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All I Want to Hear Is...

Dear husband, I'm sorry that I snapped at youI'm sorry that some days I'm frazzledI'm sorry that I'm not the cheerful, fun loving woman I used to beBut I've changed, and I need you All I want to hear is "thank you"Thank you for safely carrying my child in your bodyThank you for sacrificing your smooth, flat belly Thank you for throwing up every day for three and a half monthsThank you for giving up activities you loveThank for you passing on food and drink you enjoy All I want to hear is "I'm pr...

December 3, 2020

Reflecting on Almost a Year of Motherhood

My daughter's first birthday is fast approaching, and I've been reflecting on my first year of motherhood lately. It's been an incredible journey, and one I wouldn't change for the world. But I have learned a few things over the past 11 months, and I thought I'd share some of those things with you. You're damned if you do, and damned if you don't when you're a parent The thing I've found is that you're damned if you do, and damned if you don't when you're a mum. There are always going to be peop...

November 10, 2020

Mama, it's okay to miss your pre-baby body

In two weeks my daughter will be 11 months old. 11 months since I gave birth to her after she surprised us all by turning up 9 days early. 11 months since my body became a postpartum body rather than a pregnant body. 11 months since I started feeling like I was invisible. 11 months of pretending I'm in love with my postpartum body, because if I don't I must regret having my daughter, right? Wrong. I adore my daughter. I wouldn't change having her for the world. But that doesn't mean I'm not allo...

October 18, 2020

5 Awesome Pieces of Mum Advice for New Mothers

When you’re pregnant, or a new mum, you get given a LOT of advice. Some of it welcomed, some not so much. I’ve written before about bad advice, but I have also been given some really great advice. Here’s some of the best advice I’ve been given so far. Don’t sweat the small stuffSeriously, when I first heard this one, all I could think was YEAH RIGHT! I’m not a super chill person by nature, so I found it pretty hard to let the little things slide. It’s taken a few months to really s...

October 7, 2020

Birth During Lockdown: Mei's Story

Written by Mei Kirkpatrick Mei shares her story about giving birth to her daughter via c-section during New Zealand's Level 4 lockdown. The majority of my pregnancy was pretty stress free, even if it was pretty uncomfortable! I was insanely active leading up to Diana's birth. I did the Milford Track when I was 6 months pregnant, which is a 53km tramp over four days. After that, we went to Mexico on holiday. So those last few months were busy! We tried to make the most of our moments together as...

September 29, 2020

Bare Necessities: A charity supporting new mums

Becoming a mother is a life changing event, and can be difficult for many kiwi mums. Particularly for those living in hardship. Statistics NZ reported that in the year ended in June 2019, about one in seven kiwi kids (around 168,500) lived in households experiencing material hardship. This means their family could struggle with accessing essential items such as fresh fruit and vegetables, doctor's visits or heating. Maya Chand, a mum of two, recognised this gap and wanted to help kiwi mums in ne...

September 16, 2020

5 Practical Baby Shower Gifts for the First Time Mum

Baby showers are so much fun - they're a chance to literally shower a mum to be with gifts to celebrate the impending arrival of her bundle of joy. Buying a gift can be a little less fun though, if you're not sure what to buy! Most of the time people will shower the mum with loads of SUPER CUTE newborn sized clothes because they're SO TINY. Cue the squeals of delight. The problem? Babies just don't wear those things. And it puts pressure on the mum to wrangle her newborn into impossible outfits ...

September 11, 2020

I Love Being Your Mama

My baby, I love being your mamaI love the sleepy smiles when I get you out of your bedI love the way you smush your face into mine when I'm singing to youI love the way you give me the biggest, sloppiest kisses before bed My baby, I love being loved by youI love being your everything, being needed by youI love it when you settle into my arms, content and safeI love it when you reach out to me, wanting my cuddles My baby, I love being your safe placeI love it when you stop crying when I pick you ...

September 3, 2020

Every Day I Wake Up Tired

Before I became a mother I knew it was a tough gig. I've seen enough friends become mums to know that there's a reason for the memes, the comics and the wine jokes. It's a full time job, and it's exhausting. Before I experienced it though, I didn't know what it really felt like to be so exhausted but still soldiering on through the day. As mothers we always have the energy to play, to smile and laugh with our kids. We have energy to cook meals for everyone and yet forget to eat ourselves. We hav...

August 28, 2020

Managing the Anxiety of being a Mother in 2020

Back in May, I talked about my experiences of mothering during a pandemic. Since then, New Zealand has managed to stay relatively unscathed by the global Covid-19 pandemic, but in the last week we have raised our alert level once again. 2020 has been a difficult year to be a human. It's been a difficult year to be a mother. Our new normal is scanning a barcode every time we go into a shop, and sanitising our hands at the door. Many people wear masks, and we subconsciously skirt around each other...

August 16, 2020

Learning Through Play

Written with help from my mama, who is a teacher and enthusiast in play-based learning. Play is an essential part of childhood. We learn to do it as early as a couple of months old, and it's one of the key ways babies learn and explore the world around them. Learning through play, also known as play-based learning can promote healthy development and help children learn life skills. All while having a blast! While playing, children learn vital language skills, how to share and take turns, and how...

August 6, 2020

A 6-month Postpartum Diary

It's been over 6 months since I had my daughter (over 7, actually) and I've been reflecting on my postpartum journey over the past couple of days. Pregnancy and birth (no matter how your child is born) take a massive toll on both your body and your mind, and it takes a pretty long time to get anywhere close to normal again. Here are a few things still going on for me, that I probably wasn't expecting to still be dealing with. My hair is still falling out Yup, every time I wash my hair I'm still ...

July 6, 2020

5 Reasons You Should Make Time To Exercise

Being a mum is a full time job. Add to that working (be it for someone else or yourself), running a household, taking care of pets, and countless other responsibilities, and you have a recipe for not taking care of yourself. Add to that the mum guilt that inevitably creeps in when you do steal away for a walk or head out to a yoga class. It can be hard to justify the time away from your child(ren) to prioritise yourself and move your body. But you should. Here's why. Exercise can help you be th...

June 28, 2020

3 Common Mum Guilt Trips And How To Get Over Them

Before I became a mother I'd heard of the phenomenon of 'Mum guilt', but I had no idea how real it would become. As a new mother, navigating the unknown is hard enough without the feelings of guilt that creep in when you least expect it. The thing with guilt is that it's usually caused by unrealistic expectations. These can come from ourselves, our family, our friends or society itself. We form an idea of what good mothering is based on a whole range of factors, and that's how we set expectation...

June 21, 2020

There Aren't Enough Hours in the Day

Written by Jess Raubenheimer-Free I read an article a few years ago about priorities. A quote from that article stood out to me: Saying, "I don't have time for this," just means you don't consider that goal a priority.At the time, I took it really personally. I was offended by that. I had a LOT of priorities, and damn it I worked hard and there WASN'T enough time. At the time, I was able to prioritise a lot more things though. When I got pregnant I was going to the gym five times a week, and I ...

June 16, 2020

Postpartum Survival Hacks

The first few weeks of your baby's life disappear in a blur of sleepless nights, cluster feeding and dirty nappies. All the while, you're trying to recover from bringing a human into the world! Whether you're recovering from a c-section or a vaginal birth, it is super hard on your body. Not only that, it's hard on the mind! Sleep deprivation is seriously tough, no matter who you are. Here are a few tips and tricks to help you get through the first few weeks post birth. Because a comfortable, hap...

June 13, 2020

My Fertility Journey

Written by Jess Raubenheimer-Free Note: This article includes references to naturopath treatment for fertility. You should always check with your own naturopath/doctor before trialing any treatments, natural or otherwise.  The journey to motherhood is different for all of us. For my husband and I it was a long road, but not one that got to the stage of being unbearable, as I know is the case for so many other women. When we returned from our honeymoon holiday to South Africa in 2016, we dec...

June 9, 2020

Balancing Motherhood and a Career is Really Damn Hard

I've never really been what I'd describe as a 'career woman', but my job has always been important to me. I've been working for a software company for five and a half years now, and my job was always my baby. I took great pride in my work, and would regularly put in crazy hours to see the company thrive. Working from home meant that my work and life blurred constantly, and I didn't really know what it meant to 'switch off' from my job. Then I got pregnant. As I stood with trembling hands looking...

June 5, 2020

5 Tips for Holidaying with Baby

I wrote the other day about being on holiday with my husband and daughter, and my journey to becoming a little more relaxed as a mama. Our little weekend getaway turned out to be a huge success, so I wanted to share a few tips that worked for us and made our trip amazing. Traveling with a baby can be stressful, but it can also be wonderful. They're getting all these new experiences and taking everything in. It's such a special time. But it's natural to feel anxious if you haven't been away from ...

June 3, 2020

I'm Learning to Chill Out... Slowly

Written by Jess Raubenheimer-Free I'm a control freak. I always have been, but I never really realised it until it was the day of my hen's night. I said to my fiancee that I felt nervous about the night to come and didn't know why. He bluntly said "Because you're a control freak and someone else has organised your night". I was rather taken aback, and then I realised he was right. I'd never really thought about it before. My hen's night turned out to be the best night, I had so much fun with my...

May 30, 2020

Life with a newborn: The good, the bad and the funny

Life with a newborn is a rollercoaster of emotions. There's happiness, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion and hilarity. It's a magical time, while also being one of the most difficult times of your life. Here's some of the highlights, the lowlights and the downright funny moments from my experience as a first time mum. The Good There are endless good things about being a mama to a fresh, squishy newborn, but the main one for me was the snuggles. All your baby wants is to be close to you in t...

May 28, 2020

5 Sanity-Saving Tips For The Working Mama

Working when your kids are little is really hard, but also extremely rewarding. If you're a first time mother who has returned to work or will be shortly, you may be wondering how you're going to juggle it all! The truth is, it is hard. It's a lot of spinning plates, but you CAN make it work! You are amazing, and you are capable of anything! All that being said, here are a few tips to save your sanity if you're working and raising little ones (these are all things you can also apply to your life...

May 27, 2020

The Incredible Paradox of Parenting

Written by Jess Raubenheimer-FreeCover image taken by the extraordinarily talented Bright Eyes Photography The other night I found myself scrolling through the images on my phone, looking at the pictures I took of my daughter when she was born. I have these moments where I can't quite believe how tiny she was, and how much she's changed in just 6 short months. And so I've discovered the paradox of parenting. Where you celebrate their milestones and feel so proud that they're growing, but at the ...

May 24, 2020

Don't Lose Yourself to Motherhood

It was 7am on a rainy day, and I was feeding my 3 week old baby on our bed. I was completely exhausted, as my husband had recently gone back to work and I was the one who had been up all night with her. I had been trying to get her to snuggle in the bed with me and have a sleep, even if it was just for half an hour. The tears rolling down my face, I shouted out "I want my life back!"My baby looked at me, startled by my loud voice, blinked twice and started crying. Overwhelming guilt washed over ...

May 20, 2020

Wellness Tips for New Mamas

In the first weeks and months after having a baby, generally the mental and physical wellbeing of mothers goes on the back burner. When you're elbows deep in feed, rock, change, sleep, repeat, it can be hard to take care of you. But it's important to take care of yourself during this time - you can't pour from an empty cup! It can be hard to find the time to take care of you, but there are some simple tips that can help you feel a little more human. I promise when you're feeling taken care of, y...

May 18, 2020 Posts 1-25 of 47 | Page next
 

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