25 Jan 2012

Raising Kids

My maternity leave time is almost over.

Those six months flew so fast although at the start they felt like the longest days ever. I recall the first month and the adjustment to the change in my life. There were times I feared certain times of the day like in the morning, trying to be as alert as possible for the early feeds as I did not get much sleep the night before. The afternoons the long hall trying to get him to settle enough to sleep and the evenings the juggling act of carefully placing him in his bassinet hoping not to wake him.

Reflecting on the last five months it seems sleep, or the lack of it for Eli and I was the key struggle we had.

We starting to prepare for my come back to work. We've spoken to both our parents about arrangement for Eli on days I am working. 

I think about whether I would be upset returning back to work. I know I'm going to miss being around  him all day but cry ... I don't know. I didn't even cry when I gave birth. I'll probably be sad and feel a sense of guilt, but what working mom doesn't feel that. 

As I enter back into work I reflect on how hard both my parents worked to raise us kids. There's one memory I have when I was in year one, there was a school event, a parade from memory where parents were invited to come to the school to watch. I remember wishing my parents were there to watch and how sad it made me feel that they weren't. I remember feeling envious of the other kids whose parents were there. I know my parents needed to work as hard as they did to ensure we lived in a comfortable home, went to good schools and provide as much as they possibly could. Our parents had to make sacrifices to give us the life we have now.

Of course I didn't understand that when I was young. All I ever felt growing up was how much more I wanted my parents to be around. How lonely I felt unable to open up to my family because we didn't talk. How so caught up they were in the daily grind that they were too exhausted to talk. 

Having a child has awaken the childhood feelings I've learnt to suppress. I reflect on the behaviours from my parents that I didn't understand or made me feel horrible. I want to ensure I avoid those pitfalls and raise my son differently to how I was raised. I want to build on a strong relationship built on open communication, patience and trust.                    

"Eli I don't want to go back to work I promise to give you as much attention as you need when I am around you. I promise to dedicate the time I'm with you to nurturing you and teaching you everything I know." - Love Mama     

16 Jan 2012

Last Few Days

I think its been about 7 days since my last entry and I've been a very busy bee filling my days with much excitement. 

Firstly Ian and I are finalising the details of our Europe holiday. After several months of complaining (mostly on my part) about never being to Europe we've bit the bullet and decided we're doing it .... this year. We have decided on a 4 week Europe trip comprising of London, Paris, Rome, Athens and Santorini. I can't wait until August which is when we're planning to leave. We've decided not to bring Eli and after his needy and cranky self last week I was content on that decision. I know I will change my mind over and over again before then, but Europe is what I want, so probably best not to bring Eli to minimise risk and maximise the fun and experience. 

I've got my first client for my business. This party was actually the party I wanted to launch my business off when I first thought of the idea and I'm surprised it's actually happening. I'll be preparing a dessert table for little miss TA's combined first birthday and dedication. Because I don't bake I approach Amor Creations to bake cupcakes, macaroons and cake pop's for me. I told her about my business plan and asked for a discount for future orders. She then told me she has had people inquiring about dessert tables recently and will forward my details going forward. She even offered to lend me her equipment if I like. I am so happy and thrilled! 

Yesterday we got some family shots taken. PS took some lovely shots of us at Bicentenial Park in Homebush. I can't wait to see all the images and blow some of them up to hang up in our home. Here's a sneak peek at some of my favourites.

Another event that took place this week was my meeting up with my boss to discuss my back to work arrangement. Looks like I will be going back to work 1 February. Fortunately I was able to go back four days a week. She couldn't give me three but was will to negotiate four days for the next six months. After six months we will discuss whether I still want to do four days or jump back to full time. 

I've got mixed emotions about returning to work. I want to go back for the financial reasons and the predicability., The difference with being a mother and working is with work there is an end and result - you know when it's done. Looking after children is totally different - it's unpredictable, all consuming and on going. 

However now that its almost time to go back to work, I feel like I'm getting the groove with motherhood now. It takes awhile to adjust and don't get me wrong I've had moments where I wished I wasn't here. But it's only now I sense my baby can communicate in their baby way that I understand what he wants, we're slowly getting into a routine, I'm able to juggle looking after him and house work and he's changing me into a better person. I'm less stressed and more loving because of him. I'm not looking forward to going back to work but I want to set up for a comfortable life and be an example to my child(ren).

10 Jan 2012

A Moment of Weakness

Eli's been very unsettled last few days. What I mean by unsettled I'm talking about burst of sookiness or "fake cries" throughout the day, constantly wants to be held and taking up to 3 hours just to get him to sleep. It's an exhausting process which takes up so much time and poorly appropriate now that Ian's gone back to work. 

We don't really know what could be causing it. We've noticed his skin has flared up again due to the recent heat and humidity so he's been scratching his chest and behind his ears in irritation. We also noticed his ears were really smelly last week with lots of ear wax and we did go to the doctors to get a recommendation on how to tackle the wax but was told to do nothing more than what we're doing now.

This unpredictable behavior has made me wish I wasn't a mom. Made me want things to go back to how they use to be. I hated that I had no time to do anything I wanted to do, how all Ian and I ever talk about is him and planning our lives around him and annoyed at how demanding and hard work it all is.

But then he'll raise his arm and play with my mouth or babbles a conversations with me and my heart just melts. Seeing him happy (when he isn't sooking) makes me happy and fills me with love. 

I love my son so much. He is my precious gift and I will ensure no harm ever touches him.

I may not like being a mom at times but this love I feel towards him and the flow on affects it has on me I'm glad he bought it into my life.

8 Jan 2012

Today is The Day

I'm in the first week of another cycle of P90X. This isn't my first time doing this workout .. actually I was in the middle of it before I found out I was pregnant. During that time I noticed great results in terms of body toning and a bit of weight loss.

I was doing it a month after I gave birth and finished the lean workout schedule but wasn't really committed or sticking to the worksheet. So time I am doing the classic workout schedule, I'm going to workout everyday, I'm going to monitor my progress AND I'm going to watch what I eat.

They say the success to losing weight is 70% diet and that's where I've been slacking off. It is harder to stick to a diet at home. When mum cooks a big hearty meal for the family I feel bad turning it down. Also when you're not doing the groceries run you can't control what foods are in the pantry therefore impacts my ability to stick to a diet.

So starting today I plan to eat better and potentially stick to a nutritiously balanced diet. No matter how tired or how late it is I will go out and get whatever food or ingredients I need to make my healthy meal.

When I'm feeling unmotivated to work out I will log online and look at websites like beach body or YouTube to view other people's before and after pictures/videos to inspire me to keep going. 

5 Jan 2012

First Meal

I've been exclusively breastfeeding Eli since he was born. An achievement on my part for a number of reasons which I want to elaborate on:
  • Breastfeeding, at first is not easy. Midwifes and pro breastfeeders will give you the impression that you just flop out your boobs, obtain a proper latch on position and away you go - it's not that simple. No one told you about the pain (at the start), the inconvenience (to the mother) and how more saggy they become. Plus the pressure to breastfeed and to do it for as long as possible. 
  • Pressure from family to top up on formula. At the beginning Ian told me he wasn't bonding with Eli, that he felt left out as he wasn't doing anything so despite my fear that he might develop nipple confusion I decided to express milk as well. I had a manual pump and was pumping out 80mls of milk from both breast even after 40 minutes of pumping. I was feeding then expressing between feeds. It was the most tedious and frustrating process. To top that off I was being judged by the amount of milk I had produced. My mother-in-law (who was a retired midwife) would compare how much milk they gave newborns versus how Eli was drinking and my mother threatened to buy formula as she worried Eli wasn't getting enough. It was at time stressful as I felt like I wasn't being supported.   
  • I experienced a drop in my milk supply at least twice. Once when I got on the mini pill and another when I got leg-less (literally) on my 30th birthday. I nursed exclusively during those times and got my supply up again. 
I knew I wanted to start him on rice cereal before I went back to work. I wanted to be the one to feed him his first meal. I asked friends on their recommendation on which rice cereal they used on their baby. They came back with comments on reactions, nutrients, organic versus non organic, vitamin enriched options and after much research I decided to make my own. I know I will be making his baby food, so why not rice cereal. 

My only concern is whether he is getting enough nutrients and vitamins from the food I make over the food I can purchase. So I guess the question is, is a controlled calorie meal like Lite'n'Easy better for you than a home cooked meal equivalent with all fresh ingredients? I'd like to think the later option is best so I'm giving him what I feel is best - a fresh home made meal, made by mama.  

So here is my recipe for home made rice cereal.
1. Grind 1/4 cup of wholegrain brown rice until powder consistency. Afterwards I suggest sifting powder twice to ensure there are no hard solids.

2. Bring 1 cup of water to boil then stir in the powdered rice. Mixing continuously until mixture becomes a portage like texture.

3. I suggest pouring the mixture into the sifter again to remove any clumps and lumps.

4. Serve to baby after 5 minutes or cereal has cooled down.


4 Jan 2012


I only learnt what SAHM stood for recently. I would see it a lot on parenting forums and wondered 'what does that stand for?' ... well if you didn't know it's 'Stay at home Mom'.

I now know, understand, value the purpose and effort a mother who chooses to man (and maintain) the fort and raise the children. It's not an easy task and I'm not saying I am one or have decided to be one - although I'd love it ... I've just realised these last few days how hard it really it. 

Ian's been on annual leave the past 3 weeks which has been beneficial because it allows me to do the house chores and get on top of things I've neglected since having bubs. Having Ian watch and play with Eli allows me to do all the things I also need to do but couldn't cause Eli has all my attention and time. Once I'm done doing those things then its spending time with my family, breastfeeding, preparing for whatever challenges we have going on tomorrow and expressing. At the end of the day I'm exhausted and overwhelmed by this constant process. 

What more once I get back to work.  So much of my time is taken up by work and the commute, when will I get to sleep?

I'm already dreading the emotional guilt not being able to be 100% available in his first 3 years of life. I want to minimise being away from him or utilise as much time I have with him but who is going to ... cook a healthy meal, get the groceries to cook that meal, do the washing and ironing, be on top of the finances, ensure meals are ready for everyone the next day? 

I don't know how other people have done it in the past. I guess you learn tricks, short cuts? Maybe it gets easier - I'm sure it does. 
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