Social Media is changing the way we view ourselves.

In a world where everything seems perfect, how do you keep up?

How do you feel like you have succeeded at your own life when everyone around looks like their doing better?

How do you make your life ‘matter’ when you don’t get as many ‘likes’ as someone else?

Does this make me less of a mum, less of a person, less of a contributor to society?

These are just some of the questions I have seen raised in the world of social media. A world where people feel like if they can’t capture the perfect spring cleaning session in a house that looks like it hasn’t been lived in, or a perfect set of cupcakes for a birthday, a perfect photo of their one year old that is clear and beautiful (what the!) that it isn’t as valuable or as memorable as someone else who does.

The amount of times I’ve heard the statements, ‘My life isn’t Pinterest worthy’, or ‘I don’t know why i keep scrolling, it just makes me feel shit about my life’ is ridiculous. Social media is for keeping connected with friends and family, to be proud of our achievements and show them what we are up to.

Its only human to compare and strive for success, to judge your life on the merit of others. But I ask you this, how do you know its all true to name? How do you know that their lives are as peachy as that one image, that their child hasn’t just thrown a tantrum all day and her mum doesn’t want to admit to herself that that behaviour is normal.

That others don’t want to admit to change, to questions, fears and worries. To accept commitment, to show loneliness, messiness, and failure.

No one wants to show off their wrong doings, but maybe thats exactly what we all need to see. To see that we are all the same, we do all fail sometimes and that the struggle is real.

Real enough to set someone on the right path, real enough to open someones eyes to their new path or dry them from a day of tears. To give them that boost of motivation and encouragement for their struggle.

Post something real for a change, and let someone in.

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The stress is real and its going to kill Gen Y

I read an article with a friend of mine the other day that said each generation is going through a midlife crisis earlier in their lives. So our generation, Gen Y, is currently experiencing a mid 20’s life crisis.

That is scary!

But it does explain a few things. Its no wonder we are all feeling the pressure at such a young age. I thought it was just us, when we decided to have a family young, but it would appear not.

If your not part of the Gen Y bracket, you might be thinking what pressures could you possibly have in your 20’s? Well ill tell you.

First there’s getting a good job. And I don’t just mean at maccas, this job needs to be a well respected job, that pays well and fulfils some itch inside of you. A job that you can be happy about going to everyday of your life, because you will probably be stuck there for a long time after what comes next. How do you get this job? with experience from your experience of working 12 months without pay.

Your nice job will pay for your house, and if you live in Sydney be prepared to just pay to live in a house, because at the rate house prices are going, even rentals, you will be working to live. So it seems like more are following suit and moving back in with the parents (or in-laws) because its cheaper. Im not even sure how long its going to take to move out, even if there were two incomes of equal value coming in.

Then there are all the other stressors that come with moving out, paying the ever increasing electricity/gas/water bills, mobile phone plans which are ridiculously overpriced, cars, toll roads, food, internet (also stupid price), gym memberships and credit cards. If you have a young family you have even more to worry about, childcare fees that are as big as your pay check, school fees, uniforms, books, pencils, life experiences for the kids, toys. And sure the kids don’t NEED heaps of stuff, but then they need to do things and have places they can make fun, and you can’t do that with no backyard and a few dollars to last a week. And thats only the start of it.

Oh but don’t forget to look after your mental health, by looking after yourself!

Before I get any comments about how the baby boomers did all the same things and got married younger and still survived when they only got paid $300 a week.

Its all relative.

Your $300 a week was when getting a pie, a drink and a custard tart for lunch was 20c, when buying a house was $3000 and mobile phones and internet didn’t even exist.

Everything around Gen Y is increasing at an exponential rate except our incomes, we have so much pressure around us to do everything perfectly, and make sure we fit everything in. Its no wonder we have such a high level of mental health problems. Our stress levels are so high already, I worry for the next generation that comes through, what will our children be dealing with, will it be worse or will it get better because we just can’t keep up.

You will have to excuse me while I borrow my in-laws car and camper trailer, to go camping for the two nights Hayden has free from work once a month to look after our own mental health. Because life in your 20’s is harder than it used to be, and we are all just trying to keep up and fit in.

 

6 Tips For An 18 Month Old Frequent Flyer

I found myself battling a toddler in a seat barely wide enough to cater my own width. His legs flailing and arms shooting over swiftly to grab chunks of a ladies hair that was wedged between the seats in front of us.

At any moment we would start moving, but we weren’t yet, and I had THAT child on a plane. But could I really blame him? I dragged him out of bed at 5:45am, sat him in the car for over two hours on the journey to the airport and now at almost 11am he has had it.

There is no way he will sit still.

I took a deep breath and catered to the arms and legs, to the head to head contact and the kicking of windows, because there was nothing else I could do.

And I thought taking a baby on a plane was stressful! We have done this flight 10 times now, and it doesn’t get any less stressful. I could count on one hand how many times Archie has been painful, in actual fact I wouldn’t even need one whole finger, because he’s a dream on planes once we get past the sitting with seatbelts.

But I have come up with a few tricks as he has gotten more and more active.

1. Baby carriers are an absolute godsend!
Up until this flight, I used a baby carrier to carry Archie around the airport. It keeps him contained while im checking in, and frees up my hands for other things. We do have to take it off to get through the security gates but that’s it, I wore him as we boarded the plane, right up until I sat down. Sometimes he even fell asleep as we got on the plane!

2. Always carry snacks.
When you think you have enough, pack more. If he doesn’t sleep during the flight he can get very wriggling towards the end, so I always have 3 or 4 different options of food he can nibble on while the seatbelt is on.

3. Take a travel pillow.
If you have room of course. I got one from spotlight for around $10, its about half the size of a toddler pillow, and fantastic especially in the early days to rest his head on when he’s nursing or sleeping, or even to put under my arm, to stop the dead arm from the armrest.

4. Time the flight in with nap times.
This one is a biggy for us, mainly because by the time we get on the plane, I need a break! The nose of the engines and the slight turbulence as we take off is the perfect combination for a snooze. If its the right time, I can normally keep him asleep until we start to descend, winning!

5. Get everything organised in front of you.
Before you get comfortable and strap everyone in, get everything out of your bag in into the little pocket in front of you. There is no way you will risk waking a sleeping baby/child on that flight for the sake of nibble to eat, so be organised. Things I normally put in front of me; snack for me, my book, phone, headphones, couple of baby wipes (you just never know), spare dummy, and I try and stuff my drink bottle somewhere but that doesn’t always work.

6. Have something they have never seen before
Have something they can play with in your bag they have never seen before. More points if its something they can do. My favourite one, and one that gets all the questions, is so simple yet so entertaining. Use a bit a masking tape, and tape a few popsticks scattered across the upright tray table. Its fantastic for keeping them looking forward, its best for kids starting to use their fine motor skills because they will try and pull the popsticks off, but what they need to do is pull the masking tape off first. We have done this a couple of times, its one that we have shared around to other kids on the plane that are having trouble keeping still.

‘Snap’ and just like that, he was out to it! thank goodness.

There is just something about the roaring of the engines, the subtle swaying and that close contact with me that sends him to the land of nod. My sigh of relief came just as a lady popped her head in to say what a wonderful job I did to calm him down so quickly.

It may not always go to plan, but at least I know not everyone is thinking the worst when it doesn’t.

Exercising with a toddler – even the pros agree it’s hard work

We compromise to make it work.

My workouts are often hindered by Archie being strapped to my back. We make it work, but not because I want him there. Because I have to so that I can do something for me.

It’s the only thing I do each week that isnt 100% Archie, but let’s be honest, it’s still 50% him.

I don’t get to workout like everyone else, I can’t get in the zone completely and block out the world while pumping iron with my headphones on. I can’t always workout for as long as I want, and I can’t just go when I feel like going.

When I’m there, I spend my time making sure he is not hungry or thirsty in between sets. I check that he’s not too hot or too cold. And sometimes we even talk while I’m deadlifting.

But I can’t let that be my excuse.

I back carry him for most of my workouts, I still push as hard as I can when I can. I still lift weights, and carry one too. I am achieving new PBs every week, and slowly but surely proving to everyone who sees me that I don’t have an excuse I have a reason.

A reason to be fit and healthy, a reason to show what determination looks like and how it pays off and a reason to keep going.

I may not be able to workout as much as I like, and sometimes I need to leave the gym not long after I get there, but even the professional PTs in the media are now realising how difficult it can be and how motivated you need to keep goals in check post baby.