Raising children

Raising children..

As most of you know I’m a mummy – twice over! I have a gorgeous little man who will be 3 in November and an adorable little princess who entered this world in May. Both are the absolute loves of my life. I often wonder what I did before them.

I must admit with my little man I did things so differently as to how I am with my little girl. I guess being a first time mum I was very over protective, quite nervous and was scared to make mistakes.

Mistakes? Mmmm well I made a lot of them actually but hey, first time mums are allowed. Actually any mum is allowed as there is no rule book to parenting nor is there any right or wrong way. So perhaps they were not mistakes but experiences?

Where to start? with my little guy I would run into his room to check him each time he cried, even if it was only a slight whimper. I actually slept in the same room as him until he was 17 months old as I feared that I would not hear him if he cried. I pretty much mollycoddled him and wrapped him in cotton wool. You wouldn’t think so now though as he is quite independant and self sufficient for a toddler.

With my little girl, I allow her to cry – now please don’t think I’m a terrible mother or neglect her. I certainly do not, however I don’t run to her if she whimpers or cries a little, as I’ve learnt, that babies can cry in their sleep (dreaming). I have a video monitor that is in her room and also a portable monitor that I carry with me that allows me to see her wherever I am. It also has a microphone on it so that if she is awake and upset, I can talk to her through it – sometimes if she simply hears my voice it settles her. I also can assess her situation without running to her side. I will go get her if she is too upset though, or if she continually cries for a period of time. As a mother you learn your babies cries and can differentiate the cry between hungry, sad, tired or just needing cuddles.

With my little guy, as soon as he cried I would pick him up. Sing to him and I also rocked him to sleep. He didn’t know how to self settle and never had too as he had my undivided attention and I was more than happy to carry him around and rock him to sleep.

With my little girl, I allow her to self settle. If she cries I monitor for how long and will go into her room, gently put my hand on her chest so that she can smell me and also feel that I am with her. I sometimes also shhhhhh. Again if too upset I will pick her up and comfort her but I’m certainly not as clingy on her as I was with my little guy. I constantly watch her through the monitor though 🙂

With my little guy, as soon as he cried I would pick him up and carry him around. Second time around, I just don’t have time to carry her constantly as I do have a toddler to also look after.

With my little girl, I allow her to lay in her rocker or in a safe place and observe what going on around her. Yes I carry and hold her but not constantly. There is defiantly no neglect though.

Now as I said before, there is no right or wrong way to parent, everyone has their own way and no one should judge. Being a parent is hard, especially a stay at home parent. There is no ‘break’. You are followed to the bathroom, asked ‘why?’ A million times per day, you seldom shower without an audience and of course share all your meals, however I’d never change it for the world.

Being a mother is the most rewarding thing that I’ve ever done. It is the only thing that continuously makes me smile and be happy. To hold my children is a blessing and to watch them sleep at night then get a good morning kisses and cuddles makes my day. They make me whole.

What I have learnt from both my children is that firstly I’m a lot more relaxed with my little girl, perhaps confident? I know she isn’t going to die from a little cry, I know that self settling is a good thing for both her and I and I have also learnt that although she is a gazillion percent reliant on me, she is ok to lay in her rocker and watch the works go by. I’m never far away and she doesn’t always need to be held it carried around. 🙂

I love both my children equally, there is no favouritism – they are both my absolute world. I’m besotted by them. They make me who I am today and I’m forever grateful that I have 2 gorgeous children that I made.

They are part of me and no matter how over tired I am or how many times I’ve played the same game or sang the same song, they make me happy. Dirty nappies and all. 🙂

Id love to hear your parenting experiences. Email me noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Attempted break in.

Attempted break in

So not that long ago we had an attempted break in, into our home.

It was approx 9:30pm at night and someone tried to break in through my little girls bedroom. She is only 8 weeks old and was in bed at the time.

There are French doors onto a balcony off her room which is where they tried to get in.

I was laying in bed watching TV when I heard a door handle tattle as though someone was trying to open it but couldn’t. You know the sound when your opening a door but it’s locked and it rustles? Well that’s the sound.

This sound kept happening for approx 30 minutes – it started about 9pm. At first I didn’t think much of it, I thought it was my husbands eldest son who is almost 13 in the bathroom but as it kept happening I though best I’d check it out.

As I walked from my bedroom hubby’s son was standing outside my door scared. He had heard it too, as we both stood still it happened again. It was coming from my daughters bedroom. She is 8 weeks old. I grabbed my phone and started to call my husband who was downstairs working on his laptop but he had his phone on silent as he wasn’t answering.

I decided I’d go downstairs and get him. Hubby came up and as he went out to investigate, the attempted intruder ran, they had entered our property from a reserve that we back onto then they came through our tennis court and up into a balcony which is s good 2-3 meters high and into my daughters balcony.

I called the police and within minutes they were at our house. I think they arrived as I ended the call to the police station. They were very prompt and made me feel thankful.

They walked our property and saw foot prints but unfortunately the offered we had managed to get away. Perhaps they were in hiding down in the scrub of the reserve behind our property boundary.

They next day I went outside to look for possible entry points and to see if there were more footprints and yes there were. Not implying that they had came back but just confirming which areas of our property they had been on. I know they were not our foot prints as it had been raining and these prints were quite fresh. They has also been around the front of our home as we have a pebble path with loose pebbles and the pebbles were embedded with large foot prints. The police didn’t walk that path. That particular path is right outside mine and my 2 year old sons bedrooms.

So the following day I arranged various security company’s to come and investigate what updated security systems and measures we need. They have since been installed.

Although I have been concerned as I do have 2 young children. I can’t say that I was overly scared as my thought process is that, if someone wants to get in bad enough, they will find away.

Perhaps I’m arrogant towards the situation but I’m not going to allow this to scare me or change the way I live. Why should I live in fear, especially within my own home? All I can do is protect myself and my family.

My biggest concern is if the proposed intruder was on drugs and how they may react or behave. That there is out of my control.

We have even more secure systems and high tech alarms in place now and security and the police patrolling the area on a more regular basis.

Have you had a break in or attempted break I’m?

I’d be interested in hearing your story. Email me – noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Mix up your workout!

Mix up your workout –

If your like me and have become complacent in your workouts, below are a few tips on how to get back into the ‘groove’ and become excited to workout again!

Cut your workout time down!

Working harder for a shorter amount of time is so much better for fat loss results. High Intensity Interval Training is probably the fastest ways to melt fat from your body and also accelerate your fitness levels. Rather than your traditional 30 or 45 mins of cardio on the treadmill at the same intensity/speed, try this:

60 secs sprints (as hard as you can) with 90 secs recovery time (this can be at a walk pace or even a slow jog). Try this for a total of 20-22 minutes. Notice the calorie burn and how you feel afterwards – similar energy burn for much less time.

Swap up your barbell with a medicine ball.

Lots of us use dumbbell training in our workouts but why not mix it up? Try using a medicine ball or barbell for your entire workout. It’s amazing how heavy a 5kg medicine ball can feel as a posed to a barbell, this also helps to engage other muscle groups therefore harder workout – better results!

Get out

If you are a regular indoor gym participant have a week outdoors and expand your exercise mindset. Go for a run or try running up and down stairs, climb walls – indoor abseiling is allowed, step up to benches/tables/chairs. You’ll be amazed how quickly your workout goes when your outdoors and absorbing your surroundings also.

Add unstable training to your workout

Have you tried squats on a Fit Ball? What about a single leg squat? I was working out at a gym on the northern beaches many years ago and one of the personal trainers there suggested I try these. Killer! By adding balance training to your routine will force your muscles especially your core muscles to work harder and it also helps your reflexes to become faster. You don’t need fancy equipment, simply using your arm weights whilst standing on one leg completely changes your focus.

Try a non-electronic workout

Block all cardio equipment that uses power. No treadmill, stepper, cross trainer, bike. Great creative – try high knees, ice skaters, skipping, plyometrics, mountain climbers, running especially outdoors and swimming. You are guaranteed to see better results and will feel the difference in your hear rate.

Use time under tension (TUT)

I’ve previously been guilty of performing the same speed in a lot of my workouts or actually just sticking to the same workout routine. The average time it takes to perform 10 reps is usually about 15-20 seconds, what you want to try is draw this out to 30-40 sec. Where each rep would usually take you 1-2 sec to perform, aim for it to take up 3-4 secs per rep. The more time under tension, the harder the workout and therefore greater results. Expect TUT to help increase muscle growth and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS).

Add agility training to your workouts

Rarely do people try agility training (ladder runs, jumping). Yes, it’s quite sports specific but it’s great to shake things up in current workout and everyone can benefit from agility work. Something really simple is an shuttle run, working on accelerating, decelerating and directional change.

Ban all floor-based ab workouts

There’s no need to freak out, here are some suggestions: Knee to elbow hangs, wood chops or even the plank – especially on an angle – put your feet on the lounge, elbows on the ground allowing your weight to be angled (feet higher than shoulders) have feet shoulder width apart, keep your tummy tight and control your breathing. Hold for 10 seconds then release – rest for 10 seconds then repeat. As you get a stronger core try to lengthen the time to 15 seconds then 20 seconds. Do this for 8-10 reps.

Become competitive with a friend.

Go running! Pick someone who is a better runner than you so that you challenge yourself, push yourself harder and feel that burn. So many of us get caught out running the same track, same pace and for the same distance and time. Running with a better or faster runner than you will force you out of that comfort zone and make you push yourself harder.

Try using your own body weight

No machines allowed. Be creative with your workouts – easily done at home. Try – step ups, lunges, side lunges, burpees, push-ups and planks etc. Use the TUT method with this body weight only method to challenge yourself and better results.

Self sufficient tweens

When should children become self sufficient?

I know many families with children and my sister has 3, friends have multiple children and other extended family have many also.

What intrigues me is, when should they become self sufficient or independent?

I know many Tweens / teens that are exceptionally independant and crave to be self sufficient. They go off after school and ‘hang out’ with their friends, on weekends they ‘hang out’ with friends and are often seeking to do things independently. BUT at what age is this acceptable and what age do kids become more independent?

From my experience it varies. It also depends on how these children have been raised and what they are taught.

My sisters children are 14, 12 and almost 9. The 2 eldest are girls and are extremely independant and self sufficient. They make their own breakfast of a morning, they make their beds every day – these beds are Alison double beds, they help with household chores without being asked too, including mowing the lawns, helping with the dishes, folding of washing and hanging out of washing. They also assist at meal times with preparation. They often go to friends for sleep overs on a weekend and movie dates (with friends) etc without adult supervision.

In my opinion I guess it’s the maturity of these children / teens / Tweens also. My sisters girls are quite mature and I guess have a sense of self satisfaction in being able to do things for themselves.

I had a friend over earlier this week also who has a 14 year old girl and also a 12 year old girl. Now they too are very self sufficient and independant. They both catch public transport to and from school and walk from the train station home. The walk is approx 15 minutes and is a very safe area but they want to walk. They want to be able to do things for themselves.

Is 12 too young to walk alone or with friends though?

I remember walking too and from school in primary school. With some friends or alone. It was a good 25-30 minute walk but I enjoyed it. It made me feel ‘grown up’ to an extent and I felt ‘cool’ being able to do that for myself.

I also know other children who are also within this age group, 13 but have no independence nor are close to being self sufficient. These Children struggle to do anything for them-selves including picking out clothes to wear. Still asking if they should wear long pants on a cold day and struggle to make themselves a sandwich. Perhaps this is their parents fault? The parents have always treated their children as babies so to speak, they have mollycoddled them and still do.

How are children supposed to be independent if not given the opportunity but also, why are some children not seeking independence? I distinctly remember wanting to go be with my friends on a weekend, or wanting to just do things for myself. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to not be home, but I wanted to be able to do things for myself.

Perhaps times have just changed and children don’t want to be self sufficient?

But then why do I know so many Tweens seeking independence?

I believe that by law children are not allowed to stay home by themselves if 11 years old or under. Which I agree with but this doesn’t include them walking 10 minutes with a group of friends to get home right?

Most parents work do how can they get picked up? Or I guess those children are in some sort of after school care?

Should children be ok to walk home alone or in a group?

I know the dangers of pedophiles etc but again, is this based on the maturity of the child?

What are your thoughts on children being self sufficient is it age appropriate or based on maturity?