Last Christmas was our first with two babes. Aoife's first Christmas, at 9 weeks old.

So, with a 2 month old and 19 month old, life was crazy. Actually, scrap that - it was MENTAL. To say I was a little underprepared for Christmas is an understatement. I clearly remember rushing to the shops in the days before Christmas, desperately trying to find a few personalised decorations to make it special for us (with a toddler and newborn in tow, what a STRESS).

And I came up with nothing - just the usual chain store stuff which, while it's pretty and it will do, made me feel a little like a failure ("but it's her first Christmas and our first Christmas as a foursome!" I was saying in my head).

Now, I know our babes don't know the difference. And Christmas is not about 'stuff' at all.

As I've blogged about in previous years, I firmly believe that Christmas is about spending quality time with loved ones.

But it is nice to have some special touches here and there, if you can manage it - you know?...

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By Contributor Amber Turvey (@amberturvey_)

I’m a mum of one, of two, three or more...

Don’t judge me.

I’m a stay at home mum, a working mum,

a single mum, a co-parent mum...

Don’t judge me.

I feed by the boob, I feed by a bottle...

Don’t judge me.

I’m raising my family just like you're raising yours...

My way is my way, and your way is yours...

 

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On Friday night my husband and I went to the RnB Fridays event in Sydney.

Before I lose your interest, no - this blog isn't about me going to an event (although, it was so fun, and the fact that we even got to go out - sans kids, obviously - until 1am is blog worthy in itself haha).

I want to talk about loving yourself and the skin you're in now you're a mum. 

The day of the gig I was a nervous wreck. And that's where my little 'who the hell am I now and oh my god I look horrible now I'm a mum?' crisis started....

A huge anxiety about how out of place I was going to feel at this event swept over me. I spent hours trying to work out what to wear. But, it wasn't really about that.

On a deeper level, I think I was experiencing a huge realisation that I'm just not who I used to be. Which I knew, of course. But it wasn't until I was faced with going to this event that it really hit home...

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This week is Perinatal Depression and Anxiety Awareness Week. I am so passionate about talking about this subject so that we slowly but surely reduce the stigma around these illnesses (because, newsflash, they are actual health problems!) and help women realise they're not alone.

I first experienced symptoms of Post natal depression (PND) and post natal anxiety when Aoife, our second baby, was about two months old. Harry was 17 months old when she was born. This was the very first blog I wrote about it...

For a while I’ve had a dark black cloud hanging over me. I’ve been stressed and anxious 24-7. Paralysed with fear. Walking around with my hands in fists. The smallest things freak me out and cause panic.

One day, on top of the world.

The next, screaming and in tears...

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I feel like there's this exclusive (or not so exclusive, given its members are generally covered in vomit and/or any manner of food stains within two minutes of getting dressed each day) club of people who have children close together.

Whether you have two under one year of age (you crazy people), two under 18 months or two, or two under three or even four, there's no doubt that having children close together in age takes its toll.

Today I was reflecting on how a single and child free friend of mine just doesn't get what I have to deal with on a daily basis (something which I don't blame her for at all, it's just frustrating at times - no, I can't pick up the phone at a drop of a hat, I have two pooey nappies in my hands and a babe on each hip - actually, the nappies are between my teeth so I can actually carry said babes down the stairs #kidding).

I was thinking how this time where you life is entirely dominated by little tiny people could be called 'the lost years'...

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It never ceases to amaze me just how many creative and talented mums there are here in Australia. So many of us run businesses while juggling kids, which isn't for the faint hearted that's for sure!

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the Kids Business Bloggers Brunch in Melbourne, to meet with a bunch of other bloggers and awesome brands such as The Cancer Council, Little Innoscents, Bondi Chai and Smash Nude Food Movers.

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Even just a quick scroll online these days will show you a number of 'dream' rooms. From fantasy nursery inspo to monochrome or scandi little people rooms, there's no way you can miss them if you're a mum with a Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook account.

And yeh, it can be easy to get into "ohhhh I want everything" mode and spend up big time - hiding it from our other halves, of course ;)

Our little man is now 2.5 and in a 'big boy bed'. He's well and truly past the nursery stage. I've wanted to properly redo his room for a while, and thought rather than make something that requires major renos, painting and the works, let's do something a little different...

Because, let's face it, most of us are not interior designers or stylists with unlimited budgets and the ability to paint or knock down walls!

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Ahhhh, my days with just Aoife, our baby girl, and no 2.5 year old toddler. They are SO easy.

Well, that's a bit of an exaggeration. But they are EASIER than when Harry is home from daycare.

 

So, on the blog tonight is my message to mums who have 'just' one baby..

It may be a bit harsh, yes. But true, no?

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Aoife has been 1 for a week. And I'm really not coping, sob sob...why does time go SO fast when they're babies? Anyway, what better way to make myself feel better than with a little refresh of her room, haha ;)

The lovely folks at Dane Studio and Arlo and Co kindly sent Aoife some beautiful presents to really make her room sing.

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Our little girl turned 1 on Sunday. Sob sob, where did time go (read more about that here).

On Saturday we celebrated with family and friends, and it was a pretty large affair :)

While on one side of the garden we had a fairly loud BBQ happening with cases of beer, snags and steaks, the other was a bit prettier - a sweets table and kids area that had the kids gobsmacked (then running around on crazy sugar highs, #sorrynotsorryparents!).

We had some amazing businesses help support the party and WOW - their work was amazing. The results were everything I imagined...

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To our dear baby girl Aoife...

You weren't there when your daddy and I were married with 4 month old Harry by our side. I'd always dreamed of a baby girl... then 4 months after we were married you were in my tummy, although I still didn't believe you were actually REALLY real until you popped out !

Nearly 1 year on, I thought we'd dress up like princesses as you didn't get to that day... and GOSH you're stunning baby girl 💕

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By MeOhMy Founder Siobhan (@meohmymum)

I've written about this before, and (unfortunately) I'll probably write about it again.

Mums judging other mums. There's no place for it. It's got to STOP.

In the same week, I had several groups of mums who I thought were 'fellow mamas in the trenches with me' judging me for my motherhood skills.

To the women who rolled their eyes and stared as I dragged my tantruming 2 year old kicking and screaming across the sand at the beach the other day, with my other 11 month old babe on my hip, and did nothing to sympathise or help...F YOU. You should be ashamed.

To the women who said I was a horrible mother for inadvertently turning away from my children for a few seconds in the bath the other day, really?? I'm sure you've done something similar, or thought about it, or know someone who has. I was just brave enough to admit it..

Here's the news flash - yes, we've all (myself included) had one thought or another about a fellow mum or about what they're doing. We might talk about it to our husband or close friend. But that's where it should end. Keep your judgement private, NOT PUBLIC...

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By MeOhMy Founder Siobhan (@meohmymum)

I'm sitting here sobbing great big fat tears.

I've just done the worst thing. I am a horrible mum.

Tonight, I put Harry and Aoife in the bath together, played with them for a bit, then remembered I had washing to put away. So I went around the corner just a few metres to hang up one of my husband's shirts. I didn't hear anything out of the ordinary, just a tiny bit of splashing.

I went back to the bathroom maybe 15-30 seconds later (I really have no idea, it was very quick) and Aoife was under water flailing around. Harry was laughing. I grabbed her so fast out of that bath and held her to me...she was coughing and screaming. Harry suddenly realised she wasn't playing and his face fell...

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By MeOhMy Founder Siobhan (@meohmymum)

As I lie on the couch writing this, I'm all blissed out while my kids nap peacefully, right?

WRONG.

All I can hear is Harry screaming his lungs out in his room. It's killing me. I feel sick inside.

Before I tell you why, let me tell you a little about his use of the old D-U-M-M-Y (we have to spell it rather than say it these days!) since he was born.

When I was pregnant, my husband and I were all holier than thou. We said we'd NEVER use a dummy. Tsk tsk tsk, why would you?! Those things are addictive and such a bad look, right? Oh how naive and stupid we were.

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By MeOhMy Founder Siobhan (@meohmymum)

When I was a first-time mum, I was very focussed on milestones. What my child SHOULD be doing, and when.

Everything from what they should be eating, to how long they should be sleeping, whether they should be crawling, if they were able to eat chunky food...yep, I Googled that shit like a mad woman. 

But it didn't take very long for me to realise something. "SHOULD" can just get F*CKED.

It never ceases to amaze me just how many mums don't realise this. And judge other mums for where their baby is at. Like it's a reflection of our parenting skills?!

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