Kindness is one of the things I want to see more of. It’s one of those feelings or moments that tend to stick with me the most. At that moment, a person is presented with various options – and they chose to be kind. That is pretty cool, we need more kindness in the world.

I was at Kmart today (again.. I know, I’m on a cleaning/organizing buzz). Baxter wouldn’t listen and Lily well, don’t even get me started. Some amazing woman helped me out, wrangling a trolley and fighting lily into said trolley. The gesture and kindness went such a long way. I was visibly stressed and losing patience at a rapid rate.

Kmart was their last chance before we went home.. I was taking Baxter into Toyworld in town to pick a toy after he went poos on the toilet (long story) and Lily completely lost the plot, wouldn’t listen, was having the mad tantrums and kept running off. I have never been so embarrassed and had to walk out only 5 minutes after getting them out of the car and into the store. I had to leave, I was losing my control.

I didn’t know the woman who chose to stop and help me and that is the beauty of it. Some beautiful stranger seen me struggling, she had a child with her so can probably relate. I felt embarrassed that I had indeed needed the help and that I wasn’t able to control both of the kids at that time but I was so grateful. It made me smile and brought me back down to reality (I was pretty wound up after the Toyworld incident). Her actions completely changed my day.

Isn’t it incredible that one moment can change your entire day or mindset? When was the last time you showed kindness? Maybe a random act to a stranger and paid it forward.

A positive mind and a full heart can have a huge impact on your wellbeing.

Here are a few ways you could show kindness this coming week I did a mass google but these stood out to me and I can proudly say I currently do these things:

  • Smile and say “hello” or “good morning” to a stranger walking down the street
  • Pay for the person’s coffee behind you
  • Create a care package for someone feeling under the weather
  • Let another driver merge into your lane – and don’t hate them for it (K, I don’t do this much – but I’ll try)
  • Thank a service person such as a police officer or fireman for their hard work and dedication to serving others – massive YES.
  • Give up your seat on the bus/train. Does it matter if they’re pregnant or elderly? If they look like they could do with a seat – give them one!
  • Always keep your word
  • Stick up for a person who has been treated wrongly – no good talking about it after, take action now
  • Let someone, who only has a few items, go ahead of you in the checkout line of the supermarket.

Next time you see a mum struggling (or anybody for that matter), help them out – we’ve all been there x

Thank you, whoever and wherever you are. You made a shitty day, a little less shitty.

Is it THAT time?
Reuben had always sworn Lily would be in her cot until she was 5 because well, she’s trouble. We had an incident the other week where she climbed out of her cot for the first time. Out of pure fear and in hope ditching the cot would prevent a more than likely injury.
We already had Baxter’s adorable old toddler bed so decided to introduce her to the ‘big girl bed’.
I don’t have any advice on the best way to do it, with both kids we decided to just ‘rip the bandaid’ off and get it over with. It totally worked with Baxter, he never once got out of bed and still doesn’t until the morning. Lily on the other hand has been a total nightmare in the sleep department from about 1.5 years.
We don’t have conventional doors, imagine giant glass sliding ones (yeah, so great for kids right?) so they’re quite difficult to work with. Both kids have their doors shut at night. Baxter doesn’t have a night light and we’ve just introduced one to Lily’s and managed to find a way to lock her door to stop her coming out (but easily opened in an emergency).
Tonight we’ve introduced duct tape to her light switch before well, who doesn’t love bright lights been switched on at 3am?
It’s day two and last night she managed to strip naked and piss on the floor in the middle of her bedroom.
So yeah, how do you think it’s going?
If you have any advice or words of wisdom – please.

I realized something tonight. Something that made me a little sad to admit.

I don’t really have many friends.

I was always the outsider, going against the grain. Bailing on events and occasions because I had been consumed by anxiety.

I lived on my own for over 5 years after an incredibly messy breakup – something I seem to blame a lot for.

I couldn’t disappoint anybody, and everything was on me. I only had myself to worry about.

I’m 32 years old and can safely say I have less than 5 people I could call on and they’d be there. While I know numbers don’t matter, I can’t help but feel sad. We live in this online world where everything is on show.

People have come and gone over the years, was this because of me? Did our lives just grow in different directions? Did they get what they needed from our friendship?

I get sad when I scroll my feed and see all the big groups of friends who have been together through it all. They got pregnant together, they plan their weddings together, their children grow up together – they even travel together. The constant feed that is social media is playing with my mind, telling me there is something wrong with me because I don’t have this.

I never went to a school formal, I got early exemption from the ministry of education to leave school when I was 15 and I’ve worked full-time ever since.

It probably makes me sound like a huge loser, and maybe I am? On reflection, it could seem petty – like is this all I am worried about? Do I not think my current friends are good enough? Not the case at all. I love the insanely small circle I have but can’t help but wonder if maybe I’ve pushed others away? There are people I once considered really good friends who have never even met my children yet continue to engage online like we’re still the best of friends.

Have I been so focused on my career that I’ve never bothered to really value a friendship in order for it to last? Am I a bad friend?

Has working in the online space for so long made me not able to function properly in real-world situations which has then hindered my ability to form normal relationships?

Has motherhood made me more lonely than ever before?

Please tell me I am not the only one that constantly feels like a loner.

written by Sarah-Lee Patterson

I returned to work as soon as my 18 weeks of PPL were up. Not just for financial reasons but because I love my job & also because I knew my daughter (Parker) would thrive 110% better at Daycare, than she would at home with me. I do love being a Mum but staying at home & being responsible for my Daughters learning & development just wasn’t for me. It sounds terrible when I put that in words but I know I’m not the only one who worries about how much pressure that is felt to ensure you’re supporting your child in hitting their milestones.

I returned 3 days a week initially then gradually increased back to full time hours from there. In hindsight, I wish I had worked 3 day weeks until Parker was 12months old. Unknown to me, once Parker hit 7-8months old, I found that my life was a constant cycle of work, washing (to ensure there were plenty of fresh daycare clothes) & pureeing baby food. Especially because help at home was limited (my husband is out of town a lot for his job). This is when mild PND set in & I started to wonder what I was doing with my life. I had a discussion with my manager & it was agreed that I was able to work from home 1-2 days a week so I could keep on top of things. I feel really lucky to have had a workplace that supported this at a time where it could have gone the complete opposite way.

Everyone’s return to work situation is completely different – some will have more support at home, some will have less. But just know that there ARE other people in the same situation as you & everyone copes with similar situations in different ways. Talk it out with someone you feel comfortable with or your Doctor if needed & come up with a strategy to lessen your load. Both physically & mentally. I didn’t respond well to medication so a change in work/life balance was really only option.

Because I put Parker in Daycare so early & had friends going through the same battle of working out how to approach it after me, I often got asked my tips/tricks/hacks for starting Daycare & keeping on top of things, so here they are :

CLOTHING : Leave the cute stuff at home & keep it simple. In Winter, dress in bodysuits, trackies/leggings and sweatshirts. In summer, the same again but with short sleeves and shorts. We frequented the Warehouse, Kmart & even Baby Factory. They grow so fast that I used to buy things in a range of sizes. Especially if it was black or another dark colour with less chance of being stained by food.

USE THE DRYER : It’s my holy grail. If I had to hang every piece of Parker’s clothes out to dry, I’d certainly go stir crazy. If you insist on hanging out washing to save a few bucks on the electricity, use those offers of help to get it done.

PRE-PACK OUTFITS : If you’re OCD in terms of outfits that need to go together/colour co-ordinate, put together your baby’s weeks worth of individual outfits in plastic sleeves (I kept the ones that our cot sheets came in) or laundry delicates bags (which I used when she grew up a bit and her clothes were a bit bulkier), then in their own drawer or shelf. This makes for getting dressed quickly in the mornings & when Dad is there to help out with the morning routine, he doesn’t have the stress of finding a suitable daycare outfit either.

STOCK DAYCARE UP WITH THE ESSENTIALS : We would stock Daycare up with whole boxes of nappies, tins of formula and breakfast (Farex etc) so that all we needed to do was ensure there were a couple of changes of clothes & a sleep-sack in Parker’s bag each day. Then the addition of lunch once she started on solids. To make this easier, I would highly recommend finding a daycare that provides meals.

BULK MAKE FOOD & USE PRE-MADE POUCHES : Bulk make a weeks worth of puréed foods and pop it in Kai Karriers ready to go to Daycare for lunches &/or dinners. You can also do this for breakfasts and bulk containers of yoghurt. However, don’t feel guilty if you opt to send them along with pre-made pouches from the Supermarket. I did this a lot too to save my sanity and even now (Parker is 2) we still have a stash of fruit pouches in the cupboard and opt for yoghurt pouches for breakfasts or an easy snack.

DAYCARE BAG : You can use basically any bag – a lot of people use their nappy bags for the first little while. I invested in a Herschel bag for Parker last March and she has used it every day since. It’s still in great condition with no signs of wear. I highly recommend them. Also, Pop a wet bag in their bag for wet/dirty clothes (I believe most daycares are advising this now as they’re trying to go plastic bag free)

NAMING DAYCARE ITEMS : I went through the painstaking process of ironing Dymo name labels on all Parker’s daycare clothes. Realistically, this was more of a pain than helpful. Their clothes rarely go missing when they’re smaller as they generally have less changes of clothes. Name labeling is key when they’re transitioned to a toddler room though. Stuck on You labels are great but get the larger sized ones. Name all plastic surfaces with vinyl name labels – bottles, drink bottles, kai carriers & lunch boxes. I personally love using Vinyl Junkies. Their service is top notch and their labels last well too.

MAKE TIME FOR YOU : Take a day off work every now & then just for you and don’t feel bad about it. Everyone needs this. In fact, I checked myself into a hotel for the night a couple of times just to get some rest without worrying about anything else.

ACCEPT OFFERS OF HELP & DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR HELP : I had friends bring dinner over a few times. Not just because I’m useless at cooking when it’s just myself at home but it was also nice to have the company on those days. Also, I know personally that if any of my friends needed help folding their laundry, doing their dishes or vacuuming their house, I would happily be there for them. If anything, I’d make me feel good knowing that they feel like that can reach out to me for help. This goes for babysitting too! It’s not so daunting looking after someone else’s kid now that I’m somewhat “experienced”.

HIRE HELP : if finances allow, just do it. We had someone come to do the essentials for us for a few months last year & it was so good knowing that each fortnight, the kitchen, bathroom and floors were getting a decent clean. I would walk in the door with a feeling of relief knowing I could just sit down for a few moments without feeling like my house was a absolute sty riddled with germs. Of course the cleanliness didn’t last with a toddler but at least temporarily, I could breathe a little.

Once Parker was somewhere between 12-18 months, juggling things did get easier. She can feed & entertain herself (mostly) which means there is some room for getting housework done while she is occupied & I got a new job that allows me to work flexible hours so now I get home a lot earlier than I used to.

So, if you’re about to return to work or have recently returned & are feeling like everything is a bit much, remind yourself that the best is yet to come. You may feel overwhelmed at times but it will pass & it does get better.

I purchased a new pair of togs yesterday, decided it was finally time I graduated from my maternity ones (I’ll always love you ole faithful) and in my usual style of shopping I grabbed a pair off the rack, held it against myself and said and “yep – she’ll be right”.

She won’t. By god they’re high cut and the downstairs tenant didn’t get the memo about the requirements. I put them on in the changing room, looked down and had one of those ‘oh shit’ moments. It was way too late – she’s festively thick and bushy like a Christmas tree. Oops #mumlife.

Being a mum is all about putting them first and us second. At least it took away from the fact that I haven’t shaved my legs in weeks.

I’ll keep the weed wackers handy for our next excursion.