{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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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tracey clayton

{This is life} Radio Silence

So, the battery in my car died this week. I don’t know how it happened as I refuse to admit loudly to the hubs that he was correct in assuming that I left the lights on AGAIN.

So I am awaiting the installation of a new car battery in the next few days, it has been a frustrating experience, from making sure each time I park my car the nose is pointing in the right direction in case I need a jump start through to the petrol I am using by leaving my car running for fear of it dying again! The most infuriating problem however has been the fact that the auto security on my radio has kicked in and I need a code to restart it. So, because I told the hubs I knew EXACTLY where the car book was and refuse again to admit my failings in all things car-manual-organisation I have been living in silence. Radio silence. headphones

These are the things I have learnt in a week of radio silence.

I can hear fights before they happen.

This one surprised me. Seriously. All of a sudden because I am not distracted in co-song harmony with my gal pal Taylor Swift I can hear the nigglings of a fight between the natives before it even happens. An example was the one time I heard this “Nope, nope, nope. Tis mines piglet”. This was the undeniable rumbling of fisty-cuffs in the back seat. Due to my lack of audio interference I bounced my voice through the cabin and told the kid to return the piglet to the toddler. Problem solved even before it really began.

List it.

On my morning drive to work I have been making lists in my head of all the things and jobs and stuff that I have to get done. Due to the quiet inside the car I have had time to think about paying the phone bill, cancelling the kid’s doctor’s appointment and planning what we will have for dinner. It’s funny how the background radio sound cancels out the ability to think clearly about the mundane.

Grateful.

In the silence I have been compiling a list of things I am grateful for. The silence has given me the ability for mindfulness. Good health, a hard working and loving husband, kids that aren’t arseholes all of the time.

Pelvic time.

When I stop at the red lights or roundabouts I now have nothing better to do than my pelvic floor exercises. I mean 3.5 kids did exactly nothing good for that situation that I look for opportunities when I can.

Call.

I call all those people I haven’t had a chance to speak with lately. For some reason my radio won’t play music but will let me utilise the Bluetooth to call. So hello grandparents, long lost friends and doctor appointments. It’s totes multitasking.

So, while it may not be ideal it certainly has made me aware that sometimes radio silence is exactly what the doctor ordered.

 

{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.

 

{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.

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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.

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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!

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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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{The Weekly Nest} March week 2 in review

So in review of this week, we start with some good news, the hubby-bird and I survived operation ‘construct-Ikea-furniture’ without any blood being drawn, any serious threats of divorce or deadly insults. We survived and I am diggin’ the organisation that is finally starting to happen in our nest.

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It is funny during pregnancy how the little nesting vibe kicks in. All of a sudden I am on a rampage chucking stuff out, sending this to Vinnies and Martha Stewarting the shit out the place. The hubby-bird even joked that perhaps he should continue to knock me up every couple of years to maintain the world’s biggest spring clean. He is romantic like that.

In other ‘I-am-growing-a-massive-alien-in-my-belly-news’ my feet and ankles are still engorged. Now even my cankles have cankles AND what appear to fat rolls.

The toddler-bird kindly bought it to my attention yesterday that my toes look like mini-frankfurts now.  Such a kind kid that one. Really made my day hearing that fantastic observation from her.

In food news, this week one of our Nesters submitted a recipe for the most delicious Quinoa, roasted tomato, asparagus and goat’s cheese tart. We love when nesters get involved so if you have a family favourite that you would love to share please contact us! Thanks to Kellie for sharing this tart, it is healthy, delicious and a hit with the little birdies!

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Another important thing we discovered this week was the Best Metaphor that ever been made in the world. It relates to consent and it is so important that the message be spread far and wide. A cup of tea is all it takes to understand when consent exists and when it does not. What you need to do is save it and read it to your little girls in the future. You need to show your little boys. You need to make sure this message is everywhere. I just honestly cannot believe that it took someone this long to come up with it. tea

One of our most popular posts this week was some advice from our favourite kindergarten teacher, Miss Mac. She gave us some information on How to Settle In, Make Nice and Not Piss Off Your School. Starting school can be daunting but thanks to advice from Miss Mac you can help your child adjust quickly.
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In other potentially boring news for some of you, we re-branded the blog this week. We hope you like it! After looking at exactly one bazillion twelve hundred million ideas we settled on the girly, lovely flowers. We just love it. It makes us feel all warm and fuzzy in all the nice places. Plus, we have finally be able to order some business cards, so look out world! CentralNestBlogNew

Later in the week when we were desperately looking for ways to make life easier and we discovered Quick Hair To Get You There. Basically part of our life hack Friday collection it is a bunch of hair styles that only take a matter of second to do!

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Not much doing this weekend (thank Bon-Jovi). For the first weekend in a long time we aren’t going anywhere, doing anything, well no more than we have to anyway. If you are looking for something to do this weekend make sure you check out:

  • The Raglan Public School is holding a Spooky Twilight Fete on Friday 13 March 2015 from 4pm to 7pm.
  • The Bathurst Base Hospital Annual Fete (on the hospital grounds) on Saturday from 9am to 1pm.
  • The Stannies Autumn Fair/Open Day on Sunday from 11am.
  • Relay for Life
  • The NRL is hitting town at Carrington Park on Saturday. You can watch the Gold Goast Titans and Penrith Panthers. You can also catch the Titans Players at the Bathurst RSL from 6.30pm for a meet and greet Friday night!

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{The Weekly Nest} March Week One is Done

A week that was.

I want to start by making an announcement. A pretty damn exciting, announcement!

On Facebook we broke 1,000 followers this week! We could not be more thrilled! The support is overwhelming and gives us motivation to keep blogging!

Thank you to every single one of you that has ‘liked’ us on Facebook and shared the love of The Central Nest.

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Next announcement: I do not waddle. I just have found my pregnant swag.

So I have hit the 34 week pregnant mark and my feet are so swollen that is it like walking (READ: waddling) on water cannons. On the positive they do look strikingly similar to marshmallows, and EVERYONE loves marshmallows.. right?!! Still working, so quite gracefully using archive boxes to sit as lady-like as conceivable while having feet raised as close to the ceiling as possible.

My main drama is that I had to roll into Big W last week to buy new flats. I shit you not, I had to leave work at 11.16am to buy new shoes because my current ones no longer fit. I saw some nice ones. They didn’t fit either. So, I begrudgingly had to move to the size 11 aisle. #WhatHappensToWomenWhoNoLongerFitInSize11Shoes?

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Experiencing insomnia to the extreme. I spend the day dreaming about sleep only to lie in bed at night dreaming about sleep, but you know, without the actual act of dreaming. Which to be honest, turns into a tantrum at 3.06am every morning. Then when I am finally nearly to the lush land of sleep I realise that I have to pee for the 467,346,549th time that night. LOVING. PREGGO. LIFE.

Plus, then I saw a picture of my preggy mate, Princess Kate looking all non-swollen and glamorous and that just made me feel all non-wonderful. I mean, solidarity to the sisterhood.  Duchess of Cambridge at The Goring Hotel

I watched a video that made me have some feelings. The Skeletons Kissing video is just so lovely and nice and warm and fuzzy. I love this type of video when it goes viral. It makes you realise the world isn’t so shit after all. You should watch it and share it, and well pretty much tell the whole world about it.

This week in the news there has been little talk of much else except the death penalty and the Bali Nine ringleaders’ execution. I am torn, I work in law so totally understand the mentality of ‘you break the law, you have consequences’. But on the flip side I struggle to believe in a judicial system that does not allow or encourage redemption and rehabilitation. I am left just feeling sad with the whole situation. I struggle to accept that those responsible for the Bali Bombings that killed 202 people, including 88 of my fellow Australians are allowed to be released from prison, yet two men are to be shot dead for smuggling drugs into a country. It just seems unequal and imbalanced.

In lighter news we did stumble across the cutest little business this week. The Bump Box puts together gorgeous little gift boxes for my fellow preggy peeps and those with new little birdies. You can see ALL about them here -> The Bump Box. I tots have my eye on the monochrome boxes (oo la la!). bump

Another video that hit us straight in the feelings was Famous Women Reading Tweets About Themselves. To say I was pissed off afterwards is such an understatement. Keyboard warriors are just weak pieces of shit. You would NEVER say anything like this to someone like Lisa Wilkinson if you were face-to-face with her, so who do you think you are sending horrifically horrible tweets insulting her while you sit behind the protection of your computer screen? I passionately hate that social media has the ability to bring people closer together but at the exact same time has the capacity to bring so much hate.

I dragged the hubby-bird to Ikea last Sunday, you know because we needed one set of drawers for the little ladies’ bedroom. Somehow the place ate us up. We were there 5 hours and left with two sets of lockers, two tall boys and a bathroom vanity cupboard. Plus, some wall hung storage racks and some kitchen supplies. The hubby-bird was thrilled. So much so that he now refers to the place as ‘I-killya’. He is beyond ecstatic also that every single item we purchased is flat-packed. In unrelated news, I recommend avoiding our house this weekend in preparation of the inevitable flat-pack-tantrum-fight that will commence once the two of us attempt to build said furniture. P.S I am ALWAYS right and the hubby-bird simply does not listen when I read instructions correctly to him.  ikea

So in review this week we are angry at keyboard warriors. Pissed at unbalanced judicial systems and desperately wanting sleep.

We have developed our pregnant swag (READ: waddling) and despite the additional 158 pounds of water held non-discretely in our ankles and feet we are feeling fairly happy. Having said that, if you know of any solutions for water retention in feet during pregnancy PLEASE feel free to share them with me! Tips. Old wives tales. Anything!

We are staring down the barrel of a LONG weekend filled with flat-pack arguments but are optimistic that perhaps this time will be different.

Thanks for all your support this week Nesters!

Loads and lots and buckets of love,

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