10 tips for surviving a heat wave with kids.

Hi friends,
We are at the start of a week long heat wave… We have had and are expecting temperatures in the low to mid 30s! (90ish degrees Fahrenheit temperatures) And for some places high 30s/low 40s!! And it’s only the first month of spring!! It’s HOT!

So today my brain is not working that great, I love spring, but summer heat – eh, not so much. I can handle temps up until about 30degrees, after that it just feels like death!
So I thought I would share some tips to stay cool in this heat…

10 tips for beating the heat with kids…

  • Stay hydrated! Keep your freezer stocked with hydralyte (or similar) ice blocks. These are not only great to have in case of sickness, but they are great on hot days especially for active kids… Keep water bottles filled up and water in the fridge.
  • Over heating/heat stroke. Be informed and aware of the signs of heat stroke in not only kids & babies but also elderly, pets and even yourself. HERE is a great article.
  • Netflix or movies. You all know I hate TV and it is a rarity in this house, I truly do not like my kids watching it, but sometimes you just have to give in. When it’s super hot and I need my super active little girl to rest in the heat of the day, I don’t mind popping a movie on for her to enjoy in the cool.
  • Crafts. Kmart has a fantastic range of simple & fairly mess free crafts. LuLu loves them and they entertain her really well. Doing a simple craft inside in the cool (under a fan, near open windows or even in the air con) is a great way to rest & cool down.

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    Highly recommend all 3 of these packs! 

  • Water play. While Trent has been on shift we’ve enjoyed the little paddling pool, but when he is home we all get in the big pool. I use the little pool because it is a lot easier to manage on my own with 2 kids. If you don’t have a pool, a water table is a great play option (a big tub full of water & some Tupperware works too!) or even just a sprinkler or a water fight – kids love water. Try and find a shady spot, and let them have fun! If it is way too hot outside, fill up the bathtub and stay cool inside! (Pinterest is also full of water play ideas!) *Always supervise children around water.
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  • Sunscreen & hats! This goes without saying and I’m sure you all know this point, but sun protection is so important. We put sunscreen on every morning and reapply before going outside each time. We also always have wide brim hats (or legionnaire style for babies) I really like the brand Bed Head hats, that is the brand of LuLu’s swim hat & Tommy’s hat is by Plum (as was LuLu’s swim hat when she was a baby). The kids are always in swim shirts while outside for water play or light shirts that cover their shoulders for regular play.
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  • Cool meals. Plan your meals with the heat in mind, think cool & light foods salads, smoothies, burgers – meals that aren’t bulky and typical hot meals. Make some homemade ice blocks or fruit sorbet. Even treat yourself to a night off making dinner and have take away so you aren’t using your oven.  (My go to meal lately has been a BBQ chicken from Woolies or Coles and coleslaw burgers. Honestly the best easy meal!)
  • Get rest. This comes back to the movie point, but try and encourage your kids to rest & take it easy during the day. LuLu is super active and wants to play all day and she doesn’t nap – so the only way I can get her to rest is to let her to have some TV time. On normal days, her energetic enthusiasm doesn’t bother me, she can play & entertain herself but during this sudden heat wave, I don’t want her over exerting herself in the high temperatures, so I allow a movie so she rests.
  • Wash the dog. Our pets also will be feeling the heat, so get the kids & find a shady spot and give your beloved pooch a spring time bath. They cool down, you all will probably get drenched so you and the kids are cooling down and a job is being checked off your list. Reward your dog for being a good sport with a “pupsicle”!  (a big frozen ice cube full of dog treats/toys etc. I freeze ours in old ice cream buckets & add in a mix of dog treats, cat biscuits, chicken stock, toys etc)
  • Bed time. At bed time the temperatures are normally still high. We dress the kids in the very light clothing and don’t use any sheets,  as the temperature lowers during the evening we go in and cover them. We also keep the bedroom windows open to allow cool breeze to blow in but if it is super hot we run the air con.

How are you staying cool this week?
Let me know in the comments below or on social media…
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Stay cool friends, I am dreading to know what Summer will be like if this is only spring!
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New Hair Reveal {VLOG}

Hi friends,
I have an exciting video to share with you all today… Yesterday I spent the majority of my day at the hairdressers cutting & recolouring my hair – click HERE to watch the video to see how it turned out!

I am really happy with the result and cutting my hair I feel is so liberating. For a very long time I have had super long hair and it wasn’t until about 2 years ago I was brave enough to do a big chop… Since the initial “big cut”, I have cut it short one other time but then I let it grow a bit for my best friends wedding that I was recently in. Now that the wedding has been & gone I decided it was time to do a big change!
Cutting my hair to me is powerful, it took a lot of courage for me to first do it at the end of 2015, as I was going against the wishes of my someone whose opinion I listened to far more than I should’ve… I valued that opinion more than my own and that was ridiculous.  I was told for a very long time how ugly and awful I would look with short hair as long hair was my “only beauty”. (For long time readers, you may remember seeing that public conversation on a photo a few years back on my Facebook page…) Since then I have regained control in my life, I call my own shots and the only time I listen to opinions is when they either come from my husband or I actually ask someone I trust greatly to weigh in on a topic.
So as I felt my hair get snipped off I felt relief & like an emotional weight was going as well – this was the first time I was cutting my hair and I wouldn’t have to hear from someone how awful I looked or what a fool I was.
I love my new hair. I think it is fun, fresh & different and my surprise little chunk of colour for LuLu makes me smile. And LuLu and Trent think it is great!

Friends, I encourage you to remember to do things for you. Don’t always follow what others say and make sure the people you are listening to are respectful of you. I now only ask advice from trusted people who I know will respect me if I do or if I don’t follow their advice. We are our own person, we have to do things that make us happy – my hair is mine and it effects no one else, so me cutting it is for me. This should be applied to most things in life, do what makes you happy & what you feel is right for you – if it isn’t hurting anyone then the opinions of others shouldn’t matter greatly to you.

I would love to know what brave step you’ve done with your hair? Or have you never done something drastic?
Comment below or connect with me on my social media!
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Thank you to Michelle & the team at Innovative Hair Design Highfields for the great day, make sure you check them out on FACEBOOK HERE. 
Have a great weekend!
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10 tiny & easy ways to turn a bad mood around. {For Mummas & kids!}

Breathe, it’s just a bad day – not a bad life.

Hey Mumma’s,
The other week I wrote a post that many of you really liked, on how to reset & remain happy as a Mumma – you can read it HERE…
Well today I thought I would do a similar post on how to turn around a bad day/mood, for kids & Mummas…

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We all have bad days… Maybe you just had a really bad nights sleep, maybe your child isn’t in the best mood or perhaps something is happening in your life that is pulling your mind to a negative place and that in turn makes you feel & act not so great… Know what I’m saying? Been there? When we are in bad moods, this impacts our entire home… The tone we have, is the tone set for our entire home – if Mumma ain’t happy, no one is happy…
So the trick in these situations is to catch ourselves… Maybe you’ve just overreacted to your child or you just can’t shake the bad mood, realise what is happening and make a conscious effort to turn it around…

Here are 10 tiny & easy ways to turn your mood &/or your kid’s around…

  • Step out of the room and breath… Just remove yourself for just a few moments and collect your thoughts and calm down. Teach your children to do this too, often if we are in the midst of a melt down I try to remind our daughter to take a deep breath and stop and calm down… Easier said than done to a nearly 4 year old, but it works sometimes… A breathing technique I get her to do is “smell the flower (big breath in) and blow out the candle (big breath out)”
  • Start the day again… We do this if our little love wakes up and is a bit grumpy. We take her back to bed, lay her down and make it fun and tell her to lay there and wake up happy… She almost always opens her eyes giggling.
  • Tickles… If that doesn’t work, tickles help break out the smiles!
  • Hugs… If you aren’t feeling great emotionally, tell your child. Say you are feeling a little down and need one of their big magic hugs to help you & your heart feel better… This also shows them that it is perfectly ok to say you aren’t ok and to ask for some help.
  • Teach your kids a joke… This always makes me laugh, teaching a preschooler a joke is hilarious, the most basic jokes crack them up and it’s even funnier if you teach it to them and then get them to repeat it Chinese whisper style to someone else in the house… It rarely comes out the way you taught it & that just adds to the humour!
  • Give massages… My little girl loves a massage & she also loves to give a massage! (*This is also a great Mum hack – lay down squirt some lotion into your kids hands and voila – free massage!)
  • Have a random treat… It maybe a special food treat or going somewhere special. But ice cream before lunch or dinner normally makes anyones bad mood disappear!
  • Get outside or get wet… The thing I’ve noticed with kids, if they are outside or in water they are normally always happier… The same applies for most people I think. So if a grumpy cloud is above everyone in your house, drag yourselves outside and enjoy some fresh air. Or if it’s warm enough, swim, play under the sprinkler or have a bubble bath…
  • Turn up the music and just dance… We did this the other day, it was just one of those really long days where time felt like it was moving at a snails pace… So I dug out my old CDs from high school, put them on and turned the music up super loud and we jumped, danced and laughed for over 2 hours! It was great.
  • Put your day on hold… Let your day go, spend the day reading books, watch a movie, colour in – do what you need to, to lift your spirits and your kids. Everyone occasionally needs a day off, the laundry will be ok if it is left for a day and getting take away for dinner will probably make everyone happy – so just take it easy and go with the flow…

Remember it is just a brief moment that isn’t positive – don’t dwell on a bad day or week.

I wrote this post last night, with the intention of making it live this morning… Well, wouldn’t you know it, today I was the person who needed this post. And you know what, I bloody suck at taking my own advice! For some reason today I just feel like I’m in a rut… Last night I was so full of motivation to have a wonderful & productive day today, I wrote a big to do list, I made plans & I was motivated… But people are mean, my camera broke & I just didn’t have a good sleep last night and I lost all motivation, to be honest today I’ve felt more down than I have felt in a very long time – sometimes it all adds up and weighs my heart & mind down. So friends, I’ll be honest, on most days something on this list usually can turn my day around – but today, nothing really did. And that is ok… Some days are meant to be bad & feeling down is ok… But I am determined for tomorrow to be a more pleasant & positive day… I am just reminding myself now as I finish up this post and sip my cider – it was only a bad day, that is all. Tonight I’ll go to bed and pray that tomorrow I will wake up with a refreshed mind, heart & outlook. But for now, the kids are asleep & I know it is ok to be a little down & just to feel it, it is so important to let the emotions come, pause & then leave. So if you are feeling down or for some reason today just sucked, I get it & I’m sending you a big hug. Tomorrow is a new day, wake up in the morning and don’t even think about today! x

I would love to know what your best tip for getting yourself or your kids out of a bad mood is?
Comment below or on my social media!
Thank you so much for reading!
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Don’t ruin a good day today, by thinking about a bad day yesterday. Let it go.

13 tips on how to reset as a Mumma & remain happy…

She’s strong, but she’s exhausted. – r.h. sin.

Hey friends,

Today I come to you weary, exhausted & sleep deprived…
(So I do apologise if they post gets rambly & makes little sense.)
A certain little mister has decided to test out how little sleep Mumma needs to survive… Sleep deprivation is torture – one I would never survive – because I suck at being a human when I haven’t had sleep. Now I don’t need a great deal of sleep, but I do need at least 4/5 hours of unbroken sleep – heck even 3 is good enough… Otherwise I just don’t function right, my tolerance levels & patience grows incredibly thin and you know if you are a parent, you need high levels of those to survive!
So anyway, my current state has inspired me to write a blog post today on…13 ways.jpgHow to reset as a Mumma & stay happy…
We all need a hand sometimes, we all have rough days that test us so much we almost break (or even do) And this is ok, it happens. But the important thing is to remember not to stay in that place… To make a conscious effort to reset & refocus on being happy…

  • Communicate & connect. Talk to your husband/partner/friend/tribe – whoever! Let them know where you are at. Take up offers of help. Trent & I don’t have a large support network – to be honest we have zero outside help, but we do have each other and we share the parenting workload evenly… He helps me so much when I am running on empty. A good chunk of the time I am the one keeping everything going, but when I am struggling he swoops in and saves me. He is incredible at getting up at night with the kids when I need help, because he knows I am terrible at life if I don’t sleep… Be honest with your husband/partner at where you are at, he can’t help if he doesn’t know.
  • Create close friendships/gather a tribe… You don’t need many friends, just 1 or 2 that get you, but if you are fortunate enough to have tribe – that is awesome too! Thankfully I have my best friend that I can have a good chat (whinge session) to about my current struggles and it is always so reassuring to have someone who understands & supports you without judgement and will listen during those real & honest talks. Aren’t Mumma friends the best?! I am so thankful for my Motherhood soulmate! (my latest column in Highfields’ style talks about this, you can find it HERE)
  • Make Mumma time a priority… Whether it be just driving to the store & doing groceries on your own, journalling, watching a movie, going to gym/church/a cafe on your own, taking a hot bath or walking the dog alone – do something for you. Do something where you won’t be interrupted (or hardly) and reset yourself… (Best time to do this is when your husband is home or you can get a babysitter/grandparents to watch the kids!) 
  • Take care of you, so you can take care of others… This point goes along with the one before, but you cannot pour from an empty glass… Keep your cup full. Take care of you!! In whatever way you need, make your mental, physical, spiritual and emotional health a priority! Take care of yourself in a way that works for you! And Mumma, give yourself some grace! Stop being so darn hard on yourself!
  • Get out… As stay at home mums we are often just that, at home! I don’t often venture out with the 2 kids on my own, but when Trent is on days off we try to get out and do things as much as possible… This changes up our environment and recharges us a bit.
  • Remember your kids are and will be ok… Everyone has moments in parenting they cringe at or regret. Moments we yelled too loud or acted in a way we wish we didn’t… Your kids will be fine, it was only a moment. And if your kids are mad at you, remember they will live – having your kids be mad at you pretty much comes with parenting, it means you are parenting! You don’t have to be their friend every second. (If you react in a way you instantly regret or aren’t proud of towards your children, show your kids that it is good to be remorseful & apologise, explain feelings to them & how you felt overwhelmed. Be open & honest, you are setting an example on how to cope in a tough scenario. * example; “I am sorry I yelled so badly at you when you spilt your cereal. Mummy got frustrated & got mad too quickly, I realise that is was an accident & I am sorry.”)
  • Keep a happy heart & start each day fresh… Don’t hold onto bad behaviour, yes stick to punishments but don’t dwell on what’s happened. Move on. Strive to wake up every morning with a positive mindset and a happy heart…
  • Comparison is the thief of joy… Don’t compare, it is easy to see the instagram accounts and think “that mum has it together”… But everyone has struggles, their struggles maybe entirely different to yours but they exist. Keep in mind everyones social media account is their own edited version of their existence.
  • Get your priorities in order… Really weigh up what is important to you and your family. If you are burning yourself out trying to keep up with 10 different toddler activities during a week, is it worth it? Is exhausting yourself & making you cranky worth it? Everyones priorities will vary, so work out what works for your family. And learn to say NO – no to expectations, requests and even your kids. You do not have to do it all or be there for every single person.
  • Let it go, let it go… Go with the flow, some days are going to be absolutely incredible and some you will just want to cry. Go with it and pick your battles.
  • Savour the moment… One day you will long for this day back, don’t wish it away. Being in the trenches of motherhood is rough, but it’s beautiful and I am willing to bet one day you will look back on this fleeting season so fondly.
  • Remember you aren’t alone… Every Mumma has moments of great & hard times. Some moments we are a glowing, happy, engaged, doting mother who is fully focused on her kids and we are loving every second of motherhood. We wish these days would last forever. Then we experience the exhaustion, the feeling of barely being able to wake up because you are so tired and you swear you just shut your eyes, because you did! You feel like you are so touched out and just want to be alone in silence for 5 minutes – because silence & isolation sounds like a dream at this point. You feel like at any given moment you may just lose your mind because being over tired makes you a person you don’t really like. That mother exists too. Everyone has their own struggles, everyone (In one form or another…). I wish I was the first mother every single moment of my children’s lives – but I’m not, occasionally I am the second. Some days it’s challenging, but what counts is how we handle ourselves. Acknowledge it is a tough day/week/leap/month and work out a way to handle it… Go into survival mode, vent, ask for help, let it go – do what works for you, but know you are not alone. No one has a perfect day everyday and it’s ok for your day to not be perfect.
  • Treat yourself… Buy the flowers, buy the chocolate, buy the wine, get your hair done or buy the shoes. You are important – spoil yourself. (Because honestly, somedays you just need too!)

What is your best tip for resetting your mind after a stressful day/week? How do you maintain happiness as a Mumma? I would love to know, please comment below or on my social media!
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Thank you so much for reading!
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Things that make my heart happy…

Always make time for things that make you feel happy to be alive.

Hey friends,

Sometimes life can feel overwhelming. You think you are doing the right thing but then God pulls a move & bam you are sitting there like “uhh, what?”.

When life feels a little too much, a bit too overwhelming I like to make a list…
Normally I just do this mentally, it can be a list on anything. But it gets my mind off the current situation and focused on something more positive.

So because life is always a bit too much, let’s make a list…

Things that make my heart happy…

  • Big cuddles from my kids.
  • Being in my “safe place” with my husband. (I like to rest my head on his chest where his heart is & get a hug & everything feels ok when I’m there)
  • Having all 4 of us sleeping in our bed. (This is very rare as our little man loves his cot, but when he wakes in the morning I bring him to our bed to feed and occasionally he’ll drift back off to sleep!)
  • Having one (or both – but that’s very rare) of my kids fall asleep on me. Oh hugging a sleeping babe is bliss!
  • Watching my daughter love on her baby brother. She has so much love in her heart for him and she’s always been so gentle & kind. (And she also very protective) And the way he always searches for her is adorable!
  • Taking a really great photo & thinking how much I will love looking at it one day when these moments are just distant memories.
  • Cooking really good food, it is even better when it’s for people I love.
  • Actually just eating good food. Gosh I love food…
  • Getting a message from someone saying that I’ve encouraged or inspired them.
  • Laughing really hard about something with my best friend, actually just chats in general with her.
  • Reminiscing on my childhood with my sister.
  • When I hear from my brothers. They are young & busy, so when I see them or hear from them, it means a lot.
  • Having a cup of tea in silence. Actually just sitting in silence since becoming a Mum is nice treat that makes my heart sing! (Haha)
  • My fur babies. Stroking their furry soft ears is a favourite of mine & I think they are quiet partial to it too.
  • Roadtrips & adventures.
  • Really good music – like the Zac Brown Band.
  • Reading a good book & feeling inspired…
  • Rainy days with no plans where we can relax, do nothing or whatever we desire.
  • Going for a walk after it’s rained, everything looks so pretty when it’s wet.
  • The beach. I haven’t been in ages, but I love beach.
  • Watching a really inspirational movie.
  • Knowing I’m loved by our Lord.
  • And of course, witnessing a sunrise or sunset. If you follow me on my social media you know I’m kind of obsessed with the first & last light of the day, a good chunk of my photos are of the sun! #sorrynotsorry

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A few sunsets from the past month.

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A beautiful sunrise.

So what makes your heart happy?
I would love to know, comment below or let me know on my social media!
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Talk soon,
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Take time to make your soul happy.

 

Hello, let’s catch up!

Be thankful for everything that happens in life, it all adds to your story. 

Hello – how are you?
It’s been a while – I know.
I haven’t posted on here since August last year. That is 5+ months!!! I am sorry!
I kept posting regularly on social media though, so what happened last year is documented in many posts over there. But basically 2016 was crap right up until mid December, when our little man made his arrival.
Our Tommy was born at 6pound 9.5ounces, very furry and looks just like his Daddy – he is amazing.
Tommy is the sweetest little man and the 3 of us are head over heels in love with him!
I am not going to heavily focus on last year, but basically my pregnancy was a little bit rough thanks to an auto immune health issue I was diagnosed with mid way through my pregnancy. It isn’t pleasant and it is ongoing, but compared to how I felt last year – I am feeling much better now!
2016 made me stronger, my marriage stronger, it showed me who truly cares & is there to support us in life & it gave us our wonderful little man. So despite it being a very, very hard year – I am thankful for it and the end of the year was absolutely wonderfully memorable & that is what we will take away from 2016. Not the sickness, hurt, stress & fear.
In the last 6 weeks since Tommy’s birth we’ve celebrated Christmas and New Year and just enjoyed life as a family of 4.
LuLu is an amazing & loving big sister – just like we knew she would be. She is so proud & very protective of her “baby brother” & is a great big helper.
Tommy thankfully has been a very easy & relaxed little man. He is very strong and sleeps & feeds very well.

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Our children.*

Trent & I are enjoying being parents to 2 kids. I feel we work great together as a team, I can’t imagine doing this parenting journey with anyone else – he is such a hands on Dad – he does just as much as I do with the children. He is truly such a brilliant husband, I am so thankful that I am his wife, he always takes such good care of me, especially during 2016 when I was so unwell & we felt deserted by almost everyone else. I’m so lucky to have him. Family dirt road loveMumma and children sunflowers QLDWe revisited the sunflower fields again this year! 

So that is a very brief & mini update on our life.
Moving forward – I will try to get back into the swing of blogging now. I am hoping to get back to 1 post a week, but forgive me if I don’t manage that.
I have a give away I am hoping to get up very shortly, so stay tuned! I was hoping to have that up earlier in the month, but sometimes life comes first.
In other big news, Highfields/Toowoomba locals keep an eye out for the February/March edition of Highfields’ Own magazine – I’ll be on the cover & be the feature inside. So that is all kinds of exciting & I am still in a bit of shock that I was asked to do that!
In the meantime if you want to keep up with my regular little posts please check out my social media accounts;

Snap Chat; Bindy_30

So we will talk soon – ok.
I’ve missed this, I hope you are all well.
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* To maintain our children’s privacy we will continue to show limited images of them & the images we will share we try to make sure they aren’t very identifiable. As much as we would love to share them with you, sadly the internet isn’t an innocent & safe place. Thank you for being understanding. 

I am thankful for my struggles, because without it – I wouldn’t have found my strength. 

Wife Life; Surviving night shift life with a toddler in Summer.

Hello dear friends!
How has your week been?
Our week has been quiet but busy… Trent has been on night shift this week, so our days are normally very quiet because he needs to rest. But after he leaves to work LuLu and I have been having some very busy afternoons.
So let’s talk about shift work, it is very common today – almost all my friends have had some experience with it. Either they do or have done it, their parents did or their partners work shift work. Thankfully the shifts my husband works are family friendly hours. He gets home at good & reasonable hours and also has a good amount of days off. We are very fortunate, but the days he works are still hard on our little girl who loves her Daddy very much and always wants to be close to him.
The way we deal with – “survive” the nightshift side of shift work at this season of our life is just to keep busy. LuLu misses her Daddy a lot when he is working, doesn’t matter if it’s day or night shift or even if he has just popped out to the store to grab milk, she misses him anytime he isn’t with her – so to help with that I try to keep our time together busy and with lots to do. 
Now Trent doesn’t do FIFO or live away from us, he comes home at the end of every shift and I am very thankful for that – so I am not an expert on dealing with extended time away from my husband and LuLu away from her Daddy, but I thought the way we run our life may encourage or inspire one of you, especially if you are in a similar stage of life & situation to us.
Trent leaves for his nightshift in the early afternoon and he returns home just after midnight – so that gives him a good chunk of time to sleep when he first gets home and he has a few extra hours in the morning after LuLu and I wake up, then he is awake and spends some time with LuLu – this week they have been in the pool every day. It’s been very hot here so the nice cool pool has been a real treat! 

Our little fish loves diving in the pool for her toys.

While they swim, I either pop out and do groceries, tidy up around the house, do laundry, catch up on my jobs, sometimes join them for a swim and then I make lunch. We have a big lunch when Trent is on nights and he takes leftovers for his dinner. 
LuLu has a nap after lunch and Trent sometimes does too and then he leaves for work… When LuLu wakes up we have afternoon tea (bowl of fruit) and she watches a small amount of TV.
After 3/3:30pm LuLu and I head outside. While Trent is on nightshift I use our afternoons to try and get lots of jobs done outside, especially when the weather is so nice & warm and the days are a bit longer.
I really enjoy getting a lot of jobs done in my day, it makes me feel good & satisfied knowing I did something today and chipped away at my always growing “to-do list”. I also feel I am helping Trent out a lot by taking away some of the jobs that he often does. He is off working hard, so if I can mow the lawn to save him doing it on his days off – that makes me happy & that time on his days off can be better spent as family time or he can relax after working hard. I know I don’t “need to do” these jobs, Trent would easily do them – but I like being helpful to him and that is also part of the calling of being a wife. (Genesis 2:18) 
LuLu loves outside time, so she thinks it is the best thing when we put on our sunscreen, hat & shoes and get ready to head outside.
This week we have so far; bathed the dogs, hosed the gardens & lawns everyday, pulled weeds out of the garden, washed the car, mowed the lawns, washed out the garbage bins – you know basic tidying up around the outside of the home and we also baked some cookies & painted our nails as a treat and the other afternoon my parents visited. So our afternoons have been jam packed & full of jobs but also fun. 

Pats for the freshly bathed doggies.

I always make sure that I when do a job I either try to include LuLu as much as possible or straight after I am finished we do something fun so LuLu feels involved and it is also enjoyable for her.
LuLu is now at the age where she can wander around the yard & play or follow and help me – she just loves being outside. Some jobs like washing out the bins, she obviously doesn’t help with – but I make sure she has something to do – like have a bike to ride while I quickly get the job done. I always make sure I can watch her as I work. With washing the car, mowing the lawn, watering the plants, baking – these are jobs LuLu loves to help me with. She washes her Little Tikes pink truck & bike, she has her little mower, her own watering can and loves to help hose and she’s a great little helper in the kitchen.

Our 2 little “big rigs” all washed.
Helping me out by hosing the plants.

While I mow the lawns LuLu has a ton of fun toys to play with outside, she has a trampoline, cubby, little climbing toy and I also set up her water table for her to play with. This week we have also been setting up the sprinkler with our tank water, LuLu has been having a ball running through it in the afternoon.

Water table fun… If LuLu is getting bored with the toys that come with the table, I just bring out some toys from inside. This Kewpie doll was mine when I was younger, and its the perfect dolly for her to bath.
Running through the sprinkler.
Bouncing on the bounce with Ninna… Grandparents, friends & family make great distractions too for little kids when a parent is off working…

One afternoon I got the hose out while we were playing on the trampoline – “The bouncy bouncy” – our wild & fearless little girl thought it was the best thing in the world. In no time at all she had worked out how to run & slide with her feet and she was having a ball! 

We often are outside until about 6pm’ish – then we go inside dirty & exhausted from our big afternoon of playing and doing some jobs. Our night routine is to have showers, eat dinner – which is often leftovers from lunch, tidy up and then read books while LuLu drinks her milk, clean our teeth and get ready for bed. 
Once LuLu is asleep I finish tidying up the house for the night, put the dishwasher on and then I either read, check my social media, text friends or watch a movie (often I am doing more than one of these at once – LOL) 
But that is how I survive night shift with a toddler in Summer. Every season of life and the year is different and brings new challenges – but I think at this stage of our life when LuLu is an active, outdoor loving little toddler and the weather is so nice & warm – having a busy afternoon is the best, for us. Your idea of a busy afternoon maybe visiting friends or family, doing crafts, heading out to do some shopping or heading to a local park or library. You have to make your time with your child, your own. I really like showing my daughter that it is great to get outside, help out, be active, enjoy nature, take care of our home, have fun & it’s ok to get a bit dirty & messy when we are working. I also like having LuLu help when it’s appropriate for her to help, I believe it is creating a good foundation for her to grow up knowing that it is important to help others & help with jobs around the house. (She is very good with her little jobs, if you would like a post on that let me know!)
The other thing I want to note here, is when we are outside in the afternoon my phone is inside. The photos included in this blog post are taken quickly on my little point & shoot underwater camera, mainly at the end of the afternoon… I try to make a conscious effort every day, especially when it is just the 2 of us to spend time with LuLu with no phone. I use the time after she is asleep to check & update my social media. I really do encourage you to try the same, even just 1 hour – leave the phone on charge. 
Our afternoons together have been really beautiful & wonderful this week. I especially love the time when we are just holding hands walking around hosing the plants and the grass, we have little chats, water fights, we laugh – it is just lovely. I love motherhood I really do and it’s moments like that I will treasure forever. 
I know night shift/shift work can be stressful and overwhelming at times & it is hard on children when they miss their Dad/Mum, but I hope this posts encourages you. Even if you don’t have to worry about shift work, I hope this post motivates you to at least just go outside this afternoon – set up the sprinkler and run through it! It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s always fun!

Get outside and dance under the sprinkler, do it! I highly recommend doing it at sunset, even quickly set a timer on your camera and take a quick photo to remember the fun.

But in all seriousness, I truly hope this post helps someone. Last year our season of life was different, LuLu was younger and I couldn’t get as much done – but now she’s older and wants to help & would be outside every second of the day if I let her. So you have to do what you can at your season of life, but my biggest suggestion & tip for you if your partner does shift work – especially nights – is to stay busy. It can get lonely and boring and the hours can drag on if you let it – but I really find staying busy or having plans makes it so, so much easier. Make a plan, say “this afternoon, I am going to hose the garden” or mow the lawn, paint a picture, have a play date, do a messy craft outside, bake a treat, call my friend or watch a movie after the kids are asleep etc. 
I think getting outside with kids & having water play instantly makes them happier, so if you can do that – do it, especially if they are cranky! Also make life easier on yourself, make enough food at lunch so you can eat leftovers for dinner, it’s easier to have leftovers than cook a whole new meal. 
I find having lots to do makes the time go faster and it makes the whole experience a lot easier on our daughter and also myself. We have night shift weeks that aren’t so busy, fun & successful and I often find they drag on and aren’t enjoyable and then I find myself getting down. But the days we plan to do something or even just get outside and play or do a small job, makes it a lot more enjoyable and pleasant. Having a very busy & active afternoon also makes us both tired and helps us sleep – so that is also a bonus. (I don’t know about you but I don’t sleep that great without my husband!)
Does your partner do shift work? How do you handle it? Do you have any tips? I would love to hear them, leave me a comment below or on my social media! Please also let me know if you would like to hear our week works when my husband is on day shift.
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Have a lovely afternoon, we are on our final night shift for this run, so I am off to wash down the outside windows & my brother is coming to visit and take LuLu swimming.
Enjoy your weekend…