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https://glowmama.blog/2018/11/16/baking-with-toddlers/

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Ashton came home with a certificate today for "excellent work focusing and staying on task". This might seem like a bit of a *meh* thing to get a certificate for, but for kids like Ashton, kids who have ADHD or other similar conditions, this is a MASSIVE effort.  We were SO proud of him. 
There's an argument which, perhaps validly, states that "kids get certificates too easily these days" or that "mediocrity is being rewarded so kids aren't learning what it's like to fail" or "awards are being handed out just for showing up". And yes, sometimes this might be the case.  But more often than not, I believe it's just that we now have a better understanding that every child has a different point of achievement. What's easy for some is incredibly hard for others - and HELL YES this effort to get to that point should be celebrated!

The thing is, rewarding their efforts for what other kids "can just do" doesn't mean they aren't learning what it's like to fail.

Trust me - they know.

They get told every single day. Not always blatantly or outright, but subtley. "Hurry up, why are you always so slow" - fail. "You should be finished be now" - fail. "You'd get it if you just tried harder" - fail. "So-and-so always mucks around" - fail.

I'm not saying that parents or teachers or even other kids who say these things are awful people - I've said them myself on many an occasion. But when we stop and think about how much impact those words can have... Man. I would struggle if that was said to me every day.

So yes, we need to celebrate their achievements, big and "small". We need to let them know we're in their corner, that we're proud of them, that we recognise their efforts.  It's our job to build them up, as much as we possibly can ❤️
Mini MasterChef is at it again! We've decided with this new found love of all things baking, a Hunter-sized apron might be a useful thing to acquire.  Anyone know a fantastic toddler-apron-making business??
Shout out to my tomato-hating 11 year old who ate FOUR cherry tomatoes at dinner in an attempt to convince his tantrumming 2 year old brother that tomatoes are yum.

The same 11 year old who is currently in his room creating a custom Lego masterpiece for his teacher because she had a rough day (not with him... This time!!). You are so kind.  You are so thoughtful. The world is all the better for having you in it ❤️
Guess who's getting a new loft bed... #ThisKid #WorkInProgress #DIY
"Wook my moto-bike jacket! Brrrum brrrruuuum!!"
It's been an adjustment for everyone with Hunter starting kindy.  The teachers have been amazing, and he asks every day if "Huntah can go kindeeee t'day mama?" - but the drop offs have been hard.

This morning he was excitedly chattering away in the car about how he was going to kindy, how he was going to see his friends and play tea parties. I was so excited - he'd cried when I left last week, and although he settled in really quick, he was pretty tired again by the afternoon and I had to pick him up early.  It breaks my heart to see him upset and I get the MAJOR mum guilts, even though I know we both need this time.  He seems so little still to be left anywhere. But since he seemed so happy to be going, I told him I'd walk him in then head off to work.

His face crumpled instantly. "No mama! Huntah go home! Peeees mama! No Huntah kindy!" He cried all the way from school to kindy. My heart cried too.

We arrived at kindy and he immediately went in and played, happy as a clam - until I went to leave, and he begged for me to stay.

I knew he'd settle quickly after I left.

I knew the kindy teachers would look after him.

I knew he'd be OK.

Knowing all that didn't make it any easier though.

But I left. And he did settle. And he was OK. And when I picked him up, he happily told me all the things he'd done at kindy - after telling me he cried and asked for me, of course.  Which, while heart wrenching, was amazing that he could communicate to me that he missed me, that he was sad that I had left.  Being able to identify and talk about our feelings and emotions is so important.

Each week we talk about how mummy leaves for a little while, and that mummy always comes back when kindy is finished. He keeps telling me "Huntah likes kindeee", so that's reassuring.

But oh, my heart. I can't WAIT for this adjustment period to be over 😭

Ps. Today's feels post brought to you by my greasy mum hair because I've run out of dry shampoo 😂
I found a dress! I wore a friend's dress to the wedding that I'm tempted to "accidentally" forget to give back before she moves overseas next year (which is 😭😭😭😭 by the way) BUT today I found myself sweating like a pig under the sunshine because uncaffeinated me this morning thought jeans and a long sleeved top was a weather appropriate outfit choice this morning.

It was not, in fact, a weather appropriate outfit choice.

So a mad dash into my local @kmartaus and picked up this gem in record time, felt like a flippin Greek Goddess, and ended my fear of sweating all over my clients this afternoon.

Ultimate win today - perfect way to start the week, mama chic #IWillProbablyStillTryWearingJeansTomorrow 📸 Credit to my amateur self timer skills as #instahusband is out and I couldn't bribe my kids 😂
Today I was given a great reminder of why I need to take my own advice (ha!) and a) take care of myself, and b) share/talk when things are feeling a bit gloomy rather than try and bottle it up.

I was quite good at sharing for a while, then things started getting better so I slowly stopped - usually because by the time I'd processed what'd happened, the moment had passed, so I didn't feel the need to talk about it. 
Some of you may have seen on my IG stories that I had a bit of a rough time with #mumlife this afternoon.  I usually try to put my positive spin or identify the silver lining of the rough times, because that's often what helps me get through; but this afternoon I had no positive spin or silver lining except "this won't last forever" which is positive I guess but only barely.

But now that I've taken care of myself, had some space, and feeling a bit better and brighter, I can say this: being able to share was my silver lining. Feeling the love from the messages of support was the silver lining.  Feeling that community and village come and embrace me was the silver lining. Being reminded that sometimes I just need to feel these feels and let it out and that I'll feel SO much better afterwards - that was a major silver lining ❤️ So for anyone who has moments of sadness, despair, frustration, anxiety, overwhelm, or any other feels you may have - it's OK to have those feelings. I'm proud of you for allowing yourself to acknowledge and feel them. You're allowed to talk about them as much as you need to. You are loved. You see worthy. You are brave.

And you're going to be OK ❤️
There's something very confronting about clothes shopping.

Everything is illuminated.  Everything is on display.

Your body shape often isn't what you thought it was. Clothes never look like you think they will when you see them hanging on the hanger.

I loved this dress - until I turned round and saw the front view, which I won't show you because... Yerch. Let's just say it hung in ALL the wrong places and made me look a lot bigger than I actually am (I think). Clothes are so hard. I'm all about self love and body appreciation and yadda yadda yadda. But I still hate clothes shopping.  I'm pretty terrible at it.

Any tips on #mumfashion ? I desperately need to break out of my jeans and t-shirt uniform 😂😂 #notateenanymore #pleasesendhelp
I was so incredibly grateful and lucky to receive this AMAZING wellbeing box from @joyofgivingnz yesterday.  It came as a perfect reminder to take my own advice and start prioritising my self care again.

As I unwrapped this beautifully curated, carefully thought out box, it was an experience, to say the least.  I wasn't just opening a box... I was opening my senses.  The smell of rose petals greeted me as I peeled back the layers.  I took my time - the process of opening it up was a self-care moment in itself!

Naomi from Joy of Giving told me she was sending me this to hopefully help me carve out some much needed time for myself, and as a thank you for the work I put in creating the small business post (I'll put the link in the comments in case you haven't seen it). I didn't need to make a post about it, or tell anyone - it was completely no strings attached.  But how could I NOT share this utter beauty and kind gesture?! It wasn't even just the box itself that had me feeling all the feels (although as you can see, it's seeeeriously gorgeous!!). It was the act of kindness, and the well-timed reminder to take care of myself too.

Life is so busy right now.  I feel constantly pulled in different directions.  I'm never sure where I need to be spending my time & energy the most - and of course, feeling guilty over the areas I'm not spending as much time & energy in as I'd like. 
So my self-care challenge for the rest of the month is to sit down each day, brew myself a cup of tea, light my candle, and write in my journal. 
I will take time for gratitude. 
I will take time for healing. 
I will take time for peace.

Because I need to take my own advice.  If I don't put time & energy into MYSELF there will be nothing left for anyone - or anything - else.
So Hunter is at the age now where he needs CONSTANT stimulation... He just wants to learn ALL THE THINGS, which is great but mama needs some downtime!! (ie work time). I'll admit, I've relied a bit heavily on Blippi lately (he can actually spell Blippi now... Madness!!) so I'd like to start providing him with more interactive play & activities. Away from the screen, haha! 
SO - what do your toddlers love doing? I need ideas on activities to set up for him where I can pretty much leave him to it for a bit 😂 Hit me with your play ideas!!
Early Thursday morning we woke Ashton up and surprised him with a trip to the airport where he and Craig took a "big boys only" trip up to Auckland then road tripped back down Friday - then early SATURDAY morning we were up again to catch the ferry for a family trip to the Marlborough Sounds. Skip forward to today and we are SUPER DUPER ultra mega exhausted BUT it was such an incredible weekend - and with Craig and I cramming in as much work as possible at the moment, we desperately needed & wanted to disconnect from work for a bit and reconnect with our kids, each other, and nature.  It was perfect timing!! Total recharge (even though we are still beyond tired haha). I really love giving our kids awesome childhood memories - and I'm constantly looking for more childhood memory inspo!! What's the best trip you ever took as a kid? And what made it memorable?