It takes a village

It’s been rather quiet around here lately. For our little family & some others close to us; life just seems to be throwing a few curve balls. I don’t know whether it’s a half year hiatus that arrived a few months late, or that we have been floating on baby cloud nine for the past three months and I’m finally coming back down to earth. Don’t get me wrong, every day is amazing with our tiny human. It’s just that life happens, & I can’t just take a break from parenting you know?

Last fortnight my dad had a fall in the front yard and cracked his head open. He’s okay, other than being less than impressed that I’m now calling him Humpty Dumpty. He had to stay the night in hospital & due to a prior arrangement my Mum was unable to collect him the next morning. Humpty uses a wheelie walker & has poor mobility so it would have been rather difficult to collect him with a tiny human. My mother in-law kindly watched Sophie while I went to pick him up. After retrieving Humpty from hospital; I went to collect my tiny human and started the drive home. As I was driving, I got thinking about this quote:

“It takes a village to raise a child” – African Proverb

It made me realize that over the past few weeks I have seen the above proverb, lived out through the people around me. I don’t know how I would have gotten to this point in motherhood without the support network that I have around me. I am blown away at the support from my husband, my parents, my in-laws & my amazing friends. It’s the little things that have made the biggest difference to our little family.

Little things like: having someone offer to cook us a meal, my mother in-law watching Sophie for me, my Mum coming over to clean my house, & my friends texting me to see how I’m going. I feel for those who don’t have this kind of community around them. I can imagine that it would be really difficult.

There was a time when I didn’t have a lot of people around me. I didn’t have a child, but I had managed to build a proverbial brick wall around myself in some twisted attempt at self preservation. It sucked. A lot. So after a few months of wallowing in self pity, I pulled myself out of my funk and found ways to connect again. I got online and found some groups that were running in my area. I love photography, so once I found a group of people who had something in common with me; it wasn’t so hard to get talking. I also got connected in my local church. The amount of times that my church community have been there to lift me up when I’m feeling heavy have been too many to count. It also means that I now have a resource pool of many generations of mums who have gone before me to bug with questions about tiny humans.

I guess the point I am trying to make is: life is hard & parenting is even harder. You shouldn’t have to go it alone. If you don’t have friends or family around to support you, branch out and find some people who can. I came across this site a few years ago and I tell people about it all the time. Meetup.com is a website with a group for every interest you can imagine. There are groups for web developers, introverts, knitting, mums groups and extreme sports lovers. You can narrow down the search to groups that meet close to your home or city wide. Another way you can branch out is to check out your local play group. If all of these options are still daunting, then please feel free to drop me a line and I can try to help you look at options near you.

I hope whoever you are & wherever you are that you’re having a great week.

Keep living the dream
Sasha Fierce
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Where did my newborn go?

 
I have found myself asking this question a lot over the past few weeks. Our tiny human is three months old & already I’m fighting the urge to hit rewind.

Sophie has now grown out of most of her 000 baby clothing. It’s problematic as although the 000 clothes are snug, her little legs are too short for 00.  I mistakenly bought a pair of 00 jeans for her this week online, they arrived & I kid you not, they are almost the length of her entire body.

Another change that we’ve noticed is that Sophie has started sleeping through the night. At first she extended her sleep by the odd half hour, & then sometime last week I awoke at 6:00am to find that she had slept through. I can’t help but think that the implementation of a routine & a 7:00pm bedtime has assisted us to get to this point.

Sophie has also began blowing rasberries & making noises in response to us. I have to admit, it’s flipping cute & I may now be “that mum”. You know, the one that pulls faces at their child & makes animal sounds in the supermarket. Yep. I don’t even care, as long as it means that I get to see my tiny human smile.

Speaking of smiles.. Here’s another one for good measure

Isn’t she adorable

Have a brilliant week people

Sasha Fierce Xx

An Open Letter to Mum’s

I became a first time mother 10 weeks ago. It has only been a little over two months, but it feels like the lessons I’ve learnt in that time are enough to last till I’m 80. When I see another mum when I’m out and about, I realise how much we have in common. We have so many differences, I’m sure; but the struggles we face, the questions we ask ourselves and the tiredness we often feel are very much the same.

morning coffee

Dear Other Mums,

I saw you today in the supermarket, with your two little ones. One was screaming for the lollies at the checkout and the other was pulling your skirt demanding attention. I saw the look of embarrassment on your face that screamed “please God just let us get out of this store and in to the car”. I also saw the other mum in the aisle watching and rolling her eyes.

I saw you at the coffee shop with your newborn, you had the same glazed over look that I wear every couple of days. I also saw the working Mum, ready for her day at the office and the way she shook her head in assumption that you had no excuse to be tired.

I saw you in the clothing store. You walked up and down with your pram, trying to find something that would accommodate that “I just gave birth” figure. I also saw the stylish, well dressed mum with her designer pram look you up and down.

I read your post on Facebook, when you said you’re struggling in the hope that someone could relate and provide a hint of encouragement. I also saw some of the comments that followed from women who know exactly how that feels but were too scared to admit it.

Can I let you in on a secret? I have those days too.

I’ve had that moment where I’m at the shops with my screaming newborn and copped the looks from passers-by who have no idea that my child has just been fed, changed and there’s nothing else that I can physically do to meet their needs. They don’t know that my child suffers from reflux and this is the only thing that calms her down when she’s in pain.

I’ve had that moment when it’s 2:00am and I’m tired and emotional and I just need to hear encouragement from someone who “gets it”.

I’ve had that moment when I’m out and about and I see a mum looking oh so fine with her newborn and wonder what planet she came from, because in my world looking like that is not humanly possible.

Why are we so quick to tear each other down? The hardest job I’ve ever had is this one. It’s rewarding and beautiful and the best thing to ever happen to me; but I would be lying if I said it wasn’t hard work.

I’ve never questioned myself as much as I do now as a parent. Google should cut me a cheque for the amount of hits I have given their site in the past 10 weeks.

We need to start pulling back the masks and being honest with each other. We need to stop being so concerned about what people might “think” and being willing to walk up to each other and give a word of encouragement.

Statements like:

  • “I’ve been there and you’ll get through it” 
  • “you’re doing a good job”
  • it’s okay to not have all the answers”

Never underestimate the power of one of these said outloud to another mum. It reminds us that we are human, that we are not alone, and that there is hope.

To the mums who have grown up children, sometimes the best wisdom that you can share, is the stories of the times that you didn’t get it right.

We need to do less of the comparison and more of the community.

So ladies, I’ve got a newsflash for you:
We’re on the same team. Let me spell that out more clearly..
W E   A R E   O N   T H E   S A M E   T E A M

Let’s build each other up and do less of the tearing down.

Tag, you’re it. Pass it on.

Sasha Fierce.

My dog ate my lactation cookies

We have a dog, and his name is Lattè. He is the definition of the word Special and to say that he has quirks is a vast understatement.

Lattè’s quirks became known to us soon after we brought him home. He developed a fascination with tissues which then progressed to an obsession where he sneaks into rooms and seeks out the tissue box and then eats said tissues whole. I always get the image of Buddy the Elf eating cotton balls when I think of Lattè and his tissue habit.


The following include but are not limited to the other quirks that Lattè displays:

  • he is territorial about a dirt mound in our backyard, he will often go out and sit on the mound of dirt and stare at us
  • he is afraid of anything new that comes into the house including our gym ball, the baby rocker and Sophie if she is crying
  • he has doggie dwarfism, yes you heard me correct, my dog suffers from achondroplasia. His front legs are shorter than his back ones and he stands on a permanent lean
  • growling at us for no apparent reason
  • Licking the carpet
  • Trying to swallow objects whole

It’s been 10 weeks & still he doesn’t understand that Sophie can’t throw him the ball

perplexed by the tiny human

sprung.. he’d been poking around in Sophie’s room

The newest quirk we have noticed is his stealth approach to stealing food. A few months ago he figured out how to get on to the dining room table. There have only been two dinner disasters to date, but I’m quite concerned about the future when Sophie is eating solids.

This week I had some concerns regarding my milk supply, so I purchased some lactation cookies. I have to admit they have a rather strong taste due to the magic ingredient: Brewers yeast, so I made myself a cup of coffee to wash them down with. Just as I sat down to eat I heard Sophie stir on the baby monitor so I went to the other end of the house to settle her. I returned to find that my darling dog had demolished my cookie collection.

It was a fun little phone call to the vet when I called to find out if there would be any adverse effects to Lattè following his binge. I have been assured that it’s a real fluke that he’s not a female dog because otherwise we might have had an issue. My vet found the whole thing quite amusing and asked if I would mind him telling his colleagues because in his 20 years of practicing, that was a new one.

I’m not quite sure why we were chosen to be Lattè’s owners, sometimes I think it’s because no one else could love him like we do. He also brings us a great deal of joy and entertainment.

Have you got a quirky dog? What amusing traits do they display?

Sasha Fierce