A Tricky Parenting Secret

Do you want to know a tricky wee parenting secret? After three years of being a mama with a chronic illness, it’s just dawned on me…A Tricky Parenting Secret

It doesn’t take as much as you think to make a nice day for your kids.

Take a day recently as an example, I’m exhausted and my pain levels have been creeping up thanks to the baby waking up to six times a night. We went to church (with a baby and a three year old, it’s not so peaceful anymore) got frustrated with Nu not being quiet. We’re not crazy, we know he can’t sit quietly for just over an hour. But not yelling would be great.

Back at home, he was frustrating us, we were feeling cabin fever but also the weight of the incomplete housework (sorry our bathroom gets cleaned fortnightly now eek). Baby wasn’t playing ball with the napping. I was so tired I felt sick.

But we decided to go out. I wanted to be tired and sore out, instead of tired and sore at home. So we bundled into the car, drove half an hour, of which the baby slept 25 minutes (he’s a chronic catnapper) and visited a nice beach with a park. Parking was difficult, we got a 30 minute park, unbundled and faced the cold but beautiful scene. Nu happily rode his scooter up and down the beach, baby watched. On the way home we stopped for chocolate sundaes at a special chocolate cafe.

Nu was difficult to keep occupied as we waited for our order. He was loud on the drive home.

But at the end of the day, as I remembered how frustrating it was to wrangle Nu and the overtired baby and my own issues. While admitting I had a nice time. Nu remembered a great day. He had fun. He remembered the scooter, the birds, the swing, the chocolate sundaes. And our photos look so great.

All it took was a park and a treat. And I managed to give that to him (granted, with Husband’s help) despite pain levels of 5/10 and fatigue levels up the whop.

It is a timely reminder as I worry about my lack of energy and time. As I worry that I don’t have enough to split between two kids. But I do. I continually find reserves I didn’t know I had, for their sakes. And my little efforts to keep Nu occupied pay off.

On days where we’re housebound by baby and pain levels, Nu is just as happy to bake (he loves to stir!) and colour, an ride his digger (as long as I’m watching!) and snuggle while watching a movie.

So now my definition of a successful day is when I ask Nu, “did you have a nice day?” And he responds with an emphatic yes!

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Nu loved his chocolate sundae!

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Turning 30 and a Trip

To celebrate my thirtieth birthday, my husband, son and I went away to Hamilton (New Zealand) for a few days. It was something I have been looking forward to for months.

Hamilton is an inland city surrounded by many farming areas with warm days and cold nights. I was born there and my family lived there for about two and a half years. It feels a bit like an anchor point for me. My Maori mihi grounds me in my land (Hamilton), my mountain (Taupiri) and my river (the mighty Waikato river).

Me at the Hamilton Gardens

Me at the Hamilton Gardens

On the way down we visited my Dad’s oldest brother and family. Once we arrived we explored the stunning Hamilton Gardens. My husband loves taking photos, so we posed for a fair few.

On our second day we were at the Hamilton Zoo bright and early, my son and I adore animals so we had a blast. With the animals fresh from a night away from the humans, we were lucky to see most of them wandering about. Nu especially loves birds.

Just Nu, me and some birdsTwo lovely ladies that I worked with a few years ago live in Hamilton now, so we visited them after Nu’s nap. I felt so special, they had prepared afternoon tea, dinner, dessert and a cake!

On the last morning, I did something very special, I made myself ride a horse. I have been scared of these giant, mostly gentle, creatures since an incident at a petting zoo in preschool! I met the most fantastic horse and his team at the Pirongia Clydesdales and we took a few turns in the garden. Me and my new friend

While we were away, we kept to usual (early) bedtimes due to Nu and I performed a body scan meditation each day. On the way home I was not feeling particularly well, so I performed a body scan meditation and sat quietly with my eyes closed for most of the trip.

The fatigue flared up and I had to leave work early on the first day back. Each day since, I have progressively become a bit less fatigued. It is different for the fatigue to be the most dominant symptom, though my neck joined in on the third day. I have mindfully taken it gently.

I am feeling spectacularly blessed, it was an ideal way to sail into my thirties. I look forward to many more experiments, more fun, more challenges and more love. x

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Some Fun with the A to Z Survey

I found this on Counting My Spoons, who in turn found it on another blog; this survey seems to have done the rounds a fair way around the Internet world. So, just for fun, I have filled it in. 
 
A to Z Survey

A – Age: 29
B – Biggest Fear: Hopelessness and that my symptoms would worsen to the point that I couldn’t even attempt a “normal” life.
C – Current Time: 11.30am
D – Drink You Had Last: A coffee using my Nespresso machine with Chai spices thrown in.
E – Easiest Person To Talk To: My husband and the middle of my brothers.
F – Favorite Song: If That’s What it Takes by Celine Dion.
G – Grossest Memory: Fresh in my mind! My son and I are down with a bad cold at the moment and he keeps coughing until he gags. A few nights ago he actually vomited, over me, him, his cot and the floor. I took off his clothes, my dressing gown and then he puked again. Off went the last of the clothes and we had to clean up orange/red (he’d had pasta and sauce for dinner) vomit with a very upset baby.
H – Hometown: Born in Hamilton, New Zealand. We moved down to Hastings and then to Wellington for 20 years and then up to Auckland. I consider Wellington my hometown, despite never wanting to live there again!
I – In Love With: My baby boy. My husband. My dog.

J – Jealous Of: People who can go to sleep and wake up refreshed.
K – Kindest Person You Know: My husband.
L – Longest Relationship: My husband and I have been together for two years, this is the only relationship that counts, it’s forever 🙂
M – Middle Name: Nicole.
N – Number of Siblings: Four!
O – One Wish: To be healed of the pain and fatigue.
P – Person You Spoke To On The Phone Last: My mum.
Q – Question You’re Always Asked: “You don’t work full time?” Mostly by people who have no idea that chronic pain and fatigue make living tough enough, but to do it and be a good mama is even harder, then to add more than 20 hours of work – no thanks!
R – Reason To Smile: My baby. Even thinking about him makes me grin.
S – Song You Last Sang: “Here I am, Lord” the last of the four songs I always sing to my son when he is getting ready to go to sleep.
T – Time You Woke Up: 7.30am
U – Underwear Color: Black.
V – Vacation Destination: Doable and planned: Tauranga, New Zealand (my nana is there). Potentially doable but on the long-term list: Europe. Most dreamed of: Somewhere warm with a spa!
W – Worst Habit: Pushing on when I know my energy levels are gone and I’ll pay for it later.
X – X-Rays You’ve Had: Last, my back. Previously, pretty much everywhere, mostly my neck and back though.
Y – Your Favorite Food: Burgers. Mmm burger…
Z – Zodiac Sign: Libra, but I’m not really into that stuff.