I have been putting off writing this blog. To be completely honest my pregnancy wasn't much fun at all, in fact I kind of hated it. I was really sick so writing this feels like re living it and it's something I try to forget. But here goes, as I know you would like to read about it. So I will put your needs before mine. Don't say I'm not good to you. Here goes it....Read More
SOOOOO yesterday I lost Hunter at the park. I'm a terrible parent right?! We went to our favourite park on the shore, Onepoto Domain, if you follow me on Snap Chat then you will see it often, it's a bike park and playground all rolled into one and is epic...except for when you lose one of your sons and a stranger finds him standing on the ROAD!
We met up with one of my fellow twin mum friends, Heather, and her two amazing twin girls who the Nuggets adore!
We go to this park all the time so I feel very comfortable there, the road that leads into it is only accessed by those going to the domain, so it's not super busy. The park is set back from the road and the car parks back onto it, so kids have to go past a row of cars to get onto the road. This is something all mums, but in particular mums of multiples think of, how far is the road if my twins split and run in different directions? We often look for gated playgrounds to take this risk out. As I said though, I felt pretty comfortable here and surely I could catch a Nugget sneaking to the road before he got there right?! Wrong!
I have written about this park before here. We were playing at that same slide but this time I was standing at the top. Usually I sit at the bottom so they come out, see me and then run up again. The whole playground goes back behind that slide, so If I'm at the bottom I can see most of the playground and I know they can only run back into bush area behind it. My friend and I were keeping an eye on our four toddlers who were wanting to play with different things on the playground, of course they do! Hunter was playing on the slide to my right and Oscar was walking across a wobbly bridge to my left when he fell off. He was crying so I picked him up and brought him back to the slide, I probably spoke a few words to my friend before thinking Hunter hadn't run back up to the top of the slide. Now I am not a helicopter parent, but even if I wanted to be you couldn't be with twins in a park unless you duct tape the little buggers together! I started to worry so went around the side of the playground as we often play around there, but he wasn't there. For some reason I didn't think he would have walked down the path to the road so I actually wasn't THAT worried. I seriously thought he would've snuck back up past me into playground so I checked again. He wasn't there and again I wasn't THAT worried as there is the bike track that he could have been on, so that's where I was checking next. This is why I felt terrible afterwards, why didn't I think about the road? WHY wasn't I THAT worried? I mean my 2-year-old child has been missing for a minute to two, we are in a busy park during school holidays, someone could have taken him or he could be on the road (duh Anna why didn't you think of that!).
As I was walking out to the bike path I see a nice young women walking towards the playground with Hunter in her arms. When I think about it now I am so relived, but at the time I was like "oh there you are!" She informed me she found him standing on the speed bump in the middle of the road! I mean seriously, what the hell! I felt like I needed to explain I have twins and I wasn't just a slack mum not keeping an eye on her one toddler at the park, as I felt a little bit judged that he had gotten out there.
Now I think, why didn't I think to go there first? Why wasn't I panicking and running around to check the places faster than walking? I need to get my head checked! I know this won't be the first time this has happened to a parent, but it's the lack of panicking thing that got my thinking and freaked me out a bit, maybe I am too relaxed as a parent?!
We can't win as mothers can we, there are always two sides to every emotion, thought, plan, routine, parenting style....it's endless. I was feeling bad for not panicking when I am usually quite proud of being a relaxed parent and going with the flow. I'm a mum of twin boys who are rough and tumble, I let them explore the world at a pace they feel confident with and yes sometimes they get hurt! I also don't have eyes in the back of my head, so I can't physically watch out for them 24/7 and I don't think I need too. Kids learn from mistakes. Not having eyes in the back of my head has led to Oscar receiving a massive cut to his head when he pulled a chair onto his face (his scar is how some people tell them apart) and Hunter breaking his nose riding his trike off the steps of our deck! Bad stuff happens, you have to take it all in your stride..otherwise I think I would be a wreck with the endless 'what if' possibilities. I know this isn't one of those if they fall down let them get back up scenarios, he could have been hit by a car, it is horrifying to think about. But should a hopefully once off, really make me call into question my whole parenting style?
Have any of you had any moments that lead to a crisis of confidence in your parenting?
Today was a great day, I was reminded that I should be so grateful to be a twin mama and have my handsome, smart, fun and clever little boys, Oscar and Hunter in my life! Today was a great day but there have been plenty of really really tough ones. We had an extremely tough time settling into twin life (that's a whole other blog post though, and it's coming, I promise).
The Nuggets turned two in March and with two comes the terrible twos. While my children definitely are delightful, they have been trying the last few months. They aren't naughty but they are just learning so much and they are trying to put it into practice. Just like the other morning when I was getting changed and they decided they wanted to "scramble" some eggs! I mean it was very clever, they got the bowl out from the cupboard I usually scramble eggs in, pulled a chair up to the bench, put the eggs in the bowl (and the floor!) and then got a fork to whisk it together. Hunter kept muttering "whisk, whisk" when I caught them. It's very cute and all but not something I wanted to deal with first thing in the morning!
Another example; which I feel a bit mean about being frustrated over, is Hunters lack of skills on the balance bike. I have twins, very strong and ahead of the game kids. They do stuff other kids their age won't dream of...and they usually can do everything equally as good as each other. So when Hunter hadn't mastered the bike like Oscar had it threw me.
We went to the pink bike lane in Auckland CBD the other weekend and it was an absolute nightmare! Oscar NAILED his bike, he rode it the whole way with no problems and was really good. But Hunter was useless (I know this is a horrible reason to be frustrated) but he cried, moaned and just wasn't having a bar of it. We should have brought his three-wheeler, but we had done balance bike rides before and even though he wasn't as good as Oscar he could still plod along. This time however he just wasn't into it, which is cool, but after having to bend over and push him along (when we stopped he would tantrum) it became a pain in the ass and back, literally! Cue getting frustrated as this was just something we had never had to deal with...I feel like an awful mum writing this. Why should I be frustrated by my child just because he can't do something as well as his brother? Come on Anna, pull your head in! If you follow me on Snapchat then you would have seen the battles we were having.
Fast forward to today and I knew I wanted to get the boys out and about this afternoon while we still have some pretty good weather. Being honest again, parks kind of suck at the moment. They get bored but at the same time they don't want to go home and fight me all the way to and into the car! Which is just sometimes too much to handle so I don't even try in the first place. Who wants to be kicked and screamed at while you wrestle your kids away from a park and into a carseat?
Today was going to be different, I wanted to get out and about and enjoy my afternoon with my children who are growing up all too fast for my liking. I thought we should head to a bike park Jay and I had taken them too about 8 months prior on the shore. I know...bike park? You think I'm asking for a second run of the pink walk! But this park had the bike lanes and two playgrounds so I thought it would take much longer for them to get bored.
This time we packed both of the boys Cruzzee balance bikes and one of the three wheelers for Hunter as he wanted that one. I took the second balance bike as I know my boys, they fight over toys and want to have the same things. Best way to avoid that is have double of the important things.
We cruised around this awesome bike park, at Onepoto Domain on the shore for about 30 minutes and I was right, Hunter suddenly had the confidence to hit the balance bike again...AND he was great! He went over the bumps and cruised down big hills. I was so proud of him, it was such a good outing and I loved seeing Hunter develop and grow.
There was two cool playgrounds at the park, one for little kids and one for bigger children. In the big one there was a giant tube slide, the boys seriously played on this thing for 20 minutes while I did random exercises at the bottom (I could'nt get to the gym on Monday so felt I needed to get my heart rate going for a little while).
The boys LOVED this slide, Oscar always went down first follow by Hunter. Oscar was so excited when Hunter came down, EVRYTIME, he jumped up and down with such excitement that Hunter was about to pop out. It was that moment that really made me remember that I was so so so lucky to be a twin mama. Yes they can be trying but moments like these just make my heart melt. They have their best friend from birth and even though they fight, are co-conspirators, they find so much joy in experiencing new things together. It literally made my heart fill up with so much joy. I admit, I have been a little overwhelmed and busy recently and haven't found enough joy in the small things. I'm so grateful for today, to have two boys who love each other dearly, are healthy and amazing little men. Little men that make me want to be a better me, to have a supportive partner, a partner that also makes me a better person. I'm very lucky and sometimes I need to set aside all the "garbage" and remember that, just like today. Man I am lucky!
Last week I went to the launch of "Dear Mummy, You're Important Too" a self published book by mummy of two, Tui Fleming. She isn't an expert and this book isn't you're usual parenting book filled with tips on turning your children into angels with 10 easy steps (yeah right?!). This book is all about you, the mummy, you are at the heart this book. What I love about Tui's book is that it's all about giving mums permission to put themselves first. Because we mums have to put ourselves first and look after ourselves so we can be the best mothers to our children, wives/partners to our significant others and the best versions of ourselves. As Tui writes "We need to be selfish to be selfless". This was a line that really stood out to me when I first sat down to read the book as it's something I really put into practice when the boys were 6 months old after dealing with a half year of reflux and collic.
I don't know about you but "me time" is as important to me as oxygen. I need a little alone time, otherwise I slowly stop functioning properly and my mothering to the Nuggets starts to slide, I don't have the energy for it or I'm snappy and not engaged properly with them. If I have had a little bit alone time then I am energised, I'm more "me" and I'm that one step closer to being the best "me" I can be; that is a much better scenario for my family.
During the launch there was a panel discussion with Tui and Jo Pilkington owner of @firstscene, Melissa Jack of @thebestnest and Lorraine Scans of @pregnancyexercise (instagram handles). They discussed a number of trials us mums deal with. One of which is guilt. A lot of the chat was that mums do feel a lot of guilt, especially with making this alone time for themselves or putting themselves first. I was sitting there thinking how I have become very good at taking time for myself and not feeling guilty about it...and unbelievably I started to feel GUILTY that I didn't feel guilt like some of these others mothers. My crazy little mind started whirling, do I not love my children as much as these woman do etc etc, is that why I don't feel guilty? Nuts right?! I had to snap myself out of it, feeling guilty because I didn't feel guilty? Crazy stuff Anna! It struck me how powerful this little bastard guilt can be, it can even pop up at the most ridiculous time when it is completely un warranted.
This is why this book is such a good tool for all the mums out there. There are thousands of books that are written to help guide you through parenthood, but very few that are there to support you, the mother. So if you want a book that helps you find your "you" after giving birth, guides you into giving your self permission to take time out, helps you let go of that little, but often negative, voice in your head then this is something you need to read.
Dear Mummy, You're Important Too is $29.99 and available here
The nuggets are exactly like me, every turn of season they get colds! Then throughout winter they flip flop between being fine and having a green snotty nose, not exactly ideal! Not even the Nuggets can look cute on Instagram with green snot ooozing from thier handsome little faces. Jokes aside, I want two healthy and happy little men all winter as opposed to two sick clingy nuggets, it's the pits! I find that if the boys have a sniffle I can usually bring it to a standstill if I attack early enough with some serious doses of Vitamin C. Of course I don't always win this war but its better to win some battles than none at all right?!
Today I was walking down the aisle at my local Countdown and all the kids vitamins caught my attention. It was time for a top up so I checked out all the options. I have a massive habit (not a bad habit to have at all) of reading ingredient lists on the back of items. You obviously want to choose the best option and I find all the pretty packaging can be so distracting, as well as price points. What is it with parents and buying items like this that makes us instantly think "the most expensive item must be the better"? Sure sometimes they are but not all price points and products are created equal! There really is a HUGE difference to what makes up each option. I snap chatted (user name: annareeve1986) a few options and had so many screen shots that I thought this must be a topic you mums are interested in.
Before I start I'll let you know that the RDI (recommended daily intake) of Vit C for children aged 1-8 is 35mg, if you are like me numbers mean nothing to you so here it is in layman's terms. An Orange has about 70mg, a cup of Kale has 80mg and there is 65mg in a Kiwifruit (thanks Julia for giving me this info). Of course its best to get all our vitamins and minerals from food but in winter we need to up the intake so we can stop those bloody runny noses in their tracks! So here goes, a bit more info on what I found and what I decided to buy for the nuggets.
The Nuggs love the gummy type vitamins versus the chewable tablet. This is also is a win win for me as these gummy vitamins are known to them as treats/lollies/sweets, so easy to fool 2 year olds! They have no idea what they actually are and they have been great bribing tools as of late! I mean seriously what more could you want for in a vitamin, other than a miracle cure of course?
There were only two gummy options, Bioglan and Blackmores. Bioglan was around the $18 mark and came with 60 gummies, but you need to take two a day. My photos are a little shitty but there is 30mg of Vit C and 2.5mg of Zinc. This one is what I was naturally drawn to, all those pretty colours and eye level placement works a charm!
Second option was Blackmores, this was hiding all the way down on the bottom shelf and I almost missed it. 36 gummies for $14.99 and you only need ONE of these a day - bloody bargain! The photo on this one is a little better so you can see all the ingredients below. These has much more Vit C, Zinc plus Vit A & D, which are all really good for our immune system. Winner! These bad boys came home with me and the Nuggets gobbled them up for an after dinner "treat"! I could be telling you all what you already know, but with things like this check the back. It's amazing the difference there are amongst these suckers.
Other things to think about - some of these gummies do have lots sugar in them, so if you are a completely sugar-free household then this isn't going to be for you. We are reasonably sugar free here, the Nuggs go crazy on the stuff and I just can't handle two crazy toddlers! But I obviously don't mind a little bit here and there and this is something that I definitely let it slide on. It's a shame that unlike food products they don't have to list the amounts of sugar on the packaging on these things. On the Bioglan packet it states that it contains sugar but not how much. On the other hand Blackmores states it doesn't have any added artificial sweeteners. I feel "No added artificial colours, flavours and sweeteners" is a buzz sentence you see on a lot of products these day...would be interesting to know if that meant they had no actual sugar in them too? But I think sugar doesn't fall under the artifical sweetener umbrella?!
The above is just what's available in your supermarkets, but if you go to the chemist or health store there is a whole other realm of Vit C supplements. it literally blows my mind how big that industry is! Ideally I would love the boys to take Vit C in powder or liquid form in a drink or smoothie, but half the time the little buggers wont finish their drink/pour it on the floor/feed it to the cat...so I'm not actually sure how much they are getting. I'm a bit of a freak and I like the fact that I know if they eat one of the gummies that they have taken X amount and are keeping those snotty noses away!
What supplements if any do you give to your kids? Is it something you put value in doing? I could write a whole other blog post on other things I use for the Nuggets, but I think I will save that for another time if that's something you lovely lot would like to know more about?
Blackmores saw my post and replied about the sugar content on my Instagram