Not a supermom

I often get asked how I do it. How do I juggle working full time, raising 3 kids, and still have time to blog? My answer is always that I’m not a supermom. I just do what needs to be done.

So here are my tips to juggling life with 3 kids.

      1. Routine – having a set routine is key. Our routine is the kids eat, then it’s bathtime, and then bedtime. Bedtime is at 8pm latest, even weekends.
      2. Bag packing – I pack all bags the night before. A change for clothing for Harper daily, then the lunches boxes get prepped with yoghurts and sandwiches being added first thing in the morning.
      3. Clothing – we ensure school clothes are set out the night before and Matthew packs his aftercare bag himself. He can do this because I’ve managed to pack his clothing in nice little sets so he can just reach in and get what he needs. Mark gets Ethan and Harper ready in the morning while I finish off the lunches and bag packing.
      4. Teamwork – Mark and I work together to make it work. One of us will either bath both kids while the other dresses them or we each do bath and dress of one child each. Matthew is old enough to wash and dress himself, we just check that he’s washed the essentials.https://www.instagram.com/p/BxK7lM8Jnib/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link
      5. Meals – we only cook 1 meal for everyone to eat. If someone doesn’t like the food and doesn’t want to eat, they either go without or they get a peanut butter sandwich. There’s no time to cook 3 different meals each night.
      6. Screen time – Don’t be scared of putting the tv on and sitting them in front of it while you get a load of washing done.
      7. Play – my 3 are all 3 years apart, Matthew is 8, Ethan will be 5 and Harper will be 2. They can certainly entertain themselves for a little bit while you can a 10 minute breather.
      8. Sanity – I struggle with this one. My children don’t always listen and it tends to drive me a little crazy when I have to say the same thing 8 times over. I don’t have any working tips for this one but calling in the cavalry normally helps for me (the cavalry being Mark lol).
      9. Take a break – I’m guilty of not doing this. However, we all need breaks from our kids. We all need a little timeout away from the craziness and noise. Get your partner to take the kids one morning while you focus on you. Or when the kids have gone to bed, take that long, warm bubble bath (yes I hear you, Cape Town has water restrictions in place still but maybe do this once every other week or so).
      10. Let go of the mom guilt – it’s going to be there every single day. No matter what you do, no matter how hard you try, the guilt will always be there. Be kind to yourself and try to let it go. Try to get through the day and tomorrow it will be better.
      11. There you go, that’s how I am able to be a supermom. With a lot of help and planning. If you have anything to add to this list, please let me know below and maybe you can help some other moms out.

It’s been a minute

It’s been a minute since I’ve written anything on this little ol’ blog of mine. Here’s a little catch up of what’s happened in the last month.

Christmas
We had our Christmas Eve party for the kids and they loved it. With all the work that goes in to making this special for the kids, seeing their joy and wonder makes every late night worth it. The best for them was making the reindeer food and the boys were super excited to sprinkle their food in the yard that night. Other than that, the kids were blessed with some amazing gifts and we had a chilled, relaxed day with my dad and sister.

Looking up at the night sky to find Santa and the reindeer
The Reindeer Food Bar

School Year
The school year started off really well. No tears from anyone! That’s a big win for us. Matthew started Grade 2 this year and Ethan and Harper are back at the creche. Ethan is in Pre Grade R this year and they’re prepping him for Grade R. I met with Matthew’s teacher last night and I am very happy he is in her class. She seems passionate about her students and wanting the parents to work with her. I didn’t get this from his Grade 1 teacher. Here’s to a better school year than last year.

First day of school and Ethan has this new thing when I want to take a photo of them together

Ethan’s hand
For all those asking, Ethan’s hand has healed so nicely. He has a small little scar near his thumb but that is the extent of the damage at the moment. And I am hopeful that the scar will disappear soon too. I am very grateful for his medical team and the care they took of his injury. Things could’ve been so much worse, so I’m grateful that he’s healed as well as he has.

Remember this?
This is his hand now

Other news
In other news, we’ve been searching for our forever home for almost 3 years. On New Year’s day, we got the call to say that our offer was accepted!! I’m so excited, scared, anxious, and nervous about the next few months to finalise things and move our stuff. We’ve been on the look for so long, that it never seemed like it would be a reality. Now that it is, I don’t know where to start.

The year started amazingly for us and I choose to believe that it will only get better. That everything we put our minds to this year will result in a positive end. Last year was a hard one for us but we won’t be dwelling on the how’s and the why’s. Instead, we’ll be looking forward and staying positive.

Tomorrow is the third anniversary of my mom’s death. I’ve been feeling anxious and irritable the last while and I’m not sure if it’s because of the looming anniversary or something else. This time of the year is hard for us and I’m still not sure how to get through it. I need to put on a brave, smiley face for everyone but I really miss my mom.

It’s Matthew’s 8th birthday on Monday. 8!!?!?! I need to spend the weekend baking something special for him. He wants to go to Rush for his birthday, so that’s the plan for next weekend. I can’t believe I’m gonna be a mom for 8 years on Monday.

I’ve been struggling to come here and write. I have so much on my mind but it seems like the words don’t want to make it from my brain to my fingers. I think I’m worried about putting out content that you want to read. I’m worried that writing about my kids aren’t enough. We don’t live exciting lives or go to amazing places and writing about our normal weekends seems so… boring. So tell me, what would you like to see more from The Muller Kids?

My tired is tired

Hi everyone!!! (Or at least to the 1 person who actually reads my blog lol.) I won’t go into why I haven’t been here for a while (again) but I missed this little space of mine and I’m hoping things will get back to normal soon and you’ll continue to follow along.

A little update

The Car


We still don’t have our car back. The panelbeaters took forever to find parts and then the assessor took forever to approve the quote because the parts costs were way over their budget. But eventually everything was approved and the reparation commenced. However, it’s going to be another few weeks before we get the car back because one of the parts are only available in 3 weeks and then they must still spray the car. Ai,I just wish I could let an adultier adult deal with this mess.

The Kids
The children are mostly okay. They’re still alive and I still love them, so I guess we’re doing great!
Matthew is at holiday car for the first 2 weeks of the holidays (I’ll take the last week off from work and spend it at home with him.
Ethan is having trouble staying in his bed at night. We have to fight with him for an hour every damn night to get him to fall asleep. And then he wakes up during the night and migrates to our bed.
Harper is also having some trouble with sleep. She wakes and cries and thrashes like it’s no ones business at freaking 3am and nothing we do can console her. She decides when she’s done. No amount of holding, shushing, bottle offering or pacing will change her mind until she’s ready. So young and so headstrong already, heaven help me.

The Parents
Mark seems to have made peace with the fact that he’ll get his car when he gets it. Guess he realised that no matter how much he stresses about it, it’s not going to make the car come home sooner.
I am just so fucking tired. Gosh, I don’t remember being this tired when the boys were babies. I can’t seem to function mentally and my eating is all over the place. Guys, I have picked up all the weight I lost during my pregnancy and then some. I have 5 hours broken sleep every night, wake up tired (or rather I get screamed at till I wake), and then I sit at work the whole day and eat to stay awake. I just can’t do this to myself anymore. Goodness, I need to make a change and I need to make it soon!

Urgh, I hate that my blog posts are typically moan sessions lately but that’s my life at the moment. Any tips for this mom to combat the tiredness enough to make a concerted effort to tidy the house, nevermind any tips to combat the weight gain and starting a healthier lifestyle? 

My Mother’s Day and Embrace

Gosh I wish this blogging thing was easier. I’m stuck and I can’t seem to find a way out. But I’m not here to moan (even I’m tired of my moaning).

Mother’s Day was a week ago and I still think about the day I had. It was our third Mother’s Day without my mom and it hasn’t gotten easier yet. I doubt it ever will. My memories are filled with the things we did together, things she said to me, all the advice she gave me, and how she helped me through 2 pregnancies. I also spent an hour of my morning at Karl Bremer Hospital celebrating Mother’s Day Connect.

It was incredible, emotional, heart-breaking and so overwhelming. I went into that hospital not knowing what to expect. I was nervous because I didn’t know what I could say to a new mother. I was overwhelmed because I didn’t know what to expect or in which ward I would end up in. But I needn’t to have worried. The team leaders Tracey Porter and Lindsay-Leigh Thomas were so good at settling everyone and calmly explaining what we should do.

Each mom received a goodie bag filled to the brim with necessities and spoils. I got to meet a mom who had the most gorgeous twins. I met another mom who’s baby was in the NICU and she couldn’t hold him. I saw a mom who had just lost her baby. It broke me and yet also kinda made me stronger. It made me grateful for what I have. It put into perspective how privileged we are and how we take that for granted. Thank you Julie Mentor for starting Embrace and joining us to celebrate moms in all forms. I had such a wonderful time celebrating those moms and walked away stronger and more determined to live intentionally.

My mom isn’t here for me to tell her how this day changed me. She’s not here for me to tell her how much I love her and how badly I miss her some days. She’s not here to love on my babies and give them kisses and chocolates. She would’ve asked me about the mom’s at the hospital and asked me how I was feeling and tried to make me feel better by feeding me lol. I am grateful that she made me into the person I am today. But I’m not sad, I have an incredible mother in law who loves me as her own. She loves my babies and she’s always there for me when I need her. Love your mommies hard, tell them how grateful you are for them.

Despite the pain

Have you ever wanted to say something but couldn’t find the words to say it? I’m in that space at the moment. I think it’s because my thoughts are consumed with the pain I’m in and trying to alleviate it. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. Let me start at the beginning.

When I was pregnant with Harper, I started getting these twinges of pain in my back but I would just take a Panado and brush it off as normal pregnancy aches and pains. After I gave birth, the pain was still there and again, I brushed it off as normal after effects from being pregnant and having the epidural for the c-section. It’s been 6 months since Harper was born and I’ve lived with the pain for so long, that it’s become ‘normal’. Only it wasn’t normal, and 1 day a few weeks back, I tried to get out of bed and couldn’t move. When I eventually stood up, I did what every normal working mom does, I got dressed and went to work.

At work, I just couldn’t deal with the pain any longer and left for home earlier than normal. I spent that entire weekend cringing and downing Panados like they were sweets. I eventually ended up at the doctor on the Tuesday only. Doctor diagnosed me with sciatica and sent me on why to physio with anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants.

When the physio therapist examined me, she said that it looks more like the pain is radiating from my S4 and S5 and that the inflammation there is causing the pinched nerve. I also have a more pronounced curve to my spine, which is probably why the pain is so severe. I have been given exercises to do and I need another 2 or 3 sessions. If the pain doesn’t subside after that, it’s likely that I would have to go for x-rays to see if there is any degeneration in that area.

The reality is that I am constantly in pain. Nothing alleviates it and the heat packs and painkillers only do so much. I know my pain is just a drop in the ocean compared to what many others have to endure but it doesn’t diminish my own pain and how it’s starting to make me just a little bit depressed. Please pray for me that the pain dissipates and that I can go back to my normal self.

Silver linings

Staring at the blank screen, waiting for the right words to come. Worrying if the words I write will resonate with anyone who reads it or cause many to judge me. Wanting to get the words out of my head and hopefully find some quiet but so scared that someone will find fault and give me hell for it. For me, this is a constant struggle both for my blog and in my life. Wanting to voice my opinion and not be judged for it. Second guessing myself and everything I say so that I don’t offend anyone. I don’t always get it right and I’m glad I’ve reached a point in my life now where it doesn’t bother me too much when people find fault. I’m still learning how to let go and be brave but I’m trusting that I’ll get there soon.

Things feel a bit deurmekaar in my life lately. I feel like I’m not keeping all the balls up and it’s driving me slowly crazy. Add to that the fact that the kids haven’t been well and I’ve been on and off with some gastro bug, makes things seem impossible.

There is always a silver lining, we just need to keep a look out for it. For me, it would be the belly laughs from Harper, or the sneaky smile and massive hug I get from Ethan, or Matthew trying to squeeze the life out of me. Or just that hand on my shoulder or quick glance in my direction from Mark while the kids are in the bath or I’m putting Harper to sleep.

I’m grateful for my struggles as they make me stronger, grateful for my husband and family for they keep me grounded, grateful for my children because they made me a mom, and I’m grateful I get to spend my days with the amazing people I have in my life.

2017 in review (even though we are almost halfway through Jan)

Happy New Year!!!! It’s been a while since I was in this place and I must say, I missed my little blog. I’ve been off having adventures with my boys and just soaking in as much of Harper as I can before I return to work. I’m really going to miss spending time with her and tending to her needs but I realise that I need the routine as much as the kids. Plus I miss the pressure of work (gasp I know!).

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I saw this questionnaire on Dear Max and Rebecca‘s blog and thought I’d share how my 2017 went (even though we are almost halfway through Jan already).

1. What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?

I lost 10kg. Granted, most of the weight was lost while I was pregnant and I’m struggling now to maintain that weightloss, this was still an amazing feat for me.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make any in 2017 but I had a goal of getting my driver’s licence before my birthday. I am chuffed to say that I smashed that goal. And while 8 months pregnant too.

3. How will you be spending New Year’s Eve?

We spent New Year’s Eve at home, just us and my sister.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

No but I still about my mom’s death a lot.

5. What countries did you visit?

Hahahaha, I haven’t left Cape Town in like ever.

6. What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?

A healthier mindset and body. I struggle with this daily. I am tired of feeling like I’m not good enough, or that I have to compete with the slimmer Jane’s out there. I just want to be comfortable to wear something that makes me feel good. And adapt a liking for vegetables!

7. What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory?

I think it will be Harper’s birth day, 29 September.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Passing my driver’s licence.

9. What was your biggest failure?

Allowing others to make me feel less that I am. And not staying true to myself.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nope, nothing major besides the common cold and sinusitis bouts.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

I didn’t really buy anything this year. Most of my money went to clothing the kids and gynae bills. But I did purchase a Daddy’s Deal for canvases and I had a photo of all the grandparents and grandchildren printed.

12. Where did most of your money go?

Bills, bills, bills

13. What song will always remind you of 2017?

Gosh, I have no cooking clue. Not really into keeping up with artists and titles.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?

I wish I’d made more effort with my friends, spent more time with the kids, went on more date nights, exercised.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Stress about Harper’s birth, shout at the boys.

16. What were your favourite TV shows?

I have so many but all the medical series and just discovered Jane the Virgin on Netflix.

17. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Not at all. I’m not a hate kinda gal.

18. What was the best book you read?

Urgh, didn’t read much and I seriously need to change that as I love reading.

19. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Uhm…..nothing.

20. What was your favourite film of this year?

Loved Bad Mom’s Christmas!!!

21. What did you do on your birthday

I was home, with a 9 day old Harper. My amazing friends came and spoilt me and we had a little braai. I loved it!

22. What kept you sane?

Mark, my sister, my friends.

23. Who did you miss?

I missed my mom a lot. And I missed the me I was starting to become before I fell pregnant and had to stop working out.

24. Who was the best new person you met?

Oh man, all my blogging buddies that I met this year. I love those nerds!

25. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017

You need to let children be children. Stop stepping in and trying to control the situation, how else will they learn?

This year I have no set goals or a word to live by or resolutions. I just want to strive to be a better person, friend, spouse, mother, daughter, sister. I want to look at how I can be comfortable in my own skin (even if that means no weight-loss but just accepting me for who I am). I want to succeed at work and if I’m not getting what I need from my current employment, then I’ll be open to looking at new opportunities. 

Family pic

Family update

I am so tired of this dark cloud that is following me around recently. I am sick of the mommy-guilt wracking me about not being present enough with the boys. I am so over being blue, and af, and I need to work out of this funk I find myself in. So we’re doing an update on the family post. Hopefully this will be a bit upbeat and make me feel better.

Pregnancy

I will be 13 weeks along on Sunday (can we get a hell yeah to the second trimester!!!) and I haven’t felt better health wise. I don’t want to jinx it but I didn’t suffer with much nausea, tiredness or aches or pains. Long may it last. I’ve started feeling little pops and bubbles and seriously cannot wait for a definitive kick that Mark and the boys can feel. I’ve lost 2kg since I found out I’m pregnant, not sure whether to be concerned or not, but will chat to my doc when I see her again. All in all, things are great with the pregnancy. People are genuinely concerned about my well-being and I need to remember there is no malice or offence intended when someone asks me how’s things going lol.

Matthew

This little big dude is generally a gentle, calm soul. He’s sensitive and emotional and loves touching (like holding your hand or hugging or rubbing your fingers). He’s had a bit of a rough week I think. He’s been crying every morning that he doesn’t want to go school. Now I’m not sure if something is going on at school or if he’s just tired. He sleeps about 8-9 hours every night but this is the first time that he has had to drop his afternoon nap. Will have to have a chat with him over the weekend about it. I wish employers would give mom/dad paid leave to be home with their kids during school holidays. I’m not even asking for the whole of the holidays but 2 or 3 days would at least help me with the mommy-guilt.

Ethan

Oh my independent, wild child. He’s the total opposite of Matthew. Wild, loud (he’s always shouting), energetic yet stubborn, kind and empathetic. He will fight with Matthew until he starts crying, then he will sit next to Matthew, put his arm around him and give him these little butterfly kisses while whispering shhhh shhhh. He’s gone through 3 week of potty training and you guys, I am so proud of this little guy! He’s messed his pants maybe 3 times since we started and he’s wet the bed about 4 or 5 times but we’re getting somewhere. I was really concerned that he would take a lot longer than Matthew did but he is about on par. I have a fight with him every morning where he does this scream/shout thing for no apparent reason. He is probably still tired thus the screaming but seriously, screaming??? At 5:50 in the morning?

Mark

Oh how I love this man. We’re together 16 years this October, married for half that time. You’d think knowing someone that long, you would know them inside out, dislikes, thoughts, everything. But you know what, you are constantly learning from each other. Learning new things every day about each other. Yes I know a lot of things about him, how he likes his coffee, his dreams and his hopes, his favourite food (it’s lasagne by the way) but we are all constantly changing, and we need to communicate with our spouse regularly to not feel left behind while they’re growing and changing. He’s having a bit of a stressful time at work at the moment, and it shows. I hope that things quieten down a little for him so that he can also enjoy this pregnancy a bit with me and not have to work such long hours (with extra hours worked at home).

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I am so lucky to have my sister and dad around to help with the kids when Mark isn’t around. He has to go away for a few days next week, and if it wasn’t for them, I am not sure how I would cope. These 2 people do so much for us, helping us out and just being there. I wish there was a way I could thank them more than I already have.

I have such an amazing family, my husband, my boys, my sister, my dad, my friends. Everyone is family. Everyone always makes an effort to be present in our lives and just be there when we need them. If you’re reading this, you know who you are and I want to say thank you. I don’t say it often enough and next time I see you, be prepared for a massive bear hug!

 

I’m feeling better after writing this, so it does help. Misery loves company right, so I guess happiness is an inside job then.
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