MY TINY WARDROBE BLOG & PRESS

FEED, SLEEP, REPEAT.....

Posted on August 29, 2016 by Amy Goller | 0 comments

As I sit in my silent, child-free home to type this post (my son is at a place commonly referred to as child care; I like to call it a gift from God), it occurs to me that in just over one week, there will be a new little person sharing our space. We are quite literally days away from a new life joining the already chaotic house I share with my biggest boy (my husband, D), my two-year-old boy (the delicious J), and our crazy 8-year-old fur child, Clancy.

FARK.

Of course we are excited; we cannot wait to meet this life we created during a random quickie in Bali. We will give him/her (I think it’s a him) all the love we have. We will teach our son to be gentle with the baby. No – don’t put your truck on baby’s face. We will go on outings as a family of four instead of a family of three (Clancy has to stay at home – he has antisocial tendencies and a sordid criminal history that is best left unmentioned). We will inhale the sweet scent of our newborn and we will revel in just how blessed we are.

Then we will collapse in a sleep deprived heap.

The thing about the second child is that D and I have the benefit – and curse – of hindsight. We know what we are in for. We know we won’t sleep for months. We know my body will hurt and that my boobs will be sore. We know my once flat stomach will resemble a deflated balloon. We know we will snap at each other when we are tired and cranky. We know the baby will cry and cry, often for no reason.

On the plus side, we also know that the agonising back/hip pain I have endured for roughly 5 months may soon be at an end. This means I can bid farewell to my weekly osteopath visits, which help tremendously, but for the fact that I am surrounded by magazines such as the one below, which made me want to vomit in envy. At my last visit I happened to spy this back-issue of Marie Claire, with Megan Gale’s glorious, glowing, naked and clearly pregnant body beaming back at me. How lovely! I thought.

Or did I?

marieclaire

Here I was at the osteopath on a freezing, wet Friday night, where I would be prodded and poked in an attempt to suppress my pelvic instability (in a show of fantastic teamwork, my pelvis and my emotions have now joined forces and decided to be unstable together) while Megan glowed radiantly at me from a glossy magazine. She was happy and exuberant; I was tired and cranky. She was all bump and no excess fat, whereas I was asked by my pharmacist if I was taking any regular medication like the pill.

And not only did I get to read about the clear lack of pregnancy symptoms Ms Gale is experiencing that is so unlike my own experience, I also got to read about how blissfully in love she and her partner are. Well isn’t that great, I thought. Then I very quickly thought how I would answer the question that had been posed to Miss Megan by the good people at Marie Claire about my relationship:

Sarah, you’ve been with your husband for nine years now. How do the two of you keep the spark alive?
Oh if i had a dollar for every time someone asked me that, I’d have, well, a dollar. My husband just adores me – I mean how could he resist me, what with my rapid weight gain and ongoing chest infection that I contracted from my cootie carrying child? Seriously though, it’s not hard to keep the spark alive. Just last night when I was in the throes of one of my regular night time coughing fits, my husband leaned over and whispered in my ear “Are you actually bringing any phlegm up?” Oh – didn’t I just melt! He is such a sweetheart. And while it’s true that we usually collapse into bed without so much as a passing glance at one another as our heads plummet towards our pillows, I know that secretly my husband just wants me. So naturally, I heave my bloated torso towards him and whisper sweet nothings in his ear, like “If you snore tonight, you can sleep with the dog” or “I think my sciatica is playing up again.” It’s just bliss, it really is.

The thing about Baby#2 is that the sheer optimism and self-delusion that was present with Baby#1 is gone. I remember feeling the way Megan described in her interview – excited, joyful, looking forward to relishing the challenges of parenting my way. I also remember my husband and I saying such ridiculous things like The baby will fit in with our lives, not the other way around! and Don’t they just sleep most of the time? I can write my memoirs from coffee shops all over Melbourne while baby sleeps in the pram!

3697234-tumblr_m8xaqiyzn11rv1ckao1_500

This time around, in addition to not being so incredibly stupid, we are also experiencing less of the excitement from outsiders that was present when we were expecting J. It is clear that Baby #2 gets nowhere near the fanfare of Baby#1. This is mainly because onlookers can coo with delight when you are pregnant with your first, all the while thinking those suckers have no idea what they are in for. By the time Baby #2 comes around, people realise that you know the score – you know you’re in for months of newborn hell. But don’t expect any sympathy from them – you are the idiot who got yourself into this mess in the first place.

So with that in mind, D and I are entering parenthood for the second time (okay, third time – sorry, Clancy) with our eyes wide open. And we are reminding ourselves of the following:

1. Birth is just something that happens

Baby J was born into the world after a 40+ hour labour that was excruciating until I finally decided on day two to JUST GET THE FUCKING EPIDURAL. Of course that helped the pain, but it then caused me uncontrollable tremors, itchiness and vomiting. Delightful! There was no scented candles, no soothing rainforest music, and certainly no blissful moment of feeling at one with my body. There was instead confusion, pain, trauma and ultimately a very sick little man who was whisked away from us and taken to the special care nursery, where he stayed for the next 11 days.

This time, Baby #2 is entering the world via the sunroof (i.e. caesarian) and I couldn’t be happier. We will be in a room surrounded by medical professionals whom we trust to give our baby the safest possible entry into the world. And although my physical recovery may take longer than it did with Baby#1, I feel a sense of reassurance that my mental well-being will be less scarred the second time around.

Today, I told my vagina the good news about the fact that she would get to avoid childbirth, and to be frank, I’ve never seen her so happy (actually, thanks to my enormous bump, I cannot see her and have not seen her in months. She certainly sounds happy though; she has been humming It’s a lovely day today by Irving Berlin all bloody morning).

 2. Sleep is for the weak

Actually, sleep is for the lucky, and is something we just learned to go without. Baby J catnapped for 5 long months, only sleeping in my arms, in his dad’s arms, or in the blessed Ergo baby carrier which I wore until my torso ached and my posture resembled that of an 80-year-old man. On the advice of some friends who had experienced a similar lack of slumber, we eventually took J to what is colloquially known as sleep school. And before you get all high and mighty, no, he wasn’t forced to cry for hours on end while an angry nurse stood by with a stopwatch. Instead, over the course of four days, J learned to get himself to sleep. He would rub a sleep toy against his face, or he would flop himself onto his tummy to get into a comfier position – things he couldn’t do when he was swaddled, as we had been doing. And we learned that we didn’t have to run into him every time he cried, and that sometimes if he was just grizzling, he would eventually get himself back to sleep.

In addition, sleep school gave me a relaxing massage, a couple of nights of solid sleep, and three glorious meals a day, none of which I needed to prepare nor clean up after.

What did we learn from this experience? TO NOT WAIT FIVE BLOODY MONTHS BEFORE SEEKING HELP! J became a much better sleeper after our little vacation, but he still has his moments. Moments, I can deal with. Months of constantly holding a child in my arms, including while trying to wriggle my jeans off to pee, I cannot. And because of our experience with J, I won’t have to.

3. I will get my body back

Far from being a well-toned exercise goddess, I am someone who generally has pride in how she looks (except when I am in the third trimester of pregnancy and/or sick. I am both of these today so if you pop in to see me at home, you will witness my limp hair, blemished skin and a stained grey hoodie. I have made peace with it; you should do the same). A woman’s body post-baby is…well…different to how it was before the baby got in there. Exercise will help weight loss, as will eating well, but let’s face it, who has time for either of those things when trying to deal with a newborn? I expect to be inhaling handfuls of Nutri Grain as sustenance and that the extent of my exercise will be lumbering around Coles in a sleep-deprived fog. I’m okay with this, because I know it won’t always be this way.

When J was about 8 weeks old, I started going to the gym a couple of times a week. My gym had a creche (yippee!) so J would hang out in there for a couple of hours while I did a class, went for a run, had an uninterrupted shower (bliss) and even ate a sandwich at the gym cafe. And after doing this for a few months, I not only fit into my clothes again, but I had a little routine that made the long days of caring for a baby seem a little easier.

So I will get my body back. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

4. Everyone is an expert

With J I received negative comments on the fact that he was predominantly formula fed, that he went to child care one day a week from when he was 9 weeks old, and because he wasn’t wearing a hat (thank you, old biddy in the park). Because I was so new to the mothering job, I took a lot of these criticisms to heart. Was I a bad mother for the apparently selfish choice I had made to let my boobs become my own again? Was my son failing to bond with me during the 8 hours a week that he was at child care, which was the only way I could get a rest?  And was he about to enter the throes of respiratory failure because I had taken off his beanie so he could enjoy some sun while we sat at the park?

No, no and no.

This time around, I have no tolerance for unsolicited advice. Quite frankly, if you have enough time to pass on judgment which is thinly veiled as being “helpful”, then I envy you. I am also reminded of a less than wholesome saying that I learned from my time growing up in the Redlands: An opinion is like a clitoris. Every c*#t’s got one.

Amen.

5. The house will look like shit for at least five more years

Before I commenced maternity leave, I worked full-time, as does my husband. The time we are in our home, with J, is essentially confined to afternoons, evenings and weekends. And because I can think of a litany of things I’d rather do than scrub a bathroom, we have a cleaner come to our house once a fortnight. I love him.

And yet despite our combined significant absence from the house, somehow, we are still surrounded by mess.

I am almost at the point of being okay with this. I know that the Matchbox cars that cover the floors of my home are there because my little man (and my big man, usually) was playing happily with them. I know that there are crumbs all over my loungeroom rug because my son’s obsession with eating toast knows no bounds. And I know that the never-ending laundry pile is just going to get bigger when there are outfits of Baby #2 to throw in the wash as well.

But unlike with J, this time when Baby#2 naps (and Baby#2 WILL NAP), instead of wiping down surfaces and tidying up toys, I am going to nap as well. My husband has never said You’re a much nicer person to be around when the floors are mopped but he has definitely said I am cranky when I am tired. Anything I can do to reduce that tiredness – including foregoing cleaning – is definitely something worth pursuing.

So, as today is one of my last days of freedom pre-newborn, I am now going to let the fur child inside, sit in front of the television, and watch Law &Order SVU (fortunately, my ability to ogle Detective Stabler is unaffected by pregnancy – yet another blessing for which I am thankful). It is quite likely that the next time I post Baby#2 may have arrived! So please forgive me in advance if this is the last blog entry that makes sense for a few months. I am not expecting to be able to string a coherent sentence together for some time.

Peace out.
Sarah xx

Instagram: @allmydirtylaundry

Website: www.allmydirtylaundry.com

Posted in Having A Newborn, Introducing Baby number 2, Pregnancy with a toddler

Goodbye, and Hello …

Posted on August 18, 2016 by Amy Goller | 0 comments

In my thirtieth year on the planet, I'm smack bang in the middle of the circle of life.

On the same day my darling boy started his journey by being born, my beloved mother started the final leg of hers by entering palliative care. No longer sustainable to be at home, my dear ma has been transferred into the hospital and hospice systems. How can the complete darkness or incredible joy consume me at this time? I exist between excruciating pain of ultimate loss and the glorious wonderment that comes with newborns.

( Ari in Mum’s Arms in Hospital )

( Mum with Leo, my first born during her treatment )

It is a total mind fuck and yet an incredible life experience. I don't want to write about how shit, unfair and fucked up it is to lose your mummy because I'm pretty sure you know how bad that is or could be. Instead, in these life changing days I want to reflect and share some of the things I'm truly grateful for in this time:

For my dear Ari along with his big brother Leo. They make me too busy to wallow, force me out of bed every morning and fill the world with love.

For my hubby who knows how to run a household and be by my side (especially when I was out of action after a caesarean).

For a flexible work environment that has allowed me to care for mother and savour every possible moment with her.

For strong women, the steel magnolias in my life. Who step up, 'get shit done' and basically make sure we survive.

For gorgeous in laws who have accepted me as a daughter.

For laughter. Even when mum has been high as a kite on morphine she still cracks jokes.

For nurses who are angels among us.

For super smart and compassionate doctors.

For fantastic support services that have allowed me to breastfeed after severe feeding issues.

That we live in a country with excellent health care, denied to many around the world.

For the chance to say goodbye. I know this is a privilege that not everyone receives. The blessing of this is not lost on me.

For the small things that turn into big things such as hot baths and showers. After weeks upon weeks of Breastfeeding in hospital chairs, the back and shoulders appreciate a good soaking!

For the prayers, love and light been sent our way. I know this is what is getting me through, not in my own strength but the support of others and a higher power.

For the true realisation for what is important in life, which in turn has made me appreciate more and want less.

Please, go and call your mum and tell her you love her if she is physically still here. If not, our mums are always with us, but I'm so sorry and feel your pain of missing them every single day. I hope there is a newborn around you can borrow for cuddles to ease the agony.

( Ari and me in 2016

Em X

Emma Madsen is the Editor of LOVEFLOCK, a space for all women to express, connect and to find growth and all about #womensupportingwomen. Connect with Emma and LOVEFLOCK:

Web: http://loveflock.com.au/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LOVEFLOCKAU/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/loveflockau/ 

 

 

 

                   

Posted in Loss After Having a Child, The Circle of Life

5 Ways Every Mum Can Feel Beautiful, fit and Strong!

Posted on August 10, 2016 by Amy Goller | 0 comments

Hey Mumma. 

You know that you are amazing right? You created a life! Holy Moly! Just thinking about that sentence it is pretty incredible right! You (maybe with an incy winy little bit of help from your baby Daddy) grew and nourished and birthed a brand new human being. 

So why, with all that major accomplishing going on, do we stand in front of the mirror in all our post-natal glory and feel crap about ourselves?  Why do we grab the fat on your belly and sadly jiggle it up and down. When has that ever made any feel better about themselves? 

Shouldn’t this be a time when we are celebrating and feeling our absolute best. Beautiful, strong + empowered. 

For me (and I think I am in the majority here).  I felt yucky after the birth of my girls. I didn’t want to feel that way, but when you can’t fit into any of your clothes it is hard to feel really great about yourself. 

Then there are the days when you are covered in milk and vomit and only eaten crackers and biscuits all day. 

It is hard to feel pretty on those days. It is hard to recognise the beautiful, fit and strong woman that you are. 

So what do we do about it? 

How can we get back to feeling the way that we deserve to feel after creating a life? 

How do we get back to feeling beautiful, fit and strong?  Here are 5 tricks that I used in my little path back to fitness. 

  1. Just Move Mumma 

Sounds so simple, but often the days just fly by and we haven’t done any kind of physical movement, let alone exercise! 

Moving your body and getting some fresh air will make you feel so much better. You’ll give yourself a little endorphin rush and start to build the momentum towards daily exercise. 

I love adding a little exercise circuit to my walks with my girls in the Pram. 

  • 10 Lunge Pulses Each Leg. Try using the pram for support. 
  • 10 Push Ups. You can do these on your knees or even in quad position if you want to take the pressure off your core and pelvic floor). 

Repeat 9, 8, 7, 6……… down to 1 of each.  This also works really well with squats and dips! The ideas are endless! 

2.  Hack your Sleep

I know! The elusive sleep! But if you are sleep deprived. And let’s face it, basically all new Mums are. Everything just seems like a huge deal.  Little issues become big issues. You are more emotional and definitely more hungry. 

So whilst it might be tempting to survive solely on coffee and chocolate.  Why don’t you try these 4 Hacks for Tired Mummas and see if you don’t feel a bit or a lot better. 

3. Do something for yourself. Every. Single. Day. 

Do you feel like you have lots your sense of playfulness? I know I did / have . 

It’s so hard when are constantly worrying whether your baby……

  1. Is hungry
  2. is tired
  3. is happy
  4. is developing at the right milestones
  5. is being stimulated enough
  6. is being stimulated too much
  7. and on and on 

to just snap into fun, frivolous mode.  So how do you get a bit of fun back into your day. Preferably that doesn’t involve playing peek-a-boo? 

Do something for yourself. Every day. Yep. You heard me. Every single day, do something that you enjoy. It can be big, it can be small. Doesn’t matter. As long as it makes you happy.  

Tiny little sips of daily happiness will make more of a difference to your life than a yearly holiday or day spa. 

4.  Nourish Your Body

I don’t think that this stage of your life is a time to be depriving yourself. Of anything. But I haven’t met anyone who ever felt better about themselves after stuffing their body full of junk. 

So instead of focusing on deprivation and diets, why don’t you try to shift your focus to nourishing your body with beautiful fresh food. 

My simple tips are:

Do Breakfast Well. A healthy breakfast that is high in protein and good fats will give you a slow release of energy throughout the day and stop you from craving sugar. Think eggs with avocado. A green Smoothie with protein powder and almonds. Coconut yoghurt with a paleo style muesli. 

Prepare some freezable or storeable meals on Sunday. We are busy and we are often tired, so if you can, prepare just one healthy meal in advance so that you can whip it out, heat it up and enjoy a healthy dinner. 

Save your treats for after dinner. Craving chocolate? Me toooooooooo! So things don’t get out of control, I just try to save my treats until after dinner.  Cutting back on the sugar you eat during the day will make a huge difference in the long run. 

5.  Think Lovely Thoughts About Yourself 

I should put this tip first really. Because if you start to think lovely, positive thoughts about yourself, you wll start to do all of the other things naturally. 

As Mums, we are so good at supporting everyone around us. Our friends, our family, our children. And yet, the things we say to ourselves.  

Starting right now, list 3 words that describe how you want to feel about yourself. 

My words were that I wanted to feel beautiful, fit and strong. 

Every time you catch yourself pinching your muffin top or lamenting over the shape of your belly, just repeat those words to yourself and slowly start to notice how much better you feel. 

About Kimmy

Kimmy is the founder of the Fit Mummy Squad.  Kimmy is also a former Australian Squad Netballer, a former corporate lawyer, a personal trainer specialising in post-natal fitness and a Mummy to two beautiful girls. 

The Fit Mummy Squad is a fitness and wellness website designed to inspire new Mums to feel beautiful, fit and strong through positive workouts + health and wellness inspiration. 

The Fit Mummy Squad will share positive workouts, recipes and wellness tips all created specifically for new Mums. 

Where to Find Her:

 Website: kimmysmithfit.com

Instagram: @kimmysmithfit

Facebook: www.facebook.com/fitmummysquad

Posted in Postnatal Exercise, Postnatal Fitness

ORGAN DONORS, SILENT HEROES. 

Posted on August 03, 2016 by Amy Goller | 1 comment

I was 17. I’d just graduated high school, had a kick ass new boyfriend, and was laying my teenage days away waiting for uni offers.  Life couldn’t really get any better, I was healthy, happy & just generally loving life. But, so it seems, life had a different plan for me. 

Christmas 2008 hit me like a tonne of bricks, and I got that dreadful summer cold we all hate. Except this was no average cold.  It turns out I’d been hit with Glandular Fever and the road to recovery was long, and one no one expected.  

A few days before Christmas I got pretty sick, I just figured I’d sleep it away, and nothing a bit of cold and flu tablets over the counter from the chemist wouldn’t fix.  Boxing Day I was in the emergency department on Oxygen.  Eventually I was sent home, and a few days later admitted to a local private hospital as my state had deteriorated and the local GP had no idea how to fix it.  To cut a long story short, I was transferred from one hospital to another where I was then put into a medically induced coma, early January 2009.  It was the safest way to keep me alive, and diagnose me at the same time, all whilst trying to find a solution.  I then went to another hospital in Brisbane where I laid for a few weeks, connected to machines.  My family was told I had a 50/50 chance, it was bad.  Really, the doctors still had no answers, and were doing their absolute best to keep me alive each day.  Mid January, I was transferred from a Childrens Hopsital in Brisbane to the RPA Hospital in Sydney by government Jet.  I was connected to a machine called an ECMO Machine, which essentially works as a heart lung bypass machine, and was to give my lungs time to rest.  It was connected to my jugular vein, and a large vein in my groin and it would take the blood out, oxygenate it and return it to my body - working as my heart and lungs.  Sadly, my lungs were punctured, and eventually they collapsed, leaving a double lung transplant as my only chance of survival.  

It was the St Vincents Hopsital in Sydney where my fate would lie, and I was put on the top of the recipient list for Australia and New Zealand. (*Fun fact, depending on what state you’re in will depend on the pool of organs that can be taken*, QLD may be too far from WA, but its close enough to NZ for the organs to be viable*).  I waited for 4 weeks, and a set arrived. 

As luck would have it, 9 March 2009 was to be my new birth day! I was lucky enough to be given the greatest gift of life, in the form of not one, but two new airbags, MY NEW LUNGS! They arrived in the early hours and as I am told I went through gruelling hours of surgery, and a few more long weeks of recovery until I was eventually taken off life support, and slowly woken to my new life.  Although not perfect, my very competent surgeons and doctors, made a difficult decision that day to take those lungs for me.  I matched mostly, but they were too big in size.  Your right lung has three lobes and the left has two, my new lungs have one big lobe each.  This means I have a restricted lung capacity and won’t ever function to full capacity. 

All in all, I was in a coma for about 3 months.  I woke, and Michael Jackson had passed, Barak Obama was the American President and for all I knew that was just the beginning.  Life had changed, and as a not even 18-year-old, this was a massive wake up call for me. 

I began my road to recovery, I learned to walk and use my muscles again.  I had to gain 25+ kilos to return to my previous weight, and fit my clothes.  I spent most of my days on the couch, with not enough energy or muscles to really do anything too great.  My friends had gone, but I had my family, my Todd and my new lungs and that was all that mattered. 

Today, I am 25. I have been a lawyer for almost a year now, am happily married to my wonderfully supportive husband Todd and we are in the middle of building our dream home.  My life is normal.  Actually, it’s better than normal, it’s the best, cause I can breathe.  If you look at me, you wouldn’t know.  & between you and me I think that’s pretty cool.  I’m not that “sick” girl in the crowd, or at the shops. I wake most mornings with a deep breathe, thinking how awesome it is that I live with someone else’s organs.

 organ donation blog

My routine now consists of a bunch of pills (lifesaving might I add), routine 3 monthly hospital check-ups, and living my life to the fullest.  Not too bad if you ask me, and a small price to pay to still be living and breathing.  If you think about it, the alternate wasn’t that great.  Sure, there are some pretty difficult times, and things that only I cope with, and things that I am only telling anyone for the first time writing this blog.  Some days pass with no hiccups, others I lay awake all night focussing on each and every breathe gasping in the glory, but also wondering what else life has planned for me.  My heart breaks knowing I may not be able to give my wonderful husband that family he deserves, or carry a child of my own, or not live to be the lil old lady in the fruit shop that the young boy helps to her car, but I quickly am woken from those thoughts when I think about how lucky I am to still be alive.  I have 7 beautiful nieces and nephews that I have watched grow into wonderful little humans, and I am consider myself the luckiest person alive to have witnessed all of that.  

Organ Donation Article

I promise you, a double lung transplant was the farthest expectation for my life that you, or I could possibly imagine.  It’s one of those things that you never think will happen to you, or someone you know or love. But you shouldn’t discredit that.  Sometimes life has its own plan for you, to try and test you and to see if you can handle it.  A new friend just last week read my palm, and my “life line” is strong.  Although its criss-crossed with lots of health issues, its strong, and that’s what makes me know that this path that has been paved for me, is the right one.  

My life today wouldn’t be possible without the generosity of my donor family.  It was the family of my donor who made one of what I would imagine to be the most difficult decisions of their life, but as a result has been one of the greatest, most selfless gift a person could give, an organ donation.  

ORGAN DONATION BLOG

In Australia, SADLY viable organs can only be taken from a small pool of people and those deaths count for a minute percent of the population, and from that even less donate.  Each year 1,500 Australians wait for an organ transplant, whether it be heart, lung, livers or kidneys.  I know so many people I talk to think they have it covered, they ticked that box when the got their drivers licence 30+ years ago, or they themselves know they want to donate.  Well, I am here to tell you that’s just not good enough.  

Today, it is your next of kin that decides whether your organs are donated to another human in need.  (*fun fact, one donor can save the lives of up to 10 people).  This week marks Organ Donation awareness week.  It’s here to raise awareness, and encourage all Australian’s to discuss this very sensitive issue with their loved ones.  If you have registered your intent on the Organ Register, that’s a great start, but you also need to have the chat with your family.  If you feel strongly about it, stress it to them.  It is important that they know. 

Death isn’t something anyone wants to think about, or discuss with their family but the reality of it is, is that is inevitable.  Life can, sadly be taken away from us in an instant, and in the event that it does, wouldn’t you like to know that you’ve saved someone’s life.  The beauty of it is, that I am living proof that organ donation works.  I am now 8 years post transplant, which is an awesome feat.  The quality of life I have is incredible, and I have my donor to thank for that.   

I share my story with almost everyone I meet, and I do encourage people to register their intention to donate.  In my experience I have found that its not until people have met someone like me that they really consider the topic.  I cannot encourage, or advocate the important of organ donation enough.  If you do anything after reading this, please – register your intention to donate, and discuss it with your loved ones, be it your mum, dad, husband or wife.  They need to know.  

Donors are heroes, you could be one too. 

Register here: https://www2.medicareaustralia.gov.au/pext/registerAodr/Pages/DonorRegistration.jsp 

Websites:  http://www.donatelife.gov.au/discover/facts-and-statistics

#endthewait #donatelife #havethechat #organdonation

Posted in Donating Saves Lives, Organ Donation

But..... How Do I Co-Parent???

Posted on July 28, 2016 by Amy Goller | 0 comments

I am not going to lie, I am flying fucking blind into this co parenting gig..

I thought I had it all figured out, I thought that I was going to have this dream situation, I thought my determination to have that incredible co parenting family that all get along for the greater good of the “family unit” was enough. I thought if I constantly remind myself that Ever deserves it that I somehow would be all Mother Teresa and mind my P’s and Q’s and not mention the past. That’s all good in theory but after what I went through for 6 months those feelings are bubbling up, I am still so incredibly hurt, I am still choking back tears daily and seeing him with her does make me happy but also feels like daggers right through my heart.

No one goes into mother hood without the thought of not having a family, we all want that white picket fence, we all want Sunday mornings laughing in bed with our beautiful partner and kids so having my little family right in front of my face yet knowing that it will never be and that it will always be a matter of compromise, tolerating one another and not love.. it hurts.. It fucking hurts like hell.

coparenting blog

I always thought that when he returned this whole single mum gig would get easier, I always thought that I would be more calm, more content and at ease. But it comes with a whole set of new hurts, it’s the same situation with a different label on it and I feel like its ground hog day.. I spent 6 months keeping the mind set that when Ever arrives it will all be different, that the pain will subside and be replaced with overwhelming love, that she would distract me from the big elephant in the room and I had just come to terms with the fact that doing it alone was achievable, that I could do it, that I would rock it without him.. then the rug was swept right out from under me and once again I was left spinning wondering what was going to by my next move.. I had a moment yesterday, I couldn’t hold some of my feelings in anymore and words spewed out of my mouth that I had promised I wouldn’t mention.. I feel like I am scrambling around in the dark, neither here nor there.. Not knowing what is up or down.

He is not just Ever’s father, he is my ex partner.. The man that I loved enough to make the big life decision of having a baby with.. I only made that call because I thought it was a forever relationship, I thought it was finally my happily ever after.. I thought it would be pancakes on Sundays in bed with our little ones.. laughing and making memories together.. Having that man around me, the same man that I loved so much.. The same man that walked away from me and the one that I mourned – it kills me.

But I do it for her, I do it because I am not going to give up and be one of those “families” that doesn’t work out, I am not going to go into this co parenting gig half arsed, I made a decision to have a baby with a man and I loved him enough that I knew it may not be forever but if it wasn’t that I would always respect him as her dad, I knew It may be a decision that falls apart and we still have to live with each other for the rest of our lives.

I came from a single parent family, my parents did not get along – it was all “if he/she is there then I’m not coming” it was horrible to feel like I was taking sides all the time, to feel like I was betraying one if I had fun with the other one. And I remember yelling “don’t get mad at me you chose each other to do this with, just because you made the wrong decision doesn’t mean you get to take it out on me” I always felt like I was neither here nor there, It made me feel very unstable. I knew that choosing Scott meant choosing him for a lifetime, I knew that making the choice to have a child with someone was more important than choosing them to marry and I knew I loved him enough to respect him if it all fell apart – and regardless of the situation I still feel the same. It is easy to protect yourself and not allow that person around your child, it doesn’t bring up complications, questions and uncertainty.

I know in putting myself out there and letting Scott into both of our lives again is putting myself at huge risk for hurt, I try to say to myself that I know him by heart and that he will be there for Ever and that he will always do right by her, and by me as her mother but I still feel very nervous about that given what happened in the past. The relationship breakdown takes two people, but I will always be the one that stayed, I didn’t leave, or give up.. I will always be the one that was left and the feelings with that are still raw and painful.. But I cant let that control the future, I cant let my own feelings control Ever’s future. She deserves a life with both of us, and I wont ruin that for her with my own issues from the past.

A few women have contacted me asking for advice for the similar situations that they find themselves in – The truth is I have no idea what I am doing, maybe I am making mistakes.. I guess I wont know if it has been a positive influence on her life until she is older. But my advice to all women in my situation who have had the father return would be – Do not let the past dictate your future, if your ex partner or father of your child wants to be involved then make sure he is in it for the right reasons. They do have a lot to prove, to not only your child but also you. I am letting my heart guide me through this, I am doing what I feel is right.. I am trying to leave the whole legal side of it out of the scenario at the moment, I am going simply on a respect basis – if we both respect each other as people and as parents and we are focused on Ever and her life, giving her the best support network and family unit that we can then I am happy. I don’t believe that all men deserve the chance to be a father based just on respect and the fact that a child needs her father around – if they are a domestic violence offender then No, If they are on drugs No, If they are emotionally and verbally abusive towards you then No, If they are not willing to prove themselves to you first and foremost as your child’s guardian then No fucking way! If they are at ALL a toxic person then No.. forget it and make them go through the court  system – I am not naive and I understand that this is not a one rule applies to all thing – look after you, trust your instincts, protect your number one first and foremost.

Not everyone agrees with my decisions, a few have thought I am being to giving and forgiving and all the rest of it – But all I care about is what is best for my little “family” unit. A few have asked what our arrangement is and at the moment we don’t have an arrangement, Scott comes over all most every single day even if its just for an hour. He works and studies at Uni so its hard to have an arrangement with his schedule, bath time is his job and he loves doing it and Ever is always so relaxed and I think its lovely that they have their own little bonding session. Sundays are our family day where we try and spend some quality time with Ever, going to new places so we can show her new things and getting photos of beautiful memories for her. We don’t have a financial agreement in place but he helps out where he can which is all that I can ask for, to me the finances are not what is important, the pieces of legal paper are not important, and working out visitation is not important to me – all that matters is what works, that Ever is happy, that we are all doing what we can for the greater good of a rather shitty situation.

I have no idea how to “co parent” and I never thought I would have to do it.. But it doesn’t matter how I got here, all that matters is how I deal with the situation that’s now my life. I guess my own experiences as a child has fuelled my determination to get me through the hard days, because I am a by product of parents that didn’t quite co parent successfully – I know what I want for my daughter and I know the challenges it will bring her life if I don’t swallow my pride, hold my tongue and turn this around from a negative to a positive for her. I think that people so often forget that the children are what’s important, I feel that in circumstances where you are torn about how to behave try to remove yourself from the situation and focus on what you want the outcome to be. My answer was all I wanted was Ever’s happiness, that she goes through life feeling love and support and that she has as many positive people around her while she grows – I mean after all it does take a whole village to raise a child. 

Instagram : @singlemumdiaries 

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/thesinglemumdiaries/

Website : www.thesinglemumdiaries.com 

Contact : info@thesinglemumdiaries.com

Posted in

FEATURED: My Tiny Wardrobe on How To be a MumBoss Successfully

Posted on July 25, 2016 by Amy Goller | 0 comments

MY 3 SUCCESS SECRETS ON HOW TO HUSTLE LIKE A MUMBOSS

Success secrets

SUCCESS SECRETS

It's damn hard starting and growing a biz but it is worth it. It seriously saddens me though to know that more than 60 percent of small businesses cease operating within the first three years of starting.

​I don't want that to be your story. So I'm sharing My 3 Success Secrets on How to Hustle like a MumBoss right here in this blog post.

If I had the opportunity to take you out for coffee and cake, this is what I'd want to tell you:

You Need to Start Growing Your Email List

You Need to Get Comfortable Collaborating

AND

You Have to Surround Yourself with People Who “GET YOU”

success secrets

1. YOU NEED TO GROW YOUR EMAIL LIST

Email marketing needs to be in your marketing tool kit!

From day MINUS 1 I started growing my email list.

Yep. I said MINUS 1 because we didn't even have a website yet.

I had a very simple landing page (one page website) with our mock-up logo, a countdown timer (counting backwards to our launch date), a small paragraph about what Mums With Hustle was going to be and a single box for people to enter in their email address to stay connected with me and learn more! I didn't even have a freebie to give them in exchange for their email address but it didn't matter. We had over 100 people sign up in a very short amount of time just off the description of what we were about. That was incredibly validating and motivating. Not to mention, it kept us accountable!

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:

  • Email is more personal - it doesn’t replace your social media connection with your community, it compliments it. I enjoy subscribing to my favourite online businesses and blogs. Staying more connected with them makes me feel valued by them.
  • Email doesn’t go away and algortithms don't change- unlike social media platforms can (remember MySpace? - GONE). Social media is AH-MAZE but it is rented ground.
  • Email helps you stay at ‘front of mind’ - stay on their radar. Social media posts can get lost if people are following hundreds or thousands of accounts, or if they aren’t checking their account regularly. You can go without being seen regardless of how awesome your content is.
  • Email helps promote repeat customers/readers - because you have a relationship with your community beyond their initial purchase. You can provide deals or exclusive content just for them (like I do).
  • When you launch a new product or area of your business, you instantly have a community of people who understand your WHY and who want to be a part of it.

If you'd like to learn more about email marketing and how it can grow your biz, you can take my FREE "Build Your Tribe With Email" Ecourse. It's written by me, for you, and it's got all the stuff inside that I wish someone told me when I was starting out 😊.

Success Secrets

2. YOU NEED TO GET COMFORTABLE COLLABORATING

Why collab?

When we collaborate with others we open ourselves up to getting in front of a brand new audience. It should be the audience that you want (your ideal customer or those you can work with to grow your brand) but maybe you just haven’t had the chance to get in front of them yet. This is why it’s SO important to know your ideal client in as much depth as you can. You need to know what their interests are, what blogs they are reading, what social media accounts they are following, what pains they have and what makes them tick!

When you know where your customer is you can start to think about HOW you are going to get in front of them.

WHEN IT COMES TO COLLAB PARTNERSHIPS REMEMBER THESE 5 THINGS:
  • Does the brand hold your audience?
  • Will working with this brand serve both of your audience's?
  • Do you know, like and trust what their core biz is about?
  • Keep an open mind - you should never judge someone's success based purely on their social media following. We're not playing tit for tat here!
  • Your strengths might be their weaknesses and vice versa! That's a great thing!

I know lots of bizmums struggle with how to connect and collaborate with confidence on Instagram and online in general, so I have a podcast episode that is just for you. In this episode I share my confidence tips and strategies that have helped me connect authentically with great influencers and brands. I’ve also got an awesome freebie for you and that is "My 17 easy ways to connect with bloggers, businesses and social media influencers".

SUCCESS SECRETS

3. YOU NEED TO SURROUND YOURSELF WITH PEOPLE WHO “GET YOU”

So this one is HUGE.

You are the company you keep - ain't that the truth!

A long time ago I read something that was along the lines of “You will become the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with”.

Oh damn! Truth be told, most people (even those we love and cherish) are negative Nancy's. I guess it's us as entrepreneurs that choose to walk the unmapped path. Our collegues, friends, parents, siblings and sometimes even our life partners don't “get us”.

We THINK DIFFERENT. Pretty sure that's Apple's motto but hey, Steve Jobs was a kick-ass entrepreneur, right!

But seriously, as entrepreneurs we DO think differently. It's in our blood to think outside the square, to not settle for what society considers “normal” or “fulfilling”. We want more, we dream big, we challenge the status quo. With that comes the challenge of finding people who do “get you”. If you're not able to get to face-to-face meet ups then online connections are super powerful too!

Here are my lucky 7 bizmums who I look up to for various reasons. I've had the pleasure of meeting more than a few in person too!

MOTIVATION AND INFECTIOUS POSITIVITY:

Sara Sheedy - Sara Sheedy is one powerhouse of optimism. She oozes energy, self-belief and 100% practices everything she preaches. Sara is a creative trainer within the leadership and management space BUT she is also a speaker and group learning facilitator. I've had the pleasure of getting Sara in to speak at one of our Mums With Hustle Luncheons and this girl knows how to unlock potential and purpose!

KNOWLEDGE AND ACCOUNTABILITY:

Business School For Mums - Anna Jonak and Florencia Pike are serious hustlers! They have extensive business, marketing and coaching experience behind them and I know for a fact that they’ve got the goods because they’ve created an AMAZING business for themselves, that allows them to serve biz mums just like you and I. Business School For Mums is a one stop shop where you can learn about business, marketing and strategy AND it's made for MUMS!

One Small Step Coaching - Lanna Hill is one smart cookie! Through her biz, she offers a range of services including one-on-one business coaching, business plans and bespoke strategies - all with a difference. She is also a super passionate speaker who loves to educate through engaging workshops. Lanna is based in Perth but her biz is all online too, so don't let distance be a reason not to tap into her wisdom.

GRATITUDE AND GRACE:

Yoga Mamas - Andrea Broadbear and Kate Payne are a serious force in the pre and postnatal Yoga space. They serve an online audience of busy mamas, not just with Yoga but with their mindset and wisdom.

My Tiny Wardrobe - Amy Goller is a designer of children's fashion and accessories, maker and online biz owner. She's also a passionate blogger who uses her platform to empower, uplift and support mothers. Collaboration is something Amy excels at!

HUSTLE AND INSPIRATION:

Kid Magazine - Sara Keli is one experienced, savvy bizmum who knows how to get stuff done! She is the owner and editor of her FREE online parenting mag for Mums, Kid Magazine. This babe has literally created her own dream by sheer hustle, commitment to learning, creativity and a willingness to collaborate with others.

Dotti Media - Angela Ponsford and Miranda Ivey are two roller-derby hustlers helping entrepreneurs understand social media and online marketing. Dotti Media has helped hundreds of business owners large and small throughout Australia and internationally to get the results they really want. These straight up chics are my go-to for all things Facebook!

So, there you have it - 

MY 3 SUCCESS SECRETS ON HOW TO HUSTLE LIKE A MUMBOSS.

If you're keen to know how to overcome the major roadblocks startup bizmums experience and unlock the secrets behind

Creating More Time

Managing The Juggle

and

Earning $3-5K A Month

I'd LOVE for you to join me as I co-host a FREE LIVE WEBINAR with Anna and Florencia from Business School For Mums. Yes! My go-to source for knowledge and accountability!

The webinar can only take 100 guests so register here and make sure that you arrive on time next Thursday 28th July 8pm, so you can bags your seat.

Lol! Feels so high school saying that... “Bags me seat!”. But seriously we've already got well over 100 eager bizmums registered so it will be first to join us on the link gets IN!

You can register here for FREE and we'll send you the Fast Track Success System For Mums in Small Business, just because we can't wait to help you in your hustle.

Posted in Feature Article, My Tiny Wardrobe Press

We All Deserve To Feel Comfortable In Our Own Skin

Posted on July 19, 2016 by Amy Goller | 0 comments

Body confidence, Self Acceptance, Self Love.
These are words we see and hear all the time.
These are topics that I feel extremely passionate about.

I am such an advocate for self love, self acceptance and being confident and happy to be who you are. Because I know how freeing and empowering it feels to drop your walls, let go of negative thinking and embrace who you are.

I haven't always been this way. It's taken a long time to learn to love myself and I think I really turned a corner when I had my daughter. Becoming a mother taught me how to love myself because I want to be the best role model I can be for her. Especially as I want to raise my daughter to know the value and importance of being happy from within. This all starts with me! I also think it's so important as women to be good role models and support and uplift each other.

Learning to Love your Postnatal Body

As much as you see the amazing love, encouragement and sisterhood that is all around in this day and age there is still the unpleasant side of people that I see much too often.

I am not one to bring someone else down to make myself feel better so I really don't understand why people do it. Does it really make you feel better about yourself knowing you've upset or hurt someone else's feelings?

For example I recently experienced someone asking me if I 'eat'. We were having a conversation in person and they said that I wasn't this 'tiny' before I was pregnant, 'Are you sure you're eating'. They told me I have lost a lot of weight in such a small amount of time. Looking me up and down as if surveying something hideous while they were sucking on a lemon they continued to tell me that my legs are 'SO THIN' and my collar bones are sticking out. Responding to what must have been the shocked expression on my face they said 'they were only asking because they were concerned and wanted to make sure I was taking care of myself as well as my baby' (of course!).

I was shocked by whole exchange but mainly because of the way this person bought it up. If they were genuinely concerned you would think they would have gone about approaching me in a different manner. I felt personally attacked and in turn hurt and angry.

Which is why I wanted to write this blog. Since having Alina my body has changed, I have lost my baby weight and I am in fact smaller than I was before I had her. I am not thin, sickly or unwell looking!  I am healthy.  Because I have lost weight I now have some loose skin on my stomach, my butt is flat, I have a stretched belly button from carrying my baby and although it may sound like nothing, it's taken me some getting used to. I am at times a little self conscious of the above, which is normal. I don't place pressure on myself to work out to tighten my skin, tone my ass or get back to where I was pre Alina. But it doesn't mean I don't have insecurities like everyone else just because I am confident with my body.

Learning to Love Your Postnatal Blog

This person didn't know my insecurities, and even though you can't see them through my clothes doesn't mean they don't exist. Because I'm smaller does this mean that it is ok for someone to comment on my weight in a negative way? Imagine if I said to this person 'Oh, you have put on so much weight in such a small amount of time. Your muffin top is sticking out! Are you sure you're taking care of yourself?!' This would have caused outrage, and rightly so. It's rude and hurtful.

Where am I going with this? We should all be mindful of what we say and how we treat each other. We don't know what someone else is going through or what they're feeling. The things we say and the way we say them can make all the difference to someone's state of mind. I'm lucky that I take things like this with a grain of salt and quickly brush it off and get on with being awesome!! I just know that it's not so easy for others.

So next time you go to comment on someone's appearance in any form that isn't a compliment. Stop and think how you would feel if the same was done to you!

Spread The Love, Always Spread The Love xx

Emily Tomini xx
Instagram: @emilytomini

Posted in Mums Feeling Good In Their Skin, Postnatal Bodies, Think Before You Speak

« Previous 1 2 3 4 5 6 12 »