Don’t Let Anyone Steal Your Sparkle: For My Daughter

Yesterday my hubby returned from his usual weekend work trip in Melbourne with the most beautiful article by Angela Mollard, offering her 12 year old daughter a guide to growing up.  As I was reading , I could feel the love and hope for a wonderful life ahead for her little girl and I couldn’t help the tears welling up, as she was expressing many of the same hopes that I have for my own 17 month old daughter.  The last line, ‘Ahead are days of miracle and wonder’.  Indeed.

It was such strangely perfect timing as that same morning, I had also read another article by Lindsey Mead entitled ‘10 Things I Want my Daughter to Know‘ which so wonderfully put into words many of the same lessons I want to my daughter to learn.

How motherhood, even on opposite sides of the country and globe, holds the same hopes and dreams.

For my own daughter, this;

Don’t let anyone steal your sparkle.  You are so full of life and laughter, you greet everyone with a smile.  In years to come, this might be met with silence or even dismissed, but shake it off.  Some people have lost their sparkle along the way, some may have never have any to begin with.  May you always be as bright and beautiful and shiny as a star.

Your mummy xxx

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Five Things I’ve Learnt as a Mum

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A few months back the fabulous Fiona from My Mummy Daze asked the question ‘How would you sum up motherhood in two words?’.  The first answer that popped into my head was ‘The best!’.  I absolutely love being a mum, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard at times.  It’s definitely the most challenging role you’ll ever have.  It’s also one of the most fun, exhilarating and rewarding.  These are just some of the things I’ve learnt in the past so far.

Me and my Little Miss

1.  Look After YOU!

I know it sounds pretty straight forward, right?  But when you’re a mum and crazy busy looking after your family, working, cooking, cleaning (the list goes on and on!)  – the first thing you forget about is you.  Dr Ginni Mansberg sums it up perfectly when she talks of her aeroplane theory “They always say fit your own mask first, and then your children’s in an emergency. Airlines have worked out that everyone dies if mum is not OK – but women haven’t”  It’s so true!

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So make sure you look after you.  Take time out to do something you enjoy, whether it’s coffee with girlfriends, a fitness class or reading your favourite magazine. Eat healthy food –  load up on energy boosting snacks like hummus, veggies, fruit and yoghurt.  Drink lots of water, get outside for a walk and fresh air every day (even if it’s only 10 minutes around the block), take a multivitamin and don’t ignore health issues.  Ask yourself this;  if you thought something was wrong with your child – would you hesitate to take them to the doctor? No.  You wouldn’t.  So don’t hesitate to get yourself to your GP if you think something is up.

2. Get Organised

I’m a semi organised person, but being a mum you really need to get super organised.  It makes life SO much easier.  The days and weeks when I feel like life is a breeze happen when I have planned ahead.  Recently, I have been doing my grocery shopping online on a Sunday morning, and that usually means we are fully stocked and ready for the week  by 9am on Monday.  Then I spend the rest of the day baking and cooking a few dishes to have handy and ready to go.  It’s so much easier to pull out a veggie slice and warm it up for Little Miss the minute she gets hungry, rather than try to figure out what to make for her.

My Veggie Slice (recipe here)

I get loads of inspiration from other mummy bloggers and I’m so grateful to them for sharing their tips and recipes.  Some of my favourites are The Misadventurous Maker, The Organised Housewife and Veggie Mama.

3.  Don’t Be Shy to Ask For Help

If people offer their help, don’t turn them down!  Especially in the early days when you are adjusting to motherhood and your new baby.  If someone wants to drop off a lasagne, say ‘That would be wonderful, thank you!’.  If you are totally exhausted and need a few hours sleep to recharge, ask a family member or friend to come over and look after your baby. You will feel SO much better for it.

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We have access to some of the very best health care in the world here in Australia, so if you are struggling with a particular issue, get out your purple book or jump online or even call someone. Whether it’s a medical hotline, Ngala or your clinic nurse.  If you feel like you aren’t coping – talk to somebody.  Make the most of the help available to us lucky Aussies.

4.  Trust Your Instincts

We have instincts for a reason, and as a mother you really need to trust and listen to what they are telling you.  My Little Miss had undiagnosed reflux for four months as a baby.  Everyone was telling me that her symptoms were normal and she would grow out of it.  But I just felt that something was up, and that my beautiful baby girl was in pain.  I saw a clinic nurse and my GP who told me not to worry. Then I finally saw a paediatrician who confirmed that she had reflux and would need some medication for a period of time.  So, even if everyone around you is telling you not to worry – if you feel something is not quite right, don’t hesitate to seek professional advice.

My baby girl

5.  Relax, and Enjoy!

We are overloaded with information from the minute we find out we are pregnant.  There are so many books, pamphlets, websites – all telling you what you should be doing and how. Family, friends and even strangers feel obligated to give you their opinions on how to raise your child – some of this advice can prove to be very useful, but a lot of it really isn’t.  Smile, breathe and say ‘thank you.’ Every mother, baby and situation is different, so don’t feel that you have to follow a particular style of parenting, or compare your child to others – because each child develops and grows at their own rate, in their own time.

Me and my girl

A child health nurse once told me that if you love your child, feed them well and keep them clean and safe – you are doing a fantastic job.  I’ve never forgotten that. So don’t feel pressured to be doing one million activities or feeding them three course gourmet meals.

Relax, enjoy and have fun.

And remember, a happy mum equals a happy home.

A xxx

What have you learnt as a mother?

What’s the best or worst advice you have been given as a mum?

How Does She Do It? A Guest Post from Mumma in Heels

Melinda, from the amazing blog Mumma in Heels and co-author of style blog Shop Me Chic, is a wife, mumma of two, a PR student, self confessed nail polish junkie and multi tasking maniac. Today I asked her the question on everyone’s lips. How does she do it? And how does she keep from being overwhelmed in her crazy busy life?  A xx

It’s a question I get asked almost every day – how do you do it?

Let me be the first to say, I am not Super Woman, Wonder Woman and any other woman with super powers (although if I’m honest, I’d love to get around in a Wonder Woman costume every day!).

I think Melinda would look great in a Wonder Woman costume! A x

Readers of Mumma In Heels will have seen a post or two about how I keep up ‘physically’ – planning ahead, writing (lots of) to do lists and multitasking where possible. Today Amy has asked me to write about how I cope emotionally and prevent myself from getting overwhelmed.

The first thing I have to say is sometimes I do get overwhelmed! Take last week: Mister was away with work, I had an essay to write, my toddler had a temperature and there was no wine. The baby was particularly cranky and I had two loads of washing on the line get rained on. I rang my fiancé and cried and told him I couldn’t cope anymore and I needed his help. A pointless phone call as he couldn’t come home but I really just needed to vent. As soon as I hung up I felt better and just took one thing at a time, starting from the most important thing (getting my toddlers temperature down was the first thing, finding out where to buy wine online was the second!). It sounds like simple advice but when you feel overwhelmed it can be hard to see things rationally. It really is a case of just doing one thing at a time, starting with the most important thing.

The second thing is you just have to know when it is time to switch off. Yesterday I blogged, baked (red velvet cupcakes – so yummy!), made baby food and wrote up a uni essay (on top of my usual motherly duties) and once the babies were asleep, I thought I’d squeeze in an hour to start my second essay. About 500 words in, the computer blacked out and I lost my work. I turned the computer back on and sat down to rewrite those 500 words until I realised that it was time to switch off for the day. No more uni, blogging or tweeting, but time to crawl onto the couch next to Mister and watch the New Girl. Some days you just have to be happy with what you have managed to do and leave whatever you haven’t done for tomorrow.

It will still be there in the morning and even though it feels like it, the world won’t end!

Melinda Xx

You can find Melinda’s amazing blog Mumma in Heels here and on Twitter here.

Ps.  Today I am guest posting about everyday luxuries at Luxe By Lulu – go and take a peek!

Hello and welcome to Absolute Amy….

I’m a wife and mum to a Little Miss and I absolutely love;

Coffee, cupcakes, fashion, movies, candles, cooking, baking, interior design, flowers, travel, magazines, movies, jewellery, music, dancing, shoes, make up, beauty products, twitter, yummy food and (please don’t judge!) The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Kate Moss, Charlize Theron, Olivia Palermo and Diane Kruger are among my ultimate style icons, I just love how they pull outfits and looks together.

I have been really inspired by everyday women in the blog world and I’m hoping to create my own little space for sharing ideas, bargains, fashion tips, beauty products and much much more.

I’d love to hear from you – any advice, comments or feedback is much appreciated!

I really hope you enjoy your time with Absolute Amy xxx