Being a working parent definitely has its ups and downs but I never really realised just how up and down it would be for my baby too!
My one year old daughter attends daycare three days a week (or at least that is what she is enrolled in)....
Since she started six months ago we think she has missed around 50% of childcare days (which we still have to pay for) as she has pretty much caught everything there is to catch! (Currently she is sick in bed with gastro as I write this).
Friends warned me of this, however we really only thought there would be just a few coughs and runny noses. We thought that the value of childcare from an educational, financial (compared to the higher cost of a nanny) and social viewpoint would outweigh the negatives about kids getting sick.
So far the tally goes like this:
Conjunctivitis sits on top of the ladder with 6 bouts so far.
Gastro is a close second on 5
Hand foot and mouth on 1
We have lost count on the common cold and fever front - but we would probably be averaging 1 of these every 3 weeks!
We do really love the childcare, as does my daughter (she gets excited when we walk through the doors), however sometimes it has been pretty hard given the constant sicknesses! We have had to juggle around babysitters and work arrangements when she is unable to go to childcare, which is made easier by the fact that we have many relatives living in close proximity. There is also the constant washing and re-washing sheets & toys, steralising everything in sight, and wrapping our little one in warm blankets which helps make her feel much better.
The only upside I guess is that most are pretty minor illnesses in the scheme of things and don't tend to last very long - and we are sure her immunity will improve over time so the absent days will become much fewer. Hopefully it isn't too long until our daughter will be able to get back in the playground with the other children, and enjoy all of the fun activities that the childcare offers!
As my baby approaches her first birthday we seem to have a new weekend past time "one year old birthdays" and boy do they go give 21sts a run for their money. Last weekend I was invited to a first year olds birthday party which no kidding was one of the best party I have ever been to.
We walked into the party and it just blew our minds – Moet on arrival, oysters, a lolly bar, waiters, photographers, lots of people in super stylish clothes! It was amazing!
There really were children everywhere....which made for an even more fun afternoon. There were playmats with toys in the lounge room not to mention a a full size ball pit (which I was very tempted to go in but thought I was 30 years too old). Also dotted around the house were little coloring stations where tables were set up with crayons and textas in every color imaginable. A childs (and adults) dream come true.
As the party was in the afternoon, the birthday girl was asleep for most of it, however when she woke up the most beautiful cake came out – a rainbow cake with colorful meringues. Just phenomenal! It really did give the Australian Women’s Weekly birthday cakes a run for their money. I wished I was the birthday girl as the present table had the best selection of presents in every shape and style and quite a few bags from some of my favorite children’s wear shops – Seed Heritage , Country Road and Hello Willow.
As my daughters first birthday approaches I am now thinking I need to start planning her party now!! At the very least find a creative cake so by the time my little one is old enough to criticize my cooking ill have a few practice runs up my sleeve!
No one can prepare you for transitioning back to work. I found that it was liberating being able to buy a coffee without juggling a toddler but I also couldn't help thinking about my baby at home and kept wondering what she was up to.
The days are long, by the time you have got yourself prepared and child ready it feels like hours have gone by. Getting to work is an achievement and the evenings can feel like a marathon (don't get me wrong I treasure every second with my child!). Whilst I love the challenge at work and the interaction with people it is all a delicate balancing act. Over the last few months I have learnt some time savers so I can maximise the time with my bubba;
- Hire a cleaner, ours comes once a fortnight and does the deep clean. It is wonderful coming home to a clean house and I don't have to waste time continuously cleaning. We are currently happy with our cleaner we found at Bizzi Beez.
- Do a cook up - on the weekend I cook a few meals for the baby and freeze them in ice cubs so I can easily defrost as my baby is starving when we get home. Check out the Annabel Karmel website for some awesome recipes for all ages.
- Get a few prepared meals to fill up the week. There are so many options around these days experiment and see which one works best for you. Some ideas to trial are Hello Fresh, Two Pounds and Marley Spoon
- Finally, make sure you sleep when you have the opportunity. For weeks I was staying up trying to tidy the house and get work ready for the following day and found that I spiralled into a grumpy mummy (and nothing is worse then this!)
Just remember you are not alone - good luck amazing mummy's xxx
"Oooo when are you due?" 3 weeks I reply. "Oooo poor you. You'd better sleep now as you will never sleep again!".
Thanks, that is just what I need at 37 weeks pregnant with a mini person swimming around in my tummy, and are already terrified (and excited) about how I am possibly going to bring my first child into the world.
What is it with the negativity that swirls around about your impending child and that you will never sleep again? Or the negativity about how much your birth will hurt and that you will never be the same again?
I want to share a little story with you. Just two weeks before my due date a man, and yes, I highlight the fact that it was a middle aged male, stopped me in the street and said to me "just letting you know that I have experienced it...the birth...it is horrific". Okkk! I thought to myself, thanks for the encouragement!! I asked him whether it was a normal birth and if the baby and mother were healthy - he said both were absolutely fine and the birth went smoothly. So as I walked away questions started to consume my head - How was it that painful for you? Could this whole childbirth thing really be that bad? How come it was so bad for the man? How do women ever go through it more than once?
I thought I'd wait to reserve judgement until I could form my own opinion.
A couple of weeks later I went into labour, and yes, it did hurt, but luckily for me a friend recommended I hire a tens machine which was very effective at reducing labour pains, and I was fortunate to have the choice of pain management options when I arrived in the hospital. I was absolutely fine - and believe me, I'm a pretty big chicken when it comes to anything that involves needles, hospitals or blood. I got through the birth and although I found the breastfeeding very difficult to start with, and the relentless and constant feeding schedule (that nobody ever told me about) pretty tiring, we did get through those early weeks relatively unscathed.
Now onto the sleep front. I think it tired me out more being constantly asked about how I was sleeping and coping with a newborn. Yes, getting up in the middle of the night wasn't my favourite time to feed, particularly being woken up when you are in that fully relaxed deep sleep when you can hardly lift a limb. However, without the pressure of doing much the next day (I was lucky enough to be able to take some time off work) it really is do-able and doesn't last forever. Lets also not forget that the more hours you spend awake, the more time you can stare at your beautiful little bundle that you have brought into the world.
Maybe we were lucky as the 2-3 hour sleeping blocks slowly spread to about 4 hour blocks by about 10 weeks, then 5 to 6 hours by about 14 weeks. By about 4-5 months we were getting a decent sleep again. I know this doesn't happen for everybody, however there really is light at the end of the tunnel. I promise that you will sleep again, and it is amazing how your body is able to adapt to different coping mechanisms with very little sleep.
Just hang in there! x
Mums are awesome. Each year I struggle to find a gift for my mum, she does so much for me that a gift just doesn’t seem to do her justice.
Now that I am a mum I realise that the privilege of being a mum is really enough. That being said, I still always love to buy my mum something to acknowledge how great she is. I have discussed with friends what they believe are some of the nicest mothers day gifts are. Here is what they came up with;
We hope you have a wonderful mothers day!
Mint and me xx