“When I finally felt ready for a second child, years later, I spoke to my therapist about preventative strategies in case PND started throwing its weight around a second time. I had notes and lists. I built a strong sense of identity as a woman and mother and felt ready to fight. What I didn't prepare for was a terrifying emergency caesarean, milk supply issues and a baby with silent reflux. I felt my body betrayed me. The negative self-talk and feelings of failure made themselves at home again.

Depression doesn't care about your lists.

When I received news of my beloved Grandmother's sudden death my anxiety became untethered. I always felt she was an anchor to my true self, and it was like someone just snipped the rope without warning. I couldn't make it to the USA in time for her funeral so I wrote the eulogy and watched the service via FaceTime at 2 am. Weeks later, my Uncle also unexpectedly passed.

I felt like the teenager pushing my emptiness down with a banana, protecting everyone else from the discomfort my feelings created. I wanted to disappear but only because I thought my family would be better off without my misery.

I felt ashamed because I had no valid ‘reason' to be sad, we had such a beautiful life. Depression does not discriminate but knowing that didn't help me feel much better about it.

The grief and isolation triggered a deep, intense depression as I had never known. Rock bottom rushed toward me as I fell.”

This is an excerpt from my book chapter. You might know about my struggle with postnatal depression if you’ve been following me for the last six years. What you might not know is that I battled with depression (undiagnosed and untreated) since my teens. Even my husband learned new things about me when I let him proofread the manuscript.

Parts of my story are confronting but it has a positive ending. I wouldn’t be able to be here, and able to share it otherwise.

To be honest, I'm going through a rough patch at the moment but since my story is ongoing, I know everything will be okay eventually.

Thank you for reading.

Release date 6 December 2019

It's uncool to be obsessed with your kids.

obsessed with your kids

But sometimes (ok, most of the time) I am.

Sometimes Motherhood totally sucks and makes me feel like a failure in all kinds of ways. I try to be honest about it, try to blow up the myth of Motherly perfection at any chance I get.

Motherhood can go suck eggs…if it weren’t for the kids.

I’m obsessed with ‘em.

I don’t want to love my kids more than anything else in life, that’s not very productive. I preach about self-care, me-time, investing in other relationships, identity and future. Who am I trying to convince if not myself?

When I kiss their little foreheads, sometimes I smoosh a little too long. It’s like I want our skin to feel combined again.

Today I caught myself looking longingly at a pregnant woman (how quickly we forget!) My last pregnancy was nausea for the first three months and back-pain for the following six. Then I had a traumatic, emergency Caesarian, and a newborn with reflux. I was so tired for the first four months of her life that I couldn't tell time after 3:00PM.

You hear about this movement, a rumbling of honest Mums who want to contribute other things to this world. Careers, hobbies, relationships…ect. More than just babies. I want to be, and am, part of it- most of the time.

But what more IS there? (I can’t believe I’m saying this).

I’ve never been more passionate about anything else in my entire life. That’s saying a lot because most people would describe me as passionate to the point of intense (or even abrasive).

If you were to ask me what my greatest accomplishment in life was, without hesitation it would be my daughters. If I die tomorrow my only regret would be not seeing them grow. I’m totally okay with all other decisions I’ve made in my life (even the wrong ones).

The most visceral, surreal, moments of my life were their births- for a multitude of reasons. In comparison, I was lightyears calmer and collected even on my wedding day. Falling in love is an incredible feeling, it’s a huge hit that eventually settles-in but with children, it’s the opposite. The love starts small and as you get to know them, and watch them become little people, your love grows. It grows so big that sometimes thinking about it is hard to handle without getting anxious. Or maybe it’s just me.

I know I will fail so hard at this, many times (I already have), and I accept that. Even now, I don’t live up to their standards “grandma is nicer than you, Mom.” Still, I vow to keep doing my best.

My confession here is that sometimes I am loving it more than I let on. I am secretly enjoying rocking my baby to sleep, vice-hugging my four-year-old until she wiggles away, imagining crawling under their perfect skin or even better, them crawling back into mine. It’s creepy, I know.

Creep as I may be, they chose me to be their Mother and every day I am grateful for it.

My children stole my soul so I must fight, daily, to get a small piece of it back. I need to keep some for myself so I can maintain a bit of self-respect and at least a shadow of my identity for when the day comes when the girls leave me. They will think they no longer need me. 

Even as a 37-year-old Mother of two, I still need nurturing. I’ve learned to provide it to myself so I don’t have to rely on others (or so I won't get let down because of my impossibly high standards). If I can do this, remain whole, un-needy, I can demonstrate that to my daughters that they are okay, with or without me. That way they won’t have to learn this skill so late in life. I should probably start by not letting on just how obsessed I am with them. But probably they already know.



A while back I wrote this post about sleep training. Some people liked it, others compared my home to a Russian Orphanage. The reasoning; I allowed my daughter to try for 4-8 minutes at a clip to teach her to self-settle. Show me a Mum who can settle a baby in under 8 minutes and I’ll show you the next bazillionaire.

I’m not being defensive! Well, maybe a little.

For the record: I’m not Svetlana. My child didn’t stop crying because she thought no one would come tend to her. She learned to stop fighting bedtime. My first born is now four-years-old and still sleeps like a champ.

Allow me one more defensive comment and I’ll get to my point, promise. There are many ways to teach a baby to self-settle, some involve crying and others don’t. It all depends on how much patience you have.

To make an omelet, you need to break a few eggs. I prefer my breakfast after a full night’s sleep. (Our method did not involve controlled crying even though some robust commenters accused such.) If you want to know exactly what we did to teach our baby to sleep you can read the full article here.

It used to really annoy me when people told me I got lucky with our methods. They said I was gifted with a good sleeper. 

I never argued for fear of seeming smug. My husband and I worked our buns off to teach our daughter into good sleep habits. We would slip up from time to time, and we always paid the price. After every illness or vacation, we had to 're-set' the sleep schedule. It was hard WORK I tell you! Not luck!

Some of it was luck.

I see that now. We were lucky enough to crack our daughter's code with a mixture of methods. She’s a regimented child by personality who responded well to our regimented sleep routine and settling.

Our second baby is different.

Each child is different, everyone says it over and over when you’re pregnant with your second. I tried to go into this with a clean slate but obviously, with plans to try the same approach as last time. It worked once, so if it ain't broke...

Then we got silent reflux. And no sleep. For four months. The same approach would not work for a child with different needs (and a health condition).

I pick the baby up all the time because it could be trapped wind (or she's messing with me). Silent reflux babies comfort-eat so she fed every two-to-three hours in the first four months. That stretched to every three-to-four hours once she started medication.

Fed up and exhausted, I tried weaning her. She’s slept eight hours exactly twice since (but I didn’t because my body anticipated a wake-up like a puppy waiting for a walk).

Thank goodness for medication because it’s made a tremendous difference to her wind and pain (and our sleep). But it’s not a 100% perfect solution.

Every night is different.

We had bub settling beautifully, and waking up once (for about a month), but for the last two weeks, she’s demanding to be wiggled or rocked to sleep- not something I plan to live with.

To be honest I feel slightly sheepish about my (former) confidence. I still stand by my initial article with the intent that sharing our first approach could help other children. It's understandable that parents who deal with serious sleep-issues (I take my hat off to you, you warriors) might have been skeptical.

I still believe there are solutions, it's just a matter of finding the right one for each individual child. I have to believe it! We humans are meant to sleep, not fight it. Right?

Perhaps it’s time to call in reinforcements. I do truly believe every kid has a sleep code, it’s just finding a way to crack it. Sometimes, if we can't figure it out ourselves, we need to call in the experts.

Have you tried sleep school or a sleep-nanny? 


This morning, curled up in a ball on the couch, hoodie pulled over my face, I cried like a teenager while my husband left for work. The baby, who decided to wake for the day at 5:00 am, gurgled in her swing while Morning Show hosts prattled on about celebrity couples. I didn’t even know J.Lo had another new boyfriend. Can’t say I’m surprised.

Depressed people tend to focus on the negatives. Like how today there’s no kinder, no creche (at the gym), daylight savings just ended, and my kids didn’t get the memo.

I haven’t used the D word much lately, maybe it’s time to call it. 

Sometimes even our most skilfully built villages aren’t available when you’re a transplant. I can’t call my Mother to come over for an hour so I can go back to bed because I’m on the other side of the world. She would probably remind me that it was my choice to move to Australia (as if it were a choice). My Mother in law has already done some hard yards for us over the last few months. So, here we are.

My makeshift village is a skeleton crew after the Easter long weekend. I have (many, amazing) friends but I wouldn’t dream of calling them on a day when my main complaint is, "I feel blah," they have their own kids on school holidays and don’t need to add me to their responsibilities list.

I tell myself, "Get it together, you should be better by now, Imogen is six months old." The dreaded first year is half over. Well....perhaps the truth is I didn’t completely escape PND this round. Maybe for different reasons, and at a lesser intensity, it’s still the same familiar beast. We had a support network in place but we also had silent reflux. Same, same, but different. 

In the middle of the night, the tiredness actually makes me feel old and worn out. I bleed motivation for projects that typically fire me up and make me happy. The question meant to kill all creativity creeps into my mind, “What’s the point?”

What IS the point?

When I look at the baby through my hoodie hole, she smiles at me. Big. I don’t want to be cheered up but I can’t help it. This is why I don’t run away and why I don’t quit.

I decided to drop any and all expectations of myself today. It actually helped a little. 

Sweeping the floors I started writing sentences in my head then gave myself permission to stop bloody sweeping and record a few words while the kids were entertained. If I didn’t I would lose the story like I’ve lost countless others to the newborn fog. 

Writing, creating, and sharing it all, is the thing that will pull me through.

When Lavinia told me she had enough TV, I decided she deserves the playground for being such a legend (I flipping hate playgrounds). And since I haven’t left the house or yard in six days, maybe I needed a walk as well.

It took a few hours because we didn’t rush. (I’m not exaggerating, it can take hours between bottles, meals, nappy changes, outfit changes, sunscreen, hats, and shoes to get two kids out of the house- just in case you didn’t know.)

Mama got a treat too. I stuffed the laptop in the pram in the hopes of having a few moments of baby-nap. You're reading this so, you know I scored!

Depression sucks a lot of life away but maybe if I take these tiny opportunities to shine things up, it could end up a much better day than it started out to be.

Nicole and Rachel are sharing their knowledge with parents of fussy eaters.

You never know how one conversation with someone can change your life.

After meeting Nicole Wu of ‘Learn to Eat. Love to Eat.’ at a birthday party, the kitchen table in our home turned from battlefield to picnic blanket.

When I met Nicole, a typical meal-scene at home started with me sternly 'suggesting' eating food, then would escalate to bribes and threats. A broken mother, I would eventually resort to begging or guilt-tripping which made me feel like a hypocrite.

Why wouldn’t my child eat? I swore I would never make ‘alternative meals’ (almost as bad as 'alternative facts') but found myself angrily slapping together cheese sandwiches and globbing yogurt into bowls.

It took an open mind, a few weeks, and soon I went from having a kid who only ate white things to one who scarfs raw veggies on the reg. Best of all, my stress levels plummeted and I could enjoy meals too!

Nicole helped me understand that my daughter 'eats with her eyes.'

Immediately I implemented all of the tips I remembered from my convo with Nicole and slowly dinnertime stress dissipated. We had calm…pleasantness...and eventually, eating (and fist-pumping).

Nicole and I bonded over a mutual passion for helping mothers and families. I told her about my blog and she told me about her career as a speech pathologist, I had no idea that speech pathologists dealt with fussy eating but it makes sense- it’s all about the mouth skills. Werd.

Nicole and her colleague Rachel are both busy Mums who wanted to use their knowledge and experience to develop workshops to teach parents how to get their picky eaters to not only eat, but to LOVE eating.

No more making separate kid meals. No more battles. No more stress. And most importantly we can align our kids with a lifetime of healthy eating habits.

Get Rid Of Fussy Eating

I wanted to learn more about her approach so Nicole invited me to a workshop. After attending I realised that though we already had decent results with Lavinia, there was room to improve. I took notes furiously!

As busy, working Mums themselves, Nicole and Rachel’s suggestions are practical and simple. For me, the biggest game-changer was number five.

Thanks for saving mealtime Rachel and Nicole!

Here are five basic tips to help your child learn and love to eat.

1. Eat with your child.

This one is self-explanatory. Eating is social time and food should be shared.

2. Take the pressure off.

Offer at least one food you know they like and anything else they eat is a bonus. It's our job as parents to offer nutritious food and it's the child's job to eat. Let them decide what to put in their mouths. Speaking of mouths, parents: ZIP YOURS. Don’t make food the focus of conversation (it's really hard but completely worth it).

3. Keep mealtimes relaxed and interesting.

Make meals a time to be with the whole family. Turn off TV, put the phones away. Make the table THE MOST INTERESTING PLACE TO BE. Kids will eventually come to the party. We started playing the game “What was your favourite part of the day?” at dinner. The answers are usually memorable.

4. Encourage food interaction.

'Trying' new foods does not necessarily mean eating them straight away. Encourage children to interact with the food until they become comfortable and familiar with it. Start with the food near or on their plate. Encourage them to touch the food with their hands or taste with their tongue. Serve meals family style at the table and get your child to serve him or herself. This will give them confidence and autonomy.

5. Redefine what success looks like.

It may take a while and several interactions (maybe more than several) with new foods before your child eats them. Maybe success means they touched a tomato, or licked a spoonful of curry. Now I consider mealtime a success if we have an enjoyable, stress-free meal and if we’ve made some sort of progress with a new food.

I feel so much better now, and when Mama feels better, so will the whole fam bam.

For more specific advice on serving meals, snacks, and personalised tips, head to the Learn to Eat. Love to Eat. website, check out their Facebook Page or better yet attend a workshop in person. I really hope they do an online course someday to reach even more parents!

In the workshops you will learn how to:

You can even arrange a private workshop with your parent’s group.

Learn to Eat. Love to Eat. also have a workshop for babies- introducing babies to solids. I can’t believe I’m back there again, but alas. It would have been great to have this knowledge before the eating battles began!

Click here to find more info on workshops near you

Bon Appetit!

I feed, clothe, bathe, care for, nurture, love, and live for my children. I’ve given them my body and soul. Do I have to freaking entertain them too?

You know those people who are self-professed 'Big Kids'? Nope. Not me. Born a grown up, I hate playing puzzles and board games. I would rather sit through a Catholic mass than go to the playground.

My husband seems effortless in his play and banter with our oldest. They laugh together at Minions. He teaches her how to pay for things at the store. Me? I’m always in a rush.

I'm No Fun

It's bad to rush kids, I know that, but sometimes I race toward 'bedtime' like a hurdler. There is no stopping to smell the roses now that I have a second child. Teeth-brushed, jump. Jammies on, jump. Story-read, jump. Then I jump onto my couch with Netflix before the baby wakes for her next feed. On a good day, I get to drink my coffee before it goes cold and collapse on the couch before 9:00PM.

Do other Mothers feel the same or am I a stick in the mud? Maybe it’s that invisible mental load presenting itself? You know the one. The absence of which allows the 'other parent' to breeze past a dirty towel on the floor without grabbing it and throwing on a load of laundry? That.

Got Shit Ta Do

My daughter helps me cook, fold laundry, and sometimes 'works' next to me on her wooden laptop.  Quality time + getting jobs done= multitasking. That's all parenting is, really. I like to think I’m teaching her life skills, the same one's millennials claim to lack. My four-year-old won't need to call me to ask how to boil an egg. Just sayin'.

I so badly want to be a more relaxed parent. One who can leave dishes in the sink and run around in the backyard after dinner. Unfortunately, as a recovering perfectionist and new mother of two, the kitchen is the only thing I can control in my life. So I NEED to have those dishes done or I’ll twitch.

Not only do I sweat the dishes but I over-think almost every conversation I have with my daughter. Am I building her confidence or over-praising? Am I showing trustworthiness? Do I sound too cranky? How much should I set aside for her therapy?

In my own most recent therapy session, we concluded I take parenting way too seriously.

Last night while putting the girls to bed, Lavinia made me laugh out loud. Like, really laugh from my belly. Not the fake enthusiasm I’ve dispensed at appropriate times all day long. She’s a really funny kid who adores spreading joy. When the new baby grins at me, no matter how filthy my mood, I can’t help but smile from the inside out.

I Take Parenting Way Too Seriously

Isn't THAT what this is all about? Joy, not multi-tasking. Someday the girls won't demand my attention anymore, they won't even want it.

There is always something to do, and I suppose there always will be. I’m working to silence my anal-retentiveness (which I realize is a form of anxiety) to gain more of the good stuff. I don’t need to cook every single night, the phone needs to go away more often, we won’t implode if no one bathes for a day or two.

Rather than rushing through 'jobs', I'm thinking it's actually more productive to give my budding comedian an attentive audience. Maybe then I will have, and be, a lot more fun.

contains sponsored link

Social Media is not real. Or maybe it's a half-truth like a little white lie. Arguably it's more like a one-hundreth of the truth.

The images that stop your thumb represent only the best frames of our lives, edited, curated and filtered for mass consumption.

One hundred-percent staged and edited.

I try to be as authentic as possible with Kangaroo Spotting but even I find myself forming an online ‘brand,' depending on the platform of course. On Instagram, I focus more on artwork and creativity because it lends itself to a visual aesthetic. On Facebook, it's parenting so that we can have discussions. The audiences in both places are different. I know because I look at analytics.

One of my close friends dropped in the other week when she was in the neighborhood. And because she’s so lovely, she apologised for not checking in on me more (which she shouldn’t have done because she’s one of the few people I’ve seen more than once since Imogen was born). She told me that  social media told her I seemed fine and in the same breath she chastised herself because "that stuff isn’t real."

Her throwaway comment got me thinking. And until I sat down to write this, I don't think I realised just how much I curate my own social media feeds, even though I pride myself on writing honestly about personal topics.

Back to my friend who simply wanted to see for herself…I had to wonder. Does everyone else think I’m fine?

Fine. It's a 'four letter word' in my opinion. My high school English teacher called it a wimpy word. It's just another, vague, crappy description that could mean anything and nothing at the same time.

Embarrassingly real.

Right now as I'm sitting here writing for the first time in forever, my four-year-old is screaming for me to bring her books to read on the toilet and I fully screamed back at her like a person possessed. My voice had a nasty edge that would make me ashamed if anyone else heard.

Five minutes to tap while the baby sleeps, it's all I wanted. Just enough to open the value on my pent up creativity. It's been bottling up inside me like hot steam. I have trouble falling back to sleep after night feeds because I think of topics and sentences that I'm too tired to write down during daylight. 

I’m lucky the baby and I are both physically healthy, she’s eating and feeding well but it’s still a struggle (and I am too tired to fight the battle.) Shout out to the Mama's who deal with colic, reflux, latching, sleep-issues ect. I don’t know how you do it. Even without any of those problems my brain chemistry is thrown off and I can slip into dark moods. 

And I'm even luckier that with this postpartum period, I don't linger in those shadows for very long. They usually disappear when I have rest, help, or if I manage to accomplish something other than keeping the kids alive for the day.

Guilt floods my brain now as I hear my sweet Lavinia reading a story to her baby sister whom she woke with her (our) yelling. The little ten-week-old, giggling, makes me realize that I haven't done any damage to either of my girls.

The moral of the story is don't believe everything you see.

If you're stressed and need some advice check out this link for some profesh advice.


The less-than-Glamourous yet magical time of life with a newborn

Won't you take stock with me? Copy and paste this list, fill it in, keep it to yourself or share it with me dawn@roospotting.com It's amazing to see what sorts of themes develop when you answer such simple questions. Find out what's on your mind! Scroll down to copy and paste your list.

Serious RBF

Making : Messes.
Cooking : Reheating frozen meals and enjoying food that friends are dropping off.
Drinking : Had my first few glasses of bubbles on the weekend. #popbub
Reading: Short articles, mostly on Social media. I was in the middle of 'What Happened,' by Hillary Clinton but haven't read any since I was in labour (after the epidural obvs).
Wanting: More sleep.
Looking: Like a Mother with a newborn. #teamdirtyhair
Playing: More like avoiding play, encouraging my 4-year-old to play independently because I have just enough energy to survive and keep the kids alive.
Deciding: What is more important? Nap, shower or food. Depends on the day.
Wishing: That my babies won't grow up too, too quickly.
Enjoying: The lack of anxiety and sense of calm this time.
Waiting: There is no time for waiting. Someone is usually waiting for me to do something.
Liking: Baby bath time.
Wondering: When Imogen will sleep through the night....I know it's early but I'm impatient!
Loving: Having a family of four.
Pondering: At why the days feel so long and so short all at the same time.
Considering: Putting baby into a routine but it seems like SO MUCH WORK.
Watching: Stranger Things, Stand-up Comedy (on Netflix), The Let-Down (on ABC iview).
Hoping: That little baby Imogen is as chilled out as she seems. We are still in the newborn phase so it's hard to tell with all that eating and sleeping. Fingers crossed.
Marvelling: At how some parents go YEARS with interrupted sleep. I would not survive without losing a few marbles.
Needing: SLEEEEEEEP. More Sleep.
Smelling: A baby's head. All day err'y day.
Wearing: Nursing tops and bras, maternity pants. Boo.
Following: Following my thumbs as I mindlessly scroll through Facebook and Instagram so I can stay awake while feeding in the middle of the night.
Noticing: How chubby Imogen's cheeks are getting. 🙂
Knowing: That life is pretty damn good right now, busy, but good.
Thinking: About moving the whole family down to the beach....ahhhhh. Someday.
Feeling: Grateful for all the love and support I have from my chosen family here in Australia. I know this is how I've been able to dodge a second round of PND so far.
Admiring: Mothers. All Mothers.
Sorting: Getting rid of maternity clothes and newborn clothes because I. Am. Done. No more babies!
Buying: So many art and beach supplies from Aldi!! I'm the only person who can go in there and spend nearly 200 bucks at a time. I don't get out much.
Getting: Excited for the holidays simply because Matt has three weeks off. I couldn't care less about the holidays themselves. Just want some more family time.
Bookmarking: Things to read when I have a longer attention span.
Disliking: The work week.
Opening: Opening and closing the laundry machine on the reg.
Giggling: Like a goofball when I can get my 5 week old to genuniely smile. It's the best.
Feeling: Like I'm okay but that I need to take care of myself because it won't take much to throw me off my game.
Snacking: On all the treats. Breasfeeding makes all food taste SO GOOD because I'm starving all the time.
Coveting: Quiet time. It's in short supply. But then it seems too quiet and I have to put on the TV or music for background noise. I'm weird.
Wishing: I had more energy, but it could really be worse.
Helping: Hoping to help connect new Mums to some great advice in these videos I made with Bupa. This one is about breastfeeding and this one is about me time (for parents in the first 1000 days).
Hearing: White noise because the baby is napping.

The girls both at one month old

Want to Take Stock With Me?

Making :
Cooking :
Drinking :

There's a baby on a boob under there and I'm actually still smiling!

Pumpables Milk Genie gave me a pump to try and it’s a beauty so I’m going to tell you about it here (post contains affiliate links).

Bright lights, a blue sheet, instructions spoken in serious tones. I'm shivering despite the lower half of my body being deadened. Unfamiliar faces briskly go about their business around me in the crowded room.

I never imagined giving birth by caesarian section. My four-week-old daughter Imogen is fine and healthy but her birth was a terrifying experience. I still can’t really think about it without getting teary.

When you give birth this way, even if you go through labour first, often your milk supply is delayed. Add to that my extensive blood-loss and I was even more disadvantaged due to dehydration.

These factors worked against me, someone who already had low expectations for breasfeeding because the first time was so awful. During my pregnancy I did everything I could to get myself in a better position to breastfeed my second baby.

I did some research on breastfeeding and even made this video with Bupa- with helpful, honest advice for women in their first thousand days of parenting (from conception to age two). In this one, I'm chatting with a lactation consultant, Jess Krigstein and Chantelle from the amazing blog, Fat Mum Slim. Real mums talking about real issues.

Video by The Lifestyle Suite

After arriving home from the hospital I knew my daughter was hungry. She was a big baby already and had a ferocious appetite. My nipples were shredded from her constant feeding and I knew we needed to give her some formula until I had the chance to get my milk going.

I sent my husband out for some and as soon as he walked in the door with that magic tin, I felt instantly better. After her first bottle, Imogen was a different baby, quiet and sleepy. With my first, I would have felt like a failure. Why? I can’t say. The pressure to breastfeed exclusively can be not only enormous but dangerous too.

I set about giving my hungry bub formula top-ups after feeds and and started expressing every two hours. Luckily I have this kick-ass pump which allowed my sore nips to heal and assisted with bringing in my milk after a few days.

With my first kiddo, a friend lent me a pump to use, and I broke it. I bought her a new one to replace it (even though she said I didn’t have to) no surprise that I wanted to try a different brand next time.

Apparently, not all pumps are created equal. I wanted a really good one but had no idea where to start. What’s a parenting blogger to do? Well, poll my audience asking them for recommendations of course!

The Medela swing came highly recommended along with the Spectra. I considered renting a hospital grade pump because they are supposed to be incredible but talk about an investment! Very expensive, even with an ABA discount.

Pumpables read my post and offered to send me theirs to try. I said yes but still planned on buying another one as a backup but never did. When the Milk Genie arrived I was pleasantly surprised with its quality and it had all the features (and more) that I wanted.

The Milk Genie is a double pump and chargeable which means PORTABLE. No more being chained to one power outlet while expressing.

The pump itself has a timer on it- which makes life easy. And the face lights up- I didn’t realise how handy that was until feeding at night when I used it as a little flashlight.  Um, and did I mention the motor is super quiet too? I can’t tell you how many videos I have of Lavinia (my first) with the obnoxious sound of my previous pump grinding in the background.

The Milk Genie is simple to use but also has some fancy features I haven't even tried yet- like memory mode where you can create and store a little program for expressing.

And want to know the best part about this pump? At $180.00 AUD costs less than other, more popular brands.

So yes, I had the right pump and a tin of formula, but the main tool that helped make breastfeeding a success the second time around is me and my open mind. I took feeding one day at a time and resolved to stop judging myself. I would get my precious baby full no matter the method.

I'm happy to report we are exclusively back on the boob with a nice, big supply of milk. I've still got a tin of formula in the pantry and I'm not afraid to use it! Imogen is a great feeder and we have nailed our latch to the point where I'm no longer sore. We did it...For now.

So give yourself a break, do the best you can and instead of creating crazy expectations, be kind to yourself. Fed is best.

How did you go with breastfeeding? Would you do anything differently next time?

Sponsored by Bupa

It may not surprise you that in some research Bupa recently did, it showed that lots of parents are turning to Google to confirm or deny their parenting fears, and answer questions about that are bound to come up in that First Thousand Days of parenthood.

While it’s comforting in some ways to know that there’s potentially support at the end of our fingertips, it’s also a bit concerning… I mean, why can’t simply trying to be the best parents we can be, be good enough? Why are we comparing our parenting journey to someone else’s and seeing if we measure up?

When I say minimalist parenting, I’m not talking about it in the sense that we need to cull some toys, but instead that we should trash the idea of perfection. We need to stop comparing ourselves to others on social media; reality will never hold a candle to someone else’s highlight reel.

I’m not sure where this idea of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ parenting came into play but it seems to be the culprit behind mass judgment, the ‘mummy wars’, and an assembly line of guilt sandwiches. If someone else is doing it wrong, does that mean you’re doing it right?

How Can We Fix It?

Minimalism is a buzzword these days. I love the idea of decluttering our lives (physically and socially) to free more space for the things we truly covet.

When I think of minimalist parenting I’m talking about parenting styles. I’m talking about an approach that won’t leave you burnt out and bummed. I’m talking about getting some time to yourself (you are responsible for making that happen, sorry, something else to add to the to-do list.) I’m talking about ditching the guilt and plopping your kid in front of the TV for an afternoon while you shower, nap, work, or do anything else that makes you feel good.

So, what is minimalist parenting?

Living a joyous life that’s in line with your values (instead of some manufactured version of successful” modern parenthood) will give your kids room to grow into the strong, unique people they are meant to be. More importantly, this way of being will provide a model that shows your kids how to trust their instincts as they move toward independence and adulthood.” -Christine Koh Author of Minimalist Parenting

I suspect that with the increasing absence of our villages, modern parents are trying to take on all the roles; parent, teacher, elder, relative, entertainer, chef, friend, coach etc. Guess what? It’s not our job as parents to make up for an entire community.

Becoming a mother has been one of the most challenging, rewarding things I’ve ever done with my life. These First Thousand Days of my daughter’s life has inspired me to be a more patient person, to ditch the unimportant stuff, and most of all it's taught me to work on myself so that I can be someone she looks up to.

Everything in me wants to wrap my world around my daughter, but I know that it would be damaging for both of us. I need to work on my own life and carve my own path that I’ll continue once she leaves the nest. I must ensure that this path is fulfilling enough to sustain me when she has her own world, her own family, and hopefully, she’s living the contented a life I’ve modelled for her.

What an ironic combination- giving the ultimate sacrifice by being more selfish.

5 Reasons to Try Minimalist Parenting:

  1. It gives us the space to parent better by focusing on what matters: I take parenting very seriously and yet I’m learning to let go of some of that seriousness. Being a Mother is the most important thing I’ll ever do but so is living my life to its potential.
  2. Saying, “no” is one of the simplest, easiest ways to take better care of yourself and your family. Consider shrinking your social circle to beef up family time, cutting down on extracurricular activities, schedule downtime in your calendar.
  3. Teach kids life skills- get them involved in everyday chores rather than with elaborate games and toys. My three-year-old sets the table and loves ‘helping’ with cooking and laundry. We make it fun, and she sees reality. I don’t run a sweat shop and she has plenty of time to be a kid, but I’m raising her to be an independent human all while spending quality time with her.
  4. You don’t need to keep up with the social expectations. You just don’t. You know what they say about comparison? It’s the thief of joy.
  5. You become a better role model: I’m very aware of the example I’m setting for my daughter. I want her to see a strong independent woman who is a mother, and who is also a writer, a wife, an artist, and a friend.

To find out more about the First Thousand Days, and get some more tips on how you can be the best you can be during this important time, visit here.

let's hang on the 'gram
Contact me today to learn more about how website content writing, blog writing services, and more can help you take action and paint a picture with words.

My website copywriting services amplify and communicate your message, call customers to action, establish cohesive branding, get you seen and remembered, reach your audience, step away from the pack, solve problems, gain exposure, foster loyalty and attract your troops. My experience with digital content writing, SEO-friendly content creation, and more, you can count on me for quality content that will help you level up and out of the pack. Website Content Writer Melbourne, at your service.

Dawn Rieniets is both a visual artist and brand copywriter. She uses her MA in English, journalism and sales background to craft engaging brand identity copy for small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) globally.

Dawn exhibits artwork independently and with groups; Thou Art Mum and Melbourne and Victorian Artists (MAVA). In her online store, you can find original pieces, wall art prints, and other home decor. A few times per year she accepted personalised and sentimental art commissions for clients.

Dawn creates out of her home studio in Wurundjeri country, the Northern Suburbs of Melbourne.
Copyright © 2010 – 2024 Dawn Rieniets Site built with love by A Lined Design
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram