A Break From The Madness

Top: Global Desi (similar here), Jeans: Topshop, Sandals: Zara

Phew! Today has been a good day. A good day in the sense that for the first time, in what seems like forever, it felt like an easy day of parenting.

It’s no secret that the past 5 months have been challenging on all fronts but especially from a mum life point of view. I came to India with a toddler and a ‘baby’ but I well and truly have two toddlers now and boy is that exhausting!! 2 times the tantrums, 2 times the energy, 2 times the love, 2 times the fun, 2 times demands and  2 times the quest for independence but the ultimate dependence on me. It’s also been especially tough because l don’t have a support network here and I have a husband that literally works night and day (all for his family).

I’ve mentioned a few times that my son, my youngest is not a great sleeper but he is also the biggest boundary pusher; something I was totally unprepared for because my first born is so naturally cautious I never even had to baby proof the house with her. Xander climbs on tables, pulls things off benches, runs everywhere, pull plugs out of sockets, draws on the floor, puts everything in his mouth and has an obsession with throwing things in the toilet. So as you can imagine most of my days are spent literally chasing after him, entering into long negotiations with my daughter, cooking, like 7 times a day and fielding fights, tantrums, nappy changes, toilet stops etc etc.

I know I’m not saying anything new and I am certainly not doing anything that every other mum doesn’t do, but the reason why I’m saying it, is that today was not like that. Today the kids played happily and quietly, they ate what I made them for lunch and dinner. They didn’t fight or try to throw themselves off something high. They let me sit by myself for a few minutes and didn’t cry or pull at my leg. Today felt a little bit easier and I was able to catch my breath.

Being a mum is 100% the best thing I’ve ever done and I love my kids more than I will ever be able to explain but that doesn’t mean that it’s always easy or that I don’t need my space too. Who knows what tomorrow will be like or even how much sleep I’ll get tonight but I’ll tell you what, today’s good day will get me through a few more rough ones now 😊.  x

How I Do Two

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Hi Friends,

So today I thought I’d do a little ‘mummy’ post, or ‘mommy’ as Hazelle has started calling me. If that’s not a sign she is watching too much TV then I don’t know what is ;). I’ve always aimed to be as honest as possible about my motherhood journey. Not just on the blog but in real life as well. I know that a lot of people don’t want to hear about the struggles of parenthood, especially if they don’t have children but I think honesty and ‘realness’ is so powerful in this worldwide ‘mum community’. Often, to hear another mum confess a struggle or a mistake or just general overwhelm, can be the most precious gift to our self esteem and help make us feel as though we are not alone in our struggles. Of course not everything is about struggling and I aim to share my successes and lessons that I’ve learnt just as openly as I share the harder times.

For me personally, I have found the jump from 1 baby to 2 much harder than from 0 to 1. This is not the case for everyone but for me it definitely is. Maybe it’s because my kids are so close together, or because of their nature or maybe just because it is. Whatever the reason, becoming a family of 4 was definitely a bigger adjustment (for me) than a family of 3. We didn’t necessarily ‘plan’ to have kids so close together. I needed some support to get pregnant with Hazelle (Clomid and regular accupuncture) and I just assumed it would be the same with our second. Little did I know that 7 months after Hazelle was born, I would unexpectedly find myself pregnant again. Although not planned I wouldn’t change the 15month age gap for anything (just an FYI for anyone doing the maths, Alexander was 6 weeks prem, so the age gap is even smaller than expected).

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Flash back to simpler times when the toddler wasn’t so sassy and the baby couldn’t move 😉

So although I am BY NO MEANS an expert, today I thought I’d go through some of my tips for dealing with 2 young kids, especially 2 so close in age.

  1. Break ‘The Rules’. The most important way to cope, especially when they are so young is to find what works for you. I know that most of us mums love to read books and follow the same routine that our Sister in Laws’ Cousin swears by, but the truth is, you need to find what works for you and stick to that instead. Maybe following ‘Save our Sleep’ to a T works perfectly for you but in my experience most families need to tweak and trial and practice a few things before they find the combination that works best for them. For example, we usually give the kids a bath around 3-4pm. I know this is super early and most families wouldn’t be able to find the time that early in the afternoon, but it works for us. Our day is usually front loaded with all of our activities, main meal and outings in the morning and lunchtime, and once we are home it is much easier to bath both kids when they are happy and settled then to try and do it as they are losing their shit at 6pm.
  2. Dont Compare. Don’t compare siblings, your friends children, the way you parented your first, nothing. This can be especially hard when your two are so close in age like ours. Everything with your first is still so fresh but when you compare your kids you rob yourself the experience of learning about your new baby and you rob them of their chance to develop independently of their sibling. This is something that I’ve had to learn along the way. My two couldn’t be more different. From the pregnancies, birth, gender, personality, preferences, everything. It’s meant that my husband and I have had to evolve and learn how to parent differently too, and although we often reminisce and share memories of Hazelle as a baby we have definitely stopped expecting Alexander to be anything like that and we really cherish seeing his individuality come out.
  3. Don’t get too caught up in ‘one on one’ time. I know that down the track it will be nice and important to carve out time to bond one on one with each child, but right now, for us, we are a pretty much a package deal. We are always together, as much out of preference as necessity. We are lucky that my husband has so much flexibility with his job, but really he wouldn’t have it any other way. He loves nothing more than being with us and will do everything in his power to manoeuvre his schedule so that he is around when the kids are awake. If he is not around however, it is always me with the kids. As much as individual time is important, I think that a strong family bond and foundation is a beautiful gift to give to your children as well.
  4. “The day are long, but the years are short”. I know, we’ve all heard it, and I’m the first one to admit that when the days are long, they are really bloody long. It is true though that every stage passes and the hard times do get easier (until they are replaced by something harder, haha). Perhaps it’s because I am writing this after both kids slept through the night for the first time in months last night, but I really do think that a little bit of perspective and looking at the bigger picture of life goes a long way in helping you get through the challenges of babies and toddlers :).

As I said, I am by no means an expert and these are just the things I do, but I hope that some of you have found it useful or interesting. If anybody asks me if I recommend having two close together I would say 100% yes although I do believe there are pros and cons to every situation. I would also spend ten minutes telling you how exhausting it is and how two babies in nappies, needing bottles, sleep schedules that aren’t aligned etc can be really hard. I would then spend the next TWENTY minutes however telling you how watching them grow together is the sweetest thing ever. How people always confuse them for twins because they have a close bond and how although we will always cherish our time alone with Hazelle for her first year, she will never remember a time without her brother by her side.

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Obviously a brother by your side is not ALWAYS the best thing!

And if you ask me if we are planning to have another one, the answer would be….yes. I think. But, not anytime soon haha. Two under two was enough for me, those mamas who do 3 under 3 need a medal, a coffee and a strong drink! xx

PS- we don’t love sharing a heap of photos of our kids on the internet so thats why I try to avoid full face shots, but trust me, they are cute ;). 

Dressing for the Fourth Trimester with Blossom and Glow

(Below is an excerpt from a piece I wrote as the Fashion Contributor for Me Oh My Mum. Click on the link at the bottom of this page to see the full story.) 

So my baby, my second child, is ONE this month! It seems absolutely crazy that I will have a two year old AND a one year old. Technically I will have a 12 month old and a 27 month old, but I wont say that cause no one likes that person…

It seems like just yesterday that my little preemie came rushing into the world at 34 weeks and we were unexpectedly thrust into the unfamiliar world of medical tests, doctors visits and the heartbreak of having our teeny tiny baby stay for weeks in the hospital alone while we would come and go. BUT even though that feels like yesterday, it was in fact a whole year a go and like most* preemies free from complications, he is doing amazingly well. Almost walking, wreaking havoc and breaking hearts with his smile on the daily.

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Those weeks after he was born were so hard for many reasons and at the risk of sounding terribly superficial, dressing and feeling comfortable was definitely towards the top of the list. The dreaded Fourth Trimester! You know, that awkward in between stage where you are no longer pregnant (and you want to burn all your maternity clothes) but you also don’t fit into all (or any) of your pre-baby clothes? Yep, that’s the Fourth Trimester.

Most mummy’s leave the hospital still looking 6 months pregnant, more exhausted, sore and emotional then they ever were, even on the worst pregnant days. We also have a whole new body shape thanks to breastfeeding boobs and a very soft and squishy tummy that unfortuantley is now ALL ice cream and NO baby. Its a very weird and in-between stage. So what do you wear?

Well, today thanks to the brilliant online boutique Blossom and Glow, I have you covered. I first discovered Blossom and Glow when I was in the middle of my second pregnancy and I have absolutely fallen in love with Kathryn’s range of products. Blossom and Glow stocks Maternity, Breastfeeding and Post Baby clothes. They are all stylish, affordable and on trend but the best bit is that a lot of the pieces can work for you no matter what stage of the pregnancy / baby journey you are in. I am no longer breastfeeding and I am 12 months post partum with my second, but you will see below that all of the ‘breastfeeding’ and ‘beyond’ clothes still work for me a year on.

I’ve selected a little capsule wardrobe that can be mixed and match a million ways, will be super comfy and breastfeeding friendly for you. So it’s perfect for mama’s straight after giving birth but as you start to get your groove back, you can style these pieces up and have some fun with accessories and layers too.

So let’s get into it.

Firstly we have the ‘Comfy-At-Home-But-Can-Go-To-A-Café-Outfit

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I’m wearing the Jersey Harem Pants in Grey and the Jayla Knit in Black. Both these items are so comfy and cosy which is exactly what you need straight after having a baby (or even in the hospital). These pants can be worn during pregnancy as well, they have a loose enough waist band to wear either above or below your belly depending on how you carry, and what you feel comfortable with. Breastfeeding? Just layer your favourite nursing tank underneath the jumper and you are good to go. When you are feeling up to venturing out, throw on your white kicks and you’ve got an easy sports luxe look.

…… to continue reading click here

 

Coming Up For Air

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Coat: Kmart, Jumper: Country Road (similar here), Jeans: Blossom and Glow, Loafers: Coach (similar here), Scarf: Borrowed from my Mum (similar here)

Wow! So today is Thursday and I only just feel ready to start the week. To say we’ve had a rough start would be a bit of an understatement. It all started on Sunday morning when Xander (my 10 month old) decided that he would projectile vomit up all his milk and some of his solids, if he’d costumed enough of it. Skip through a rough 24hours and then my stomach decided to play up. Luckily I was able to power through it but then the next day, now Tuesday, Hazelle (my 2-year-old) was struck down with a super high fever. Come Wednesday morning everyone was feeling a bit fragile but on the mend UNTIL I got the mother of all migraines for like the 4th time in my whole life. Luckily my mum came to the rescue, called in sick to work and sent me to bed while she took over the kids (don’t know where I’d be without her).

So that brings us to today! Thankfully we are all well and truly on the mend and fingers crossed whatever bug was floating around has now floated past our house. The above outfit is pretty much the first non pajama / non activewear ensemble I’ve worn all week so I was inspired to brighten it up a bit with a colourful scarf. Although it was a chilly 7 degrees this morning, I’m not quite ready to give up my distressed denim just yet ;).

The next four days brings something exciting and a bit different for me so stay tuned for lots of fun outfits and more details to come. To follow along don’t forget you can follow me on Instagram @themummystylefiles or Snapchat @caitlinmarwaha.

I hope you’ve all had a much better week than us so far and are all excited to be on the home stretch to the weekend xxx.

TWO

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Top: Blossom and Glow, Jeans: Blossom and Glow, Boots: Zomp (Similar here).

Yesterday my first-born turned two! On the one hand it’s so hard to believe that she is getting so big but on the other hand I can’t believe how much has happened in two years, (especially since we have a 9 month old as well) it seems crazy that just two short years ago we were living life without her.

I know that most parents lament getting to this stage of toddler-hood as it is usually referred to as the ‘Terrible Twos’ but I’m actually excited. Watching Hazelle grow into a tiny little human who can communicate with me and has developed her own personality has been the best fun and I can’t wait to watch her grow up even more. Sure I could probably do without the tantrums but its all part of the package, hey?

So Happy Birthday to my little Princess, here are some of the things I love the most about you:

  • Your unwavering love of : Pink, Tutus, Dresses, and ‘puppy gogs’
  • That you look exactly like your daddy
  • Your hair. It is SO curly that you haven’t ever had a haircut yet and I’m predicting that you won’t for a very long time. People always comment on it and I hope you grow up loving your curls instead of wanting them straight all the time like me.
  • Your cautious nature. People often think you are shy but you just like to take your time to asses the situation and then join in when you are ready. Nothing much phases you but you are definitely slow to warm up.
  • The two little freckles on your skin. They are pretty much my only genetic stamp on you.
  • The fact that I can you anywhere, no matter for how long or what time of day. You travel like a champ, are happy to be in the car, a cafe, a supermarket, crèche, anywhere. You make it so easy for me and just adapt and fit in. A quality that I probably under appreciated until your brother came along and demanded a lot of attention. all the time. 🙂
  • When you sing and dance, which is pretty much all of the time. You love to watch shows like The Wiggles and Hi 5 and then I find you singing and dancing to yourself all day long. It is the best.

Here’s hoping that Two brings a lot more pink, dancing, travelling and a bit more hair growth ;). Thanks for being the best daughter we ever could have wished for, we love you!