A note to my 9 year old self!

Yesterday was international woman’s day #balanceforbetter, a day to celebrate woman having equal rights and a voice to say, feel and act freely, just like men.

Some may be thinking why should we have a day for this?… but we need to remember that it wasn’t too long ago that woman could not vote, and in some organisations, men still get paid far more than women in the same role. So there is still a little more work to do on getting that balance but we are getting there, and besides, why not have an excuse to praise all the amazing females of the world! Men also have a day (19th of November), so don’t worry, they get their chance to celebrate too!

Keeping with the theme of saying, feeling and acting freely, I often think about the things I would have done differently in life especially as I reflect on certain behaviors of myself and even my children.  Pete and I often ask each other what we would have done differently, so I thought I would put it down in some words and share some of mine. So this one is a bit of a self reflection post!

PS I have no regrets, in fact I would not have it any other way. But some of these traits do come back to haunt me in my adult life, whilst being totally aware of each, I do need to work extra hard at each of them.

Share your feelings

Growing up in the 80s was harder in many ways different to today. As a child who was eager to please and always (99% of the time) doing and feeling what I was told. It was implied both at home, socially and at school that by showing feelings other than what I was supposed to or expected to, was wrong and not welcome. While this may have be been my perception of the situation, my internal voice told me that doing otherwise was total disobedience. As a result of this, I rarely revealed my true feelings to anyone other than myself and most of the time I used to bottle them up inside. I was able to speak with my sisters at times, but due to this perceived view I never spoke to my parents about this. As a mother, sharing feelings both to my kids and vice versa, are encouraged at all times. I even cry in front of my kids and explain to them why. Whilst at times I try to over comfort the children by assisting them to overcome their ill feelings especially, I try my hardest to allow them to feel everything, and talk to us about how this particular situation makes them feel. There are some great children’s books about feelings that normalise all feelings, but I think what’s important here is creating that environment that your children are comfortable to talk to you about anything and everything with you, and that you are prepared to listen. I wish I just opened up to my parents, because I am sure they would have been more than receptive and helpful.

Commit wholeheartedly

Pete was a really great soccer player and I was not so bad myself at tennis. Both of us better than our fellow school mates at the time, and I even got chosen to play for Victoria when I was 12. While this was the case and I trained and played comp most days of the week I was never really 100% committed. My mind was always elsewhere or dreading the next day, coaching session or game. I never ate well to play or did I commit to the training game plan required or certainly what my oppositions were probably doing. My parents never forced me either, although they spent an enormous amount of their time and money carting me around. And that I am sorry for. But it has taught me when I commit to something, I commit 100%. Otherwise I don’t do it at all. Time and money is too precious these days, so there is no reason to throw your energy to something that doesn’t serve you. Pardon the pun. In the end tennis was not for me, and I finally quit. I remember forcing Kristina at the age of 4 to go to ballet, as I dreamed for her to be that gorgeous ballerina that I was not! She cried before EVERY SINGLE lesson. Finally I got over it and listened to her wishes. Sometimes if we are committed, but others are not, we have to accept that too.

Be confident with yourself

For those who know me well may find this one a little surprising. On front I come across confident and strong in nature. Inside I am actually quite introverted and shy. I put this down to being the quieter of twins, with my beautiful twin sister Nic always being the loud, more vibrant one of the two. She made friends way easier than what I did and still does, and she still turns many heads walking into a room, and I shared in this glory walking in right behind her. Growing up, with Nic by my side, I was always protected and had comfort with her being there to answer questions and respond. She spoke for us and she chose for us, and I loved it! But as we started to do things separately, as we got older, I remember struggling with confidence. Whilst I quickly managed to find my feet I remember having to find my individual self and one that people could learn to like, love and enjoy. Being individual is so important in life it helps you learn about you and what’s important about you and for you. You don’t have to be the same as others and sometimes it’s fine to be different. Recogising your differences and being proud of them is key to confidence and is definitely something I will be sharing more with my children. I was so proud when James came home late last year telling me that the boys in his class teased him after school swimming lessons for having hairy legs and a hairy back. He said mummy I told them that this is who I am and that we all have hair, just some more than others! This made me proud. #goshboysaremean

Challenge rather than accept

Being one to sweep things under the carpet is something I have learnt from young. Avoidance of conflict is a major strength of mine! But we all know this does no one favors especially yourself. If you are unsure say no or ask more questions. Failure is to do this can put you and any relationship with your kids and loved ones at risk for too many reasons to document here. I remember as a young girl running into my room and slamming the door shut and staying there for hours thinking and chewing on thoughts and ideas that were so different to what was actually going on. Totally linked to number 3, being confident to voice your beliefs and opinions is the key to a healthy and happy life. Creating an environment for this to occur and teaching my children this one is a difficult one but definitely a work in progress and one I am committed to.

What would you say to your 9 year old self?

CMP xxxx

Whooping Cough

I have been a little quiet on the blog and this may just be the reason why! January 2019 was the month from hell not only for my darling little boy who suffered but has now almost fully recovered from whooping cough but the entire family.

To describe the situation as highly (peak) stressful, exhausting and emotional is an understatement. The concern and fear you have as a mother (and father) seeing your son go through severe coughing and chocking fits is devastating, you feel helpless and useless. I remember crying at one point helplessly and James came over to console me.

This coupled with the stress of having to explain what is going to your family and friends who you have interacted with, I would describe today as horrific and very eye opening.

I am writing this post to create awareness and hopefully give you a bit more insight to the illness, as I or we (my husband Pete and I) had no idea of what it was about.

I have learnt that there has been an outbreak of Pertussis on the city of Boroondara Victoria and also NSW from late December. In fact it is becoming more and more common and I will explain why later in this post.

I have also learnt that while your child may be fully vaccinated it doesn’t mean they are completely free from the disease.

Apparently there are strains of the disease that the vaccination doesn’t cover and there is also the weaning issue, so the further away from the vaccination you are the more chance you have at contracting it, carrying it, or a particular strain that wasn’t in the vaccination.

There is also the rise of unimmunised children combined with the weaning of adults that is causing so many more outbreaks in waves of Pertussis or Whooping cough in Australia.

Firstly, my son who is 7 is fully immunised and if your child is too, it doesn’t mean they are 100% safe from contracting Pertussis, it just means that if caught early enough their symptoms and cough won’t last as long and be as severe. The cough is severe and can often be described as a cough they had a “whoop”.

But, nearly 3 weeks in and in stage 2 of the 3 which is the worst stage I still recall the anxiety of knowing that there is a possibility that there much more to come and I was terrified. Pertussis can last up to 100 days, which is why it is often referred to as the 100 day cough. Thankfully James second stage lasted only a couple of weeks, and we are now in week 8 and he is still coughing once or twice at night and we are working through his fear now or chocking and coughing vigorously of which thankfully has not returned.

Things you need to know and how it panned out for us…

Symptoms of pertussis typically develop within 5 to 10 days after you are exposed- but sometimes could take up to 3 weeks to start. We suspect James contacted the virus just before New Year’s Eve 2018 at a local pool. We narrowed it down to this day given we didn’t do much or see many people over that period and also we narrowed it down to that day knowing when the first symptoms started.

James’s symptoms developed exactly 7 days after, and they were more frequent exactly 10 days after the suspected contraction date.

He had a small dry cough once or twice in the day, nothing unusual for him as he often gets a little cough after running around or increased physical activity and as mentioned earlier he suffered from croup from young so this was normal for us to see, and we knew how to manage it.

14 days later his cough turned to wet with phlegm and this is when we first took him to the doctors as this was unusual for him. We took him to the doctor and they diagnosed a chest infection and prescribed antibiotics.

By day 18 he was choking on his phlegm, coughing vigorous mainly at night after laying horizontally, so much so he broke capillaries in both eyes and the whites of his eyes suddenly turned red from the blood. Thankfully this did not hurt him at all and it didn’t last long (recovered in 3 weeks). He even (at the time of real illness) turned to the positive and told us that he had superpowers! We spent a couple of long nights (thank you to my amazing husband during this time) in the children’s, and from there is diagnosis was confirmed.

They say that the disease usually starts with cold-like symptoms and maybe a mild cough or fever but James’s was not like this at all. In fact it presents different in all children so we learnt. The key thing is if you are worried and the signs are slightly out of kilter to what you have seen before visit your GP and ask them for the test. The GP may refuse but if your child is 10 and under, you should insist.

Royal children’s hospital is also a fabulous resource they have a fact sheet about the virus that describes exactly what you need to do, or just call them direct.

As James was infected – the whole family and extended family who interacted heavily with James over the contagious period, the period a couple of days prior to the first cough, were recommended to take a dose of antibiotics for 5 days- this ultimately killed the virus. At this time we all stayed home (contracted cabin fever) I was still working thankfully I was able to do my work from home.

Kristina, my daughter, had a positive test also of the virus but her symptoms to date have been small coughs here and there not daily. So quite mild. The doctors put that down to her being closer to the vaccination than James was and catching / treating it early.

Given my kids were vaccinated the positive thing is that the disease and symptoms would not last as long and be as severe, although I couldn’t imagine James’s being more severe to be honest, I largely think this is because we caught it stage 2 of the virus.

Stage one for James lasted 1 week, stage two was about 2-3 weeks, and now we are in stage 3 which could last a couple of months.

Given how contagious the virus is, I had to contact all friends and family we were in contact with. This was stressful because it caused worry and anxiety for all, especially for the waiting period, and I also felt personally responsible.

Pete and I quickly became exhausted by the experience, juggling work, looking after kids, cooking every night (omg bless those people who have to cook each night- I’ve spent the last couple of weeks telling my mum and mother-in-law how grateful I am for their cooking and help) sleepless nights, we didn’t sleep in our bed for 4 weeks- we refused to have James sleep on his own just in case the chocking started. I developed exhaustion, anxiety and even suffered from my first panic attack which lasted 3 days (what the heck was that????). That’s another post altogether.

Silver lining… James is back to his happy healthy self, his immunity apparently will be better than its ever been. We know a lot of about whooping cough. We got to pretty much spend the whole of January together which is unusual. Lots of laughing, hugging and family time. And lots of lessons learnt about not being so flippant about health. Health is wealth people and hug that beautiful family of yours, and slow down!!!

There is so much more to say about this experience but I hope if anything you have learnt a little more about this awful virus.

Some 1%-ers for first time mummy’s!

Being a first time mummy is not only daunting because it doesn’t come with a manual but it’s overwhelming with what people tell you, what you read, what you take in and choose to do, and then ultimately how your baby reacts or responds.  Every newborn baby is different and what works for one doesn’t work for another. There is that thing called mother instinct and the mother knows best, which is FACT, so you must do as you think and feel is best and right, but there are also those little things you learn along the way that you wish you knew from the beginning! So..whilst its been nearly 6 years since I’ve had a newborn, here are some of my 1%-ers that made a big difference for me.

  • Wrapping your newborn baby

Wrapped babies sleep better.  Newborns have what’s called a moro reflex for the first 3 or so months from birth, which makes them have random hand movements which can disturb their sleep.  Even though it may appear that they don’t like it at the beginning, there are many benefits of doing it, in particular better sleep patterns.  I have seen and heard many mothers being totally against this for their newborns because their newborns cry when they are wrapped, but at least you can hug them and comfort them until they are asleep, and they largely remain asleep.  Speak to the nurses in hospital about this and get their views, but it was definitely a winner for me, for both children, although with Kristina (baby #2) she was stubborn at times and I allowed her to have one arm out around week 3-4.

  • Hold and cuddle your baby as much as you want

Don’t listen to anyone, you can hold and cuddle your baby has much as you want.  Some babies need more cuddles than others, James was far less reliant on me for cuddles than Kristina.  Whilst routines are important, you shouldn’t get caught up on these straight away.  I had a routine for my babies from a sleep and bath perspective as best as I could but it wasn’t until 6 months that anything really worked.   Cuddling doesn’t mean your baby is awake (as refer to my next point) they could be sleeping on you during this time, especially in the first 6 weeks or so.

  • Awake time between 1-2 hours 

Newborns up to the age of 6 even 12 weeks shouldn’t be awake longer than 1-2 hours which includes feed time! OMG I know that means totally no rest of mummy right.  The reason for this is because if your baby becomes overtired due to being awake for too long (and it will happen), you will struggle to get them to sleep – sometimes for hours.  So I know you may get excited especially when you have friends and family over because they will want to hold and see the baby, remember the baby’s priority is sleep and milk in the first 6 weeks, not socialising.  Every baby is different though so give take either side.  James would last 2 hours maximum, Kristina struggled with 1-1.5 hours.  This is totally the hardest part to master.

  • Ask for help and let people help

Being a first time mum I wanted to do everything and sometimes I was against it when people wanted to help me (mainly family members / grandparents etc).  Very quickly however I accepted the help, and lifted my shield of “I am the mum so I can do everything” – as ultimately it gave me a chance to rest and do stuff for myself or around the house, after all the baby had me over night – as there was not much offering at that hour of the night 🙂  Looking back though, I did struggle a lot when Kristina came along (19 months apart), James was a very jealous baby and my husband was working many late nights, so I wish I asked for more help.  So if you can, do it, ask for it, motherhood is not supposed to be done alone.

  • Sleep when your baby sleeps (at least try)

At least for one sleep of the day for the three months or so (I chose the first sleep of the day), try to sleep when the baby sleeps.  Don’t over commit yourself in the first month or three, the sleep deprivation can be quite taxing, and you need as much energy as possible to enjoy your little newborn and also try and feel normal despite ridiculous amount of hormones still circulating throughout your body.  At the beginning this was a daily thing for me, then it became an every second day thing for at least the first 6 months.  Oh and regarding over committing, one thing I couldn’t keep up with was cleaning the house, so I got a cleaner to help out once a week which was and still is the best investment ever – despite them not being as good as me, they were definetely more reliable, and it made me feel better that I had a clean house.  And feeling good is so important.

  • Get a Script ready for Antibiotics – Mastitis

If you choose to breastfeed, there is a chance you may get mastitis, which is bloody painful and awful where your milk ducts in your breasts (one or both) get blocked.  If you know the early signs which include pain and lumps in breasts, skin redness, flu-like symptoms, fever – quickly get yourself to a doctor for a prescription for antibiotics, or even better get your obstetrician to pre write you a script, so all you need to do is get to a chemist.  Also keep feeding or expressing, as this will also release the pain and blockage.  Fresh (smelly) cabbage also works  a treat too!! The first time I had it with James I thought I was run down and it was winter so I put it down as a cold, and I got very sick.  The next 20 times I got it, the minute I felt my muscles aching, I knew it was Mastitis coming, and after 2-3 days of the antibiotics and cabbage it was gone, got it early.

  • Maternal & Child Health Line

In Melbourne, Victoria we are so lucky to have access to a Maternal Health line 24 hours where there are qualified maternal and child health nurses on the other end of the phone that can help you diagnose a non severe problem (for example there is a pink spot on my baby’s nose) and put you at ease or recommend you seek professional advice.  You should ring this line daily if you need to, I certainly did, and this resulted in less doctor / hospital visits.   The Maternal and Child Health Line Tel: 132 229 – available 24 hours a day for the cost of a local call throughout Victoria.  Use them!

According to Dunstan, there are five universal words or sound reflexes used by newborn babies – aged between o and 6 weeks.  If you can work these out you will be able to understand what your newborn really wants.  These sounds helped me a lot with baby  number 2, as she suffered from reflux, so I was able to keep on top of her issues (most of the time) by understanding her sounds / crys.

Neh (I’m hungry) – An infant uses the sound reflex “Neh” to communicate its hunger. The sound is produced when the sucking reflex is triggered, and the tongue is pushed up on the roof of the mouth.

Owh (I’m sleepy) – An infant uses the sound reflex “Owh” to communicate that they are tired. The sound is produced much like a yawn.

Heh (I’m experiencing discomfort) – An infant uses the sound reflex “Heh” to communicate stress, discomfort, or perhaps that it needs a fresh nappy. The sound is produced by a response to a skin reflex, such as feeling sweat or itchiness in the bum.

Eairh (I have lower gas) – An infant uses the sound reflex “Eairh” to communicate they have an upset stomach. The sound is produced when trapped air from a belch is unable to release and travels to the stomach where the muscles of the intestines tighten to force the air bubble out. Often, this sound will indicate that a bowel movement is in progress, and the infant will bend its knees, bringing the legs toward the torso. This leg movement assists in the ongoing process.

Eh (I need to be burped) – An infant uses the sound reflex “Eh” to communicate that it needs to be burped. The sound is produced when a large bubble of trapped air is caught in the chest, and the reflex is trying to release this out of the mouth.

I hope you find my 1%-ers helpful.  Remember every baby is different and what worked for me may not necessarily work for you, but it may be worth a try! Most importantly, enjoy the precious newborn stage as it goes so quick.


My Mid-week Go to Meals

Who’s got time to cook during the week let alone think about what to cook. Now I know why my mum owned a pressure cooker growing up!

Whilst my kids are mostly always fed when I pick them up after finishing work during the week, there are times when they are not, and I have a whole 30 mins to think, prep, cook and eat before it’s wind down time before bed. And there is always dinner for me and Pete (although some nights he is working) so it’s usually just me!

For those of you who know me well I am mostly eating lunch and dinner in the car or at the sink 🤪 en route to and from training/exercise, a meeting or some sort of kiddie pick up, so it really is a rarity that I am cooking up a storm during the week. I save that for weekends, maybe once or twice a month if I am lucky. Today happened to be one of those days.

So I thought I would share with you some of my go to meals that fit the criteria I mentioned above. The ones that I go to during the week. Mind you like my outfit and the kids uniforms the thinking happens the night before otherwise it just doesn’t happen.

1. Salmon, green beans or asparagus and rice

My butcher sells salmon every Tuesday so I always grab some pieces before work/school drop off. I cook the salmon in the oven in silver foil with some lemon, salt, olive oil and sometimes garnish with mushrooms or red capsicum. I then steam some green beans, asparagus or snow peas – kids don’t mind them either, with some brown rice. Yum.

2.  Chicken and vegetable stir fry

My butcher has pre made stir fry that I buy and then literally chuck onto a fry pan with some extra virgin olive oil and in the mouth! I usually cook extra for lunch the next day. Sometimes I add some soy sauce, sometimes I also add some gluten free noodles depends on how hungry I am. I have tried this stir fry with tofu instead of chicken, but can’t seem to find a nice tofu.  Any suggestions would be fab. Kids don’t like this meal or does Peter, all for me!

3. Crumbed chicken and veg

This ones the kids favourite. My butcher again has these amazing crumbed chicken thighs, bite size, gluten free! The kids love them, they think they are eating chicken nuggets (what’s with kids and nuggets) and I serve them with cucumber, carrot, broccoli (the latter a big struggle for the kids to eat) feta cheese and olives. Total winner.

4. Greek salad with chicken and mushrooms 

This one is one of my favourites and very easy. For the chicken I just use breast chicken and sometimes I have it vegetarian with lots of feta and oregano. As you have guessed I eat a lot of feta/goats cheese.

5. Bolognaise with steamed sweet potatoes 

One of my cooking up a storm meals on the weekend is bolognaise sauce with beef and pork mince. When I serve it during the week for Pete and the kids it’s with spaghetti. For me it’s with steamed sweet potatoes or just plain. To change things up I often make a lasagne too with the sauce and with gluten free pasta. No beshamel sauce as we all aren’t really fans. Sometimes I put sweet potatoes instead of pasta down the bottom with the sauce drizzled on top, topped with mozzarella and parmesan but that’s if I have a bit more time!

6. Egg omelette with goats cheese and vegetables 

The amount of times I eat an omelette during the week I can seriously cook one with my eyes shut! Favourite ingredients with or without yolk include: mushrooms, Meredith goats cheese or feta cheese, red capsicum, oregano, zucchini, broccoli, baby spinach, oregano and chilli. Again not for the kids or Pete, just mua.

7. Homemade Pizza

This one is for the kids mainly on a Friday literally using the coles brand pizza bases, leggo pizza sauce, ham, perfect pizza mozzarella cheese, mushrooms, black olives and sometimes some red capsicum. So easy and a big winner.

8. Steak, vegetables, homemade chips and rice 

Choice of cut is either eye fillet (my choice) or sirloin (Pete’s favourite) with steamed broccoli, cucumber, steamed corn, ice berg lettuce with salt, white vinegar and olive oil, red cabbage again with salt, white vinegar and olive oil, home made chips using the dirtiest potatoes, and sometimes some rice. The kids are very fussy (or spoilt) so I need to provide choice. Thankfully they love the meat, I am not so much a fan in my old age. Pete often makes this meal for us when he is home early enough.

9. Zucchini slice with goats cheese

This one requires prep but is yum and lasts in my fridge for days. Sometimes I make it the night before as soon as the kids are asleep. I use the recipe on taste.com.au and replace the onion (due to being a bit intolerant) with celery, the flour with almond meal, and bacon with feta or goats cheese. Kids don’t mind this one either.

10. Mixed roasted vegetables 

Throw diced zucchini, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mushrooms, eggplant into a pan and then the oven drizzle with lemon, olive oil, oregano and salt to cook for 20 or minutes.  All for me and so filling.

11. Casserole – tomato based or Indian curry based – frozen pre cooked meal with rice 

This one I have pre cooked in a slow cooker on a weekend, and has loads of vegetables- carrots, zucchini, celery, eggplant, whatever I can’t find, with some skinless thigh fillets and either red sauce or curry sauce that I buy from my gourmet grocer. Not for the kids as it usually has a bit of spice although they do taste it from time to time. Always eaten with rice either white or brown.

12. Souvlaki with lamb back strap

Use Jerry souvlaki pitas from coles, with tzatziki (Chris’s Greek dips as he was my godfather and it is the best) or hummus, iceberg lettuce, tomato and anything else I feel like usually mushrooms. Most times I skip the pita and enjoy it open. The kids love it with the pita, lettuce and tzatziki.

You have probably gathered, that I love to cook with extra virgin olive oil, salt and oregano and sometimes chilli if it’s just for me. Other spices I like to use are cinnamon, black chives, bay leaf and nutmeg. Being Greek, I also love a bit of lemon or maybe a lot! Olives and feta cheese is always in my fridge, and I like to keep it very simple. Would love to hear some of your go to’s if you are happy to share.

Spring Racing Fashion Cut so far!

Love spring time, not only because it means that summertime is coming and you get to enjoy much longer days, but because the fashion and beauty that surfaces especially around spring racing!

Thought I would share some of my favourite outfits from Derby Day and also Melbourne Cup day this year, makes me now want to change my outfit for Oaks :(( 

This year I especially loved the suit / pants look and also all the colours – lots of yellow, pink and red!

The usuals looked incredible and I thought Cathy McEvoy looked divine in her pink very feminine suit finished off with a dainty Hermes head scarf (I have the same one ☝️).

Whilst there were still a lot of dark colours and blacks, in particular for Derby Day (naturally), I found that those outfits were matched with more whites and colours.

I loved the long look, head pieces were amazing, and shoes and bags were all very high end stylist / designer.

Designers for me who killed it this year included  @effiekats @elliatt @viktoriaandwoods @eliyathelabel @toni_maticevski

Very impressed so far! Let’s see what Oaks day has in store for us.


Why I Started Yoga 🧘‍♀️


Rewind 10 years ago if someone told me that they did yoga as an exercise regime I automatically assumed they had major issues, wanted to practice relaxation and breathing techniques, or were going through a hard time. I would always associate exercise with lots of sweating, high impact, full body training and yoga didn’t fit into that category.

About 18 months ago I hit a point in my life where I nearly lost my shit and the struggles of a husband working 2 jobs, almost single parenting a very demanding and literal 4 and 6 year old and trying to be a good mum too, and then on top of that trying to front up in my very busy corporate full time job, exercise, cook, clean, see friends, kids activities and birthday parties blah blah, all got the better of me. 

Whilst a number of things needed addressing at the time one thing I knew for certain was that I needed to find time to look after my self, quickly! 

My kids, husband, friends, family and work were all suffering because I was trying to be perfect at everything, and too damn proud to reach out for help, say no or tell anyone for fear of being viewed upon as a failure. I could not accept any washing in the dirty laundry basket, any un made beds, unwashed dishes, unread emails in my inbox and a quiet schedule on the weekends. 

But sadly because of this I was failing miserably at everything and starting to hate the person I was becoming especially that person in front of my kids. I was constantly yelling, under pressure, stressed and tired, in fact my whole family was yelling and tired, I wasn’t seeing any of my extended family or friends and seriously disillusioned that any of this could be fixed. 

People would often say to me they don’t know how I cope what I am doing, that I was amazing at what I did; I would just smile, put up that incredibly strong and resilient front, but I was actually crumbling inside. 

I then found yoga. Or a mentor of mine suggested I needed to do something to improve my perception of what’s important “right now” not “later” and she suggested yoga to set my priorities. I am sure I didn’t really understand what she meant, but I listened.  

She recommended that I see a beautiful lady Margaret who happened to practice at her home right around the corner from my work. Without really thinking I committed firstly to a few weekly sessions during my busy working day. One hour to myself, to only think about me seemed too good to be true. 

Over a year later I really haven’t missed a session unless I am away for work or Margaret is travelling or away herself. We practice for an hour, it’s high intensity at times too (I burn 300 calories in any one hour session 😂), we chat a lot, and then she finishes with shavasana session following the theme of the practice and then a card reading (my favourite).

I love yoga and it’s part of who I am now. It gives me clarity, balance and helps me prioritise what’s really important. I am calmer and more attentive especially with the kids, and I don’t care for the little things, I don’t care that the beds are unmade when I get home (lie, I still care about that🤪) and everything can wait. 

I try and be balanced in what I do and how I approach things as best as I can as at now or today, not tomorrow and not for anyone else. I sleep more and I rest more too. This is the constant struggle I think in everyone’s lives, things are busier and we all make them busier.  Don’t get me wrong things are very often hard and a major struggle but I am approaching things far differently now and somehow able to handle the challenges a lot more easily.

One thing I hope you get out of reading this is that if you don’t look after yourself, what ever it is- going for walks, movies, exercise, meditation, and find time for yourself regularly, make it part of your diary, you cannot possibly be 100% to those around you. It’s a bit like the airlines when they demonstrate the emergency proceedure before takeoff; help yourself before you help others.

Namaste 🙏 

Baby List

baby list

This baby list has done its rounds over the last 8 years.  May help for baby shower ideas too!

  1. Note pad to write what the baby does and when you feed etc
  2. Baby bag
  3. Fess (for baby’s nose)
  4. Shampoo Gaia or Mustela brand
  5. Body wash Gaia or Mustela brand
  6. Mother pads for sore nipples called Multi mum
  7. Gel for nipples in a purple tub
  8. Pads for mummy
  9. Moisturiser or oil Mustela brand
  10. Shampoo and body wash for mummy (stock up I used Loccitane)
  11. Pads for breasts disposable
  12. Scissors- nail clippers
  13. Cotton wool to wash face
  14. Hair brush
  15. Dummy
  16. Packet of bottles I used Medela brand
  17. Sterilisor Medela brand
  18. Express machine Medela brand
  19. Milk bags for freezer when you express milk Medela brand
  20. Baby book- contented baby by Gina ford
  21. Baby book- baby love by robin barker
  22. Baby panadol
  23. Bag of nappies
  24. Scented baby bags to dispose nappy in
  25. Face towels or cotton nappies for wiping face and bum
  26. Sudocream – baby bum cream
  27. Berpanthum – baby bum cream
  28. Thermometer- brother max brand
  29. Monitor – angelcare
  30. Temperature egg for baby room- groegg
  31. Sleeping bag for 6 months + – grobag
  32. Good wraps for first 3-6 months -mum2mum are good
  33. Singlets
  34. All in ones 0-3 months
  35. Socks
  36. Mittens
  37. Caps/beenie
  38. Blankets at least 4-6 I keep a couple in the car always
  39. Bath for when too little to sit up
  40. Mattress protector
  41. Mattress linen
  42. Mobile for cot that sings
  43. Pram
  44. High chair
  45. Stroller for when they get older- Mclaren
  46. Bassinet for your bedroom
  47. Cot
  48. Bookshelf
  49. Toy box
  50. Toy bags to get toys nice and tidy in living area
  51. Change table
  52. Bank account
  53. Email address
  54. First 5 years keep safe box
  55. Picture frames
  56. Private school enrollment forms
  57. MCC application form

Coming back to work from maternity leave

Having studied at uni for 9 long years straight that included an undergraduate  and then a masters, there was no way I was going to stop my career for anything let alone a baby!  I was far too important to stop, and at the time was not prepared to listen to anyone who was telling me otherwise.

At 32 when I fell pregnant with my first child not only did I hide the fact I was pregnant until I couldn’t any longer, but I told my boss I would be back at work within 6 months, due to fear I brought upon myself that I would fail at and stall my career if I took any more time off.

It wasn’t until I had my first baby James (June 2011) that I realised how disillusioned I really was, and what a gift it was to not only have a child but be able to care for them with 100% devotion at least the first year, and how work just stays the same and the only thing that really changes is you, and for the better.

So, I thought I would share a few things for those of you are worried about your work and your job, to reassure you, that if you are not allowed this time away, you are probably not working for the right organisation anyway, or its most likely in your “head” which is surely was for me.  I can assure you that whilst daunting there is light at the end of the tunnel, and not only will you have the time away that you deserve,  you will change as a person, for the better.

PS I did end up going back to work, not full-time, part-time after 6 months, as I suffered a little bit of FOMO, and I felt I was losing a lit bit of sense of my self.  Everyone’s different, the key thing is that the choice and decision is yours, no one else.

Here are a few things about me that changed.

  1. Whilst I was tired (very) at the beginning, I adjusted and learnt to work on empty and in fact I was more alert and “on” than ever.  I got shit done quicker, because I wanted to get home to my baby.
  2. I started sleeping a lot earlier, as soon as baby was down, I was pretty much down too, which made me a morning person and I started to get more done in the morning than at night.  That has continued, sort of!
  3. I say no to more things, or manage my time better – helps to set expectations.  As  a result of this, people / my boss etc actually give me more work to do, as they know I will get it done, but in a time frame that is achievable and manageable, by me.
  4. My patience and tolerance for late people, colleagues and clients, is a million miles higher, which makes me much nicer and more accepting to be around.
  5. I now take a very keen interest in my colleagues, staff and peers, their home life and kids, developing stronger personal relationships at work.
  6. I appreciate my job and the people I work with, including their differences, things I would usually hate etc.
  7. I am far more organised and structured at work and at home, keep a calendar for home (paper) and my diary through Outlook for work, without them both I am lost.

One thing I am still working on and continue to struggle with but am getting so much better, is when I am home, being at home, 100% on the kids, husband etc.  At the beginning I used to try send emails, take calls whilst being at home.  I have many war stories of locking the kids in the house (where I could still see them) so I could take a work call.  I even remember doing a radio interview once and I could see them both at the window bawling their eyes out 😦  This does not work for you, your work or your kids.  So, when I am at home, I must remember to be at home.