Tag Archives: new parent

How being a mum can lead to highly successful habits

24 May

Written by Kirri White.  Follow me on twitter or facebook.

You can also contact me by email –  kirri@happymumsathome.com

A couple of weeks ago, I had an Oprah-esque ‘Aha’ moment while watching Australia’s Masterchef.  One of the top 24 contestants, Kate – occupation ‘mum,’ was taking part in a team challenge which involved being woken (after two hours sleep) to bake artisan-worthy bread for eight hours straight.

A lot of the contestants emerged bleary-eyed and cranky, but not this Mumma!  She cheerily narrated that parenthood had more than prepared her for this type of challenge:

when you are a mum, you get used to having to work hard,
whether you like it or not, whether you feel like it or not.

Damn straight, I thought. This woman’s going to bake some killer bread!

Becoming a mum is fraught with experiences that can lead you to a whole new level of learning. From the very first moment you gingerly claim your newborn …your life is no longer yours.  You are officially ‘owned’, required to be on call 24 /7 and have orders communicated to you in a cacophonous language not yet fully understood by either parties.

Days and nights blend into the same monochrome and for many new parents, the outside world can seem like an alternate universe.

I know that some mums allegedly give birth to “sleepers” *dislike* but for most of us, becoming a parent is an exhausting exercise comparable to the effects of sleep deprivation-torture-tactics used in war-fare.

And no, you don’t get to call in sick….ever.

I have had to lay, vomit bucket at head-level while my three-year olds whined and pulled my hair in an effort to “stop mummy being boring”.  Fortunately, I also had my life-saving five-year old at hand, who was able to make lunch among puddles of juice and vegemite smears.

While many childless couples look forward to engaging in some serious ‘lounging’ on the weekends, mummies have forgotten that it is in fact the weekend.

No down time for you sistah!  It’s business as usual, 365 days a year.

Such is the nature of the unwritten job description.  You may not realise that ‘this’ is exactly what you signed up for but you step up and you do it.

Not to say that it’s all hard work and tears.  There are many positives to having your world shaken sideways by mummyhood. After a while, you catch your groove, and inadvertently find you have adopted a few habits of the ‘highly successful’.

For example:

You now have the permanent built-in alarm of a serious go-getter that wakes you up early no matter what. You may even morph into a healthier version of yourself, given that you no longer go out partying every weekend till 5am.

Establishing routines, organising schedules and planning events are things that have now become second nature. Household supplies and food are dutifully replenished, budgets micro-managed and a multitude of other tasks accomplished every day.

You get used to working diligently without being pushed, asked, thanked…or sometimes even noticed.

The mood of a small child can easily dictate how your day will play out from moment to moment.  As such you learn to adjust plans accordingly.  You become far more resilient and capable at handling the downright ugly and seemingly impossible. Even in public.

As your child’s first role model, you become more adept at building and maintaining positive relationships, promoting perseverance and cooperation.  With kidlet eyes now taking in your every move, you try to emulate ‘goodness’.  You become a leader without a title, far more responsible, self-contained and polite.  You become better at controlling and managing yourself and your emotions….most of the time anyway.

Flippancy to the side…being a mum can lead to strengthening all of the skills you gained as a singleton, with the addition of a few more.  In my humble opinion.

All learning has an emotional base ~Plato

Being a mum may not always educate the intellect but it does educate the heart.  The emotional intelligence I have gained in seven years of parenting remains unparalleled.  Coincidentally, emotional intelligence has been widely reported as one of the strongest indicators for success in life and directly affects ones psychological well-being (ref).

I read somewhere that the brain gives knowledge but the heart gives direction. As a mum even though your heart now moves independent of your body – the sense of purpose, passion and direction you feel can spur you on to achieve greatness in all areas of life.

Sidenote: Some of you may be thinking that this particular blog is biased and a tad dismissive of non-parents or even daddy’s.

I would concur.

But sometimes a mummy needs to hear that she is valued, competent, resourceful and freakin’ fabulous!

She needs to understand that the skills and experiences acquired through parenthood hold relevance in any environment and that she is a successful contributing member of society right here and now.

Nuff said!

~ Kirri

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Living the Dream while Raising a Family

3 Jan

When I became a parent for the first time in 2004, I had little idea as to how much my world would change. You would think that a gestation period of nine months, a relentless desire to consume every leading birth and parenting book published in Australia, and a supportive, loving partner, would keep one in reasonable stead for parenthood.  Think again!

While I was forewarned about the loss of sleep, the re-direction of focus from myself to another human being and the need for a more restrained social life; I had not expected the all-consuming feelings of love, worry, guilt and at times, isolation.  Nor was I prepared for the painful loss of my wonderful father to that ugly disease cancer, just three months prior to having my daughter.  The intense grief was a lonely path that few of my friends had experienced and even fewer wished to acknowledge.  My guess is that it was just too confronting.  While my daily life seemed to be turning into a repetitious existence comparable to Groundhog Day, everyone around me seemed to be travelling at warp speed.  Life after the death of a loved one really does go on (at least for the unaffected around you), and that observation, hit me hard.

My new work environment (home) and the lack of consistent daily contact with friends and colleagues lead me to a lonely and confusing place where my feelings of positive self-identity morphed and eroded.  Now, when I looked in the mirror, I found myself unsteadied by the image of a newer version of me – one that I did not always recognise or feel comfortable with.

It seems that other people also had trouble recalling the old me.  Friendships were neglected or threatened by the fact that I was no longer readily available for late night outings or spontaneous adventures abroad.  I no longer received the Thursday night shout outs to see what was going down on the weekend, nor did I have personal work dramas to commiserate over with my fellow comrades. My invisibility as an individual became glaringly apparent a few years and a set of perfect twins later, when I questioned one of my husband’s friends about how he had fared in a recent job interview.  His response “Oh I think I nailed it! I knew all the answers to the questions they asked me. It would be like someone asking you about being a mum – it’s all you have ever really known so it was pretty easy.”

Ouch!  As I sat there with what I hoped was an encouraging smile on my face, my internal voice screamed something along the lines of like “Excuse me?! I have two degrees, have travelled to at least 10 countries having all sorts of life changing experiences, had considerable professional success in a range of areas, a passion for learning new things and a wardrobe of skinny jeans and high heels and I am not, (repeat NOT) JUST a mummy!”

Fast forward to almost 7 years of being “just” a mummy and I have to admit that it has only been the past three years or so that I have readily embraced the term.  Being a parent does not define all of who I am but it’s definitely my most important role. I have never worked harder at something, learnt so much about human psychology and physiology, or experienced such intense joys.

This blog reflects my personal journey to becoming a ‘happy mum at home’.  It is also a place where I will share valuable resources and information on how I choose daily to “live the dream while raising a family”.  As a parent, success coach and more importantly a human being, I believe I am a lot like you.

I strive to live a life beyond mediocrity, a life of greatness that is measured by the amount I live, love and learn. While I do not profess to have all the answers, I might just have some of them – garnered through a lot of study, research, reading, beta-testing, and numerous moments of frustration and despair!

So, as I welcome you to my blog, I also thank you in advance for your comments and sharing of experience.  I hope you enjoy it and find something of relevance to your life.

You can check out my business services at website  follow me on twitter    like me lots on facebook or email me at kirri@happymumsathome.com.

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