Tag Archives: parenting

It doesn’t grow on trees

I’m the first to admit that I’m not a perfect mother. I love a cheeky bribe and am often the first to point out the realities of parenthood. In saying that, I do like to set a good example for Hudson and Scarlett. They see my husband and I going to work to support them and I think it’s extremely important to teach them the value of money.

Sometimes this is easier said than done as I want to give them what they want but I know that this is not teaching anyone anything.

To help them understand how finances work we play shops at home and I get them to save their money in their money boxes and I put the money into their bank accounts when they are full.

If they are desperate for a toy they are now at an age where they can do some small chores and save their cash until they can afford the toy. This really makes it more exciting as they understand that you can’t just ‘get’ everything you want straight away.

We use the Westpac Bump Savings account, This nifty little account is designed to encourage positive savings habits early in life. Better yet if your bub was born in 2017 they will receive a $200 deposit, which they can access when they turn 16,  when you open an account for them before May 2018 (conditions apply, head to Westpac for further information).

Why not start an account for your little one? We can’t all be perfect parents but we can strive to give our children the best start in life.

Rachelle xx

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Is connected the new confused? 

Forget trying to think of answers to any questions or finding out information in books. These days we have a wealth of information literally at our fingertips. This is so amazing, yet every single day when I scroll through my social media I am hit with a heap of artcles telling me what I should and shouldn’t be doing as a parent. 

Are we all expected to raise children that are perfect all the time? They must have manners, be spirited but not cheeky,  have created 6 apps by the age of 7 and be a natural at any sport they attempt.  

All while the parents never yell. Play with them,  but not too much, they must know how to be bored.  Praise them, but not use the phrase ‘good girl or ‘good boy’, this could shame another child or be taken the wrong way? Show them affection, but don’t kiss them on the lips. Someone on the internet might think that’s gross! Both parents are expected to work, but also be available for all school/kinder functions and acivities (that always seem to be held during business hours)…..Oh and don’t forget you must feed them only organic food, be a plastic free household and don’t even think about giving them refined suger (that stuff is pure evil). 

I’ll admit, I read the articles and I do think about them.  So many questions have swirled around in my head. Should I control cry or not?  Is breast really best? How do I restrict screen time? What are all the milestones again? Why are they such picky eaters? Do humidifiers work? Am I a good mum? 

I’ve decided screw it, half of these articles are simply click bait……..No one is perfect and being a parent is overwhelming enough without all these extra ‘guidelines’. 

The truth is every child is different and parenting styles are different. We are all just doing our best to raise happy, healthy, well balanced children.  Sure, read the articles. Be open to new things, but take it with a grain of salt. Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty, especially if you’re a new parent. Do what works for you, your baby and family.  I do 😀 

Rachelle xx 

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So long 2016

As we head into a New Year I can’t help but reflect on the past year. I have a slight apprehension about what a new year brings as 2016 hasn’t exactly been an easy one for me. I started 2016 at the beach with my family, full of hope for a wonderful new year. 

This year has taught me a lot and I have certainly grown. There were some low points. I delt with the gut wrenching pain of losing my father and explaining death to a 3 year old and one year old. Telling them they will never see their Pa again. A concept I still don’t think they understand.  I also had to watch my mother lose her husband and someone she has cared for, for over 30 years. 

Hudson broke his arm,  which meant 4 weeks off childcare and a little boy who is now very anxious about hospitals and x-rays. 

We also had our first experience with tonsilitis and hand, foot and mouth (oh the joys). Along with many other little trinkets from childcare, otherwise known as viruses. Which basically meant I stayed home with upset little children and copious amounts of snot.  All the time praying my husband doesn’t get man flu. 

While there were some bad things that happened. There were also many good things. Both Hudson and Scarlett have learnt so much.  Scarlett started walking. Plus, they now play and interact as brother and sister.  I am loving watching them grow into independent little people who are caring and so loving. 

Another positive was my new job, which allows me more flexibility and to work from home with the kids. It’s been great learning something new and working with new people.

There has been tears, tantrums, laughter, guilt, cuddles, more tears and more laughter. I guess this is life and especially life as a mother.  There will always be curve balls and low points but they are balanced with good. It’s important to aknowledge the negatives but dwelling on them and letting them consume you will not help anyone. 

So again, just like last year. I’m going into 2017 with a positive outlook and I’m excited to see what the new year brings. 

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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Ohhh you’re an only child

If I had a dollar for every time I heard this phrase, especially with ‘tone’. I would be a very rich only child.  It’s often followed by a couple of ridiculous questions. Were you bored? Did you hate it? Are you spoilt? Well no, actually I don’t know any different.

I believe I have been brought up well, I was rarely bored and I had friends. Being an only child didn’t affect my social skills and surprise surprise….. I really wasn’t any more spoilt than my peers (all of which had brothers and sisters). I didn’t get everything I wanted or my own way and my parents taught me respect. They may have spoiled me with love but I don’t think this is a bad thing at all.

While I like to say that my parents didn’t have anymore children after me because I am perfect. The reality is that it was a struggle to have me and just after I was born my father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease (at 30 years old). My mum has often told me she would’ve liked more children,  but they didn’t think it was a good idea and didn’t even know if they could have more. When I was younger,  I often asked for a baby brother or sister, but the reality is that I didn’t really care. I was happy.

The only time I wished that I had that extra support was when my father was quite unwell a couple of years ago. He was in intensive care in hospital and I felt a lot of responsibility to make sure both him and my mum knew I was there for them. I am lucky though as my husband is very supportive, I am close with my aunty and we shared the load.

People need to stop with ridiculous comments about only children.  I believe couples are extremely lucky to have one healthy child, if they have more it’s a wonderful blessing. Yes, I now have two children, it’s not because I feel I missed out as a child. It’s simply because my husband and I wanted two children. If I hadn’t been able to have anymore children after my first I would have also been very happy. Decisions shouldn’t be judged, especially if you don’t know the back story. Next time someone tells you they are an only child or they only have or want one child let’s try to keep the ‘oh are they bored’ or ‘they must be spoilt’ comments to yourself.  One, two or ten children they are all beautiful and the number you have doesn’t need to be justified. Especially to judgemental strangers.


Rachelle xx 

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Silent reflux = screaming baby

As I have mentioned before my son Hudson was born six weeks early.  Since his sucking reflex wasn’t developed he had a feeding tube when  he was in the special care nursery.

A few weeks after he was born he came home from the hospital and was breastfed and bottle fed as he got quite tired from breastfeeding alone.  After about a week at home we noticed he was crying a lot. Especially after feeds. I mentioned it to my health nurse, she asked if he was vomiting (he wasn’t) she said it was normal newborn  behaviour and I didn’t think much of it.

That was until my darling newborn  began to scream all day and all night.  Going anywhere in the car was like a screaming marathon and I was at my wits end. I mentioned it to people and everyone said ‘babies cry you know’, ‘he is a newborn’. I think they assumed I was over exaggerating, just a new mum who was freaking out when my baby cried or I was unable to settle my child. The third statement was true. Neither  myself or my husband could settle Hudson and this screaming went on for a few weeks as we had no idea what was wrong. Looking back now I have had a second baby, it was clear something was wrong. But as new, very sleep deprived parents and no normal signs of reflux (projectile vomiting etc). We just thought we had a difficult baby and I thought I wasn’t cut out for the whole motherhood gig. One of the most hurtful things that was said to me when I was describing that I was unable to settle Hudson to another mother and she said ‘ohhh really, well I’m sure I could settle him’. I felt helpless, I was loosing my mind and the constant screaming was awful.  We tried a number of different settling techniques, placing the cot on an angle, colic remedy and nothing worked.  He was gaining weight and still no projectile vomitting so my health nurse said there was no worry. She suggested he may have had days and nights confused?? If that was the case he never thought it was night time!

One day I was on the phone to my mum and she could  hear Hudson screaming  his lungs out. She said it definitely  sounded like a pain cry and I should go to the  doctor.  That evening Hudson  was still going at 11pm, we packed up and went straight to the Children’s Hospital. A doctor took one look at him crying, red in the face, wriggling around and said it was silent reflux (basically severe heartburn). He didn’t vomit but the acid was causing incredible pain.  That week we were referred to a pediatrician and he was put on Losec and thickened formula. It took a few days to start working but the difference in Hudson was amazing. The crying stopped and for the first time since he was home we slept for longer than half an hour straight. The dosage was increased as he gained weight, there wasn’t any further reflux problems and we weaned him off Losec just before his first birthday.

Apparently reflux is common with prem babies because of the feeding tube, no one had mentioned this and I had never even heard of ‘silent reflux’. Let me tell you, it was the opposite of silent, they need to rethink the name.

From the start my instinct told me something was wrong. Yet, I doubted  myself. Never doubt, if you think  something is wrong, follow it up. Get a second opinion and never let anyone put you down for doing it. If I didn’t  listen to everyone just making me feel I was a silly new mum I could have got Hudson help earlier and saved a lot of sleepless nights and heartache.


Hudson with his feeding tube. Getting cuddles from dad.

Rachelle xx


** As featured on www.mytinywardrobe.com.au ** 

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Guest Blog – Sarah (@sass.xo_project)

I wasn’t ready. I’d had a pretty cruisy pregnancy up until 36 weeks when I was admitted to hospital with pre-eclampsia and two days later, my beautiful healthy daughter Matilda arrived. It was so surreal. I hadn’t packed my bags, I had not long finished work and I was holding a newborn in my arms. She was perfect. My husband overjoyed. I was caught up in the moment, with wonderful midwives and nurses surrounding me, helping me with trying to feed and taking her to the night nursery so I could sleep. Family and friends came to visit. Hospital was great. I loved it. I even discharged myself a day early because I was feeling so rested and eager to get home.

The car journey home was also surreal. Taking this baby out of the hospital, so small, so dependent on me. She was mine (ours). After a tough couple of years visiting various specialists both here in Melbourne and interstate, trying to conceive, she was here.

I guess many women can relate. Sometimes pregnancy can be exhausting and challenging but having had the fertility issues prior just compounded my journey of emotions. Yes, I was so thrilled to have a baby but I was also filled with constant worry, emotional exhaustion, and anxiety. I put a lot of pressure on myself that because I’d fallen pregnant through IVF I should be really grateful and have so much love for this new baby. Except, that’s not how I felt. I cried most days for the first six months. Everyone told me it was my hormones adjusting and sleep deprivation but I knew it was more than that. Matilda had reflux, was not putting on weight, visits to several doctors and the Royal Children’s Hospital to try and work out what was wrong… All of the time, my thoughts were flooded with, “what was I doing wrong??” I felt I couldn’t do anything right.

My mum gave me some sound advice when she realised I wasn’t coping very early on in the piece: “You’ve fed her, changed her and she’s sleeping. She’s content.” Sounds simple, but when you are highly emotional and anxious every thought runs through your mind about how to be a good mum. I took the advice on board but only when Matilda started to find her routine, start eating and putting on weight did I really appreciate those words. Babies don’t need much when they are newborn; I felt I had to give everything to her from day one although I didn’t know what “everything” was. This much needed advice I have carried with me with the birth of my son Charlie. This isn’t to say my experience with Charlie was perfect; I still had the occasional anxious thought try and creep in but I consciously reminded myself that I was doing a good job, giving him everything he needed at the time.

I also learnt that I didn’t need to go on this journey on my own. I had my husband and he was (and is) incredible support to me and the best dad but I also accepted offers for help; a meal, a load of washing, a couple of hours off for some “me time” to go for a walk, sleep (!) and go to the shops.

Matilda is now three and Charlie 18 months and I love their little personalities and who they are growing up to be. At times I have been challenged (which I’m sure we all have been at some point or another!), and sometimes I need to be more patient but with the support of family, friends and children experts, I love being a mum and wouldn’t have it any other way.



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It was high school when I started comparing myself to others. Make up, material things, my period, my boobs, boys and first kisses were all areas that I would compare myself against my friends.

10 years on it was my body I was comparing. Life went on and in the background my fertility struggles had begun. I compared myself to those who blinked at their partners and fell pregnant.



Without a doubt the biggest comparisons of my life so far started as soon as became a parent. Nothing would compare with the love I had for him but I also started compared him to every other baby I came across. I also started compared myself to other mums.

I compared my 33kg pregnancy weight gain, my c-section birth, and my 4 months of breastfeeding to the women I saw who lost their baby weight instantaneously, had natural non-medicated births and breastfed for as long as they chose to. I compared my son who had colic and reflux to those whose babies ate at longer intervals and slept well.

As months went on I compared my son to others who were in a different percentile in height or weight, to those whose babies smiled and laughed and sat up and crawled and stood and walked before my little one did. Comparing my sons’ peers speaking in sentences whilst he was saying his first words.


It’s all pointless. ALL of it. Unnecessary stress is added to your life due to bloody comparisons. What a joke. None of it matters.

Here’s a thought….instead of comparing ourselves to others why not compare this….

If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of the world.

If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change, you are among the top 8% of the world’s most wealthy.

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.

If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful, you are blessed because the majority can, but most not do.

If you have just finished reading this, then you are more fortunate than 3 billion people worldwide who cannot read at all.



Don’t give up on your dreams and the things that you want in life, but don’t compare your chapter 1 with someone else’s chapter 20.



Suzy @childrens_empire

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Guest Blog – The ultimate healthy lunch box

When Rachelle and I were discussing opportunities to work together, I knew exactly what I was going to write about and exactly what recipe I wanted to share. Why? Because this year has (already!) been such a huge year for me as a parent and business owner, for my family and also for my future! What has brought this on, you might ask? School! My big boy Lucas started school this year along with hundreds and thousands of other primary school newbies and at one stage I found myself sitting back just going wow.

The Baby Bistro journey started when Lucas just a babe – and now he is off discovering the world for himself, eating bigger foods, playing bigger games, dreaming up bigger dreams…

It also means my routine has changed – and I don’t just mean the eternal uniform struggle, or mad dashes out of the house to make it to school on time – I mean the food. Baby Bistro started when Lucas was starting solids: Lucas needed solids so Mama made him some. Then Mama made it into a business. When Lucas started developing the need for more texture, flavour and more variety, Mama made that too. Now, Lucas needs a lunch box 5 days a week and so Mama got to work on making that healthy, simple and quick! And now Mama is getting ready to launch Big Eats by Baby Bistro.

Each morning when I pack Lucas’ lunch box, and get Thomas ready for day care I think about how much has changed (and yes, it catches me in the feels many a day!).  Gone are the hundred tubs of baby food with nappy wipes and bibs filling bag upon bag, now I just have this neat little box to fill up with goodness so the boys have energy to play and learn. In saying that, I still have to put plenty of thought and effort into what I pop into these neat little packages – if not more because they are very independent (VERY independent) little boys and like to make their own choices. So I would like to share with you my top 5 tips to creating an enjoyable, healthy lunch box that actually gets eaten! And below, I have shared a very special, fun and super-pretty Bento Box for lunch with healthy choices and a colourful selection!

Top 5 tips for a healthy lunch box

  • Ditch the traditional sandwich and switch it with a flatbread roll. Many commercial breads are loaded with refined sugars.
  • Say goodbye to overly salty, processed chips and replace with dehydrated fruit. They still get the texture and feel like a treat but it’s a healthier version
  • Think brain food – Carrot / cucumber sticks add a nice fresh crunch
  • Aim for natural sugars – include a piece of fruit in every lunchbox
  • Let them choose one item themselves. They need to learn about making food choices and I find it a great way to get my boys to try new things by also giving him the independence and freedom to pick something they want, while offering balance.

Flat bread Bento lunch box by Baby Bistro

Ingredients for a healthy and delicious spread…

1 can chickpeas drained

1/4 cup tahini

1/4 cup Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons baby bistro carrot purée

Squeeze lemon juice

Sprinkle Cumin powder (to taste)

Easy as 1, 2 ,3!

Pop all above ingredients into a food processor and blend until a nice smooth yet textured spread.

Spread onto your mountain bread then add your “sushi” fillings. We used cucumber, avocado, ham, chopped egg, and a few more – but you can use your imagination! Roll up tight and slice into small, mouth sized pieces. The rolls may unwind a little depending on fillings so be gentle (TIP: slice everything nice and thin to help the fillings move with the bread more and try to prevent unwrapping!)

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While it makes a very pretty lunch box, you could also try this when entertaining at home, at a BBQ, for a Sunday picnic with the family or really, anywhere!

Sevi @babybistro


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Don’t judge

These days it seems everyone is always judging others, the decisions they make and making assumptions about that person based on very little information.  Almost everyday there is some topic on my news feed where women are bickering about something that in the scheme of things is a very minute detail. I believe ‘each to their own’ and we have the right to make choices during pregnancy and with our children and shouldnt be judged or feel the need to justify our actions.
I thought I would share some things from pregnancy, birth and being a mum that I am sure people will judge.  Hopefully it makes other mums more comfortable with decisions they make.

¤ I had very few food restrictions in both my pregnancies.  My Obgyn was happy for me to eat anything I wanted (in moderation). The only thing he restricted was soft serve ice cream and fish high in mercury.  I ate sushi, deli meat, soft cheese and even had a wine a couple times on a special occasions.  As long as food was fresh and cooked well there were no problems.

¤ I wore heels when I was pregnant. Yep, high heels, stilettos, boots. I didn’t just start wearing them because I was pregnant. I have always worn them. During both pregnancies I received comments about it and how I could fall etc. I was sensible about it and often had some flats around incase my swollen feet got sore or I had to walk a distance.

¤ I wanted a C section.  Even though in the end fate took this decision out of my hands as my son was breech.  The truth is I never had any interest in a vaginal birth. The thought of it frightened me, my inner control freak took over and was booked in for an elective c section anyway. Women often look at me like I took the easy way out or somehow think I am less of a mother all because of how I gave birth. They ask me if I am disapointed that I missed the natural childbirth experience…..um no. I have two healthy children. Why would I be disappointed? It’s my body and my choice how I have my babies. I don’t feel I missed anything and the important part is raising the children,  not how they were born.

¤ I  didn’t enjoy breast feeding and stopped early.  Something about breastfeeding didn’t work for me. I was uncomfortable and just didn’t enjoy it. I gave it a go both times. My son was breastfed for 12 weeks and my daughter 6 weeks. I had enough milk and I can still hear my maternal health nurse freaking out when I told her I was switching to formula. Both babies were very fussy breast feeders and I believe it’s because I wasn’t comfortable.  I wasn’t going to continue doing something that made me unhappy and my baby fussy, when there was a suitable option available. 

¤  I have used controlled crying techniques for both my children.  Of course I don’t just let them cry for hours and I give them just as much unconditional love as the co sleeping mums. Having my children learn to self settle and sleep in their own beds was important for myself and my husband.

I’m not writing these things to say what I have done or decided is right and I’m certainly not being arrogant about my decisions. Simply put, this what has worked for me.

Everyone (especially women/mothers) need to be more supportive of each other. I applaud the women who have had a drug free birth, the mums who breastfeed for 12 months or who choose attachment parenting. Even though its opposite to what I have done. Whatever choice you make is fine with me, happy children and parents is what counts. Be confident, own your choices and don’t let anyone’s opinions get you down.

Rachelle xx

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