MumKayles and “The Natural Parent Magazine”

The Natural Parent Magazine is a very well known and respected parenting magazine. Obviously focussed on Natural living, the magazine is very much in line with my views on parenting.

http://www.thenaturalparent.com.au
http://www.thenaturalparent.com.au

A little while ago I was asked to contribute to their blog with articles much the same as published here.

Below you can find links to the posts I have contributed with them (many more to come).

It’s ok mumma you can sit down now

Advertisements

Help MumKayles with Allergy T-Shirt Business

It wasn’t long ago that I posted about some changes for MumKayles and things have been moving fast.

For my allergy followers you will be pleased to hear that I am in the process of designing Allergy T-Shirts for children with allergies to wear at pre-school, childcare, birthday parties or just out in public.

If you are like me you want a shirt that has a clear message and simple design that stands out in a crowd. I have designed these shirts to be practical to keep our precious babies safe in public.

There will be a shop coming soon, however,  to speed up the process I have started this campaign on Indiegogo to help raise the funds for this much needed business.

Please check out this link if you can help or share around as much as possible: MumKayles Allergy T-shirts Fundraiser

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 3.57.57 pm

 

How and why to take a time-out; from a mum with 2 under 2

I could have chosen to clean up tonight, or take a bath, or watch t.v but I chose to write. Writing calms me, as does coke and chocolate (unfortunately one is healthier than the other two). There are very few moments in a day, with 2 babies under two, where I can choose what I do and do it without interruption. One of those times is bedtime (Mine not the babies).

I almost never go to bed. My mind switches on and is alive before my eyes close so I get up instead. Currently I’m working on allergy awareness t-shirts. My daughter has severe food allergies that have caused her to suffer anaphylaxis in the past. She is starting childcare soon and since there are no 100% suitable products on the market I am designing my own. This keeps me up at night.

As does this blog, my emails, website design, app production, breastfeeding. It’s all too much sometimes. Of course the house could be cleaner, the blog could be bigger, the website better, the app has so much potential. Alas there is only one of me! What to do??

Well I need more sleep. So I’ve actually written that down but somehow I don’t think the kids are going to let me sleep 12 hours a night anyway. It is important to be kind to yourself though and do some things that give you peace, rest and fun.

Here is what I do:

  • Co-sleep. This is a personal choice. I choose to do it because after 4 kids this is how I get the most sleep at night. I barely remember waking up to feed either of the kids. By co-sleep I mean I have a cot side-carred to the bed for my toddler, she comes over to me some nights for a bottle other nights she will sleep through. Mostly she just likes to cuddle. If she needs anything I am right there and can tend to her with minimal fuss. Everyone is usually back asleep within a minute after her waking. I also have a bassinet right next to my bed for the baby. I will sit up and feed him if he wakes before midnight, however, he usually lasts till 3-5am. For these feeds I put him in bed and go back to sleep while he feeds. I always follow safe co-sleeping guidelines.
  • Force myself to shower with the babies first thing in the morning. This one has actually taken me a long time to figure out. I could never work out how to shower without one of them crying. Now it is easiest if I just put all 3 of us in the shower at once. We do this twice a day and everyone stays clean and there is no crying baby while you shower.
  • Drink water. Sounds simple but unless my drink bottle is on the kitchen bench I do forget. It’s important so drink up!
  • Babywear. This has to be the most fun way of getting things done. I have plenty of pictures of me baby wearing and that is because it keeps baby happy and mum mobile. This is a win-win when you have babies and the inevitable thousand things that come with looking after said baby.
  • Make time to sit down on the floor and play with the babies. This I could definitely do more of but I have started to schedule it into our days. It is like a little recharge for them because all of their needs are being met in that moment. You may even be able to close your eyes for 2 seconds out of every minute. Watch out for the toys that will no doubt get thrown at your face.
  • Set goals. Yes I’m a mum but there are things I want to achieve. Some days it is making sure dinner is on the table. Some days it is this massive online selling company that won’t leave my every thought. I write them down and look at them each day. I prioritise what is most important to me and make a list of all the things I need to do to reach that goal. It’s amazing how having that list of goals helps you achieve them. This is so important for mums because you can often feel lost and a little bit hopeless when you are so giving of yourself to babies. Sometimes we can’t do everything but we can balance our needs with the babies and this makes everyone happy. Put everything down, find a pen and paper and get some goals!
  • Go to the beach. It is so refreshing even just sitting near it breathing in the ocean air. It clears your mind. If I can’t pack up and go for a swim at the beach (because let’s face it that sometimes takes a week to organise) I will put both babies in the car and just drive there. Often one or both of them will fall asleep and I’ll sit in the car under the shade watching the waves and taking in the scenery. It’s so important to unwind and the beach is a fantastic way of forgetting everything that has to be done and just being in the moment.

You might not want to do any or all of these things but if you feel like things are getting too hard one of them might help you. Being a mum is hard. Having a baby is hard. Having 2 babies is hard. Having multiples would be insane but hard. We all have a lot going on and there is always pressure on us to do this parenting thing one way or another. Be kind to yourself and take a time-out to implement something that will make your days and nights easier if you need to. Good luck fellow mummies (and daddies) I hope all of your kids are sleeping at this time of night! (posted at 10pm precisely when I should be sleeping zzzz)

1379866_10205911719292037_1368777113898201131_n

1907467_10205911719852051_6056140501847162030_n

10953985_10205911719612045_5851089821992811369_n

 

Babywearing always gets things done :-)
Wear all the babies 🙂

What’s next?

An interesting concept to pause/play friendships but the thing that stands out to me the most is that growing up my great grandmother (who lived till she was 92 because she kept both her mind and body busy) used to say to us to watch all the travel shows on t.v because you may not make it there. Now seeing my brother travel has just made me think how possible it is to actually see these places for real not just through a t’v screen but our Nanna G must have known the importance of travel, meeting new people, seeing new things and experiencing new cultures. Good luck on your adventures Bro i hope you can hit play on all the friendships you’ve left on pause!

Jayden Hetherington

Back to the traveling way of life and back to pause/play friendships, a term my friend came up with to describe how travellers deal with friends who span the globe.

Crazy thought the new way of connecting on social media. Generally I’m not a fan of the anti-social nature of it all but I find it comes in very handy when heading back to a location and the stream of messages come in from paused friends ready to hit play again and pick up where we left off.

I guess it might seem strange to people who don’t travel much but when we meet new people on a trip I call it a “friendship on steroids”. It only takes moments to become friends. Within the day you share more about yourself then you would with childhood friends and by the following day you call each other family. You may…

View original post 155 more words

A look in Lacey’s life (living with a contact allergy)

I was very surprised to see how many people read and shared my blog on Lacey’s first allergic reaction. It was quite mind blowing because our network of people is usually small. Lacey is an absolutely gorgeous girl but her contact allergy (or so we believe it to be) is very hard to manage once we step outside the front door.

Stressful! That word is an understatement, however, the feeling intensifies as you get closer to people and particularly those with food and drinks. People are always eating and drinking, dropping crumbs and spilling things (without washing their hands or cleaning it up…gasp!). This makes it hard to leave the house but as our baby gets older we do not want to isolate her from her community. It has been hard to get some people on board but I will keep chipping away. We used to stick to necessary medical appointments and Nan’s house but we have changed our thinking to how can we do this activity safely instead of how can we keep her far far away (like we did for some time after she had her first reaction).

Just the other day we were enjoying a day at Wet n Wild on the Gold Coast. We set up camp well away from other people but eventually they came, bringing their food closer and closer. The thought crossed my mind that the rest of the world should only eat what Lacey can eat but hey even I couldn’t do that. Anyway the inevitable happened and someone dropped a sauce bottle and it went flying all over Lacey…eeek! I screamed! The people apologised but looked at me like I was a moron it was only sauce. I stripped her and ran for water. It all turned out ok in the end but her little face once again swelled and turned red. Thankfully her breathing was not affected and after an hour in the first aid room we managed to return to our spot but moved it further away from the crowd. We went back to enjoying the water and rides.

Hyper-aware. There is this thing that happens to you once you have seen anaphylaxis in full swing. You suddenly find yourself knowing exactly where every crumb and droplet of food is. Exactly where your hands have been after touching food and exactly how many times to wash your hands in a day. A thousand times is never enough because you just touched the bench which hadn’t been wiped so “go wash your hands again”. It’s tiring. You also know which toys have been contaminated when thrown at the kitchen bench and which plate was splattered whilst cooking with non-safe foods. You are hyper-aware of food now and all the contaminants around you.

Lonely. There are some days when I wish my child was normal enough to take down town without having to stop people from touching her, without having to move her out of the way of every cup of coffee and ice-cream. There are days when I have washed my hands 1 thousand times and I don’t want to do it again. I would love to take her to the bakery and share a cupcake and babycino with her but we can’t. Not at least until her next lot of testing around her 2nd birthday. Maybe she will have ‘real’ birthday cake this year, only the test will tell. There are days when I cry for my girl who may not ever be able to do things the same as other kids. It can be an incredibly isolating journey. Educating people is the hardest. Most don’t get it. I feel very alone.

Lacey Jay. Lacey has blonde curly hair that falls ever so perfectly around her big blue eyes. She has a smile that could light up your life. Cheeky and intelligent she runs rings around her 3 brothers. Lacey can count to 5 and tell you she did a sneeze. She can run away from you really fast when she has something she’s not allowed. And she will look at you to see if you are looking as she sneaks in to her brother’s rooms. She likes Baby Jake and Giggle and Hoot and sometimes likes to suck her brother’s dummy. Lacey gives the best cuddles and kisses and her family is her life. She does not know stress and hyper aware or even lonely. She is surrounded by love. She is not “Stop don’t touch she has allergies” she is just Lacey Jay.

Lacey Jay - 20 Months
Lacey Jay – 20 Months

New year new MumKayles

Here at MumKayles things are changing. I wasn’t able to post as much as I would have liked last year but the new year brings new energy and ideas. Firstly I live in the most gorgeous Northern NSW, Australia. I will bring you loads of sun and sand stories from my children and I as we explore our region.

The "Blue Pools", Angourie, Yamba, NSW, Australia
The “Blue Pools”, Angourie, Yamba, NSW, Australia

We are lucky to have some amazing surfing beaches on the north coast and my 11 year old son Rhiley is not only a great surfer but a keen photographer also. I’m hoping that you will see some posts from him as he starts his mission to surf all around the country and be picked up by a sponsor. I am going to introduce some guest bloggers this year as well. I have many and varied friends that are all successful at what they do. Spending some time with my brother (which is rare as he is usually on the other side of the world or working 20 hours out of 24 when he’s home) taught me to look around at my network. See what my friends and family and workmates have to offer. So together we are going to continue the current theme of MumKayles, which is to show honest accounts of parenting, and introduce some new topics that are close to my heart as well such as health, juggling work and home, what it’s like for the dads etc.

Lacey pointing towards the future with her uncle Jayden, Brother Konnor and Mamaa (Grandmother) Janelle
Lacey pointing towards the future with her uncle Jayden, Brother Konnor and Mamaa (Grandmother) Janelle

If you have any suggestions for topics please leave a message on this blog and help me out by sharing it also. I would like to make this as much a community blog as my own and thus would like to add community notices and events. If you know of anything family friendly happening in the Northern Rivers region please let me know. Thanks for reading and I’ll be back with blog posts soon.

for Peter…

Together

18th August 2014

It’s 9 pm and my kids are in bed and so is their dad. He has work in the morning. I ponder the bills, the mess, my cup of tea. I try to write about anything else but nothing comes. Instead I think of the ugliness, the selfishness, the unfairness of cancer and death. This is my experience.

A few years ago I was at my pop’s funeral. I didn’t want to go but I had to obviously and it made me feel sick and childlike. I was far from a child. It was so hot I wanted to throw up from the heat. On this day I felt small. I didn’t feel small when my pop had said to me, just weeks before, that I should go yabbying with him because “you know I won’t be around for much longer Kailie”. That’s what he had said to me and yet it made me feel grand. I was doing something meaningful for him before his time was up. But Cancer, it makes you small and you sure as hell can’t do anything once it takes over.

I immediately recalled all the funerals I had been to and the one that always sticks in my mind is the one where I couldn’t go in. That was my other Pop’s funeral, my dad’s dad, and I was just a child. I cried at the door of the church and i could not go in. I didn’t get enough years with him. I have not been to a funeral where memories of all the previous ones do not come flooding back and that is a feeling I still cannot reconcile within myself. There has simply been too many.

I am not afraid to talk about death, or write this post, and it is not a taboo subject in our house. I am not even afraid of dying myself but I am afraid of how people cope with it and how it is talked about or not in our communities. I am uncomfortable with the ritual of a funeral. I have experienced way too many of them. None do enough justice to the person they farewell. None give me closure.

I am telling my story so that you can tell yours and people can talk about death in a healthy way. Death happens and the better we can deal with that as a society, maybe, just maybe the easier it will be. I believe that, apart from missing the person like uncontrollably crazily, that death is hard because it is unknown. Grief is incredibly unknown and in a way harder than death itself. The burden is not shared between the community like it should be, except at the inadequate funeral, and it sits like a weight on your shoulders for the rest of your life.

The Doctors had predicted it for him. 6 months to live. Like a sentence the judge gives you for speeding too many times. But this is a life sentence and you haven’t done anything wrong to receive it. My pop lived 2 weeks after being told this (from my memory and as such may not be accurate but grief skews with your sense of time).

For the record Cancer doesn’t know it’s your Pop.

But cancer visits again. Like a demon under the bed and it haunts me. And I am afraid for the sentence the Doctors might try to predict for my uncle. Peter. They haven’t yet.

I am surprised at the changes in him in such a short period of time. I am amazed at the strength and determination to live in the face of such a horrid, relentless, unimaginable disease. I am humbled by the generosity of strangers donating to my family and I am honored to have such a strong woman for an aunty, who selflessly takes care of him day in and day out on her own. I marvel at the bags of blood and concoctions of drugs that it takes to keep him alive and I am sad that all he wants to do is hold each of my babies but it is never the right time when we visit.

I am so confident in saying that he is not dying. I believe with every ounce of my being that he will beat this. I am optimistic and a little bit stupid at the same time. Stupid because I am selfish, selfish because I could not bare to lose another member of my family to cancer, or anything for that matter. But this is not my choice. There is no choice.

My aunty’s cat just got put to sleep tonight because he had cancer and it had spread to his lymph nodes, I don’t even like cats but fuck cancer can you just leave us alone PLEASE.

6th January 2015

The sentence is out, 4 weeks. Four fucking weeks it is a joke! After 7 months (roughly) of treatment, 7 months of hell and back but my brother writes “Every day is a gift cherish them to the end. There are 43,200 seconds in a day each moment is precious make them count!” It is optimistic in the face of anything but.

Luckily for us we have a big family and if we have anything it is each other. We will reach out to each other and use each other in this time of need. Though I am yet to speak to him, my uncle, I will make his every wish come true for every 43 thousand and 200 hundred seconds that he has left. WE ARE HERE FOR YOU!

Cancer you have not beat us yet and death you will not conquer our minds or spirit…The Saville’s!

10888791_10203889362377025_5197674924027201921_n

Yelling at your kids is not going to produce good children you hear!

What is a good kid you ask? Well that is about as subjective as “Does my arse look fat in this”? It really depends on how you see the reflection in the mirror. In my mums day if she was seen and not heard she was probably a good kid. I don’t know if that’s true but it’s what I grew up hearing from my grandparents. Today it is more complicated than that as parenting styles differ as much as mobile phone covers. And everyone thinks you are doing it wrong anyways. Personally I would like to raise children that are curious, kind, helpful, resilient, up for a challenge, and generally not rude or ignorant. Sometimes I would like them to clean up after themselves but hey you can’t have everything.

At my son’s sports carnival recently I heard what I tend to hear a lot when I go out in public with my kids. Yelling, all day long! This one lady had 4 well behaved kids all sitting still. Yes they sat still but then it began. She screeched for all to hear “Just shut your cake hole!” I hadn’t heard them making a fuss or anything, just normal kids talk and play, but shut your cake hole really? I actually sat up and looked at her but quickly looked away. I was embarrassed. Anyway parents shout at their kids sometimes, even I do it, but what amazed me was that it was silent for the next 5 minutes. Apparently the kids had shut their cake holes. I might be a bit judgemental when I say it was pretty piss poor from her but basically the message she was sending to her kids was that they were not worthy of enjoyment and their voices would not be heard that day.

 I thought maybe it was a once off and gave her the benefit of the doubt. She was on her own with 4 kids so I could empathise. I have four children myself and some days it takes a lot of energy to not yell at them. “Break my PSP and I will break you!” was the next thing I heard from her. There was no response. I didn’t hear any of the children respond with anything although why would they? They already knew that speaking wouldn’t get them anywhere. I don’t know if she realised it or not but this has a very powerful message to children about their bodies. If there is an important message to give kids it is that their bodies should be valued and that they should be in control of them, not that possessions are more important and autonomy is not allowed. This is dangerous for kids.

“You are eating that hot dog I don’t care what you say just eat it!” I actually cringed when the child responded to this one and it began. The tyrade of yelling and ignorance as he tried to explained that he wasn’t hungry and that he had already told her that and yet she just continued over the top of him until he ate that hot dog. It was sad for me to witness a child being ignored to the point of being forced to eat food that he did not request or feel that he needed. I am concerned for the child not being able to regulate what goes into his body but more concerned that he will eventually learn not to stick up for himself in important situations as he gets older.

This continued for the rest of the day and they were not isolated incidences. The woman had succeeded, so far, in raising obedient children. This is fine if you want to raise robots who cannot think for themselves or question the world around them. Can I just say that children are capable of much much more than simple obedience, if you allow them and teach them with compassion and gentleness. There was also more than one family within our earshot that behaved this way although these are the worst examples that I could remember from the day.

Konnor Physio 4.5 months 2.5 corrected

I wonder what kind of self-esteem it builds for kids when they are repeatedly ignored, belittled and shouted at? We are the mirror for these kids! They look at us for guidance and inspiration. Trust me they hear the tone in your voice. Do you want them to be ignorant of the world around them, treat people with disrespect or do you want to encourage your child, motivate them, teach them about kindness and difference and tolerance. Whatever it is you want for your kids it’s in your voice. Not just what you say but how you say it.

I know it’s hard. I have spent many a day yelling at my kids out of my frustration. But I have learnt over the years that it is my frustration not theirs. They are children and I have to be the bigger person and learn to deal appropriately with my frustrations. This is why I got my camera out when my daughter put a toilet roll in the bath this morning. Instead of yelling at her I laughed and we played a game to clean it up. This is why I leave the toilet door open when I pee now, to play with my daughter. We sing songs or count things. 13 odd years ago with my first son I would scream into my pillow at night because all I wanted to do was pee alone for one damn time!

Instead of yelling now I take a deep breath and find a way of redirecting the so-called bad behavior, if that is really what it is, and question what it is I can teach them in that moment. I am not perfect and I still lose my cool sometimes but I respect my children enough to try as hard as I can to not yell at them, to find something to teach them in every moment of their lives. After all yelling at them is not teaching them to be good kids!

#As a follow up to this blog I will share some of the tactics I have learnt over the years in a future post, watch this space!

Lacey’s first allergic reaction

You know the parents of allergy kids right; they’re the annoying ones? They hang around at birthday parties, they don’t let you feed their kids, they make their kids miss out on birthday cake at school, they sometimes make your kid miss out on birthday cake too. Well I am talking to all of you who think you know the parents of allergy kids.

We, the parents of allergy kids, have seen our children rash up, swell up, struggle with and/or stop breathing. We have administered life saving doses of adrenalin, and CPR. We have almost lost our children to contact with food. Some people have lost their children to contact with food. We are not helicopter parents, or we are but not for the reasons you think. We are not scared to let our kids play in the dirt, fall off their bikes or take risks in general. We have not caused our children’s allergies.

I have seen everything under the sun in social media about why my daughter could have allergies. The bottom line is most people think it is my fault. There is much to do in educating people on allergies and anaphylaxis.

Allergies is a broad term for symptoms that people get from food and/or environmental allergens. I am not for a minute suggesting that eczema, asthma, heyfever, or food intolerances are not real and are not difficult, they are, but there is a difference. 3 of my four children suffer from these but only one has anaphylaxis. Please click on the links and read a little bit about each of them.

This is the start of our story. I hope that when she is older Lacey will share her experience too.

As a breastfeeding mum I have often sat down to feed my babies while snacking myself. Sometimes in the early days the only time you get to eat is while you are also feeding them. So one day after work I had stopped off for some ice creams to take home. I sat down to feed Lacey. She was 3 months old. With her in one hand I had the ice cream in the other. I dropped some on her cheek. It was cold and I felt awful but I got it off very quickly. I finished the ice cream and my partner came home 5 minutes later and asked me what was wrong with her eye.

I sat her up and was surprised to see one eye was puffy and had a red mark under it. I didn’t think much of it but it started to get worse in front of us. We talked about it rationally and decided that she was not in any immediate danger, she was not struggling to breath, but we were concerned enough to take her to our local GP. We actually stopped at the beach, not realising the seriousness, to drop the older boys off for a surf.

I spoke to the receptionist who asked some questions. “No she had not eaten anything, I dropped ice cream on her face but she didn’t eat it” I told her. We discussed whether this could be a reaction to the cold or the milk or various other ingredients but thought that all scenarios were unlikely. We were given a seat in the waiting room to wait for a Dr that could see us.

Ten minutes later and I noticed that she was hot and the red mark had turned into a rash that covered her face. I took off her shirt and the rash was everywhere. Red and angry. Her eye was almost closed. I took her back to the desk and they called a Doctor and put us in a room immediately. I didn’t understand the panic but the Dr came in with adrenalin and oxygen. What??

Lacey's Rash 30.08.13

The Dr listened to her chest and immediately administered the adrenalin and oxygen. More Doctors filled the room. People were checking her breathing, her heart, and her blood pressure. I still did not understand what was going on but the Doctors did. Lacey had had an anaphylactic reaction to the ice cream on her cheek. It had not gone anywhere near her mouth. The Dr heard her wheezing which is a sign of breathing difficulty. Somewhere in those minutes the ambulance had been called. We were so surprised but sat there shocked the entire time until the Ambo’s arrived. I asked to go to the toilet and suddenly I realised that we had nearly lost our baby!

If you meet the parent of a child with allergies get curious. Ask about their child. Find out what you can do to include them. Don’t be afraid to ask them to birthday parties or other social events. But most of all don’t judge us we did not choose this for our children!

# It is not possible to sum up our experiences in one blog post so please watch this space as I have a lot more to say on this topic.

I wish there were 364 more hours in a day

#ugghhneverendingwashing
#ugghhneverendingwashing

I wish there were 364 more hours in a day so I could get the washing up to date. It would be nice if there were no more piles of dirty clothes on the bathroom and laundry floors and under teenager’s beds. It would be so nice. I could fold all of the various baskets of clothes that sit around the house unkempt. I am constantly tripping over things so much so that I hide them sometimes so they don’t remind me of my time-poor state. I could watch my big boys surfing, cook more nutritious meals, bath the baby more often, wash the cars and I am so tired just thinking of it all. It would be nice though.

I remember when I was 16 just before I fell pregnant with Jordan. I was so carefree going from school to my afternoon job and my weekend job. I was even enrolled in a TAFE course that I attended one night a week. I was busy but carefree. I will never forget, at work one Saturday morning, a lady with poor English was trying her hardest to explain to me that she would like a shopping bag. It was like playing charades with a 2 year old only I was the 2 year old, I should have known she would need one with the amount she bought. How embarrassing but I was so young and inexperienced I probably shouldn’t have been the only person serving customers in a busy service station. Thankfully that was as hard as my days got.

When Jordan was born I stopped doing so many things and just watched my precious boy. I breastfed him for what felt like 24/7 and I bathed him every single day. My friends (thanks Jussi) and Mum would come around and do the dishes or very small piles of folding. I would hang cloth nappies under the house and try to cook dinner. I felt a little inadequate at not being able to get a meal on the table but mum told me it is normal for babies to be unsettled around the same time every night so I would look after his needs before our own. His dad took over cooking duties in order to keep us all from screaming in hunger and I kept on holding and watching and feeding my baby. I also hung out the nappies.

Baby number 2 came along 2 ½ years later. My world turned upside down! We lovingly call him Rhiley the Wrecker and he was this loud obnoxious baby who wouldn’t let anyone do anything ever again! You just try to shower mum, ok I’ll scream the house down. Sleep? NO, have brekkie? NO, bath me? NO, what you want to leave the house NO! As he got older he clumsily grew into his name bashing and crashing around the house making a path of toddler destruction, much the same as Lacey does now but her name doesn’t rhyme with anything unfortunately, breaking things as he went.

When Rhiley was 3 I started working full time in an office job. Things improved. It took a while in the beginning to get used to not having enough time with my boys but I found that when I cleaned the house up at night it would stay that way during the day with no one home to mess it. I learnt to batch cook and freeze meals, I had enough money for a dryer so washing in winter wasn’t a nightmare. I can’t say it was all rosy, as any working parent would understand, but for me there were some advantages. I was a single mum by this stage but I felt like I could do anything. I played soccer and took Jordan to his games on the weekends. I even slept in on Sunday’s and had an occasional night out. That crazy baby stage didn’t last long!

At some point in time I have blinked and missed a few years because I now have 4 children, the youngest two are only eleven months apart, and a business and I’m about to embark on another business venture. I have also brought our premmie baby, Konnor, home and well there’s probably a lot more to say here but I’ll spread my posts out a bit.

If I had 364 more hours in the day I would not finish the washing, the folding, the dishes. I would watch my boys surf more and spend more time stacking blocks with Lacey. I would go fishing with my partner, or camping, or eating out or whatever it is we did when we didn’t have kids. I’ve forgotten. And I would have my extended family over. Hell I might even be able to join them for gatherings without feeling the dishwasher calling me from home. While I don’t condone leaving the dishes till they gather mould (anymore) I think that there is a limit to what I can and should do. People, family and relationships will always be more important to me. So if you come to my house please excuse the mess, and don’t trip over the toys, because there isn’t going to be 364 more hours in my day and I have chosen very carefully how I’ve spent my time.