Friday, 24 August 2012

Make a date

© Glenjones | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos
I'm looking forward to a big glass of wine with the girls tomorrow night. I'm looking forward to putting on heels, being out past 5pm and having an adult conversation without being interrupted by a certain cute little someone.

Gone are the days of impromptu after-work drinks and dinner. This little get together has been in the pipeline for several weeks, and will require a carefully orchestrated evening routine that allows time for me to straighten my hair in between feeding, bathtime and goodnight cuddles. It's all worth it though. I've realised it's good for the whole family if I have some time to myself, however fleeting.

Mum's aren't always good at prioritising themselves, but I saw these top relaxation tips on the Today Show this week and I'm going to try and implement them in my life:

1. Start with small breaks, such as a 10 min coffee while the baby sleeps
2. Offload responsibility and let others lend a helping hand - we can't do it all!
3. Relax first, chores second (I love this idea)
4. Project a healthy mum - take time for yourself so you can be relaxed & a good role model for your kids
5. Plan a social life... make a date!

Here's the full Today Show clip if you're interested: Today Show - Mum’s Relaxation

Tell me, what do you do to get some mummy relaxation in your day?

Monday, 20 August 2012

Amazing find

© Niderlander | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos
I have stumbled across the most amazing website. I was looking for baby music groups in my area, and found this little gem, which listed so much more:

From playgrounds on the beach to rainy day activity ideas, mummy-friendly beauty therapists to local playgroups and kid friendly restaurants - this site has an abundance of ideas for Latte Mums like me.

I know it's Sydney-specific, but it may spark some ideas for you in your area too. And if you don't have a resource like this for your area, maybe it's time to start your own list to share with other local mums?

Are there any websites you've come across lately that have great mummy ideas?

Friday, 17 August 2012

First family holiday

© Sierpniowka | Stock Free Images & Dreamstime Stock Photos
I love holidays. Wherever in the world we may go – be it beach, mountain or city – a holiday means time away from the pressures of life and an opportunity to reconnect. The Blackberry gets turned off, the TV gets traded for card games and, best of all, a cheese platter and wine is compulsory daily fare.

Typically I’d be desperate for a holiday at this time of year, just to keep me going until Xmas rolled around. This year was no different, and we’ve just returned from our very first family holiday. It was a holiday with a difference for me; more about the moments together than complete R&R. I was worried that an action-packed week away would be too much for the little one, but he seemed to love exploring a different part of the world with us.

So, for any Latte Mums out there thinking about planning a trip away with the fam – perhaps to escape the winter chills or to recharge your batteries as you head into the end of the year – here are some tips that might help you get the best out of your break…

1. A bit of advance planning will help you to relax while you’re away. Anyone that knows me will not be surprised to hear me say this, but honestly, having put in some thought to where and when the little one would have his naps (for example) meant we were all a lot happier on the trip!

2. With the last tip in mind, I suggest breaking up the day into one morning and one afternoon activity at the most, and make sure you have some time to just relax as well.

3. Travel light – you can do it! Many places provide a travel cot and you can hire other big items like a car seat, so there’s no need to pack the kitchen sink.

4. I wish someone had told me to bring a sun visor for the car window – we spent more time in the car than usual and I’m sure bubs would have preferred the sun out of his eyes.

5. Get snap happy so you can relive your happy moments later.

Would love to hear your hot tips for travelling with kids, and any family-friendly travel destinations you’d recommend!

Friday, 3 August 2012

The best play in life is free

This week I’ve realised that being a Latte Mum is as much about my son’s development and socialisation as it is about feeding my caffeine habit (and keeping my sanity). There’s nothing more delicious than seeing your child reach out to hold hands with another, giggling at someone pulling a funny face or sharing a toy with a friend.

While there seems to be an abundance of music, reading, language, dancing, fashion design, PhD playgroups you can enrol your child in, I’ve found that the best play dates are free.

Earlier this week I caught up with my favourite stay-at-home Dad. Yes. A Latte Dad. We grabbed a takeaway latte (of course) before heading to the local playground with my little boy and his two gorgeous girls. The swings, slide and roundabout entertained them for a good hour and there were tears when it was time to go home. I remember the feeling.

Midweek we celebrated a Mum’s birthday with an afternoon tea party. Our Mothers’ Group descended on the (very brave) birthday girl’s house with homebaked cakes and slices in hand. The babies were plonked down with their toys on the comfy rug to play together while we enjoyed a cuppa and treats. I must say that my baby boy is getting a bit sick of the same toys, and nothing makes your own toys seem more interesting than seeing another baby playing with them. Result.

Yesterday we visited the local library to get some new reading material (for both mother and baby). Hundreds of books to choose from, and all free to borrow. I really hope that my love of books will be carried down to my children and I figure it’s never too early to start.

Who needs 24 hours of Olympics channels when there’s all this to do?!

Today… well, today I’m taking the afternoon off to get my hair done. That is most definitely not free, but you can’t put a price on a couple of hours of pampering and the opportunity to drink a hot latte in its entirety without being distracted.

What free childrens activities are your favourites?