{The Nest Writes} Why I let my daughter watch the news

The world has been quite senseless lately and as an adult I have days where I really am struggling to understand the whys. Having said that, I still find myself aching to know what is happening around the world and who it is affecting.

I have heard that a lot of people are stopping their children from being exposed to the news. That people are blanket banning news from their homes and in particular the eyes and ears of their children.

I am the opposite, don’t get me wrong I don’t sit on the lounge with my six year old and make her watch the graphic London footage, but it is on in the background. Her father and I continue to have conversations about events like those that are shaping our world.

My daughter understands that sometimes bad things happen to good people and that you can’t live your life in fear. She recognises that there are extreme people who don’t represent all people and they choose to do nasty things.

Just last night I had a discussion with her about different faiths and how you can’t simply categorise all people into the same basket. The conversation started because she had heard the term “All Muslims are terrorists”.

We spoke about how the Islamic faith is actually one of the most peaceful religions in the world, but that some people choose to interpret it entirely differently. Much like how some people can choose to read the Catholic bible differently to most.

A six year old has blind faith and she doesn’t see a reason to discriminate or judge others and that is the exact reason why I think it is important for her to see what is happening in the world. I don’t want her to hear parts of news, jokes or judgments from small minded people and think that’s how we should all feel.

I have zero psychological qualifications and to be honest am probably breaking some cardinal rule that I am not aware of but if I engulf her with protection now and ban all news reporting and coverage then how does she build her own impression of the world? airport copy

There are some really horrible things that happen in the world but I can’t change those things. What I can do instead, is to start a conversation with her.

We heard on the news a few weeks ago about a baby that had been abandoned by his mother, so that started a brief conversation about mental health and depression and the importance of watching those around us for signs.

We saw another story about a 13 year old who had reportedly been approached on the way to school by a strange man. So this time we were able to discuss the importance of stranger danger and being aware of our surroundings.

On the news we saw Prince Harry and his involvement in the Invictus Games. So that started a conversation about wounded war veterans and the support they might need when they return home.

We watched an article about childhood obesity rising in Australia so we were able to discuss ‘sometimes foods’ and the importance of exercise.

My greatest fear is that if I protect her too strongly one day she will realise what a lie she has been told. I think it is really important not to raise a naïve little person who does not see the difference between good and evil, and as unfortunate as what it is, if she doesn’t also see bad she won’t be able to appreciate the endless good that also exists.

I want my children to ask questions, I need them to want to justify things that are completely unjustifiable. The reason for this is so they can understand just how unfair the world can be. I don’t want her to grow up believing that everything will go her way because sometimes life doesn’t discriminate the goodies from the baddies but regardless you still have to stay a goodie.

I truly believe that anything that starts a conversation is good, she needs to feel free to approach me about things she hears or how it affects the world around her. Turning off the news only shelters them for a little while and isn’t it better to let them learn coping skills instead?

I would love to hear your opinions, maybe I am completely off-field but in a world that is changing and evolving ever so quickly it’s nice to have an open discussion already on foot about all types of topics with the youngest minds around us.

 

{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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{The Nest Writes} Why I no longer say “have a great day”

Why I no longer say have a great day.

A little while ago I said to my daughter as she clambered out of the car in front of her school “have a great day honey”, she said “I will, I always do”. When I picked her up that afternoon I said “Did you have a great day?”. “Yep” she said. Always wanting more information I pushed “So, what did you do?”. “Nothin’ mama”. “So did you learn anything”. “Nope”. “Who did you play with?”. “Don’t remember”.

I was deflated, she either didn’t have fun, she didn’t want to tell me or she simply could not be stuffed mustering the effort to involve me in her day.

So, my new plan was hatched.

The next morning we pulled into the illegal bus zone and as she collected her belonging I said “Honey, have a great adventure today”. She paused and inquisitively looked at me. “what did you say mama?”. I smiled at her and said, “Have a great adventure”. She giggled, kissed my cheek and her skinny, lanky little legs climbed over the front seat and out the door. a1

When I pulled up that afternoon, she came running to the car. She was almost breathless and said “mama, I had a great adventure, today I had a great adventure!!”. She then went onto to tell me the story of her adventure “Well, this morning I dropped all my library books but a girl I didn’t know from year 4 helped me pick them up. Then my teacher, you know ma, that lady that is like you but at school? Yeah her well, she sang a song about a goanna and made us pretend to be goannas. Do you know how hard it is to be a goanna mum?? Then at lunch we found a lizard in the back oval, but we didn’t touch it cause Finn said they can bite. Then I drew a picture of an owl, it was funny because I thought the blue crayon was actually purple! But it wasn’t HA! Then it was time to come home and you are here!, so a pretty interesting adventure today”.

I was shocked to see the same blonde haired babe who yesterday barely managed to mumble two words remembering in such detail what she had experienced that day. 

I realised she had done nothing new or vastly different from her normal days at school, but instead just paid more attention to the mundane everyday adventure of her life so she could tell me all about her ‘great adventure’. a2

So, I tried it the next day and the next.

Every single day it worked. She would collect into her little memory bank the list of stories to tell me about her great adventure each day. It was like the way she looked at her day had changed, she all of sudden paid a little more attention to each small adventure she experienced each day.

So in our family we no longer do “have a great day”, we are a family of “have a great adventure”.

Give it a try, you might be surprised.

 

{The Nest Writes} No one told me how much I would miss her

My oldest child started big school this year and while she is loving it and fitting in well, no one told me just how much I would miss her.

I think I spent so much time getting ready for the big milestone, buying uniforms, arranging a lunch box and preparing for the first day that I didn’t really stop to think about what my new life without her by my side would be like.

I miss her. Every single day. anni bw

I miss our lunches together. I miss the endless questions. I miss the random declarations of love. I miss chasing the dog and going to the park. I miss taking her to the pool or grabbing a milkshake. I miss the freedom to do a day trip.

What I have realised is that now she belongs to someone else. Between 9 and 3 every day she has to be with someone else and that is really strange.

For five years we spent each and every day exploring the world together. Some days were great adventures, other days were nothing more than snuggles on the couch and cartoons, but they were often the best days.

I know its not just me, her sister misses her madly. She has not known a world without her sister in it every day. She is lost and bored trying to learn how to entertain herself.

I miss hearing her ‘play’ voice, her bossy voice, her laugh.

I have to be honest, I also miss the extra set of hands to help with the baby.

I miss baking together, visiting daddy at work or drawing. I miss our long walks, our trampoline battles and random dance-offs.

Each afternoon she comes home filled with information and stories about what she has learnt that day and what new adventures she has completed. Without me. She is out exploring this big world without her mummy.

I just wish I had known how much I would miss her.

So while I say go forth my little girl into the world for all to see, just remember mummy will always be here at home waiting for you.

{Raising Little People} Single mother by choice, not circumstance

Having a child is a massive decision, probably the most important choice of your life.

So what happens if you don’t want to do it like everyone else?

Here is an interesting view on Being a Single Mother by Choice.

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No two families are the same and what works for one family may not work for another. At least this lady is honest. This is what she wanted and what she stands by.

Good luck to Katy Chatel with her son Jessey.

Happy reading Nesters x

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{The Weekly Nest} This week we endured tantrums, bunnies and the evolution of Mondee Night Trackie Night

This week has been a beautiful one in our little nest. We have received many new ‘likers’ on Facebook and we send out a massive high-five to all of you for sharing the love!CentralNestBlogNew

In our personal nest we are eagerly counting down the days until our new little birdy comes to say hello. I swear the last month of pregnancy has about 474,096 days..

It has been a testing week with the toddler-bird this week, the hubby-bird and I have started a daily announcement of ‘and today’s tantrum proudly bought to you by…’ tantrum

Here are some of the fabulous discussions we have entered this week:

                And today’s tantrum is proudly bought to you by:

  1. Because mummy refused to ring the firetruck people and tell them to come to our house so we can sign ‘hi’ to a fireman.
  2. Because mummy wouldn’t stop the rain
  3. Because the toy phone rang and Gracie wouldn’t take the call. Gracie is the dog.
  4. Because mummy wouldn’t ‘re-wrap’ the banana
  5. Because we wouldn’t paint our 4wd red instead of black
  6. Because we weren’t allowed to play with the garden edger
  7. Because we used the green cup, not the blue one.
  8. Because we used the blue cup, not the green one.
  9. Because they baby didn’t ‘hatch’ yet.
  10. Because we ran out of grapes.
  11. Because the cat didn’t want a hug.
  12. Because the mailman went past too quick.
  13. Because daddy went to work.
  14. Because the dog licked the door.

In other news, next weekend is a LOOOONG weekend (thank goodness!) and while you are sha-lumping around in a sugar coma from all the chocolate you will inevitably devour we have found some Black and White Bathroom inspo for you! Make sure you wrangle your own hubby-bird and head to Bunnings and get some shit sorted! ASAP.

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Gorgeous Bathroom Inspo for you!

We found a really interesting article that proved to be quite popular on the blog this week. The 6 Signs You’re Done Having Babies really hit home with some of our beautiful  Nesters. Some said they had that ‘gut’ feeling that they were done and some said they were still waiting on that feeling to hit. We love hearing from you and appreciate when you take the time to share your feelings and experiences with the little nest community.

 We discovered some brilliant Non-Chocolate Easter Gift Ideas this week for you, everyone gives chocolate but how about thinking outside the chocolate box this year? There is something in there for everyone! Something to keep, something to remember, something to keep the blood-sugars level!

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If you are looking for a tear-jerker read while sipping your warm cuppa then our story on The Most Powerful Thing You Can Say To Another Mother really tugged at the heartstrings. It shows that underneath it all we are bound by this invisible ribbon that ties all mama-birds together.

Another great style-go-to we learnt about this week was Chi Khi. To say we LOVE this new brand is the world’s biggest understatement! Kick-started by the beautifully talented Natalie Bassingthwaighte they offer funky, unisex designs for the most precious cargo of all, our little birdies. Add this site to your favourites like yesterday!

Whilst perusing our calendar (because you know, we are cool like that!) we realised that school holidays are only a sniff and fart away! If you are looking for something fun to keep your little birdie entertained these holidays then check out the awesome timetable from Bathurst PCYC. Offering everything from Circus Skills to Rock Climbing they surely have something to keep your mini-me occupied!

Another article that really resonated with you this week was our story about sisters.  Sometimes Sisters are like Blisters, Irritating and Annoying, But The There Are Other Times. Whilst bloody frustrating sometimes they are your ‘people’ and will always be there for you. Share this with your people.

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This week led to our life-changing discovery of Spylight. Now, let me break this down to you, you can actually purchase the look of your favourite TV star and have it sent directly to your home whilst in your trackie daks on a Mondee Night! How bloody sensational is that. Basically as soon as the episode airs the site uploads the look for you to buy!

Early in the week we found an article that while it discusses a less-than-fun topic it is really something you should consider. The reason why you should read 7 Signs You’re In An Unhappy Marriage is because it may just save your own relationship.

If you are looking to get out and about this weekend why not check some of these out?

  • Gold Crown is galloping forward this weekend! For more information check out www.goldcrown.com.au
  • Check out the Pop Up Cellar Door at Crago Mill Emporium in Piper Street, Bathurst on Saturday 28 March 2015 at 11am. You can sample local produce and wine. Plus loads of cheese and antipasto share platters!
  • On Friday 27 March 2015 the finals for the Elephant and Castle DJ of the Year are being held. Check out some fantastic talent.
  • The pioneer picnic is on Sunday 29 March 2015 from midday in Stanley Street opposite Old Government Cottage.
  • The PCYC has a safe drivers Course for Learner Drivers running this Sunday 29 March 2015 at 10am. Contact 6331 2191 for more information.weekend

With love,

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{Raising Little Birdies} 6 Signs you’re done having babies

They say you know.

That is it just a feeling you get.

Deep down in your gut, you know you’re done. cot

Essential Baby has put together a list of 6 Signs You’re Done Having Babies

I am yet to reach this point (which is brilliant considering I am expecting a new little bird in the next few weeks!) but I have some close friends who have and I am assured that this is definitely true!

Happy reading Nesters x