Three mums share their parenting secrets
Myself and two other mums share our parenting secrets and stories (the good and the bad!)
One day at a time for me and Bodhi
Those first few months of parenting are tough, but one thing that helped me to get through it was to remember, ‘This is just temporary.’ Everything with babies is just a temporary stage! When you’re having to get up in the middle of the night (sometimes several times) to soothe or feed, try to think that there will be a time in the future when you will actually miss this.
When I was so exhausted, I would make myself think that one day, when it’s just the two of us, I won’t be able to cuddle newborn Bodhi in the middle of the night. So cherish those moments, even when you’re exhausted.
With Renee Leonard-Stainton, naturopath and nutritionist at Renee Naturally and mum to Arlo, 3½, and Luca, 19 months
I try to see the funny side of messy situations. Like when the two of them shook a bag of frozen raspberries over the rug, stomped on them then jumped on the couch with pink-stained feet. To calm down, I took a deep breath, snapped a mental picture and reminded myself that it’s just another memory made.
I found the combo of a newborn and toddler much more stressful than I anticipated. I had to let go of so many expectations as I was trying to keep up with my work and social commitments. As soon as I acknowledged it was all a bit much, I felt way better and just accepted that being a calm mum was the most important priority.
I play upbeat music when we’re at home. The kids and I are always happier for it and they always snap out of a mood or tantrum if Mum starts doing her silly dance! Humour tends to defuse most stressful situations with the kids and it always makes me feel awesome that they think I’m hilarious when I’m really not that funny.
Three mama mantras
With Abbylee Bonny, yoga teacher, founder of H+H Lifestyle and mum to Cassius, 2
The first year was the most challenging thing I have ever done. I set myself up with three Mama Mantras to help me get through the early days of parenting.
There is no underestimating the power of breath. The ability to come back to your breath is something you have with yourself 24/7. There are many times I had to leave Cassius to just breathe before I lost it. Coming back to simple inhalations and exhalations, making them long, strong and mindful for 10 breaths or even a minute, has helped me get through many unhappy mama scenarios.
I am enough
Probably the most common thing that makes me feel unhappy or unfulfilled is the idea that I am not enough. Being a mama takes a lot of time and effort. As long as I remind myself that I am enough, I feel like an empowered woman and mama.
How easy it is to get wrapped up in an argument and hold a grudge, even with a 1-year-old? So it’s important to me to ‘choose kissing’, always! When I’m angry or upset with Cas’ behaviour I come back to the fact that I love kissing and I will always choose it over fighting.
To be doing what I am today is a dream come true. It all started when I was 12 years old. I was watching TV after school one day and Jamie Oliver was cooking up a storm on The Naked Chef.