The night before…

Work 1. noun. activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result.
2. verb. be engaged in physical or mental activity in order to achieve a result.

As I wash and dry the dishes and try to tidy up a little, there are a few extra things I am preparing before going upstairs to bed. It is the night before I return to work. This phrase “return to work” sounds misleading because for the past 13 months even though I am not in a corporate environment or in an office, I have been working my butt off with a different type of reward – love.

With the date slowly creeping up on me over the past few weeks I have been feeling nervous, sad, excited, guilty and anxious. Motherhood, including all the sleeplessness nights and crying it brings, has been one of the most wonderful and fulfilling experiences and leaving Baby D makes feel sad that I’ll miss out on the little things he’ll learn while I’m not there. I’ll miss morning and afternoon cuddles, and seeing him wake up with a huge grin on his face. I’ll miss messy breakfast time and getting annoyed that there’s food all over the floor and in my hair. I’ll miss the excited expression he has when we go for a walk to see the ducks and how he eats the bread but pretends he’s throwing it to feed them. I’ll miss watching him during his daytime naps wondering what he’s dreaming about.

Having said all that, I also feel extremely blessed. I have a loving family helping to take care of Baby D and a job share arrangement which means I won’t be away from him for a whole week. I have a lot of friends who have returned to work  – some full time, some part time and some work full time at home bringing up our future prime ministers, doctors, artists, athletes and entrepreneurs! Everyone’s situation is different and we try to do what is best and what we can for our families and somehow I have seen it all work out in the end. The first few weeks or months may be a little tricky but I guess that’s just the transition phase.

Here are some tips I thought I’d try out as I transition into back in to work:

1) Wherever I am, I will be all there – be present in whatever I am doing
2) Don’t be afraid to ask for help
3) Remember the reason I am returning to work – my motivation, my goals
4) Have a plan but also be flexible
5) Be realistic – is there such a thing as perfect work/life balance? We’ll soon find out.
6) Drink lots of water and breathe
7) Everything is going to ok 🙂

How did you transition back into the workforce after mat leave? Leave your tips in the comments below.
xoxo

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It seemed like just yesterday we found out we were going to be a family of three! It seemed just like yesterday that I was waddling around with a big, round belly.

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It seemed like just yesterday we met our beautiful little baby – half me and half hubby. Taking him home and getting to know him over the past year has been the best gift we could have ever received.

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Life Lately #5 – Springtime sunshine



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You wouldn’t have picked it from today’s rainy antics but along with the glistening rain, we’ve also already been able to enjoy quite a few days of glorious sunshine here in Melbourne as spring returns. As usual we did a lot of eating, playing and exploring and I also got to meet and catch up with some fellow Melbourne bloggers.  Lately I’ve also gotten the hang of making sure I purposefully close off some days on my calendar so I can just breathe and just…be! Instead of saying yes to every single thing, I have been able to say no leaving me more time to spend doing things I really like. My little Baby D has also recently been sick with his first real cold and this, plus his teething had me suffering from sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Thankfully Baby D has gotten back into the swing of things and is now sleeping quite well again.

Here are some things we got up to in the recent weeks!:

– 1st birthdays galore (post coming up soon on our friend’s dress up party!),
– bloggers events see here, here and here,
Culture Mamas Go Go dancing event (so much fun and I was sweating by the end of it!),
– eating out (Flower Drum, Trailer Park food trucks, Lil Nomnoms food truck, the Winter night market at Vic Market, truffles in Footscray at Guerilla Espresso), Burger Culture)
– also tried cooking pho at home for the first time but I think next time I’ll use stock to lift the flavour a little more!
– attended the open day at Passion Dance Studio and did a KPop dance class!
– celebrated our wedding anniversary and finally got to try Mamasita (we were baby-free for the night, hence the opportunity to wait in line for places that don’t take bookings)
– attended the launch night of council Leadership Alumni and had a lovely night networking with people passionate about making a difference in the community
– attended a Motivating Mum and SheSays event (I love meeting and learning from an array of motivated individuals),
– lots of family time and celebrating Wes’ first fathers day!
– took the dogs to Lort Smith Animal Hospital for a check up (two dogs and a baby in one car equals headache!!)
– did a “little” bit of shopping! (see post here, here and here)
– watched Baby D grow more confident in standing on his own, clapping his hands , pointing to objects we ask about and listened to him turn into a lovely little chatterbox! 🙂

So thankful for life’s everyday blessings -xx-

What everyday blessings are you thankful for?

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morning view

Circle of Moms Top 25 Australian Moms - 2013 - Vote for me!

I am 6 weeks old!

6 weeks change table

I’m a big boy now!laughing

Laughing during play time!winning

Mummy’s milk? – Winning!!! 😀


Hi my name is Daniel and I’m just going to hijack mummy’s blog for a minute to let you know that…I am 6 weeks old today!! 🙂

Development: Mummy and Daddy seemed so excited because they saw me laugh and interact with them a lot more today! They were so happy! Up until now I have been sleeping and eating and sleeping a lot so I guess they are excited to get a little bit of play time in!

Singer/songwriters: Mummy and Daddy seem to like singing me songs all the time! It is probably because when they sing I feel so relaxed that I end up falling asleep! – they must think they are a pair of pretty talented composers! Hehehhe!

Cheeky monkey: I did a massive poo explosion today, the kind that filled up my whole nappy and exploded out the sides and  all up my back!! You should have seen the look on mummy’s face – she had no idea what to do!! She stripped me naked but my poop was everywhere and got onto my hair and my blankets! It was so funny!!! I thought Mummy would finally give me a bath after all that but she didn’t – I think she’s still a little scared because Daddy always bathes me and she hasn’t bathed me on her own yet. I did not mind though because she cleaned me up nicely with the baby wipes (she probably used up a whole packet!). I love my bath times with Daddy! He gets me really clean and it feels so refreshing not to be wrapped up in blankets and nappies – feels so good to be free and aired out down there!

Trip to the hospital: Mummy took me out for the first time completely on her own today! She took me back to the hospital where I spent my first 4 days in this world because it was her 6 week check up. Wherever we go it seems that everyone is so very interested that I was born in Mummy and Daddy’s car and not in a hospital. Everyone is amazed that Mummy, Daddy and I went through the labour all by ourselves! What can I say?…we make the bestest team ever! I just wanted to get out already and I saw the opening and went for it! – Big deal! I think Mummy and Daddy have re-told my birth story 50 bajillion times now! Hahahah! They must be very proud of me coming out all by myself!

Anyways I want some of that yummy, yummy milk now and I can see that Mummy is leaking all over her t-shirt so that’s my cue! I’ll catch you all later!

I hope you liked my very first post! 🙂

Baby D

Live & love each moment

When you become a parent, it’s like ripping your heart out of your body and carrying it around in your hands – Mamamia.com.au

I came across the article below from a tweet posted by @Mamamia and having recently given birth to our first baby, reading it made me feel very emotional. As if the overwhelming feeling of love I felt for both my hubby and our baby was not enough, this article below further pulled on my heartstrings giving a glimpse of what else I may go through over the coming years. The post below is a reminder for us to live & love every moment we have with our families and to appreciate what our loved ones do for us.

Article below by :

I have a dream that I am looking at a baby. He is mine, all wrapped up in a blanket on a hospital bed. He is hooked up to machines and I am worried. Every time I pick him up, his heartbeat gets weaker. When I put him down, it gets strong again. The doctors and nurses assure me that this is normal. I have done nothing wrong. It will be our life from now on. I can hold him sometimes, but not for too long. More often than not, I will need to give him space, let him be. I am told it is the best thing for his heart. I tell them it is the worst thing for mine. In the dream, I surrender, willing to care for him the best I can. The message is clear, I need to learn a whole new way to love. I wake up in a deep state of longing and realize, I am grieving. My child is changing and I am mourning.

cannot remember the last time I sang you a bedtime song, shared a blanket with you, trimmed your fingernails, pushed you on a swing, tied your shoes or cut your chicken at dinner. I do not know what the inside of your locker looks like, who you sit with on the bus, or what you choose for lunch in the cafeteria. You are messy. You hurl your backpack down and raid the cabinets for food deemed only mildly satisfactory. You bark orders for money, slam doors, curse under your breath, and list things you hate. I have made this list more than once. You demand a cell phone, R rated movies, and endless time on the computer. You listen to music with swagger and edge that blares into headphones for only you. You are fresh and fast with a comeback, always.

It has become my job to remind you that a pile of blankets in a heap doesn’t mean that a bed has been made. I push you to finish your poetry project, change your socks, wear your retainer, write your thank you notes, lay off the candy. I can’t be too excited or too disappointed. My heart must not shatter with sadness or burst with pride or I lose you. You ride high and bottom out almost daily. But I cannot join you. I try to stand back, offer support, let it play out. The impact of my consequences have almost no outward effect, my approval seems to matter the least, and it’s becoming rarer for you to back down.

Whenever you lash out, pull away or retreat, I want to reach inside you and pull out the boy who loved Buzz Lightyear and never criticized the Red Sox or his mother. I long for the boy who would wear costumes in public, leap from furniture, and dance wildly, red faced and sweaty from play and imagination. I desperately want to capture you and frantically run away to a distant amusement park on a random Wednesday when you’re scheduled to take a math test. We’ll race together from the giant water slides to the crazy roller coasters and eat fried dough until we’re sick. We’ll waste money, laugh until it hurts, and you’ll hold my hand and squeal that I’m the greatest… of all time… ever. We’ll return home to a permanent state of bliss and skip the betrayal of a temporary fix.

I stay at your bedside, aching for you to share one piece of your day. I am consumed by the potential of a meaningful conversation. You start to share your social woes and I am on the edge of my seat, undivided attention abounds. But you trail off, mumbling that I won’t understand. I scrounge for details from my middle school days to validate you and show I can relate. I get it! I was just there!You assure me things are different now. I nod. They sure are.

I look over at your younger brother, waiting patiently to be tucked in, while I’m all consumed in your adolescence. This is a harsh reminder of your growth and the precious passing of time. He needs me more constantly. You, in more intense, immediate spurts. But tonight I must go to him because the days are slipping on all of us. And when I find him where you are, I will long for this night and these struggles and victories — so overwhelming to me now, so strangely simple and innocent to me tomorrow.We are crossing over. You are my baby. But I cannot carry you now. You walk alone into a new world. I want you to linger here, but you constantly push. You will change. You will grow. You will stumble. You will rise. I will be soft and firm. I will guide and step aside. I will lean and I will pull. I will be lost and I will be certain. I will reach for you, and if you do not reach back, know that my heart remembers your heartbeat. And I will always be holding you there.

For more posts by Janell and more content around parenting, food and family, head over to iVillage.com.au