. If you can’t handle a little spilt milk once in a while life is going to get very tough for you. Take it as it comes and know that tomorrow will be better.

And we are actually in for a good rain so we will see what happens, may be an indoor kind of week.

Feeling Guilty

Where do I begin…I guess there is lots to feel guilty about as a mother and always wondering if you are doing the best for your child. And please know that you are. You are their mum and you know what is best for them. Never doubt this.

But in this case I am feeling guilty for a very different and hard reason. Being a Canadian now living in New Zealand, I am feeling very guilty about my family and all of the things they will not get to experience with my children (I say children as I know we will be having at least one more). It eats away at me somedays and it can be really hard. Sure Skype is great and at least they get to see my little bubs grow up a bit, but its the moments that they will miss out on and so will Little Miss A. No Sunday dinners at Grandma and Grandpas, they won’t be able to come out on a Saturday morning and watch her play rugby or netball or whatever she chooses to do. No sleepovers at their cousin’s and growing up with each other. This is what makes me sad and feel guilty. I loved all of these things growing up as a kid, and to know that my daughter and future children only have one side of their family in the country makes it really hard.

We are lucky enough to be travelling there in September, but it is 24hrs+ trip just to get there, and with a 7 month old it will be a rather interesting trip. I am excited to see everyone and visit, but again it will not be the same as if we were living only an hour apart. But this was a choice I made when I decided to move over to New Zealand and I have to live with it. My grandparents left Europe to move to Canada at a time when the Internet and telephones were not mainstream. My Grandmother told me she left Holland thinking she would never see her parents again. That is a hard thing to fathom. I left Canada for New Zealand knowing I would be able to skype with my family whenever I wanted and travel back and forth (perhaps not as often as I’d like, but still doable).

After Little Miss A was born, my parents and grandparents made the trip over to see us and stayed for a month. It was great to be able to share our new baby with them and our home. We had moved to the farm and no one had been over yet – so they didn’t really understand all of the things I was talking about and where we were living. But now that they have been here I feel a bit more connected to them and know they feel the same as well.

They will watch Little Miss A grow up through emails and pictures and videos and skype. It is not quite the same as being there hands on and being able to be a part of the things she does, but at least I know I can share some of the magical moments with my family and friends back home. And I will cherish the visits from them and know that the majority of our family holidays will not be exploring exotic new places, rather travelling back to my roots and letting my children learn a bit about their other heritage and family. This is important to me that they know were they come from and that they are loved on both sides of the world.

So this is Motherhood

So as you anxiously await the arrive of your first child, you drift off into a daydream of what life will be like once your little bundle of joy has arrived. And I can honestly say that nothing can prepare you for how your life is about to change. Your life is going to change in the most amazing way possible, and you will quickly take on the role of ‘mummy’ in no time, and it will seem that this little mini person of you has been there all along. Now I am not saying it is all fairy dust and roses, because it certainly is not, but the journey is incredible and I keep learning every single day.

However in saying all of this, your life is going to change in ways you never thought, or you might be thinking to yourself ‘I’m not going to be the mum who discusses her child’s bodily fluids in public or I will always have time for a shower and to put myself together’. I’m here to tell you sister – this is not going to happen. You be talking poos, pees, barfs and spews within hours of that baby being born and guess what it’s ok – because it’s completely normal!

I’ve come up with a list of 10 ways your life is going to change…

1. Sleep -you will only have a distant memory of sleep and what it means to have a full nights rest. This will become a dream for you. I think that’s why in the last month of pregnancy your body wakes you every couple of hours to use the toilet – it’s preparation! And don’t let those first couple of weeks fool you into thinking this is not that bad. Bubs is ‘playing tricks’ on you during those first weeks. Not really, but they are sleeping pretty good – I would to after a traumatic event like being born, but after a week, it hits you and bubs is up for a feed and waking every couple of hours. You will feel like a walking zombie and not know what day or time it is sometimes…but I will let you in on a secret – you will get through. It’s amazing how quickly your body adjusts to running on little sleep. And I know everyone says it, but I will say it again. Sleep when baby does! I mean it. Dishes can wait, washing can wait, cleaning the house can wait. SLEEP!

2. Poo, poo and more poo – before you know it you will be talking poos, pees and spews like it’s nobody’s business and comparing with other mums just make sure your kid is ‘normal’ and doing what they should be doing. And guess what…it’s perfectly fine. Sure the random lady at the supermarket probably does not want to hear about it, but talking with your other mummy friends, it just comes along with the territory. And you will probably be sporting the new look of the ‘baby badge’ which leads into conversations of wind and gassy babies anyways…And it won’t just be babies bodily fluids being discussed either – if you’re breastfeeding, your own body will also come up in conversation quite a lot! Again perfectly ok, as long as it does not mean talking to the checkout lady about it.

3. Babies don’t know what a schedule is – so don’t even bother – at least for the first bit. Get to know your baby and get to know your new role as mummy. Forget reading all the things about how to make your baby to sleep through the night, and when to feed etc etc. All well-intentioned I’m sure, but honestly let your baby be your baby. Everyone is different and every baby is different. It does not mean you are a good or bad mother if your baby won’t sleep – it’s just them adjusting to the world outside. For the first 9 weeks my little one was up from 6pm-11pm. Talk about a tiring 5 hours. Not only that daddy couldn’t console her because all she wanted was to feed and lie in my arms. It was tough, but we got through and eventually she started going to bed at a more reasonable hour. So even though I wanted bubs to be asleep she had her own ideas about things.

4. You will learn to eat fast – and probably not even realise you are doing it. All of the sudden there is something else in your life that requires your undivided attention and if you are lucky they may nap over dinner tie, but chances are they will be screaming their head off and you will be shoveling food into your mouth faster than you ever though possible. Because let’s face it – you’re hungry too and if you’re breastfeeding you’re starving! My partner and I only realised how quickly we were eating our tea when we went out for our first ‘Mother’s Day’ dinner to the local pub. Dinner, dessert and some chat and we were back home within an hour…oops so much for getting out for the night.

5. You will be late…sure you will try to time it right to get to where you need to be on time, but it is almost impossible to get to anywhere you need to be on time anymore. And you can bet that if it’s important bubs is going to have a big poo blow-out just as you walk out the door, causing at least a 10minute delay cleaning, changing and getting bubs sorted again. But don’t worry most people understand.

6. Coinciding with the last point…everything takes longer. Not only because are you now getting two of you ready to head out the door, but once you are out and about people will stop you to have a chat and talk about how gorgeous your wee little button is and if they are sleeping through the night yet (I hate this question, babies need to get up to feed and for their neurological development, they shouldn’t be sleeping through the night right away, so don’t make me feel like a bad mother because my child wakes to be fed and cuddled). That quick trip to the grocery store is no longer quick, you will be stopped by random strangers to discuss your gorgeous wee bundle and they will coo and caw over them. (If you don’t have time for this, might I suggest wearing your baby – makes it harder for people to get in their and have a look at bubs who is ‘sleeping’ nicely cuddled up to mum).

7. People want to help you – all of the sudden you are not just a woman doing the groceries, you are a mum and for the most part people will go out of their way for you. I once even had a lady pay for my groceries. Yup you read that right – I was as shocked as you when it happened. Bubs was only a few weeks old and the lady in line behind me asked if she could pay for my groceries especially the nappies because she knows how expensive things are. Now this probably will not every time (and it doesn’t) but people are all the sudden very helpful when they see a mum with bubs in tow trying to get things done. I have had the people at the grocery store offer to get me sacks of potatoes because they are heavy and I’m wearing baby, they open doors, help with the pram and are just generally more considerate. Now that’s mostly about strangers, but remember your family and friends want to help to, and as weird as it may be to sit down and relax when people are over -do it! and let them make the cuppas and do the dishes. It’s ok, and a good time for you to rest.

8. You will learn to do almost everything one handed. Make a coffee (notice how this one is first), making dinner, cleaning up, brushing your teeth, doing the washing, all these jobs will seem difficult at first with bubs in your arms, but then all of the sudden you will be doing these things no problem with your one free hand, and maybe even breastfeeding and talking on the phone at the same time. It’s amazing how you will adapt.

9. Hanging out with friends is no longer at the pub on a Friday night. It’s Friday mornings at the music and movement class or Tuesday for lunch or at the swimming pool while you give your bubs some much needed tummy time and different experiences. Your friends without babies may not understand this change, but your friends with babies will be right there beside you taking it all in. As much as you may mourn the loss of your Friday night sessions, recall that you have already had 9 months of not drinking and probably not partying like a wild child and that your new wing man is a cute little bundle of cuddles.

10. One is never enough…if you feel anything like I do, bubs is only 4.5 months old and we are already planning number 2, and maybe even number 3. I can’t wait to make my wee button a big sister and grow our little family. There is something about this time that is so magical with a little one and as much as I may be tired and still trying to navigate motherhood, I can’t wait to have more babies.

Welcome to the sisterhood of Motherhood, it’s messy and trying, but it is one amazing journey. xx

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My random thoughts about breastmilk…

Breastmilk. I use that $&@! On everything!

So before having children I never thought I would become so fascinated with breasts. Well maybe not breasts, but in particular breastmilk and the amazing things it does. Honestly that stuff is liquid gold. It’s a super power all women develop after having a baby. To say the least I am pro breastfeeding, but I will not judge anyone who does not (unless of course you never tried but that’s a different story). Happy mum, happy baby, I say. As long as bubs is being fed that’s the main thing.

So back to breastmilk and it’s amazing super powers. Did you know your breastmilk changes with the gender of your child! Yup different milk for boys and girls. And while your baby is suckling away its creating a suction and your breasts can actually determine through your babies saliva what your baby needs. So your liquid gold is constantly changing based on the needs of your baby. If bubs is sick than it will produce antibodies to help them get better. It’s incredible stuff really. I breastfeed and pump for the freezer to use after bubs is weaned and it’s incredible when you see the colour change of your milk because baby is sick. My little one just had a nasty cold and my milk changed from an off white to almost yellow. Helping bubs to fight off her infection. Good thing I had it first as my body already knew what antibodies she needed. So that’s the first thing I find so amazing about breastmilk.

Next it’s the cure all liquid. Honestly I don’t know what I will do when I stop breastfeeding. That $&@! fixes everything. Babies belly button isn’t healing. Throw some breastmilk on it. Healed up in two days!!! (After six weeks of oozing). Baby has gunk in her eyes because of being sick. Squirt some breastmilk in there. In less than 24 hours her eye was cleared up and never got the other one infected. Baby has cradle cap. You guessed it! Breastmilk that stuff away. Ear infection. Boom. A few drops of breastmilk at the opening of the ear should do the trick. So you can be classy and pump some and use a syringe or eye dropper to apply it (I would if using in the ear) or you can be like me and just squirt some on wherever needed. Knowing that aiming is not so easy. It doesn’t come out one hole in a nice straight line does it ladies? Haha. Who knew your nipples were like a sponge and breastmilk can just spray in every which direction. Look out!

But honestly I could go on and on about the benefits of breastmilk and feeding. Not only that but the bond formed and closeness I have with bubs is incredible. I love feeding my little girl and love knowing that she is getting the best start I can give her right now. I am even pumping for the freezer so she can continue on breastmilk after she has weaned.IMG_1755IMG_1756
Good luck to all of you mamas out there and remember if there is ever an ailment with bubs I bet that breastmilk is the cure. xx

Where did the last 4 months go?

Well I started this blog before bubs was born and had all of these great intentions on contributing my stories and experiences on life as it happens and sharing what is going on, on the farm… really I did! And then bam! Bubs was born and my world was turned upside down and all around in the most amazing way possible. But it has meant that I have not been writing. Sorry.

My beautiful wee girl was born at the end of January just before the hottest heat wave we have had in a while. It made for a very interesting start trying to keep her cool but comfortable and talk about some sweaty feeding sessions! But we managed and as overwhelming as the first baby can be -we managed. I think everyone always does. Sure we had some rough nights and I know there will be more to come (had one last night), but that doesn’t matter. Love makes up for it in the end and the smiles you get out of her – aaaaaa-dorable!

They say the first six weeks are the hardest and once you get past that things get easier. And I would say it’s true, but you don’t realise how hard it was until you are actually out them. You just do what you have to do to get on in those weeks and don’t really notice the tiredness and messy house etc…and then all the sudden it’s like you figured it out. I’ve mastered this mummy-thing. Sorta. I keep learning everyday  and cannot wait to see what my little girl has to teach me next.

So anyways I guess this is more of an ‘I’m sorry I’ve been away post’ and ‘I promise to try harder’ post and ooops the baby is up now so I have to go but will write again soon I swear! Duty calls!

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Becoming a Mum…

Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn’t know you had and dealing with fears you never knew existed
                                                                                                   -Linda Wooten

Starting the next chapter to a book that is never really finished, my life…motherhood.

Although my precious bubs is not due to arrive in this world until February, I already feel as though I am a mum. And I am sure that a lot of you felt the same with your first. The definition of a mother is a woman in relation to a child or children to whom she has given birth. But I think it starts before birth.

The moment I found out I was pregnant something in me instinctively changed. I started caring and worrying about this little life inside of me, who was not even the size of a blueberry yet. It seems hard to imagine. I became more cautious about things I was doing, eating and drinking. There was this instinct to protect. This feeling continued and still continues to grow throughout my last weeks of pregnancy. Now don’t get me wrong I did not curl up in a ball for nine months and stop doing everything. I worked up until before Christmas at my job and am still doing things around the farm to help out, which may involve the odd lifting, jumping fences and working with stock. But that first time I felt those little flutters of movement I knew it wasn’t just me anymore. It made it all the more real.

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A few weeks ago someone said to me that she found that there was nothing glamorous about being pregnant. I beg to differ.  I have never felt more beautiful and strong. Becoming a mum makes you realise you can do anything. There is an inexplicable love between a mother and child and it will only grow when bubs is in my arms. I have felt such raw and real emotion from total elation to immense fear and anxiety. Can I do this? Will I be a good mother? How will I know what to do? Be honest how many of you have felt this or asked yourself these same questions? It is a scary realisation sometimes – not knowing and trying to expect the unexpected. But every time I feel bubs kick the fear and anxiety is once again replaced by a love and excitement I cannot explain.

I am 36 weeks pregnant today and know that very shortly our lives will forever be changed. And I cannot wait to hold bubs in my arms. We do not know what we are having and I couldn’t be more excited to meet our precious little one. (I think it’s a girl, just because we cannot decide on a name -lol) We are as prepared as we can be for this next chapter and I am sure both my partner and I will have moments where we don’t think we can do this, but we can and we will. That is what family is about. Being strong and working together. We will get through and we will love with all of our hearts.

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There is such a special sweetness in being able to participate in creation.
                                                                                                    -Pamela S. Nadav