This precious little boy was the perfect muse for my first time having a crack at some real kind of photography. Thank you Tana, and Mama. I think I may have found a new passion. I have been obsessed with capturing tiny baby details since realising I missed capturing them with Veyda. I feel like now I can capture these moments for others, so that they can forever be reminded of their baby’s tiny features.
So, I did it. I spent four days and nights away from #mumlife. It went quicker than I’d like to admit, but it gave me time to think and recharge, something us mums don’t always get time to do. I got to sit down and eat a breakfast out of the house without aggressively throwing half the menu at a tiny dictator in hopes that she’d sit still and let me finish my food. I got to dawdle… That’s right, dawdle. I was in no rush to go or do anything. I got to sleep… well kind of alright my mum snores so it was almost the same amount of broken sleep, and I had ear plugs in. I mean hey we can’t win it all.
The day I left, poor Stuart had to drag Veyda out kicking and screaming because it was past her bed time and we wouldn’t let her keep my mums boarding pass (how mean). Stuart and quote “Looked like I was abducting her”. So, I went upstairs to have a drink to feel better about that tantrum he had to deal with.
Getting on the plane felt surreal, I kept thinking I was forgetting something and then I’d have to remember that I had purposely left my extra 10kg of walking talking carry on in Perth. I didn’t have to attach that stupid infant seat belt and for the first time in almost two years I got to actually enjoy in-flight entertainment without anyone pulling my ear phones out or trying to escape the plane. This just goes to show how much as parents we really do enjoy the simple things, I mean I hadn’t even landed in Adelaide and I was already so relaxed.
We arrived and were greeted by a chauffeur that a friend of my mums had organsied. Is there any other way to be greeted other than a nice drive in a Chrysler to your Airbnb?
We did a wine tour in the Barossa Valley (my first, I’m now an expert in fine wine), and we went and saw Birds of Tokyo and Bon Jovi in concert! Great experiences. I’ve never seen my mum happier.
It got to about day two and I was asking Stuart for Veyda updates and more pictures, and then every toddler I’d see I’d feel a twinge of guilt or just overwhelmingly miss her. I honestly wasn’t sure I’d feel these things, I’m not sure what I thought I’d feel. Stuart kept me up to date with their activities and her poop schedule (I mean what else do you love being updated on?). It’s funny I actually felt excluded at some point, it was so weird, I had FOMO. I loved my quiet mornings, and if I’m honest since being back my first morning I was very intolerant to the noise.
The days just went so quick, sometimes I felt like maybe I wasn’t taking advantage of everything. Then I got this frantic feeling when it was the night before I left, like NOOOO I’M NOT READY I CAN’T LEAVE, DON’T MAKE ME LEAVE! You know? Like fight or flight? Obviously, I had to choose flight. Damn it.
When I got back Veyda wouldn’t kiss or cuddle me, punishing me for leaving her maybe?It bloody hurt my feelings. I felt victimised by a 21 month old. But then we spent an hour and a half at a café snuggling and colouring in and I realized that… She was fine! No permanent damage to her development because I spent four days away. But I swear she had changed so much. Maybe it was just things I didn’t notice because I’m with her all the time.
Since being back I’ve felt more at ease, more loving and more patient. Things I’ve really needed to improve on. It’s not to say I’ll be in this state forever but it’s definitely nice to know I am capable of improving on them. It also goes to show that parents really do need breaks from their day to day life, I think it’s so important. I realized that I’m still a person without Veyda, I’m still funny without her, I’m still me without her, which is something I wasn’t sure I could be anymore. The extended time away was great, I’m not sure I’ll get to do it again anytime soon but it was definitely helpful. Now I’m excited for all the family time we get now that we’re heading into the Christmas period. This will be our first Christmas as a family in our home. I feel a sense of completion, like nothing is missing this year. I didn’t feel it before when I was stuck in my day to day routine, in some way I actually felt ungrateful. I don’t anymore.
When I moved to Perth the first thing I did was join a gym. It had a creche! That was a game changer. I felt so free, I didn’t have to wait for Veyda to fall asleep. I didn’t have to dread looking at my phone in case someone had messaged me telling me to come home because Veyda was awake.
Let me just talk about my diet quickly.
In all honesty my diet has never been great, I would go from starving myself because I couldn’t be bothered making something, to eating a whole pizza and cheesy garlic bread.
But because I worked out I was and am able to keep a steady weight. It was a wayward deficit I call it. Sometimes I beat myself up about what I could look like if I actually put some effort into my diet, But, then I remind myself that it is OKAY. I’ve considered bikini comps and one day I’d love to just to see what I’m capable of but right now I just don’t think I’m in the right mind set.
I started to get bored with just the gym, so when a friend invited me to play netball I couldn’t have been more excited! Something new! I hadn’t played since high school!
So now I was gyming most days and playing netball twice a week. I was having so much fun, my diet was still so-so. But still every time I went to the gym or netball it was because I wanted a break from the mum life, I wanted to think about something else other than changing baby, feeding baby, keeping baby happy. Not once did the thought of how many calories I’ve burnt run through my mind as I was going up and down a court. Then I found a pole course with my friend! We do that twice a week and it’s honestly the most fun thing I’ve ever done! I can see how the gym is paying off through my achievements in pole. So, as you can see I’m extremely active! But none of it feels like a chore! It’s productive time away from Veyda, and these days dropping her off to the creche doesn’t always feel like I’m trying to get away from her, I feel more relaxed, plus she loves hanging out with other kids. In the beginning I was desperate for time away because I was drowning in motherhood, but these days I’m not trying to escape her anymore, and I feel better for it.
I just want people to see that not all fitness journeys are about weight loss and having an 8 pack, 6 months after giving birth (not that there is anything wrong with that). My fitness journey is about creating a strong mind as well as a strong body. Skinny is out of fashion finally! Being strong in any way, is where it’s at! Strength comes in many forms! Someone who is skinny is not necessarily strong and someone who is bigger is not necessarily unhealthy or weak. This is the difference I want to make clear. Going to the gym every day to lose weight is not everyone’s MO anymore.
If you had of spoken to me when I was 15, that would have been a different story. God, I hated myself then. I had no understanding of healthy or fit. I thought running on the treadmill until I couldn’t feel my feet was what I had to do to look like a model. I wouldn’t eat at school because that wasn’t cool.
In year 12 there was a shift. Eating healthy became more of a trend, thanks to the wonderful world of Instagram, even going to the gym. My friends started bringing more salads in or sandwiches packed with goodness, slowly we all started to alter our lunches. I’m sure I wasn’t only one that noticed. Looking back, it was quite interesting. Then on weekends we’d all get blind drunk, but that’s another story.
Social media can be our best friend or it can be our worst enemy. As a new mum seeing all the celebrities bouncing back or just seeing beautiful made up women looking fabulous after babies can really bring you down if you’re not feeling confident in yourself. It’s completely normal. Our bodies have just changed completely, we look nothing like we did before falling pregnant, so of course we are going to be scared to look in the mirror. But getting to your goal weight or goal body takes so much time! It doesn’t happen overnight, I’m certainly not there. Even the “fitspos” took time to look how they do after babies, but they worked their asses off like everyone else. If you don’t believe me go check out Emily Skye, Revie Jane, Chontel Duncan and Tammy Hembrow, these women all have kids and they’re all a part of the fitness industry. Lipo or tummy tucks do not give you abs, you have to work for those regardless of who you are. I see so many people tearing them down for how they look after kids because it’s not “realistic” I’m tired of seeing it because it’s bull shit. They were working out before falling pregnant, they exercised during their pregnancies, and when they were given the all clear, they started to work out after. They are not exempt from doing everything else others do.
I saw a post not long ago of a mum bringing down other mums who were thin or toned after having kids saying that it’s not a real representation of postpartum motherhood. It’s bullshit because no one has the right to say what’s “real” or not for a mother’s postpartum journey.
Whether you’re tall, short, big or small there is no right way to look after babies because let’s face it no one in this world has the exact same body as anyone else. Some people can bounce back with little effort, some people can’t and some people aren’t worried about bouncing back at all because we’ve all just had babies! Don’t ever make someone feel guilty for how they look, because they are on their own journey, and so are you. I know I’m not alone in receiving these comments or looks, which is why I wrote this. No one is any better than anyone else because of how they do or don’t look.
So, after receiving quite a few questions in regards to my posts about using Itchy Baby Co products I decided to lay it all out for you guys and I have something very exciting to add as well!
I started noticing Veyda has red and itchy skin when she was about 3 or 4 months old, it was very unnerving to watch her scratch at herself and to watch the skin get more and more irritated.
I don’t suffer from eczema and neither did any of my siblings so I didn’t know much about it until my friend Tam had her first baby, Paige. That poor baby, they would have to wrap her up like a mummy and lather her in creams. Her skin would blister and she just seemed miserable. I had never seen anything like it. So, when Veyda started to develop rashes that’s all I could think about. I wondered if I had used the wrong creams to begin with and that set her off, I felt horrible. We started using creams like moogoo and soap free washes, and at first they helped a little but they didn’t really subside the itching or dull the redness.
Being in the Pilbara the water can be extremely hard on delicate skin so I had hoped that when we moved to Perth her skin would improve but unfortunately for some reason it got worse! It was red and raw and so very itchy! I felt for her and I could always hear her scratching through her baby monitor despite covering her hands.
As we all do these days, we scroll through social media and every now and again Itchy Baby Co would pop up! On the eczema threads that people would post someone would always mention it. On Instagram I’d see a post every now and again too. So, I started following them! I had just run out of our cream that we had been using (I can’t even remember the brand, there’s been that many), when I decided to just take the plunge and order a starter pack! It came in about a week and I was so excited! It included three different bath soaks, a face mask and a moisturiser, I couldn’t believe that I got all that for such an affordable price! Veyda had just woken up from her nap so I changed her nappy and applied the moisturiser cream straight away, it was like nothing I’ve ever tried! It was so different from normal moisturisers, and don’t even get me started on the smell, it’s delicious and not at all over powering like some creams can be.
I started by applying it at every nappy change just because she needed it, and within a week or so I only needed to apply it maybe every second or third nappy change and after her bath.
Now onto the bath soaks! They are so cool! They come with the cutest little wooden spoons (which I’ve now got a nice collection of), they don’t smell and they’re so calming, they also turn the water into a nice milky looking colour. Veyda loves to help put the soaks into the bath.
Our normal bath routine now consists of running that bath, I always make sure to have the water warm but not hot as I find that can irritate her skin more, and whilst it’s filling up I apply the face mask to her legs, ankles and arms as those are her most problem areas, we leave that on until the bath is up to our normal level and then Veyda helps me add two tea spoons of the bath soak into the bath, she then gets in the bath and we rinse off the mask and continue as normal. I don’t even use shampoo and conditioners for Veyda anymore as I find that just the soak alone and a face cloth is enough to get her nice and clean. I pat her dry and then we moisturise her from head to toe! It’s a great simple little routine and Veyda doesn’t complain about the massages at all!
I was getting through the pack quite well but found I was running out of the moisturiser so quickly, so I messaged the lovely Julia from Itchy Baby Co and she told me about a discount code that can get you three moisturisers and the fourth free! How good is that?! It’s so handy when you’re using it religiously. Use code “moisturiserfreebie” at check out when you have three moisturisers in your cart!
Since using Itchy Baby Co, Veyda itches less, she currently has no scabs or open sores, her skin is less red and most of all we have had the break outs under control since starting and being consistant.
Julia is a pharmacist of 15 years who has two young children so she gets what it’s like to try and tackle skin issues! I whole heartedly believe in this product and plan to use it for many years to come. If you would like to try this product I give you no better reason than to place an order now as she has so generously given me a 20% discount off her bath soaks and bath soak assortment packs which can really give you a great idea as to what the rest of the range is like! Use code “Veyda20” at check out! Make sure you tag Itchy Baby Co in all your stories as she loves to see what customers think!
I cannot thank Julia enough for always being kind and always helping to the best of her ability, her customer service is out of this world and so hard to find these days!
I feel like this has been coming for a while, I keep seeing so many posts and there are so many opinions out there and so much hate around the subject, and I’m prepared to get some interesting comments.
What are they meant to look like? Am I too fat? Am I too skinny? What do you and don’t you do? What do you eat? What programs do you follow? How do you get the motivation? Why don’t I look like Kendall Jenner?
Over the last 19 months and even when I was pregnant I’ve been called “skinny” and “lucky”. I’ve come to hate those words.
I’ve been made to feel guilty by other women because I’m not bigger and even because I have the time to go to the gym.
I have been asked countless times how I did it, what the secret is to bouncing back. Well, I’m about to tell you.
As people know I keep myself busy, by being active, being in the hospital made me feel so stuck and so lonely that when I left I couldn’t wait to get my body moving. I started walking a week after Veyda was born, not for very long as I was still recovering, but long enough so that I felt free from my confines. When I returned to Para it was just cooling down from the never-ending summers we have up there. So, the mornings were bliss! Since my mum had gone back to work I was stuck in the house all day everyday with nowhere to go (as are most mothers). So, I’d get up, get dressed and walk my 6kms every day. I wasn’t walking to lose weight, I was walking to escape my solitude. I walked so that I could talk to my best friend every day, I walked so that I could breathe fresh air, and occasionally swallow a fly. I breast fed Veyda, so to be honest the walk was the longest period of time that I didn’t have to hold her. It was amazing. I was dropping weight, and I felt better every time I looked in the mirror if I’m honest. I’m not telling you to walk 6kms a day to lose weight. I’m just being honest with how I got to where I am. My soul purpose was to have a freakin’ break.
When my walks would end I would make a smoothie bowl or just something light and fruity, purely because I knew it would make me feel good, and I was pretty hot after so I would want something cold. I don’t know if it was because I was breastfeeding or what but I just drank a shit tonne of water. Being in hospital after having Veyda, I had to keep my catheter in for a couple extra days. Know what I did? I drank a soooooo much water because for the first time in 38 weeks I didn’t have to waddle to the toilet after half a sip! It was amaaaazing.
As the weather got warmer my walks would dwindle. Did you know it’s possible to get heat stroke at 7am? It is.
I had been thinking about getting a gym membership for a while but my confidence would get in the way. I was scared people would look and I would look like an idiot trying to operate the leg press, or get crushed. The thought of walking in by myself scared the shit out of me. So, a friend invited me to go to the gym with her. I was so excited, we had so much fun! She made me feel confident and weights didn’t scare me so much! It wasn’t until I went to the Pink Ribbon dinner that I plucked up the courage to bid on a membership at the silent auction. It was in my price range, and I felt my confidence sky rocket. One thing did put a damper on my excitement… I had two women say to me “What are you bidding for, leave the membership for the people who need it, you’re skinny.” I know they meant it as an innocent joke but of course I took it to heart I’m a sensitive person, what do you want from me? Just because I was skinny didn’t mean I didn’t want to go to the gym and that I was less deserving. I had been walking for months, I wanted to see what I was capable of, I needed more than a walk or the odd gym session that my friend would sneak me in for, I wanted a challenge, I wanted more time to myself. So, of course, I won. Because as people know, I’m competitive as shiiiiit.
I would have to wait until Veyda would go to sleep at night, which would be anytime from 630-9pm. I would duck into mum’s room and whisper “She’s asleep, text me if she wakes up.” And off I’d go to the gym. I knew I’d have maybe an hour and a half until Veyda would wake. But I wanted the freedom bad enough that no matter what the time was I went.
When I first walked in, it was empty. I felt confident already, and I put my body to work, and I haven’t looked back.
I went to the gym to do something for myself, not because I wanted to look a certain way. Sure, I’d see pictures of girls with nice butts and I’d say to myself “Hmm maybe a couple of squats won’t hurt…” (They do by the way, but that booty poppin’) Being able to squat 100kg even for one rep is so empowering! For so long we’ve been told that weights are for men. Well, let me tell you, some women are proving that wrong! I worked out every day, because I LOVED IT! Not once did I feel obligated or like it was a chore. If you feel like working out feels like a chore, then I honestly don’t think you’re doing it for the right reasons. Because you “want to look like Kim Kardashian” is not a good enough reason. I won’t let anyone tell me otherwise. You need to dig a little deeper to find your real source of motivation, otherwise you’re fighting an uphill battle.
This week has been completely different from the last. I found myself smiling more, reaching out more, planning days out that didn’t feel like burdens. The heavy weight in my chest wasn’t constantly weighing me down. I was able to laugh things off, I didn’t give certain looks or comments from other people a second thought. Not much kept me up.
I found myself staring at Veyda for long periods of time, just marveling in her and her personality, the way she stacked her cups or pretended to feed her dolls. Something I hadn’t found myself doing since she was a baby. I felt excited to be around her and I missed her when we were apart. I felt connected to her again and it’s made me so happy.
I’ve started setting goals again, looking into pathways into Uni, mapping out plans for the future. I feel excitement. But I also feel a lot of fear. How long will this feeling last? Will this coming week be an uphill battle again? What’s going to trigger me? Nothing really feels solid for me these days, I could turn a corner and crumble or I could fail miserably and feel joy. I’m not sure why it all has to be so complicated but I suppose it’s all part of the journey.
As a family we were able to connect more on the weekend. There were less arguments and things just seemed to flow. It was beautiful. When I have weeks like this it motivates me to keep up with what I am doing, but it can also add pressure, like if I was to have a meltdown because I couldn’t quite get everything I planned on doing, done then I would feel like a failure and lose my momentum. This is something I’m trying to break. I just want to keep on keepin’ on. But farrrr out it’s hard to manage sometimes. But I really need to start calling a win a win. Without adding the “but”. I need to take that win and run with it, stop finding something wrong with everything and accept the imperfection.
It’s been a relief to just have a break form being so miserable, I have so much more energy and patience. I feel passionate and loving. I don’t feel so alone at the moment. I’m going to write down some affirmations for the week to come, I need something to remind me to stay positive and take a step back to enjoy. It can feel silly looking at yourself in the mirror and reciting “I am beautiful, I am strong and I am not failing.” But I swear it helps. I am worthy of feeling those three things, so I’m going to continue to remind myself.
I am beautiful, I am strong and I am not failing.