Tag Archives: working mum

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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Embrace the chaos 

I have always been a very conscientious, efficient and organised person. I really don’t enjoy flying by the seat of my pants and I often struggle to relax.

Since becoming a mother I still had the desire to be organised. However, children are completely unpredictable so this made it extremely hard. Add working, my husband’s business, playdates, activities and birthday parties to the mix and I was becoming a hot mess. Being organised and feeling like I was being a composed adult was just getting harder and harder.

I wrote lists, used a calendar, meal planned and grabbed food shopping at lunchtime. I would spend Sunday afternoons prepping meals for the week or making meals and freezing them.

After a couple of very busy weekends and starting an extra day at work. I simply couldn’t find the time to be super organised…..I felt like I was drowning. I couldn’t do everything, I couldn’t be everywhere and there was no way I could please everyone. It felt like my kids were being extra needy and wanting more and more attention.

I had no choice but to roll with it. No meal plan. I decided to just grab a few things at the shops and some washing done but it wasn’t 100%. Do you know what?  It wasn’t that bad.  Taking my foot off the accelerator and taking a deep breath has been amazing.  I say no to things if we have too much on or if everything is just too busy.  Also, I’m not so worried about little distractions like housework. My kids aren’t that worried about getting my attention, they know they can have it. They’re even helping with little chores!

Another bonus is my husband is also helping out around the place as he can see what needs to be done and has a chance to get to it. He puts the washing away and tidies the kitchen. Instead of constantly having meals ready, I keep a couple of brought pre prepared meals in the fridge.  My husband simply heats them and they’re ready if I’m running late home from work with the kids. I found the Woolworths family favourites are simple, delicious, ready in 45 minutes or less and only about $12 for a family serving (there’s also a good range of meals and my kids love them).  Having meals on hand makes everything so much easier. Sundays aren’t spent prepping meals and shopping. I have more time to play with my kids. We read books, go to the park and bath time is more relaxed. I’ve also noticed some nights we grab the dog and go for a family walk.

I’m still on top of things, just a little more relaxed. I keep lists and use my calendar but I just order as much as I can online and have it delivered (including birthday gifts). If something isn’t finished or I’m not 100% organised I embrace it and move on. I realised I’m only one person and can’t look after everyone. Especially if I feel like a mess and I’m not looking after myself.

Try it, embrace the chaos and take shortcuts. It’s alright!

Rachelle xx

 

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A day inside my mummy mind…..

Working part time really allows me to see both sides of the stay at home vs working mum debate.  If anything it gives me a greater understanding that we all have it hard and feel pressure. I thought I would share an average work day and solo day at home. The routine, what goes on in my mind, my thoughts and feelings.

Work day –

Alarm goes off 5.15am, lay in bed working out how many times I was up with the kids last night. Check phone, say morning to husband, shuffle off to kitchen to prepare world’s largest coffee, lunches, childcare bags and Scarlett’s bottle. Farewell husband and  get ready for work while explaining to Hudson what mascara is, which dinosaur is which and that the blue Ninja Turtle is called Leonardo. Chase both kids around, get them dressed, negotiate with Hudson so he actually wears a jumper and shoes. Ask everyone nicely to go out the door (maybe 3 times)….add some ‘tone’ to my asking and finally get to the car. On bad mornings I have been known to bribe with a jelly bean just so I can get out of the house and to work on time without massive tantrums  (don’t judge, I just do what works).

Drop off at childcare 7am. Feel guilty leaving as someone normally cries or says they will miss me. Also, feel guilty in the car on the way to work. Worry about being late and what I have to get done that day. Think about dinner, shopping, who’s birthday’s have I missed etc etc. Arrive at work and get my job done, enjoy adult time but sometimes struggle with conversation that isn’t about kids stuff.  Am I that annoying office mum now?? The one that always talks about her children.  Probably, but then my mind goes back to work, I am always conscious that I get everything done so my colleagues don’t see me as the part time mum that let’s everyone down. 

My mind then wanders to my kids and family throughout the day and I often find it hard to concentrate (probably a lack of sleep)….more coffee, lunch, work. I  constantly check my phone to make sure there are no calls from childcare telling me to collect my kids.  Leave right on time so I’m not charged $1 per minute for being late for childcare pick up. Drive home, collect Hudson and Scarlett. They’re happy and full of energy…..I’m happy but have no energy. Make dinner, help with baths, dishes, playtime, stories and then bedtime. Shower and then work out if I have the energy to watch TV and have some me time or go to bed. TV normally wins and then off to bed to do it all again the next day. 

Home day – 

Husband’s alarm goes off 5.15am….Scarlett wakes up for bottle so I get up anyway. Make world’s largest coffee. Farewell husband for the day and Hudson gets up full of beans and demanding toast. Make breakfasts, put on washing. Tell everyone to sit down to eat breakfast (repeat about 5 times). Get dressed, get kids dressed. Organise to go to park to burn some energy…see rain outside. Change plans go to play centre. Arrive at playcentre, freak out about the snotty, coughing child that is playing right near my children who is clearly spreading some sort of virus. Change Scarlett’s nappy and realise I’ve forgotten spare nappies. Spend the rest of the time praying she doesn’t poop. 

Leave play centre, stop at supermarket. Avoid tantrums by feeding my children the whole way around the supermarket (while onlookers quietly judge) and pay for the empty packets at the checkout. Take tired, upset children to the car. Negotiate lunch and nap times. Scurry about like a mad woman. Hang out the washing I did earlier, make dinner, do some of my husbands bookwork, clean the house (all while trying to be quiet so everyone sleeps). Finally sit  to have a coffee….just as Hudson or Scarlett wake up. Make afternoon tea, realise I haven’t eaten so scoff down some fruit and cheese slices. Spend the afternoon playing and maybe some TV.  Baths, dinner, dishes bedtime etc etc……shower and bed. Repeat.

These days are just a typical snapshot. My husband helps but he runs his own business so his hours are long. 

It really just shows, unless you’re a high flying millionaire like Kim K who gets paid just for living. Both stay at home and working mum’s have it hard (especially with little kids). Yes it’s different, but there are pros and cons to both. Do what suits your family. Don’t disagree, support each other. 

Rachelle xx

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A letter from a Mummy

To my friends:  I miss you, I think about you all the time. I want to catch up, finding the time isn’t always easy, especially with two little children who get coughs and colds often. I also know that you are all super busy with your own families. I’m always just a phone call away. Let’s catch up and actually do it instead of just talking about it.

To my work colleagues: I’m sorry I scurry into the office flustered every morning and I leave right on the dot of my finish time. I have to pick up my children and don’t want to be charged hundreds of dollars for running late to childcare. I talk about my kids too much, show you a lot of photos or ridiculous videos and probaby overshare stories that you don’t even care about. I’m proud. Plus, let’s be realistic, I’m not exactly out hitting clubs or eating at the newest hot spots……. I don’t have a lot else going on right now. 
If I seem preoccupied, it’s probably because I feel guilty about being at work, I’m worrying about my babies or perhaps I’m sleeping with my eyes open at my desk.

To my mother: You were right…..about everything.  Thank you xx

To my husband: I love you more than ever, seeing you with our children makes me extremely happy. I appreciate how hard you work for our family and I don’t tell you enough. We sometimes snap at each other and in all honesty some days you shit me (you probably feel the same about me)….We are both working hard and tired, it happens. You’re my rock and you’re an amazing father.

To my children: Mummy loves you more than anything in this world. I want you to be happy and healthy. I’m sorry I’m sometimes too tired to play or I try to make you go back to bed on the weekends so I can get a few extra minutes of precious sleep.
Also, thank you for no longer screaming when I drop you at childcare, it makes my morning easier. I’m doing my best for you and I always will.

To myself and all the other mummies: you’re doing a good job, don’t be so hard on yourself. Keep your chin up, support each other, don’t judge and stay strong.
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Love
Rachelle xx

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Guest Blog – The Mummy Grind

 

AM1

As mothers, I think there is so much pressure to be on your game every damn second of the day.

Sometimes this is my face when I wake up realise I have to parent. That’s okay!

Image by @carliewheelerimages

If you complain, you’re not grateful.

If you clock watch till bedtime, you’re not enjoying your children.

If you take time out to do something for yourself, you’re being selfish.

If you are not making fantastical, themed lunchboxes for the kids every day, you’re just slack.

If you’re having one of those days where you could quite easily down three bottles of wine and run around in circles with your shirt over your head, then you’re just a bad mum.

Well, I am having one of those days. My house looks like I’ve been robbed by a gang of toddlers, I couldn’t get to daycare fast enough this morning and I want to call the boss, tell them I’m not coming in today and then sleep until next week.

But my boss is actually a two year old, and a baby, and they quite frankly, don’t give a damn about my excuses. So i’m continuing on with my job, and if I don’t shout from the rooftops how much I love changing poo explosions and cleaning up the same toys 23 times a day, please forgive me.
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If you don’t love your regular job, that’s okay. In fact, its almost expected. If your keen to get there each day, and go about your day, loving every single part of your job, good for you, you magical working unicorn! But I’m pretty sure most of us just don’t feel the same enthusiasm.

In a regular job, you check the clock, and you count down to the weekend.

In a regular job, you have bad days. Sometimes you are over it before the day even begins.

In a regular job, you get over it and you fake a sicky every now and then.

In a regular job, you sometimes check out and sit and gossip and/or Facebook for majority of the day (and to my boss who is reading this, I obviously, never ever did this 😏)

It’s assumed that everyone in a regular job hates Mondays, and spend the whole week wishing it was Friday.

But if you do any of the above as a mother… You are a terrible person.

Motherhood is on the same level as a full time job. So why do we get judged for feeling those same feelings that people in the workforce feel?

The only difference is we get paid in kisses, not cash. And we never get to clock off, we are on the job 24/7!

Not being deliriously happy in every.single.moment of your parenting life does NOT mean you don’t love or appreciate your children, it means you are human! It’s the most rewarding job, but it’s also the most challenging. And you are doing the best you can. And that’s the most important thing.

(And if you are doing the working mumma thing…. :O You are my hero. I don’t know how you do it, you deserve a medal… and all the wine!)

You go, Mumma.

xx

Shani Archer – The Awkward Mummy

www.instagram.com/theawkwardmummy

www.theawkwardmummy.wordpress.com

am4

 

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Quick makeup tips from a busy mum and makeup artist – @megseecole

 

Oh our hectic lives.

I am a wife, a mother of three and a makeup artist working in TV.

The loves of my life are my family and makeup – combining these together is a constant juggle. The mornings are particularly crazy and sometimes just getting out the door is the hardest thing of all.

Amidst the morning chaos, if any of those juggling balls drop, more often than not it will be my makeup. So, my makeup must be quick, if it’s going to get done. Here is my little bag of tricks that I would like to share with you. It hasn’t failed me yet and I hope it serves you just as well.

Hey, it won’t make you look like a Kardashian, but it gives a glow, covers those bags and most of all makes you start the day a slightly more fabulous version of yourself.

NARS PURE RADIENT TINTED MOISTURISER – it’s simple with a light-medium coverage. Pop it on and tap with a beauty blender. Draw on those under eyes with ELLIS FAAS CONCEALER  PEN, add a streak of BENEFIT HIGH BEAM to the upper cheek bones, keep tapping it all in with a makeup sponge, and presto………an even skin tone with no bags and radiant cheek bones is what you have.

Brush some MAC BRONZER over your cheeks, right up to your hairline. Keep applying this under your chin and around the edges of your face – it’s a great framer. I always want a bit more glow, so I hit my cheeks with MAC GOLD DEPOSIT.

We can’t forget to make those eyes pop. BETTER THAN SEX mascara is what you need on those lashes. Wiggle the stick as you go.

Oh and how I love a lip gloss that is bright or neutral. I just can’t go without HOURGLASS. It gives great shine, lasts well and is not too sticky.

This will only take 5 minutes – give it a go.

Meg XX

@megseecole

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Baja fish tacos

Nice colourful, weeknight meal.
My kids don’t eat these as tacos but they eat the fish, cheese, salsa and tortillas separate. I don’t mind as long as they are eating 👍

Salsa:
1 tub cherry  tomatoes diced
½ small red onion
½  jalapeno pepper seeded and finely chopped (optional)
Fresh or canned corn
4 springs coriander
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt and pepper to taste.

Sauce:
½ cup sour cream
2 tbsp lime juice
1 sprig oregano (chopped)
2 sprig dill (chopped)
1 clove garlic crushed

Fish
500g whiting fresh or preferred firm fish cut into strips

1/2 cup flour
1 egg, beaten
Panko crumbs

2 olive oil
8 to 10  corn tortilla

Instructions

Salsa: Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl refrigerate.

Sauce: Combine all ingredients in bowl. Refrigerate.

Fish: crumb fish slices in flour, egg and panko crumbs. Stir fry until cooked.

Warm tortillas in pan

Also serve with smashed avocado and grated tasty cheese.

Put on table for everyone to serve their own.

Rachelle xx

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Guest Blog Q&A Sevi – Baby Bistro

Our Children adore her healthy meals. She is successful, busy and a super mum of two handsome boys. This week’s guest blogger is Baby Bistro founder Sevi.

Thanks for answering our questions Sevi. Tell us a little about yourself, your family and how Baby Bistro Started?

Even before my boys came along, I was always super focused on healthy, wholesome food and I loved jumping in the kitchen and preparing meals for family and friends. I am the wife t my amazing husband Luciano and Mama to my two boys, Lucas (4) and Thomas (3). Between my three boys, Baby Bistro and everything else life has to offer, life is pretty jam-packed! I’ve always been told I am wildly passionate about a project once I get started, and I have to agree! My huge enthusiasm for everything I do in life has turned out to be key to my families’ and businesses success.

When I fell pregnant with my first born, I focused so much on the delivery that I didn’t prepare for what comes with looking after a new born baby. So when it came to feeding solids I was totally unprepared. You can imagine my shock when Lucas starting showing signs of being a fussy eater and although I was being given plenty of advice, I found much of it conflicting. I decided that I would research the topic myself and was horrified with what I learned about the current baby food on the market and supermarket foods. Right then and there I decided I would prepare all of Lucas’ meals with fresh organic ingredients and that way I could trust what I was feeding my precious boy and set positive healthy eating habits right from the start.  It was at this time that Baby Bistro started to come to life and my mealtime battles with Lucas started to subside – much to my relief!

Baby Bistro meals are delicious. Where do you get the inspiration and recipes for them?

My inspiration is without a doubt is my family. The support and belief that they offer me day in da out builds me up. On the days I feel I need strength I simply think of my family and I am ready to go 100% again.

My meals designed around what my favourite things to eat were growing up. My mum was a skilled cook, always producing amazing meals for the family. When I started Baby Bistro, I thought about those classic meals with a healthy twist.  Between those two factors I was able to bring together a fresh and almost nostalgic menu with plenty of variety.  I also wanted to create meals that could still be enjoyed by the whole family and truly help busy parents, such as a yummy ratatouille as a base for a pasta dinner.

What has been the highlight for Baby Bistro to date?

The whole journey has been a highlight! But really, I have had so many incredible experiences since Baby Bistro began and am grateful for all of my supporters who have inspired me to be bigger and better.  We have received some public attention and really positive feedback from a number of well-known mamas including Chrissie Swan, Rebecca Judd, Megan gale, Sarita Holland, Jess Dempsey and Monty Diamond. The response has been astounding from mums everywhere, and the greatest feeling for me is when I receive a message of thanks from mums enjoying our delicious meals.  That really brings it home for me and after a busy day, thinking about why I started Baby Bistro in the first place really puts a smile on my face. There is nothing better than knowing all of your hard work and hectic days have been worth it.

We have seen on your Instagram feed that you have an amazing new kitchen space. Can you tell us what’s in store for Baby Bistro in the future?

We are so excited to finally work out of our own kitchen. It has been a dream of mine since starting the business in 2011. And there is so much more for us to do! Without giving too much away and spoiling the surprise I can tell you that with this big new move there is going to be heaps more happening at Baby Bistro! You will see lots of exciting new meals, organic certification on our loved meals with much much more!

How do you balance your time between running your business and being a mum?

It’s definitely not always easy. As my boys have gotten older and the business has grown it has become more difficult to balance the two. I often have mummy guilt.  Working out of our commercial space, it has been far easier to separate the two; work and family.

When I work I focus on work and I involve the boys and they love that. When I am with the boys I make our time special and focus on them and that works.  Luckily and as you can imagine, I always have couple of Baby Bistro meals handy for lunch and dinner, so my time with the boys really is just about us!  

What is the best piece of mothering advice you have been given?

Trust yourself. I know my baby best.

Most children go through a picky eating phase at some point. Do you have a go to recipe for when your little ones are being fussy?

I’m very lucky in that I was onto the fuss-pot eater during early days so my boys are great at meal times! They have a very balanced diet and are open to a lot of flavours and textures. However I can’t go past our Extra Veg Ratatouille drizzled over pasta or because cheese is always a winner, the Macaroni and Cheese (with a twist!) for a yummy and filling cheesy hit the boys love.

How do you like to unwind after a long day in the Baby Bistro kitchen?

 Sometimes, which I am sure will come as no surprise to any parent, it can be really tough to find some ‘unwind’ time! As much as I would love to tell you I switch off everything and enjoy a nice glass of wine under the stars, generally my unwind is taking my Baby Bistro hat off, and making sure my Sevi / Mama hat is tightly secured. My boys (all three!) bring me back to earth after long, busy days and watching them laugh, grow and learn while developing their little personalities reminds me what life is all about.  Oh and there is another kind of wind down; It involves two sleeping toddlers and catching up on the guilty pleasures I have recorded on TV during the busy days!

Thanks again for being our guest blogger and making dinner time easier at our house. We wish you all the best with Baby Bistro, it certainly sounds like you have some exciting things coming up.

If you would like to purchase baby bistro and have it conveniently delivered to your door head to

http://babybistro.com.au/

You can also keep up to date with Baby Bistro in Instagram @babybistro
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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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