We are the face of motherhood: A series on

We are the face of motherhood: A series on

wearetheface

Here’s a little back story about my post for you

When I was asked to be a part of  We are the face of motherhood: A series on Postpartum Depression‘ organised by the amazing Jamie from Mommy in Flats I panicked a little. It was a no-brainer really, of course I will always say a big fat yes to raising awareness and ending the stigma surrounding postpartum/postnatal depression and anxiety but I got a little nervous that I wouldn’t have much to say because I realised suddenly that things were good. Things were finally feeling really, really good. In fact, I considered that perhaps I had bested the beast once and for all, and that I wouldn’t be lost in the darkness again. Ha! Life loves to remind me that when you have kids you don’t get to be in control of something like that, so after a while of living in blissful ignorance I got the sharp reminder that I needed and out came my post.

Enjoy,

Carmen xx

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Through My Eyes – Mykayla

Through My Eyes – Mykayla

Dear Husband,

I’m sorry I’m feeling depressed today. I know it’s hard for you to come home from work and understand why. I don’t mean to expose it so much because I know you don’t understand.

I’m sorry I yell when you ask what’s wrong. I don’t know how to word what I feel sometimes. It’s not as black and white as you’d like it to be. It’s grey. It’s so grey. Read more

Through My Eyes – Jess B.

Through My Eyes – Jess B.

What mental health concerns have you come up against? Are they yours or a family members?

I have lived with depression since I was about 13 and anxiety since childhood. I have also experienced PND after the birth of my first child.

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Through My Eyes – Sharon

Through My Eyes – Sharon

Donning my perpetual fury

Preparing for an empty day

My son the only jury

Not even he is able to sway

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Love is…

Love is…

Love is perfectly rapping a completely inappropriate Eminem song from your teen years, totally in sync.

Love is letting your partner have the only towel left after you were too lazy to do a load or three of laundry.

Love is not asking where that receipt came from.

Love is sharing a smirk when a song with a private memory comes on.

Love is offering to change the baby’s nappy. The baby who is being reintroduced to lactose, and really probably shouldn’t be.

Love is going out into the thundering storm to save the pram from running away because you know your partner would sob if it was lost. It’s practically an extension of you at this point.

Love is cooking salmon for your partner even though you hate the smell and the taste, and you have no idea how to cook the little pink blob.

Love is having inside jokes that would sound absolutely ludicrous to everyone else.

Love is not pointing out how terribly mismatched the kids outfits are, because your partner is so proud of their styling efforts.

Love is accepting your partners family as your own, genuinely loving them and considering them just as important as the family you were born into.

Love is understanding that some days (most days) your partner makes zero sense. Their crying makes no sense. Their anger makes no sense. Their brain makes no sense. That’s ok, you’ll help them make sense of it.

Love is listening to ‘The Sound of Silence’ on repeat because it makes your partner smile. Even if it is making you want to shove something sharp and pointy into your brain just to get a break from hearing it.

Love is getting up in the middle of the night to hang the washing out because you know if your partner doesn’t have their ‘sucky-innny things’ clean and dry and ready to work hard holding in all those rolls they may just lay in bed in the foetal position and refuse to be seen by the general public.

Love is when your partner climbs into bed and snuggles into you and you do everything in your power to ignore your brain screaming ‘I just don’t want to be touched anymore today, I’m all touched out!’

Love is not pointing out that the number on the scales is going up, and instead making some smooth remark about it needing new batteries.

Love is telling your partner you’re totally into the sexy bald look and genuinely growing to love it, because you love them.

Love is letting your partner squeeze that huge zit on your back because you know they’re some sort of freak who finds pus fascinating.

Love is having late night showers in the dark together, no funny business, no talking, just enjoying the quiet and each other’s company.

Love is holding hands while you walk through the mall, reminding each other that you have a lifeline, an anchor. Even though your mind might be shaking with anxiety over how you’re possibly going to afford the new school shoes that are needed, you know you’re not in it alone.

Love is not always romantic walks on the beach, or long, latenight phone calls from under the doona where your parents won’t hear you.

Love is not always flowers, and chocolates, and jewellery.

Love is not always a handwritten note, sometimes it’s typed.

I love you.

Through My Eyes – Jess

Through My Eyes – Jess

 

“Because she is my mum, and I love her”

My story is not like everyone else’s. I know total cliché line to open with. It is something, that I have learnt to accept and I am very open with. To tell my story I need to also tell my mums.
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Babies, Onesies, and Emergencies

Babies, Onesies, and Emergencies

What a weekend! 

Firstly, we have some news to share. Our family has grown! Meet Zoey (the furry one, not the pyjama-clad one). Zoey is an 8 week old Staffy X and one of hubbies 30th birthday presents. She was a complete surprise, very deserved for my incredible husband. Just as expected, he is smitten – though I think Zoey considers Marky to be her main human.

Zoey and #biggestlittle
Such a tough life…

Last night I went on a date with my bestie. We had pedicures, ate too much, smuggled perfectly innocent alcohol-free orange juice into the movie theatre… and bought onesies (from the kids section at K-Mart and they totally fit!)

Twinsies in onesies #slay
Totally innocent OJ…I swear…

We saw Beauty and the Beast and it was AMAZING. I couldn’t fault it in the slightest. The original songs were honoured perfectly, the new songs were full of heart, and Emma Watson has just reinforced her role as the star of my #womancrushwednesday. It was everything, do yourself a favour and go!

Unfortunately the buzz of last night had to end this morning when I ended up in hospital with #middlelittle after he managed to break into our medicine box. Thankfully he is ok. He had a rough morning, but it seems he got lucky and the only tablet he may have swallowed was a Cold and Flu. He was quite drowsy, and at the same time super silly so the Doctors were confident of the cause.

In good spirits

He’s had blood tests, power spews, and horrible charcoal medicine (which sure made the spews interesting!) He is now finally resting after a big morning. We will have to stay until 1930 because one of the tablets he may have had is a slow release, lasting 12 hours.

Relaxing with his Transformer

We’ve always been very careful with medications, I even clean them out 3 monthly and date the last check on a little slip in the box. Unfortunately it seems we need to reconsider our current practice and change things to increase safety.  I hope that this urges everyone reading to run a safety check on theirs too!

You are getting sleepy…sleeeepy

Well, as my little man rests blissfully in dreamland I will take this opportunity to rest myself. I’m looking forward to our hospital visit being over so I can have a healthy bub, a long, hot shower, and a real cup of coffee.

Finally resting his sweet little head
That staycation Vibe

That staycation Vibe

This weekend marked a new experience for me – my very first ‘Staycation’. For those who aren’t familiar with the term it quite simply means you have a vacation but you stay close to the home.

When you’re a parent sometimes you just need to check out of reality and escape to a place of bliss and relaxation. Going away isn’t always an option so why not take advantage of what your home town has to offer?

My staycation was spent primarily at the Vibe Hotel near Canberra Airport and I spent my time with one of my very favourite people, my best friend Bec. Now let me preface this post by saying that I was not sponsored by anyone or anything mentioned (totally my loss!) everything I say is my honest opinion.

Vibe Hotel Canberra

When we arrived we were greeted warmly by the reception staff and they were quick to get us checked in. Thank goodness, we were obviously exhausted after our long journey (a 20 minute drive)! We were presented with two room key cards, a bottle of wine, and our parking ticket (parking was an extra $14 which is a bit of a bummer when you’re already paying for the room, but that was a tiny tiny negative that would soon be well and truly outweighed by the positive).

After we finished checking-in we took a moment to fully appreciate the stunning architecture and interior design work that surrounded us. I don’t think a hotel has ever blown me away quite like Vibe did. I mean, I have a sore neck from looking up in awe for so long!

Looking up is an experience all of its own
Sitting at the bar, surrounded by glamour
 

Stunning from the moment you walk in

We may have gone a little crazy with the camera, but we were power-hungry with no children demanding that we ‘take a photo of me mummy’. That, and everything was so incredible that we just wanted to soak it up and make those memories.

The first thing we did when we entered our room was run around like giddy teenagers. There were selfies, bed-dives, and toilet breaks without a single child handing us toilet paper. The room was incredible. The beds were inviting and super comfortable, the shower head could convince me to leave my husband and run away with it, and the view of the airport was awesome – and we did not hear a single airplane the whole time we were there so the sound-proofing worked perfectly!

I will say though, as beautiful as the bathroom was, the half-wall made it a little awkward at times. My friend isn’t obligated to put up with my post-childbirth, post-weightloss, melted-human candle body like my husband is. I’m sure she saw more than she bargained for.

The beds that we immediately jumped on
The only-slightly-awkward half bathroom wall
Obligatory loo shot, we went in there sans children! #keepthedreamalive
It’s a shame the shower head was too big to sneak home in my bag
Gorgeous vanity, complete with delicious shower products

After the reality of being alone (read: child and husband free) had sunk in we got changed and made our way to the gym. Oh my giddy aunt, I would spend all my time in the gym if it was that one. For the most part we had it to ourselves, and we took advantage of it, trying out all the machines, enjoying the view, and taking even more selfies because there were skinny mirrors everywhere. No Target mirrors at Vibe!

 

Staying healthy, even on staycation
Working on the guns
Exercise doesn’t have to be serious business all the time!

After we were finished doing the grown-up thing by working out we took the obvious next steps – showered, changed, and stuffed our faces with burgers at Treehouse. And I mean stuffed, they were huge. And delicious. It’s one of those meals that make me wish I could temporarily reverse the gastric sleeve surgery because it was just so delicious that I wanted to keep eating it! I don’t think Bec was hating the wine either, considering how quickly two glasses went down!

Delicious food at Treehouse in the city
Mouthwatering burgers
 

When we had sufficiently stuffed our faces (no really, I got the hiccups because I ate too much), we made our way back to Vibe and stopped in at the incredible bar on the ground floor. A knowledgeable, friendly, and extremely helpful gentleman by the name Pawan served us, and while Pawan and Bec talked wine I succeeded in downing the first of (too) many perfectly mixed vodka and OJ’s – my first drink in four years (thanks to pregnancy and breastfeeding)! 

We honestly had absolutely no bad experiences when it came to customer service at Vibe. The staff were all super friendly, and efficient, and they knew what they were talking about. Even the room-service staff that delivered more drinks and a scrumptious Affetatti Plate to us later in the evening, a young lady who I affectionately nicknamed ‘Non-Steve’ (I was three drinks in, sorry!) was so lovely that I wish I had grabbed her real name! She was fantastic! We just can’t fault anyone!

Bec being spoilt for choice
Signing our worries away at the bar
Rebecca said this wine that was recommended by Pawan was incredible
Room service!

The rest of the night was spent in our room where each of us were treated to a luxurious massage with the smooth sound of Michael Buble in the background, and then we channelled Shrek in our avocado and oat face masks. We even threw in some drunk yoga for kicks! Add-in a good old fashioned D&M and our evening was complete, and absolutely perfect.

Friends who mask together, stay together
The drinks were going down smoothly

The next morning after a quiet coffee in bed we ventured down to the buffet and let the amazing food wash away all the fuzzy feeling from too many drinks.

Continental breakfast – there were many more options of course, including breads, croissants, fruits, yoghurt, juices, tea, and coffee
Vibe just absolutely blows me away – this is the view from the top floor

I sat and contemplated the incredible healing that the weekend had performed. Every parent deserves a break from the norm. A time to reflect, and relax, and rejuvenate. A time to act like a teenager with no responsibilities, a time to drink a little too much, a time to talk about the things that really matter, and a time to completely switch off.

A time to truly be themselves, and to have that be enough, because they don’t need to be what anyone else needs them to be.

A luxury resort in a faraway land may not always be an option, but luxury can be found close to home, so try a staycation and melt away in the moments.

Announcements and Acceptance

Announcements and Acceptance

I’m the kind of person that likes to ugly cry over YouTube videos of pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, adoptions, soldiers returning home, and people coming out.

I spent the majority of last nights ‘avoid bed because I want to have some childfree down-time’ period watching the last one. For the most part people coming out to their friends and families ended in a positive way, with unconditional love. The last one I just watched was the exact opposite and involved abuse in several forms of the word.

So if the world has failed and not met my expectations, and people are still having to specifically announce their sexual orientation if it strays from the ‘norm’, I want to declare my thoughts in regards to my children, right here, right now.


Forever, my love.


My darling child,

If you are reading this then I can only hope we have the kind of relationship that I am currently working towards building. If I’ve done my job right you won’t even need this, but I want there to be no doubt, or fear, or shame.

I need you to know that I love you. I love you for your incredible soul, for changing my life, for giving me the honour of being your mother.

I need you to know that my love for you is unconditional. It will not waver. It will not falter. It will not change. 

I need you to know that the most important thing to me is that you are happy, and healthy, and that you know how incredible you are.

I need you to know that you are free. Free to love whoever, free to be whatever, free to journey wherever (but please don’t go too far for too long, I’m still your mum and I still want you close).

I need you to know that you don’t need to tell me your sexual orientation, it’s not something that requires clarification (I never told you that I’m straight #sorrynotsorry).

I need you to know that I love you. I love you with my entire being. You are a part of me. You’re a horcrux (if you don’t know what that is, kick my ass for not teaching you about Harry Potter).

Your daddy, your brothers, and I love you. We love you. But you already know this, because we tell you all the time. 

I know that this letter isn’t needed, because I will spend every day of my life ensuring that you know of my unconditional love, but just in case you have any doubts there in the future, now you know. I am confident enough in my love, that I can declare it now, knowing that it won’t have changed by the time you read this.

Be yourself. Be your amazing, wonderful self. Because I know you, in your most innocent and pure form and you, my darling, are incredible.

I love you,

Mum x

Adultier Love

Adultier Love

Darling husband

I love you, but I love you for different reasons now that we are actual adults, you know, adultier adults.

I love you when you change a nappy that smells like satans breath.

I love you when your muscles glisten with sweat as you Gumption away Mr 2’s latest wall art.

I love you when you cook different meals because one has to be gluten free and you don’t want to see your little man in pain (and up screaming all night).

I love you when you let me sleep in even though your eyes are hanging out, you keep forget the kids names, and you just tried to put a bib on the cat.

I love you when you talk me down from an anxiety attack. Most would run for the hills, or tell me to harden up, but you always know how to bring me down softly.

I love you when you wash every piece of linen we own after food poisoning has taken us out.

I love you when you tell me that you think I’m beautiful even when I haven’t showered for two days and I’m wearing your ratty old shirt and granny undies that are four sizes too big.

I love you when you go in to settle the terrors for the thirty-fourth time that night.

I love you when you speak up and say ‘I just can’t go back in there, they’ve broken me’ because we’re a team, and I’ve got you.


I love you when you read to our children. I know you don’t like reading. I know it makes you feel awkward and silly. You do it for them anyway.

I love you when you play computer games with a child on each knee. I love you when you teach the boys how to play and I love you when Mr 4 comes to teach me how to land an aircraft,because that’s all you.

I love you when you perfectly lip sync the ‘Trolls’ movie. I also cringe though, sorry.

I love you when you sing and dance while you clean, like a better-version of Tom Cruise with a symmetrical face and without Scientology.

I love you when you watch something boring or gross on Netflix and I end up watching Good Mythical Morning on my phone. Then you stop watching your zombie crap because GMM is more interesting, and we realise that we should have just put it on in the first place and agree not to let you choose anymore.

I love you when you shave for work every morning because you want to look professional, even though we both know at heart you’re a bearded beast.

I love you when you discipline the children so that I don’t have to (for the twenty third time).


I love you when you recognise that even though I will only be working once a week, that doesn’t make my work any less important to me than yours is to you.

I love you when you tell me to study. Even if I do spend most of the time doodling ‘my husbands a jerk because he’s making me study’. 

I love you when you talk about my grandfather. It kills me that our children didn’t get to meet him, but you did and you help me keep his memory alive.

I love you when you get home from work, tell me to go and have a rest, and brace yourself for the onslaught as three boys come flying at you from every direction and I run like I’m being chased by a mass murder.

I love you you get excited about me watching 50 Shades of Grey because you think that I’m going to come home wanting to pretend you’re Christian. Mate, it was one time.

I love you when you sleep walk. When you jump out of bed yelling at me to run because ‘they’re coming’. When you roll around the ground so ‘they’ don’t see you. When you laugh about it while I tell you of your adventures the next morning.

I love you for so many more reasons, but at least one child needs me so I have to leave it at that.

I love you. I just really, really love you. I love you so much I want to squish your cheeks and never let you go. 

I love you more, but I love you differently.

I love you for the gross things, the boring things, the necessary things, the real things.

I love you for navigating your way through this ridiculous, crazy, life with me. 

I love you.

We all want to smother you with kisses