Category: Motherhood

The spinning teacup spin-out

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Just for the record, I hate those ‘rides’ at shopping centres that guzzle your money and the joy from the face of every parent whose child spots one from eight shops away.

“Have you got money?” Millie will now ask, hopefully, as I fumble in my purse for a gold coin while thinking about how I could own one of these machines with all the cash I’ve funnelled into these 90 second, spinning, rides of monotony.

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Dummy dilemma: Where can I find a Happy Baby?

I received some disturbing news today.

The lovely assistant at my local Chemist Warehouse told me that Happy Baby soothers HAVE BEEN DISCONTINUED.

Say it ain’t so.

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These dummies have seen us through otherwise sleepless nights, international flights, long pram walks, supermarket queues, car trips, illnesses and teething.

This news is enough to make me crave my own ‘soother’.

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Back off rude lady, I’m doing a stellar job

Today was a good day.

The sun was shining despite the winter temp and Millie and I headed off for a walk.

Mum and daughter gleefully going about their day – until an opinionated nosy parker decided to ruin it.

My hubby was called interstate on business for a few days, so I decided to go to a cafe with Millie for lunch to save myself cooking a big dinner for one.

In a high chair, Millie Moo played with her toys, ate the lunch I had brought along for her and sampled the eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes and toast from my plate. She was such a good little bub, happy to munch away and occasionally smile or wave to fellow customers as they passed through.

A journalist by trade, I relished the chance to read the paper while sipping a latte. How lovely. Well…

Millie started to grasp at the edges of the newspaper so I passed her the catalogue that was lodged in the middle. The shiny, crunchy paper kept her occupied for a couple of minutes as she waved it about and slapped it against the table.

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A woman, probably in her 60s, came over to tell me she used to give her kids the toy catalogues to look at. I smiled, thinking she was just being nice.

“I would never have given them that one though,” she continued.

Say what?

“You have to watch what you give them. I had to look twice at what she was holding,” she said.

Oh my goodness, I thought – have I given Millie a catalogue laced with poison? Was it covered in pictures of naked men? Had she grabbed someone’s book and was scrunching it up?

No. It was a Dan Murphy’s catalogue. Shock horror.

“She doesn’t know what she is reading,” I said to the woman, assuring her that Millie was still a long way off talking and walking let alone ducking off to the bottle-o.

“Well it won’t be long,” she said. “Naughty mummy.”

I was shocked, otherwise I would have come up with something witty to say.

It didn’t matter that Millie had a morning nap, was quiet, happy, warmly dressed, eating vegies or had a clean nappy on? Or that I had triple-sterilised her utensils, love her dearly and am a new mum still learning how the hell to be a good one?

I wish I had told her to mind her own business.

Millie didn’t see the pictures on the catalogue and even if she did, she doesn’t yet know what they are.

Most households have bottles of wine on display at home. We have a small collection in a rack in our lounge. It will be years before Millie realises they’re there.

I could count the number of alcoholic drinks I’ve had in the last 11 months on one hand (and none in the 9 months before that).

I don’t need to justify myself. I was just mad at this stranger judging my parenting after a quick glance.

Why do people of a certain age feel the need to be critical once you’re pushing a pram?

A girl from my mother’s group was chastised by a shop assistant for taking her 6 month old son into the supermarket bottle shop. She was getting a bottle of wine for guests that were coming for dinner that evening.

Other friends have had older people tell them their child needs warmer clothes/a hat/a sleep/all of the above while out with their baby. Those pregnant with their second or third have been told with raised eyebrows how tough they’re going to find it once the new bub comes along. Just a smile or “congratulations” would be nice.

I don’t get it. Why do some people only say negative things to mothers of babies – mothers who are probably running on minimal sleep and are pleased just to be out of their pyjamas and out of the house?

How about it rude lady? Next time you see a mum and her baby, how about telling her that her baby is lovely and remind her that she is doing a damn fine job.

If you haven’t got something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Have you been confronted by people with opinions on how to raise your child? What did you say?

Beauty & the baby: I got this. Any day now.

My diary is all booked up most weekends for the foreseeable future.

I’m so popular. Kidding. My social calendar is still quite sparse. It seems when you put a baby to bed each night, you also put to bed fancy shoes, drinking games and loud music.

My diary is instead full of appointments where someone will be dyeing and blowdrying, clipping and painting or tearing hair from my body with hot wax.

Don’t know about you, but trying just to look neat and tidy is a huge deal for a mum and a lesson in organisation and efficiency.

A couple of weeks ago I had my waxing done. Appreciating that I’m offering TMI, I…um, had the whole shebang, which takes time (trust me, you do not want a rush job).

I had to schedule this for when the waxing salon was open and when hubby could watch Millie Moo.

It left me with Saturday. Saturday morning actually, Mr G plays a winter sport Saturday afternoons.

I woke when Millie did, fed her, gave her some brekky, played with her for a bit and had a quick shower while she kicked around on our bed as Mr G kept one sleepy eye and protective hand on her. I popped her back in her cot for her morning nap, put the baby monitor right beside hubby’s head and left to go get my hair yanked from its roots at 9.45am. Oh yay. What a morning. I wouldn’t call it a beauty treatment, it’s only necessary maintenance so I don’t resemble a yeti. Despite this, hubby thinks I’m off to be pampered. I know he only hears “blah blah SALON blah blah BEAUTICIAN blah blah BEAUTY blah blah MIND THE BABY”.

Last weekend I got a mani and pedi. Same deal, although the experience for me was a lot more pleasant (except for the part where they shaved off my crusty heel skin because I haven’t had the time to put on anything but Havaianas on my feet for months).

This weekend you’ll find me at the hairdressing salon on Saturday at 8am. I LOVE going to the hairdresser and love the way my hair looks when I step out but it’s a scheduling nightmare. My natural (ahem) blonde requires a lot of foil and time to process. This transformation has to be done and dusted before Mr G leaves for his match.

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Within the next couple of weeks I’ll be back at the waxing salon starting the whole vicious – and expensive – Saturday beauty cycle again.

Millie, at 11 months, is too wriggly now to be able to bring along to the hairdresser or nail salon. I used to wheel her along when she was a tiny, sleepy, quiet baby. My lovely hairdresser’s husband used to jiggle the pram when she stirred from her slumber while I was getting my colour done. Those days are long gone. Mums of newborns: make the most of the sleepy, compact, new baby stage. Go. Go now.

This is all so we feel ok when we look in the mirror. We want to give off the impression that we have this new mum thing down pat. We want people to look at us and say “she has a baby and…wow, how does she do it?”.

No-one can really tell what has gone on to have me looking as great as I do (that was a joke). But I can be certain that everyone’s going to notice as soon as I don’t make the effort!

Do you find it tricky to find your ‘me’ time? If someone else looks after bub for an hour or two, where do you go?

C’mon get appy

Who knew there is so much fun to be had on a mobile phone that doesn’t involve chatting to your mates, sending an MMS or shopping online?

It’s apps. They’re great. Besides your usual, EVERYONE must have apps (Instagram, Facebook, Urbanspoon, Shazam) there’s numerous pregnancy/baby/parenting ones that are as handy as a wet wipe.

Throughout my pregnancy I used Baby Bump. Enter your due date and each week there’s some info about what’s happening to you, how baby is growing (and strangely the size bub would be if it were a fruit or veg) and a countdown so you know how many days you have left before you’ll be able to see what you’ve been lugging around for 9 months.

It has tips and limited info, but I just liked to be able to peek at it every now and then. It was free and certainly added to my excitement about having a baby as each week my colleagues would ask me how big bub was. “It’s a grapefruit already? Wowsers!”

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There’s lots of similar ones out there and some can be quite involved, with space for your bump pics or the ability to connect with other mums-to-be.

Once we brought Millie home and I was in my ‘zombie cow’ state (half asleep and breastfeeding around-the-clock) I found the free app Baby Feed quite useful.

It charts how long baby fed for, on what side, how long it’s been between feeds and if you do a nappy change before/after a feed you can record if it was a poo or just a wee.

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I didn’t use it for long, but Baby Feed was good in the early days when you just can’t remember any details about anything. The only problem was this zombie cow often forgot to start or stop the timer. Never mind.

I continue to use The Wonder Weeks app after being told about it in one of my first mother’s group meetings.

The Wonder Weeks is a book written by an infant development expert from the Netherlands and has been condensed for use on an iPhone or android mobile.

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After entering your baby’s birth date (or corrected age in Millie’s case – she was prem and born 4 weeks early) it will provide a chart in weeks and indicate when your bub will go through a ‘leap’, or developmental milestone.

According to the author, leaps are when your baby’s brain is changing and so coincide with fussy periods your baby might have. So if bub is particularly sooky or miserable, it’s likely he or she is in the middle of a mental development phase.

It’s certainly interesting. The chart shows what stage your baby is at in terms of age and shows upcoming leaps with a solid line and indicates the weeks your bub might be fussy (storm cloud) or happy (sunshine).

Some mums look to the chart and dread the stormy periods because their bubs behave almost exactly as the chart predicts.

I didn’t really notice too many swings in Millie’s attitude to worry about the pending storm clouds, but it was great to read a summary of the leap as well as to learn what her new abilities would be and when we’d start to see her do them.

The app charts your baby’s leaps until they are 84 weeks old (Millie is about half way through).

Have you discovered any useful baby or parenting apps? Tell me what they are below.