Browsing Tag:

Encouragement

post-natal-depression

When I got married just after I turned 18, I was sure that I was on-track to having the life I’d planned.

You know the one. Just like the TV ad families with a happy marriage, beautiful kids, a nice house and permanently tanned and fit bodies.

And 15 months later, when a bubbly blonde little girl made us a family of three I expected her arrival to be the next step towards our perfect life.

But I knew something wasn’t right when I sat there holding this darling little human, feeling empty and confused.

And when my milk refused to come, that was when I started to believe that I’d ‘failed’ at being a mum. I had started taking notice of what I considered were my failures. I was a harsh critic.

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how-many-lists

Recently my husband and I were fortunate enough to have the grandparents here.

We were able to leave the boys with them, while we slipped away for three blissful, child-free days. Oh, and how indulgent that was. No fighting, no yelling, nobody to feed and put to bed, lazy late morning lie-in’s, time to sit down and read. Heaven on earth. It was in fact, the longest I have ever left my boys behind. It was a sobering thought and to be quite honest, a bit scary.

As it goes, we left a huge amount of “notes”. The do’s and the don’ts, the what’s and the what not’s.

Just before we jumped into the car, I took out my medical aid card and handed it to my mum-in-law. “In case of emergency”, I said. But as we drove away, my mind wandered to what if it was us who ended up in an emergency? What if I never came back again? My little list of instructions made to last for a long weekend could never contain enough info for that scenario.

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mums-need-other-mums

When my son was four months old, I made a nice visit to a doctor who practices about an hour’s drive from home.

She had become my friend during my visits and I wanted someone I could trust to check out my new(ish)born son and give me the lowdown on his health without all of the unnecessary medical mumbo jumbo.

So picture this: I’ve just been in the car for an hour. My son has had a nap in that time, but is also going through a temperamental stage with how he feels about being in the car. Current mood: Nah.

But, against all odds, we’ve made it to the appointment. I pop on the baby carrier, get my beautiful baby out of the car-seat (which is acrobatic in itself) and slide him into the carrier. The sun blinds him, naturally. Which makes him want to look at it more, naturally. I shield him as best as I can while I lug my over-filled nappy bag out of the back seat and lock the door. Phew. We got this.

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motherhood-journey

When I first gave birth to my son just over eighteen months ago, it was a mixed time of overwhelming joy and utterly mind-blowing chaos.

I’m just going to say what all mothers come to learn: Nothing – no third trimester sleepless nights, no parenting books, no sage advice nor all of the wisdom in the world – can prepare you for the complete insanity that is parenthood.

A friend of mine just had his second baby, another little girl. I asked him how he and his wife were adjusting to a two-child life and, as most parents do, his response was predominantly laughter. (I reckon that the amount of laughter grows with each new child born into a family, representing both the inflation of joy and the increased levels of crazy with each addition.)

That naturally led the conversation to the question that most expectant mothers want to ask and all current mothers love trying to pinpoint.

He asked me, “What do you think was the most unexpected thing about becoming a mother?”

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730

Age is not so much a number as it is a state.

5 is a state. When you are a 5 year old kid, you are in a certain situation, in mind, body, circumstances.

You are short and live with parents, you express yourself well and mostly about things that seems trivial to adults -occasionally asking far too complex questions. At 5 you get dressed and undressed by yourself and use the restroom, you can write some letters and numbers, and your day is centered around play and chores.

17. What picture is created in your mind?

Probably you at that age, or your friends. Scruffy teen, emotions controlled by a tornado of hormones, erratic actions, desperate to belong, feeling invincible. Ring a bell? No clear plans for the future yet, but probably lots of dreams and a vague timeline on when big events will happen.

40. What is that to you?

A mature, wise, accomplished person? A few wrinkles, a solid career peppered with promotions and advancements along the way, maybe grown children, someone without insecurities and ready to dish out sound advice to anyone who asks.

I believe the issue most of us have with ageing is the idea we have of it in our minds, and where on the line of life we should be when a specific number rolls around.

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embracing-mediocre

My Instagram feed is like my wardrobe – eclectic.

There’s no one particular theme to the accounts I follow. I tend to gravitate to those whose creativity, or style, or perspective, or habits, or environment, or language inspire me.

Then there are the simpler accounts, casual personal accounts like my own, owned by wonderfully mediocre women like myself. Who take the photos with their phones, some snaps blurrier than others and the kids are usually dressed by themselves and not a sponsor* (*If you’re a brand who sends clothes to InstaMums for features– holler, my kids are size 3, 7 & 8).

These unprofessional, personal, heartfelt accounts, I think, are imperative to my Instacommunity.

They remind me of games I might like to play with my children again, or a beach I haven’t visited in a while, or give me insight into what a Northern hemisphere Christmas must be like. They also aren’t polished to the point where I wish my life or house or kid’s wardrobe was more like theirs. Their spaces and days are similar enough to my own. It’s a little bit of ordinary that I need to see, so that I do not get trapped in the habit of comparison. As I frequently tell my children, “comparison is the thief of joy” (Thanks Theodore Roosevelt).

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network-marketer

The following words have been on my heart and mind for a long long time… But fear of judgement has kept me from sharing.

Today, I’m jumping in! I often say fear is never a good reason to not do something, so here I am, walking the talk and doing it scared!

Hello, I’m Keren, I’m a mom, homemaker, registered nurse and… network marketer.

EEEK! See what I mean?

Now you wonder how in the world a reasonably intelligent, somehow articulate adult woman would fall into direct sales?

Here’s a short version of my story, and how I became a network marketer:

We arrived in Tennessee in April 2013, two young children in tow, with no idea of what to expect. It quickly dawned on us we were earning a bit less than we were in good old Perth, and our expenses were much higher. Doesn’t take a genius to do the math: I needed a job!

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business-measuring-success

Soon after we married, my husband left his job to start his own business.

He is equipped with a head for numbers and always wanted to be business owner.

I, on the other hand, don’t have an entrepreneurial bone in my body, but I did what I could – I encouraged, listened, and continued working. Then we had a baby and I landed my new favourite job as a stay at home mum.

The business started to gain momentum. Increasingly surrounded by the jargon of the small business community, I began to notice that much of what was being talked about in business was also quite relatable to my new stay at home mum role. Four years on, I still wouldn’t claim to understand most aspects of business, but pottering the periphery has often surprised and challenged me in motherhood.

Early in the business journey we were given an exercise from a Business Coach to write down daily KPIs.

I recalled those annoying sales targets or “Key Performance Indicators” from past retail jobs- numbers like overall sales, number of items sold per customer or amount per transaction. As a sales assistant, KPI’s were used to give me an idea of what to aim for to make the manager happy.

I had certainly never considered applying a KPI to my day as a mum.

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learning-value-time

Nap time at last; time for tea!

I filled my mug from the cold pot, popped it in the microwave for a couple of minutes and waited impatiently for that soul-refreshing experience that is my nap time cuppa ritual. With a cheerful double beep, it was done.

I reached for the milk but, this is awkward, I’d been a bit heavy-handed in my hasty pour and there was really too much tea in the cup to top it with my desired dash of dairy.

I tried anyway – administering a tiny, clumsy plop and the skimpiest of swirls, but the cup was too full to move.  It was a sad moment. Reluctantly, I admitted defeat, decanting teaspoonfuls from the full cup down the drain.

The ritual had lost much of its magic; its flow. I mean the tea was still alright but the experience as a whole was just unsatisfying.

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mother-didnt-breastfeed

A lot of things failed to go to plan in the weeks surrounding my son Jackson’s entry into the world.

I hoped to go into labour at 41 weeks. Yes, I actually hoped to go past term, purely because we needed that time for our nursery renovation.

I hoped for a birth story like all my friends’: the requisite number of hours of labour, an epidural at just the right moment, and a modest amount of pushing, with little to no tearing, thank you very much.

I hoped to shed a few tears. I hoped for immediate skin-to-skin contact, for a photo of our new family of 3 mere seconds after baby’s first breath of air.

I hoped to breastfeed.

What I got was far beyond what I ever could have predicted.

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