Tag Archives: parent

Looking for childcare?

When it came time for me to return to work, I toured a lot of childcare centres. To be honest I didn’t fall in love with any of them. Staff were always lovely but the centres were often quite old and run down.

Now there is a new wave of childcare centres on the scene and they are amazing. Hudson, Scarlett and I recently had a wonderful time checking out the Guardian Early Learning Group centre at 101 Collins Street Melbourne. There are 38 of these centres in Victoria and many more Australia wide, if you are considering childcare it’s definitely worth checking them out.

The centre we went to is located at 101 Collins Street, right in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD. perfect for working parents.  I was expecting a small centre with not a lot of light and no outdoor areas. However, the centre is huge (it spans over two levels), really bright and there are two large indoor/outdoor areas for the kids to play.

In addition to the indoor outdoor areas I learnt about the amazing ways they get the children out and about. There is a special 8 seater stroller that is used for trips to the park, art gallieries and walks around the CBD. They have super cute little rain suits so the kids can really enjoy their time out and not even Melbourne weather will stop them.

Scarlett’s highlight was meeting the pet fish and the kids even got to hold the pet bird that lives at the centre.

Hudson loved the indoor/outdoor area and even made a friend while he was playing outside.

I loved the open plan feel, light bright presentation of the centre. However, my absolute highlight was the open kitchen area. Children can sit and watch the chef prepare their nutritional meals and everyone is welcome at the centre for breakfast. This would definitely help with time management in the mornings as mum, dad and any siblings are welcome to eat with the little ones.  Parents only have to worry about getting dressed and hopping on the train or in the car. A nutritional breakfast is waiting at childcare (including coffee).  I often drop the kids off in a frenzy and end up eating something in the car or skipping breakfast all together.

There is an open door policy and parents are welcome to visit their children at anytime (perfect for breastfeeding mummas), the director told me some parents take their kids out to lunch. I would love to be able to have lunch dates with Hudson and Scarlett on work days. or simply pop in and say hello, I think they would love it and I would have way less mummy guilt about having to leave them while I work.

There is a fully funded kinder program and the fees are really reasonable. If you would like more information feel free to contact one of the Guardian centres or check out their website 

Rachelle xx

 

 

 

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How do you do it?

I’m a working mother, I work 4 days a week and have had my job for 6 years. After both of my children I returned to work relatively early (7 months). Working gives me balance and purpose. Plus, I like contributing to our household income and setting an example for Hudson and Scarlett. However, the older they get the more I am struggling. 

My work has a policy where I am meant to return to work full time when Scarlett is at school. This is still a few years away but it’s a concept that I struggle to get my head around. School isn’t like daycare. The hours are much shorter. I often lay awake worrying hiw this will work? How on earth is this managable? Can I be present for my children, get them to after school activities, help with homework and be the mum I want to be. All of this while working 40 hours a week (with a 2 hour commute each day)??? If anything this is a time where they really need me to be there for them. 

My husband runs his own business so his hours are long and ge can’t do drop offs or pick ups, he also doesn’t get paid annual leave. This means before and after school care with school holiday programs. I can get some help from family, but again I don’t want to be the mum that is never there. 

How on earth do parents manage? Working full time, children, homework, food shopping, cleaning, washing, cooking, activities, family time and friends. Is it even possible? Cost of living is expensive so its really just not as easy as throwing in the towel and saying ‘I quit.’ 

It appears in our quest to have and do it all we have found ourselves in some sort of crazy situation where it is impossible.

I’m so thankful for my job and healthy children. In no way am I whinging. I’m simply asking the question. Is it even possible? Will I regret these choices later in life? Will my children resent their mother who was always rushing around and busy?  I want to be there for my babies while they still need me. 

Other working mums, how do you do it? 

Rachelle xx 

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Stay at home mums. Take a bow!  

There are all sorts of mum’s. Working mums, stay at home mum’s, work from home mum’s, some work part time, some volunteer and some travel for a living and go days without seeing their babies.

For some reason there seems to be a constant battle between working and stay at home mums? I don’t get it, but it exists. I work 4 days a week. On the day off I have I catch up on chores, go to appointments, cook, play with my kids and try to catch up on life. It’s stressful yes, but being a mum in any form is stressful. I believe it comes with the job. However, after being home a lot the past few weeks with Hudson who broke his arm. I can honestly say that I believe stay at home mums have it super hard. 

Firstly, they can’t go out to playdates or spend money on activities everyday. Going for walks and to the park only lasts so long and you have one (or more) little people who are looking for constant attention and entertainment. Stay at home mothers are in the trenches all day everyday. They can’t just pop up the street at lunchtime to grab something for dinner. They must load the car with little people, nappies, snacks, toys etc……their houses are in constant play mode with toys and books being played with all day everyday. Not to mention the craft supplies or play-doh that is probably crowding every inch of bench space.  

Stay at home mums work around nap times everyday and probably watch the clock until their partner walks through the door just so they can have 5 mintues without little hands pulling at them. They don’t get credit for what they do, they don’t get paid and I guarantee a lot of their partners don’t really see what they are doing as hard work. Well I’m here to tell you it is! 

I love my children dearly but by working I get a break outside the family home. I interact with other adults, eat my lunch without having to share or kiss boo boos, I have personal space for a few hours and can enjoy going to the toilet alone. I often pick up something for dinner at lunchtime and while my house isn’t clean, it’s not constantly being pulled apart as we are out for long days 3-4 days each week. Working requires me to be really organised and my job is busy. I have stressful days (especially when I have sick kids) but all mothers have these moments.

Now, before anyone comments about they are our children, we chose to have them, things could be worse and this generation of mothers are whingers. I’m not saying anyone needs a trophy. I just believe that working mothers get a lot of credit in the media and in society. Stay at home mum’s don’t always get the pat on the back they deserve.  This is my opinion only, but I really think it’s time that stay at home mum’s get credit where its due and they all deserve a high five for just getting it done. 

The working/stay at home debate needs to stop. There are positives and negatives of whatever you choose. In reality the only thing you should be worried about is what suits you, your family and your circumstances. 

In the meantime…….Well done stay at home mummas, from a working mum who can appreciate how hard it must be.

Rachelle xx 

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Lulla Doll – sleep saviour

While spending hours cuddling and settling your babies is a part of motherhood. There are often times where you need to put them down and have your hands free.  It was very important that my children learnt to self settle. Especially Scarlett, as when she was napping it gave me some one on one playtime with Hudson. I believe this was an important part of him adjusting into his big brother role. He knew mumma hadn’t forgot about him and will make time for one on one play.

Babies often struggle to self settle as they are used to the sound of mums heart and breathing. I have spent countless hours susshing and rocking. However, now there is the ‘Lulla doll’.

The Lulla Doll is great for babies and toddlers.  Lulla is amazing, she will quickly become babies and parents best friend and a bed time essential. She helps little ones settle and sleep longer overnight with her 8 hours of breathing and heartbeat sounds, which makes your child feel as though you are sleeping right next to them.  This is also great for toddlers who may be afraid of the dark, have night terrors or separation issues. I now completely understand why this doll has sold out twice in the last 6 weeks.

Lulla is a must have for expecting parents and anyone having sleep issues with their bundles of joy.

She is machine washable and hypoallergenic you can purchase at Dream Child Emporium , along with all your other sleep essentials. Lulla is currently on backorder due to her popularity but will be posted on 10th of November. Get in quick before she is sold out again!! Before you know it you and your little ones will be enjoying a normal sleep pattern and relaxing in dreamland.

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Rachelle xx

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Christmas is coming

Yep it is. I’m one of those annoying people who has done pretty much all the shopping, the only thing left to get is the smaller presents (chocolates or alcohol) and wrapping paper. While I used to find the early Christmas shoppers super annoying, I completely understand why people do it.

Both of my children are born late in the year (October and December), plus I work 3 days a week and do the administration for my husband’s business. I simply don’t have time to battle Christmas crowds and the thought of a 72 hour late night shopping marathon at Chadstone turns my stomach (I would much rather be home relaxing with a sangria in the sunshine). Plus, I don’t want to wait until things start to get sold out. The best part about my Christmas shopping is that I have barely left the house to get any of it. I got in early and ordered online, before the Australia Post gets overwhelmed and slow.

I thought I would share some of my favourite online stores for Christmas shopping: 

Kmart: Great for kids toys (especially little stocking stuffers) and cute stuff for around home. Really quick postage too.
Target: Look out during the year and buy the kids toys online during big sales. Also great for kids/babies clothing.
Big W: Another great one for little ones. Good range available online. Big W also stock Peter Morrisey and Kardashian Kids that is available online.
Best and Less: Check them out for jammies, good sales on Bonds and great specials on kids clothes.
Australia Post: Don’t hit the shops, grab vouchers online. So much easier for when you’re not sure what to buy thay special someone.
▫ The Iconic: Really quick postage, great returns policy and quality brands. Always good for something for hubby. They also have some really good sales to look out for.
Myer: Has something for everyone. Mum, dad, kids and grandparents. Always reliable for great gifts
Next Direct: check them out for kids clothes and jammies. Great quality and free postage.
Australian Geographic : Really good presents for kids. Their website separates gifts into age categories so wonderful when buying for nieces and nephews.
Village Cinema: You can’t go wrong with a gold class voucher.
▫ Chemist Warehouse : Always good to purchase fragrances at great prices. You can also pick up some new make up for your Christmas functions.

I always try to find stores that offer free shipping to save the extra $$$ and get in early so there is available stock and you’re not waiting for postage.

Avoid the Christmas crowds and order on line. Actually why not log on now and get shopping. It’s such a relief when it’s all wrapped and under the tree.

Rachelle xx

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Just for girls. I don’t think so!

Last night I was cooking dinner and my son was watching at the bench, playing with his tea set. My husband came over to sit with him and I asked him to play along with Hudson. His reply,  much to my surprise was ‘ummm no, tea parties are for girls’. I was furious, why would he say such a thing? I’m even embarrassed to write it now. My husband is very accepting and supportive, but when I heard him say this I was disappointed.  Tea parties are about teaching social interactions and imaginitive play.
Why would anyone say that about a boy playing tea party? Yet, if a girl kicks a football or plays with cars, its ok? I don’t agree with any stereotypes and I don’t want my children to be subjected to them either.

My husband is a bricklayer so I’m not sure if his blokish, on site, tough man behaviour just took over. However,  I want my children to grow up in a household that is welcoming and supportive of whatever decisions they make and whatever they want to be.  Hudson often plays with his toys and nurses them like babies because that’s what he sees his dad and I doing with his baby sister. Is this behaviour just for girls? Only for mum’s?  No way, this shows he is caring and will one day make a good parent. 

One thing my husband did explain to me is that he never played tea parties when he was younger, so he didn’t really know how to play. I have noticed that a lot of how he plays with my son is very masculine – cars, building things and wrestling.  I guess I will probably struggle with similar issues when my daughter wants to play catch or hit a ball. I am so very uncoordinated, there is no doubt I will feel like I am out of my comfort zone. It’s because when I was young, sport didn’t interest me. Probably in the same way tea parties didn’t interest my husband.

Being a parent is hard work. All the single parents and same sex couples would have to step out of their comfort zones all the time. Yet, here I find myself arguing with my husband about a tea party. Looking back,  perhaps I judged my husband too quickly for what he said. I know he loves his family more than anything and would do anything for us. 

I will provide support and interactions for our children in ways that he can’t and vice versa. I guess that’s why it’s called a partnership. While he knows the ‘it’s for girls’ comment wasn’t appropriate and I don’t want him to say it again. I appreciate that eventually he did have a tea party and Hudson was happy.
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Rachelle xx

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Sure, I’ll work for nothing.

Time is coming for me to return to work after having my second baby, Scarlett. My husband and I agree it’s important for me to work, not only to assist in providing for our family but I enjoy it. It gives me purpose and some time to feel like I am not just a mum and wife.

Every working mother feels extremely  guilty. However, there is even more guilt and resentment when you feel you are working to only keep your job. Before having children I would hear people complain about the costs of childcare, nothing prepared be for the ugly truth.

In Australia, we receive rebate of 50% of childcare fees per year which is capped at $7500 per child. 50% sounds great hey! However when childcare is over $100 per day per child the $7500 doesn’t last for the entire financial year. This time next year when my rebate has run out I will be forking out over $650 per week for my two children to attend childcare for three days per week. Completely ridiculous. Plus my childcare fees go up around $10 per day twice a year, yet there is no increase in the rebate.

Grandparents are often left to look after children while parents work.  Not everyone has this option, plus it’s not always reliable. Grandparents have committments of their own. I think it’s very important for children to be with other kids their own age. Childcare has been great for my son. Hudson has made little friends, he is very social and is learning everyday. He wouldn’t have the same interaction with his peers if he was only cared for by grandparents.

Another point is that the women and men who work in childcare are saints, they do an amazing job (I struggle with one toddler, a whole room of them is very scary to me). Even though the price of childcare is constantly rising, I am sure they aren’t on lucrative salaries, they really deserve more. So, where is all the money going?

So, as I sit here there is a battle in my head and my heart. Is it all worth it? Missing valuable time with my children to go to work just to pay for childcare and earn a little extra money?  It really doesn’t seem like there is much incentive. However, after weighing up the options as family we have decided that for now, it is . I am still contributing to my superannuation, it provides balance and I stay in the workforce. Plus our children will be social and balanced as I will only be working three days.  I know a lot of other mothers who have decided to take a chance and leave work all together because they just don’t see the benefit, really I don’t blame them.

What I don’t understand is if the government wants women to return to work after having children,  why on earth do they make it so hard? Why can’t a working mother have it all? We are sacrificing enough by leaving our babies without any extra worry of astronomical childcare fees and handing over all our hard earned cash.  Plus, don’t even get me started on the waiting lists at these childcare centres. It’s easier to get a reservation at Fat Duck, insanity! The childcare system in Australia is out of control. Something needs to be done to help working families.

If you believe the childcare system in Australia needs to be looked at please sign the Smart Start petition and share amongst friends and family.  It is very important that families have access to quality, affordable childcare.

Rachelle xx

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