10,000 Steps

Getting to 10,000 steps

Getting to 10,000 steps

The other day, I mentioned I had joined a gym. One of the goals is to do 10,000 steps a day! Most days, I don’t get there… but I get close.

Here are some of the ways I am getting my steps up:

  • Parking a bit further away – this includes school, shops, church, basically anywhere we go where we have to drive and park.
  • Taking a walk around the school – I usually get to school a bit early, so I do a lap of the school, or two, before stand in front of the kids classroom to wait for my kids.
  • Shopping – when I do the supermarket shopping, I try and do a bit more walking than usual by going down some of the aisles I wouldn’t normally go down, like the pet food aisle. There is no temptation in pet food, or toilet paper, and I usually have no need to go down them.
  • Dancing to music – my kids think it’s cheating, but I’m not so sure. Jigging along to music, even in the car, adds steps to the pedometer, and has the added bonus of embarrassing the kids! I figure I’m still getting active. I also put the music on and dance to it while cooking dinner.
  • Doing the coffee run at work – at work, we have a coffee shop down the road and there is usually a coffee run required each day. I try and volunteer for this when I can.
  • Remembering to put the pedometer on as soon as I get up – this is a big one. It doesn’t matter how many steps you do if you don’t have the pedometer on, especially when you’re asked how many steps you’ve done at the end of the week. I’ve worked out that most days there are 200-500 extra steps that aren’t counted as I don’t put the pedometer on as soon as I get up!

If you are trying to get your steps up, other than going for walks, these tips may help. I know that going for a long walk every day is simply not possible, and I spend a lot of time sitting at the computer, especially for work. In winter it’s often too cold and wet to go outside for a walk… I hope these tips will help you.

Filling an op shop box…. or two…

Filling an op shop box

Filling an op shop box

Last week, I delivered a huge pile of stuff to our local op shop. There were about three boxes and as many garbage bags full of clothes, shoes and toys.

I know there are books, blog posts and more out there that tells you how to do a massive clean up – I know because I’ve read them. Every time I read something I think “that sounds great, let’s give it a try”. And always very little happens.

What I do now is clean out a little bit at a time so that part of the house works for me. I have an empty cardboard box near the stairs that is marked for the op shop. As I am am sorting things out, I consider whether or not I want to keep different items. In general, I think “would I want to move house with this?” (It’s not as if I’m moving any time soon, but it’s a good way to decide if something should be kept.)

If I decide we don’t want to keep it, it either goes in the bin or in the op shop box. If something isn’t good enough to sell, it goes in the bin – or if I decide I don’t want the boys to remember it exists and want to keep it (like McDonald’s toys). If it is good enough to sell, then it goes in the op shop box.

The sorts of things that end up there are clothes that I no longer wear, shoes that are still good but don’t fit, toys the kids have grown out of, books that we don’t want to read any more (I do keep a lot of books after I’ve read them), and a number of other items, such as the Red Nose the boys got from a Santa visit a couple of years ago.

When the box or boxes are full, we take it down to our local op shop.

I find that doing this makes the job seem a lot smaller than trying to de-clutter the whole house or even a single room in one go. It’s also easy to get the kids involved as they often add things to the op shop box, sometimes without any prompting. It also means that I de-clutter as I go and don’t get overwhelmed by the task ahead. Hopefully when we do eventually move, there will be a lot less junk in the house than the last few times we’ve moved.

Weight loss is NOT a competition

Weight loss is not a competition

Weight loss is not a competition

I have just come back from the gym – yes it’s just over 7am and for the last 3 and a half months I’ve been getting up at 6am 3-4 times a week to get to the gym by 6.30 for a half hour workout.

About 4 months ago, I decided I really needed to lose some weight. I couldn’t fit into some of my favourite clothes and I knew things had to change. The biggest issue was that I sit at a computer all day for work, then come home and sit at a computer to write. I needed to get active – so I joined a gym.

I am losing weight for ME – I don’t have a time goal, though I do have a goal for weight loss and I’m a quarter of the way there. I have 2 boys and 4 nephews to keep up with and I needed to get fitter and healthier. I’m not doing this for anyone else, just for ME.

Lately at the gym they are having a competition – you get points for the number of times you go to the gym and the amount of weight lost. They also give a prize each month for the person with the most weight lost that month. There are also shows like The Biggest Loser where people are losing weight for prizes. These really annoy me.

Weight loss is NOT is competition. If you are losing weight for a prize, will it be sustainable in the long term? For me, it won’t.

The best incentive for me is that I’m now fitting into some of my clothes again, and I’m looking and feeling much better than I was. Mr N has been teasing me about not being so cuddly any more… but I can live with that.

One Cupboard at a Time

Attempting to organise my cupboards

Attempting to organise my cupboards

I’m attempting to get my cupboards organised… many of them are a mess and things are everywhere. To be honest, most cupboards don’t stay organised for long…

I’ve started tackling one cupboard at a time to get them organised how I want them. Different cupboards need different things – some have been filled with Tupperware containers, others with plastic containers from the cheap shop to store medications and candles. Some cupboards just need everything pulled out and put back in some sort of order.

To be honest, there is no system to the cupboards to that are getting organised. I choose the cupboard that is bugging me at the time. My goal is to get these in an order that is sustainable so the cupboards can stay tidy.

I have read many blog posts and books about how to get things organised and I’ve tried their different methods, but none seems to work for very long. By tackling the cupboard that is bugging me the most, it gives me the motivation to get the cupboard organised, and it’s a problem that needs to be solved.

If you are organising your cupboards, you will need to find the way that works best for you. Blog posts can provide inspiration, as well as Pinterest images, books, other people’s cupboards, and more, however when it comes down to it, you need to do what works for you.

Snacks for visitors

Providing snacks for visitors

Providing snacks for visitors

If you have set visiting hours, you may feel pressure to provide snacks for these visitors. Never fear, this is all about saying “Down with Supermum,” so you didn’t think I’d put that on you… did you?

The easiest way to provide tea and coffee is to have everything available so your guests can make their own cups. Have the kettle, tea bags, coffee, sugar bowl and mugs readily available and the milk in the fridge. In the lead up to your due date, toss a few extra packets of biscuits into your supermarket trolley, so you will have a supply ready to open when needed.

If you have people offering to bring food, you can also ask for some cakes, biscuits and other snacks that can be on hand for visitors. Some of these can even be frozen to be defrosted on the morning they are needed or the night before, giving them a longer shelf life.

If you enjoy making tea and coffee for visitors while they are holding your baby, wonderful. I’m sure your visitors will appreciate it. However, you may find that your visitors will be happy to make you a cup of tea while they make one for themselves. They may even bring a plate of something to share with you and your visitors.

Set visiting hours

Set visiting hours

Set visiting hours

Everyone wants to visit a newborn, and this can be overwhelming even for the most social new parents. There is a reason why hospitals have strict visiting hours for the maternity ward.

In spite of how some parents brag, most newborns don’t sleep for more than 2-3 hours at a time, waking regularly for feeds during the night. This means broken sleep. Prevailing advice for most new mothers is to sleep when the baby sleeps. This never worked for me, but it was helpful to rest, especially when baby number 2 arrived.

Something I’ve heard a bit lately is parents sending a note with the birth announcement with visiting hours at home, inviting people to drop in during that time. There is a line that says that if people want to come at other times, they can call first, just in case Mum and baby are sleeping.

Depending on how well you and your baby are settling in at home, you can always revise your visiting hours. The beauty of social media is that is easy to let people know. You may find that everything is going well and you are happy to have visitors popping in and out all day. You may also find that you are exhausted with a fussy baby and need some time with just you, your partner and your baby. This is something you won’t know until your baby is born.

Setting visiting hours can also help you plan your day. If you are struggling to get dressed in the morning, you will know when visitors are coming so you can be prepared. It will also help you if you need a rest as you can tell your guests that visiting hours are now over and it’s time for them to go home.

The early days can be a huge adjustment for anyone, so don’t try and be Supermum and put up with visitors when all you want to do is rest and enjoy being a new Mum.

Supermum from the start…

Don't be a Supermum from the start

Don’t be a Supermum from the start

Newborn babies are gorgeous. Even if you’re not that interested in babies, there is something special about a newborn. I don’t know if it’s how cuddly they are or that special newborn smell, or even just the promise if what this tiny human holds, but everyone wants to visit for cuddles.

For most Mum’s, this is where the Supermum label begins, and for many, the label began much earlier while Mum was pregnant.

I don’t know if it’s a cultural thing, or if it’s an expectation we put on ourselves, but there are so many demands on mothers’ to do everything – even on minimal sleep – that sets us up for a hard time. Whatever it is, we put a lot of pressure on ourselves to be a Supermum.

We have a new addition to our family. I have a gorgeous new nephew. As I write this, he is a week old. In his honour, I thought I’d do a few posts about to ditch the Supermum cape right from the start. As with anything I post here, take the things that work for your family and leave the rest. Many of these tips are things that I wish I had done when my kids were newborn…

If you have a newborn in your family, I hope some of these tips will help you.