Self Worth and the Stay At Home Mum

What is a Stay at Home Mum? Modern day meme’s define her as a Housekeeper, Chef, Personal Assistant, Teacher, Chauffeur, Nurse, and all round multi-tasker. Most even describe her as Wonder Woman.

Motherhood is ever evolving, consistently changing. Motherhood is not staying still for long. What I want to ask you is, when you first became a Mum, did you feel like you were making a contribution to your family? When your job is emptying the dishwasher, making dinner, doing the washing, cleaning the house and much much more, but you used to do all of that and work full time anyway, how do you feel productive or valued? Thanks are hard to come buy and money doesn’t appear in the bank account anymore, so how do we feel successful, or like we are doing anything right?

 When I worked full time, I would leave the house at 6am in the morning, fully made up, work from 7.30 till 4pm and some nights later. I would get home anywhere between 5pm and 7pm, make a healthy (and sometimes not so healthy and just amazing comfort food!) and delicious dinner that would take me anywhere from 15 mins if I had pre-prepped the night before, to an hour to make, the dishes would be done, the house tidied and I had some quality time with my husband. One night a week I would also do the washing, it would take three loads and I would bring it all in for folding and sorting on Saturday morning. The house would get a thorough clean on Friday nights before my husband got home from work and it was immaculate. On weekends, every now and then I would get stuck into the backyard when I could, trying to grow my own veggies and herbs, trying to keep it from looking overgrown and overlooked.  I’m not trying to talk myself up here, I am positive every woman running a house gets this done during the week, I’m even banking on the fact that she doesn’t even realise how much she’s actually doing.  

Now I still do all of this. Not as well, but none of the duties have changed. Except we’ve removed the 10 to 12 hours of my day where I was making money. And contributing financially. Now, this is all I do. It’s everything I did before, but now it is expected to be my job because I do nothing else. And if I don’t deliver, I can’t help but feel like I’m failing at the only thing I have to do.

 How many of us go from working full time and running the house to – raising our children and still running the house?

How many of us find that now, once we are home all the time, the house isn’t as clean, the meals not as inspired, the laundry not as regular and the days aren’t as organized?

This is not what we expected right? We are home all the time. We are able to be cleaning and cooking and available for all these things to get done day in and day out. Well this definitely isn’t what I expected, so I really want to hear what other Mum’s think.

 Children take up a lot of time. A lot of what I do day in and day out is be present for my little boy. Reading to him, playing with him, feeding him and teaching him. But how can this be work? Most days I get to watch something I’m so proud of I could burst, when he says something so beautiful and cute I’m usually wiping away tears of happiness and we laugh. We laugh all the time. This is not a job is it? I get that it is tiring as some jobs are, physically and emotionally draining as some jobs are also, but not to the same extent as my husband’s work which is running his own carpentry business, surely?

 It’s really been playing on my mind lately (now that I have a child that sleeps!) that I have the best job in the world. Although it doesn’t feel like a job. Especially not when I get to do the ironing while watching my favourite TV show, or clean the house with the music blaring, or that the biggest part of my job is watching my son grow, guiding him along the way and that brings so much happiness to me.

How do Stay at Home Mums feel like they are contributing? Or how do they feel valued like you would in a workplace? There are no pats on the back to say ‘good job!’ No KPI’s set to show that you are either meeting the expectations of your role or falling short. The way we feel like we are contributing is really solely based on whether we think we achieved something that day. Whether we think we didn’t lose our patience too much, or the miracle that is getting the dinner on table at a reasonable hour without someone losing the plot.

Because – we all did this before. Let’s be honest, we were all running a house, being a housekeeper, gardener and wife, as well as working full time before. And we did it better right? My house was certainly cleaner, my garden less overgrown, my groceries weren’t ever forgotten or too hard to collect then. And I was away from home, working for someone else for 10 hours of the day. And I had a lunch break. I answered emails on time. I. Was. Present.

How are you feeling about what you get done day to day as a Stay At Home Mum?  Coz I’m really struggling to find my self worth in the home, and I’m wondering if it’s something we are all sweeping under the rug, like how much our baby sleeps, and how many drinks we have on any given weeknight :)

GUEST POST! Must Haves: Setting Up / Stocking Up Our Home

I am so excited to bring you this post!  My first guest post and it is seriously amazing.  In my last blog post I mentioned that I finally felt like I was on top of things before the baby arrives, that I had spent the last week getting my house in order and making life easier for when the baby arrives.  Making sure your home is set up and stocking your home is a HUGE part of nesting, whether you want to nest for a new arrival or if you are newly creating your humble abode.  I knew the perfect person to contact to help me get into the right frame of mind, as I watched in awe as she set up her home in true Domestic Goddess Style!  I am positive this post will give you everything you need to have stockpiled in your home, in a way that will save you money.  So enough babble from me, you get that enough on here – here is the post from an amazing person – she is a newlywed, entrepreneur, full time team leader, housewifey and so much more – Shakiera Angelucci!
I wanted to make sure that I was super organised to move into our home as I had plenty of notice.

With 8 months to plan my wedding and set up home I wanted to make sure everything was perfect!

I started by asking my Facebook friends what they believed were the necessities. I wanted to stock up on the essentials – Laundry, Bathroom, Kitchen, Medicine Cabinet etc

I would start my mission of stocking the cupboards with non perishable items, as I didn’t want the added stress of needing to outlay hundreds of dollars on groceries.

This way would not only allow me to get everything I needed, it also allowed me to save money as I was able to shop the bargains!

Each week I would scour the Woolies & Coles catalogues religiously, IGA and ALDI too. If it was on special, I bought it and ticked it off my list!

The Reject Shop are great for cleaning products, they get all the stock when a company decides to change its packaging and are so cheap.

By creating my stockpile I have been able to buy things when they are on sale again as opposed to buying essentials because I need them. This has saved me time and most importantly MONEY!

I have become quite the thrifty shopper and even have hubby checking the catalogues and pointing out things that we might need.

Over a period of 10-12 weeks I spent about $50 a week buying up everything I needed. I believe that shopping like this saved me $200-$300 and continues to save me money!

There were a few things that I bought in bulk as you always need them:
–          Washing Liquid (Cold Power 800ML Power Shot $4 @ The Reject Shop), I think I bought about 13 – seems excessive but I was washing all of my new sheets, towels, tea towels etc and it didn’t last long!
–          Paper Towel ( I love VIVA!!!!)
–          Toilet Paper (Sorbent – Coles had a special for 24 rolls for $7.50! – so cheap….. I bought 3 packs of 24 rolls and got a rain check for another 3 )
–          Dishwashing Liquid (I only use Morning Fresh – Woollies / Coles often have them half price)
–          Tissues!!!!  ( I buy the Sorbent Thick & Large – Coles $1.30 a box, ½ price and they have gorgeous boxes)
–          Body Wash & Shampoo / Conditioner – I always like to have a spare bottle of both, nothing worse than running out!
–          Sponges / Clothes – I bought a variety of different ones. For washing dishes my favourite are the Coles Brand green & yellow scourers, they don’t fall apart and soap up really well

For anyone that is setting up a new house or wants to stock up on the essentials but doesn’t know where to start, here is what I purchased to stock my cupboards:

Laundry
–          Washing Liquid
–          Washing Powder
–          Vanish / Napisan / White King powder
–          Fabric Softener – prefer the Cuddly “Aroma Therapy – Energising” it makes everything smell fabulous

Bathroom
–          Shampoo / Conditioner
–          Body wash
–          Soap Bars
–          Liquid Hand Soap – my splurge is Grown – Sweet Orange, Cedarwood & Sage – available at David Jones , washing your hands with it is amazing and guests always make comment about how lovely it smells


Hand-Wash-Sweet-Orange-Cedarwood-Sage
–          Razors
–          Hairspray
–          Cotton Buds / Cotton Wool / Make up remover pads
–          Nail Polish Remover
–          Moisturiser
–          Talc Powder
–          Deodorant – I like to keep 2 or 3 of each on hand
–          Tooth Brushes (spares for guests)
–          Tooth Paste / Floss / Mouth Wash – I got the Colgate Plax 250ml at Coles for $1 – hubby loves it, I also got a rain check so will get more when I run low.
–          Sanitary items
–          Baby Wipes / Wet Ones – I have sensitive skin and use the Curash Fragrance Free wipes to wipe my face each morning and night
–          Bath Salts – I splurged and bought Witchery White Patchouli & Lavender – so relaxing!
–          Toilet Paper
–          Tissues

Kitchen

-          Spray & Wipe

-          Pine O Cleen Disinfectant wipes

-          Windex

-          Stainless Steel Cleaner

-          Sponges / Scourers / Clothes

-          Paper Towel

-          Jif  / Cream Cleanser

-          Domestos – My mother in law got me onto the Coles Brand “Domestic Cleaner” – great for cleaning drains. Pour it down sink and let sit overnight – your drain pipes will be sparkling white!

-          Rubber gloves

-          Aluminium Foil

-          Foil Trays

-          Cling Wrap

-          Baking Paper

-          Freezer Bags

-          Zip Lock Bags

-          Bi Carb Soda

-          Vinegar

-          Pine O Cleen Spray

-          Napkins

-          Salt / Pepper / Vegeta

-          Flour/ Sugar / Pasta / Rice / Noodles / Herbs / Biscuits etc – I waited until a few weeks before we moved in to get this stuff

-          Toothpicks

-          Olive Oil

-          Vinegar

-          Alcohol & drinks – if you plan on having visitors then its always nice to be able to offer them something other than water or juice etc, we keep a bottle  of vodka and scotch on hand and baileys in fridge. We also keep garage drinks fridge stocked with beer, vodka premix and variety of soft drinks as we like to entertain

-          Tea / Coffee

-          Passata / Canned tomatoes

 

Medicine Cabinet

-          Dettol

-          Panadol

-          Nurofen

-          Eucalyptus Oil

-          Tea Tree Oil

-          Lip Balm

-          Band Aids

-          Saline Solution

-          Tweezers

-          Stingose

-          Orange Oil

-          First Aid Kit

-          Nail Clippers  / Scissors / Nail File etc

 

General Cleaning Supplies:

-          Dettol Bathroom Foam

-          Harpic / White King toilet cleaner

-          White King Bathroom Gel

-          Glen 20

-          Pine O Cleen – all I use with boiling water to mop my timber floor boards – I love the smell of freshly mopped floors after using this

-          Bleach

-          Electrostatic Dusting Cloths (Swiffer – BEST INVENTION EVER!!!! I Vacuum, then Swiffer then Mop) – I use Swiffer only between vacuuming – great for dusting

-          Duster

GROWN Product

I then did a grocery shop for food and perishable food items the week we moved in.  I know that I have likely missed something but you get the idea.

I love that Coles & Woolies now show you how much you saved on the bottom of your docket! I made this my mission whilst stocking up my cupboards and in one particular shop it showed a $70 saving. That’s 2 x mani / pedis for me :)

Don’t Forget to get a raincheck on catalogue items. Coles last for 12 months! I keep them in my purse and use them whenever I am running low. Woolies only last 4 weeks so don’t forget to use them. They can save you a heap.

I like to keep my freezer stocked with Bread, Soup , Pasta Sauce, Frozen veg, homemade sausage rolls and meatballs and hubby’s fav – Maxibon Icecreams!

I’d love to hear how you save money on your shopping!

What Cleaning products do you recommend ?

Shakiera Angelucci – Housewife!

You can follow Shakiera via Pinterest or Instagram, or her and her hubby’s business via Facebook.

A Woman’s Lifestyle loved this post so much, we have some of our own favourite pamper products on our way to Shakiera to thank her for her insight on this post.  If you want to hear more or have any questions about this post, please leave a comment and we will ask Shakiera to respond.  You can do this via this site, or our Facebook page.  If you are interested in submitting a guest post, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Putting Social Media Aside and Getting It Done

Strong Women Get Things Done
Last week I ended up putting my phone away and getting so much done.  The to do list was growing and the days until the babies arrival were shortening and I was getting more and more uncomfortable with my lack of preparation.

I’m happy to say that I have got a mile long list down to about four things that we need to do before the baby arrives (in less than 20 days) thanks to my husband and a huge energy burst that hit me last week (hallelujah!)

When the energy arrived (slightly late if I’m going to be picky, but better late than never!) I definitely realised it was the best time to get into things and put blogging on the back-burner for when I’m even bigger and really need to be putting my feet up.  So I’m rapt with what I’ve achieved, HOWEVER…

My emails, my texts, my Facebook notifications, my messenger, my whatsapp, my instagram and twitter are seriously, seriously behind.  (Don’t even get me started on phone calls, if you have called me in the past year it is highly likely I will never phone you back!)  Some days I would get on top of my whatsapp and completely fail on every other front, and then I just kind of gave up.  Please bear with me, I will be back to you all in a few days now that my life is in some kind of order!

All of the things I was excited to bring you last week will hit the blog this week…  AND I have even more exciting news around the corner… Watch this space!

But I guess all this got me thinking, how much time are you spending on social media, and putting things on the back burner that need to be done in your life, that may be causing you tension and stress?  I have written a lot of posts on being organised and time management so I’m happy to share those again if there is any interest…

Hope you are all having a great start to the week!

Wish List Wednesday

Product Love#1. My hubby bought me this gorgeous book on growing your own veggies in your backyard, as he knows I love having fresh produce.  You can’t read it all in one hit, it is for devouring month by month.  The tips are helpful and it makes a lot of sense, I really love it if you are into growing your own food!  You can buy it here: http://littleveggiepatchco.com.au/products/9781742611587

#2. These flats from Seed have caught my eye, coz it’s nearly Summer people!  Time to book in that pedicure methinks.

#3. I LOVE this chocolate and hubby spoilt me for my birthday and bought me a block.  YUM!  Check out the Bahen & Co Story (the machines they use are early 1900’s – it’s so fascinating), and find a stockist near you via this link.

#4. My Mum knows my love of teapots, and after my little mister broke one of my faves, she bought this gorgeous one for me, by Salt and Pepper.  So retro and cute, the photo does not do it justice.

#5. I spotted this tea at the organic aisle of my local supermarket this week, and I picked it up as I am so so so so so looking forward to indulging in green tea again once the baby arrives.  These teas are organic and the box is beautiful!  A UK company but you can find stockists near you, here is the link.

#6. This arrived in the post this week, my quote for the nursery wall.  I love it.  We have a Winnie the Pooh quote on Judd’s wall – ‘Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart,’ which I love, and this really caught my eye as something for our little girl that was different but still spoke of the love we have for her.  So excited for it to go up on the wall, our nursery is a silver grey colour, not this deep purple!!

What products have caught your eye this week?

 

Where has all the energy gone?

One busy week down, I totally overdid it (which you never realise until it’s too late) and I’m behind in everything again!  I am really struggling to stay awake and do anything productive, I’m lucky if I get the ingredients for dinner each night let alone actually cook the meal, do the dishes… oh and blog!

My obstetrician doesn’t have any miracle cure for me to get my energy back so I’m currently drinking Berocca and hoping for the best…  I know I should try and start juicing again, but that just seems like so much work to an already exhausted person!  Bubs is low (and stress testing the area!) so I’m definitely waddling and very slow at getting around, and my ob is thinking it’s possible that I’m already dilated a few centimetres, so I’m feeling a bit rushed to get things done before the month is out – yet it’s still not enough to motivate me to get out of bed!

What are your energy hits?  Are you a coffee drinker, or energy drink consumer?  I’m not a big fan of either…  I take multivitamins, but I’m looking for some other miracle cure as nothing is penetrating this laziness right now…

ANYWAY, my point is that I got nothing onto the blog last week because of the explanation as above but I am REALLY excited for the posts this week!  I will be bringing to you product love features on some beautiful gifts I got for my birthday AND I have a guest blogger to give you the ‘Must Haves’ for setting up and stocking your home!  Also a few meanderings from me…  So please stay tuned!!

A little quote of the week for you too…  This is based on the status I posted to Facebook this morning and hopefully makes you giggle.

Image taken from www.pinterest.com

Image taken from http://www.pinterest.com

 

Must Haves – Hospital Bag

This weekend we hit 34 weeks and it’s time to pack the Hospital Bag.  I hear from my friends all the time asking what they need in theirs, even for the second and third bubs – so here is my list!

Suitable bedtime attire – because you are going to get walked in on all the time and you do lose all sense of decency, but it’s so nice to get some new pyjama’s to wear in hospital.  You are going to feel a bit icky, so my theory is to put on something that makes you feel less like a beached whale / milking machine. It can also be boiling hot in the hospital or freezing cold, it’s never usually a happy medium, so think of that as well. I am loving these PJ’s from Jethro and Jackson, my order arrived this week, and although I put them aside to wear them new at the hospital, I can’t help myself, wearing them now!  Yup, click through to their website and get ready to love me some more, 40 to 50% right now!!

Mystic Gypsy PJs Jethro and Jackson Tiki Time Contrast PJs - Jethro and Jackson

Also clothing related for you, grab yourself some nice easy outfits, again, that makes you feel fresh, feminine and does not need ironing.  It’s not a hotel, so those types of amenities are unfortunately not existent.  I am totally converted after seeing what Kate Middleton wore when she left the hospital.  Bring nice dresses/outfits that don’t emphasise your bump or that you loved yourself in at about 5 months pregnant, because that’s the size you are going to head back to straight away.  You can’t go past asos to grab these.  If you are looking for warmer wear, I recommend Jeanswest.  They do a lot of maternity stuff, but there normal clothes always seemed to fit me as well if I bought the size up, which is perfect if you are wanting to buy things for the hospital to wear again now that you aren’t preggers!  Don’t forget that the bra area needs to be easily accessible.  If you think dresses and nice clothing is ridiculous for a stay in the hospital – I get that too, nice yoga pants and loose tops and zip up hoodies are perfect.

It has to be said that you need at least 5 pairs of undies, one size larger than you wear.  Black is good.  But not if you bought a bright coloured dress to wear in the hospital and you can see the undies.  You need Nanna undies, to match the maternity pads you will also need. (I like Kotex maternity because they don’t have wings) Full briefs are probably best, I like these from Target because they are nice and cheap and you can usually buy them in packs.

Don’t forget a few of your favourite maternity bra’s.  If you don’t have one yet, I recommend the Cake ‘Cotton Candy’ Seamless Nursing Bra, via Nordstrom.

Lansinoh.  Don’t buy any other type of Lanolin cream, and do not go to the hospital without this!  It is safe for the baby and will safe your poor nipples.  Which reminds me, I need to buy some cabbage leaves for freezing!

At least 5 rompers for your baby.  I will not go past the Bonds Wondersuits because that zip is going to make change time so quick and easy, and newborns get so upset when their little legs and bits get cold!  I bought 0000, even though the hospital will ask for 000.  Unless you have ten pound babies, your little one will still be swimming in 0000.

I keep saying five of everything, although the hospital will probably only ask you for three, just because if you end up having a caesarian you could staying in hospital for five days.  You will need more clothing for your baby, but highly likely, people will bring clothing as gifts.  Your close and wonderful friends who have had babies already will probably bring everything already washed, so don’t stress too much!

The hospital will provide you with nappies, cream, wipes and blankets.  Of course, you can choose to bring your own, especially if you don’t want to use a generic brand like Johnson’s and want to go organic with your wipes or use cloths and cloth nappies.
Here are a few of my faves if you choose to bring this as well…
Ones & Two’s Cloth Nappies 
Huggies Newborn Nappies (The hospital will probably have these – they really make the best newborn disposable nappies, mostly because of the line to show if the baby is wet)
- Curash Soothing Baby Wipes
- Bepanthen Nappy Rash Cream
- Bubba Blue Swaddle Wraps

The comforter you plan to give your baby, if you plan to give it to them at all.  If it’s a plush sleep aid, I recommend sleeping with this for a week or so in lead up to the birth.  Hats can be a SIDS risk, so I don’t recommend bringing these to keep the babies head warm.  

Bring your bare essentials make up wise (concealer a definite, mascara, maybe a white eyeliner to make you look awake, and lip gloss), your cleanser, toner and moisturiser, shampoo and conditioner, brushes and hairdryer.  Of course, toothbrush and toothpaste!  
No perfume as you want to smell like ‘you’ for your baby.
*Make sure your lip gloss is basic, and not one of those plumping ones.  You don’t want to be kissing up baby with one of those!

Phone Charger!

Don’t forget the leaving outfit for you and baby.  You will take pictures of your baby in their car seat for the first time, and it’s nice to feel special, even when you feel like you are walking to a world where you are completely out of your depth and/or like you just stole a baby from the hospital!

So people, I can still claim pregnancy brain remember!  So what have I forgotten?

Weekly Wrap

Highlights

Just the general amount of excitement I have for my babies pending due date.  In light of all the news headlines this week my headspace goes from being unbearably excited to overwhelmingly anxious that she will be ok.

Currently Clicking

13 Great Things to Say To A Sleep Deprived Parent, article via Belly Belly.  Yes, Yes Yes!

Kids Doing Selfies Better Than Adults, for something to make you giggle!

Blog Love

A local blog by a Mummy of Two that I really enjoy, Absolute Amy.  Her favourite things usually become mine!

Feast

Currently devouring all the ebook recipes from theholisticingredient.com
You can purchase the ebooks A Nourishing Kitchen and A Nourishing Morning too!  So healthy and fab.

These Strawberry Lemonade Scones, by one of my favourite food blogs, Created by Diane.  As my son would say deeeelishis!

If you love all things Thermomix, the Thermie Living Magazine is something you need to get your hands on.  It is available at the App Store, all recipes are raw and healthy.

Fashion Fix

Gorgeous images and fashion pieces, quotes and musings – this blog is beautiful and so much fun, get onto it and make your day happier – theyallhateus.com

This amazing store, Coco & Lola, makes me a little sad that I wouldn’t fit anything in it right now.  I will be saving up and going to spend up big when I’m back to my pre pregnancy weight!

Product Love

BIKN sells a tag that fits into your child’s pocket, and let’s you track them in big crowds from your smart phone.  As someone who feels they need a tracker for everything like my keys – everything goes missing.  Check it out here

Recommending Reads

If you are a fan of the Outlander / Cross Stitch series, then you would be as excited as me that August 9 means the premier of the TV Series.  So Much Excitement.