Hey parents. Let’s be good to our kids.

 

A few months ago I saw a post online about a mother who had shaved her daughters hair off because she was always playing with the scissors. She was always trying to cut her own her or cut everything in sight. She shaved her daughter’s hair off because she felt that there was nothing else she could do to stop her little girl for reaching for the scissors. She felt she needed to “teach her a lesson”. There were so many comments in agreement saying “good on you, show her who’s boss”, “she needs to learn” etc The only thing that girl learnt was humiliation that will no doubt haunt her for the rest of her life. She learnt that communication came in the form of punishment, and that her feelings didn’t matter because she was doing something that someone else didn’t agree with. Last week I saw a boy no older than 4 walking out of his driveway, coughing and crying. So visibly upset that he was choosing to walk down the road in the rain. What had made him so upset that he felt the need to escape the one place that was meant to make him feel safe? I watched him for a while before I drove over and stopped the car. I asked if he was okay and he just looked at me with tears in his eyes, shaking his head. In that moment I just wanted to put him in my car and take care of him. I told him to go inside so that he was out of the rain, and said that I hoped he felt better soon. I watched him stand there as I drove off, and I saw the person that was meant to be looking after him just point and laugh. My heart ached for that little boy. Just the other day I was in the mall watching the kids play in the play area. A little boy, younger than my own son ran out crying. He walked around the mall searching for his parents, he was so visibly upset and lost. My partner walked right down to the other side of the mall with him before picking him up and bringing him back to the play area. It had been a good 10 minutes and we couldn’t see anyone who looked like this little boys mum or dad. There was no one distressed searching for their child, in that moment I panicked and thought they’d actually left him there for good. 5 minutes later a dad came out of nowhere and asked what was going on. As we explained to him what had happened, he told us his 11 year old was in the play area.. and then he asked her why she hadn’t been watching her brother, why had her brother run off without her seeing? The mum also came over from the other side of the mall wondering what had happened. These parents had left two of their kids in charge of a toddler and ate where they couldn’t see their children. They didn’t notice their child walking around the mall crying. Not once did they panic or show any worry over what had just happened. I was angry for the daughter who was expected to be play mum, and upset for the little boy who couldn’t find his parents. These moments have played on my mind lately. Small snippets of a child’s life that have reminded me that there are so many kids out there who ARE suffering in ways we couldn’t even imagine. These moments have left me feeling helpless, wishing I could do more for all the kids that are falling through the cracks. The kids that are being taught that they aren’t important enough to come first, to be loved and nurtured in all the ways that they need to be.  As parents we need to love and respect our children. We need to treat them as we would anyone else, we don’t need to “show them who’s boss” or put adult expectations onto them. We may be struggling with our own shit, we may not know how to get out of a bad situation or a vicious cycle, but we need to be strong enough within ourselves to put our children’s needs first. Whatever your journey , wherever you’re life is heading.. please just do your best and be kind to your kids. Love them without bullying them, love and respect their innocence,  and love them so hard that no matter what’s going on in life.. they will get by just knowing that you’re there.

 

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The best parts of co parenting

 

I was reading a blog piece today about a mother worrying how she would cope with co parenting, and what the outcome would be for her daughter in the future. Would co parenting be enough? It got me thinking about my own parenting journey, and what I would tell myself 4 years ago when I was worrying about those same things.
To me, any kind of parenting is “enough”. If you are doing your absolute best to make sure your child is loved, cared for and happy, you are doing enough. Whether you are a single parent, co parenting or raising your child with your other half.. It doesn’t matter, your child will still thrive in whatever environment they live in as long as they are provided with what they need. They will never feel sad about what they have missed out on, because in the end their “imperfect family” may just turn out to be the perfect family for them.

Before becoming a parent I had an idea of what it would be like in my head. I read books, took advice and was pretty confident with how I was going to parent. What I wasn’t prepared for was co parenting. Co parenting is a learn as you go, every situation is different kind of thing. Sometimes you feel like you’re walking through a dark tunnel not knowing which way to go, and sometimes you feel like you know exactly what to do. We can only learn and do our best to parent separately, there’s never a perfect method to make sure everything runs smoothly from the get go. It hasn’t always been an easy road for us, but over time I’ve learnt that parenting separately gets better, it gets easier, and you get through to other side of that dark, hazy tunnel eventually.

Co parenting can become something great if both parents are willing to put their child’s needs first. It’s always easy to focus on the negatives, but there are also so many positives to this situation. The positives are what I keep in the back of my mind for those hard days, these are just a few of them.

LOVE

Double birthdays, double Christmas and double the love. Your child is surrounded by so much love. They are blessed with the best of both worlds, loved by immediate family, extended family and new family. The love they are showered with will always outweigh the negatives. I always see this as the biggest positive to come from our situation.

LIFE LESSONS 

Co parenting allows a child to learn to be independent, resilient and open minded. Their normal may not be the same as everyone else’s, but it allows them to see the world in a way that is different to most.

APPRECIATION

You will appreciate your child so much more when they’re away from you. You will think about them non stop while they’re gone, but you will also enjoy every single moment with them knowing just how precious your time is. I miss my little girl every time she goes away, but I look forward to her coming home and I spend so much more time appreciating everything about her.

CONSISTENCY

Consistency is everything. Your child will thrive when yougive them consistency. They will always feel safe, secure and understand exactly what is going on. Consistency has always been important to me. It has helped with things like having 2 seperate homes, 2 seperate parents and 2 seperate lifestyles.

YOU

The time spent away from your child will give you time to reflect and focus on YOU. In the begining I dreaded overnight visits, they eventually turned into weekend visits and I slowly started to appreciate these quiet times. I kept myself busy, found hobbies and became more than just “mum”. Now I enjoy time with my little boy and give him extra one on one time. He gets to bond with his dad and I in a way that he may not have under different circumstances.

ADVICE 

Some of the best advice I was given when it came to co parenting was to think of your parenting situation and your child as a business. At first I thought it was a really harsh way to think about everything, but it made sense and it definitely helped keep emotions at bay. You want your business to grow, to thrive and be the best that it can be.. Just like your child. You need to make decisions that will benefit your child, and even though you may not agree with your business partner (the father ) you need to learn to compromise and work together in order for your business (child) to grow and be the best it can be.

Co parenting isn’t everyone’s fairytale ending, but it doesn’t mean it can’t become one. Our life is far from what I imagined it to be.. I didn’t start my parenting journey with a “perfect family”, but the family I have now is blended and full of love, and that to me is pretty perfect. I hope there are other Mama’s out there who are still holding onto hope of their own happy endings , no matter their situation.

Xx Kristelle

 

Oh hey “INSTA-MUM” !- My top 8 mums of Instagram.

Insta-mums are hot topic at the moment, they are everywhere and their lifestyles/ opinions/ images etc are highly debated through social media. Some critics say they’re over seeing “perfect lives” and ‘pretty pictures” of an Insta-mums day to day life.. the ones with the fabulously dressed kids, happy family snaps and spotless homes. They never have a hair out of place and parenting looks like a walk in the park. Some people love those “real” Insta-mums with their posts of the dishes full to the brim in the sink, and the kids still in their PJ’s at 2PM. They eat lollies for breakfast and treat their Instagram like an open diary.

Instagram is a reel of well thought out captions, images and hash tags. Regardless of what anyone else says, none of it is “real life” Whatever your personal preference, there is no doubt that you will connect with mothers all over Instagram who are similar to you, and you may even make a few life long friends. Hashtag #instamum and start exploring !

Below I have listed my top 8 Insta Mums and what makes them follow worthy in my eyes. Who else would you recommend following? xo

  1. @sophiathewild – An independent mama who shares her love of the outdoors, beautiful images of her little girl and drool worthy photos of clean treats. Her captions are thought provoking and always worthy of reading. Possibly my favourite Insta mum of them all, this lady is all heart and soul.
  2. @fromlondontobrooklyn– If you’re looking for décor and outfit inspo for boys, this is the perfect mama to follow! She has a classic, original style that shows through her posts and has an amazing eye for detail. She also shares DIY projects that are pinterest worthy and has the cutest 3 little boys who are always styled to perfection.
  3. @allymking– Photographer/ Model/ Mother. This mama has exceptional talent, her fashion is always on trend and she always shares the most magical shots of  Rarotonga. Another new favourite on my newsfeed.
  4. @rockyandruby– A  refreshingly candid and hilarious mama who shares photos of her two little babes and their everyday lives. She has loads of tips and tricks for any parenting situation and can lighten the mood on any parenting woes. Definitely one to follow if you need a laugh.
  5. @babyboheme– Another mama I love to follow for boys #fashioninspo. Her Instagram is filled with snaps of her two babes and family, and I love the boho vibe to her posts. Not just a pretty picture, this account also shares some heart warming captions that would make any mama feel warm and fuzzy inside.
  6. @theleostyle– This lovely lady oozes elegance and sass. I love following her to see photos of her super cute fam, and also her amazing work as a makeup artist!  One talented mama who’s Instagram feed has been a long time inspiration of mine.
  7. @casarahmarychapman– A new mama on the scene who shares endless snaps of her gorgeous wee girl. Her adorable outfits make me clucky for another, and her smile is infectious.  I love that her milestones are shared on her blog, these are always precious to a parent and remind me of my own precious moments with my daughter.
  8. @withthewhittakers– Another creative mama who shares endless snaps of her two babes, their day to day life and let’s not forget the cute little tag #whatsyababewearing. She also creates some super unique DIY projects and supports a tonne of local stockists. I love anything different and anything handmade, this is always my go to account for finding those special items that just can’t be found in stores.

I hope you enjoyed this blog and found a few new mums to follow/ connect with. Keep being amazing ladies! xo

 

 

 

 

Our Modern Family

 

What makes a “Family”?  We live in a world that is so diverse and different, the idea of family can mean many things. I always felt like a perfect family was mum, dad and the kids. That perfect family with the white picket fence we all dream of having. My idea of family has changed a lot since becoming a mother, so I thought I’d start my first blog post here with the journey of my own little family.

In our household, our family consists of myself, my daughter from a previous relationship, my partner and our son who is 6 months old. We may not be your “traditional” family, but to me our little family is a reminder that there are always second chances in love and life.

Rewind back a few years, I was a new mum living on my own with my wee babe, wondering how I was ever going to get through this parenting journey on my own.  At home, it was just the two of us, but we quickly adapted and developed our own rhythm. We grew together, and I was learning as much from her as she was from me. I learnt to share her, to be away from her when I missed her the most. I learnt to keep a brave face even though I was going through hell . I spent countless nights thinking about how my child might “miss out” because she was having to go between two parents, never experiencing that “family” lifestyle I always hoped she would have. As we grew, I realised that while I was worrying about whether or not I was doing enough for my child, she was such a happy little girl with no idea that she had missed out on anything. She was lucky enough to have two families, two birthdays, two Christmases and twice the amount of love. Life doesn’t always go the way we plan it to, sometimes it ends up being far greater than we could ever have imagined it to be. Sometimes we gain so much more from what we feel we have lost.

As time went by, I learnt to let go and completely enjoy raising my daughter and our little family of two. We were never truly on our own, and were lucky to have family members who provided enough love and comfort to keep our hearts happy. Eventually, I met prince charming (down at the pub might I add) and he completely changed my idea of what a family could be. Not only did he take the time to get to know me, he took the time to get to know my daughter. He loved us unconditionally and sacrificed his way of life to fit in with ours.The three of us fit together perfectly, and this year we completed our family with our son.

If someone had told me 3 and a half years ago that I would be a mother of two, happily engaged and living in a blended family, I would never have believed them. Family is Family regardless of titles,roles or bloodline. Most importantly, Family is love.  This has been my biggest lesson since becoming a mother and I only hope to continue to share these lessons with my little ones.