Workin’ It!

Well, it’s official! Hunter is going to Daycare in three weeks time and I have decided to go back to work! It was by no means an easy decision. I always knew that Hunter should go to Daycare at least a couple of days a week after he turned one so that he could learn to socialise with other babies and adults without his mummy doing what I do best – hovering. But, the question was whether or not I would return to work straight away…We are so fortunate that Jackson’s work here in Canada means that financially I don’t have to go back to work . This wouldn’t be the case if we moved back home to Australia however so we thought that while we are here, I wouldn’t work but rather be at home with Hunter and finish my Master’s degree in Strategic Organisational Development (HR). This was a good plan – I was happy with this plan! Until I started to think about our future in 10 years time…Yes, Jackson would probably be a Driller or Rig Manager meaning great money – but what about when all the kids are in school all day? What do I do besides the housework etc? Volunteer? That would be an option but what if I wanted to go back to work? I would have been out of the workforce as a stay at home mum for the past 10 years? I wouldn’t be current in terms of HR. I also started to think about the fact that we might have a little girl one day and what lessons I want to teach her. I want her to know that it would be HER CHOICE to stay home with her children (if she wanted them) or go back to work. Part of me did worry that she might not understand what mummy did before I had babies and that my duties and capabilities are limited to household duties…which we all know there is more to being a stay at home mum – but as a child – she wouldn’t understand that.

I want my children to see both parents working to provide and care for our family and that nothing in life is free – you have to work hard for the money. It may only be a part time role that I return to – and it may be a fairly low key position within HR – but It will mean so much more than just extra income. It will mean I will get a little bit of independence back. I will get some ‘me time’ where I am not just Jackson’s wife and Hunter’s mummy. I will get back a piece of my identity. I appreciate so much that Jackson works so hard for us that I have the choice to do this and he supports me 110% in my decision to do so. I want to stay relevant – I want to stay active in the world around me and I want my children to see that you can do both – you can stay at home with children and be extremely happy and it can work so well for your family or you can go back to work and have a great work/family balance too. I have so much respect for any mother – whether they work full time, part time or whether they are able to stay home with the kids. Every decision is difficult and needs to fit in with the needs of your family and it is such a personal decision to make.

I have such mixed emotions about looking for a job and returning to the workforce – excited for new challenges, anxious about whether the baby brain has replaced my actual brain, emotional about Hunter going to daycare and me not having him with me every second of every day but most of all I am just excited for what the next few years holds for us…whether that’s a new job, a new country or more babies! (Here’s hoping!)

Baby Turns One.

It’s hard to believe that Hunter turned 1 today. I sung ‘happy birthday’ as I walked into his room to get him, stopping midway as I saw he had taken off his nappy and left ME a present in the crib. Thanks mate.  It’s been a few weeks since my last post – mainly due to life being extremely busy of late with my small business starting up and my giant baby running, I mean walking, all over the place. I am very emotional when I think about Hunter turning one. It feels like yesterday that I was in hospital watching him sleeping on Jackson’s chest and I was overwhelmed with love for this tiny human. I think a lot of this emotion comes from the fact that nothing prepares you for having a baby so it’s a real rollercoaster ride.  It has been an amazing and scary year at the same time and I thought I would write down a few things I have learnt along the way and to remind myself of when/if we have another baby…

1. They WILL sleep through the night. When Hunter was four weeks old and was still up feeding every two hours day and night and I thought ‘I don’t think I can do this? What have I done, can you take him back?’ Then the next night he slept 6 hours straight…then 7, then 8, then 9 and now at 12 months old he sleeps just over 12 hours straight. We didn’t use controlled crying, we just allowed him to learn how to sleep when he was ready. It may have taken 8/9 months before he slept 12 hours but I wouldn’t change a thing.

2. Feed them when they are hungry – I was constantly stressing about am I feeding him to often? for too long? this book says do this, and this nurse say do this…’ its extremely confusing. I will feed my baby when I think he is hungry – he is a baby and I will not deny him food to ‘learn’ how to self soothe or not feed him for fear of him putting on too much weight.

3. Comfort sucking is OK! That is all.

4. Get up and go for a walk! For so long I felt like a prisoner on the couch and for the first 6 weeks exercise was the last of my priorities. Looking back though, I know that if I had gone for even a 20 minute walk every day – that I would have slept better, felt better and recovered faster. It also would have made the transition to exercising regularly a little less shocking!

5. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not for the sake of others. I was so determined to be this extremely organised, well put together and ‘organic’ mother who would cook Hunter his food every day and ensure he had only the best products for wipes, nappies, even shampoo’s. For anyone that knows me well – this is the opposite of who I am. I am unorganinsed, forgetful, very low maintenance and slightly lazy (if I am really honest). I would feel embarrassed if I ran out of nappies in hunters nappy bag or if I was giving him gerber’s toddler dinner instead of cooking ‘pollo pasta’ from scratch. Seriously? Who has the time? So what if you forget his bib and you’re out for lunch – hence the reason we have detergent.

6. Always put a diaper bag IN the diaper pail before you put nappies in…

7. New Toys are overrated – car keys will do just fine apparently and so will the toilet roll. Save yourself the $500 or better yet get hand me down toys – they will be covered in oat cereal before you can say ‘no’ anyway

8. Don’t feel depressed if he doesn’t want the boob anymore – hunter started weaning himself at around 9 months and for about a month I felt so sad – like I wasn’t needed anymore. I was the milk so what happens now? Now you get to be a free woman! No more nursing bra’s hurray! but on the downside – hello deflated water balloons…

9. EXERCISE! it’s good for your mind, body and soul and your baby will thank you for it. You will have more energy to play with bub and feel happier overall. Not to mention the fact it does wonders for your self esteem when some days you feel like everything is 5 inches lower and looser than what it was before!

10. This too shall pass. There have been times when Hunter has been fussy and crying hysterically and I have wondered if I can get through the next 24 hours when I was just physically and emotionally exhausted from one baby (I don’t know how mums of more than 1 kid do it! Here’s a shot of tequila for you!) But, like it always does, it passes. It gets easier. Just remember, it WILL get easier and it WILL pass so suck it up mum!

The past year has been the best of my life, the scariest and the most adventurous. I know that in a few months he will be the very definition of a toddler and the thought of this is…exhausting. Will he be one of those ‘terrible two’ kids? or will be continue to be the cheeky, fun and dramatic little baby I know and love? Only time will tell. Tomorrow we are flying to London to be with my family and I am so looking forward to giving my mum the biggest hug the world has ever seen and for my brother Duncan to finally meet his nephew. Fingers crossed Hunter sleeps during the flight but now he is walking I have images of a giant baby storming the aisles trying to climb up on random strangers – awkward!

'Honey I blew up the Kid' giant baby...

‘Honey I blew up the Kid’ giant baby…

Happy birthday my little hunny – we love you so much!

    1 day old, 1 year old

Hunter at 1 day old & 1 year old

I can’t wait…

I can’t wait till bub can roll over…I can’t wait until they can sit up…I can’t wait until they can crawl…sound familiar? I feel like my whole experience with my son has been a lot of ‘I can’t wait’s…I should have waited! I should have just enjoyed the time that he was immobile…because if I thought it was tough having a newborn – I was thrown a curveball when Hunter started crawling and walking. I know all the experienced mothers who may even have two or more kids are thinking ‘ha, just you wait, you have no idea’. I know, I know. I sometimes miss when Hunter couldn’t move off a mat because he hadn’t learnt how to roll…Does that make me a bad mum for saying I don’t cherish my son’s quick development? I don’t think so! I think I’d be lying if I didn’t say it. You might remember me talking about my anxiety being in overdrive with Hunter…well hello door that Hunter can now open leading to the balcony!

hunter walkingLooking back now, I honestly feel like the past 11 months have flown by! How did it go so quick? Wasn’t he just born like two days ago? each and every milestone I was so excited to see his next step – his latest developmental milestone. But I don’t think I truly appreciated him in each stage for just that. The baby who was not able to roll, the baby who needed me to help him sit, the baby who would perform the worm across the floor to reach a toy. I was in such a rush to hurry him up that I cant go back now! He is no longer that baby that I rocked to sleep breastfeeding. (Hunter has stopped breastfeeding now so this entire post may just be my hormonal reaction to this loss). When he started crawling – he was everywhere and apparently I gave birth to a baby hybrid octopus with 8 arms because all of our stuff was EVERYWHERE (Jackson might give me the eyebrows here as I am renowned for leaving half empty coffee cups everywhere). I go around the house while hes napping to find one of my crop tops in the toilet this morning and an old fluffy beanie in the bathtub. You’re probably wondering why I don’t keep a better eye on him. I swear I do but somehow…he still manages to get the job done.

Don’t get me wrong – he is so much fun! He plays and interacts with us more than ever before but I find myself wishing I could have my cake and eat it too. I want him to walk when I want him to walk and sit when I want him to sit. Errghh – now I’m making him sound like a dog! But I am sure you know what I mean. The biggest challenge in being a parent so far, aside from these stages, is having patience. Patience to not get cranky when he spills beef stroganoff all over the carpet, or cries EVERY time he gets out of the bath, or when he’s going through a separation anxiety phase and he’s a new brand of glad wrap attached to me constantly.

Of course my husband’s patience with Hunter could match that of Mother Theresa’s where I turn into the Hulk if I don’t get my one cup of coffee in the mornings without interruption. I wish I didn’t but I do. One word of advice to the mother’s with newborns, just wait. Just wait, don’t rush. I know you’ve heard all about stopping to smell the roses when it comes to babies but seriously – wait. Because before you know it they are grown up babies running into mischief before you can say oat cereal.

Patience is a virtue…I wish I had been more patient to just let him be a baby through each of his stages but of course the ‘I can’t wait until he can…” always popped up! I just hope to be much more patient with the next baby…Gee I can’t wait to have another baby…(ha!)

Body After Baby

As I sit here about to write this post, out of the corner of my eye I can see the GINORMOUS block of Toblerone that my husband bought me for my birthday – which is also Easter – therefore double doses of chocolate are usually consumed. I haven’t opened it yet but it’s only 7:42am so there’s plenty of time for that. Whoops! I swore I would get back on track today after having a naughty weekend full of chocolate, yummy foods and a big Denny’s Breakfast on Sunday. Guilt, guilt and more guilt. Would you believe I am a personal trainer? No? Probably not by looking at me.

Me at 10 months Post Partum

Me at 10 months Post Partum

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Update – New Home

The reason I haven’t posted in a few weeks is not purely laziness but because we have been incredibly busy not only going to viewings of condo’s but finding one and moving in. I always LOVED looking at new homes, setting up inspections and the idea of moving in to a new home and unpacking and decorating was so exciting! I know, I know – crazy right? So I thought this time would be no different.

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