The Dark Side of Social Media!

Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, Blogspot just to name a few are all fun and games until people start to get nasty! Over the past couple of days, I’ve come across a few bloggers who have felt they had to defend themselves from something they’ve put on their Facebook pages. One mum apologised for ‘bragging’ about something great her children have done and another mum felt she had to defend herself as a ‘fit enough’ mother as she posted a photo of her three children sitting on her kitchen bench! What the?? Seriously people where is the nice positive energy that this already filled with hatred and filth earth needs!!!

I was completely taken aback when I was reading what these mums felt they had to say to clear their names of any misdoing! Last night I was reading a piece from one mum’s blog about how someone had left their condolences for the tragic accidental passing of her young son, but then went on to say how as parents we must never take our eyes off our children. She was guttered. She lives with guilt everyday but some despicable person had to lay judgement and make her feel worse! I’m an avid blogger and Facebook fan. It is my choice to put myself, my life, my thoughts and ideas out there to be judged and scrutinised, but one would hope that people would keep their negative comments to themselves. Thankfully for me, I have had nothing but positive feedback from my viewers and anyone who thinks otherwise has kept their comments to themselves! But obviously that’s not always the case for everyone….

Social media is such a huge part of most people’s everyday lives these days, which can be a good and bad thing, but it really comes with a dark side! I guess like anything it’s great when it’s all positive, but can leave someone feeling terrible when things start turning negative! It’s so easy for someone to leave a nasty comment or statement when they aren’t meeting face to face with people, but it still demonstrates how awful people can be! Quite often I’ll read something on Facebook or in someone’s blog post that I may not agree with, but I would never write anything that would leave a person feeling angry or upset…even if they don’t know me from a bar of soap! Sometimes things are best to be left unsaid!!!

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The group of people who often are an easy target is usually us mums! And most times it’s other mums having their negative opinion!! It seems to be the minute a parenting topic arises it opens up a can of worms for competition! Or the minute someone is beaming with pride and happiness, someone is swooping in telling them their bad luck story to drag them down – Facebook is so bad for this!!! When I read this week about the mum who apologised for always sharing good news stuff about her life because people left comments about how her ‘happy’ life made them feel bad – it made me think do people feel like that about me?!?! I’m one of those people who instagram, blog and Facebook all the great things that happen in my life!! I could post all the time about the negative stuff, but where would that get me?!?!? I know it takes all types for the world to go round, but it would be so nice if we could all be happy for each other when things are going right and support it each other when things are tough!

I guess the point of writing this blog post is certainly not to stir the social media pot (which is being done enough by a lot of people all over the world) but to post this in the hope that some of the people who don’t think before they comment read this and think twice next time! I know once we decide to post something on a social media forum we leave ourself open to judgement, but it would be nice to think that the good old fashion moral of ‘if you haven’t got anything nice to say then don’t say anything at all’ would apply! My biggest concern from this sort of thing happening now is that kids are jumping on the social media bandwagon younger and younger…like I said above, this world is already full of so much hate and filth, let’s all jump on the positive side of life…it’s so much nicer on this side!!!

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Keep the Faith!

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This time last year our life took a massive turn for the worst…my husband was without a permanent job! It was a position in the 10 years we’d lived together that we had never faced before! In fact it was a position that either of us had ever faced in our lives! It left us feeling shattered, insecure and wondering if we were able to keep up paying all of our bills! Thankfully Kane has wonderful mates who threw him casual work as much as they could! Beggers can’t be choses in a time like this and I appreciate everyday how hard my husband worked to keep us afloat!

I as the budget guru of our house, managed to keep our head above water. It’s times like this I appreciate my love of saving, because it sure came in handy! I never looked at this situation as poor us, because I knew there were so many more people worse off than us. Thankfully we have a very supportive family who could help us if we needed it and if things came to things I would have had to go back to work more than my two days. But it didn’t get that bad! From Kane’s pure determination and dedication to finding a permanent job, something eventually fell into his lap! It was a ‘not what you know but who you know situation’, but without his skills for the position he wouldn’t have been able to for fill the role!

I’m so happy to say that after going though such instability for months and months last year, we are finally back on track like our lives have always been!!! It’s taken a while, but we’re good, we’re comfortable and most importantly we’re happy and still married lol! Kane is loving the role at his job and November marks one year already! We just bought a new car – a seven seater sports wagon and we are just about to give our house a freshen up with new blinds and carpet and book a two week holiday at Christmas time!!!!!

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For the period that Kane was working casually, we had to watch every single cent we spent. I learnt so much from it and in actual fact it brought the realisation to the fore that we really did waste money! I guess when you’re faced with the situation we were and we still had two mortgages to pay off, plus bills and feed five of us, we had no choice but to prioritise. We gave up things like going out to dinner and takeaway and picked and chose places that were inexpensive and we always took plenty of food when we went on outings! The best thing I’ve learnt in all of this is the art of grocery shopping for 5 people a week for $200!!

In all of this, I haven’t felt like we’ve missed out on anything. Sure we didn’t do everything we normally would have done in that period of time, but never did our children complain or even realise what we were going through! I always live by the belief that as long as we have each other, then we’ll always make it through anything! And that is what I believe got us to the comfortable point we are today! We kept our faith and we never stopped believing. Everyday I would say to myself “it will happen, things will turn our way!”….that belief is finally paying off!

My Budgeting Tips….
1. Save for a rainy day! For us we put as much as we can into our home loan which helps reduce the interest but keeps the redraw increasing and is there when needed!

2. Grocery shop wisely! I have a budget of $200 for groceries per week and this covers 5 well prepared meals (which I have planned before I shop), a scraps night (eggs on toast or leftovers) and one night a week takeaway! I prepare lunches for everyone all week and the kids get tuckshop once a week! I have found myself a really good fruit and veggie shop where I spend $20-$25 a week and get 4 bags full of stuff!

3. Have specific savings accounts! I have a few accounts that I put money into for specific things….Christmas, holidays and the kids have an account each as well. It certainly comes in handy for when the times swing around and the money is needed!

4. Spend within your means! We have a credit card for obvious reasons, but we don’t use it unless we can pay it back! I really dislike owing money and if I have to pay for something on my credit card, I transfer the money straight onto it! We only purchase things that we can afford to without it ‘breaking the bank’…my husband is very lucky that I am the bargain shopper of bargain shoppers!!

5. Have a plan! Most importantly have a budget/plan for your money! Now that we are settled and it’s a new financial year, we have just started our new budget that allows us to pay our mortgage and more, save, pay bills and provide ourselves with some comforts in life!

I cannot stress enough that none of us know what’s around the corner and it’s so important to expect the unexpected or at least be prepared as much as you can be financially! When we were faced with this situation last year, it was a shock! But we’ve picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and have learnt so much from a not ideal situation! We are also now insured for loss of income and death…sounds morbid but I’d rather be prepared then lose everything that we’ve worked so hard to provide for our party of 5!

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Establishing a Happier You!

My Party of 5

Life is so much more enjoyable when you are happy! To me things flow better, chores get done more efficiently, decisions are made more easily and when life throws a curve ball at you, instead of resisting it and curling up in the fetal position, you have enough mental strength to face it head on! For almost two years now, I’ve been working on a new me – a happier me! Finding out about my heart condition really put things into perspective for me…the mantra I live by now is ‘we only have one chance at life, so it’s up to us to make a good go of it!’

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I’ve always been a happy person who loves to laugh and have a good time, but over the years, I would let things get to me and get me down. I would stress over the smallest of things and crack up…

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Establishing a Happier You!

Life is so much more enjoyable when you are happy! To me things flow better, chores get done more efficiently, decisions are made more easily and when life throws a curve ball at you, instead of resisting it and curling up in the fetal position, you have enough mental strength to face it head on! For almost two years now, I’ve been working on a new me – a happier me! Finding out about my heart condition really put things into perspective for me…the mantra I live by now is ‘we only have one chance at life, so it’s up to us to make a good go of it!’

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I’ve always been a happy person who loves to laugh and have a good time, but over the years, I would let things get to me and get me down. I would stress over the smallest of things and crack up at the kids and lose my patients at very little. For a long time there while I was pregnant and breastfeeding one baby after the other, I was running on empty. Lack of sleep, teaching two days a week, raising three children and running a house became overwhelming! For me the turning point was finding out about my heart. Although not a ‘happy’ situation to be faced with, once I got my head around what I was living with, it changed the way I started looking at life! Instead of wrapping myself up in cotton wool, I’m grateful and happy that I know about my heart and I work hard everyday to keep myself fit and healthy to help my condition!

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I believe I’ve evolved over time. I’ve grown to appreciate the small things in life. As normal human behaviour has it, we always want what we can’t or don’t have, when really we should be happy with what we’ve got! These days I purely focus on that. I may not have a huge fancy house, drive a BMW or wear designer clothes…I have so much more to be happy about! I have a loving husband, three beautiful children, a devoted family and a number of fabulous friends…not an ounce of money could buy me that!

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At the end of the day, like anything, being happy is a choice! The first step to being happy is wanting to be. From there it’s up to the individual to do things that make them happy. For me that involves lots of things….
*spending time with my party of 5
*cuddles with my babies
*laughing with my husband and children
*dinner date with my husband
*seeing my babies happy
*spending time with my family
*date with my mum and sisters
*chatting to my mum
*time with my friends and their babies
*running
*keeping fit and eating healthy
*baking and cake decorating
*my nana’s beautiful face
*playing around on instagram apps
*having a tidy house
*getting my hair done
*shopping
*painting my nails
*writing blogs
*knowing I’ve helped someone
*being organised
*the sunshine
*going on holidays…just to name a few:)

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I feel very blessed everyday for what my life holds. And although we’ve been through some terribly sad times this year and throughout my life, I still try so hard everyday to focus on being happy and appreciating what I have. For me positive thinking and patience comes so much more naturally now and I believe my happiness has contributed to this! I also believe that when you are happy, everyone seems happier around you. When I wake up every morning I’m happy, because I feel blessed that I’ve been granted another day with the beautiful people that I love…and then I go like a crazy women to fill my day with as much as I can….and this makes me happy!

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Smile and be happy…we have so much to be happy about!

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Happiness breeds happiness….

A Moment of Silence…

Shhh….can you hear that?
It’s a moment of silence!!
No one is speaking, shouting, calling out mummy!
No one is crying, debating, questioning or whingeing.
It’s in this moment of silence that I draw strength from to get through my day…

I love being a mum, the best job in the world, but it can leave you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and a little bit moody if you don’t take the time to recharge! Being a mum doesn’t mean you are automatically invincible…we are still human and human’s have feelings, emotions and needs to be met. Our priority is our children and making sure they are being nurtured and cared for like treasure, but we as mums still need to look after ourselves so we can keep fighting the good fight each and everyday!

Do you manage to get a moment of silence?
Once the day begins it’s full of feeding, dishes, making lunches, sorting uniforms, homework, dropping kids to school or recreational activities, washing, folding, house work cooking, shopping and spending time playing with the kids! There isn’t a lot of time in there for moments of silence except when you’re sleeping – and if you have a child who is a terrible sleeper, even that doesn’t happen then! I love my moment of silence. Whether it’s for half an hour, two hours or fifteen minutes, it’s enough time for me to regather my thoughts enough to (depending on when it is) start the day or finish off the rest of the day!!

I need this time to debrief with myself over any major issues that are happening, organise stuff without little ones hanging off me or just to rest and rebuild! For my moment of silence to happen I have to be in a good routine and be super organised. It’s taken a while to establish all of this and usually when I’d think I’d gotten it down pat, another baby would come along to make it even more tricky! These days, now the kids are a little older and 2 out of three are in school, I manage a couple of hours a day for my moment of silence while Mia has her day sleep (that’s only on my non working days)! I also exercise about 3-4 hours per week which is another essential part of my life now and allows time for a moment of silence as well:)!

What to you do when you manage a moment of silence?
There are so many things I love to do when I get the chance to have a moment of silence! I’m like a kid in a candy store if I know I have some time ahead of me to myself! Time – that word in the english dictionary should have ‘precious’ next to it, as that is what time is! When I’m granted time to myself I use it wisely and try to utilise it to its maximum!

My moments of silence involve me….
*catching up on my tv shows
*folding washing (I know boring but I don’t like ‘help’ with this job lol)
*blogging
*facebooking
*catching up on messages
*paying bills
*painting my nails/toenails
*straightening my hair
*relaxing on my sun lounge
*running or walking
*instagraming
*crafting

Having a moment of silence doesn’t mean you’re neglecting your job as a mother or wife, especially if it’s incorporated into your daily routine and balanced in with the rest of your crazy busy life! Remember mummas we are only human and if we don’t allow just a little bit of time for ourself each day, life will feel like ground-hog day, which after a while gets mentally frustrating and creates unnecessary angst and stress! And we all know a happy mumma is a better mumma:)!

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