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What are you worth ?

“Thanks for that “. Feeling like I was being dismissed , I walked out feeling deflated , got in my car and drove home that day and many more after that feeling shattered and robbed of my self worth. Piece by piece I was allowing my joy for my job and what it meant to me to be taken away. Have you ever asked yourself the question ; what am I worth ?

I would like to say that my worthless journey was short lived but Id be lying. It went on for way too long until one day I was driving home feeling exhausted on the same route passed the beach that I loved so much.
When was the last time I felt the sand under my feet ? It had been too long. I detoured that day back to the beach and feeling the sand under my feet and taking in a deep breath the reality hit me. Self worth comes from within and the value I place on myself is under my control.

Is it time to stop people from stealing from your self worth bank before the vault is empty?

If you are the person who works hard to make sure things run smoothly without flying your own flag propping up others can take a lot of work.

Some things to consider.

Your attitude towards yourself and your skills holds value. Self talk and fobbing off compliments from others about your skills is taxing and self denial. There is a difference between being humble and arrogant. It is ok to own your skills.

It is easy to fall into the trap of trying to people please. After all we all want to keep management happy with us. If our boss is happy with us then it makes work a happier place to be. Or does it ?

Finding yourself saying yes to everything and everyone can leave you spreading yourself too thin.

Reminding yourself that your achievements are what you do and how they make you feel, not how others perceive them.

Celebrate your achievements often after all you are worth it !

Jules x

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What Homecoming is really like for a FIFO wife

Finally. You made lt through and entire swing (two , three or more weeks of your partner working away). You’re excited. Your image of homecoming is very much like a scene from one in an old war movie. You immaculately preened and if you have children they are standing by your side with no sign of Vegemite smears to be seen.

Head to any FIFO discussion forum and you will be amazed and impressed by the effort that many women put in to making sure they look fantastic for pick up day.
Waxed , shaved , tanned , hairstyled , manicured and outfit ready so that they can greet their loved ones in their best form.

Here is what my effort looks like.

Shave:

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Search madly for the perfect combination of effortlessly stylish while still being comfortable.

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Cover up dark circles under eyes

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Chase child around while putting clean clothes on her and wiping face.
Run out the door with child under one arm,carrying bag and putting shoes on.

Drive to the airport as quickly as possible while keeping within speed limit. Arrive late because plane arrived early or waiting because plane is 3 hours late.

Then this moment happens and I realise that all the preparation was all worth it.

Jules x

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What FIFO wives don’t share

Climbing into bed after checking on my girls it hit me that in 3 days my husband would be home.
The homestretch to homecoming is exciting and also filled with emotion and many thoughts that most FIFO wives don’t share.

The countdown is always noted with 10,9,8,7…….. more sleeps with our children and at times there will be some tears from our youngest with no words but the understanding is there and we know that we miss him. We sit in silence and cuddle for a while. The phone rings and we are excited. The chatter comes easier for the girls and any of our other children who are visiting. I recount my daily events and try to keep the conversation light. I want to share so many small things during our conversations but I am mindful of how I would feel if I was the one who was away.

You see for the past 11 days I have kept myself very busy and tried not to allow myself to think about how much I miss him. It is what I need to do to get through the time that he is away working. When my love is away the house beats to a different drum. The routine is one that has developed over many evenings of Oh that was a crap start or end to the day thoughts while consuming a glass of red. Some days are a mad rush of grab and run to get to work on time after daycare drop off and after making sure our girl gets to work on time other days are a giant fist pump in the air with time to spare.

I am excited , worried , overwhelmed and slightly nervous at the same time as the day approaches.
There is a sense of wanting to hold on tight to keeping it together and a simple exhaustion that has begun to creep in and make me slightly cranky. Simple things change my strong stance to a blubbering fool such as a song on the radio , a picture or a mere mention of a memory. Silly thoughts enter my head ; What if I have changed , will he like the new doona cover?, What will we talk about?.

Pick up day is here and I am overwhelmed as he walks through the airport gate or towards the car. He is here but there is a slight awkwardness as we drive home and we navigate the shift of change that has taken place over the two weeks. Simple things like new cup choices and food likes and dislikes plus who chooses whats for dinner change the beat of the drum and just as we find a new rhythm it changes again as it is time already to fly back to work.

Farewells are quick and emotional on fly out morning and although it never gets easier the familiarity of the routine kicks in and keeps life flowing in the knowledge that this is what we need to do for now.
Do you have routines that help you keep things flowing when your partner is away?

Jules x

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Tips for Living with your adult child

If your day includes: picking up Dirty towels left on the bathroom floor, driving lessons at the end of a full day of work , three extra trips in the car to the shops, workplaces or party drop off/pick up on the weekend then you are more than likely parenting a young adult. Sharing space and navigating a new relationship where as a parent, you aren’t the big decisions maker can come with more than a few bumps in the road. The road can vary and experience has taught me a few things that have helped me become a bit more alert and better at sharing the road. If living harmoniously is your goal then without question; here are some tips for living with your young adult .

We all change as we mature. Our interests change over time and life experiences shape who we are and our perspective on life. It can be comfortable to continue relating to your young adult in the same way as you have but learning how to support them while they develop their independence in the world means that there will be changes.

Words hold power.
There will be choices in your child’s life that you may not understand such as: friendships,music, tattoos/piercings, relationships or career choices. Focus on using words that make your Son or daughter know that you are happy to see them and be in their company rather than putting conditions on the relationship.

Set boundaries together.
Personal space is important to maintaining a healthy relationship. I have never entered my children’s bedrooms or cleaned them unless I was asked to retrieve something once they reached 16. Even though it made me cringe at the mess, I found that constantly nagging them to clean up their room made them more determined not to. Say it once; ask nicely and shut the door so you cant see it. When it comes to partners or friends sleeping over you still call the shots, it is still your house and you need to feel comfortable with the people who enter it.

Make sure expectations are clear.
Clear expectations in regard to responsibilities such as: cleaning , care of pets , laundry etc and how they are now shared can prevent arguments. Don’t assume that it’s just understood.

Take a step back.
Watching your child grow into an adult is a cross between satisfying and heartbreaking at the same time. Some of your time now belongs to you, but the worry can be constant as you are more aware of the world out there than they are. Remembering than you can’t always call the shots now is tough, especially when they make decisions that you know could result in regret for them down the track. I have friends who have regrets of getting large tattoos of animals, partners names in places that cannot be hidden or spending years in a relationship that was not healthy. These things are personal choices and ones that you as a parent will often have to take the back seat for.

Don’t be a pushover.
Moving towards a more grown up relationship doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be respected. Make it clear that some rules remain the same, your child is an adult now so expect them to act like one. Shouting , swearing and threats are not acceptable ways to communicate. Rules about what goes on in your house are not negotiable. Also Remember that your words hold power when communicating with them so choose them wisely and give yourself some distance if you feel that your tongue may get you in trouble.

Find a financial system that works for both you and your adult child and run with it.
This can vary, licencing and insurance of their car is always a good place to start. If charging rent is not viable in the agreement due to circumstances then your adult child can make other contributions to the family such as fixing dinner, mowing lawns or extra household duties; they may not like the idea when presented to them, but you aren’t running a hotel. If the exchange is reasonable and not overly time demanding then they will feel like they are gaining a fair exchange. Purchases of extra personal care products beyond the necessities such as: toothpaste, toothbrushes , soap , deoderant and toothpaste in our house have always been met by our children once they were earning a fulltime wage.

Whether you like it or not your child will grow up. Spending hours being consumed by trying to please them is not healthy; if the arrangement doesn’t work then not living together is a better option for your relationship. As heartbreaking as that may seem at the time ,you will both benefit in the long term with a healthier relationship.

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NOT TODAY

There is always an element of struggle and juggle going on if you are a working parent. The struggle to be good at the most important role of parenting and being a kick ass employee. In amongst this somewhere is taking care of you. To do this somethings have to be let go of and somedays your mantra will just be ‘NOT TODAY’.

I count myself as one of the lucky people , I get to work in a job that I am super passionate about and when im at work I give 100% to being present and to my Job. I also get to work with incredibly dedicated people (always a bonus) but in order to do this in a high intensity job means that many days can end in exhaustion (not the best way to enter into parenting mode). Mr T + T works away for 8 months of the year and our youngest child is 3. Walking in the door at home means you need to be prepared for all the requests for Food , stories and my favourite part cuddles. I was dragging myself through the door and grumpy. Running on empty and two iron transfusions later. The reality hit me hard.

Something has to give
Always the hardest thing to do is admit it to yourself that you aren’t wonderwoman and you don’t have super human strength to draw on at the end of the day. Then it is a matter of making some tough decisions on what is going to go; giving up my cape but keeping the boots for me meant dropping a day off work. So its what I did. But It took me 3 weeks to officially do it because I was in denial. I was self talking myself into keeping the cape but when I did it It felt great. On my day home It is just about being Mum and having fun.

I am learning that sometimes you just need to say ‘NOT TODAY’.

Jules x

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Linking up with IBOT

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FIFO Dads – Not just babysitters

Sitting in the emergency room with our sick 3 year old, I watched as a man came running in with pockets full of water bottles and a spray bottle announcing proudly that he needed to please be let back into the hospital because his wife was inside in labour. I was reminded of the important role that my husband plays in our children’s lives along with the poor choice of words that stung him and I, spoken by a stranger in a supermarket.

“How lovely of you to babysit your daughter”, said the stranger in a supermarket. Of course my quick witted husband had a polite comeback (one of his many admirable qualities). It is something we discuss often; the poor press that Dads get of being babysitters and how FIFO dads have it easy missing out on the messy parts of parenting.

Here is where I let you in on a secret….. Mr T + T does messy better than me, in fact he is the master of it. If our children have ever wanted to jump in muddy puddles or make a giant painting using your hands and feet that results in a giant mess, he has always been happy to say yes.

From my years of being a FIFO Wife I have learnt that:
• FIFO dads miss all parts of family
life including the mess.
• It is important for Dads to be
involved in parenting decisions while
they are away and at home.
Communicate – Snapchat,
Skype, Facetime, text, send photos and
talk on the phone. Keeping connected
is important to everyone’s mindset.
• Don’t waste hours on FIFO sites where
it is all about people bitching about
how crappy their partners are as Dads.
You will only find yourself sucked
into the negative vortex.
• Step back and give your partner space
to parent and be involved in the daily
jobs when they are on rostered time
home. Understand that they will more
than likely do things differently to
you.

Parenting is a rollercoaster ride and Dads need to hear that they are doing a good job just as much as Mums do.

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Pinafore – Seven days , Seven ways

The 80s and 90s hold some great fashion memories for me.. as well as some feelings of “lets hide that photo!” What I loved the most is the opportunity to step outside your fashion comfort zone and put a personal touch to the current style. There are so many different ways to style those wardrobe favourites , it is just a matter of adding a scarf or adding accessories. Be creative!

A friend recently stated that there are some clothing items that should never be worn once you reach 40. Now those are challenging words and I love a challenge. So I am starting with one item at a time to dispel the fashion myths. The pinafore for me was a favourite so I decided to style my ASOS Pinafore 7 ways for 7 days.

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Day 1
Similar (iconic grey jumper) and Jodi sneakers Rubi shoes and Navy/white/copper necklace from All that glitters (gifted).

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Day 2 Simplicity
Drag up White cotton shirt with black flats (similar here from Spendless)

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Day 3
Worn with striped shirt and a dash of mustard. Similar one can be found here ; Oversided Jersey tee, Mustard crochet trim scarf and Boots spendless

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Day 4
With the addition of a Grey Shirt over the top my pinafore became a skirt. Similar – SheIn Grey V kneck blouse worn with leopard print flats.

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Day 5
Casual style for a day of fun – Similar pink letter t-shirt – SheIn

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Day 6 –
A day of meetings – layered with Empress eleven EE longline tunic underneath for warmth.(gifted) and Belle curve Ponte blazer from target.

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Day 7 : Weekend style
Lunch with friends on a warmer day. Time to let the shoulders see some sun.
Dorothy Perkins Bardot top and Peep toe pumps (purchased a few years ago) together with Navy/white/copper necklace from All that glitters (gifted).

Do you have a favourite piece of clothing that you would love to wear again?

Jules x

Some of the items I wore are not available so I have provided links to items that are similar. This post also contains some affiliate links, which means if you click to buy the item, I earn a little commission but you don’t pay any extra.

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Simple Tips to keep your bathroom safe for young children

Bathroom independence has taken over in our house. The novelty of turning the tap on and pulling faces in the bathroom mirror are all part of our day. Toothbrushing struggles continue because in a three-year old world who cares if my teeth fall out or feel furry?
For us as parents that means checking our bathroom is safe, sisters hair straightener is put away after use and we have learnt all the appropriate songs needed for toothbrushing time.

Some suggestions to help you promote bathroom independence and keep your child safe:

1. Always Supervise – In 2015 10% of drowning deaths in Australia were children aged 0 – 4. Drowning is quick and silent. If you need to do something that cannot wait then it is always best to take your child out of the bath and with you.

2. Check water temperature:
Teaching your child the different temperature symbols and colours (c or blue is cold h or red is hot) while supervising will reduce those “I can do it” moments. If you aren’t sure of the water temperature and worried about getting it wrong then Dreambaby® Watch-Your-Step® Heat Alert Anti-Slip Bath Mats change to pale blue colour when the water is too hot and are a handy way to help prevent accidental slips and falls.

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3. Prevent falls and slips:
A non slip step will allow your child to wash their hands independently and use a mirror to brush their teeth and wash their face. The Dreambaby® 2-Up Step Stool has been tried and tested in our house. Sure-grip surface coverage ensures a secure grip for covered and bare feet. The two small steps reach perfectly to the bathroom sink.

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Dreambaby® Watch-Your-Step® Anti-Slip Bath Mats are a perfect way to stop that slipping and sliding in the bath and can prevent injuries. When I first stuck these on the bottom of the bath my three-year old just wanted to take them off and play with them but it didn’t take long for her to understand they were there to stop her from slipping.
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Although your child is growing up to be independent, Dreambaby® products are designed to be used and work best, with adult supervision”. Nothing beats supervision when it comes to keeping your child safe and preventing accidents.

For more information and a selection of safety products visit the Dreambaby® web site
Call (02) 93864000 or in New Zealand, call (09) 274 8788. You can also find Dreambaby on : Facebook , Instagram, Youtube and twitter.

Note: Products were supplied for review – All opinions are my own.

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How to eat chocolate covered peas

‘You need to take the good with the bad ,is a term that never really sat well with me. Who the hell wants to eat chocolate covered peas , I know I don’t ,but life happens.

So today is not turning out the way you planned. No skittle pooing unicorns dusting their magical glitter across your path and you really would like to just retreat to your bed and hide under the covers ?

Some days are just crappy but they don’t have to stay like that. Here are some great ideas that work for me.

Watch your favourite childhood movie or show
Time to wrestle the remote from the kids and search Netflix or Itunes. Let Alf , the monkees, Full house or the characters from your favourite childhood TV show give you that much-needed belly laugh.

Grab your picnic blanket and head outdoors
Grab your hat and sunscreen or woollen hat and jacket and head to your local beach or park. Being outside can give you are a whole new perspective and fresh outlook. Breathe in the fresh air and watch the world pass you by.

Turn up the music and dance
Dancing to your favourite songs can help you shake of the blues and increase your brains dopamine levels. So grab your playlist and get your groove on.

Bring out the old photo albums
Sharing memories and photos whith loved ones or a friend is a great way to break the slump. A trip down memory lane can help revive some of the goals you once had or make new ones.

Plan a holiday
Planning a holiday can help dust off the cobwebs and give you the incentive to keep going . It doesn’t have to be Europe if it’s not in the budget . Even just a long weekend to a nearby destination can be great or if you are needing that much-needed break really soon , why not book into your local hotel with a pool and spa and escape.

If all else fails then don’t forget to pick up the phone and have a virtual cuppa with a family member or friend who you know will make you smile or laugh.

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Disciplining other peoples kids

Disciplining your own child is part of parenting but how would you react if someone else disciplined your child?

Earlier this year I was confronted by a situation where another parent who was a complete stranger made the snap decision to scold my child with me present.

Prior to landing in Perth from our flight from Sydney at the beginning of this year my 3-year-old became distressed. She was tired and just wanted out. For our whole journey a man and his daughter had laid their seats right back practically in our laps leaving us no room. I had considered asking the man if they could put their seats up but decided against it as it was apparent he was not in a great mood. Finally nearing the end of our journey they decided to put their seats upright.
My little girl stretched her legs out a few times kicking the seat in the process.

Unexpectedly the man in front of us leaned around the seat and in a loud gruff voice said directly to my daughter “Stop kicking the seat”. This was the final straw for my girl who erupted into the full range of emotions. Try explaining to a 3-year-old that is distressed they can’t get out of a plane while its flying or reasoning with them to put their seatbelt on for landing.

When it comes to disciplining other people kids what is ok and what isn’t?

Some guidelines to remember when situations may arise:

It is never ok to hit or threaten other people’s kids.
Think about how you would feel if someone you know or a stranger intimidated or hit your child? Try approaching the parent and letting them know there is a problem. Using a unacussing tone is usually the best approach. Starting with: “I am concerned” or “I noticed that your child was upset”, are usually better approaches. No one really wants to hear that their child is hurting other people or misbehaving.

What is discipline ?
The word discipline can sound quite harsh. In all reality it was harsh many years ago. Discipline nowadays is more about teaching children some rules and boundaries and that there is a consequence if they don’t follow the guidelines.

What do I do if another parent becomes aggressive or refuses to deal with the situation?
As mad as it might make you when another person refuses to acknowledge the situation or the possibility that their child is behaving dangerously, the best example you can give your child is to leave with your child.

In our situation where there was no way out your priority needs to be your child not the adult acting like a child. Be the bigger person and concentrate on distracting your child. Getting upset is only going to magnify the situation.

We all mess up sometimes but as adults we really set the example and need to remember that our kids are watching us to see how we react or act in situations.