All posts by Barb Cronin

6 Ways My Toddler is the Boss of Me

I remember when I couldn?t wait to be an adult. I would make the rules; eat when I want (& what I wanted), dress how I choose, come and go as I pleased and basically do exactly what I wanted to do all of the time. And while my twenties did sort of live up to this expectation in many ways, once my first child turned two the tide turned. And in a big way!

As any mum of a toddler knows, you?re not really in charge of anything anymore. They are. And although I bravely fought this reality, I finally had no choice but to give in to the demands of my new boss.

1. My sleep schedule.

It’s a lot easier to control sleeping when it comes to babies and a crib. They can?t just get out and walk around, however, when little ones move into a big kid bed it’s a whole different story. When toddlers wake, so do mums. When they refuse to nap, mums don?t rest either. And bedtime. When our sweet growing toddlers decide they will not go to sleep, well they don?t. I?ve spent hours going back and forth at bedtime; reading just one more story, singing one more song, tucking in and turning the lights off only to see their smiling faces looking at me as I exhaustedly settle down on the sofa. No mum, it’s not your time yet.

2. My entertainment guide.

Gone are the days of cuddling up on a cold, dreary day and watching a scary movie or a romantic one to help me dream away the day. Now my toddler makes those decisions. With a little one around, there are a lot of television shows, movies and even songs that become taboo. I?m not really sure how many more times I can watch Frozen but what choice do I have.

3. What’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

My mum served dinner and we ate. It didn?t matter if I didn?t like it or God forbid wasn?t in the ?mood? for it, I ate. I?m not so strong or maybe my tolerance for crying isn?t as good as my parent’s was. Toddlers have words and have discovered how to use them ? often to get their way. This couldn?t be truer than at meal time. If I serve cereal, they?ll inevitably want oatmeal. PB and J for lunch, um no, not today mum. Sometimes even if I ask what they want once I serve it they?ve changed their mind.

4. Friend time.

Mums often yearn for time to chat with other mums or hang out with old friends. These opportunities can be rare but when they occur my toddler decides just how long they?ll last. It could be ten minutes or two hours but when a toddler decides they?ve had enough well?’s time to go. I?ve waited hours for them to settle to have a quick chat on the telephone but as soon as I pick up the phone all hell breaks loose and I?m hanging up. Oh well!

5. Even my Pitbull knows who’s boss.

Yes, from my supposedly dominant dog to my sweet cat, my toddler will pull tails, fold ears back and even put make-up on our pets. In fact, I came home from the market to find our dog dressed up as Elmo for Halloween, his face painted red and wearing my husband’s red T-shirt. The pets don?t even try to fight it.

6. And last but not least…..

What makes this all possible is that my toddler, just like so many other toddlers, is completely and utterly fearless. Threats, coercions, bribes – none of it means a thing. They just continue on as my little tyrant ruling the house until?..well I don?t know until when, but I?ll keep you posted.

10 Reasons Why New Mums are So Tired!

Remember being a teenager and thinking you were tired? I can remember coming home from school, plopping down on the sofa and falling fast asleep. I was pooped, wiped out and couldn’t imagine not sleeping right then and there. Then came my twenties. I’d go to work (for what seemed like an excruciating 8 hours) and again HAVE to take a nap before going out to the pub or making dinner. I couldn’t have imagined being any more tired. Now I know better.

When you’re a new mum, tired takes on a whole new meaning. If you’ve been blessed with a little one, you’re no doubt tired.

As you gaze lovingly at your little angel sleeping it’s hard to imagine why you are so sleep deprived. They’re so precious, peacefully slumbering away. But the truth is that being a new mum can be tough, leave you exhausted, and wondering if you’ll ever feel rested again. But you will. In the meantime, find camaraderie with the other millions of new mums feeling just like you.

Here are the top 10 Reasons New Mums are So Tired:

1. It’s hard work.

Motherhood is a crash course in learning what hard work really is. Little ones are 100% dependent on their mums for everything, from the basics to making sure they are mentally stimulated – literally every need they have is on you, the mum. Not a task to be taken lightly.

2. No sleep

Even the easiest of babies wake up –  a lot! Gone are the 8 hour nights of sleep replaced with a few hours (if you’re lucky) through the entire night. When you wake you aren’t just ‘not asleep’. New mums are feeding babies, changing diapers, tending to any and all needs at any time of the night and often throughout the entire night.

3. Worry wart syndrome

You’ll discover if you’re a ‘worrier’ once you have a child. New mums tend to worry, at least for a while. Are they sleeping? Do they need me? What if I can’t hear them crying? These are a few of the 10 billion worries new mums have. Worrying is exhausting. When you don’t sleep you may worry more and so on and so on. But you already know this – you’re a new mum!

4. What’s around the bend?

A non-mum friend once asked me what I was so worried about. After silently cursing her stupidity, I tried to explain – but just couldn’t. New mums worry – what to expect, what to worry about or not worry about, what if something seems normal but it’s potentially a huge problem. The first time around is especially hard with no clue whatsoever about what’s to come.

5. Crying, crying, crying – will it ever end?

Babies with colic will cry for hours on end. Mums become exhausted not only by the actual crying but with not being able to help their little ones feel better. It’s physically, emotionally and mentally draining. They say 50% of babies grow out of colic by 3 months and 90% by 9 months – um okay but that’s a long, long time of taking care of a baby you simply can’t comfort. This by far is one of the most draining new mum experiences.

6. Nappies, feeding, the basics.

Tending to the daily needs of an infant can take up the entire day (& most of the night.) Honestly, you could hire one person for round the clock work just to tend to these basic needs – and they’d be exhausted too!

7. Oh yeah, taking care of yourself.

Many women are naturally caregivers putting everyone before themselves. This couldn’t be more evident than when it comes to new mums. Being so absorbed in taking care of the baby, the new mum forgets her own needs. Taking time to shower when your plate is overflowing with responsibilities can be a challenge and tires you out too.

8. The rest of the family – are they still around?

If you take a moment and think about it you may recall a husband or partner you used to eat dinner with, talk to, laugh with and even on occasion have some fun. New mums are all-consumed with the needs of the baby that often partners and former lives seem like distant memories. It’s impossible to return to having as much couple time as before but many mums still try – this is also exhausting. When all you want to do is plop down and close your eyes, there’s another person who needs you.

9. Everything with baby takes longer.

Gone are the days of throwing on a parka, walking outside to hop in the car or take a stroll to the market for some milk. Now it’s a planned event. Not only do you have to look (somewhat) presentable, you must time this perfectly with your luv’s nap and feeding time. And don’t forget to pack the nappy bag filled with everything you could possibly need – just in case. Dressed and packed? Don’t forget the buggy and car seat. Yes, it’s a whole new world running errands with babies. But not to worry, this too will soon pass and you’ll move on to chasing them around the house trying to get them in the car!

10. Lack of sleep.

Wait, was this already listed? I can’t remember I’m just too exhausted?………

There’s no doubt, being a new mum is tiring and trying. But it’s all worth it in the end! ???