{The mama life} Here’s a Guide to Better Skincare

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Photo by rawpixel.com on Unsplash

Giving and caring so much for others makes mamas forget that they have to first take care of themselves. When was the last time you pampered yourself with some spa time or a night out with the girlfriends? Chipped fingernails, frizzy lifeless hair and dried out skin shouldn’t be your daily pesky Good Morning! Even with little time and no budget you should be able to afford the beauty care which you deserve. Here are some no-fooling tips to look flawless and with the slightest effort.

No more bad hair days

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Photo by Nina Strehl on Unsplash

It is astonishing how mamas manage to hocus-pocus tasty snacks with basically nothing left in the fridge. They tend to forget though that some very basic beauty care ingredients are right in front of their noses. If your hair is too oily, apply on dry hair a mixture of ¼ cup vinegar and grated peel of one lemon. Allow it to set for some 15 minutes and rinse with plenty of water. This hair mask will remove any buildup from hair products and excess oil from your scalp, balance hair´s natural pH levels and even cure dandruff.

In case your hair is frizzy and ruptured go for this moisturising mask. Mix together 1 whole ripe avocado (or banana), 1 tsp honey and 1 tsp olive oil. Apply it on dry hair starting from the hair ends. Let it set for about half an hour and then rinse in the shower.

For extremely damaged hair, try this creamy leave-in conditioner. 2 tsp slightly melted coconut oil, 4 tsp aloe vera gel, and 1 tsp avocado oil mix well together and apply on hair.

To achieve a popular sun-kissed wavy effect, you can also opt for clip in hair extensions.

The second baby face

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Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

Mamas are always there to remind us to put on sunscreen, wash our face and leave that pimples be. But when it comes to looking after their own skin, they are a lot more neglectful. This is especially true of new moms who barely get a shuteye. Still, try to follow a basic skincare routine. Always remove your makeup and clean your face the moment you’re behind the house door. To avoid dark pigmentation spots, wear a sunscreen or stick to an SPF moisturiser. And we can’t stress enough the importance of being moderate. Before going to bed apply a retinol serum on the problematic areas only and leave the rest of your skin to breathe and rejuvenate during sleep. Our skin can endure only so many products. It is best if these are light concoctions made of organic ingredients. For this reason, and to effectively beat tiredness and waning youth, go for natural and nutritious products. You’ll never go back to your old skin care routine.

Warrior pose

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Photo by Dmitry Kotov on Unsplash

Just like with using only selected quality products which will repair rather than leave more damage, you should also care more for your whole body and well being. So, no smoking, moderate drinking, and if possible, avoid eating fast food on the go. Most of these are coping mechanisms for the times we are fighting stress and anxiety. Include daily workouts in your routine and remember to stay hydrated. There are many apps to help you stay on track with this. Register for a yoga and meditation class. This way you’ll relax, tone your body and meet new friends.

Where is your lunch box?

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Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Your body cannot function properly without a healthy and balanced diet. This is what kids hear on a daily basis, but parents forget to take proper care of their own well being. How often did you hear yourself say, I’ll eat later or what’s left, Don’t worry about me, I’ll get something outside. Even if your family is devoted wholeheartedly to a healthy lifestyle, sometimes you just don’t have the time.

One excellent cheat sheet is to cook a couple of days ahead. Make some yummy quinoa salad with vegetables or dried fruits and nuts. It’s packed with protein, fibres and vitamins. Check store-bought food for too much added sugar. Keep your plate jazzy and colourful.

Day in day out, try to kick out one bad habit and embrace positive change.

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{The Nest Writes} Breastfeeding is the lazy option..

Breastfeeding is the lazy option.

Hang on, before you lynch me and throw your mean words my way just hear me out.

When breastfeeding works it is the easiest, simplest thing in the world. Let me lay it down for you. Feeding your babe at 3.27am consists of rolling to the right, unhooking your bra strap and whacking out your bosom into your bambino’s eager lips. You lay there in the warm embrace of your flannelette sheets, drifting between delicious moments of sleep and awake. In this loving haze you manage to nourish your little one in the most natural of ways.

That’s when it works.

I recently ran into an old friend (read: I use the term ‘friend’ loosely after this most recent encounter) who also has a daughter about the same age as my toddler-bird. We smiled nicely at each other and exchanged random pleasantries about the bouncing new bundles we each held in our arms. She then mentioned a conversation that she had had with a mutual friend of ours regarding an article that I had written on the blog about the troubles I had breastfeeding my first child. It was an article I had written about being confronted by a stranger for bottle feeding my child in public. You can read it here -> ‘Bad Cow’

We stood there admiring each other’s new babes jovially laughing about the lack of sleep, the poo charts and how quickly they grow. Then she said: “So, have you managed to sort yourself out this time with the breastfeeding or did you just give up and resort to the bottle again?

EXCUSE ME?

What. The. Actual. Fuck.

A blaze of fury engulfed me.

Had I sorted myself out? Like I hadn’t tried hard enough? I just thought I would give up and use the bottle because, you know, that’s easier.

Should I just get a shirt that says I am a breastfeeding failure?

The reality of feeding your new baby for many people isn’t quite as simple as ‘sorting yourself out’.

When breastfeeding doesn’t work, feeding your baby can become an arduous and labouring endeavour every single day.

For me it doesn’t work.

I tried. Fuck I tried.

The first 12 weeks of my darling girl’s life revolved around hospital trips and lactation specialists. This wonderful exclusive breastfeeding that everyone pushed me to do led to my daughter losing 12% of her body weight within a couple of days. The paediatrician told us we would have to comp-feed her otherwise he would admit her to hospital.

I met with lactation specialists. Three of them. Each of them confirmed that she attached well I just simply didn’t have enough milk. One even suggested that had I had an average sized baby that I probably would have been able to feed her, but since she was nearly 5 kilos born that she needed more milk than I could provide. I didn’t have enough milk for my own child.

Basically I was a failure. I wasn’t able to exclusively breastfeed my little person.

I took medication that gave me headaches, but they said it might just increase lactation.

I developed a great relationship with the health food store who helped provide me with natural supplements.

I baked cookies with brewer’s yeast. I made lactation protein balls.

I set my alarm so that I could pump while my new babe slept. I spent more time in those first few weeks pumping than cuddling.

I spent a magnitude of money on the best breast pump. I tried nipple shields because someone suggested it may help. I even resorted to a supplemented feeding tube.

Don’t you tell me I didn’t try.

When breastfeeding works it is great. There is no steralisation of bottles, no jumbled trips to the only supermarket in town that sells your baby’s formula, no remembering not to boil the jug if your baby will need a feed in the next hour. Instead, you untie your breast and your little one has instant room service.

That is when it works.

Sometimes it just doesn’t work.

Some women exclusively breastfeed. Some women formula feed. Some women mix both.

If you can exclusively breastfeed good on you. You’re a star.

If you formula feed good on you. You’re a star.

I continued to comp-feed my daughter and still do. We still enjoy the time of a morning breastfeed before she is compensated with formula throughout the day.

Each time I pour sterilised water into her bottle I flinch at the comments and judgments of those who tell me I haven’t tried hard enough.

You do not know what other mothers are going through. Every single one of us is doing our damn best. How about instead of tearing each other down we put out messages of support.

It doesn’t matter how you feed your baby just nourish them, whether it comes from a breast or a bottle.

To all the mamas, I gotcha back. I know you are doing your best x

coco3

This is my Coco and she seems to be alright…

Happy health Nesters x

 

 

 

{Raising Little People} Parental Sleep Deprivation is where it’s at…

Parenting truly is wonderful and special and lovely. You are moulding the future generations, you are caring for those that are unable to exist without you. It truly is a privilege to shape the future.

Having said that, sometimes it’s shit.

Your tired and grumpy and cranky.

The fabulous team at The Motherish have put together a very accurate article about the various Stages of Parental Sleep Deprivationsleep

It is funny and honest.

Make sure you share it with the mamas and papas around you.

P.S Thanks to the wonderful Nester Simone for sharing this with us!

Bliss is.. Not drinking lava in the laundry

Before becoming a mama-bird I had visions of long cuddles with a sweet curly haired child who spoke politely and thoughtfully. We would have hours of blissful moments reading together, making cookies and having long walks in the park. We would play tennis. We would learn French. What a blissful life we would lead.

O, how wrong I was.keep-calm-and-hide-to-drink-tea

Now what this mama-bird has come to realise is that a blissful moment comprises of watching my children NOT wipe snot on each other whilst I hide in the laundry, slurping impatiently on my scalding hot cup of tea.

Said tea is hotter than volcanic lava as it has been reheated 4 times in the microwave because baby-bird has already needed two baths, 3 changes of clothes, 2 bottles, one mix of pears and rhubarb and a milk-arrowroot biscuit. Toddler-bird is on her third bowl of weetbix and is demanding hummus and carrots (but the carrots must be cut in long pieces just like on TV mama, you know like on ‘Mastersheve’). All before 10am.

Hiding, taking refuge, Patiently standing in the laundry sipping tea is completely fine. I am not ‘one of those parents’. You know the ones that can’t even drink of cup of tea in the mornings. This mama-bird is completely in control. There is no fear to be smelt here.

Having said that, what this mama-bird is starting to realise is that bliss are the days when you don’t have to try and convince the lady at the bakery that the weird green substance on your shoulder (read: regurgitated broccoli) is the new black.

Bliss are the days where you haven’t felt obliged to provide an afternoon seminar dedicated to learning why it is not appropriate to feed cat food to baby-bird. EVEN if she does seem to like it.

Bliss are the days where you are not found topless, straight from the shower, caught mid-run by the postman at the front door, chasing toddler-bird down the hallway because she is armed with a handful of sultanas, talcum powder and a stapler.

Bliss are the days where toddler-bird’s invisible frenemy, Kevin (the dragon) does not magically jump out from behind the fridge and make toddler-bird squeal. EVERY 3 MINUTES

Bliss are the days where a lecture on social security is not required. Just in case you missed it, yesterday’s topic was learning the importance of not hiding mama-bird’s keys in the letterbox. I am sure Parliament House will release a statement soon.

Bliss are the days when you are able to go to the bathroom (alone) and not return to find toddler-bird showing baby-bird what snow is. Using 1 kilogram of uncooked rice.

Bliss are the days where you are able to answer your IPhone without it being covered in gravy or spit or really any non-Apple approved substance.

Bliss are the days where you don’t have to remind toddler-bird that the cat does not like when you chase him, let alone when you try teaching him to drink apple juice… through a straw. Please stop. Love mama-bird.

Sometimes though, bliss really is watching baby-bird play peek-a-boo, behind a clear water bottle.

Bliss really is when you catch toddler-bird telling baby-bird that she is glad papa-bird ‘bought’ her from Target.

Bliss really is when toddler-bird declares to her kindy class that ‘mama & papa are my best friends’

Bliss really is seeing two little birds building a strong relationship that will take them into the big world together one day.

Bliss really is, when all is quiet, everyone is asleep. You take a sip of your appropriately heated tea and realise that you cannot wait to see what sort of day tomorrow is.