Tag Archives: mum

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

Days that feel like failure.

Days when we feel like failure.

We all have days where we feel like perhaps we are not the best mum or that we are not on top of things. Gosh, I know sometimes I feel like I am being overwhelmed by everything that I’m not doing anything right.

I feel like perhaps forgotten my little guys drink bottle to go to school or forgot so who g fur ‘news day’ anything, but I often question myself about ‘am I on top of things’. This may be the lack of sleep, it could be the thousand things that I have on my mind, or I could just be overwhelmed by trying to remember everything.

Trying to do everything all at once is not always possible but we must just remind ourselves we are only human.

Again scary mommy just my nod of approval. I get it. Most people would. Click this link and remind yourself, we don’t always have to ‘have it together’. Stop apologising and feel good about yourself and your decisions.

http://www.scarymommy.com/please-stop-apologizing-for-not-being-perfect/

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.

Heart attack, it’s a big deal.

Heart attack, it’s a big deal.

So 2 weeks ago my mum had not 1 but 2 heart attacks. My mum is a nurse and works very hard in a hospital over an hours drive from the small town where she lives. She had arrived at work early on the Friday morning complaining if chest pains and shortness of breath, one if her colleagues insisted on taking her pulse – which was racing. Her colleague also insisted on an ECG straight away only to find out my mother had suffered a minor heart attack.

She has been suffering sharp chest pains for a few months but thought nothing of them, passing them off as indigestion. Turns out she was wrong.

I found out that my mother had a heart attack at approx 4pm that afternoon after she had it at 7am. The hospital had informed her husband who failed to contact anyone else to raise the awareness. Needless to say I was fuming. This is my mother, this is her health and this is very important.

The way I found out is not ideal, I was on a play date with a friend and our two boys and received a calm from my older sister asking if I had heard from mum. My reply was no as I hadn’t. I asked her why? He response that she received a weird text from her but had tried calling mums mobile only to have it ring out or go to voice mail. She was taking her 3 children to the dentist and asked me to keep trying.

I decided to call the hospital where our mother works. To my shock I was transferred to the emergency department where a nurse informed me that she had was unable to talk as she had a heart attack and they were running tests to work out why.

I called my sister to inform her and she rushed to the hospital which is 1.5hrs away ASAP.

The hospital staff were concerned after running tests so sent her via patient transport to a larger hospital the next day. I of course travelled to that hospital on the Sunday morning with my toddler for a visit. I received a call from my sister earlier that morning saying she had another heart attack earlier that morning.

My mum is young 54 to be exact, how can this happen to her? Why has this happened to her?

After many tests, cardiac ablation )which required nodes to be removed from her heart) and an angiogram it turns out the heart attacks were caused by a condition called Takotsubo cardiomyopathy. Which basically means the sufferer has emotional stress. It’s also called ‘octopus heart’ or ‘broken heart syndrome’.

Now before the shock set in I was thinking, mode removed? Why? Doesn’t she need those?

Nodes in the heart are what basically pumps the heart, nodes create the electrical conduction for the heart to pump. Normal electrical conduction in the heart allows impulses that are generated by the sinoatrial node (SA node) of the heart to be propagated (stimulate) the cardiac muscle (myocardium). The myocardium contracts after it’s stimulated. It is the stimulation of the myocardium that allows contraction of the heart, allowing blood to be pumped throughout the rat of our body’s.

My mum herself is a highly trained nurse and has been for many years, yes she has a stressful life but to hear this diagnosis is a little shocking.

I won’t go into her personal life details but there are many confirmed reasons as to why she is suffering ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’. Now it’s up to her and our family to try and eliminate these stresses to ensure that she is around with us for many years to come.

After much research into this I’ve found the descriptions below from a Harvard Health publication.

It’s named after an octopus trap — and that’s not all that’s unusual about this reversible heart condition. It occurs almost exclusively in women.

Years of gender-based research have shown that in matters of the heart, sex differences abound. One striking example is the temporary heart condition known as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, first described in 1990 in Japan. More than 90% of reported cases are in women ages 58 to 75. Research suggests that at least 6% of women evaluated for a heart attack actually have this disorder, which has only recently been reported in the United States and may go largely unrecognized. Fortunately, most people recover rapidly with no long-term heart damage.
Features of takotsubo cardiomyopathy

Chest pain and shortness of breath after severe stress (emotional or physical)

Electrocardiogram abnormalities that mimic those of a heart attack

No evidence of coronary artery obstruction

Movement abnormalities in the left ventricle

Ballooning of the left ventricle

Recovery within a month
What is it?

Takotsubo cardiomyopathy is a weakening of the left ventricle, the heart’s main pumping chamber, usually as the result of severe emotional or physical stress, such as a sudden illness, the loss of a loved one, a serious accident, or a natural disaster such as an earthquake. (For additional examples, see “Stressors associated with takotsubo cardiomyopathy.”) That’s why the condition is also called stress-induced cardiomyopathy, or broken-heart syndrome. The main symptoms are chest pain and shortness of breath.
Stressors associated with takotsubo cardiomyopathy*

Sudden drop in blood pressure

Serious illness, surgery, or medical procedure (e.g., cardiac stress test)

Severe pain

Domestic violence

Asthma attack

Receiving bad news (such as a diagnosis of cancer)

Car or other accident

Unexpected loss, illness, or injury of a close relative, friend, or pet

Fierce argument

Financial loss

Intense fear

Public speaking

A surprise party or other sudden surprise

The precise cause isn’t known, but experts think that surging stress hormones (for example, adrenaline) essentially “stun” the heart, triggering changes in heart muscle cells or coronary blood vessels (or both) that prevent the left ventricle from contracting effectively. Researchers suspect that older women are more vulnerable because of reduced levels of estrogen after menopause. In studies with rats whose ovaries had been removed, the ones given estrogen while under stress had less left-ventricle dysfunction and higher levels of certain heart-protective substances.

Takotsubo symptoms are indistinguishable from those of a heart attack. And an electrocardiogram (ECG) may show abnormalities also found in some heart attacks — in particular, changes known as ST-segment elevation. Consequently, imaging studies and other measures are needed to rule out a heart attack. To get a definitive diagnosis, clinicians look for the following:

No evidence on an angiogram of blockages in the coronary arteries — the most common cause of heart attacks. (The coronary arteries are also not blocked in microvessel disease, a more common cause of heart attack symptoms in older women. Microvessel disease results from abnormal dilation of the blood vessels feeding the heart.)

A rapid but small rise in cardiac biomarkers (substances released into the blood when the heart is damaged). In a heart attack, cardiac biomarkers take longer to rise but peak higher.

Evidence from an x-ray, echocardiogram (ultrasound image), or other imaging technique that there are abnormal movements in the walls of the left ventricle. The most common abnormality in takotsubo cardiomyopathy — the one that gives the disorder its name — is ballooning of the lower part of the left ventricle (apex). During contraction (systole), this bulging ventricle resembles a tako-tsubo, a pot used by Japanese fishermen to trap octopuses. Another term for the disorder is apical ballooning syndrome. (See “Apical ballooning and the tako-tsubo.”)

Heart attacks can be caused by many factors of our lives and can occur at any age or any fitness level.

If you are suffering any type of stress or tightness in your chest, please see your doctor. No life is worth losing.

Transition into stay at home mummy.

Stay at home mum transition.

So as most of you are aware I became a stay at home mum – full time approx 2 months ago. After we moved home and intimations change our positioning.

I have had many inner demons questioning my decision.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my child more than anything in the whole universe however I sometime feel I’ve lost a part of me including my independence and self support.

Some of you may question this and ask why do I question it?

Because I’ve always been so Independant and never relied on anyone. Yes I’m married and yes my marriage is strong. In fact it was my hubby’s push for me to be a stay at home mum with his complete support both emotionally and financially that helped me make this very difficult decision.

I guess I’ve always had fear of being reliant on anyone so me giving this up was a difficult decision. I also felt that after a few years out if the work force who would want to hire me? What would I offer over someone who has continuously worked and is possibly younger? Well I know what I can offer and that may be life experience, motherly decisions / instincts, maturity, life knowledge, skill or happiness. I guess we will just wait and see how my life plays out and if in fact I do decide to re join the workforce.

I have however found many others in similar situation to mine. Here are a few of their stories that may also assist you. I know they have helped me to let go of the fear factor and know that no matter what, my hubby will always support my decisions even if I decide to never enter paid employment again.

After all why should we feel guilty about not working in a paid career? I believe raising a little person is the most rewarding career move I’ve ever made. It may not pay in cash but it certainly pays in unconditional love and every day I get to play, grow and learn from a beautiful human being that i made!

http://www.parentmap.com/article/making-the-transition-from-working-professional-to-stay-at-home-parent

 

http://www.care.com/child-care-6-tips-to-be-a-successful-stay-at-home-mom-p1017-q12632256.html

 

http://grownandflown.com/regret-being-a-stay-at-home-mom/

 

http://www.whattoexpect.com/blogs/theycallmemommy/transition-to-stay-at-home-mom-personality-required

Needless to say being at home everyday and getting to share special moments with my little man is the biggest and best decision of my life!

I hope I’ve been able to help you come to terms with your decisions also, if so please write me your story.

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mother’s Day!

Where to start. To those who have been following my blog since the start, you will know that I’m a wife and a mother, a step mother and an aunt.

My family are my world and as my mum, big sister her family and my little brother all live 4hrs away from me visits are so very special to me.

Friday night at approx 9pm my mum text me asking if she could come visit for the day Saturday, it’s a long drive for one day but I was really wanting to see her. Especially as Sunday was Mother’s Day so I jumped with delight at her offer.

Of course once she arrived I talked her into stating the night 🙂

I am a mother of a gorgeous little boy who is 18 months old – he is the love of my life and everyday I am grateful for having him in my world. I often think what did I do with myself prior to having him?

He is my only child however I’d love to have one more.

My husband has a 12 yo to his first marriage so is quite defiant in not wanting another child 🙁 he says he has two and feels compete. His 12yo stays with us every Wednesday and every 2nd weekend from Friday pick up after school until Monday morning school drop off.

Today is Mother’s Day so with having my mum come stay with me has made it even more special.

I feel very fortunate to be able to have my mum as a lot of my friends are not as fortunate. My love and heart goes out to everyone who has lost their mothers. Especially today.

I hope to be a great mother to my gorgeous boy. I strive to do my best and teach him right from wrong. I wish nothing but the best for him and live him unconditionally and uncontrollably.

Mother’s Day is not about gifts of materialism for me, it’s about spending time with your mother and letting her know how much you appreciate her. I’m a big believer in small things can move mountains!

Although I did buy my mum a gift – practical pyjamas, Devine smelling bubble bath and some costume jewellery. I also made her breakfast – not in bed as she was up as early as I was. My little one rises about 5:30am each day! Early riser.

Mum, me and my little one sat down and had a lovely breakfast together. Low key but spending time together and having conversations is what is important to me.

If you have been following my blog you will also know that I left home at 17. I’m now 34. So I’ve been very Independant and self reliant from a very early age. Having these grown up conversations with my mum are sparse so again the time taken means a lot to me. It’s only a small thing but again small things / moments can move mountains. I’m also a huge believer that the best gift given is your time. Time is something that can never be taken away or turned back so use it wisely. Share your time with those important to you.

Perhaps today think about the small things that matter to you.

If your mum is around, contact her and tell her that you love her. You only have one mother. Xx

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?

 

Entertaining little ones.

Keeping your little one entertained.

Let’s be honest here, we sometimes wonder ‘what next?’ What can we do now? How can I occupy my little one?

Well I have also often have these thoughts, so here are a few of my favorite things to do with my little man.

1. Outdoor exploring – my little one loves the outdoors so we often go exploring in the gardens. Showing him flowers and various plants, insects, trees etc not only keeps him busy but also teaches him about his environment. Get involved and smell flowers, walk on grass, sit and play with dirt, lay on the ground and make picture out if the clouds in the sky!

2. Drawing with chalk – again outdoors. Get some giant chalk sticks and let your children’s explore on the drive way or pavement. Chalk is not permeant so easily washed away with a bucket of water or with the hose. Unleash your creative side and your little ones also! Draw animals, write words, create shapes – anything is possible – explain as you go and your little will will absorb all your knowledge, remember they are sponges!

3. Singing and dancing – every night when little man is in the bath we sing songs. This is a little special time for us and it keeps him in the bath a little longer than 2 seconds. Which is his usual. So if your little one is too busy to bath – get singing. Lots of nursery rhymes have hand actions and clapping and stomping are great for motor skills communicating. Our favorite is ‘eyes,ears,mouth and nose’ – ‘gloop gloop went the little green frog’ and ‘Open shut them.’ These are super easy and fun. Keeps both occupied and promotes language skills. Of course you don’t need to do this in the bath you can do this in the lounge room or anywhere.

4. Cooking – I know this sounds dangerous but I never give him sharp objects or anything that he can be harmed with. When I am preparing any meal I pop my toddler in his high chair and let him watch me. I give him a bowl, spoon, whisk and other plastic non shape utensils and allow him to imitate. This really helps with their development and learning abilities.

5. Sensory games – cheap and cheerful. Get some small containers from your Tupperware cupboard. Go to your pantry and pull out some rice and pasta, then head to your driveway and collect some pebbles approx 20mm in diameter then a small jug of water. Put the rice in one container, pasta in another, pebbles in another and finally the water in another. Allow your little one to sit and play with these. Not only is this another form of exploring but it’s teaching them different texture, shape, size and materials.

6. Reading books – my little guy loves to read! So every day we sit down and read at least 2 books. Not only is this quiet time, it also helps him to learn words, objects, images, colors and turning pages. He also sits by himself and turns the pages in his books chatting away to himself.

7. Chases – this can be indoors or out. Play catchies! You chase them then allow them to chase you. Also allow them to catch you and when you catch them. Make it special – give a little tickle or kiss. Guaranteed this will be fun for all involved!

If these don’t keep you and your toddler busy I’m not sure what will. 🙂

Remember they are only little for a short time so embrace their ability to learn and allow them to crate and learn to their full potential.