Category Archives: Uncategorized

We’re Moving…

were moving pic

Pandora Parent Group is moving! After careful consideration of parent needs, we will hold our next meeting at the Reef Point Cafe on Redcliffe Parade! Please spread the word far and wide so everyone who comes knows where we will be!

We’d like to extend our thanks to the Belvedere Hotel for welcoming us into their lounge each month over the past few years.  Our move to Reef Point Cafe will allow us to feel comfortable in a warm and embracing environment, filled with cakes and tea and most importantly… coffee!

We expect there might be a couple of teething issues (pardon the pun), but all the way through we’d love you to keep communicating to us about what would make your experience more enjoyable.  Please be patient with us as we adapt to our new location and find ways to make everyone comfortable.

Contact us here if you have any questions or concerns!

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When it’s not enjoyable

I wanted to write this because for some of us it’s a living nightmare of truth.  I know it’s something we don’t want to think about because as a society we have the expectation that everything should be dreamy when you have a baby, but sometimes it’s not.  In fact, for those of you who are suffering from sleep deprivation, dreams might be on your mind but you might never have the chance to have one!  I only hope this post brings support and understanding without judgement.

I, like many mums, thought that having a baby would be challenging but a generally positive experience.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my baby.  However, post-natal depression and anxiety aside, the sleep deprivation and constant boredom really left its mark on me.  I would wake throughout the night, wondering what I’d done to deserve the baby who never slept (I know you think I’m joking but ‘never’ is reality, he napped intermittently throughout every 24 hour period), and started most days in the first year of his life at 3am.  Apart from feeling like I’d been run over by a bus due to ‘tiredness’ (there really needs to be another word for the kind of tired mums experience), I was sad that I’d lost my life.  I felt like I’d ruined my life, my marriage and my family (two older step children in our lovely family) by bringing a screaming, crying, needy baby into our previously happy lives.

Every day felt like Ground Hog Day, but in super slow-mo.  People would tell me the days were long but the years were short – but how could I understand that sense of time when every minute felt like an hour?  Time meant nothing except that it was ever-present, and I needed time and space away from my baby to rekindle any hope that I still existed somewhere in my exhausted body.  My obstetrician told me I’d be a husk by the end of my parenting experience – he was right.

I tried everything to help our lives return to whatever our new normal would be, but I saw frustration in my husband’s eyes at arriving home from a hard day at work to a mess of a wife with a still-crying baby.  For those of you who might feel like this, I get it.  I know that it might be the tiniest bit of solace that someone else experienced a version of what you’re going through.  However, I know that it gets easier.  Not necessarily better, because the fatigue takes time to recover from.  But it becomes easier as you return to work, as you hire a nanny for an hour a week, as you realise bub slept for 20 minutes more today, and as you find the new things that make you feel better.

If you need to talk to someone, think you need help with something or want to agree please comment or leave a comment on the Facebook page.

Potty Training Our Way

It’s been two months since our little man has started potty training.  Prior to starting, I did a lot of research and looked into different methods for toilet training, including the well known 3 day method.  Click here to visit my account of how we trained our son.  If you have questions or comments please comment on the post, with respect to others making comments.

Message from My Husband

This is a post I want to have ‘go viral.’  Why?  Because for the first time in a really, really long time, I finally understand what my husband sees.  After years of being anxious and depressed after the birth of my son, I’ve just started to feel better.  Routinely, my husband has sent me articles to read about zen, being calm, anxiety, breathing, love and parenting. Most of them I read in a sleep deprived haze, taking some of the information in and leaving some of it on the page.

Last week he sent me a post about how women need to look after themselves to be themselves.  Women were said, in this article, to lose themselves to motherhood and struggle to regain themselves, thereby leaving their husbands wishing for the woman that was.  For years, I’ve told my husband, “It’s never going to be the way it was,” because I really thought that I’d never be the same again.

He also sent me an article about how guys don’t see the same things women see.  We see lumps and bumps, marks and scars, that they, according to the article, don’t see.  I’m not overweight, but my body has changed after having my boy.  When I look in the mirror, I see a fuller tummy than I used to have, puckered skin that used to be taught and bits that are bigger than they were before I had my son.

This morning, as my husband prepared for work, I hugged him the bathroom.  His back to the mirror, he said the most important words I’ve heard in a really long time, through countless appointments with social workers, psychologists and counsellors.  The conversation went like this:

“You’re so beautiful.”

“Am I?  All I see is fat.”

“Then you’re not looking in the right places.”

Let me repeat, “Then you’re not looking in the right places.”  Simply:  look elsewhere for what makes you beautiful.

Messages from Parents

Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking about the types of messages parents send their children.  Messages that end up shaping a child’s future values and sense of responsibility.  I was taught from another mum before I even had my baby that it’s important to acknowledge my child’s requests.  I know sometimes my baby, now toddler, asks for things I can’t give him, or won’t give him.  I explain why and bear the brunt of his reaction, which is often negative, as you might expect.  Other times, my toddler asks for something that I can give him.  Even if it takes a little longer to make my way out the door because he wants to wear his other shoes, it’s not so bad and we avoid a tantrum.  The message of being heard.

I try to encourage my boy to use ‘his gentle hands,’ as they say at daycare, and be kind to his siblings and friends.  It’s difficult to teach him to share, but I know he will learn with time and patience on my part.  The message of being kind.  When he needs help, I ask him, ‘Do you need some help?’ and encourage him to hear the same (as he can’t say it yet) for his siblings, friends and father.  ‘Daddy needs some help, can you help him by putting that in the bin please?’  The message of compassion.

Before I had my boy I said I would be strict, so he would behave.  Since I’ve learned more about parenting, including information from some parenting courses like The Circle of Security, which we will hear more about at this month’s meet, I’ve changed my mind.  I try not to let my boy ‘get away with’ too much.  However, instead of chastising him when he’s been naughty and ignoring him upon his return, I teach him that he did the wrong thing and explain why.  When he comes to me, I reiterate my point and ask if he’s ready to say sorry.  He doesn’t understand the words or why yet, but one day he will.  When he does, he will have learned the messages of humility, sorrow and forgiveness.

Most importantly, through all of the lessons, I hope my boy will learn that I love him, no matter what.  You can’t teach love.  You can only practice it.  I hope that by listening, helping, being gentle and caring, forgiving and compassionate, my child will learn he is unconditionally loved.  Who else better to teach him than his parents?  The ones who’ve been there from before the beginning.

~~~

What messages are you sending your child?  This year, I will be writing a short children’s book with messages from mummy.  If you’d like your message included, please contact me at pandoraparentgroup@gmail.com.  The book will be released for Mother’s Day and will be available as an e-book for 99cents or as a paperback at a price yet to be determined.

Dear Mummy and Daddy…

Sometimes it’s hard to remember our little ones will only be little for a short while.  When the days are long and the hours seem longer, it’s a struggle to step back and realise only too soon they will be all grown up.

My recent post at Melissa Bailey Creations is a letter from baby to parents helping mum and dad realise just that.  It won’t be long before your little ones are actually eating their food, off a plate no less, sitting at the table.  Not too far away, you’ll see them walk and run, jump and play.  They’ll share and be kind and considerate (until they’re teenagers).

Down the track not long into the distance, they’ll want your love but not your cuddles.  Your thoughts and not your actions.

Love your little ones, for it won’t be long until you’re loving your big ones!