#31 Brain dump – whats on your mind right now

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// Over 50 days (or so) I am doing Fat Mum Slim’s 50 things to blog about challenge – in no particular order.


Today’s post is #31 – Brain dump, what’s on your mind right now.

You might have noticed I’ve missed a few ’50 things’ posts. Well tough titties, we’ve had a rough fortnight with gastro and some big sleep regression going on. But back to today’s post…

Oh what isn’t on my mind!!

Today its parenting. Sorry to bore my bike/running friends. While up with a screaming teething baby about 6 times a night for the past fortnight, last night I got thinking..

What kind of parent would I be without the Internet?

I’m not talking so much about not being able to google things, more about what I’m exposed to on ‘the socials’ (blogs, Facebook, twitter and instagram). There is so much ‘advice’ out there and I find it’s some of the gentle parenting pages especially who give me unrealistic expectations of myself!

Which leads me back to my question. Without the internet and the knowledge that things like ‘gentle parenting’ even existed what kind of parent would I be?

I thought about it and came to this stunning conclusion!

Wait for it…

I would be exactly the same only I wouldn’t feel guilty about it!

For example, although I know that stopping breastfeeding when I did was best for my health (both mental and nipple), the guilt still plagues me! A gentle parent would have perservered, and would never have stopped for ‘themselves’. So if I didn’t know all of this uber breastfeeding stuff existed then the guilt just wouldn’t be there!

Having said that I did make it to 6.5 months which I can’t really fathom after how terrible the first 6 weeks were.

But, as I reason with myself – you need to look after yourself to look after your baby.

I’ve unfollowed some of the pages and accounts because I just don’t need to read about ridiculous things like how holding your child upside down stops them having tantrums.

THIS WAS A REAL THING I READ. You know what I think happens when you hold your child upside down when they’re having a tantrum?

You get kicked in the face.

Having said that, before I lose any readers that support upside down parenting there is holding your child upside down, and then there’s lots of good advice I might not have otherwise known that is realistic! And if you are one of those people who hold your child upside down when they have a tantrum please send me a video!!

But seriously, I get so confused.

I’m hoping the whole 8 month sleep regression IS a real thing and its just that, and that in a couple of weeks it too will have passed and things will return to normal-ish.

I don’t mind getting up to feed him once a night (although I don’t honestly think he’s hungry even then) but 2-3 times a night + multiple resettling attempts is getting old fast!

In any case in 5 weeks or so we are booked into Masada in Melbourne for some help. Very much looking forward to some support. And, getting back to the point of this post I wouldn’t have known they existed if it weren’t for the internet!

Would love to hear your thoughts though! Has the internet and all the advice out there changed the way you parent?

– Jen


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Approximately one million years ago (BC)* we started renovating.

On and on and ON it has dragged and while the tradies we’ve had by all accounts have not been ‘that bad’ it has still taken a long time. And by ‘not that bad’ there’s still the plasterer who almost got into fisticuffs with the painter and then threatened that he’d come back and rip off all of the plaster he’d put up, but y’know apart from that – not too bad.

But I have had to go to the next level of nagging the man to follow up with tradies to get them to come back and get the bloody thing FINISHED. Like ULTRA nagging. If nagging was a sport I would be competing in the Olympics. He’s over it. I’m over it. OVER IT.

But finally, finally the concrete downstairs was ‘cured’ whatever the hell that really means and we could continue with getting downstairs finished. Then finally the flooring guys showed back up and put the flooring in. Then sanded it. Then polished it. Then sanded it again. Then polished it. And then we WAITED for it to set properly, and only started walking on it in bare feet a few days ago.

Then yesterday our usually excellent builder showed up (or one of his lackeys did) and put the skirting boards back on. I’m sure I mentioned the new flooring to him, well he commented on the flooring anyway….and initially he had socks on.

Anyway, flooring guy comes back today and the floor is FROOTED thats right, its FROOTED which is a nicer way of saying it is EFFING ROOTED.

The builders boots or the skirting boards or SOMETHING has been dragged all over it.



Floor guy says it needs to be resanded and repolished and then we will have to wait until the end of time before we can walk on it or put any furniture on it.

Because we are TRYING (perhaps currently failing!) to be more positive people the nice thing is that the floor guys are not going to charge us for fixing it.


– Jen

*BC – before Crankgus (little man) was born

Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/areay89/

Everyday gratefuls

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So apart from having an awesome baby, lately life has been more on the not so fun side.

Of course I’m permanently tired because of the baby – but thats kind of a given so I’m over that.

Its mostly because I’m not at home because of the renovations dragging on. What was meant to be a few days at Mum and Dad’s out of the dust and noise has dragged into about six weeks. The man doesn’t stay out here much and we usually see him only for a couple of hours a night then he’s home to bed and work the next day.

Now I’m not upset about where I’m staying and its great that Mum and Dad have got to spend so much time with little man, that they wouldn’t have otherwise had – and I can’t thank them enough for everything they’re doing for us. But its not home and I miss the man. I feel like we are living in limbo and I just want to get home.

Its getting me down because I just feel like I’m whinging all the time.

So for this week we’re giving positivity a try! I thought a good way to start would be by doing #everydaygratefuls, everyday I will post something I am grateful for. I will also try to generally be more positive!

So today I am grateful for the smiles and fun I had in the car with little man while we were driving home from Berrigan this morning. Note the wet strap..he likes gumming on it!


– Jen

Feed for thought

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Cherie’s post tonight over at the Raising Master Max Facebook page got me thinking about breastfeeding again. Her post was about a cafe in South Yarra who had asked two mothers to leave because one of them was breastfeeding their four month old.

Before I got pregnant I always thought of breastfeeding as one of those things you just did as a mother. I knew some people didn’t breast feed and I just assumed it was a choice. You either chose to or you didn’t.

No one told me that it can bloody hurt, and that theres a whole industry and support network around breastfeeding alone! No one mentions you kind of have to figure out how to breastfeed in public yourself. The feeling you get that everyone knows you’re a breastfeeding muppet who is either going to expose yourself or not feed your baby correctly because you are too anxious about exposing yourself!

I expected that as I was choosing to breastfeed then I would breastfeed and my baby would look adoringly into my eyes and we would have a fabulous bond because of it. So I joined as a member of the Australian Breastfeeding Association (ABA), went to a breastfeeding class and assumed that would do the trick.

The reality of breastfeeding for me has been very painful bleeding cracked nipples, fast let down/oversupply issues, repeated visits to a lactation consultant, mastitis on top of dealing with a baby with reflux! That coupled with some nervousness about feeding in public has meant I haven’t put myself in situations where I have had to feed in public much. Mother’s group excepted because I do feel quite comfortable feeding there!

There is so much help and support out there for women to continue breastfeeding, and still Australian breastfeeding statistics show that we are falling short of the World Health Organisation and Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Councils recommendations.

From the ABA website:

“The World Health Organization recommends exclusive* breastfeeding for babies to 6 months of age, and thereafter for breastfeeding to continue alongside suitable complementary foods for up to 2 years and beyond.1

The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends exclusive breastfeeding for around 6 months and then for breastfeeding to continue alongside complementary food until 12 months of age and beyond, for as long as the mother and child desire.2

…..Statistics from the 2010 Australian National Infant Feeding Survey3results indicate that 96% of mothers initiate breastfeeding. Thereafter, exclusive breastfeeding rates drop off. Less than half (39%) of babies are still being exclusively breastfed to 3 months (less than 4 months) and less than one quarter (15%) to 5 months (less than 6 months).” (more info here)

After having breastfed for almost 12 weeks now – woo hoo! I can see why mothers give the game away. I think about it usually once a week! Its hard. Sometimes you feel like you need some time off and sure you can express a feed but that really only gives you a few hours before you need to express or feed again anyway. That’s something I didn’t know! It is just constant.

So why am I persevering? Well most of the time now feeds are pain free! Angus is gaining weight, having the right amount of wet and dirty nappies and I know that if I have any issues at all I can get help from the ABA 24-7 or I can book in to see a number of different lactation consultants and so I have no real reason to stop!

I like the fact that breastfeeding is good for my baby. I like that its so convenient! And part of me likes that its something that only I can provide for my baby.

Thats not to say that sometimes I think I’d just like my body back just for me – I do feel like a cow sometimes! But its getting to be a heck of a lot more like how I imagined breastfeeding would be.

I am just one mother experiencing these things, and I would say close to 100% of the women in my mothers group had feeding challenges. Some have stopped breastfeeding, some mix feed, some like me are lucky and doing better.

It is places like that cafe that shatter our confidence. Its not only the women that were asked not to feed there – its all the other women that hear about it and then wonder next time they go to feed in public, it is really okay that I’m doing this?

It IS okay, and the law actually says so. This section of the ABA website mentions how to lodge a complaint.

Of course the cafe might also protest if they had mothers sitting around with hungry babies. Surely that racket is worse than mothers doing one of the most natural things in the world!

– Jen

Edited to remove FB link as this was to an old cafe at 181 Domain Rd. The cafe in question is called Cafe Domain at 171 Domain Rd. The new cafe at 181 Domain Rd, is NOT involved and are lovely (patient) people! So if you are in the area head to Domain Brasserie not Cafe Domain!

Cadel Evans – You’re My Hero

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I know its a few days old, and I apologise to my cyclist friends who attended anger management yesterday about this…but I had to blog about it. I can’t afford anger management.

I am still upset about Mia Freedman’s rant on Monday about Cadel Evans on the Today show. I’m not just upset because I’m a cyclist, although I’m sure that’s part of it.

I thought Mia Freedman was smarter than that. I thought she was articulate and intelligent. But for her to say she ‘just doesn’t care’ and then later go on to say ‘I don’t know a lot about Cadel Evans’ just reeks of stupidity and unprofessionalism.

She must have known what she was getting herself in for. She admitted she realised she would upset a lot of people. Then she writes a blog post saying she was in tears by 8:15am. An Australian did something amazing, and she just canned it. The day after it happened, when all the cyclists in Australia are overtired. Seriously?

Mia says that Cadel is just a man who is paid a lot of money to ride a bike. She wishes other people that she deems more important like doctors, scientists and social workers got paid millions of dollars.

Well that would be very nice. From a personal point of view (my husband is a scientist), I wish scientists got paid millions of dollars as well.  But Cadel Evans doesn’t control how much money people get paid for cycling. That’s the way the world is.

I agree he gets paid a lot of money now, but it wasn’t always like that. I follow a lot of athletes on twitter who get paid next to nothing and struggle on scholarships from the AIS or VIS and hope that they race well enough to earn more money. Often they don’t. They face injury setbacks or don’t do well enough to be sponsored.

The fact that Mia brings this up makes me think she doesn’t understand how hard Cadel, and other athletes work to get to and succeed at that high level. The amount of training, and sacrifices they make is something that most people don’t consider or could even fathom.

I find it funny that Mia was pointing out that he is a man who gets paid a lot of money to ride a bike. Well that’s his job. He works very hard at it. Some people have jobs where they work in the media and don’t research people before they bag them on national tv.

Mia also made the point (twice) that “he doesn’t even live in Australia”. He doesn’t live in Australia because he’s a UCI pro cyclist and competes overseas as an Australian. It would make no sense to live all year in Australia when there is only one UCI race here. In the off season he lives in Barwon Heads and Arthurs Creek.

Mia also says that shocking things happened over the weekend and Cadel is all that’s in the paper. Well I’m sorry Mia the bad news bear, but some of us like to be able to celebrate things .

She says she thinks that its ridiculous “to call him a hero and stand up and sing the national anthem”. Mia, no-one said that we were comparing him to a war hero or that other heroes are less valid. He is a sporting hero. He is a man who has worked so hard and failed many, many times. This time everything came together for him.

All of this had my blood boiling and then she says that she finds it hard to understand how regular people could go “this makes me feel good about myself”. From a cyclists perspective I found it extremely motivating, understanding what he was putting his body through day after day for three weeks, the strategy involved. Incredible.

From a non-cyclists perspective its also a heart-warming story. The boy from Barwon Heads (or Armidale or Eltham depending on what newpaper you read) who achieved his dream and made history by becoming Australia’s first winner of the Tour? I reckon that’s pretty amazing. How could it not tug at your heart strings seeing him up there on the podium with the Australian flag and Tina Arena singing the Australian Anthem?

Mia is totally correct when she says that sports people do it for their own reasons. Of course they do. Cadel grew up riding bikes. He likes bikes. Ian Thorpe likes swimming. So what? He is a sporting hero. Not an ANZAC legend.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion. That’s fair. Already two people have commented on a facebook status I had earlier this week saying they agree with Mia. That’s fine.

But I think its a great thing that Cadel did. Even Mia grudgingly admits ‘he won a bike race’.

He made history. Why can’t we just celebrate his achievement? Why did Mia have to sit there and be negative about it?

Cadel Evans – you’re my hero.

– Jen