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!
Facebook.
Instagram.
Twitter.
Pinterest.
YouTube.
Snapchat; Bindy_30
Thank you so much for reading!
Signature

img_7315

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

Answer this question for the scavenger hunt by clicking HERE.

Advertisements

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.

11D64B3C-2426-4C8C-8E93-95FF20E236ED_zpsd0hfaxef
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
Laurie-Feature-Photo-Square_zpsdngmaost
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.
39759363-AB88-45A1-85C8-06EE0B7E4DCA_zpsumvroeep

 

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.

Signature

How I survive life with a newborn & a toddler.

Outer order contributes to inner calm.
787EA2B1-A14F-417E-B8F3-FE20CB1987D8_zpsbjaq8ini
 

As of just the other day I am a parent of a 3 & a something year old & a 2 month old.
A 2 MONTH OLD!!
When did that happen? Wasn’t he just born? Wasn’t she just born?? Time please slow down!
Lately the number 1 question I am asked every time I chat to someone is “sooo, how’s life with 2 kids?” And to be honest like I tell everyone, it has been pretty smooth sailing & easy and for that I am very thankful.
Now for the first couple of weeks I was fortunate enough to have Trent home with me & that helped a lot, but he has been back at work for well over a month now so I have had to get a routine going.
And before we go any further and I jinx myself I wish to point out we are still in the fourth trimester & Tommy is a very content little man who feeds well & enjoys his sleep and has made this transition from 1 to 2 kids very easy – this all may change at any given point – I am not naive enough to think otherwise.
But while it’s all going well & I’m feeling confident in my mothering ability, I thought I would share my personal top 2 key points for surviving life with a toddler & a newborn on my own.
Over organise & plan everything and give yourself grace. 
Organisation & time management are top priorities for me in running my day, especially my evening routine – I believe it is why life has been pretty good for us. I am a planning & organising freak, I geek out over having everything organised & knowing exactly how things need to run. Of course planning things doesn’t mean they will go to plan, but being prepared at least helps.
One of the main things I over plan is our meals. I plan our dinners monthly, I have been doing this for over a year now. At the start of each month, I sit down and plan our dinner for everyday – when Trent is working I make sure our meals are ones that have leftovers for his & LuLu’s lunches and for his days off I add meals in easier meals like leftovers, the occasional take out or easy dinners. And I have the flexibility to change any day – but the main point is being prepared and having dinner for each night already thought of. This takes away the stress of  the “what’s for dinner” panic moment! I do groceries when Trent is on days off and make sure I have enough ingredients for each nights meal, so I never need to go to the store on my own with 2 kids or at the last minute.
A brief look at our evening routine (which is very organised) during a typical day is;
In the afternoon (when Trent is on shift) – by 2:30pm/3pm at the latest Tommy is bathed, fed and down for a sleep or playing on his mat. LuLu is bathed by 3:30pm and by 4:30pm at the latest her and I are eating dinner, then I tidy up and then we do reading from 5pm, this is often my quiet time with her – she loves to read, so we read A LOT of books – which can be time consuming, but I want to always encourage her love of books. After her regular books we read from the children’s bible & little prayer books.
Now that all may seem ridiculously early for the average family & it wouldn’t work for school aged children – but for us in this current season of life it works. When Trent is on night shift we eat dinner together at 3:30pm before he leaves for work around 5pm – so early dinners are normal for us.
I like to have everything done as early as possible because if by chance something goes wrong I have time to deal with it before LuLu’s bed time – which is around 6-6:30pm, 7pm at the very latest. At 7pm Trent is home & he has dinner, shower and we can sit and catch up. If he is on night shift I use my time in the evening to clean, read, journal, do social media stuff or work on the blog.
When Trent is working I aim for my schedule to run right on time – but when he is on days off I tend to get a bit relaxed and things slip, but that is ok – I have my “back up” here to help me when bedtimes & dinner run a little late – life happens and that is ok. But when I am on my own, I try to aim for everything to run as smoothly as possible & be done on time.
This allows for less stress and I have set myself up to have a small break in the evening – which I feel is important. Mothers need to schedule in “self care” time for ourselves, even if it  is just half an hour of doing something just for you or sitting in silence. It may not happen daily, but it really helps us recharge & taking care of ourselves helps us take better care of our family.
So yes, my days maybe a little too planned & over organised, but for me it works and it has made life a lot less stressful.
(And the way I run things may or may not work for you, this is just how I do things – I am not telling you to do the same! And of course there are days that this doesn’t all happen so smoothly, but for the most of it, it does.)
And for my second but equally important thing to remember when having 1, 2 or 5 children – give yourself grace – basically cut yourself some slack! Remember you are human, you will not be able to juggle every ball perfectly always, you may stumble, make mistakes, get frustrated, yell or have a day or a week where it all goes wrong – and that is ok. The following day is a fresh start and life happens – life is not always terrific but it is what it is and it is what we make of it. So even when you are in the trenches of motherhood strive to look for one small thing to be thankful for, even if it is just bedtime when you can sit alone and just breath. Training our brains to look for things to be grateful for even in trying times is life changing.
So that is how my life with 2 kids is right now – it’s good. I am thankful for that – I am continually praying for strength, patience and wisdom to be a better Mother as I am well aware I am not perfect – but I feel confident in how it is all going.
I have just said all this and we have just hit the second leap – so by tomorrow this may all have gone out the window! Ha! But I guess that is another main key to parenting, be flexible and roll with the changes in each season.
What are your personal top 2 keys for parenting? I would love to know!
(If you would like me to do more detailed posts on dinner organisation, how I organise/plan our days or even a typical day in the life post, please let me know!)
Please leave a comment below or on anyone of my social media accounts;

Snap Chat; Bindy_30

I often share snippets of my day on snapchat, so if you would like to follow that please comment on my social media accounts or message me with your username as it’s a private account & I don’t accept names that don’t seem familiar. (It is private as I occasionally show my kids on there!) 
Have a wonderful week.
Signature

I will hold myself to a standard of grace, not perfection. 

TV free for 1 month & counting!

Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you.
Untitled

On Monday I posted on my facebook about not being able to watch The Super Bowl because we were going TV free, well that created a little bit of a conversation. So I thought I should write a blog post on it…
We have been TV free for just over 1 month.
One morning Trent sprung out of bed and then returned, I had no idea what he had done until we walked out to the living area & LuLu went to switch the TV on like she does every morning & Trent said “Oh looks like the TV is broken, see the red light is gone”. She said “Oh” & seemed a little bit disappointed but just shrugged it off & went off to her playroom to play.
And that was that.
It was off & it hasn’t come back on.
Well, to be honest Trent & I do occasionally watch a movie & we were watching Hart Of Dixie at night, but our Stan (similar to Netflix) subscription has ended so we are no longer watching that. But there is zero TV for LuLu and it is never on while she’s awake.
When Trent has been on night shift, instead of sitting down in front of the TV at night I have been reading, which I love but I use to feel like I didn’t have time for, but clearly I do – TV was just consuming my free time.
For myself I have noticed I am much more productive & Trent and I spend more time talking to each other – well, I do the talking (lol). Watching TV as a couple makes you feel like you are spending time together, but really you aren’t. You are just sitting side by side, not connecting. We are also getting more sleep because we are going to bed earlier (every bit of sleep counts when you are a parent!) 
LuLu hasn’t seemed to mind at all, which makes me very happy & proud.
Her creativity & imagination has kicked back into gear. She is playing with her toys more, like all of her toys! And drawing more, she is happy to go off in the morning and sit at her drawing table and colour.
After talking about ditching the TV for awhile I am glad Trent took the initiative to do it, it has been a positive decision for our family.
So why did we do this?
In short, I think too much for TV for kids is not beneficial. I have thought this forever and up until about midway through last year LuLu hardly watched TV – she did watch it but not a great deal. But then I got sick.
Trent still had to work, I was weak, pregnant & sick – so I let her watch TV to occupy herself. I was stuck on the lounge a lot of the time, so it was an easy fix when I was too unwell to really do anything else. But then we got too comfortable with TV and it was on regularly throughout our day & the more I sat around & was able to focus on the kids shows and realise how rubbish most of them were, the more I wanted her to stop watching it all together. Many of the characters on kids shows are rude & naughty & I could see my sweet girl picking up silly phrases from these animated brats! I have no idea what these shows are meant to teach kids – but I couldn’t see them doing any good for my child. (Peppa, Lola etc I am looking at you!!)
(The shows I don’t mind are the Wiggles & Playschool.)
Since the TV shut off I noticed pretty much instantly LuLu’s attention span increased greatly, she was focusing on more activities and doing lots more imaginative play & for longer periods of time & independently. She can go into her playroom and stay there for around 1 hour just playing and making up little scenarios with her toys. She happily entertains herself when I am busy cleaning or feeding Tommy (I do regularly sit down to read or play for a short while in the playroom with her – but I feel it is important for kids to be left alone to be “bored” – this is where their imaginations take off, so I do make myself busy during the day so she has some alone time – but I do love occasionally hiding behind the door frame listening to her play pretend, it is so funny & sweet hearing what she comes up with!)
When TV was apart of our lives – her big toy room that is full of almost every type of toy you can imagine went unplayed with regularly and that frustrated me! Now she loves to colour & draw more & we also have started doing little learning work books in our spare time. LuLu has always loved to read but now we read even more books and she has memorised even more of them & can almost memorise a book after me reading it just one time. She also happily eats at the table with us now instead of wanting to eat in front of the TV, like she wants to sit with us & chat!
Shutting the TV off has been a positive step in our lives and I don’t see us switching it on anytime soon. During the day we do have an American country music station playing, we regularly have spontaneous dance parties & LuLu loves trying to sing along to the songs!
We may start letting her watch the occasional movie as a treat in the future but for now we are enjoying it being off. I highly doubt ABC2 will be allowed back on, I would prefer to buy a PlaySchool or Wiggles DVD then allow the nonsense that is often on that channel back in our house.
So why do I feel TV is so bad?
In short, I believe it kills the imagination & attention span of children. TV can cause children to become irritable & angry, it can negatively effect their behaviour and sleep, shut off cognitive learning & can cause kids to lack creativity. I’ve seen some of this in my own child. When we were at the height of TV watching she rarely wanted to entertain herself or play with her toys, especially on her own. But thankfully since turning it off I have seen a remarkable change in her. And I do feel she is going to bed a lot easier at night. She plays hard during the days & by 5:45pm/6pm she’s ready to lay down in bed and is asleep not long after.
Limiting screen time in kids can decrease the likelihood of a range of childhood problems ranging from obesity to attention span issues.
(I haven’t mentioned LuLu’s fitness or outdoor time increasing at all because she has always been an active kid who would gladly pick outside over TV. But not all kids are the same – so in some children limiting TV time could improve their fitness/health levels by them becoming more interested in outside time.) 
I also should mention we don’t do any form of “screen time” for LuLu. We don’t own an iPad or tablet, if she is touching our phones it is only to hand it to us. Very rarely she may play with the calculator on Trent’s phone, she likes to count the numbers & she does enjoy the snapchat filters on my phone. So TV was the only screen we had to deal with.
Now I realise this decision isn’t for everyone and no judgement to those who have the TV on – every family is different and what is right for us maybe wrong for you & vice versa. This however is a positive choice for our family and I thought by writing this post it may encourage another family to give this a go if they were on the fence about switching off.

  • A tip if you do want to switch the TV off, is turn it off at the standby button or even at the wall, do this especially if you have a clever toddler who clues onto things very well. We didn’t want to make turning the TV off to be a punishment for no real reason, so saying it was “broken” worked for us. That way we can bring it back if we wish & she doesn’t have bad feelings towards the situation.

If you plan to or already have gone TV free I would love to hear how it went or how you are going, or any thoughts you have on this!
Please comment below or on one of my social media accounts!

Snap Chat; Bindy_30

If we make it to 6 months TV free I will do another update!

Signature

Turn off, tune in.