Travelling with Kooshy Kids

School holidays. They’re here. Just like that. Pretty sure last Monday I was dropping off Avery for the first time at preschool, but apparently not. So here I am. About to embark on my first of many two week periods where I have to figure out how to occupy a school-loving kid.

Naturally, the perfect solution is only 646.6km away. Grandma’s house.

Thankfully, we have many good reasons to make the trip to Melbourne this school break, but the biggest two are our new niece and Benji’s best mate’s new bub. BABIES SQUEEEEEE!

Along with the portacot, the pram, suitcases, pillows, too many toys that won’t get touched, scooters, presents and enough food to feed an army for the trip down, we’re getting a bit smarter and packing a few items that are going to make our life so much easier this holiday, thanks to Kooshy Kids.

On-the-Go Parent Backpack

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Mary Poppins would be proud. You should see the lamp I’ve packed in this bad boy.

I’ve been testing out the On-the-Go Parent Backpack for a couple of weeks now prior to our trip away and it’s become an essential item for all our outings, big or small. Slim enough to fit snuggly attached to your pram, but roomy enough to fit enough nappies for a three day Easter vacation to the coast (we are from Canberra after all), this backpack has been a God send. With more bells and whistles than I can mention here, the highlights for us have been the unisex design, the waterproof material and the inbuilt frame that keeps the bag open for easy access when you’re doing your best to emulate Mary Poppins.

On-the-Go Nappy Clutch

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Love when a nappy clutch doesn’t look out of place next to your latest Gorman purchase

Super slim, yet extra large when folded out, the nappy clutch is yet another essential item for our wriggling, needs to be toilet-trained soon, almost two year old. I can chuck a couple of nappies and wipes in this bad boy and know that I’ve got everything I need to tend to that cute (stinky) little bum whenever and wherever I need to. It’s washable and fits perfectly with plenty of room to spare in my backpack.

Now, there’s one more thing I want to talk to you about, and this is a bloody game-changer.

Unfortunately, I am not lucky enough to be planning a long-haul vacay anytime soon, but when I do, I know what I’m going to bring with me…

Kooshy Kids Kooshion

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Photo supplied because I couldn’t convince anyone to send me and the kids on a long-haul flight to road test the Kooshion

The Kooshion is your perfect travel companion. It inflates to create a flat, flexible space between plane seats for your little ones, giving them that flat bed experience that us adults can only dream of up in Business Class. Lightweight in design and accepted on more than 50 airlines, it’s a must have item for any long-haul traveling.

If you need more info on the Kooshion, head here, otherwise read on because I’ve got some good news for you…

I’m giving away a Kooshion to one lucky reader. All you have to do is:

  • Follow @thejadedmonkey and @kooshykids on Instagram
  • Comment below with your dream getaway location along with your Instagram handle.

Easy!

Competition closes Thursday 19 April 7pm AEST and is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Instagram or Word Press.

This has been a sponsored collaboration with Kooshy Kids, but we do not endorse or work with any products or brands we do not use and love.   

My Day with Anxiety

They say that drowning isn’t actually like you see it in the movies. There is no thrashing, no shouting, no waving hands. Just your head above water one minute and then it slips under, never to resurface… For me, that’s what anxiety is like. It’s silent. Calm on the surface. No major “red flags” for those around me to know everything is not okay. Drowning in plain sight.

BAM! The first wave crashes over me ferociously before I am even aware that I’m standing in the water. I’m on the ground, gasping for air. I get to my knees just as the next wave comes. BAM! Down I go again. Wet, confused and disoriented.

Of course, I’m not really in the water at all. I live in Canberra. There are no oceans here. No waves to knock me off my feet. Well, at least, none that you can see. But here I am. Gasping for air where moments earlier, I was going about my day. I’m actually walking through the local shopping centre on my lunch break as it happens. I don’t know what’s caused it. One minute I’m going through my Christmas shopping list and the next I’m telling myself to “act cool” as I walk through the crowds with a silly smile on my face in an attempt to “look normal”. Whatever that looks like.

The waves keep coming. It feels a little like an asthma attack. Struggling to breathe. Unable to fill my lungs up with air. Each breath harder than the last. Wave after wave after wave. And naturally, because I know this isn’t normal, I focus on it more. “Just breathe Amy” I tell myself as I walk into the book shop.

“You’re going to be okay”…

“It will pass soon”…

I buy some books for the kids and head back to the office.

“Breathe”…

I breathe in as deep as I can, but the air continues to evade me. I sit in meetings and answer emails paying very little attention to anything that doesn’t require my utmost attention. I have more important things to worry about. Like breathing. Who knew it was so difficult? I am focused on getting through this.

Before I know it, an hour has passed. It’s not getting better. I need to retreat, so I make my apologies and leave for the day. I need to be in my nest. My safe place.

Home.

“Distract yourself Amy”, I think to myself. I make lunch, I put on a DVD. I snuggle into myself. But those waves are still there. Every breath is hard. Laboured. Noticed. I can’t escape it. It’s wet and raining outside so I can’t (or maybe I just don’t want to) go for a walk. Plus, all of a sudden it’s four o’clock. It’s time to go get the kids. Time to put my game face on. The kids need your attention and all of it. No more time for thinking about how to breathe and why you’re having trouble with such a simple task.

Time to be a Mum again Amy. If you need to, you can lose your shit later, when the kids are in bed. But for now, get your game face on girl, because it’s go time and you’re needed…

The kids are a mess. They’ve been stuck inside all day and have too much pent-up energy. There are tears, tantrums and everything else imaginable. Two adorable mini tornadoes, ripping the house apart. But you keep your cool. You have to. You have to be strong for them.

“Breathe”…

Thai Red Curry for dinner, cooked by the husband, bless him. He really is a good egg. The girls of course, don’t want to eat any of it. “It’s DISGUSTING!” Bath time is next. Water everywhere, but squeals of delight and lots of laughter.

“It will pass soon”…

Bedtime comes and the girls are asleep. Peace and quiet again. But there I am, still on my knees in the water, floundering in the sand as the next wave approaches. Unable to get on my feet and walk away. Hair stuck to my face and body exhausted from the experience. Wave after wave after wave, just waiting for it to stop.

If you want to read more and find out where and how you can access help, start here, here or here.

You’ve got this Mama and so do I.

Unpopular Opinion: Why I Won’t be Buying my Kids Christmas Themed Outfits

Christmas is eight weeks away. Actually, it’s more like seven and a half. If you are a good Mum (I most certainly am not…) you will have already started your Christmas shopping. If you are an AMAZING Mum, you may have already finished it. Ugh, I feel dirty just writing that. To clarify, I’m usually the Mum who is still shopping for presents on Christmas Eve. I can’t be perfect 100% of the time okay? Give me a break.

Anyway, enough about me, back to the good Mums…

I know there’s a lot of you around, because I see you everyday on Instagram and Facebook, filling my feeds with questions about where I can buy the perfect Christmas outfit. And look, I get it. It’s super cute. Christmas is a day to get dressed up, take photos and document our cute little cherubs in all their glory before they turn into grumpy teenagers who do nothing but glare at you when you point a camera their way.

But…

It’s not for me…

Sorry.

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Love this dress so much I just realised I bought one close to identical for myself on the weekend. Not sorry.

I’m all for dressing the kids up in something special, but I can’t justify the cost of dressing them up in something that they’re going to wear once. Literally once. You can’t re-use Christmas outfits. Those snowflakes (why do our Christmas outfits even have snowflakes on them… It’s literally 35 degrees some years), trees, reindeer and Santas cannot be recycled for birthdays, Easter, even New Years one week later. From December 26, that outfit you just spent a chunk of money on is effectively useless.

Again. Sorry.

As you may have read, I am currently on a bit of a spending slowdown, so I guess maybe I’m a little oversensitive to this sort of thing this year. If you’re all for Christmas cheer and you’re reading this thinking I’m the biggest Grinch on the Internet, then that’s cool. Let’s agree to disagree. I’m still going to coo at the adorable pictures of your kiddies in their Christmas finest. I’m just not going to do it myself.

Like in years past, I will potentially get the girls a new dress to wear, but I may not. The dress Avery wore when she was two is perfect for Niamh this year, It’s white and sparkly and very festive. Just not Christmassy festive. And, while I think about it, the dress Avery wore last year is still sitting in her wardrobe and will probably fit her still if I choose that for her to wear on Christmas Day (haha, she’s four. She will choose what she wants to wear.) And yep, I know, I’ve just said that Avery might wear the same thing two Christmases in a row, so why couldn’t she do that with a Christmas themed outfit? She could, and then she would have worn that particular item twice, not once. Great, but in contrast, the outfit Avery wore last year has been used many times during the year for all sorts of special events. In my eyes, much better value for money.

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Cute AF and got to wear this outfit (sans hat) a crapload

So yep. While I’ll be trimming the tree, going all OCD with the wrapping paper and nagging Benji that we really do need Christmas lights on our house this year, I won’t be shopping for Christmas-themed outfits for the girls. May the mums of Instagram still see it in their hearts to double-click on my pics come December 25.

The Jaded Monkey’s 5K Giveaway!

Well, here we are – 5000 followers on my Instagram page!

For some, it may not mean much, but to me it means a whole lot. 5000 people who want me to pop up in their feed (Instagram willing). 5000 people who are interested in what goes on in my life.

To all 5000 of you, I want to say thank you so I’ve teamed up with some of my favourite stores to present The Jaded Monkey’s 5K Giveaway!

Gro Company – Ollie the Owl Sleep-Aid RRP $79.95

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The perfect sleep companion! Playing 4 comforting sounds (Heartbeat, Rainfall, Static White Noise or Brahms Lullaby) and with a gentle warm glowing tummy, Ollie the Owl creates a lovely soothing environment for your baby to drift off to sleep in. The built in CrySensor cleverly listens in and reactivates to help keep them calm should they stir.

  • Suitable from Birth
  • 4 soothing sounds – Heartbeat, Rainfall, White Noise static and Brahms Lullaby
  • CrySensor technology listens in on White Noise and Brahms Lullaby sounds
  • Adjustable Volume – High, Mid, Low (Tailored to suit your baby)
  • Sounds play for 20 minutes
  • Replicates pre-birth sounds
  • 4 different levels of light
  • Light shines for 30 minutes
  • Secure Velcro Fastening – attaches to cot, moses basket, pushchair or car seat

Talk about a Godsend for new babies (and not so new babies. Niamh loves her Ollie!)

Babyink Keep Sake – Hand/Footprint Frame Set RRP $68.00

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Mess Free, Ink- less and safe to use from birth. BABYink® is the perfect way to capture those special hand and footprints!

Wipe. Press. No Mess™ Exclusive COLOUR ink-less printing technology creates prints in vivid pink, blue and soft grey. The combination of the wipe and special paper creates prints like magic! Draw or print on the paper! – It’s double sided!

This gorgeous classic white frame is the perfect way to show off your BABYink® prints.
The frame has a thick white bevelled mat with two cut outs of 5×7″ and glass front, perfect for a photo enlargement alongside your little one’s hand or footprints.

Simply take your prints, customise them with your child’s details (these can be run through your home printer or simply handwritten alongside the prints) and pop them into the frame behind the mat.

Fun and a beautiful keepsake. Win win!

Two Little Ducklings – High Contrast Flash Cards and Milestone Flip Book RRP $66.90

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Created for infants 0-6 months, the High Contrast Flash Cards consist of 15 black and white illustrated flash cards which are designed to aid cognitive development and strengthen eyesight. Each card is laminated and designed with rounded corners to protect them from wear and tear.

The Milestone Flip Book can be used throughout pregnancy, for your newborn baby and also for your growing child. The first two parts of the flip book have the pages 0-9 so that you can choose the number, the second part of the flip book also incorporates ST, ND, RD and TH so that you can use it for 1ST, 2ND, 3RD and 4th etc. The third part of the book has the following pages: day, days, week, weeks, month, months, year, years, today, birthday, day of childcare, day of kindergarten, day of school, Easter, Christmas, Mother’s Day and lastly Father’s Day.

We have used this for basically every milestone you can think of. Love!

Tip You’re It! – Interior Design Book: Creative Children’s Spaces by Ashlyn Gibson RRP $59.00

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Our favourite Canberra children’s store – Tip You’re It! wants to help you with your kids spaces, since putting together a creative and inspiring environment for children is perhaps one of the most exciting interior projects, yet also one of the hardest to get right! Creative Children’s Spaces is here to change that.

Packed with fresh and imaginative ideas, Creative Children’s Spaces is the perfect companion for your journey into parenthood.

I must admit, I had a quick flick through this book. It’s a great read! You’re lucky I’m not keeping it…

Munchkin – Bottle and Steriliser Bag Set RRP $36.98

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I’ve previously written about my love for the Latch range which you can read about here, but here’s the highlights…

The Latch Bottle does what others claim to do and fail – mimics the breast in movement and function. The flexibility of the Latch nipple moves with your baby without disrupting his/her feeding, which for an easily distracted baby is amazing. The shape of the bottle is easy to hold and big enough to hold a full bottle without being so big that it becomes heavy and cumbersome. The anti-colic valve at the base of the bottle allows the milk to flow without bubbles travelling through, helping to reduce gassiness. There are a range of nipples available, ensuring that the Latch Bottle will grow with your baby from the newborn stage, up until they are ready to ditch the bottle and move to a transition cup.

The Latch Sterilize Bags are small, portable and re-usable for up to 30 uses. Big enough to hold two wide mouth bottles or the parts for a double breast pump and a Cool-Touch grip that ensures you won’t have to worry about burning your fingers!

You’ll take away a set of three bottles and a six pack of steriliser bags. Ah-may-zing.

Mama Body Tea – 2 x Boxed Teas RRP $35.90

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Happy and healthy is all Mama wishes for when bringing her baby into the world!

This is exactly why Mama Body Tea has created an organic and caffeine free herbal tea range to assist women and their babies the healthy and natural way. The Mama Body Tea range is specially formulated to provide support and comfort to women and their babies throughout pregnancy, breastfeeding and motherhood.

Their organic teas are grown and processed without pesticides or artificial fertilisers, ensuring you are nourishing your body and your baby without any nasty chemicals. This also means workers nor the environment are exposed to the harmful chemicals used in conventional tea production.

I personally love the Digestive tea, but lucky you – you get two teas of your choice!

Seriously Milestones – The Original Baby Milestone Cards RRP $29.95

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Newborns suck right?

We know you’re meant to be totally over the moon in love with them, but…. sometimes, they just suck.

To help share the load, Seriously Milestones have created the baby milestone cards you really need! Seriously Milestones are all about keeping it real, so they love celebrating your babes first poo in the bath, that time they kept you up every hour, and even when they found their genitals!

  • Each pack contains 19 cards to be used as a photo prop or keepsake.
  • The cards are an A6 size and 400gsm so are perfect for photos.
  • Seriously Milestones are made to be used in conjunction with standard milestone cards in that they do not contain similar cards.
  • $1 from each pack is donated to Postnatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA).

Want to find out more about the creator of the most realistic milestone cards on the market? You can do that here.

Amberocks – Teething Necklace RRP $27

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This Raw Cognac and Lemon Baltic Amber teething necklace measures approximately 30-31cm’s in length.

Each bead is individually knotted so if the necklace was to break, only one bead would come free. The screw clasp is designed to break under stress.

Baltic amber works best by being heated by your skin allowing the release of its natural oils. For this reason it’s recommended to wear a necklace where possible to allow the most amount of oil to be absorbed by your skin.

Each amber bead is completely unique. That’s what makes it so special.

So, they look good and help with teething symptoms. Ummmm, yes please!

BasiK Organics – Bottom Balm RRP $24

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Their #1 selling Bottom Balm helps soothe and protect little bottoms. Regular use can even help prevent nappy rash.

Calendula has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties, while cocoa butter contains natural antioxidants, is high in vitamin e, and is well known for it’s healing and moisturising properties. Shea butter has anti-inflammatory and healing properties while castor oil is naturally astringent, helping to pull impurities from the skin. It fights infection by inhibiting growth of bacteria and fungi, and has anti-viral properties. Coconut oil helps to increase collagen production and facilitate the healing of wounds, while beeswax is highly effective at locking in moisture and promoting cell development. Tea tree has antibacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties, and chamomile is calming and works as an anti-inflammatory.

And have I mentioned how good it smells? Ahhhhhhh

Shop Zaha – Set of Three Bows RRP $22

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Check out this set of three sweet little pure merino wool felt bows on soft nylon headbands, that will stretch as they grow. Handmade by my insta-turned-real-life friend Beck, they are the perfect accessory for your little one.

Colours in set: Mulberry, Dusty Blue and Grey

We have a tonne of these are the girls LOVE them.

Nellie and the Cat – “You’ve got this Mama” Charity Mug RRP $18

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You’ve got this Mama! Exclusively designed for Nellie and the Cat by Tiny Mountain Studio, these charity mugs are very special. They are a reminder that you’re doing your best and you’re doing a great job. Buy it for yourself for those days you need that reminder or for someone special who might need reminding too.

$5 from each mug sold goes to Love Your Sister to help with their fundraising for cancer research.

As of 30 June 2017, over $2000 has been raised for Love Your Sister! Talk about giving you all the warm and fuzzies!

Modern Monty – Arctic Silicone Teether RRP $18

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The Arctic Teether is designed to be extra practical and soothing for your teething bub. Made with only 100% food grade silicone beads of the highest quality. Their beads are certified to be free from BPA, Lead, Cadmium, Phthalates, PVC and Latex and will not absorb odours or support the growth of mould, fungus or bacteria. AND, the most exciting feature of this teether is it’s ability to get wet!

Available in 12 Modern Scandinavian inspired colours – it’s your choice!

There you go, that’s it! Total prize value is $485.68. Holy moly, talk about a good one… To be in with a chance of winning this fabulous prize, head over to my Instagram page for all the details.

Good luck!

Your Services are No Longer Required: That Time I was Fired from Breastfeeding

Last week marked the end of an era for me. One night, for the final time in my life, I unclipped that little hook on the top of my bra, and fed my youngest. One more chance to feed her to sleep. A final moment of hearing those little slurping noises. The last time I’ll watch as she dozes off in my arms, getting comfort from the milk my body has made, just for her.

I was one of the lucky ones. Able to feed both of my babies for 13 and 14 months respectively. I took it for granted the first time around. It was easy. The milk came in and for the first time in my life, I loved my breasts. I thought, yes! They finally have a purpose! Avery was a star. Perfect latch, power feeder. 13 months and only one bout of mastitis when I stopped feeding her that last pre-bed feed.

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My little milk monster

Knowing things could be completely different the second time around, I still secretly expected it was all going to go smoothly again, because how could it not? My body was a milk-making machine! Ha! Niamh had other ideas. A tongue-tie that we waited a month to snip just in case it self-corrected. Trauma from the bad latching led to nipple vasospasm (where blood vessels tighten and go into spasm, so that blood does not flow to the nipple). Searing pain for months not only during feeds, but pretty much all the time, resulting in pumping exclusively on my left side for a month straight. It seemed like I was losing the battle. I almost gave up. But if you know me, you know I’m a stubborn thing and so I persevered. Maybe a little longer than I should have. It almost broke me, but I kept going. And now here we are, 14 months strong. Time to hang up the maternity bra and pack away the reusable breast pads. I quit. Well, more like Niamh quit.

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I wish I knew these were a thing earlier…

In my head, I had this vision of the last time Niamh and I would share our special feeding time together. I would decide that this was the final feed. I would spend those precious moments watching her as her eyes got heavy and her breathing went from rushed and needing to get in milk as quick as possible, to calm and quiet as she drifted off to sleep. I would let her sit there for a moment longer than normal and reminisce about our feeding journey (ugh that word. Not a fan) in the dark with my precious babe sleeping in my arms, boob still in mouth.

Of course, that’s not how it went at all. A last minute flight to Adelaide at 7pm saw Niamh refuse her feed on the plane. “It must be all the noise, lights and distractions,” I thought to myself. She’ll be right tomorrow night. And so I tried again the following night. Still, not interested. Arched back. Tears. No dice. And then once more the following day. Complete and utter rejection.

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One of our final feeds. I just didn’t know it at the time.

Devastated.

So here we are today, a week on. Our journey (again…) has come to an end. To my breasts, I say thank you. You gave my girls an amazing start to life, providing them with the nourishment and comfort they needed during those first precious moments and beyond. Sometimes it amazes me what our bodies are capable of.

Now… Where did I put those small, lacy bras with the underwire?[

(Just kidding. T-shirt or sports bras fo’ life!)

Amy x

 

Feature image courtesy of Kayleigh McGlynn Photography

The Strength of Vulnerability

Let’s wind back the clock a couple of years. 2011 to be precise. My Husband and I have just sat my Mother down to tell her we’ve decided to end our marriage and we’re getting a divorce, 23 months after saying “I do”. I’ll never forget the look on poor Mum’s face that night. Her jaw nearly hit the floor. She was completely and utterly blindsided. Our friends were the same when we told them. Shock. Disbelief. No idea that this was on the cards.

“You were off my radar Amy. You were the one I didn’t need to worry about anymore.”

Surprise! My life was falling apart and very few people had any idea. Why? Because I was strong! I was resilient! I was… stupid.

I was really good at keeping up appearances and making it seem all was okay, until of course everything was shit. My world was broken and I needed help to fix it, but those around me were too shocked to know how to help and I wasn’t willing to let them even if they wanted to.

Eventually, I healed and my world became “unbroken” over time. I learned to love again and to be loved in ways I never knew I was allowed. But I also learned a valuable lesson in the importance of vulnerability. Allowing people to see inside doesn’t make you weak. It makes you strong. It gives you an army of friends and family who are able to be there for you and help you when your chips are down.

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, I can imagine you looking at your screen quizzically as you read this.

“I’ve literally seen you cry more on Instagram this week than I did when my dog died last Autumn. Seriously, I think you know how to share your feelings…”

And you know what? You’re right. There have been a lot of “real” moments on my social media these last couple of weeks. My chips are down. My resilience is very very low. Lower than it’s been for a very long time. And I’m a little ashamed of the fact that it’s all due to a couple of back to back colds and me feeling crappy. But that’s the thing with resilience. It’s not always the big stuff that breaks you. Sometimes, it’s not being able to taste food for a month straight because you just can’t get back to 100% and your baby has just been diagnosed with Scarlet Fever and you didn’t even know that was still a thing and you’ve had so much time off of work lately and your new boss is surely going to be annoyed at you because you’ve got that time critical project that you need to write that brief for that you haven’t started yet and your eldest comes into bed with you every night and you just need eight hours of unbroken sleep for once but your husband is away for work again this week anddddddddd take a breath! Ahhhhhhh. You get the picture. Life is messy sometimes.

I made a decision not too long ago that I was going to share the bad times with everyone as well as the good. Call it an experiment of sorts. My way of forcing myself into being more open. Because if I don’t, I might just go back to 2011 Amy, who is great at pretending her life is like a magazine picture.

If this week has taught me anything, it’s that support is everywhere. I’ve had so many amazing people reach out to offer a kind word, flowers, a small gift. It’s filled my heart with all sorts of warm and fuzzies. I’ve also had others reach out to let me know that they have been feeling the same and thought they were alone, but seeing me go through something similar has made them realise they’re not.

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When people know you’re having a rough time, they do really lovely things, like send you ALL THE PRETTY FLOWERS

There are people everywhere wanting to be strong to support you, if you let them. You just have to be brave, and open yourself to the possibility. Vulnerable is the new strong.

Amy x

 

The Rise of the Mombies

It’s Monday morning. I think. It’s as I push the pram in one hand, hold a large latte in the other and encourage Avery to keep up with my snail-like pace as I schlep from Woolies to Coles in search of… something, that I first notice it. I don’t know why I haven’t seen it before…

Mombies. Everywhere.

And it appears I might be their newest recruit.

We live in a messy combination of active wear and sleeveless puffer-vests over jeans. Our hair has its own name, the “Mum Bun” which almost certainly contains traces of our kid’s breakfast. While our faces might contain traces of BB cream, a quick swish of mascara and Go-To’s Pinky-Nudey Lips (because Zoe Foster Blake is our spirit animal) the odds are that we didn’t have time for a shower, so you can forget the idea of makeup. There are bags under our eyes and attached to our prams which probably only contain about 1/3 of the items we actually needed to buy today because in our sleep deprived state we’ve forgotten what we actually needed and those caramel and pretzel cookies looked really tasty as I passed through the bakery section.

You can recognise Mombies by their glazed eyes and the way their bodies slump over their prams. Tired, worn out and stuck in the continuous loop of the thanklessness that is raising small children. Don’t ask her what day it is. She’ll probably only know if it’s a weekday or the weekend. But I tell you what – she will know every goddamn word from the theme song of ‘Ready Steady Wiggle”, complete with hand actions and she’ll proudly admit that she kinda likes it too. It’s catchy you know.

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How to spot a Mombie in six simple steps
If you don’t see them coming, then you’ll certainly hear them. Just listen for the sighing and accompanying cries of, “Stop touching that.” “Hurry up please!” and my personal favourite, “Why can’t you just listen to me for once?”

I remember when I used to care what I looked like, wearing things like high heels and shift dresses to work everyday. I would go to the same mall as I did this morning, usually at lunch time to buy myself something pretty because I had all the disposable income in the world and #imworthit. I would look these fascinating creatures up and down and tut-tut them. “Ugh, Mums let themselves go sahhhhh bad.” I would think. “I’m never going to be like that”. I’m not going to be a regular Mum. I’ll be a cool Mum…

*insert eye roll here*

Ironically, I now see the childless masses look at me in their current season clothes, unreasonably high shoes and hair that glistens in the fluorescent light of the shops with the same look that I used to give those Mombies. I’m being judged. As we pass, I give them a knowing look. “I used to be you” I whisper under my breath. Karma is coming my pretty little friends.

When you’re a Mombie, it feels like it’s never going to end. This is your life now. Mum buns, eye bags and buckets of coffee fo’ life. I’m in the tunnel and I can’t even see the bloody light at the other end. I’m not even sure I’m heading in the right direction to be honest with you.

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Seriously. Caramel and Pretzel people.
But then there’s a second group of people I see looking at me. Mums with older children. When they spot me, I see a different look come over them. Is it nostalgia? Not quite. Maybe there’s a twinge of that. But there’s more to it than that. It’s recognition. Recognition that they’ve been where I am now. They understand that the fact I’ve made it out of the house with everyone fully dressed is an achievement. “Go Mama! You’ve got this!” I half expect to see a Hunger Games three finger salute to be offered as we pass each other with a coy smile.

It takes me a moment before I realise why I’m smiling back at them. They offer what no one else can. A glimmer of hope. They’ve been in the never-ending tunnel and somehow managed to make it to the other side. Sure, the shift dress and high heels might have made way for a waterfall cardigan and a kick arse pair of orthopaedic loafers, but they are dressed. They have a hair style. They probably slept past 6am! They have made it!

And Mama, so will we x