{Raising Little People} Bringing confidence back mama…

Effective Ways to Improve Self-Confidence for Mums

When people say that having a baby is a life-changing experience, they are most certainly telling the truth. It’s a miraculous thing that turns your whole world upside down – and for the most part, in a good way.

1

However, women are rarely candid when it comes to the downsides of motherhood, mostly for the fear of sounding like a ‘bad mum’. It’s not all peaches; there are amazing moments, but there are also gruelling, exhausting and frustrating ones, and it is time the stigma is broken and we tell it like it is. While I love being a mum, and there isn’t a job in the world I would rather do, I have to admit that, after the pregnancy my self-confidence, especially the part connected with body image, took a bullet. The hormonal changes, the extra pounds, lack of sleep, lack of quality time for yourself and your partner take a huge toll on you. The wake-up call came, and I answered; I realised, that, if I want to be a good mum I need to be a happy one, and that entailed taking back my sense of womanhood and femininity. I decided to become all mum action instead of all mum talk and self-pity.

I truly hope that my journey of self-rediscovery will be at least of some help to all the mums out there dealing with the same issues, and I will be happy knowing I was of help to at least one of these amazing super-women.

It takes a village…

…or at least a great partner and a little help from friends and family. New mums tend to take on a lot all by themselves. This is a huge mistake. Asking for help does not make you a bad or inadequate mum; you are only human after all. Learn to delegate and not micro-manage. Let your spouse or partner take their share of chores and responsibility. When you take care of your baby together, it doesn’t only serve to take the part of the burden off of you, but it’s also a bonding experience for you and your hubby. Don’t shy away from asking your family to pitch in. One of my life-savers was enrolling my baby girl in a great early childhood service Little Learning School; not only did I know my precious little one was in good hands, playing and learning along the way, but it also gave me the extra time to pamper and regain my sense of self, both as a woman and a wife.

2

Get your body back on track

I’m going to be completely frank – I was not the least bit happy with my post-pregnancy appearance, and it didn’t matter how much my hubby told me I was beautiful, I just didn’t feel that way, and I think a lot of new mums can relate to this. I decided it was high time to stop wallowing and avoiding mirrors, and reclaim my body. With a pinch of good time-management and aforementioned help, I started by changing my dietary habits.

After some careful research, I found just the right foods that would allow me to eat healthy but that are also good for my baby as I was still breastfeeding. I turned to oats, yogurt, as well as salmon, plenty of greens, blueberries, and the wonderful matcha tea, to help me detox and give my metabolism a boost. In my determination to get my body back to at least close to what it used to be, aside from changing my diet I hit the gym, and I hit it hard. It felt amazing, and once I got my stride back, I couldn’t wait to go back. Not only did working out help with my weight, it also greatly helped me to regain my body-confidence and even my sex-drive. What a lot of people won’t tell you is that once the baby comes, the sex goes out the window, and you need to make a conscious effort to connect with your partner physically. Once I felt sexy, I was able to believe my husband when he told me I was. Of course, some new makeup and a great new hairdo didn’t hurt, and neither did a change of wardrobe. You might not be able to fit into your skinny jeans just yet, but there are so many mum-chic styles out there that will make you feel super sexy and stylish.

3

You are more than parents

Once you have a baby you and your partner become parents, and at the beginning, parenting gets in the way of romance, which is completely natural. However, you should never let romance fizzle out of your life. Make the time to have a meaningful conversation with your partner. Leave the baby in good hands of family or professionals, and take your partner on a romantic date. Romance doesn’t just happen; you have to work on keeping the spark alive. Establish ground rules – no talking about nappies, bottles or any baby stuff – this is the time for you two to reconnect. Take it a step further, romance doesn’t have to entail only candlelight dinners. Remember the things the two of you used to love to do together. See a movie, go to a concert, take the day and spend it at the beach, ride bicycles, whatever you loved to do pre-baby, and go back to it. Couples who do things together – stay together.

Take the time to fall in love with your partner all over again, and remind them why they fell in love with you. It will not make only you happier – it will reflect on your child as well, as kids are very aware of their surroundings and can sense whether they are in a home that is filled with love.

About author:

tracey clayton

{The Nest Writes} Why don’t we talk about miscarriages?

There is no doubt that losing your child is the most incredibly horrible thing that is likely to happen, but what about those who lose their little ones before being able to meet them?

In our society it is almost frowned upon to announce your pregnancy prior to the end of the first trimester and that magical 12 weeks mark, you know, because what if your baby dies and that makes it uncomfortable for those around you?

There are so many emotions that go along with experiencing a miscarriage and often it is the darkest time in your life. There are many feelings and emotions that bubble to the surface.Sad couple

The saddest seems to be a sense of failure. It is common for women who experience a miscarriage to feel responsible and guilty. What if I hadn’t eat that hot dog, did I not eat enough vitamins? What if I pushed it too hard in this morning’s run. A friend of mine who recently experienced a miscarriage said that she simply felt that she was not woman enough to carry a baby to term. What an absolutely heartbreaking thing to hear from one of the most successful, passionate, brilliant women I have ever had the pleasure of knowing.

Unfortunately, I learnt quickly that it did not matter how reasonable my arguments were that this was certainly not her fault and that she should not feel this way, her sense of shame could not be pushed away.

So what should you say to a mama-bird that is undergoing one of the saddest times in her life?

Well, here is what not to say:

Don’t worry, you can try again” and she is likely to think “So, I can just make a new one and forget about this one, is it that easy?

“It isn’t your fault” and she may think “Ah, so you’re a doctor are you, and can scientifically prove to me it wasn’t my fault?

“You’re lucky you were only 7 weeks, it wasn’t really a baby yet” “Well actually to me, that little thing in my stomach was my baby and so much more, it was my hopes and dreams and playdates and kisses”

So what should you say?

Just be there. Be supportive, be kind. Give time and hugs and cups of tea.

Importantly, don’t feel bad about bringing it up, people need to talk, it is how you heal. She is probably thinking about it basically 24 hours a day anyway.

The best thing you can give a friend experiencing a miscarriage is time. Give her time to grieve. Not only for her baby, but for the hopes she had attached to that little person.

Do the little things, grab a coffee and pop around. Make dinner and leave it on the doorstep.

The only way to make miscarriage less uncomfortable is to have more conversations. No one wants to suffer alone and nor should they.

Speak to each other, support the sisterhood. Make the uneasy conversations and topics less taboo by simply talking about it.

To all our mama-birds out there who are living without a little piece of themselves, we send you love, hugs and endless cups of tea. ted

HELP IS AVAILABLE

If you would like to speak to someone about your experience completely judgment free then call Pregnancy Birth and Baby on 1800 882 436 anytime of the day or night for trusted advice and emotional support.

Or alternatively speak with SANDS.Org. Their helpline is available 24 hours a day 1300 072 637.

 

{Raising Little People} Get the cradle crap under control

So exactly NO BODY likes cradle crap.

It is unsightly, annoying and a bloody shit to get rid of.

The fantastic team at Mums Grapevine have put together a fabulous list of ideas to get the Cradle Cap under control. cradle cap

Let us know if you have any tips or suggestions that helped you remove it!

Good luck Nesters x

{The Nest Writes} To the dead little boy, your life was valuable. I promise.

Trigger warning: This post is graphic and may upset some readers. 

Usually I find writing easy. Almost therapeutic.

Today however, I can’t find the right words.

Or any words.

A little boy, the size of my little girl is dead. Washed up a beach, far from his home.aylan

He was alone. Scared. Frightened.

He would have spent his last breaths desperately fighting for his life, I imagine.

Today my daughter went to kindy. She put on her gumboots, brushed her teeth and went to a safe place.

The little boy will never know a safe place. He has been let down.

We let him down.

Every, single one of us.

You did. I did.

His parents tried to save him. They chose to take him away, to start a new life.

Instead he doesn’t even breathe anymore. The thing they were trying so desperately to protect is taken.

The idea that a parent would make a decision to take a toddler onto a 4.5 metre boat in open waters astounds me. But then, my family is safe.

We don’t live in constant fear. We don’t have to even consider a 3am journey on 15ft seas in a small, unsound dingy.

We have independence and protection. Safety and security.

My children walk freely on our neighbourhood streets. They won’t be shot. They won’t be taken. They won’t go to sleep with the sounds of guns.

I wonder little boy, did you have a good life? Did you like gumboots and brushing your teeth.

Did your mummy read you bedtime stories?

Did you daddy kick a ball with you?

Are you with your mummy now? Or are you alone?

I read that since the beginning of 2015 about 150,000 refugees have crossed the central Mediterranean Sea. More little people like you. Little boys and girls trusting in their parents decisions to chase a better life.

The problem is now you have no life.

Little boy, your brother also died. So did your mother. Your daddy is left here without you.

Please just know he tried to save you. He tried to keep your head above the water. He is left with nothing now.

My little girl will sleep peacefully tonight. I will soothe her and cuddle her. I will kiss her and tell her I love her.

I will be thinking about you little boy. I wish you had been safe.

Please know your life was worth something. You will not just become another statistic.

I will remember you.

I will try and help other little boys and girls that are just like you.

I will help because I want to know that if you were my little girl, that someone, would not let her down like they failed you.

I. Am. So. Deeply. Sorry.

syrian-refugee-1-720x547

Aylan and Ghalib

Rest in peace little boy. You are safe now. You are protected now.

If you want to help:

Make a donation:

  • The International Committee of the Red Cross is delivering humanitarian aid to areas like Aleppo, Homs and rural Damascus, as well as assisting the millions of Syrians who have fled to neighbouring Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq. Red Cross Red Crescent is helping more than 3.5 million Syrians by providing food parcels and blankets, supplying hygiene kits with toothpaste, toilet paper and soap, and restoring sanitation systems.
  • In Australia, the Red Cross works to improve the plight of asylum seekers and refugees, by providing emergency financial relief and  linking people to housing, education and social support programs.
  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) is providing water, mosquito nets, tents and healthcare to Syrian refugees. Outside of Syria, thousands of refugees have spent years in exile. With their savings drained and employment opportunities thin on the ground, millions of people are relying on UNHCR for assistance and protection. As little as $15 can provide two families with jerry cans to transport clean water.
  • The International Rescue Committee is responding to the humanitarian crisis on the Greek island of Lesbos. Each day some 2000 refugees are arriving on Greece’s shores. Most of them have fled the Syrian civil war.
  • Save the Children is working with Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq and Egypt providing families with food, clothing and shelter. The organisation is also conducting large-scale food distributions in Jordan. Meanwhile, in the Za’atari refugee camp, Save the Children has helped to feed over 130,000 children and their families. The organisation is also distributing children’s clothing, mattresses, blankets, heating fuel and stoves in Lebanon.
  • Médecins Sans Frontières is working rapidly to vaccinate children arriving at refugee camps to prevent the spread of measles. They are also distributing mosquito nets and helping improve basic living conditions to prevent a large-scale epidemic. The organisation also sets up medical clinics in the camps.
  • Oxfam is on the ground in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt providing people with clean drinking water, hygiene and sanitation packs and relief supplies such as blankets and stoves. Outside Jordan’s large Za’atari refugee camp, Oxfam is providing cash to vulnerable refugees living in informal tent settlements.
  • The Refugee & Immigration Legal Centre is an independent community legal centre specialising in all aspects of refugee and immigration law, policy and practice.

Get involved with grassroots groups

  • Save the Children runs early learning programs, which help newly arrived migrant and refugee children settle into Australia, as well as initiatives that help young people transition out of youth detention.
  • Amnesty International has local action groups across Australia that work to raise awareness about a range of human rights issues, including asylum seekers. These groups meet monthly to discuss issues and decide practical ways to raise awareness, raise funds and take action to have human rights impact.
  • Amnesty’s Welcome Dinner Project aims to connect new migrants with Australian residents around the dinner table. The aim of these pot-luck shared dinners is to create a platform for meaningful connection, sparking friendships between people of diverse cultures who are living in close proximity to one another but have not had an opportunity to meet in a supported environment.
  • West Welcome Wagon is a volunteer-run registered charity supporting asylum seekers in Melbourne’s west. It supports asylum seekers in the local community by providing good quality donations of material goods, emergency food relief, neighbour to neighbour social support, as well as special projects such as in-home English support and community engagement.
  • Montmorency Asylum Seekers Support Group also raises funds and collects food for the ASRC food bank. Volunteers also support individuals in detention centres and in the community.
  • The Brigidine Asylum Seeker Program is looking for volunteers to teach English to new arrivals.

Donate, Collect

  • The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre is an ideal base to donate foods and goods to refugees and asylum seekers. People can donate to the centre’s Food and Aid Network online through Ceres Fair Food. People can also order food online from Coles or Woolworths and have it delivered to the ASRC. The centre also accepts pots and pans and new linen sets from Kmart, as well as gift cards from Gift Cards online.world map

 

{The Nest Loves} Chi Khi does skin care best

So, if you follow us regularly you will know that we are having an on-going love affair with all things Chi Khi.

Natalie Bassingthwaighte’s brainchild is a brand full of goodness, kindness and comfort.

So you won’t believe how excited our little nest was to hear that Chi Khi is kicking off a wonderful bare skin care range that includes our personal favourites, the Wonder Cream and Natural Nappy Balm.

Both products are made in Australia (and you know how much we dig local) and made from natural ingredients designed to protect your little birdies sensitive skin.

Chi Khi bare Wonder Cream, $24.95

Chi Khi bare Natural Nappy Balm, $19.95

What sets Chi Khi apart from all the others is that both products are made free from artificial fragrances, sulphates, parabens, and petrochemicals and include a unique combination of active ingredients and gentle botanicals that are known for their soothing and healing benefits.

The Natural Nappy Balm is a soothing cream that protects little birdies from nappy and heat rashes. Gently formulated, fragrance free and pH balanced, Natural Nappy Balm contains Beeswax, Shea Butter and Pomegranate Seed Oil to help nourishes the skin and reduce dampness to creates a natural, long lasting protective barrier on baby’s delicate skin without inhibiting its ability to breathe.

The Wonder Cream is an ultra rich intensive cream, developed to help calm little mini’s irritated skin conditions including eczema and dermatitis.  Containing Calendula C02  (an excellent anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial ointment with soothing properties), Shea Butter and natural oils of Coconut, Pomegranate Seed and Rosehip Fruit, this nourishing emollient cream will help reduce redness and inflammation, while Vitamin E moisturises and soothes baby’s skin.

Plus, the packaging is pretty as a peach and a monochrome delight.

Because the genius team are always thinkers they have your next baby-shower gift sorted! Make sure you check out the Chi Khi bare Noo Bhi Gift Pack that contains all the goodies including the Nappy Balm, Wonder Cream, a Snuggle Bamboo Wrap and matching Beanie. The pack arrives beautifully gift wrapped with their blissful signature dot tissue paper, Chi Khi Sticker, branded box with a gift card.

Chi Khi bare Noo Bhi Pack – $99.95

You can find more information by heading over (and putting into your favourites!) www.chikhi.co

Happy shopping your gorgeous Nesters x

{Raising Little People} What it feels like to have a c-section

Sometimes your baby enters the world through your foo… other times through your guts.

It doesn’t matter as long as they (and you) are safe.

If you are getting prepared to have your baby and wonder What It Feels Like To Have A C-Section then this is for you.

c-section

Bianca Wordley has had three and in this KidSpot article she lets you know the ins-and-outs. You can find the link here -> What It Feels Like To Have A C-Section

Happy health Nesters x

{Our Nest} A new bird, a name thief and an elephant selfie

To say the last couple of weeks have been a whirlwind is the biggest understatement since someone said Kimmy K might like a selfie or two.kim selife

We are overjoyed like a kids with wagon wheels to announce that we welcomed Charlotte into our nest. She is perfection. She eats. She sleeps. Repeat.

I do feel she is placing us into a false sense of security and in the not too distant future you are likely to find me hiding in the stationary aisle at woolies rocking back and forwards begging for a straight jacket but until that time I plan on absorbing all her newborn goodness.14

We had such an interesting long birth experience, I cannot give enough thanks to the maternity staff at the hospital that helped bring our little lady into the world. In particular, there are a few people that really deserve special thanks. There is the girl I knew from school who was full a humour and positivity. There was the girl who kept me calm and somehow instinctively knew when to talk and when to just hold my hand. There was the girl who was encouraging and patient. The girl who followed us up even after her shift finished and finally there was the doctor who believed in me and offered to give me a chance. A sincere-from-the-bottom-of-my-toes-to-the-tip-of-my-nose thank you to you all. P.S Happy Midwife Day to all the midwives out there for yesterday!midwife

In very exciting news I have discovered one very beneficial outcome that comes with delivering a baby that weighs over 4.5 kilos is that it is the bloody quickest weight loss regime ever! Literally nearly 5 kilos a gonski in less than 1 minute!

I have to admit the hubby-bird and I had this delusional romantic idea of the moment that our other birdies would meet their new little person. We were sure the birds would croon, the angels would sing and we would have a wonderful photograph of all the love. In reality, when the toddler-bird and kid-bird met their new little sister it was definitely less than a magical hallmark moment. Kid-bird walked in and spontaneously burst into tears because she wanted a brother NOT ANOTHER SIIIISSSSSTER! The toddler-bird didn’t care nearly as much. She was simply there for the hospital custard and free apple juice. When we asked if she wanted to kiss her sister we were met with a solid eye roll and a statement consisting of “She stinks weird. Maybe we should sell her back to BigW”. Such a solid family moment to remember for ever.

text

They like each other now.. mostly

If you know me at all you will know that I am a complete tragic royals fan. They are just coolest and I am crushing hard. Well, this chick Kate (she’s like totes the duchess) is my unrequited best mate. We are BFF’s (but she just doesn’t quite know that yet). Anyhoo, she also had a bambino this week and it was PINK! Pink ones are the best, but admittedly I am a smidgeon biased because I am the mother to only pink dragons. BUT there is an issue in our wonderful imaginary friendship and that is that she stole my baby name. We both have new little Charlottes which is definitely going to be akws when we are at the park together sipping tea and one of us yells at our Charlotte to stop licking the slippery dip… Okay, princesses probably don’t lick stuff, I am sure she has people that do that for her and I spose probably thousands of other Strayans also have Charlottes, but you know that aren’t friends with my mate Kate. I like her, and she sent me this card with a virtual high-fiver so we have moved on and are BFFing all over the place again.

Charlotte #2 (1)

I hope to be back on board and publishing on the blog again soon, just depends on the state of Mount Washmore in the spare room, ahem, I mean nursery and on how long the little birdie keeps me in this state of eat. Sleep. Repeat.

I do want to share that later we will be running a competition giving one very lucky nester the opportunity to win a photography session with the very talented team at No Added Cheese! This is a special competition for one very deserving mama. WATCH THIS SPACE!!

Thanks for all the well wishes you beautiful Nesters!

CentralNestSignature