Having a baby on a budget-#2

There are no two ways about it having a baby is expensive. However, in my experience, there are some cheaper ways to do things.

We were given so much for our baby. We didn’t have a baby shower, as I really don’t like them, but we had plenty of generous gifs when she was born and also lots of people gave us second hand items.

My suggestion is borrow, use second hand items from gumtree and ebay don’t be snobbish. Some of the toys may be really faded but if it proves to be a favourite you can always go and get a nicer one knowing your money will be well used. Milly gets through toys fairly quickly and I love to be able to use them and then sell or pass them on without regret. I did choose an item I loved and got this new ( the jumparoo) but I got it on half price sale so it was a bargain and would resale for what I paid anyway.

We were given a lot of items or sold a lot cheap and second hand this was brilliant. I had no qualms if I was so sleep deprived and she had done an almighty poonami just binning an outfit if I knew it had served three kids. It also helped having back up clothes if you didn’t make it to laundry and she had pooed and spewed her way through six outfit changed that day! I have just been through all of her clothes and made a massive pile to pass on to pregnant friends ( what goes around comes around). I did buy, and was given, some more special clothes all of which have been saved away incase the next baby is a girl and if not will be sold.

For Christmas we knew she would get a lot of smaller toys so we put all our money into a larger, good quality toy, which would last. Again, we got it on sale.

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We also put away some toys from birthday and Christmas and every now and then I put some away and get new ones out… Also people often ask what she would like. I had a list. I hate it when people specify actual items as, in my opinion, a lot of the joy is in choosing, but I offered an area… bath toys, books, outdoor toy etc that way you have a variety.

Baby food is pricey. Milly has home made with recipe books you can get from a charity shop ( mine were a gift), I try and do homemade at home and shop bought pouches when out. I pick these up when they are on special. Some days its too hard, I haven’t heated/defrosted food in time etc and in that case we use a pouch… honestly you can only do your best.

Look at smaller ways to treat yourself. A monthly beauty box, bath bombs, a book. Time is often short and money is less. Each time I sold items I rewarded myself as well as her with a little something. You need to feel good in yourself as a mum too.

Finally, I would say in my experience. Try not to stress it. Milly has great stuff and spent yesterday in a nappy playing with a box and old waterbottle! be inventive people didn’t used to have all this stuff. Also, be realistic. IS everything  really worth selling? I prioritise what I sell and other stuff is passed on or sent to charity. I wouldn’t have time to sell everything and I really have found by being as generous as we can to others it really does come back around.

ANY BABY BUDGET TIPS FOR ME?

Thoughts of late #3

Well, I need to get back in the game. My sugar dodging ways have slipped, since my birthday, and although I am eating way less than I was I still feel sluggish. It also speaks to me again, I hear bakeries calling, and I loved it when they didn’t so I am doing a final two week no sugar push. Then I am going to enjoy some fruit! I have learned so much this last few weeks I will write a post about it.

I am still enjoying life and have been working on a few projects. It’s not ready enough to share on here but I am so excited about it all. A bit of a final push and the ball may get rolling!

I need to look into support financially. If I am not returning to work, which looks likely for now, then I think we would be due some government assistance with the baby. Next weeks jobs!

I am loving Kayla and finally, next week, having finished the pre workouts I start the proper program! Working out this way really suits me and my current life!

I have had so much coming through my letterbox lately sometimes I think doing a YouTube video may be easier!!! What do you think?

After my post when life throws you lemons, I can confirm we are super happy with decisions made and where we are at…. Let’s not stress about what we can’t control.

But let’s continue to cut back where possible. Foxtel…. Gone, back to base monitoring… Price halved, life insurance etc,… Reassessed and reduced as I am not earning, centre link…. Being visited, stuff going on Gumtree!

Also, I think I have a good grasp on what I wear post partum, as a mum and also when pregnant now. I don’t like clothes which make me feel mumsy. Clean, simple clothes with a pop of colour, studding, leather or something a little edgy and I feel good. Frills and flower prints get me down. Time for a clear out and eBay sale me thinks!

how are you all feeling? What’s new?

Having a baby on a budget- #1

Over the last year I have learned a few things about budgets, babies and now we look set for me to potentially not return to work I think its time to write down some of the learning to share with folks.

So you find out you are pregnant, holy bejeezus, time to freak out! Actually its a time to be really happy, but also to acknowledge life is going to change A LOT!.  First up, in most instances, you have 9 months to get straight and prepared. This advice is not about having a baby on a super tight budget it is about having a baby on your budget. So first thing have some conversations. Our conversations revolved around, our thoughts for the future; would he be working?, would I be working?, would he be working away? For us we hoped that I may be able to work part time, IF I WANTED, and he would be working at home a lot for the first year and we would review.

Once you have an idea of long term income, work out what your budget it. We always base it on worst case scenario ( or lowest income scenario) for us this is him working, from Perth and me at home. Then work out your outgoings and see if they meet the incomings. For us they didn’t!

We then worked on reducing outgoings, we combined insurances saving a few hundred each week, made sure we had all insurances necessary ( after all you will be responsible for a little person so you do need to be sensible), moved our house to a more competitive mortgage, spoke to people about bills ( our back to base monitoring just halved our bill when we mentioned not requiring it any more) and generally know where your money goes.

Now it was conversation time again, once bills had gone out it was time to look at food and try to plan and shop more sensibly which I have written about before

We also didn’t want to have any arguments around money. He likes a beer, playstation games and I like makeup and clothes so we each had pocket money each week. This is used for food not from the kitchen, trips out and our chosen indulgences aswell.

Then talk about other expenses. We placed an importance on keeping me fit in pregnancy so spent money on pre pregnancy exercise and physio. We also had our baby privately which we thought was a good use of money.

The luxury of doing this early meant we had 9 months on both incomes to practise, because you wont get it right straight away, we actually saved a lot of my salary which meant we had a buffer. This buffer was money we could both decide to spend on items- we are coming to the end of it now but bought baby nursery items needed, paid for the birth and health care, a new bigger car ( bought outright) and we had the house re insulated and cladded ( which means we can stay here for another baby). It has also meant a relatively stress free first year of Milly’s life with a mum at home full time which in our opinion was priceless.

How did you prepare your budget for a baby?

At eight months old

Oh my baby girl where have you gone?

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You are such a delight and so much fun. You stand, you crawl, you clap, you blow raspberries, you sing, say yeah yeah yeah, dadda and it sounds like hi! You play with your toys, yunnmm with each food mouthful and crawl over to the curtains pull them out and wait for us to say ‘where’s milly?’ Then you drop the curtain and smile for us to say ‘peepo’.

You come over and cuddle us, snuggle up to me a few times a day and also share your toys and food ( or at least try to). The joy on your face when you smile and the happiness you spread each day is unreal.

I have never loved anyone so much and love you more than I thought possible each day. Being your mumma is my greatest joy!

I love you milly pops x

This week….

Where to even begin. This week has been the hardest in the history of parenting for us.

My darling daughter, the absolute light of my life, started having some trouble with sleeping at around four and a half months old. She went from being a champion sleeper ( waking two to three times over a twelve hour night) to more and more until the last few weeks it has been hourly. She also stopped having longer day sleeps and would only do fourty minute naps. I chalked it up to so many things; teething, illness, wonder weeks. Whilst I am sure none of these helped all were separate issues which ended up with the underlying fact she wasn’t sleeping whatever the weather! I fact she was pretty grizzly. I spoke to a helpline on numerous occasions over the last two months and even went on a sleep workshop and realized that it was a problem that she was feeding to sleep. Basically she was associating that action with sleep so each time she woke after a sleep cycle she would cry out to be fed. This resulted in her eating extra food, no doubt uncomfortable and also her bringing some back up, especially after mammoth feeding sessions to try and sleep!

I tried everything they suggested; patting, popping the nipple out just before she fell asleep etc and it worked to an extent. She could fall asleep herself If I was laying on my bed next to her, but would still want a feed when she woke to resettle. So I knew she could do it she just didn’t routinely. It reached the point because I was laying down to feed her, as she is 11kg and my husband has been working away , all this feeding was ruining my back that she would fall asleep on my bed and wouldn’t go to her cot.

Let me be really clear in this statement. I am totally not a fan of controlled crying/ cry it out for my child. I wanted to do whatever baby steps we could towards her self settling but after 2 months we were in a bind. I knew it wasn’t working for her and I also felt the longer it went on the harder it would be to change.

So we went to sleep school. For one day. I had the assistance of a midwife with years of experience and a cot in a room with a video camera so we could see what she was up to. It turns out my daughter shouts whilst she tries to settle. She has a bit of a tantrum really as she is frustrated trying to settle herself, she then drops off and wails and shouts then drops again. I saw it with my own eyes it is in no way crying herself to sleep it is shouting in frustration as she tries to drop off. I had been rushing to her at each cry because I didn’t want to be cruel but in doing so hadn’t allowed her the chance to settle. Each time we went in to pat her she got angry as it wasn’t helping, each time I shhhhh at the door she gets angry too. Despite all my best intentions and plans to do everything so gently she just needed space and time to do this her way.

On the first night home she slept for 12 hours with just two feeds. It is now four days out and she does some shouts/cries/grizzles for about 10 mins and goes to sleep. Each time I do the exact same routine; feed, book, sleeping bag and say goodnight. After 10 mins I sshhhh and reassure at the door if she isn’t asleep. Her cries are always stop and start frustrations, never a real cry. There are never tears on her face…… it just sounds horrid to me.

It also proves to me that each baby is individual and each parent also. I would have loved to slowly and gently teach my daughter to settle and I honestly think I got her as close to that as she would allow but she has just needed space to learn this herself. I have no regrets on spending the first six months filling every want and need she had but I do feel the gift of sleep is important for her but also for me. Her awake times are much happier ( her) and although I miss her intensely when she is asleep that breaks means I am refreshed, can do the jobs and have all the quality time when she is awake. To be honest the sleep school was more for me than her as she was ready and I was so unconfident in this area as she didn’t want to learn in the way I had envisaged. So hard!

have you ever had this situation ? What would you do?

A working mother

I have been meaning to write this for a while. When I was pregnant I was sure I would want to return to work a few days a week after a year. Everyone said I would change my mind. I remained open to changing my mind as everyone was so sure I would.

At 3 months I love being a stay at home mum. I would find it hard to go back now as she needs me lots. I look forward to returning to work next year. I hope I can find a job that suits. I am not willing to work more than 3 days a week, I need to be my daughters main carer, and we are lucky to have the luxury I don’t have to. I do miss work, I loved my job and it interested and excited me. Infact more than ever I want to do a job I love, go to work and come home smiling to tell my daughter I loved it. I want her to see people having jobs they love so she expects and wants that for herself!

The extra money is also handy for financial stability and for my other passion travel . I want to show her the world from a young age so she learns to love it and be excited by it as opposed to scared of it.

are you a working mum? Do you plan to be?

5 weeks and a day in the life

Well here we are and I have a 5 week old baby now. Time is flying and I can honestly say I am loving it. We have, rough days aside, evened out into a little routine and I am planning on tweaking this routine once her latest fussy phase has passed.

5.30 am wake up- feed and put her back down for a sleep. Whilst she sleeps I have breakfast and organise myself a bit or read blogs etc and chill.

7.00 am feed again, play with her, dress her then put her down around 8 for another sleep. Whilst she sleeps I shower and dress if I didn’t get a chance before and do a quick hour or so of house work.

9.30 am feed again. I was then heading out for the morning ( this may change as she sleeps well in the morning to allow more time for jobs etc). She sleeps again.

11.00 or 11.30 feed again… Often she also does a massive nappy around this time. After this feed she tends to want to be cuddled etc.

In the afternoon there is currently no real routine, I try to get her to have a good sleep but it doesn’t always work. This is why I am planning to go out in the afternoons as she sleeps well in a pram and I can happily walk to keep her sleeping. I am aiming to walk daily. Afternoons are also catch up times with friends when I do that. She often cluster feeds as well late afternoon.

Once dad gets home she has a play with him whilst I cook dinner. She has a bath around 6 or 6.30 then I dry her, do baby massage and get her in her pjs. After this we turn all the lights down low and I do a big feed. We tends to keep feeding and dropping off until she finally falls into a bed time sleep around 9 ish.

She will then wake to feed generally around 12.30, 3.30 and 5.30 on a good night.

Between feeding and sleeping Milly is often awake for 30 minutes or so and we play, sing, do tummy time, go on the play mat or in her swinging chair. Her favourite activity involves being on the play mat with no nappy on for a nudie kick around.

There are obviously days where this all goes completely out of the window. I feel quite confident I can stay on top of housework and get myself dressed and out of the house daily. Things I do need to change for myself include my diet. I have to eat more as I am feeding but we have worked out when I eat gluten and dairy or caffeine it affects her so I am avoiding it. I also need a stash of healthy snack ideas. I eat in a fairly structured and heathy way normally and need to work out my plan for whilst breastfeeding so it includes enough food but ensures that it is very healthy.

After my 6 week check it will include mums and bubs aqua and also Pilates once a week. I have a post pregnancy work out DVD which I can also do. For cardio it is still low I act so walking daily with the buggy will be key. I am looking forward to when I can jog again. To be honest right now I can’t leave the baby really although I will be including expressing milk in my routine so I can get a little more freedom. It is also not recommended to do high impact exercise until 5 months post partum.