{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.

claire-hastingslifestyle-fashion

 

{The Nest Writes} What I wish I knew before her

Before having children I thought I was complete. I liked myself, my husband and the little life we were building together. We were two people that together faced the world and lived a life of adventure, travel and snuggly movie nights on the lounge.

Our life was lovely, but we decided not long after being married that it was time we extended our family to include a new little human.

Putting aside the fact that creating a human life is absolutely tremendous and amazing, it is a pretty damn extraordinary that a whole person (or three!) would not exist if my husband and I had never met.

Like most young couples we were excited and nervous to start trying, thankfully we didn’t have to wait long before those little blue lines confirmed that our lives would be changing forever.

I don’t think you can ever prepare yourself for the introduction of a child into your life, I know for sure that no matter how many books you read or how many classes you attend that you never will really know the power of a child on your life until you hold your own babe in your arms.

Having been around children my whole life (I was the oldest of five, with my brother being 12 years younger than me!) I thought I was all over it. I knew how to change a dirty nappy, how to prepare a bottle. I knew how to read nursery rhymes and how to wash singlets. They are all the things I knew how to do, but parenthood is so very much more than that. It’s so much more than the things to do, it’s the feels that are the strongest.family

So, I wrote this letter to pre-baby me…

Dear Me,

So, you’re going to be a mum. Congratulations!

I need you to know though, you are about to change in more ways than you will ever really know. Parenthood is overwhelming and suffocating. It is the longest marathon of your life, blended seamlessly with numerous amounts of sprints that are over before you know it. It is empowering and satisfying. Devastating and uplifting.

I think the part you are likely to struggle with the most, is the eternally paramount urge to worry. You will worry about everything. Has your baby eaten enough, does she weigh enough, is that rash normal, is she smiling early enough. That’s the strangest part, the worry begins long before you even held her in your arms. You will worry about the foods you eat during pregnancy, worry about how many kicks you feel, worry about giving your new little person a name and how that name will grow with her over the years.

The worrying during parenthood is completely overwhelming, it never truly ends. To be honest you have always had a moderate level of anxiety that you have managed quite well during your life, but be prepared for the fact that suddenly those anxiety levels are going to be heightened exponentially.

Elizabeth Stone once said that “Making the decision to have a child is momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.” I really believe that no truer words have ever been spoken. Once you have a child you are no longer one. There is a part of you that exists outside of yourself.

That is the really difficult thing to get used to, the fact that you are responsible for another entire human life. A few days after her birth, your husband will return to work. The visitors will stop coming. It will just be you and your little pink bundle left alone together. The responsibility you feel will be encompassing, but my darling, so too is your instinct. That’s the thing no one really tells you about. Deep inside, somehow, you just know what to do.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not easy! but, somehow you survive. You learn, you develop, you grow.

After a couple of days you will know her tired cry and her hungry squeal. You will learn that she likes to be patted on the back when going to sleep and does not like her feet being touched. You will learn that she likes cuddles but won’t fall asleep in your arms. Like anything it will get easier the more time that goes by.

Darling, the challenges are strong; the lack of sleep is a killer. Everything is worse when you are tired, everything is harder, everything is tougher. I promise though, it doesn’t last forever. One day, when you don’t even realise, it is you who wakes during the night and not your baby. Then the next night the same thing happens until one morning you wake up and realise you both slept throughout the whole night.

I just say, take the time to breathe in those sleepy moments, while it may not feel like it when you are buried in the trenches of sleeplessness, those little moments of you and your baby in the cool hours of the morning will be gone before you realise. The dark mornings are quiet and a wonderfully brilliant time to bond. There is no distraction, just you and your little one.

As they grow the worrying just gets worse, on their first day of school you are likely to cry, not because you are necessarily sad but because you are proud, you are realising your little baby is growing into a unique little person of her own. You will not be able to fight their battles for them, nor make sure everyone is nice. You little person needs to find their own place in the world. Just know though, you have done everything you can to prepare her.

You heart will bound when she takes her first steps, starts to run and learns to jump. Just as you start to think she no longer need you, a little voice will cry out for you in the night and you will be reminded that the little part of you on the outside is still only young and vulnerable and in desperate need of her mummy.

Your heart will break the first time she comes home crying because someone was mean to her. You will want to fight the battle for her and march into the school, but instead you have to teach her to be brave. Teach her to stay strong and teach her to take a stand.

Above all, the most devastating moment of your life will be when she gets hurt. It will literally feel like you are breaking into a million pieces. The pain associated with a sick child is nearly unbearable and you will feel desperately hopeless. on the flip-side there is no moment greater in life than seeing your child healthy and, even more importantly happy.

It is so easy to become engulfed in your new little person but remember those other people around you. Make time to be with your husband. A baby is an extension of your relationship, not the only glue that joins you together. You had a wonderful life together before so work hard to keep that spark alive. It will be hard, but he is worth it. You are worth it.

You will realise how easy it is to make sacrifices for another person. The last piece of cake, the rest of your pay check, the chance to go exploring the world yourself. Funny enough though, the price you pay in sacrifice is nothing compared to what you get in return.

So, my dear, you will never be the same, but you will be a better kind of different. You will learn patience and resilience. You will instinctively become protective of this small little human. You will forever be changed because a little part of you is now roaming around on the outside. Don’t give yourself too many heavy expectations, just aim to raise a little person who is happy and kind. She doesn’t need to be the best at everything, really at the base of it, she just need not be a jerk.

Embrace it the journey. AND remember, sleep is for the weak.

Love from,

Post-child you. 

Audrey&Mama

{This is life} Why I run to save my mind

This is an article contributed by one of our fabulous nesters. She chooses to remain anonymous, and we are super okay with that! So, let’s keep it positive and supportive and let her know she is not alone x

watercolourPreface: I wrote this not because I’m pro running or I wanted to encourage people to exercise. Not because I wanted to shame people who sleep train or those who don’t. I wrote this for the all mums who are at their wits end. To the ones who don’t get regular breaks from their children. To the ones whose kids don’t sleep. The ones who feel their control slipping, their world crumbling. The ones who are dying inside.

You, you reading right now, you’ve got this.

You can.

So find what works and do it! Do it every damn day until everything finds its place. I promise that this too shall pass xxx

Let’s talk exercise. It’s always been proudly a word that wasn’t in my vocabulary. Although I consider myself an fairly active person, I mow the lawns, walk my boys to school and I’ve always been the mum that chases her kids at the park. But I’m talking formal exercise. The kind the makes me sweat. A lot. To be honest, it’s not really my cup of tea.

Last year in August I found my mental health slipping, my youngest was nine months and had never really slept, he was, and still is really hard work. My gorgeous little bundle of joy has been a right handful since the day I met him. My baby, he doesn’t like to be carried or cuddled but at the same time doesn’t want you out of sight! Before he could move on his own that would make for a stupidly hard situation. Pick him up to carry him he would thrash and squirm and squeal. Walk to put the washing on and not take him with you?

Stage 10 meltdown.

What am I supposed to do with that?

Getting him to sleep was hard. He never wanted to be cuddled to sleep. He wouldn’t lay in our bed. I couldn’t bare to leave him to cry. How was I supposed to get this kid to sleep? Everyday,  for every sleep I would put him in the cot. He would cry. I would pick him up and try to cuddle him and he would squirm until I put him back down.

Over and over and over.

Sometimes I could power walk him around the house in the carrier, but he was getting heavy and once he was asleep apin drop would wake him. I could never transfer him to the cot, so I would have to sit slumped over with him asleep on my back crying, balling.

The struggle was real.

I was convinced I had post natal depression. I went to the doctor. I begged for help. I asked anyone that would listen for more than five minutes. No one had any advice. Usually as a parent you are surrounded by people who love to dish out unsolicited parenting advice but when you actually ask for it you get nothing.

Tresillan was all I was offered over and over. I read their parent information book so many times. Their sleep School techniques just weren’t for me.

I yelled at my husband. I blamed him because I couldn’t make it work. I was being pushed into a corner, being forced to do something I didn’t want to do because the alternative was dire, really dire. I was on the edge.

It effected my whole life. I couldn’t remember taking my older boy to school. I would constantly lose things.

My patience was gone.

When the baby did finally sleep, I would lay there so consumed by my exhaustion it was take hours for me to drift off. I was the kind of tired that “here I’ll take you baby for an hour just couldn’t fix” I would laugh at the suggestion, not that it was offered often. Unless you’re taking him for a week, there’s no need to bother. That hour would only be used laying in bed thinking, trying to fall asleep only to have the knock on the door and reality to be staring me back in the face.

I went to a therapist, I told her I was depressed. She assured me that is was indeed just suffering from extreme exhaustion.

It takes a village to raise a baby and my village is small, really small. I passed the baton and that was it. It was my husband’s turn.

My husband,  my hero.

He took the night shift from that day, very day. Every shift. For the next month I slept, every night. I woke up every time the baby made a sound but I slowly drifted back off.

After two weeks, I decided I was going to make a change. I couldn’t just hope forever that sleep was coming. I was now convinced that the baby would never sleep through the night and this was my forever.

So, I started running.shoes

I mostly started because listening to him wake up and cry, killed me. It was a reminder that although the nights are over, the days are here, I was on my own and they were even harder.

Every morning at 5am he would wake up screaming.

So. I set my alarm for 4:30am and run.

I ran from my problems, I ran from the baby and his cries, I ran from my life.

The problem is as I mentioned earlier, I had never actually exercised before. So, really, technically, I didn’t run. I walked, ran, stopped for a stitch and hobbled.

Then came home.  Every day.

Now I can run.

Now the baby sleeps through the night and he doesn’t wake up crying (probably because he sleeps through the night) and now when strangers say “what a happy baby” I don’t feel the urge to kick them in the shin.

Monday to Saturday  6 days a week I run. Not far. Only about 2.5kms to the end of my street and back.

Some days it’s easy, some days it’s hard.

I haven’t lost any weight and let me assure you, I’m not very good at it. You know those coordinated women on the Nike ad? Yeah, no, nothing like that. But everyday I get up and give it a go because I want my kids to know that even though they are hard work, it’s all about attitude. It’s all about trying, giving it a solid go. Not giving up when shits really fucking hard and to never ever be afraid to ask for help!

I found Instagram a place of inspiration and in particular @mrs_paulie. She is a powerhouse and has been my girl crush for so long it’s boardline stalkerish, check her out!

So on that note, Peace lovers This rad bitch is going for a run xxx

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{Parenting} Post natal neglect

Could this be the case? Could it be true that post natal depression is neglect?

I certainly believe this is probably the case.

This article, Post partum depression by Claudia Gold MD is certainly worth reading.

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Maybe it is society who needs to be diagnosed?

What do you think?

{The Nest Loves} 12 things I couldn’t live without – Spring 16 Edit

These are a few of my favourite things as we head into Spring 2016.

  1. Ronda Rousey – My Fight Your Fightrousey-book

This book has been a great companion of mine as we pop through into Spring. An easy reading, yet surprisingly inspirational read about one of the fiercest woman in the world. You can grab a copy from Booktopia.

2. Celine Shadow Sunglasses celine

Love is these sunglasses. They are fantastic this time of the year as they are not too dark unlike a few of my other pairs. Definitely an investment worth having.

3. Thermomix thermo

Once the spring fruit starts sprouting I love using the thermo to make jams and marmalades. Waste not want not and all that.

4. CR Mug cr-mug

Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Spring, summer, winter, autumn I need it for them all. Get yours from Country Road.

5. Samsung S7 Edge s7

I am never far from my phone it is my camera, my watch, my distraction, my calendar and above all it’s just mine.

6. ViraproX Lip Care viraprox

I tried this recently as a sample and since then have become a solid convert. It moisturises without being sticky and helps keep away bloody pesky cold sores. Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

7. Fresh Flowersflowers

These really are the simplest way to make your days happier. I love nothing more than spying a bunch of brightly coloured petals standing tall in the middle of the dining table. If you can’t be outside, bring the outside in! We loves these gorgeous posies from Vanessa Pringle Floral Designs

8. Bad sheets give me the shits cool-gret

Waking up in good sheets makes for better days. Trust me on that. Good sheets are worth their weight (x a bazillion) in gold. I am currently lusting after the cool grey linen sheets from the team at  InBed

9. Australian House & Garden house

My not so secret indulgence is losing myself in the beautifully curated pages of this magazine with a cup of tea and a strict do not disturb mummy policy for an hour at a time. I always come away afterwards feeling inspired and happy.

10. Clinique Moisture Surge Intense cream clinique

Makes your face prettier and stuff. Especially after all the artificial heating in winter.

11. Tiffany & Co Coin Purse coin-purse

I was given this beautiful little gift a few years ago by some gorgeous girlfriends of mine. I love pulling it out about this time every year because it fits so perfectly in my little handbag that can just be swung over my shoulder in a summer dress. Easy Breezy.

12. My Kikki-K Plannerkikki-k

This is literally the only thing that keeps my days ticking over and me not crumbling into a sad sack of shakiness in the corner. All my information in one stop. Job Done. Get yours from Kikki-k today.

What are your faves?

{The Nest Rant} To the super helpful 20-something…

| R A N T W A R N I N G |

This is to the SUPER helpful 20-something that told me yesterday in the supermarket that I “shouldn’t be SO stressed with my three little girls because her brother works fulltime, has four kids and handles it just fine”. Well woo-fucking-hoo.

You know what you tiny, clean, non-pelvic-floor-compromised person GET FUCKED. Don’t judge me, until you have walked in my shoes you don’t get an opinion. I have kept three little humans alive. Plus, they even usually use their manners. Like yesterday when they didn’t tell you to mind your own goddamn business.

I have pushed three children (including one just under five kilograms) out my very own vagine. My body has fed them. My brain has taught them. My mind has nurtured them. My heart loves them. So, if I’m a little stressed you don’t know what got me to that point.

Your brother might be doing a fantastic job and good on him, but I am doing my goddamn best and some days we eat spaghetti on toast for dinner. Whoa! I know that must be devastating to hear to a judgmental know-it-all like yourself.

You know what, I get to wake up everyday and see what it is like to be loved by a tiny squad of people I made myself and you have EXACTLY no idea how good that feels.

It may have been my choice to have children, but babez, it is also my choice not to listen to you and your small mindedness.parent3

End rant.

{The Nest Opinion} Why is returning to full time work after kids such a WHY idea?

Today one of our gorgeous Nesters, Viv Williams discusses the motherly guilt that accompanies the decision to go back to full time work after children… line4

So I made a choice towards the end of last year. Its been controversial, frightening and downright exhausting. But you know what, I’m happy.

I decided to return to full time work.

It’s actually quite crazy the dialogue this statement starts up, even now, when I type the words. “WHY?”;Oh I never want to be full time” “But how will your kids cope, they’re so little” “If this is your last baby, you won’t ever get this time off again” The thing that’s most alarming in that whole diatribe of questions is that few, if any, people actually said “Good for you”. I mean, let’s be honest here, it’s not like my choice is remarkable – but why is it still portrayed that way? Why in the 21st century is my desire as a woman, to have a career and goals outside my family such a WHY idea? Back to work

When I announced over dinner one night that I had decided to return to full time work (without any indication prior to this that id been considering it), the greatest fear for both my husband and my children in returning to full time work (that they verbalised) was “We just don’t want you to be cranky”. WOAH – had I been so miserable working prior to this, that full time work was to be feared? Well, yes. I’ve found my job as a teacher so difficult in so many ways over the years that I too wonder how I managed to get this far.

So I spent another month considering the decision. Was this desire to return to work so much about me I’d forgotten to consider the fall out? Or was I finally happy in my career choice, in the daily challenge? I spent a lot of time soul searching and considering what it was that elicited the ‘cranky’ in me. I spent so many days feeling inadequate and unable to make a decision that the ‘cranky’ showed up. I know this, because my Mr 7 mumbled under his breath on walking away from an instruction “She’s not even working today”. I just stood there, dumbfounded. What a light in the dark. The ‘cranky’ had nothing to do with working, and everything to do with how I felt about MYSELF!

So I’m back at work full time. As a supervisor told me “It will be both challenging and rewarding” and that statement is the definition of my life. Every day is a challenge and every day ends with the reward of three amazing little people, becoming more amazing under the guidance of their educators.

The greatest truth I’ve had to accept across this term (because my whole life revolves around school terms) is that I can’t be everywhere, and I cannot be 100% at work or at home. Its okay to admit that I am not a Supermum (a term I incidentally HATE because there’s nothing super about falling asleep without eating dinner or missing that your kid is feeling unhappy; it’s just LIFE). And honestly, that’s the thing – I am an awesome Mum (Thanks Miss 11), My Husband loves me (even though the last time we had a conversation not about the kids/work was a month ago) and my students are succeeding.

Ultimately, the decision was about what I needed and wanted, and about the love for my role as an educator. Roll the internal monologue – “Isn’t that kind of selfish”. NO!!!!

I made a decision about the way I can best support my family, by proving my advice to my kids on a daily basis – be the best version of YOU that you can be EVERY DAY; and for me, that’s being a working mum.

Viv is a fiercely independent woman who

Thanks Viv, your insight into this topic is brilliant, thanks for sharing with The Central Nest x