Quality Time….One at a time!

It’s been over 6 years since I was pregnant with my first born baby. That pregnancy was my favourite. Not only was it my easiest, but I had the time to relish in everything that comes with being pregnant. I could put my feet up and lie down whenever I wanted to, sit and enjoy the movements of my growing baby, shop in peace for baby items, enjoy time with my husband and sleep as much as I wanted to!!!! Then after my first baby was born it was so lovely spending all my time bonding with my little man. He went everywhere with me and it was just beautiful being able to share this time together and me be there for every waking moment and milestone that he achieved! I would take a billion photos of him everyday and had his first year scrapbooking album completed by the time his first birthday rolled around. First children are the lucky ones really because they not only get a large quantity of time that is purely revolved around them, they certainly get the most quality time spent with them!

Since having my first baby I have gone onto having two more children and nothing is like having your first baby. Now you can’t only dedicate your time and effort into one child, you have to share yourself around. Although one child is easy, it’s nice to have more than one. Giving my first born a sibling/(s) was so important to me as I grew up with two sisters and I couldn’t imagine life without them. Even though once you have more than one child you give up that one on one time with your children, you then get to enjoy watching your children interact and form a sibling relationship. Things change, but I think for the better. I love being a mum of three. It’s certainly fair from a walk in the park, but I love a challenge….apparently lol! One thing I make sure though, is that each of my children get to spend one on one time with my husband or myself. It was our choice to have children and to keep adding to our family, so I believe that every child deserves some individual attention every now and again.

We spend most of our time together as a family of 5, but there are times when we do things with one child at a time depending on the activity. Recently our eldest learnt how to ride his bike without training wheels, so once or twice a week Bailey and I go for a bike ride. We have so much fun and I can focus on just him and his new found love of bike riding. Bailey also plays football and my husband is the assistant coach, so going to training twice a week with dad on his own without his little sisters has been cool for him. In the past I would take him to swimming lessons at 5pm while my husband had the girls at home and when Bailey achieves something special, one of us take him out for ice-cream or to the shops to buy him a little something!

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I keep a closer eye on my middle child. I’ve already written a blog about middle child syndrome and that it does exist in our house. We have been blessed with a fairly easy going middle child in Sienna, but being a four year old she can be emotional at times and feels the pinch of having an older brother who is always achieving and a baby sister who is a toddler therefore needs lots of attention! I feel the worst for Sienna. She will miss out on the most quantity of time with me. She has had me to herself for a whole big total of 5 weeks! Bailey got me for 2 and a half years and my baby will have me for 3 years to herself after this year. I feel I have a lot to make up to Sienna. Like with Bailey we take her out and treat her if she achieves something special. Her time with us on her own is when Mia has a day sleep and Bailey is at school. Often we’ll just cuddle on the lounge or read a book together. On the weekend I took her out to dinner and ice-cream as Bailey had spent all day with his best friend and we missed out on going to the Ekka as my husband had to work all day. Not once did that little girl complain and taking her out was so worth the happiness that covered her beautiful little face!

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Mia being the youngest and our baby, has lots of moments in time where she gets to have one of us all to herself! Often I’ll take her out with me while Kane has the older two or vice versa. And while she is 18 months now, she was breast fed for 15 months, therefore she had lots of me to herself and those moments were the most precious! Just recently I had a week off work while she was sick and was able to spend two whole days with her while Bay and Sie were at school….we had a ball together and was an insight into how life will be once Sienna starts prep next year!

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I love going on family outings all of us together. They are the moments I live for during the week, when you’re not having the best week, you know the weekend will make up for it…spending time as a family. But I also think that it’s vital that each of our children can have our full undivided attention every once in a while. I’d hate to think that one of them or all of them felt like they were never being heard or fussed over. I try my hardest as a mother to make sure when we are altogether that my attention is evenly shared, but there are days when I feel like its not enough, which is why I feel so much more content when I’m able to spend quality time, one at a time with each of my precious babies!

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End of an Era:(

The time has come. I knew it was approaching. I knew it wouldn’t last forever. I knew it would be a sad day………….

6 years ago, when I became a mum for the first time, I took to breastfeeding like a duck to water. I always hoped to breastfeed, but I also had an open mind that it may not work or I may not be suited to it, but I was! I loved everything about it. The bond I shared with each of my babies was one like no other and the fact that I was providing all of their vitamins, minerals and nutrients was always a great feeling. It was the one thing that only I could do with my babies and I feel so blessed that I was able to experience that with each of my children!

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One of my first breast feeds with Mia!

It wasn’t all smooth sailing though. The first couple of weeks of painful attachments, grazing, bleeding, cracks and blocked milk ducks. The first few days when your milk comes in and you suddenly wake up to these human watermelons that start from under your armpits! The night feeds and wishing and praying for more than three hours sleep at a time! Or the times when you feed, settle and put down and within a blink of an eye you were having to turn around and do it all over again. But I wouldn’t have traded that for one minute. That is the reality of breastfeeding!

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Such precious memories…..drunk on milk!

I am a huge advocate of breastfeeding, but also believe that breastfeeding isn’t for everyone. It can be one of those controversial issues, but at the end of the day, as long as a baby is being fed adequately for their age then there shouldn’t be any controversy….breast or bottle, it’s all food! You see so often women left feeling guilty over not being able to, not giving it a go longer or even attempting it! Breastfeeding doesn’t define you as a parent, it’s one small factor in the whole big picture! And please don’t get me started on breast is best for health….3 breastfed babies, 3 out of 3 chronic middle ear infections…..where was the benefits of my breast milk while this was happening??? But again I wouldn’t change anything!

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Sleep is always a good option after a belly full of milk!

I never put a time constraint on how long I would breastfeed for. My only goal was to get them to 6 months and on solids and then I went with the flow and let them dictate what they wanted. 3 children, a boy and two girls and all such different feeders! Bailey self weaned at 7 and a half months, Sienna I stopped at 13 months and my last baby, which brought me to writing this blog, Mia who had her last feed 3 days ago at 15 months!

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My last baby to be fed….Miss independent just finished at 15 months:(

I knew the day that signified the end of breastfeeding forever was always going to be an emotional one. It’s reality that I am never going to have a newborn again and experience all that goes with it. It only feels like yesterday I was experiencing it all for the first time, now 3 children and 4000 plus breastfeeds later, that part of my life is over:(….it really is the end of an era!

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