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Why moms are heros – by Rachel – Finding Joy.

To you, the mother.
To you, perhaps the tired mother who wants to throw her hands in the air and have a good cry over the frustration of the day but can’t even figure out what exactly made it so frustrating. To you the mother with littles who need you 25 hours in a 24 hour day. To you the mother, in whatever season of motherhood you may be in who needs a reminder about motherhood. To you, the mother, who might wonder if all of this mothering stuff really does make a difference.

Well, it does. And here is a small reminder of why.

You see, you are an amazing being. You get up before dawn and go to sleep well past the setting sun. And often, you stay awake through out the nights – waking to the cry of an infant or the whimper of a toddler with a bad dream or up watching for the teenager to return home. You, even though you’re tired, wake in the morning and put a smile on your face and look at those little ones who kept you up through the night and whisper to them I love you. It’s a love that isn’t dependent on sleep or looks or agendas. It’s a mother’s love.

You cook and bake and clean and do it all again. And again. And again. So often when there’s nothing in the pantry you can work your magic and pull a meal together that gets the cheers and hoorays of those sitting around your table. But you have thick skin – often the meals are met with noses turned and sighs and little ones telling you they really don’t like whatever you lovingly prepared. And then, dear mother, you negotiate and barter and set limits and hope that they eat at least two bites before they wash it down with the diluted half milk half chocolate milk mixture.

You are the chief problem solver. You can handle any argument – whose turn it is to unload or load or if one kid is bothering the other way too much. You have limits on name calling, yelling, fibbing, and teasing. You have mastered the art of counting to ten – in a row. You know when to step back and climb the stairs and sit on the floor in the bathroom and count to one hundred and then come out with a renewed sense of energy. And even if you don’t have you just push through. And sometimes, it means pbjs or pancakes for dinner – and then your kids think you’re even cooler.

You budget and drive and clean. And laundry? You breathe it. Day in and day out and day in and day out. Those mystery and long lost socks are no match for you the sorter, folder, and organizer. And even when you get behind you still joke about taming Mount Washmore even though really, really you wish for just one week where you didn’t have to fold all of those clothes. But, deep down, hidden in there, you know that this is a season – a sweet season – where the onesies, blankets, size 2T socks, soccer shorts, and leotards get to be in your wash. So you breathe deep and try to remember the value and sweetness of these fleeting years while you fold the stack of wrinkled t-shirts.

You, dear mother, are amazing. So often you look at all others are doing and then you measure yourself with a stick that is much too short. You’ll look at all they do and miss the amazing things you do. No one knows your kids the way you do – their quirks, sense of humor, and how to finally get them to stay in bed. You know when to just ignore the noise and keep on talking. You know them. You go to bed exhausted and wake up tired and yet you still give and do it the next day because you love the ones who call you mom.

You need a reminder today, a reminder of your greatness. And so today, to you the chief budget keeper, problem solver, sock folder, rocking chair rocker, temperature taker, sitter up till the teen gets home, sweeper, toy sorter for the tenth time in a day, listener, driver to and fro, cooker, cleaner, medicine giver, tamer of the laundry, repeated reader of books, and giver of self you need to remember that what you are doing today makes a difference.

It matters.

Motherhood matters greatly. The littles or middles or bigs in your home look at you. Their mom. They see the good – the way you give, the sweet things you do, the meals you make – and they love you. You deserve to be loved. And sometimes, sometimes they forget to tell you. Sometimes they yell at you or don’t obey or say things like I hate you and all of that. Those things don’t define you. Instead of quitting you just keep going. You go through sleepless nights, tight budgets, crabby kids, worry about tomorrow, homework being lost, times being sick, more sleepless nights, and all of the above plus more. Those tender hugs from years passed matter just as much today as do those moments where you want to whisper I quit but instead keep going.

That is my definition of a hero.

You are a hero.

Every single day. When you get up and rise and love on those kids and give of self. Don’t ever listen to the lies of the world that tell you that you are only a good mom if you do x, y, and z. Motherhood isn’t graded by the number of pinterest projects completed, or clever facebook status updates, or perfectly executed birthday parties, or the number on the scale. Motherhood isn’t this quantifiable thing – it’s not graded by everything you accomplish, but rather is a beautiful example of giving of self and loving even when the reserve tank is empty.

Your heart gives everyday.

So you, sweet mother, today I want you to move through your day – no matter how your day is – and remember that you are making a difference. Those kids who seem forever young will grow. And you, you are the one blessed with today and the time to walk that growing up journey with them. In all the bumps, twists, turns, and ups and downs no matter what you are their mother.

And that is something to be absolutely celebrated today.

Carry on hero.

~Rachel

My life as a mummy of two!

My life as a mummy of two!

So settling into being a mummy of two has been challenging. Loving it, but challenging.

Experiencing the love all over again, smelling and absorbing my new born and still being everything I can be for my 2 year old.

My 2 year old has been a little jealous and understandably. He has had his mummy all to himself for the past 2.5years, now all of a sudden he has to share his mummy and it hasn’t been an easy adjustment for him.

Throughout my pregnancy I was trying to help him adjust, I bought books about becoming a big brother, books about expecting a baby and we would chat about how he is getting a little sister and that it’s very special for both him and her.

I thought he would be a little jealous but I guess I wasn’t prepared for the huge change in him.

Firstly my little man used to be a fairly good sleeper. After night nurses and reward charts I had managed to get him to go down approx 6pm in his own bed, we would read 3 books then it was lights off. My little man would then sleep through in his own big boy bed until approx 6am the next morning.

Since I was in hospital for over a week my husband and mother were looking after my little man. His routine wasn’t really followed and for a few weeks he didn’t like to go to bed and wasn’t sleeping through, waking multiple times per night and insisting on sleeping with me and leaving his bedside lamp on.

The first few nights I was really strict and walked him back to his room, comforted him and helped him to go back to sleep but after 5 nights of the same behaviour I began to feel bad and allowed him to come into my bed and sleep with me.

Mainly because it’s a huge adjustment and in between feeding my little girl every 2.5 hours I have been pretty tired. Also secretly I love snuggling with him and he is my little man, my first born and always will be.

This phase only lasted approx 3 weeks though and now he is happy to go to his own bed, he isn’t sleeping through every night, however most nights he does, and if he doesn’t he is only waking once or twice and I carry him back to his room and he goes back to sleep.

He is really sweet with his sister and is quite protective and loving towards her. If he hears her cry he will come straight to me and tell me she is upset and he also runs to her room and says in the sweetest little voice ‘you ok Mila?’

He also loves to help me change her nappy and I allow him to choose her outfits. I want him to feel involved and part of her life. Although he is only 2.5years old I think that by allowing him to be a big part in the decisions around her will help him to adjust and accept her more easily and not have him be as jealous or feel left out or pushed aside.

My little girl though is a different story, she sleeps very well and I actually wake her to feed. During the day I’m feeding every 3 hours however of a night I let her sleep and she wakes me. She is only 3 weeks old though and I anticipate that this may change.

The dynamic in the house has also changed, it feels complete now. I feel like I’m whole. My little man and my little princess have completed me, of course with my husband. 🙂 I was once told that to have one child of each sex is a ‘gentleman’s family’ or a ‘pigeon pair’ which is apparently quite well looked upon in the eyes of some. I feel blessed that I have been able to create this little family with my husband and also be able to give him a child of each sex.

Being a parent is a constant lesson, I’m always learning more about myself but also about my children. I’m feeling very blessed at this stage in my life.

I’m sure with each step and change in growth patterns with my 2 children things within our home will change also with dynamics and learning. I look forward to sharing these moments with you.

Working mums.

Can you be a working mum without guilt?

So I feel like I’ve been juggling / multi tasking what ever you want to call it.

I’m a wife, a mother, a step mother and until recently I also worked full time. Not full time in the essence of 5 days per week 8 hours per day in an office environment, but 4 days working from my home office averaging 6 hours per day and then in the office one day per week for 7 hours.

I have always worked full time and always supported myself. Even when I married. My husband has an 11 year old to his first wife so I have been step mum for the past 8 years. We now also have our own adorable, wonderful, amazing little guy who is 16 months old.

So that’s 2 boys and a husband in a very demanding role which requires him long hours in the office and stressful odd hour phone calls to international branches of the company he works for. Providing a stable environment for them including cooking healthy dinners every night for all of us, daily cleaning, packing lunches, doing the washing, ironing, vacuuming, groceries, dusting, mopping as we have floor boards, and many other house hold duties.

With this I still worked full time – 40 hours per week right up until a week prior to giving birth. I then proceeded to work from home averaging 35 hours per week since my bub was 5 days old. I was only in hospital 2 nights.

Yes this was a struggle as there was not a single day throughout my pregnancy where I wasn’t ill. I threw up minimal twice daily and was constantly tired and nauseous, however I loved my role and felt obliged to work as I had only been with the company / business 10 weeks when we found out we were expecting.

I told the CEO of the business straight away as I was also still within the probation period so thought it was the right thing to do. Give them the option of letting me go within the probation period. Although I was t through my 12 week safe zone, I felt I needed to be honest with the company. To my delight they decided to keep me on.

After bringing my bundle of love and joy home I worked 35 hours per week from our home office up until July where I started going into the city office on Tuesdays. I had a private Nannie for my bub as he also suffered severe reflux and had dairy intolerance which meant day care didn’t want the responsibility of him in there care at 6 months old. As he had reflux he refused his bottle and rightly so as it would be painful and burn him when swallowing the milk and reflux also causes acid burn within the trachea – quite painful. With his dairy intolerance it would mean also being very cautious as to not allow him access to any dairy.

I understand they didn’t want the responsibility so we chose the safe option of a private Nannie in our home.

This was also not a cheap option costing us $250 per day. It did however give peace of mind knowing the love of my life was safe and in his own surroundings.

I know it was a hard position for me to return to work as being a first time mum I didn’t want to leave my 6 month old son.

I also appreciate it was a hard position for my employer as they didn’t have me in the office full time. Being in the office full time provided team moral and as I am quite a bubbly, easy going, energetic, ‘up and at Em’ kind of girl I feel I provided a sense of energy in the office. I was also the only person within the company doing my niche role.

I know they wanted and needed me in the office full time however I just couldn’t do it. We didn’t have confirmed day care and we certainly couldn’t afford a private Nannie 5 days per week.

This played on my mind daily as I felt I was letting them down, especially after they were so good to me and understanding and supporting my position with my bub and also especially after keeping me employed when I announced my pregnancy.

But who was I really letting down?

The company?

My baby?

Or myself?

I loved working and felt lucky to work in the role I was in. I’m a qualified interior designer and worked for an art investment house. Quite niche and with only 5 competitors within Australia very fortunate to be employed within the industry. Id been working in this role for just over 4 years. I’d previously worked with another company doing the exact same thing for 2 years prior to being head hunted by this company. (Head hunted is where the company approaches you and offers you to work with them)

I have however sadly since resigned from this position.

There were many factors which equated to any decision, however I ask myself – have I don’t the right thing?

This is the first time ever in my life that I’ve never been employed. Well since I was 15 – I started waitressing and worked in a restaurant kitchen 4 nights per week after school at the tender age of 15 but prior to that was baby sitting on a regular basis from about 13 years old earning approx $50 per week (back then – think circa 1993 – this was a lot of money for a tween) This is also the first time ever that I’ve had to rely on someone else. I’ve always provided for myself.

So this is a bad thing you ask? It is as I’m very self sufficient and proud. At any point in my 20’s I would work 2 jobs and an very proud to say purchased my own first home at 26. With my own hard earned money with no hand outs or gifts or help from anyone. Just me and my savings account. 🙂

So I’ve had to learn, to ask my husband for money – this is a task to me as I’m a proud person to hates to ask for anything.

I’ve always been on a budget as I’ve also arrived to save and provide for myself so this isn’t new, but I’ve never been unemployed.

How will I fill my days?

Well I plan on spending every minute with my little guy. I’ve felt guilty working whilst he has been so young. I’ve been consumed with thoughts that I’ve missed out on precious moments with him.

Now it’s time for me to relish in being a mummy. Gosh we tried so hard to have him – that’s another story of daily Chinese herbs, acupuncture 3 times per week, daily meditation, a clean natural diet with no preservatives and weekly yoga!

So my time to be a mummy!

Tell me do you feel guilty?

Do you feel society puts pressure on you to work and be a mummy?

Do you feel judged for not wanting to be employed?

How do you juggle being employed and being a mummy?

Don’t get me wrong, I actually believe that being a mother is the most rewarding job ever. If I were to write a list of daily jobs that make up being a mother you may be shocked however I defiantly take my hat off to those mothers who can do it all.

I struggled not with time management but with guilt. I couldn’t get my head around leaving my little guy 5 days nor could I stop feeling guilty that I had a sense of owing the company that I worked for.

All in all a very tough decision for me.

Well I always have my blog!

Tell me your story. Do you work? How do you juggle? Do you feel guilt with regards to your company or your family?