Our sleep journey. (How we get our kids to bed by 5pm)

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Hi friends,

Let’s talk sleep… Kids and sleep – some just seem to “get it” and some don’t… Mine are a little in the middle.
Our kids seem to be very attached to us (which we do not mind at all, actually we love) and tend to sleep better beside us… Both started sleeping in our bed around 6-9 months and that’s how most nights are for us. I have rocked/fed them to sleep from the first moment and I have found they slowly grow out of it.
Now LuLu goes to sleep in her own bed at 5pm most nights and sleeps the whole night in there, that is a recent & positive change for her this year. I feel having both her & Tommy in our bed was starting to become a problem of one of them waking the other… But Tommy still is in our bed and we won’t bother trying to encourage him out until he is ready.  (We felt LuLu was ready.)

So let’s rewind… LuLu use to sleep with us, I rocked/cuddled her to sleep until she was nearly 3, when I neared the end of my pregnancy with Tommy I would sit on her bed until she fell asleep and when Tommy arrived she slowly learnt to fall asleep on her own and now recently we slowly started her sleeping a full night in her own bed. (She is 5 in October.)
My main tip with any sleep transition thing is slow and gentle and making sure they are ready.
Our theory with our babies has always been we are going to love and hug them as much as possible because one day maybe they won’t want to do that as much anymore and if we make them feel welcome with love & also allow them to sleep where they feel safe with us, that we are setting them up to feel secure to always come to us if they don’t feel safe or they need comfort.
I’ve never been able to do cry it out and each parent’s choice is their own, I have friends and family who do it and for them it has worked well. I tried once with LuLu & just couldn’t, I don’t think I even lasted 2 minutes. She was a super emotional baby & went from zero to hysterical very easily so I felt for her that was not the way to help her to sleep. So I fed her, I rocked her and then that transitioned into her laying on my lap for cuddles of an evening and when she nodded off I would carry her to her bed. As I got further along in my pregnancy with Tommy I became weaker and couldn’t carry her as much, especially when she was sleeping. So I started sitting on her bed, we would read some stories and then sing some songs and then I sat with her while she fell asleep. When Tommy arrived we continued the same routine for awhile and then slowly changed it to me saying I had to go sit on the couch and feed baby Tommy as he was tired & hungry but when he was asleep I would come back to her room and give her another kiss goodnight… This worked really well for us. Usually when I got back to her room she was fast asleep. So she had learnt to put herself to sleep.
In the last few months we started encouraging her to sleep in her own bed for a full night. Previously she would always go to sleep in her own cot/bed but around 10pm-1am at some point she would come into our bed… We never bothered fighting that, we liked the snuggles & we valued our sleep.
Anyway, we said if she spent a whole night in her bed the “fairies” may leave her a little gift near her fairy door… Sure enough when she slept a full night they did! Then the deal was if she sleeps a whole week, she gets another little gift and that time frame just keeps getting stretched out, now she hardly remembers it. But the fairies like to leave little gifts every now and then especially when she’s been extra good.
I feel really proud of how good she is sleeping.
Both of our kids go to bed around/just after 5pm and have done so since before Tommy was born (this time can be later if Trent is home or we are out & it may become later in the summer) and they wake around 6am-7:30am (usually later if I need to be somewhere early! ha!) It doesn’t matter if they go to bed at 9pm, they wake up at the same time.
* To save your question on why so early? It works for us for multiple reasons. Trent does shift work, some days I’m solo parenting from 5am-7pm, setting myself up to have at least an hour of alone time is important to me. I get to reset and do something for myself and this early bedtime is also what is best for our kids…
LuLu doesn’t nap, she hasn’t since before she was 3 – so an early bedtime for her is needed.
Tommy has 1 day nap occasionally during the morning at around 9:45am/10am-11/11:30am’ish – but that’s rare now, normally he doesn’t nap, so he also needs to be asleep early…
I still feed/cuddle Tommy to sleep for nap and bedtime – but if Trent is home I can feed him and hand him to Trent and he will fall asleep that way as well.
Lately he has been waking during the night as he is cutting a bunch of teeth. (He is 19 months today (14th/July) and just the other day he cut 3 teeth over night which included 2 molars. This made his tooth total 8 teeth, so he is due for a few more yet!)
With our kids we believe in being gentle with sleep. Of course when we have “those” nights like everyone, we get frustrated & sleep deprivation is torture & brings out the worst in everyone! But we try to be gentle. And of course we have rough nights, but we have found 99% of the time it is for a reason. Teething, night terrors or feeling unwell and occasionally I swear the moon affects my kids sleep patterns!
But we just try to ride the rough night waves as best we can…

Edit to add:
Tommy is now  nearly 21 months and as of recently I have had to wean him (read why HERE). Now he gets a cuddle to sleep, then I place him in his cot, he sleeps in his cot (with the side off) until we go to bed and then almost like magic he wakes up, we pop him in our bed and he sleeps through the night, only waking rarely now.
Of course when he is feeling poorly or teething, he maybe in our bed earlier or need more cuddles.
He will transition to a big boy bed in December when he turns 2, same as LuLu did at 2.

Sleep for every family is unique. No one style will fit everyone, but that is how we handle sleep in our household. We have been through every high & low of this sleep ride with our kids… We’ve had moments where they won’t sleep anywhere but on us (still occasionally – Tommy!), we’ve had amazing night sleeps where we wake up in fright in the morning because they slept the whole night in their own bed – so that must mean something is wrong of course! We have walked countless laps of the house trying to help them fall asleep and we’ve had moments where we felt like we didn’t have a clue about what to do next & get frustrated… But we survived and right now I feel like we are in a pretty good sleep space – having already ridden this sleep wave with LuLu who was a very clingy baby and not the best sleeper, I can be optimistic about the future with Tommy. For now we co-sleep with him, I love it but I know one day, when he is ready he too will go to sleep on his own in his own room for a full night… But for now I am enjoying this season, my all night snuggles and being there to help him feel safe & comforted when he needs me.

If you are having some troubles with sleep, a few things I’ve found that may help are…

  • Establish a set bedtime routine with your kids that is predictable. My kids know at 5pm or shortly after it is bedtime… By that time they are normally yawning and tired. We do bath time around 4pm, then a quick tidy of the playroom, read a book and then off to bed. Trent works shift work so our daily routine is flexible, on the days he does night shift the kids know after we say goodnight and goodbye to Daddy it is bedtime. (He leaves at 5pm) I truly believe children thrive on routine, they like knowing what to expect.
  • Rewards. If your child is old enough to understand some sort of reason, try to make sleeping in their own bed part of a reward system. Similar to our fairy deal, maybe a sticker each night and 7 stickers in a row means something special… The options are endless.
  • No electronics in the room. That’s a given, but young kids don’t need something stimulating their little minds. Bedtime should be for winding down… Books, prayers, talking about their day – but not electronics.
  • Have a good snack. Some children wake due to hunger, could be a growth spurt or maybe they didn’t eat enough dinner. A banana before bed is a terrific sleepy snack. The potassium is said to be great for promoting good sleep.
  • Fairy lights. LuLu isn’t a huge fan of the dark, nor am I really. We leave our hallway light on every night – it’s always dimmed very low but is bright enough that if she needed to, she could comfortably walk to our room. She also has a string of battery operated fairy lights in her bedroom. She thinks they are very special and it’s a highlight for her to switch them on each night before bed.
  • A well stocked night stand. LuLu is now at the age where she can help herself at night. She has a water bottle & a box of tissues beside her bed. This minimises the need for her to call out to us at night. She knows if she is feeling unwell or does need us though, that she can always come to us or call out.
  • Sleepy oils. This may or may not help, but I’ve found oils are a great addition to our bedtime routine. They can be applied to the feet, wrists and behind the neck or/and diffused during the night. I find them very calming & use my diffuser almost every night. If you would like to learn more click HERE.
  • The 4th trimester. If you are reading this and have a newborn, please just ride the wave. I found my babies just needed cuddles & patience when they were new. Tommy slept a lot better than LuLu but I feel that was also due to me being more confident in my abilities. Remember you are all they know and you are their comfort & safe space… Have a read about the 4th trimester & also leaps.
  • Co-sleeping. This is not for everyone, but for us it worked beautifully. We valued our sleep and found when our babies would wake upset they would quickly settle tucked in beside us. Please do your own research and use your own caution when co-sleeping.
  • Team work. Having a husband/partner that can wake up and help out with waking babies/children is a Godsend. Trent has always helped out during the nights and I’m very thankful for that. Working as a team is important and if you find yourself feeling overwhelmed don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Patience & understanding. It is easy to get frustrated with children who wake constantly, you are already tired and then you are dealing with a difficult situation with usually an unreasonable little person. But it is important to try and have patience, try and understand why they are upset and won’t sleep. This will help you fix the issue. Are they upset for a particular reason? Are they not tired? Are they cold, hot, in pain, sick, has a big life change happened, hungry, need to use the toilet, scared, stressed? There are so many reasons that can effect kids and their sleep. I encourage you to have patience before losing your temper. As I said above, more often than not when my kids are having a rough night it is for a reason.
  • Consistency. But on the other hand sometimes children test boundaries as they get older and they need to know you’ll remain firm and bedtime means bedtime. If your child is being cheeky and constantly getting out of bed to see what you are watching on TV (I remember doing this) or asking for sips of water, take them back to bed making sure there is no actual reason for them to be out (have they used the toilet/had a drink/are full, no temperature etc) say “no, it’s now bed time, you need rest for tomorrow!” give them a kiss, say good night and walk out or if they are terribly upset, I would sit by their bed for a little while until they are calmed down.  (I only recommend this with children that actually understand reason and for each child that age will vary, but I would say not for very young children, I would do this with LuLu but not Tommy.)

I hope you found this post helpful, I would love to know your top piece of sleep advice, what has worked best for you?
Connect with me on my social media and let me know!

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6 tips to avoid rushed chaos in the morning. 

Hi friends!

In today’s post I want to share some great tips to make your mornings less frantic. A big question I am often asked is how I get out the door on time in the mornings… LuLu has kindy 5 days a fortnight and this term + 1 morning of pre-prep, so lots on for us! So these are the things that work for us…

  • Preparation is the key to success. It truly is! Like the saying “those who fail to prepare, prepare to fail” goes – I truly believe being organised early as possible is how to be successful. The evening before we pack the lunch box, fill the water bottle and set out her bag – making sure it is packed with everything she needs for the following day – excursion/free dress day money, notes are signed and in bag etc… I also lay out her kindy clothes. Making a small effort in the evening means less stress in the morning.
  • Get sleep! Having a good nights sleep makes you more productive in the morning and well rested kids are easier to deal with!
  • Wake up at a reasonable hour. This should be a no brainer. I tend to be up around 6am’ish. This allows us time to calmly get through our morning routine.
  • Get things done as early as possible. As soon as we are done with breakfast I am busy, I put laundry on, LuLu knows to brush her teeth & get dressed, I go and get myself ready for the day and then I dress Tommy and do LuLu’s hair. Usually we then have some time to chill out in the playroom before going to kindy.
  • Set age appropriate jobs for your kids. LuLu knows to put her breakfast bowl in the sink, she often goes out to take the dogs coats off and she brushes her teeth and gets dressed on her own.  This helps me in the morning, while she is doing those tasks I can be doing others.
  • Know your time frames. Know how long it takes to get to the school and know when you have to be out the door, we like to get to kindy a few minutes early so we can chat to the teacher or other parents and calmly see LuLu off… I feel this sets her up for a good day as her morning has been calm and not flustered.

Our morning routine on a kindy day is fairly straight forward, I find having good routines with young children really is beneficial for them. They know what to expect and it isn’t chaos for them…
If you would like to see a kindy morning/day in action please check out my latest video HERE… 
But this is a basic look at how an average/ideal morning runs for us…

6am’ish I wake up with Tommy, LuLu occasionally will be awake at the same time or may wake a little later…
6:15am Unpack dishwasher and start organising breakfasts. The kids enjoy cereal and I have toast and a cup of tea.
6:45am LuLu is usually awake by now and having breakfast or our breakfast is done for the day. I tidy the kitchen, put away the toaster and wipe down the benches and if I need to get meat out of the freezer for dinner, I do it now.
7am I put the laundry on and make my bed.
7:05am I do my hair and makeup and get ready for the day. While I do this LuLu cleans her teeth and gets dressed for the day. I usually straighten her bed for her and then she sets up her snuggle toys neatly.
7:30am I dress Tommy.
7:35am I do LuLu’s hair, sometimes it is just a pony tail, other days she likes more detailed styles…
7:50am I may do a quick vacuum or some light cleaning while the kids play in the playroom.
8am I hang the laundry on the line.
8:10am We hang out in the playroom.
8:30am’ish We leave for kindy.

And that is a very rough guide to our morning. Some days flow smoothly and occasionally we have rushed mornings, but we all really dislike those so we strive to have calm and organised mornings.
How do your mornings go before kindy/school? What is your biggest tip for having a successful morning? I would love to know, comment below or on my social media!

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10 tips for surviving a heat wave with kids.

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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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.

7 months & still TV free… 

Kids don’t remember their best day of television.

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Hey friends,

Back in February I did a blog post about giving up TV (you can read it HERE)… And I said if we made it to 6 months I would do another update… So here we are… 7 months later and we still are pretty much TV free, with a few exceptions.

  • Trent & I occasionally watch a movie together when he is on days off.
  • Trent likes to watch Netflix sometimes, it’s his way to unwind.
  • LuLu has been allowed to watch DVDs a little bit, mainly because in the past month we’ve all had colds twice and popping a movie on is the only way I can get her to lay down and rest… Her DVD choices lately have been; Skippy the bush kangaroo, Milo & Otis, a national geographic doco on dogs & cats – basically any “real animal” type of movie/program! She also gets to watch a movie sometimes if she visits her best friend.

For me personally, I don’t care to watch TV at all.. I find I am far too busy for it. By the time the night ends and I’ve finished everything I need to, I’ll do some social media updates & I’m done for the night… I don’t miss it and I feel my brain is healthier for not knowing the latest happenings in Summer Bay.

Positive benefits I’ve noticed since going TV free;

  • LuLu is more creative and her already big imagination has sky rocketed even further.
  • Any nonsense catch phrases or language traits that she had that were similar to any children’s tv characters are gone.
  • She isn’t exposed to advertisements marketed for children or possible inappropriate shows/ads.
  •  I feel her vocabulary has grown even more. (I do and always have spoken to my children in a sensible manner, just as though I was speaking to an adult. Yes, when they are tiny babies I speak a little cute/baby to them, but I mainly speak very sensibly to them. This has benefited LuLu greatly and she is well spoken & has a vast vocabulary. She asks what words mean if she doesn’t know and then strives to use them in context.)
  • We eat every single meal at the dining table.
  • She is even more interested in doing learning actives and crafts and can often do so unattended.
  • She is more mature – maybe that has just come with her getting older, but I truly believe silly kid shows like Peppa Pig/Charlie & Lola etc encourage children to behave bratty & silly.
  • All her toys are being played with. Each day she swaps between toys and each day is a new made up scenario.
  • She is learning so much from doing activities, learning books & reading. She loves to learn & that makes me so proud.
  • She has always loved being outside but she is outside & being active even more.
  • My mind is clearer and not consumed with nonsense.
  • I have more time and I am much more productive.

So does LuLu ask to watch tv? Nope… She does very rarely pick a movie and ask for it, and sometimes we say yes. Or if we suggest going outside or doing another activity 9/10 times she would pick going outside or the other activity. Movies are a last resort mainly used if she isn’t feeling well or she needs to rest.
She also knows now the tv is not broken, we just don’t watch it.
Will we turn the tv back on? I hope not… I am very happy with how our lives are without it. I do enjoy watching the occasional feel good, inspiring & uplifting movie – but that’s it.
I have been asked how we stay up to date on world issues. Well, if something major happens in our world it is on social media in minutes. I follow news channel accounts for this reason and to be honest, I would prefer to personally view the segment of news updates on my phone as the chance of LuLu seeing & hearing it is low. So why is that? Because she is almost 4, she does not need to know right at this very moment how very awful this world can be. Heck I am 28 and I don’t want to know half the time about the atrocities & devastation that go on in the world!  She will know soon enough, but for now I want her brain to be full of joy & her biggest concerns only being what words mean and if she is going to play farms or barbies that day.

So, do you think you could go TV free?
If you are considering it I truly encourage you to do it, it isn’t as hard as you think and you & your family will benefit greatly from it! Personally I believe it has been one of the greatest decisions we’ve ever made!
Try it for a week, or a month or 6 months! Let me know how you go or what your thoughts are! Let me know in the comments or connect with me on my social media…
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What am I gonna tell my kids when they see all of this bullshit that goes down on TV?
When the whole world is down on its luck, I gotta make sure they keep their chin up.
– Old Dominion.

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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“What’s your go to way to reset during or after a hard day”.

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Teaching kids money values. {Guest Post / Laurie Griggs}

Hi friends!
This weeks post is a guest post by the money wise & very knowledgeable Laurie Griggs.
In this post she will be discussing how to teach kids money values with pocket money.

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Laurie Griggs is a Money Mentor and Budgeting Coach as well as a wife and mother from Toowoomba QLD. Laurie shares her experience and knowledge taken from a 15 year career in finance, business qualifications and experience of applying unpredictable income from their own family web design business to the household budget for over nine years.
Her mission is helping other entrepreneurs, escape the worry and anxiety of unpredictable cashflow. Instead she helps them to achieve their own life goals they have always wanted but have been held back by debt or from never getting ahead. Find out more about Laurie and also check out her own blog here: www.budgetbeyond.com.au
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Best age for teaching kids money values with pocket money 
Oftentimes, perhaps, even by default, we associate chores and pocket money… You earn pocket money by doing chores. Except, I am challenging you to think about it differently.
Chores and Pocket Money serve different purposes.
The purpose of chores is to teach our kids about work and willingly helping to contribute. They are part of a family and it is important for each of them to do their part, and appreciate the contributions of one another…
The purpose of pocket money however, is to teach our kids how to manage money. They are two separate things. And that separation is key.
Pocket money based off chores is so often a huge hassle. It’s hard to be consistent, it creates a lot of undue overhead (e.g. commissions applied to different jobs, monitoring clean bedrooms and being dependent on how cranky mum is feeling that day), which makes it even harder to be consistent. Not to mention, they get smart and it can feel like anytime we ask them to do something they’re expecting to get paid or worse yet they decide that pocket money isn’t worth the work!
From the age of four (before that money is simply a choking hazard) to about seven, the main teaching point about money for our little ones is its value, how to count it and how it works in our society eg. practice using it to buy milk from the corner shop…
Then from the age of eight to about thirteen (or high school age), the main idea is teaching them to manage it. This is where pocket money should come in. Keep it consistent, the same every week and nothing to do with chores or behaviour.   I wouldn’t even pretend to give a ‘best amount’ as this simply depends on each family’s individual financial situation.
This is also the perfect time in their life to set up their very first budget. You might like to use the traditional method of GIVE 10%, then SAVE half of the rest and SPEND the other half. But its up to you and your own family values you wish to teach and pass on.
Then watch what happens when you give them a choice of what to spend their remaining on… funny enough, they usually only put all their focus on just one thing!
After the age of thirteen they’re not too young to think about earning their own money… You might even find they have their very own entrepreneurial nature! They might like to try dog sitting, mowing the neighbours yards or selling arts and craft. The  possibilities are endless.
Whether or not you’re intentional about teaching your kids about money, you will teach them about money. For better or for worse, they are watching and learning. The best thing you can do for their financial future (and yours!) is to get control of your money, make a plan, and keep talking about it. Someday (maybe when they are like 27?) they will thank you.
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Thanks for reading friends!
I hope you found this guest post informative & helpful. Let me know below or on my social media!
Snap Chat; Bindy_30
Also make sure you check out Laurie.

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