Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Presentations & why I love to do them!

Yesterday we had to present at one of the high schools and while presenting I could tell how focus this group of teenagers were during our agenda, & all the topics we were speaking about. 
Most the time when presenting the teenagers always focus and love to get involved, and so do the staff. 
When presenting all of us girls who present always say we love when we get groups from schools or juveniles that are always prompting us with questions. 
This shows that they are interested in the topics we are speaking about and it’s even better when teachers prompt us as they are also just as interested in the topics just as much as the students. 

Back to why I wanted to blog today 
it is all these reasons above & oh soo many more, but while presenting yesterday I was in the middle of speaking just about general topics about what’s in a day for a teenagers compare to a young parent when all of a sudden there was a knock at the door I stopped speaking and answer the door.  
There was a note for a student to attend another class, The student really did not want to go she turned around and said this is real life education that I want to learn about. 
I really could tell how much she was really interested, & so could her her teacher. 
So her teacher even said no worries I’ll fix it up you can stay, and you can just go after this presentation. 
This made me really smile, and know that we are having a real impact on the staff, and the students. 
This just showed me the reason I love presenting, it truly is because these teenagers are generally really interested in what we are saying and even the teachers think it’s a great system to have in their schools because a lot of these topics we talk about are generally not taught in high schools, or even at homes for the teenagers. 

I could go on, and on with soo many reasons on why I love to present, but it’s something you have to be there to actually understand how much The teenagers are getting out of these presentations. 
Especially because they are teenagers in their prime of their life. 

myself and all the girls that presented with with karitane TR have all said we all wish we had something like this in our school system growing up and maybe we would’ve gone about things a little bit differently. 
I think that’s why when Us girls present in high schools/ juvenile centres we don’t hold back and we love to try and help these teenagers from always trying to grow up so quickly and to realise that education is worth a lot more because once school is finished or your in school and fall pregnant that’s when the responsibilities really start happening. 
Plus MANY more reasons! 
But yesterday made me extremely happy when that student said what she said to us.
It’s actually has given me extra confidence, more motivation, and extra drive to get to where I need to be. 
Being able to be apart of such an amazing program, and having such an amazing mentor like Bec has help me more than I can even explain. 

I love presenting, and I love all the support karitane has always offered! ☺️👌🙌

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

Joys of pregnancy.

Pregnancy is suppose to be a happy/ exciting time for mums to be.....  But for some it is nowhere near that! With my first child I suffered with really bad morning sickness which was constant day and night,  I lost alot of weight right down to 38kgs, I was 56kgs pre pregnancy. That was due to vomiting and not being able to keep anything down at all.  I have been so scared to have another child as I found my first pregnancy traumatic and didn't think I could cope with a child while being unwell. And fast forward 5 years and here I am again suffering, I spend most days in bed or on the couch, mornings are the worst I struggle to take my daughter to school without passing out which is quiet scary. People keep asking me are you excited and I say no (don't get me wrong I love seeing the scans and my little Bubba moving)but there's nothing exciting about being sick and not even being able to shower most days 😂 I'm glowing...with the stench of vomit A-ha....  But it's made me realise that it's not only hard on me but also my daughter she misses out on doing stuff,  she is always home,  she has to help hold my hair back while I'm vomiting 😂 even makes me have a shower 😂. She misses her mum who could take her bike riding,  to the park ect. But I'm also so lucky to have such a beautiful child who loves me regardless ❤❤

Sunday, 1 July 2018

My emotional roller coaster of an afternoon.

Hey everyone !

For those who don’t know me, let me start with a little introduction. My name is Natalia, I’m 25 and I am a mum of three beautiful children. My eldest is Noah (8yrs) who I had when I was 16, my middle child is Jack (2.5yrs) and my youngest is my only daughter Natalka, who just turned 1 this past weekend. I am still with their father and we live together with my parents. I recently graduated from uni with a Bachelor in Social Science (Criminal Justice & Criminology/Child and Community) 

Ok so I can’t remember the last time I blogged, but tonight the stars have aligned. It’s 8pm, my kids are asleep, dishes are done, and I still have 30 mins until my show starts, so what better to do then write a little something for the Talking Realities blog. I couldn’t really think of a ‘topic’ so I thought I would just focus on one of my favourite segments of the presentation, which is called Relationships and feelings. In this segment we address the range of different emotions we felt being pregnant, and as parents. Yesterday I decided to quickly jot down different interactions and how they made me feel, even if it was only for a moment or two. Although I started in the afternoon, I was surprised at how many situations came about and they made me feel. we go:

Mum came home from work. We  had our usual ‘how was your day?’ chat in the kitchen while we prepped dinner. She mentioned that she talked to Noah the other day he said he didn’t like school. I was surprised because I have never had any issues getting him up and ready for school, and he always seems happy when I pick him up. I wondered whether he could be being bullied ? When I was in high school I had a friend take his own life due to bullying, not to mention the horrible bullying stories you hear on the news all the time. My stomach tightened from the anxiety. 
Mum also mentioned that Noah needs to be doing activities outside of school. Apparently her friends daughter does swimming five days a week as well as violin and keyboard lessons on the weekend.  

I left the conversation feeling slightly defeated and anxious. I made a mental note that I needed to ask Noah about his school situation as soon as I have moment. I also had to work out a budget plan if I was to put Noah in extra activities.. they are so damm expensive. Oh well, I guess I’ll have to make cuts somewhere...I hated the thought of him missing out. 

I sat down with Jack to do some reading. I pointed to some shapes and ask them what they are. ‘Mum, wook a cur-cool’ he said. He meant to say ‘mum look a circle’ but he has a slight speech delay and is still having some issues with pronounciation. Occasionally when I read with Jack I wonder whether me falling pregnant with Natalka when he was still so young contributed to his speech delay... I was so exhausted from working/studying/motherhood and being pregnant that I didn’t get to read to him as much as I would have liked to. Yeah.. maybe if I had red to him a little more, made more time and prioritised him. I felt the guilt sink it. The last thing any parent wants is for their child to struggle at school. 

It was time to put Natalka to bed. I laid her down in her cot and gave her the warm bottle of milk, within minutes she was finished and holding onto the railing of the cot crying.  I reached over from my recliner chair and lay her on my tummy. I gently patted her back and within minutes she dozed off to sleep. 
I really need to stop doing this, I thought to myself. I need to start teaching her to self settle.. that’s what you’re suppose to do apparently.. so the parenting experts say . It was just too damm convienant to put her to sleep on my tummy. Nevertheless, I shouldn’t be taking the lazy way out! That’s  the problem with my generation of mothers, apparently we are all about convienance. Turn on the news and all you hear is how our kids are becoming obese, bratty little ipad addicts and it’s all because us parents don’t discipline and want convienence. 
Only today there was something on the news about ‘gaming disorder’ becoming an actual recognised medical condition! It made me
panic slightly because Noah had been really into Fortnite lately and the last thing I needed was suffering from some gaming addiction. Ugh. There was always something causing panic. I felt like I was failing a little and told myself that I needed to stop letting Natalka fall asleep on my tummy and set more boundaries with Noah’s gaming. 

I decided to put Natalka in her cot and go check on Noah to a) address his apparent lack of motivation in attending school and b) to sus out whether he has a gaming addiction. The conversation went a little like this: 

Noah:Yes mum
Me:How’s school going?
Me:Anything interesting happened lately?
Noah:No.. not really 
Me:Any bullying or anything you want to talk to me about?
Noah: No mum.. why?
Me: Babcia (grandma) mentioned to me that you said you didn’t like school anymore? Why’s that?
Noah: Oh.. no I like school. Schools pretty cool. I just don’t like how it takes up so much of my life.
Me:What do you mean?
Noah: Mum.. we like.. only get 2 months off a year. 

I couldn’t help but laugh to myself. ‘Only’ two months off he says. I felt a sense of relief come across me. His not being bullied,  he just doesn’t think two months of a year is not enough. Which is ...understandable I guess. 
I gave him a hug and told him that it was almost time to put the iPad away. ‘You can’t be on it for too long Noah it’s not good for you’ i tell him. ‘Okay mum I’ll put it away in a second’. 

Thankgod. No bullying. No gaming addiction.... at least not today. 

I still had some time before Noah and Jack’s bedtime, is I decided to lay down for a bit and browse my Facebook newsfeed. First thing I noticed was an old work mates newly uploaded holiday snaps. She was the same age as me, but was single and childless. Her life always seemed so exciting 
and full of adventures, and she spent a good part of her year travelling to the most beautiful places. There was nothing holding her back, and no responsibilities. Not one. Gosh I wish I could be that spontaneous. It was not uncommon for me trip to Woolies a week in advance for goodness sake. Ughhh.. She was in New York City and It looked amazing. I had wanted to go since the days I binged on Sex and the City. I felt a tingle  jealousy as I looked through the rest of her amazing holiday snaps. Almost simultaneously came another wave of guilt and inner conflict. Why are you feeling jealous? You have three little kids, aren’t you grateful for that? Isn’t that enough? What about all the women who can’t have children?  I got off Facebook before it got any worse and reminded myself that I should be grateful for what I had. 

So there we have it. Within the course of an afternoon.. the emotional rollercoaster that is parenthood. If I am being honest,  I will tell you that feelings of stress, anxiety, guilt, jealousy and failure have always been apart of my experience of motherhood. That being said, I never noticed that I went through almost all of these emotions daily!! It just highlighted to me that parenthood is indeed a mental marathon. Not only are we constantly cleaning, cooking, feeding, bathing, clothing, reading, playing and driving our kids around, internally we are battling feelings of guilt, inadequacy and failure. I feel like it’s important for us all to remember that, because as cliche as it sounds we really have no idea of other people’s battles. Be kind to each other and remember you are not alone in the way that you feel! 
With that I leave you guys because Love Island is about to start ! Have a good week guys! Xxx 

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Actually, I am her mum.

Being a young mum with young looking parents is kind of bitter sweet.
So many times I have been shopping with my Mum and she has been pushing my daughters pram and numerous people compliment her by saying ‘your daughter is so cute’ and continue to ask questions, how old is she, what is her name ect... I always jump in and say, ‘Actually I am her mum’. At first it really bothered me and I wouldn’t let my mum push my pram now I don’t mind at all.
There’s also been times where I have been out with my dad and my daughter and people look at us a little funny, so now my dad always holds my mums hand in public.
Another one is that I’ve had is that there is no one else in my home calling me mum, so I have been called by first name from my daughter up until recently while she calls my parents ‘Mum & Dad’. Now she doesn’t stop with the ‘Mum, mum mum’.
My nan doesn’t mind it at all though, she loves being able to say, ‘I’m actually her great grand mother’. At 61 and loves being told how young she looks.
My parents now go by - Ya Ya for nan & G-Man for pop, with a constant reminder that they are to young to be grandparents although wouldn’t change it for the world now. So I guess in a way they are like her second parents and I’m not complaining at all.

Paige :) 

Thursday, 31 May 2018

when the unexpected happens

All the time you hear about people getting sick but when it happens to you or a family member....

Early December 2017 my dad suffered a severe stroke. He lives with my mum. A few days leading up to his admission to hospital my mum expressed concern to me that my dad was starting to act strange. She said he was trying to use the remote control as a phone, thinking he had lost his car keys and not making much sense in what he was saying.
I responded to my mum by saying to just keep an eye on him.... I went through a list of conditions it could be such as a urinary tract infection and even said stroke but thought that was the worst case scenario.
As a nursing student my mum knows she can ask me for advice, even though I may not have all the answers.
The morning of his hospital admission my mum phoned me. She said that my dad was not speaking at all and looked strange. I immediately went over to her house.
When I arrived I walked straight in to see my dad sitting on the lounge. I noticed straight away that the right side of his face had drooped and he had saliva all over his face. I asked "DAD, are you ok???" I then noticed he could not communicate at all, he had lost his speech. I then pretty much determined it was a stroke and rang the ambulance.
I stayed on the phone to the ambulance until the paramedics arrived. They also thought it was stroke and took him to the hospital straight away for further tests.
At hospital it was revealed my dad suffered an ischaemic stroke (blocked artery) that effected 3 lobes.
After a week in hospital and seeing some improvements in my dads speech and mobility we got the news that my dad had been found out in the car park of the hospital and a further scan revealed he had a bleed on his brain and he went back downhill.
My dad spent almost 3 months in that hospital trying to recovery.

Now my dad is home with my mum and she is his full time carer with the help from us kids.
He is doing so much better now he is home. He was malnourished while in hospital and has been steadily gaining weight and eating healthier now.
His communication is still a daily struggle. He struggles to find the right words and sometimes it sounds as if he is speaking another language but is slowly improving.
He used to walk with a walking stick which he still uses now but is 5x slower.

We never thought this would happen to our family even though he ticked all the risk factor boxes. As a family we have all came together to do what we have to do. This incident has helped me understand the importance of family and has really made me think that we are lucky to still have him and to cherish the time we have together.

Kayla :)

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

Be proud of yourself :)

I hope everyone had a awesome Christmas and New Year. I cant wait to see what this year holds for me I really hope it's a lot better and easier then last year. We're finally prepared for Cienna to start school (happy dance)  and I'm excited to start my cert IV in mental Health. As a mum Iv always doubted myself and thought I'm not good enough or doing good enough, but I can say looking back at last year and having some of the biggest hurdles thrown at me and dealing with what I went though.  I can say how proud I am of how far I have come and what I have achieved at such a low time in my life.   Bring on 2018 I wish everyone happiness and success xxx

Monday, 11 December 2017

Having babies isn’t what it seems.

“Call me a hypocrite.... but I’m young mum, please don’t have kids young.

Accidents happen, and when they happen— sure— step up! But don’t plan this at 15...16...17.

Ps. This is to all the young teens who post in advice/women’s groups on Facebook saying “I want a baby... I’m so clucky.. I want to be a teen mum”. 

Please understand my opinion is coming from a good place, I may not know you, but I give a shit enough to give you realistic advice. 

I know you’ll either roll your eyes, call me a hypocrite, or maybe this will hit you in the head like a soccer ball on a school playground, and open up your mind— but at the end of the day it’s your body and your choice— just remember that your choice will not only affect you but your partner and most importantly, your potential child’s life.

Too many young girls are planning to have babies upon impulse without thinking about the situation as it is— a lifetime commitment to ANOTHER human. It is NO picnic. It’s f**king hard, some days it drives you to insanity and you’re crying into a pillow because you haven’t had time to eat, shit, sleep or shower in two days— that’s the truth. 

Babies are not something that should be had “when you feel clucky” as some have said. That’s another human life— and it’s definitely not as delightful as it looks in your friends photos on Facebook. Those “perfect family photos” make up for 2% of a day where the house is at peace— believe me— its aaaaall an illusion. 

Babies might be cute, and I fall in love every time a mum brings her baby into my work— I beg for a hold just so I can take in that youthful newborn smell all over again! 

... but all the cute stuff, the little yawns, the tiny socks, all the things that “make you clucky” come and go like Christmas Day.

Sure, the love between a mother and child at any age will always be there, I love my son more than anything on this earth— but if I could go back I would have had him when I was in a stable relationship with no significant financial burden. If I could go back, I would have finished University FIRST and set myself up so that I could have been the best mum I can be.

I was a mum at 13 turning 14  but the difference is I didn’t plan it in the slightest— I stepped up and now I struggle my ass off to provide for a child who deserves [more]. I couldn’t even afford to buy her birthday presents last year— it was heartbreaking. I’m always behind on bills to this day. Not only that, but I stayed with an abusive person for the sake of my child for a good year+.. then after a year of losing my mind, I left— and that wasn’t the easy way out because I still deal with ongoing abuse from ex in-laws and a very unsupportive ex (father of my child).

To sum up, my child has one parent who she doesn’t see enough, because I’m either studying or I’m at work trying to provide for her, and another parent who puts her as a last priority behind his social/clubbing life when he should be spending time with her. 

My baby doesn’t deserve this— It’s hard admitting that my girl deserves more, but it’s the truth. 

Being a parent is NOT something you should plan at a young age. Sure, you might have your head screwed on at 17 like I and many other mums did and could make the sacrifices necessary to give a child the essentials— but if you don’t have the financial stability, a respectful relationship, the maturity and a willingness to make sacrifices [from both parents] or the support from a community of people including friends and family— hell, my point is— if it’s not what’s best for them, why on earth would you plan it? 😞 

Sure, I often hear the phrase “you’re never ready at any age”, but when you have a choice and you’re not in the situation where you NEED to step up and do all of this, ALWAYS decide to plan “what’s best” instead of acting on an impulse that will effect more people than yourself.

I hope this will reach the audience it’s directed at, and I hope many young women will see this for what it is— an encouragement to choose what’s best, to strive to achieve all your goals, finish your education and fall in love with someone along the way who treats you like a queen— do all of this before settling down and starting a family. We all deserve a happy life, lived at it greatest potential— including our little ones!” ❤️❤️