Posted in Blogging, Parenting

It’s not my kids who are bored these school holidays – it’s me!

I just finished reading an article that was talking about how it’s ok for kids to be bored these school holidays. The writer explains how important it is for children to have down time and be able to use their imaginations to invent games and entertain themselves.

I wholeheartedly agree with this and I remember discussing the ‘amusing kids in school holidays’ subject with my Mum who told me she used to tackle it in this manner: one home day followed by one day out. Seems to be a good theory to me.

We are having a home day today: It’s nearly lunchtime and my kids are still in their pyjamas.

My son is happily creating and inventing with his Lego collection


and my daughter is taking all her soft toys on an adventure on her train made of my dining room chairs.


They are happy and enjoying not having to rush out the door and be anywhere in particular.

So, I have contented children and finally am allowed some peace and quiet and that highly desired ‘me time’. But now that I have it, I actually don’t know what to do with it! Can’t you believe it? Here I am sitting here starting to panic; I was so worried that my kids would be bored these school holidays, but it turns out it’s not them who are the bored ones – it’s me!

What to do? I make myself a coffee, get comfortable and dial the number of a good friend of mine that I haven’t spoken to in ages, hoping for a good ol’ catch up. However all I get is her answer phone!

I try again and call another friend for a chin-wag – answer phone again!

Sure, there is my house that I could clean …. but I must be able to think of something more enjoyable to do than that?

So, I find myself here, with you. Pouring out my random thoughts, wonderings and life’s quandaries … and I feel extremely grateful.

I am grateful for those of you who read my ramblings and I feel grateful that I created this little place on the online universe where I can just let it all out.

So thanks for listening reading and happy school holidays! (I hope you don’t get bored!)

Posted in Parenting

What happens when my kids find out I’m a fraud?

At the moment my children are at an age where I can comfort them, fix their problems and provide them answers … but what happens when this is no longer the case?

What happens when their problems can no longer be fixed with a tissue and a milkshake? What happens when they grow up and find out that I’m not perfect, I don’t know everything and I still don’t have life figured out?

Will they be disappointed? Or will they understand that parents, just like other people, are imperfect beings who make mistakes?

And what about the lies? Are we setting our kids up for reality or are we just setting them up to be disappointed?

When little Johnny says he wants to be a doctor when he grows up, what are we supposed to tell him? Do we encourage him and tell him he can be whatever he likes as long as he puts his mind to it or do we smile sweetly and reply “That’s nice darling, but you’re just not smart enough to be a doctor.”

By telling our children that participation is more important than winning and trying hard is more important than results, are we just setting them up to fail? What happens when they head off to embrace the big wide world on their own and they realise that society favours winners and rewards results – and as hard as they try, they may still not get what they want!

As a parent you are confronted with such conflicting ideas and advise on a daily basis and often wonder how to navigate your way through this minefield called parenting.

You want your child to never be sad or disappointed but you also know they need to develop resilience and learn strategies of how to cope in this world full of ups and downs.

It has been said that the generation I belong to (Generation X) are now finding themselves depressed and disappointed as we were told we could be anything, have everything and the world would be our oyster as long as we put in the effort. Then we grew up only to find out that this is not always the case and reality can look quite different altogether.

So, did our parents raise us wrong? Should they have told us some home truths at the age of eight and expect us to understand? Should they have told us we were ‘losers’ when we didn’t come first in a competition or win a race at school?

What is the right answer here? I, for one, am somewhat baffled and as usual don’t have the magic solution.

However, I know that, whether right or wrong, I want my children to be able to stay children for as long as possible. So, to this end, I will continue to encourage them to try hard, think big and if they grow up and life doesn’t meet their expectations I will comfort them and try to explain that I am only human and every decision I made and advise I imparted on them was always with their best interests at heart.

I hope they understand that although I may be a fraud and even a liar, I love them unconditionally and hope that their childhood will provide them with a foundation on which to grow into happy and healthy adults.

Posted in Parenting

Do You Realise There’s A Person Attached To These Boobs?

Nobody can really explain what it is going to be like when you have your first baby. That’s because no experience is the same and everybody’s birth story is unique. The only advice I can give mothers about to birth for the very first time is to “expect the unexpected.”

In fact, ‘unexpected’ pretty much sums up the birth of my first child. You see, when I was pregnant I had drawn up a pretty little birth plan requesting I receive a “natural water birth un-aided by drugs.” However, despite my well-laid plans, I ended up with 3 arduous days of labour and an emergency C-section! To this end, instead of picking out music to have playing in the birthing suite and choosing inviting fragrances to have wafting around, my time would have been much better spent choosing the appropriately sized spew bucket to have beside my bed and a range of Granny Undies to wear after the birth!

Photo Credit:

However, the labour and birth were not the only surprises and mysteries awaiting for me in the maternity ward. Something nobody told me about was the mysterious gowns they make you wear. Sure, it looked like I had expected with the depressing colour and ties around the back – but I never knew they were magic!

Let me explain: When I was in my normal clothes plenty of people were talking to me, asking how I was doing, giving me instructions etc – but as soon as I put that gown on everything changed. Suddenly it was like I had disappeared! People were still talking, but not to me. About me, but not to me. So, after a while I figured it out. This gown was like an invisible cloak, but in the reverse. It was obvious the mid-wives and doctors could see my body parts from the neck down as they were constantly talking about contractions, dilation and conducting examinations, but for the life of me I don’t think they could see my face – no friendly smiles or pleasant conversation. Obviously whatever was covered up by the gown was still visible, but those body parts not covered must have disappeared entirely!

This feeling of invisibility carried on throughout the day and night as mid-wifes changed shifts, exchanged notes, conducted examinations and discussed what flavour curry they would be having for their tea. Luckily, my husband has super powers and could still see me, so while the nurses chatted happily amongst themselves he would be running to fetch me the spew bucket, rubbing my back and wetting my sweaty brow. There wasn’t a lot of talking from his corner either, but at least he knew there was actually a person lying on the bed – not just a collection of lady parts!

Even after I had given birth this puzzling predicament continued: Pretty much straight after my son was born, he had to be taken to the Newborn Unit as he was having difficulty breathing. I managed to give him a quick kiss but then did not see him for many hours afterwards. In the meantime, I was taken to recovery and two nurses were sent in. I was so grateful to see the nurses as I thought I might be able to get a cup of tea and something to eat as I hadn’t had anything apart from water in what seemed like forever … but no, I must have still been invisible, because instead of offering some refreshments they quickly got to work ‘milking’ me! Yes, that’s right … one on each breast expressing milk for the baby and discussing technique while I was left lying there thinking “do you realise there is a person attached to these boobs?!”

I am pleased to report that, once I got to have a shower and get rid of that awfully mysterious hospital gown, my face seemed to reappear and regain its status as an important body part once again.

I am also pleased to report that one thing I was told about having a baby could not have been more correct: “When you hold your baby in your arms for the first time, it makes it all worthwhile.”

In fact, it not only makes it worthwhile – but worth doing all over again!

Posted in Parenting

I’ve Regressed 36 Years …. And It Ain’t Pretty!

After 36 years of feeling the earth beneath my feet, I am now back to getting around the place on all fours – and believe me it’s not nearly as cute as when I was crawling at 9 months old!

You see, yesterday was panning out to be a very relaxing Sunday. Swimming lessons were completed, Christmas lights were hung on the exterior of the house, grocery shopping was attended to and I even managed to slip over to the neighbour’s house for a coffee and a good old chin-wag.

However, when the clock struck 4pm, this relaxing day took a turn for the worse: My 4 year old daughter had just received a telling-off for throwing pebbles into the inflatable pool, so she was up in the garden shed having a sulk. Now, what I should have done here is left her to her own devices and let her come back down into the house when she was over it. But, this is not what I did. Instead, I walked up the steps, made of stone, retrieved my daughter, picked her up and started to make my way down the steps with her in my arms.

mum and child

This was a recipe for disaster: The uneven steps, combined with my well-worn thongs (I still find it hard to not write ‘jandals’ there) and the fact that I was carrying a 4 year old child downstairs was definitely not the cleverest idea I have ever had – in fact, looking back, it was bloody stupid!

Needless to say, I took the first step, went over on my ankle and sent my daughter tumbling down the stairs and landing in a heap on the pavers below.

Upon hearing the screams from both female members of the family, my husband came racing out to see what the “hell has happened.”

All I can say at this point is that somebody must have been looking over us, because my daughter survived with only very minor scrapes on her legs and I just have a sprained ankle (well that’s what I am self-diagnosing at the moment as I haven’t had any medical advice). You can’t actually see my ankle now for the swelling and bruising and I can’t, as yet, put weight on it.

When I asked my husband how I was going to get around he went to the cupboard and fetched me a cricket bat to “use as a leg.” Mmmm … I’m not sure how this was really supposed to work, so instead I have taken to crawling around on all fours instead. I can’t say I’m really enjoying going back to crawling – It feels very strange and unfortunately makes me realise just how dirty my floors are!

So, the lesson here people is DO NOT CARRY CHILDREN DOWN THE STAIRS!
Also, it’s quite ok to leave your children to have their little tantrums for awhile without feeling like you have to run and save them.

For me, it’s definitely a lesson well learnt as I’m not keen on spending too much more of my life crawling around the house like a baby.

Have you made any stupid decisions lately when it comes to parenting?

Posted in Parenting

The Sin All Good Parents Commit

With Christmas only 9 weeks away, it is time to find that elusive spot for ‘Santa’s’ presents. As the children get older, a perfect spot away from their prying eyes is getting more and more difficult to find. Although anything would be an improvement on last year’s hiding place – which was an epic fail!

Let me explain: A couple of weeks out from Christmas I chose a day when both children were at pre-school to commit to Christmas shopping, and sure enough after about 4 hours traipsing around the shops I had a trolley full of boxes. I loaded these into the boot of the car and headed home.

Upon entering the garage, I noticed a wooden table with plenty of room beneath it and an old single mattress leaning up against it. “That’s it,” I thought. “The perfect spot.” I then proceeded to unpack all the boxes, place them neatly underneath the table and stand up the mattress so it was blocking the presents.

Very proud of my efforts, I continued up the stairs and made myself a well-earned cup of tea.

So, about a week after the shopping trip, everything was gearing up for Christmas day and I felt pretty relaxed as all the shopping had been attended to. It was the children’s last week of pre-school and this particular Tuesday morning we were, as usual, pressed for time. “Right, down the stairs, let’s go!” I yell to the kids and they slowly start to propel their little legs in a forward motion. I was just collecting my handbag when I heard my son yell out from the garage, “Mum, come and see what I have found!”

I didn’t have to look to know what he had found. As I walked down the stairs I was trying to think fast and come up with an explanation, but nothing was coming. I was just going to have to do what any good parent would do in this situation – LIE!

And that’s exactly what I did: “Well done son, you have found all the empty boxes,” I said with the biggest fake smile I could manage.
He looked very confused and ready to protest, so I continued on.

“You see, Mummy went and got all these empty boxes with labels on the front, so Santa would know what you wanted for Christmas.”
He now looked more intrigued than confused. I took a breath and kept on.

“So, if you and your sister are extra good for Mummy and Daddy then Santa will come and visit on Christmas Eve and fill these boxes with the toys that match.”

He was convinced, and promised to be on his best behaviour, especially now he had seen the empty boxes!

I was off the hook. Thank goodness for my lovely children who take everything I say as gospel!

kids with santa hats on

So that was one example of a time I had to lie to my children, and I don’t really like doing it.

However, most of the time I don’t really feel like I am lying, but more like I am planting an idea in their heads in order to turn a potentially negative outcome into a positive one.
This situation arose in the weekend just been: You see, Sunday in our household is swimming day, and now that a new cafe has opened at the swimming complex, our tradition is to have coffees, muffins and milkshakes after the lessons are completed.

So, last Sunday we were sitting down waiting for our orders when my 4-year-old daughter pipes up. “I need my coffee now!”
I assure her that a milkshake is on its way for both her and her brother. A few minutes later our muffins and beverages arrive, but we are missing a milkshake.
I glance over at the cafe staff but they are more worried about impressing their male colleague than a minor detail such as their customers!

My son starts to screw up his face and begins to initiate meltdown mode as he let us know in no un-certain terms how “unfair” it is that his sister has her milkshake and he doesn’t have his.
My husband quickly retreats and heads up to the counter to remind the staff about the forgotten milkshake. He then decides to wait for it at the counter rather than join me and his temperamental son.

Time for some quick thinking again. I look directly at my son and say “Wow, you are so lucky!” Again he looks confused and definitely not believing that waiting for his shake could anyway be deemed as ‘lucky’.

I continue, “Did you know that the longer you wait for something the better it is?” He shakes his head. “That means that when you actually get your milkshake it will taste better than it ever has before,” I say, ever so patiently.

He seems convinced and when his milkshake finally arrives, he takes a sip and beams a huge smile in my direction.

“Mummy,” he explains. “This is the best milkshake I have ever tasted!”

“I told you so son.”

kids having milkshakes

Are there times you have had to lie to your children? Do you think that sometimes it is in their best interests to stretch the truth, just a little?

Posted in Parenting

5 Reasons Why I Need My Husband To Come Home

My husband is currently away for work in a different state, for around a month.

We, the two children and I, are nearly 2 weeks in and the novelty is starting to wear off. Things are going slightly haywire around here, and we need hubby home – and this is why:

1) The fish tank is leaking
I know this doesn’t fall into the disaster category but there are several reasons why I need the man of the house around for this one:

– The tank is full of water (obviously) and heavy, meaning little ol’ weakling mummy can’t lift it. Sure, I could spend many precious minutes emptying the water with a bowl, into a bucket (or something like that) but that sounds awfully tedious.

– If I do in fact do the above and then proceed to re-house the fish in a glass salad bowl or something, I am afraid of the meltdown I may encounter from my children if little fishy doesn’t survive the transition.

Solution: Wrap fish tank with my bath towel and play dumb. Good strategy? Yes, I thought so too!

2) I need to hear the ‘D’ word

With no ‘Daddy’ in the house the word on constant repeat around here is of course ‘Mummy’. I love my two little darlings and devote myself completely to their needs and wants, but that word is starting to grate on me like nails down the blackboard. In fact, the next time I hear the ‘M’ word I think I might have to throttle something! Look out Goldie – I’m starting to hear a phrase in my head featuring two birds and a stone!
Hang on – what about the potential meltdown? Ok, good point ….. you’re safe for now fish-breath!

photo credit: Benson Kua via photopin cc

3) Mummy’s no Nigella Lawson

As much as I love a good chicken salad and the kids enjoy their sausages, after a week’s worth I’m afraid we are going to lose our love of food entirely and potentially fade away – God forbid! We really could do with our resident chef, a.k.a. Daddy, returning to the kitchen!

4) Mummy needs her sidekick back for this circus

As it is school holidays, meaning Missy Moo’s preschool is shut also, Mummy is number one entertainer around here. I think I’m doing a pretty good job at keeping the children amused and I know I’m doing well at spending the hard-earned cash by Daddy dearest, but Mummy is getting tired, actually not tired … knackered – and the entertainment skills are slackening. Sure, Daddy isn’t always so hot when it comes to entertaining either, but even when he is dozing on the couch the kids reckon he makes a fantastic jumping pillow!

5) My children would like to keep their heads

I class myself as a pretty patient person, and mother, but today I must have had a personality transplant, because my fuse was definitely somewhat shorter than usual. The poor children didn’t know what had happened. Suddenly cool, calm and collected Mummy spent the day ‘snapping their heads off’. Bring back daddy … mummy needs a breather!

the family

I know this kind of situation is the norm for many families with partners and husbands doing FIFO type jobs. How do you handle things at home? Is your goldfish safe?

Posted in Parenting

The Must-Have Item For All New Parents

Mum and bubs
photo credit: Camilla ∆ Rocha via photopin cc

Looking back, if I could describe the feeling of being a new parent in one word it would be this: OVERWHELMED.
Sure, there were moments of joy, amazement, wonder and all those warm fuzzy feelings but overriding all this was the feeling of being overwhelmed: Overwhelmed by the enormous responsibility of this little life who was completely dependent on me; overwhelmed by the pressure of feeling like I needed to have all the answers and overwhelmed by the disappointment I felt when I thought I was getting it all wrong.

So, like any good student, I armed myself with all the latest ‘parenting textbooks’ and crammed the words into my head so hard that I could memorise the contents off-by-heart – hoping that when the ultimate test arouse i.e. figuring out why the baby was crying, I would be 100% ready with the right answer.

As you can imagine, this is not what happened. Unlike a school exam that you can cram for and be assured to get most answers correct, parenting was nothing vaguely similar. Nobody could tell me what to do and what was best for my baby – although they definitely tried! – because in the end parenting is a learning process and one where the best you can do is use your common-sense and trust your instincts.

So, after that lengthy introduction, I will get to the point. In my mind the must-have item for all new parents is this: EAR-PLUGS!
No, not to drown out the baby’s cries (although this may prove helpful if ‘controlled crying’ is your cup of tea) but instead to block out other people’s opinions!
Yes, I said it! Although often well-meaning, other people’s opinions about your parenting are often more detrimental than helpful to your emotional well-being as a new parent.

I remember being mortified when my milk supply ran out at 6 weeks. I felt like I had a dirty secret that I couldn’t share. I didn’t show up to my Plunket appointment for fear of a lecture, I tried to hide away when feeding my baby a bottle in public and when I asked other mums for advice I just ended up feeling worse. As the kids have got older I have experienced opinions about other aspects of parenting; toilet-training, dummies, sleep habits, speech – the list goes on!

So my advice, if you want to listen (totally your choice) is to grab yourself a pair of ear-plugs. This way if you run out of milk, get mastitis, have had surgery or plain just don’t want to breastfeed you can grab the baby’s bottle and grab your pair of ear-plugs and block out everybody else’s view on the subject!

This goes for any opinions on your parenting style or habits that you don’t need or want to hear – just grab those ear-plugs baby!

I’m not saying there won’t be times in your parenting life where you actually want some good advice, because I’m sure there will be. Just make sure you choose somebody who you trust will give you an un-biased opinion with your best interests at heart.

In my book, if you are doing your best to spend time with your children and providing them with a loving, safe place to grow up then you are doing a GREAT job!

P.S. Have you bought those ear-plugs yet?

Posted in Parenting

Damsel in Distress

photo credit: ihave3kids via photopin cc

My husband is due to embark on a FIFO (Fly-In-Fly-Out) job, meaning he will be away from the FU (Family Unit) for weeks at a time.

When I think of the money he will make, the debts we could pay off and the holidays we could save for – I feel joyful and relieved. However, when I contemplate the reality of him not being here, these feelings quickly change to anxiety and panic.

You see, our FU runs along these lines: I look after the children and hubby looks after me. So, apart from missing their Dad, the kids will be fine – but what about me? Who will cook my dinner every night? Who will change light-bulbs, fix the car, take out the rubbish, mow the lawn etc…

Excuse me a second while I grab a brown paper bag to calm my hyper-ventilated state!

Don’t get me wrong, my damsel-in-distress routine is pretty damn good and could actually win me an Academy Award one day – but what good is a damsel-in-distress without her knight in shining armour?

Maybe it’s time to ditch the old faithful and rehearse a new routine? Mmmm I’m not sure … I’m already in training to become a super-mum, but a solo super-mum? Now that sounds tough!


P.S. To all you full-time mums and dads out there flying solo, I salute you! I can only imagine how hard it must be to do it all on your own, all of the time.

Posted in Parenting

I’m Still Waiting!

My children are coming up four and six years of age … and I’m still waiting.
Waiting for that change, that unique transformation – the one I expected years ago!
You know what I’m talking about right?

The change that happens when you have children :

The one where you get woken at 5am by your beautiful darlings … you give them a radiant smile, kiss them on the cheek and jump out of bed to attend to their every need.

I’m still waiting …

The one where you are suddenly transformed into a domestic goddess whose favourite pastimes are keeping the house spic and span, ensuring the children are immaculately dressed and impeccably behaved and keeping a cooked meal on the table and a warm bed for hubby when he returns from work.

I am still waiting …

The one where you suddenly find the topics of bed-wetting, teething and growth spurts riveting topics of conversation.

Two_women_talking : Two young women sitting with cups of coffee at the table. Isolated over white background. All objects are grouped.

I am still waiting ….

The one where you find enough hours in the day to keep your house clean, keep yourself beautiful, keep your kids happy and keep yourself sane!


Posted in Parenting

Do We Need A Modern Fairytale?


I recently saw an interview with Melissa McCarthy (actress of ‘Bridesmaids‘) who was talking about her daughter who has just entered the ‘princess phase,’ and how she has found that all the fairy tales follow a similar theme : Helpless princess only finds happiness when saved by the prince. Melissa said she did not think there was anything wrong with finding true love but said it was time we had a modern fairytale.

That got me thinking about said princesses and how they fulfill their time while waiting for their prince charming.  So, let me see : They are either:

a) Cleaning for an awful step-family

b)  Locked away in a tower and / or

c) In a comatose state waiting for true love’s first kiss!

Ummm … maybe she has a point?

So are there any modern princesses out there?

Well, personally, I think Princess Fiona from Shrek is a pretty cool bird.  She can definitely look after herself and although she did in fact find true love – she turned down the Prince and married the ogre – you go girl!

So, do we need more stories to tell our daughters about strong, independent, self-sufficient women or are we just reading too much into all this?

After all, it is just make-believe right?