Shopping….Toddler Style!

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It’s been so long now since I shopped without a child, I’ve almost forgotten what it feels like!!!

Shopping pre-children:
Those were the days when I would rock up at Garden City and leisurely take my time to find a carpark and I wouldn’t care where I parked as long as I found one. I’d fix my clothes up so they were nice and neat, have a quick look at my hair in the mirror and then I’d be slowly on my way to the opening doors. As I walked through the doors I would grin to myself and ask “where to first!”

I would then go from store to store seeking out the things I was looking for, pouncing on any bargain I could find. I would go through every rack if necessary and sometimes spend up to half an hour in one store! I’d have a chat to people in the que and strike up a conversation with the sales assistant as I had all the time in the world! I would take a breather after a couple of hours and have a nice quiet bite to eat and drink and once I’d finished, I continue on my shopping way until I’d gone to every conceivable shop that may have what I was looking for…oh that’s right most times I didn’t go for a purpose I’d go just because I could and LOVED it so much!!!!!!

My how life changes once you become a mum! At first when I only had one child things didn’t change much at all, the only difference was I was pushing a pram and had to stop at a parent’s room to feed and change every couple of hours. But then your baby grows and doesn’t want to be pushed in a pram all day and then learns to talk and tells you exactly what their thoughts are about shopping! Then one child turns into two and in my case three and the only time shopping is at all appealing is when it’s done on the internet! But as challenging as taking kids to the shops can be sometimes, I’ve never stopped going shopping, I just make it really routined and quick!

Shopping post children:
Oh how my head is in a different space at the shops now! Before a shopping trip I now have everything down pat. A list of what I want to buy, before I leave I’ve already thought about where I’m going to park and in which order I will get around. I make sure I have plenty of food and drinks for the kids and my phone is charged!!!! I try and get there as early as I can so I know I won’t spend long finding a car park and once I’m through the doors of the shopping centre, I’m like a greyhound who’s been let out of the cage! People must look at me and think – Geeze what’s the rush! Ummm the fact that I only have a small window of opportunity until all hell could break loose!!! I’m a women on a mission and mission it is trying to squeeze a pram into a clothes shop and dodge all the rides that seem to be every five metres!!!!!! I generally always know now what I want so very little time is spent in one store and because I need to be home by 12 to put Mia down for her nap so she is awake for school pick up, it leaves very little time for a pit stop!

Mia and I ventured to Garden City this morning to start Mother’s Day Shopping. I don’t often go to big shopping centres anymore as we have lots of little ones around our area that are sufficient and only go to big ones when I need something specific. As I ‘tried’ to browse a few shops while passing food, pulling little sticky fingers away from pretty dresses, answering “soon” for the tenth time after being asked “Mia hope out mummy!”, telling Mia the scary man would come if she kept screaming out to me (mean I know but it works lol), I suddenly started thinking how shopping has gone from a leisure activity to a chore lol!

But I seriously wouldn’t have it any other way! Now that it’s just Mia and I who venture to the shops while Bay and Sie are at school, we are in a good routine. I always make Mia stay in her pram or trolley for as long as I can which is about one to one and half hours depending on how much food I’ve brought and once I’m finished I always let her walk for the last part and if there is a little playground and she’s been awesome, she gets a 15 min play. I bring food from home for small shops and when I need to get a heap of things done at the bigger shopping centres I take a lollipop for her:) and grocery shopping days she gets her two cherrios and is always allowed a coin to put in the dog at the end – god bless that dog at woolies:)….it’s the small things in a toddler’s life that go a long way!

Shopping with a toddler or kids in general can be taxing but like anything, if a routine is established with set rules and consistency is applied, it can be quite a pleasurable experience. I only try and go to the shops once a week and I make sure I choose times that I know they’ll be less tired. Although shopping on your own is by far easier, I love that I have someone to chat to while I’m shopping and when the day comes when I have them all in school and I’m left to the freedom of browsing on my own, I’m sure I’ll love it, but have many times when my heart breaks a little that they aren’t there by my side…..because by then I would have been shopping with at least one or two children in tow (except for school holidays) for 10 years!!!!!!

Shopping with a toddler doesn’t do my head in, homework with a 7 year old on the other hand…a topic for a future blog post!

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My partner in crime:)

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“Yes I’m a mum of three children!!”

It’s been 10 months now since I started my journey to regain my pre-baby body back. I choose to do this for myself, nobody else!! One thing I’ve noticed more now since losing my weight and getting fit is the surprised look on people’s faces when I tell them I have 3 children!!! “You have three children?!” “And you look like that!” is what I hear a lot! As flattering as it can be, it also makes me feel a little uncomfortable! It got me thinking….Why does it have to be a shock? And how does what I look like depict whether I fit the ‘motherly’ role or not?! Isn’t it a good thing that I’m promoting health and fitness to my children. Yes I’m a mum but that doesn’t mean I should give up on myself!!! Society creates stereotypes of specific people and roles and it’s becoming just so frustrating! If we spent more time worrying about the type of mother, father, teacher or doctor people are rather than how they look, the world would be a far more friendly place to live in!

I am a firm believer of the phrase ‘each to their own!’ Like I stated above, I look the way I do for myself, nobody else and being the shape and size I am doesn’t define me as a mother. The love in my heart for my children, the sacrifices I make and the way I parent is what defines me! I don’t for one minute expect other mothers to exercise how I do or eat what I eat, everyone is their own person and makes their own decisions in life! Ok so I agree not all of us but a lot of us put weight on during pregnancy. Some of us find it easy to lose it after our babies are born and some of us don’t! Some of us find the motivation easily and some of us need more encouragement and some of us are just happy as is! But why can’t that be good enough? You lose weight you’re questioned. You don’t lose weight you’re questioned. And it’s not just the weight issue, it’s the age you are when you first become a mum, how you discipline, if you breast feed, where your baby sleeps, arrrrrrr feels like you just can’t win!!!!!!!

I feel mums are stereotyped more than dads are too! If a dad is fit, slim and healthy no one questions them. It seems to be dads can just be as they are and not many people question them at all! It’s not enough that just being a mum is such a busy 24/7 job, but we are always made to feel like we have to live to these high expectations all the time! Not for me anymore! Society is creating a selfish and nasty place out there now and it really disappoints me that people behave the way they do. I’m happy to say that I’m a mum because I want to be and I take my mum job seriously. I’ve seen such a huge shift in mums over the past 6 years of being a mum. When my first was born, I use to go to play groups and Gymboree and met some lovely mums along the way. We would talk about our babies but mostly we would just talk. Now when I go to playgrounds or play groups you over hear a lot of conversations about those high expectations I was talking about! Why are some mums so competitive, judgemental and spend more time worrying about what others think?!

You would think a room full of mums and their children would be such a lovely place to be, but in truth it can be the opposite sometimes! I love meeting new people and being a mum is such a popular thing to have in common with someone, therefore should be easy to strike up a conversation or relate to each other, but it doesn’t always seem to be! The sad thing is, mums can be hard work! Being a teacher, I meet and see so many different mothers and some are so easy to communicate with and relay information to and others not so much! As a mum we are our children’s advocates I get that well and truly, but sometimes some mums go a bit too far! Is it because so much pressure is put on us to create perfection? The sad thing is while parents are trying to mould this ‘perfect’ child, the real basic and important fundamentals that should be taught are being missed.

Life just seems so full of high expectations, ideal ways and competitiveness and while some of this is important at times, I think we need to go back to some of the old fashioned ways of living life for yourself and not how other people perceive you should! My Party of 5 is the most important thing to me! Being a mum and wife is the most important role in life. What I do I do for myself and my children not for anyone else! I have opinions but know when to state them appropriately. With each child I’ve learnt to chill out as a mum and not get caught up in the controversial issues that come with being a mum. I will continue to be myself for myself and no stereotypical way of being a mum will stop me from looking the way I do! So to answer the question I’ve been asked so frequently lately….”yes I’m a mum of three and I’m very proud of it!” No matter who you are, being your own person is far easy than being someone that everyone else thinks you should be!

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My $1 gift is worth a million dollars to me:)

God love my selfless son:)!

As today is Wednesday, he always gets $1 to spend at the tuckshop during lunch time. This morning was a rush, we all slept in…thank you Mia!!! I gave Bay his dollar and off we went to school. It didn’t dawn on me until 10am that I forgot to give him $5 for the Mother’s Day stall. Bailey is usually so good at reminding me about things like this, but he did sleep until 7.15am! I felt so terrible, I made a call to the school who said they’d already been to the stall, but were happy for me to still bring the money up. That I did!

It was lunch time when I arrived and of course I spotted the tallest child in grade 1 first….my son lol! He always gives me a beautiful big cheesy grin that bursts with excitement to see me! He was pleasantly surprised to see me and asked so innocently why I was there. I told him that I bought his Mother’s Day stall money up. His beautiful face expressed a thousand words and when I asked him had he already bought me something he replied with a very tender yes. He had spent his $1 tuckshop money on me at the Mother’s Day stall and was happy to miss out on his ice-block for the day!

I was so touched and thrilled that my hard work of teaching our children to share and be selfless was obviously paying off. He didn’t even ask me for more money for the tuckshop, but of course after that act of kindness how could I not. After a sweet little kiss and cuddle from him we went our separate ways to carry on with our day. When I walked away and turned around, I could see his chest sticking out with pride, as I’d praised him immensely for what he did.

It’s moments liken this that being a parent is the most rewarding and satisfying job in the world. These moments far out weigh the hard times and god knows we go through some very difficult moments with Bailey. When I spoke to his teacher about it she wasn’t surprised, as he does things like this all the time at school:) Her comment was though “but don’t expect a $5 present!” No matter what $1 gift I receive, it will always be worth a million dollars to me!

I love you son….xoxoxo!

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