Whence You Came

I don’t need to wonder what it’s going to be like mothering teenagers, I already have one and she’s only 3.

3 years old, 13 years old – to me, feels it could be the same.  

And when she’s screaming from outside on the balcony and you see your neighbours on their phones who can assume they're calling the police.. and then, the struggle becomes very real.  What can you say or do to placate and distract your threenager? If you get that flickering glint of calm you can pounce and wrestle them inside..

If that flicker never comes. You're doomed.

Despite the fact your pulsating face vein is ready to burst and your fuse about to pop, through a faux smile, gritted teeth and in a deep voice (cause deep voices sound calmer) you try this…  

What is the matter?

(more screaming)

Would you like some sultanas?

Are you ok?

Would you like some cheese?

What about some yummy sausage?

Ok…

Are you ok?

Why don’t you try and take some deep breaths ..?

(even more screaming, just louder)

Can you please stop screaming?

What about some yoga? Like what you've learnt at daycare?! (cause that’s really fkn helpful in times like these)

Why don’t we do some together?

(more louder heart felt painful, totally dying, emotionally driven screaming)

You wait it out and just when you think it’s never going to end you get them into bed and they go to sleep sobbing.

Boo.

But you know the scenario right?

When it’s a constant it can be an absolute struggle to find anything new and innovative to say, or do.

So when Chucky comes to possess my child and crazy face sets in these days, I often find myself thinking, how on earth did you come out of me?? 

Chucks. 

Chucks. 

What did I do that was so wrong that I have given birth to a Chucky?   I don’t dwell on that for too long because I know exactly what I’ve done to deserve such wrath. Anyway, that’s another blog.

The point is, like all those parents and caregivers gone before me, I am past ‘that point’. You know that point?

My mind flashes back to the countless times I peed on a stick, watched the clock to get the timing right, took my temperature, the needles, the drugs, the supplements, the poking, the prodding, the sleeplessness, the stress, the uncomfortableness and the incredible amount of pain just to realise this dream of being able to hold a tiny wee beautiful baby in my arms.  This precious angelic gift from the gods who I would look down upon, our eyes would lock and there it was, a moment, we’d have a moment!!! Then I'd rush to the living room and announce to baby daddy that me and that precious angel of ours, we had a moment! Yes.we.did. A fkn moment! #babymoment

And now?  I watch with trepidation as my Chucky's eyeballs roll into the back of her head, spit flies my way, arms flailing each time catching my face and hissing ensues. 

I tell myself, in a high octave tone - this is just a phase.

Chucky tells me that I’m not her bestest friend anymore.

I’m gone. So far gone. Beyond that point of those first smiles, giggles, and cutesy faces and the bubble blowing.

GONE.

So when Chucky came to visit the other night: ‘I hate you Mummy’ ‘Go away Mummy’ ‘You’ve got fat boobs Mummy’ REPEAT. 

I looked at her and not knowing what to say I just take a moment.

Then, I say it.

I say, would you like to go back up inside my vagina? Whence you came? 

Instantly I feel my cheeks go red. Oh.my.God what just came out my mouth? I felt like I’d just told my first boyfriend I didn’t want to go round with him anymore, or like the time you tell your husband you want a divorce and you actually mean it, but it still doesn’t feel right coming out your mouth. 

My brain goes into shut down and I wonder what Aladdin and his fkn magic lamp are doing right now, cause I need his lamp make me disappear.

I look from my 3 year old to her father, and back to the 3 year old again, then back to him.

What does he think of me now? Has he ripped me from the mummy pedestal? Will he have me replaced?!

To my disbelief Chucky stops dead in her ranty tant-ness, looks at the crazy lady (that’s me) and with utter disdain lets out a very drawn out … ‘Nooooooooo’

Ok, well, that worked (Me and Aladdin are doing silent high fives). But what about baby daddy? I look at him and await my verdict.

Then I see it. His massive hairy man body shaking. He's vibrating all over, so hard in fact, individual body hairs are waving back at me. Is he that angry? 

I look up to his face and relief floods me as I see that baby daddy is doing his utmost to stifle the laughter that has erupted inside of him. Thank you good Lord, I can stay!  

Panic subsides and now that Chucky has left the building harmony is restored once more. At least for now.   

Grateful it worked out this way because I really wouldn’t know how to get her back in and I'm still amazed at how she came out.

No one gave me a parenting handbook and as far as I’m aware, there isn’t one.  All I know is; I do the best that I can, my parenting decisions are based on my own experiences of growing up and trusting my instincts and this is a perfect example of the imperfectness that is, parenting.

How to Mother, without a Mother

It's 11 years today that I lost my Mum.  

Babe with an Angel 

Babe with an Angel 

Eleven years is a long time and it should get easier.  The pain dissipates and the hole will fill up with life’s clutter.

I’m not going to bullshit you, it doesn’t work like that.  There’s not a day that passes that I don’t think of her.

Only earlier as I’m looking on the Internet, Linkedin is suggesting inviting my mother to join. Her bones would be rattling in her grave at the mere thought! Outside of Linkedin not having existed when she was about, Mum thought the World Wide Web was, well, dangerous.  Yet still, the thought crosses my mind, if I invite her, what are the chances of her accepting?  Or I might catch a whiff of cheap perfume mixed with peppermints which once would’ve made me gag now floods me of both pleasant and painful memories, when I cook peas in the microwave, whether that’s a good thing or bad, I think of her, I catch a glimpse of a lady in a crowd, she catches my eye, there’s a twinkle and for a brief second I think … Noooo it can’t be?

It’s not. It’s not my mother. But momentarily my heart is in my throat and I'm reminded of her.

Your mother plays such a pivotal role in your life, she is the first person you ask anything, and you really do ask your mother, anything.

During your labour with me, did you have drugs? No, there wasn’t any back then. (Urging you for a natural birth)

Labour .. Did it hurt? No. (Total lie. That’s her job though, to protect you from the truth.)

What did you do when us kids didn’t sleep? We comforted you, consoled you and let all of you, sometimes at once, sleep in our bed. (Another lie. She cried us all out, we were never allowed in their bed, unless we were sick in which case our parents were definitely not in the same bed with us.)

And when you’ve had 25 sleepless nights (and counting), your 3 year old is hating on you, your bub is screaming from being overtired and teething and all you want to do is collapse in a heap of tears, you pick up the phone and hit #1 on the speed dial which takes you directly to ‘the mother hotline’.

It’s your Mum. That’s who you call, every time.

When I was pregnant with my first babe, there wasn’t a shortage of comments based on how I was going to cope on my own.  This only made me more determined to nail it, to succeed at being a Mum with no Mum to call for advice and help.

So, how do you begin to master the art of motherhood, when you’ve no mother to turn to?

ACCEPT

Accept that you need to find a new ‘normal’. Sadly, it’s never going to be the same. When the mother disappears from the family, the group dynamic changes.

More often than not it’s Mum who is the Queen of communication, the lynch pin that holds it altogether. Mum is the organiser of all social gatherings and family get togethers and then, it all falls apart. It totally sucks.

In the first instance you can try keeping the family together by way of taking on the co-ord role yourself and organise family catch-ups.

However, if you are finding that your intoxicated Aunty is on repeat telling you the same story each time you meet, you know the one? The one that usually involves your mother’s first date – and it wasn’t with your Dad. That one. That being the case, you may wish to take a breather from trying to fill your mother’s shoes and have another crack in a few months time.

Everyone deals with grief differently and at a different pace. Don’t give up, have faith; you will find a new ‘normal’.

FORM STRONG CONNECTIONS WITH OTHER MOTHERS

Enquire through your hospital, medical centre or health support service and ask how to join a mother’s group. If your local health organisation doesn’t facilitate this, thanks to the internet (sorry Mum) there are some great websites which allow you to connect with and meet up with likeminded Mums. 

The brainpower of your Mummy mates is like coffee beans coated in sweet candy after a sleepless night.  

Utilise them well, Mummy’s like to be helpful and if they think they’re helping another Mum by parting with their words of wisdom then that makes them feel good also.

If nothing else, meet up for playdates that involve copious amounts of wine and magnums of champagne (you deserve it!) #loveyamommates #winehelpsheaps #copiousamountsofwine

INSTINCT

Trust your instinct. Believe in yourself and know whatever decision you make for your family; it’s the right one.

Here’s the airy-fairy part, and to me, this is the best part.

This is where Mum really does come back to visit. Here’s what I do. When I’m faced with a decision or choice relating to my children, either big or small, I think about what my mother would do. I put myself in her shoes. I recall what she would say if faced with the same situation, I think about how she would react, and yes, I often speak to her, out aloud.

When I’ve worked out what she would do I decide if I want to choose the same path. While I mostly tend to do as she would have, sometimes I choose differently.

The benefit of hanging up the phone after a conversation with an angel is you don’t have to deal with any repercussions from not taking her advice!

MEMORY ALIVE

Keep your Mother’s memory alive. The other week I caught my 3-year-old outside on the balcony shouting HELLOOOO!!! at the sky. She explained to me that she was talking to angels – in particular, her Nan-Nan. Ridiculously sweet and a little bit heart wrenching at the same time.  

It’s important to try and remember to verbalise those thoughts and memories you have of your mother, especially to the little people, it helps them paint a picture and grasp an understanding of how their family is put together.

As you listen to your children tell you and other’s stories about their special angel this will also help keep the flame burning for you.Sure, not having a Mum at the end of the phone to cry to, to ask advice, to scream “PLEASE COME NOW AND GET THESE KIDS BEFORE I BREAK INTO A THOUSAND PIECES”

To lay your head in her lap and to just, sob, is hard.

In loving memory xx

In loving memory xx

Really fkn hard.

But you must remind yourself, you are now the leader of your own ship, steering through unknown waters, sometimes murky and sometimes clear – but remember how you got there, you got there yourself with the power of yourself behind you.

And if all else fails just pour yourself the biggest glass of buttery chards and curse the final parting words of my Mother …

Bugger, Bugger, Bugger.

I’m hanging up now Mum, we’ll speak soon, yeah?

Top Tips for Staying Healthy Into Your 40’s .. or getting close to it

Scott Gooding in action .. 'hello ladeez!'  Photo credit: Jesse Singh Photography

Scott Gooding in action .. 'hello ladeez!'  Photo credit: Jesse Singh Photography

Guest Post by Scott Gooding (and Barbs chipping in) 

Eat Clean

By far the easiest way to control your health is to be mindful of what passes your lips.   Hippocrates (founder of modern medicine) proposed that food should be thy medicine 2500 years ago – this adage is still potent and relevant today but we have somewhat lost our way.  Our modern diet is a minefield of toxic, pro-inflammatory products.  Opting for a clean diet will ensure you eliminate or dramatically reduce inflammation within your system, as it’s now well understood that inflammation is the cornerstone of ill-health.  Embrace wholefoods, (think the outside isles of the supermarket, where you find fresh fruit and veges, meat, poultry & seafood) go for wild fish, grass-fed/finisher meat, definitely veggies and natural fats these include, butter, coconut oil, ghee, & lard.

Segue to Barbs: Essentially the overall picture of what Scottie is enforcing here, is, thanks to research we now know so much more about inflammation which is a direct link to chronic diseases. So stop eating all ze processed foods, the diary, the bread, the sugar pretty much all of what Barb’s eats. Oh sigh.  Did I just speak in 3rd person?

Photo credit: Jesse Singh Photography

Photo credit: Jesse Singh Photography

Lift

Reaching your 40’s isn’t a time to hang-up your gym bag but it might be time to remodel your regime.  Firstly ensure you’re getting adequate recovery.  It’s only during recovery that adaptations take place to permit us to get faster/stronger, however over-training will interrupt this process and you’ll be on a negative spiral.  Depending on your volume of training aim for 2-3 days of rest, but this doesn’t mean laying on the lounge but rather a break from your chosen workout and can include walking, swimming or yoga.

If you’re a runner then consider lifting – lifting would be more beneficial from a health perspective.  It’ll maintain your muscle mass, get your joints and ligaments strong whilst boosting your metabolic rate.  In contrast, running raises your cortisol levels which promotes fat storage whilst predisposing you to overuse injuries.

It’s important to recognise and accept that progression is slower and less pronounced than it is compared to your 20year old counterpart – that being said, training should prevent you from injury, promote good health and lift your mood.

Segue to Barbs: I have nothing to say apart from I’m always telling the father of my children that he shouldn’t be running. But I never knew why. Now I know why.

Sleep

Good quality sleep is the great leveller.  When it comes to your health, no amount of good nutrition or training will compensate for poor sleep.  It’s vital for hormone stability to get enough good quality sleep.  The trick is to create a routine or ritual around sleep time.  Here are a couple of tips

  • Detox from electronic devices and TV two hours before closing your eyes – blue light disrupts your melatonin production.
  • Black-out your room
  • Use ears plugs if you’re sensitive to noise
  • Take magnesium supplement to replenish cells and aid sleep

Segue to Barbs: I love this, I love this because I have invested a lot of money, time, tears and pain to sleep train babe no#2. I have carpet burns on my knees to prove it! (hours of kneeling shushing patting, yeah, that is it).  What did I learn? These things work for the babes too. 

Bone Broth

Bone broth or stock is a potent source of nutrients.  A resourceful use of leftover bones, bone broth is an affordable way to boost your health.  Cooking your joints/bones on a low heat over a long time will extract valuable nutrients from the bones, producing an elixir rich in collagen, chondroitin and glucosamine – your joints and health will love you for it.

Segue to Barbs: Scott tells me that butchers are likely to give you the bones for free, or you can buy ready made stock from independent wholesalers and if you do your research you can find good stock in the supermarket, but all are not the same – so make sure you read the ingredients.

Feed the Gut

This is me trying to drink Apple Cider Vinegar with my eye going to the left. This indicates it's difficult to drink. But I gotta do it, get rid of that squishy chocolate bar that's stuck in my bum cheek. 

This is me trying to drink Apple Cider Vinegar with my eye going to the left. This indicates it's difficult to drink. But I gotta do it, get rid of that squishy chocolate bar that's stuck in my bum cheek. 

Your gut flora (micro biota) is the window to your health – the saying “you are what you eat” is only half the truth; it should be “you are what you absorb”.  Poor gut flora will lead to poor absorption of nutrients leading to a decline in health.  There are a number of factors that affect our micro biome – alcohol, fast food, contraception and antibiotics to name a few, it’s safe to say that by the time you’re in your 40’s you’ve had your fair share of the aforementioned, so it becomes paramount to redress the balance.  Introduce probiotics into your diet – kimchi, sauerkraut, raw apple cider vinegar, kefir, kombumcha, & bone broth daily.

I love how every photo I've have taken, I've ZERO make up on, my hair is up in a Mum bun thing and in this particular photo, I've just hopped out of the shower and I'm in my jammys! #WINNING #totesglam

I love how every photo I've have taken, I've ZERO make up on, my hair is up in a Mum bun thing and in this particular photo, I've just hopped out of the shower and I'm in my jammys! #WINNING #totesglam

Segue to Barbs:  Scott reckons the one thing we can do for our kids, above all, is give them probiotics. You don't need to be chucking apple cider vinegar down their throats - but apparently Scotts son loves the bone broth. Nom Nom. Nom. 

Think Young

Life begins at 40 so they say – but it’s not a time to grow-up all of a sudden and forget to have fun.  The one great benefit of getting older is being more comfortable in your own skin, not taking yourself too seriously.  My advice is to put the phone down, laugh at yourself, play with your kids and take stock of all that you’ve achieved and be happy!

Segue to Barbs: A man after my own heart Scottie is – of course, this is the premise of my blog – so there’s only one thing for it - let’s party people! #partee #forevs21

I’ll bring the Sauerkraut and you bring a big bone!

I love this guy, Scottie, it helps he’s a little bit hot too. You can learn more about his work and get some bloody yummy healthy recipes here 

www.scottgoodingproject.com

Follow him here @scottgoodingproject

And get his new eBookJUST RELEASED on iTunes, click here Scott Gooding Project 

It’s only $4.99 .. shut the front flaps! Easter presents for everyone!

If you want to feel great and laugh like Scott is, then get his book.  Photo credit: Jesse Singh Photography

If you want to feel great and laugh like Scott is, then get his book.  Photo credit: Jesse Singh Photography


HOW TO GET FIT WITHOUT KILLING YOURSELF IN THE PROCESS

So just how do you get fit without killing yourself?

 

This is a very good question and it got me stumped.

I would love more than anything to hit the gym, pump out a few hundred one arm push ups followed by an extensive cardio session where I find myself kicking invisible piñatas then covered in sweat (but looking incredibly hawt) I do a cross-fit session where we drag trucks across a football field and let out groans that come from deep within, and lastly a hot yoga class to stretch out the groin region.

I need to be uber flexy for the following night's pole dancing sesh.  #totes #smashingit #forevs21

But it’s not happening is it? Narp.

And that’s because of my stupid bum problem, and potentially also because if I did do a single one-armed push up, I’d probably die.  Plus these days my pole dancing skills are somewhat lacking… I look more like a slug trying to do a lunge than a taut tart slinking down a pole – slowly - very very slowly and upside down. Yes, I am upside down.

SO instead, I have been wracking my brain over how to get the old saggy Barbs back on that horse.

I struggle to find many low impact minimal movement regimes that offer toning and weight loss… but some months ago a friend mentioned to me HYPOXI

I was like, what’s that?  I can pretty much hear you echoing my question.

I can tell you, I have absolutely no idea.  So I went along to find out for us all.

When booking my free trial the phone call went something like this:

Me: Hello, I’d like to book my free trial, please.

Them: Sure, you just need to wear a really tight tee.

Me: [in my head] What? I’m not ready for a tight t-shirt, gee, oh, gulp, ok… embrace it Barbs, just bloody well, embrace it!!!

Me still: [not in my head] Ok, sure – can I come 7pm Monday night?

Them: Sure, great – we’ll see you then

Me: Just to reiterate, I need to wear a really tight tee right?

Them: Er, no ..

[silence]

Them: Just some tights .. you know, tights?

Me: Oh like LEGGINGS?

Them: Yes.

God knows how I got them two things mixed up. Embarrassing. Whatever.

I'm coming to get ya youth ... coming to get ya!

I'm coming to get ya youth ... coming to get ya!

Having no idea of what to expect, I rock up to the studio and I am nervous. Very very nervous. The front of the studio is covered in that type of branding that you can’t see in, but they can see out, seeing me standing there trying to be stealth. Argh.

I am greeted by Rita, she sits me down and begins to reveal her own personal weight loss journey. Eighteen months ago, Rita searched the internet for ‘exercise for lazy people’ and HYPOXI popped up, such a convert was she – Rita now owns the joint.

My reasoning for wanting low impact exercise is not out of laziness but for injury and outside of that, probably fair to say – a severe lack of time. Well, guess what?? HYPOXI is suitable for both of these reasons – after all a 30 minute session is equivalent to a 2 hour gym work out!

Rita then whips out her smart phone to show me photos of just how big of a woman she was back in 2013.  But wait there’s more … Rita flicks me a look at the scars on her underarms where she’s had surgery to remove the excess skin that extreme weight loss leaves in it’s wake.

Ok, I’m sold – where do I sign I say!! 

But wait! Says Rita, I’ve not yet showed you the machines.

So how does it work?

Put simply, you sit or lie in a machine that looks like something out of The Jetsons that is actually a giant vacuum and you pedal, just as you would a bike.

It’s low impact but pressurised exercise, the vacuum busy doing it’s work pumping away, increasing the red blood cells with the intention of separating the blocks of fat, or cellulite, which disperses the fat cells, breaking them up .. then that fat becomes fuel that we burn up. HOORAY! 

Rita asked if I was ok to do 15-20 minutes to start with.  Pah! Rita?! You clearly don’t know me.

Of course Rita, 20 minutes is diddly. 

This is me sweating and trying not to get sucked into the giant vacuum. 

This is me sweating and trying not to get sucked into the giant vacuum. 

All locked into the sucking contraption, and the suction begins, it vacuums my fat away and I do my part, which is pedal.

The timer hadn’t reached 5 minutes and it was becoming very clear.  I was sweating! 

The reality of how long it had been since I'd done any form or cardio sunk in.

I quickly changed my disgust, dismay and disappointment in myself into a positive slant. It was a good test to see just how my body was coping, and after the 20 minutes of compressed exercise, I did feel good. Sweaty, but good. 

So much so, I would love to go back and do a full course but the title of this blog isn’t HOW TO GET FIT WITHOUT KILLING YOURSELF IN THE PROCESS, AND NOT BREAK THE BANK. It is costly.

This is me changing my attitude. 

This is me changing my attitude. 

However, if you’re serious about losing weight and toning up or you may have injuries like myself, be excessively overweight OR just a bit lazy like Rita admitted her former self was, then this could be just for you.

See you soon young tight and taut youth, I’ll see you soon.

I’m coming!  I promise.

If you want to learn more about Rita's weight loss journey click HERE 

Source: http://www.simplybarbs.com

Today I Stopped Breastfeeding. Then I Cried.

You know the feeling you get when you’ve got to give something up, but you know the odds are it's going to make you feel a bit rubbish.. 

The angel on one shoulder says it's time, embrace it and then move on meanwhile the devil on your other shoulder says there's no rush so you delay taking action and thus avoid the sad feelings. 

My darling baby boy is not my first child, so when it came time for me to stop breastfeeding you would think like a lot of second time round stuffs, it would be simple.

But it wasn’t.

And when my funny-faced love bug nuzzles into my shoulder it’s hard to say no.

When I started out on my motherhood journey 3 years ago, I came in to the game without a clear vision of how I was going to feed my baby.  I had done plenty of research on being pregnant and plenty more on giving birth but not a heck of a lot relating to after the fact, if at all, any.   

[Cue me calling every friend I had with baby]

I can almost still hear my brother-in-law laughing – ‘Oh’ he says after my daughter was born .. The after bit is the hardest part, the labour part is the easy bit (Says he, who has clearly given birth on numerous occasions). Hate to say it, but turned out, he was right.

During my pregnancy I had heard that large busted women often struggled to breastfeed, In fact, I heard this so often that by the time I was full term, I had accepted I wouldn’t be breastfeeding.

Well, I can tell you, they weren’t wrong when they said it would be a struggle.  Just trying to keep your baby alive underneath that large mass of gelatine (boob) is a feat within itself.  

But guess what?! Apparently, just like fish, babies can breathe out the side of their nostrils!?

Whaaaaat??!

Who cares .. HOORAY!? 

What I also discovered as being difficult is getting your big knorks out in public.

A process which involves sitting down, preferably on a chair, a cushion, a fight to get your breastical out of its hanger and all the while hoping your fish breathing baby hasn’t rolled off your legs and down onto the concrete floor below.  

It’s one big bloody tangle.

And I can hear it now, people trying to tell you that no one is looking, no one cares dear, but people are so looking; they are looking and laughing inside their heads.  Chortle Chortle.. that poor baby, where is it’s head?? Is that her boob or the baby’s head? OMG, there’s a baby under there?!  Oh god.. someone, quick!! Save the baby!! 

The baby is fine, it can breathe out the side of its nostrils! Okaaaay??

I digress.

Back in February 2013 immediately after babe #1 crawled her way out of me like some sort creature from the deep, my midwife said I should try latching her on. I wasn’t actually sure if she was joking.  In all earnest, I said, I reeeeeally don’t think there’s anything in there [boobs].  

My midwife walks over, grabs one of the loose beasts and squeezes. To my horror, colostrum squirts out. Ugh. Eek. Argh. And so it begins...

It's time. Put them away Mum. 

It's time. Put them away Mum. 

...By the time I had worked out the breastfeeding debacle with babe #1 it was time to give up. Or so it felt. Due to outside pressures, such as work, it became apparent that I was going to have to stop and revert to bottle feeding.

But, I didn’t want to.

I had come full circle, I was hooked, the experience was one I had never imagined it to be and I was incredibly sad to let go.  

When babe no#2 came along, I decided that my motherhood journey this time would be different and I was determined to not let outside interference (such as work) get in the way of breastfeeding. I'd find a way to continue, even if I was working on a mountain, that's in a field, inside a boat, that's 100,000 miles away, I would continue!!! 

And then came the news that I hadn’t scripted.

My physiotherapist tells me that the excruciatingly painful back issues I was experiencing could be related to breastfeeding.

I said to her, you say whaaaaaa?

The hormonal relaxant that post birth mother’s often forget they still have in their bodies months down the track could be the reason why my ass hurts so much. [bulging disc in lower back possibly triggering the sciatic pain down my right side, often combined with a superior shift] #fun #FUN #funfun (double fun) 

Therefore, perhaps I should consider giving up.

I said to her, you say whaaaaaa?

That was 3 months ago.

I spent good amount of time thinking about giving up, part of me was definitely trying to avoid making a decision. I've prayed and said affirmations out loud that my ass-bum-back would miraculously heal.  But the big shining bright light has been far too obvious, it's clear, I'm an old bird with a bad back whose body just can't take it anymore, at least not in it's current state anyway. 

However, one thing I have learned in my thus far short motherhood journey, is to follow ones instincts and despite the pain I decided to pursue with what I had set out to do. 

But now, today, this chapter of a Mamma breastfeeding her funny-faced snuggle bug of a son comes to an end.  My son looks up at me, as to if to say, really Mamma? Are we really going to stop this thing we’ve going on?  Oh, yup, there goes my mother’s guilt that I'm permanently riddled with.

Yes, son we are.

So then, if I continued on as I set out to do, why did I cry?

As an old bird with a bad back, for me, there will be no more funny-faced snuggled bugs.  They'll only be crazy eyed toddlers, loud messy school children and angry teenagers. (That will I’m sure, slam the door in my face). 

He is my last baby.

I am crying because I am letting go, but they are also tears of happiness. It means he's growing up and if I keep trusting my instincts in the decisions I make for him and guide him to make for himself he'll grow into one awesome little human. And God only knows, we need lots of awesome humans.  

As parents we don’t always know what is the right thing to do, or when’s the right time to do it.

But each and every time we learn something about how to be a better parent.

Today I stopped breastfeeding.

Then I cried.

Nail Fail

GAWD, SO ON-TREND

So, if you hadn’t already guessed I currently feel like crap, the kind that’s ‘oh this is the worst I’ve ever felt, I’m falling to bits’ kinda crap.

Sure, it could be worse – I could be fighting a deadly disease and believe you me, I am more than grateful that right now, I am not.

Anyway, it turns out that I seem to be floundering over getting my butt moving onto the path of figuring out how to get myself back together.

In the meantime, one thing that does make me feel ohhhhhh about 20 percent better about myself is getting my nails done

It’s a quick fix and double bonus for the Mums out there, it’s easily achievable in a short amount of time.

I say to my partner, okay, you have to look after the kids for 1 hour, hmmmmm… maybe 1 hour and 30 minutes, but I’ll be as quick as I can, okay?  

Having absolutely no idea how long it’ll take Haaaa-won to do my nails, and this is if I'm actually lucky enough to get Haaaa-won.

So, are you listening to me babe?  You need to wake child no1 at this time, stick this in his gob, make sure he has all 200 mls, but it doesn’t need to be all at once, the routine is, bottle, solids, bottle. Got it? But it MUST be all completed within the hour. Okay?  Then change his nappy, change his onesie to a plain white one, the one with the folding shoulders, put on his blue linen shorts with his little mox shoes, you know, the blue ones?  Then feed the big child an avocado sandwich, but make sure it’s only avocado and nothing else because otherwise she won’t eat it. Then change her into her ladybeetle dress, not the day care outfit the other ladybeetle outfit the day care one has the tag snipped, and she can wear the sandals with the plastic flower on the top, make sure you give her the blue water bottle, brush her hair, her teeth, her face, then make sure she has a wee and a poop and try get her to go on the ‘flash’ toilet and not the potty ? Okay? Great.

Then I leave to get my nails done.

Fast forward:  At the nail salon, I’m like I wanna funk this up, I’m guna be down with the kids – ya know what I’m saying? I’m guna get a mega kewl colour AND I’m going to do that one finger nail with a different colour thing.

I AM GOING TO BE SO ON-TREND I’m not even joking.

Stop it, watch out, here she comes with her nails all mint… and dat.  

However, the funny thing is, I think the 'one nail' thing looks a bit peculiar – especially on older birds. Like me.

But I got it done anyway.

And guess what? I don’t feel any younger, or cooler and totes rad amazing I’m so much hawter.

You can even see the little indents where my hairs grow out of. Yuck. 

You can even see the little indents where my hairs grow out of. Yuck. 

Narp. Nope. Nada. Ding dong – dah. They look like someone has made a mistake, the short stubby fingers and plumpish hands don't help much either.   It looks exactly as I thought, and here I’ve gone off and proved it. Peculiar.

At least now I’ve a distraction from my newly shaped bobbly ass.

Back to the nail trend, got to give it a little cred. [short for credit].  I don’t believe there’s any symbolism behind the one finger nail painted differently. I believe it’s more about if you get the ring finger done with nail art and then leave the others in a plain colour it looks far more interesting as opposed to all nails done as pop art. 

Anyway, this was my nail fail.

But one thing I can tell you for sure is if you’re ever in Auckland, New Zealand and you want the most outstanding on trend nails that literally POP! Check out POP Nails & Beauty.

www.popnails.co.nz 

And as an addition to my earlier comment, if you get your nails done with Imogen at POP Nails, you will feel 100 percent better - guaranteed.

Tell me about your nail fails? 

Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway. Maybe.

STOP ME FROM FALLING

As I’ve touched on before, here I am, in the blogging world, finally.

It’s taken me forever to get here – the number one reason? Not enough time and number two?

FEAR.

Yip. Like, what the heck? I’m grown woman, in my early 40’s (with two very small babes, gulp) and I am worried about starting a blog and joining the platform of…. The unknown. 

Which is why I’m fearful, it’s an unknown, to me at least.

I have always pictured myself as an up with now and down with the kids type a gal .. but this ‘whole internet thing’ as my peers often refer to it as – is simply, scary.

fear

So what am I doing here?

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway?!

That used to be my mantra.  Feel the fear and do it anyway.  Twenty five years old, not a responsibility in the world, I was a party girl and a pretty wild one at that. I was fierce and I was crazy and I would say my friends, feel the fear and do it anyway. EMBRACE IT I would bark as they would all giggle nervously.

And now I’m a 40 something woman who is too afraid to speak up? She who has put on award winning shows, she who has produced TV shows and asks others the most direct and confronting questions.. yes, she.

But I know, I’m not alone. There are people out there that feel the same. I know there are Mums, there are Dads, single older woman worried they’ll be left on the shelf, Managing Directors of big companies, that have quite simply become afraid, a little bit concerned, worried .. a little bit, tut tut as they shake their heads in disbelief.

Oh my word, I do NOT want to be in the bottom of that box, I don’t even want to be hanging onto the edge (which is where I am currently) stop me from slipping all the way in.

This is why we are here – on the path of self-improvement, or at least, getting back to the way we were before (with a few additional extras, such as wisdom and experience)

The concept is that as we go on this journey (sometimes referred to as, growing old) we will look and feel amazing, without the uncertainty that comes with what the future holds (cause we know that now, you get a bit fat, you’re hot all the time - and not in a good way – and you ALWAYS crave a full nights sleep). 

Be gone Mum bum be gone, AND be gone Mum BUN be gone .. cause here we come!

Ok, so are you coming with me on this crusade or what??  

#feelthefear #fearless #powpow #letsbetwentyagain #yay

How to Feel Young Again

IF YOUTHFULNESS COULD BE BOTTLED I'D TAKE A MILLION

It took me a long time to work out what was missing from my ‘now’ life – and the answer was simple, it was that feeling.

Which brings me to now, here we are in the search of that effervescent feeling that came from being when we were younger.

If you could bottle it up and purchase I’d be buying me some.  Until they’ve worked out how to do that we need to get to work on ourselves to bring the sccchwing back.  

But how?

When there are so many things to fix, and so many places to start where do you begin and which one do you pick first? 

Like any goal in life, the best approach - is to break it down.

1.     Health & Wellbeing 

For the love of god I wish there was another word slash term to describe what I’m explaining here. By health, or wellbeing I’m not only suggesting that the way you physically look can have an affect on how you feel, but also get all your inside bits checked out.

Once is was the annual pap smear, now you can add several items to that list, cholesterol, mammogram, prostate (men only), colonoscopy ..a haemorrhoid shove (back up) the list goes on.

Acknowledging you’re getting older and no longer the invincible 25 year old that danced on tables is a step in the right direction, of course, should you choose you can still dance on tables but your body may think otherwise and you’ll do yourself an injury, unless of course you’re taking EXTRA good care of the vehicle you’re travelling in.  

Get a new head;

This is a tricky one. In my experience it’s not so easy to get a new head.

You really have to make do with the one you’ve got. But luckily for us, there are some tricks to making the best of what you have got.  

For starters, getting a new hair do is uplifting; it can make you feel like a million bucks.

But how often do you go to the salon with great ideas in mind, and come away with the same cut and colour, because you know it’s safe?

‘‘Especially at your age love’’

The young chicas are rocking great hairdos, and there’s no reason why you can’t either.  

Get a new face;

As for our faces, if you didn’t get the memo 20 years ago about wearing sunscreen to protect (yip, that’s right there wasn’t one (a memo)) then this one is a tough one to master, and I’ll be honest, I’m not yet too sure outside of our new mate, b.b.b.b.botox how to get passed this. Gulp. 

But we’ll certainly try!!

For now, let’s start with a daily affirmation, which goes something like this ‘new face, new face, new face’  

Fingers x it works. 

2.     Fashion & Style

Well hello faaaaaa-shone. You’re not quite the same these days as you were back then and I’m not talking about the trends, as trends are just history repeating itself (a bit like the property market).  I’m talking about what we used to wear versus what we’re now forced to wear. Maybe ‘forced’ isn’t quite the correct term, but this is about finding the right look for you and your body, aging or otherwise. What you can rock and what you can’t.

Let’s face it we’ve all rocked the 9 inch heels, low cut crop top (probably not much point) and the fanny hider.  Big generalisation to say every female walked around looking that way, but I’m sure we all at one stage tried a body con number – even a little bit of back fat could get hidden away in this get up.  

The first place to start on the faaaaa-shone front is, oh yes, that’s right a wardrobe clear out.

Face it, it doesn’t fit you anymore and it’s NOT a good idea to hold on to items of clothing that you think you’ll one day fit into again, cause you won’t.

3.     Soul Cleansing

This is mostly likely the number one key to recapturing that effervescent youthfulness. To soul cleanse is to check in with your emotions.

How are we really feeling today?

How much have you laughed today?

As much as you’ve always done?

When was the last time you laughed and tears squirt out your eyes?

Possibly, but perhaps you’re now laughing at different things and things you once found are no longer. Or perhaps they are still funny but your audience is now a little bit bitter, a little bit worried and a little bit uptight.

I remember (not that long ago) my BFF and I laughed all the time, non-stop shenanigans, tear rolling around the floor stuff #ROFL.

At a Kings of Leon concert one time, we were having so much fun we practically took over the floor dancing.  We 100% turned it up #t-up.

After the concert another friend (not mine) told us to grow up. Seriously? No fun allowed here.

My point is, we must check into that ole’ emotional laugh-o-metre and find ways to make yourself feel light in the soul. Could be a comedy movie, a night out, and a night out with a lot of very nice wine.

Hmmmmmm. Soul Cleansing, I gottcha.

#soulcleansing

4. Travel

What better way to make yourself feel free but to take a trip?

I’m a huge fan of travel, from the airport start to the arrival at your destination, I love it all. There is nothing more that gives you that complete sense of adventure.

However, when you get older even travel seems to be in the ‘all too hard basket’ – creature comforts become a more of a necessity.

For me personally, with 2 children in tow it’s not exactly how I pictured it. Just getting to the airport is stressful enough, then where do we stay? We need to upsize and upscale everything, holy crap – it’s not just that simple as throwing a rucksack into the back of a tuk tuk now is it? Goodness knows how families with more than 2 kids do it, but I’d love to know!

My image in my mind pre-kids and traveling with them is quite different to how it’s panned out. I had always pictured myself as Kate Winslet in the movie Hideous Kinky where she, a solo mum moves from England to Morocco with her 2 daughters and carries them around on her back, or something like that. That’s what I pictured it would be like.

I did try it once, I took my daughter to Indonesia on my own, and she travelled around on my back, it was a great experience, of course she remembers none of it, and I got a crook back.

But I’m still determined you can travel and live in shacks on the beach with little people. I know you can, I’ve met these people and I’m secretly envious.

Let’s go on a trip! Nothing better than to make you feel adventurous and alive again.

5.     Observe & speak young speak  

Take a look at the young peeps around you, there’s none around you? Well, go seek them out.

I’m not talking about hanging out with a 3 year olds, although yes, that does definitely helps you to feel young, but that’s a fun silly kinda young, we want to feel silly and HAWT young. (think long locks being in pushed back in a high wind which is actually a huge fan while on a  photo shoot). That kinda young and free.

Watch the cool kids, be them, become them, speak their language, if only just for a short time.

Latest example:

Old Cougar held up in the corner (that’s me)

Two pretty girls walk together, group of young lads come up from behind, one lad yells out

“Hay! I know you!

Pause

“From Instagram …’’

Erupt raucous laughter from group of boys.

A perfect example of a modern pick up line and also a possible inkling of truth, that he could quite easily be following ‘her’ or any of the other 50,000 girls that look like ‘her’ on instagram. 

Girls look at each other as if to say, ‘’Oh my gawd – I’ve been recognised from instagram …?!?

Look, blush, air high five one another.

I‘ll tell you speaking like the youth of today, acting like them, hashtagging like them – also known as, ‘taking the piss’ does make you feel a little bit like them, wide eyed and full of spunk.

Even if it’s for an hour a day, I challenge you. TRY IT.

 

 

 

False Starts

Let's Get Going 

This blog nearly never happened.

I’ve been talking about it for what seems like, well, years. Like many things we set out to do, we talk about them, we think about them, and then we just don’t do them.  Oh, and there are so many reasons as to why we don’t do them.

Mine? I’m not good enough; I’ve got nothing to say.  Then there is the opinion of others, why would you want to do that? Aren’t you worried about the haters? Oh, that whole platform scares me.  (Yip, those comments come from my peers i.e. my age group).

Then there’s the actuals – time, I don’t have any time – well, make time then?

Oh ok, well, let me just hold down a job that’s beyond full-time, try for a baby (relentlessly), be pregnant whilst holding down a job that’s beyond full-time, have a baby, go back to work, be a Mummy plus keep a household, try for another baby (again, relentlessly), be a Mummy, hold down a job that’s beyond full-time, keep a household AND be pregnant with number 2 – get this baby out and then maybe, just maybe we can start the blog … right?

Er, wrong. No, let’s have a complicated pregnancy, resulting in a complicated birth which then incurs postpartum health complications.  Everyone is elated (isn’t this always the case) you’re left feeling like a basket case that’s had everything imaginable inserted and stabbed into you, pull out of you, and now crap is coming out of you…  so all you can do is be a Mummy to a new born and a toddler, who is simply trying to get through each day while fighting sleep deprivation. But your imagination is still intact busily writing amazing and witty posts – in your head. (That get 180,000 Likes – in your head) Ahhh sigh.

Ok .. we’re a few months out, what about now??

Been offered a great gig, and it’s part time – what can I say?? I can’t say no.

Fast forward to this moment in time, I know first hand that life is waaaay too short for continued excuses.

So here I am, finally!!  

I should perhaps apologise in advance, because it’s guna be ugly, it’s guna be a bit like my last birth, rip, sh*t and bust!

Because, as a mother of 2 small people, who holds down a job and keeps a household, a bit like ‘disposable’ income – I don’t have that luxury.

I don’t have the luxury to spit polish and shine my blogs or my site – it is what it is. Just like me, a bit rough round the edges but there’s no veneer here. It's just me, raw and unedited ....

...Simply Barbs.

So, now that I am here – where should we begin?