Weathering the shitstorm

I saw a post on Facebook today from a desperate Mum of a one year old daughter who was seeking relationship advice. She said that she was thinking of leaving her partner because they were going through some struggles and she was worried she didn’t love him anymore. It made me feel really sad and I didn’t even know the woman! It was just an anonymous post on a Mums group page.

I really felt for her and sad that she was considering giving up. Marriage (or any long term relationship) can be challenging but those first few years of parenthood are just a major shitstorm. Beautiful, yes. But a shitstorm nonetheless.

Almost every Mum I have spoken to about this say they have experienced a time of struggle in their relationship after having a child. And if you’ve had more than one child in a short period of time it is an even bigger, smellier shitstorm. And sadly it seems many couples make the difficult decision to call it quits rather than weather the storm.

We have not been immune to the struggle. I mean, when you throw hormones, very (very) little sleep, small people needing your attention 24/7, a fair bit less action in the bedroom and a shit tonne of laundry and dishes piled up things are bound to get a little….strained.

Now, they say that the key to any lasting relationship is communication. I just finished reading a great book by Alan Loy McGinnis called The Friendship Factor and in it he talks a lot about the ultimate friendship; a marriage. The author writes that many of us have a tendency to stop talking to the ones we love the longer we have known them. Makes sense, right?! He goes on to write about an experiment that measured the amount of conversation that occurs between the average married couple over the course of a week. The end result….17 minutes! SEVENTEEN MINUTES. Geez, the average male takes longer than that to take a dump!

This scares the life out of me. Especially since some day not too long from now the kids will be grown and we’ll be back to just us. Forever.

It’s definitely not always easy to keep the communication flowing especially during those difficult times. Though we should be able to be completely honest and transparent with our spouse it is often the hardest because we care for them so much and fear what might happen if we are. But the stories we tell ourselves and the resentment that builds up because, well, he should just know what’s wrong without me having to spell-it-out are always worse than just talking about it.

So in saying all of that, whether you are knee-deep in shitstorm or if you have managed to pop out the other side, I’d love to hear what you and your partner do to keep the conversation flowing (and not just about how many times little Johnny pooped today or what takeout to get for dinner). How do you make time for each other and what kinds of things do you do to keep your marriage pilot light lit?

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Soon you will be a mother…

To my best friend,

In the coming days you will bring your baby earthside and begin a whole new chapter of your life. Soon you will be a mother. The very thing you’ve been dreaming about, longing for and patiently anticipating will become a beautiful reality. 

My friend, soon you will be a mother and you will feel a love like never before. 


You will doubt yourself more than ever before, feel a gut instinct like never before and be more selfless than ever before. 

You will fight with your husband more. And love him more too. Navigating parenthood together will be the most challenging thing you’ll ever have to face but you’ll see a side of each other you never knew was there. A fierce need to protect and nurture your offspring. That need will manifest in different ways for each of you and will often result in conflict. But it’s only because you both care so much. 

You will sleep less and worry more. Exhaustion will seep from your bones but you’ll keep going because you have to. Because you want to. Because you need to. 

You’ll cry more. Happy tears, sad tears, tired tears and I don’t know why tears. 

You won’t have a clue what you’re doing and yet you’ll know exactly what to do. 

Coffee. 

You’ll hardly ever be alone. In bed, in the shower, in the toilet. And when you finally are alone you’ll miss them. 

You’ll give more kisses, more cuddles, more of yourself than ever before. And some day you’ll get those kisses and cuddles back. You will nibble tiny toes, squeeze chubby thighs and marvel at every tiny feature that grew inside you. 

Your tank will empty quickly and often. But it will overflow too. 

Some days will be hard. And some nights will be even harder. But there’ll be a little piece of magic in all of it. 

Soon you will be a mother. And it will be most fun, difficult, crazy, beautiful thing you’ve ever done. 

Soon you will be a mother. And you will be amazing. 

You’ve got this. 

Photo Friday: 2016, it’s a wrap!

2016 has come and gone. It’s official. We are now in 2017.

Renee and I are another year older. Jesse has a few more teeth. And neither of us are much wiser…

But we did achieve a lot in 2016.

We laughed…

We cried…

We celebrated…

We did a lot. So what better way to celebrate the year that was, then with a snapshot of the year in photos we’ve taken along the way.

So with that said, here is our 2016 snapshot in photos… enjoy! 🙂

Footage Friday: 10 Year Anniversary

Last Friday, Renee and I celebrated our 10 Year Wedding Anniversary!

And wow, what an amazing day it turned out to be!

We started the day with a drive into Brisbane City to participate in the Story Bridge Adventure Climb, which is apparently, one of only 3 bridges worldwide that the public are able to climb (legally).

We then had lunch at the Story Bridge Hotel before heading over to our hotel for the night to check in.

Our hotel? None other than The Treasury Hotel, the very same hotel we stayed at on our wedding night.

A fancy dinner at Alchemy along Eagle Street Pier ended our perfect day.

And the best thing about it, was that we filmed it all. It’s been a while since we’ve posted a vlog on our YouTube channel… But this feels like the perfect time to jump back into vlogging on the lead up to Christmas (Vlogmas version 2.0 anyone?).

It’s a fairly long video, but we hope you enjoy it none-the-less.

Photo Friday: Celebrating a Decade of Marriage

Today marks quite a significant milestone for us. It is 10 years ago today that we started our married life together.

To celebrate we are spending an entire day and night together, just us. Tonight we will spend the night in the same hotel we stayed at on our wedding night. I must admit, as much as I’m excited about our plans for today, I’m also very excited about a solid night sleep!

But to mark the occasion we thought we’d take a little trip down memory lane and share some photos from our adventures over the last 10 years.

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One thing is for sure. We have definitely got thinner, more attractive and better hair cuts (Kaine!) over the years!

When parents argue…

Couples argue. Couples fight. Couples don’t always see eye to eye. It really is just part of normal life when you’re in a relationship with someone.

Despite the fact that this blog is generally pretty positive (which is a conscious decision, as we think there is enough negativity out there already), we also have our own arguments and fights every now and again. And it has only been recently that I have come to notice something quite funny about the arguments and fights we have been having of late.

It has come as a bit of a revelation to me to discover that the subject of our arguments has changed. Where we once argued about everything from how to wash the clothes properly to money (yes, some of our arguments were that petty, but that said, aren’t all arguments???), we know exclusively argue about one thing…

JESSE!

It’s pretty funny when I think about it now. But all our fights are centred around Jesse and how we care and raise him. Hey, at least the dirty laundry gets a break from our sparring tongues.

And look, at the end of the day, we always kiss and have make up se… I mean kiss and make up. And at the time of the argument, it always feels like it’s about important issues that will shape the future of our family. But when the dust settles, we can usually sit back and laugh at just how ridiculous the fight was!

So what are some of the fights about I hear you ask. Well, you know, earth shattering stuff honestly. Here are some of the arguments we’ve had that I can recall us laughing about at a later date:

1. OMG… I THINK JESSE MAY HAVE SWALLOWED A CAT CLAW AND I THINK HE IS GOING TO DIE!!! While he did actually have the claw in his mouth, he didn’t end up swallowing it. And he obviously didn’t die. And after a phone call to 13 Health and being told she was an idiot for calling, Renee constantly likes to bring up that she was right and I was wrong.

2. DID JESSE JUST FALL OFF OUR BED? WHY WERE’NT YOU WATCHING HIM??? OMG, HE IS GOING TO DIE!!! He did actually fall out of bed. Renee felt really awful about it too. But alas, he survived through this one also. And apparently, babies falling out of beds is more common than I realised.

3. IS HE ALLOWED TO EAT THAT? IS THAT TOO BIG FOR HIM TO EAT? IS IT COOKED PROPERLY? IS IT COOL ENOUGH? IS IT TOO HOT? BECAUSE HE MIGHT DIE!!! Yes I tend to worry too much about silly things like this. But yes, Renee’s cooking is also that bad…

4. GOD… HOW LONG ARE YOU GOING TO LET HIM CRY FOR… JUST GIVE HIM SOME NUROFEN ALREADY!!! I did have to apologise for this one. In my defence, I had a late night and was really tired and I had to work the next day. Hey, I never said it was a good defence.

5. WHY ISN’T HE WALKING YET? WHY ISN’T HE TALKING YET? ARE WE DOING ENOUGH WITH HIM? DO WE NEED TO READ MORE? DO WE NEED TO PLAY MORE? IS HE DYING??? He isn’t dying. He is doing just fine. He has only just turned 1! Every baby is different!!!

So we are just like everyone else… we argue… we fight… maybe not about the same things we used to… But, we are just like everyone else out there.

And like I said, at the end of the day, we always come to realise that in this new adventure we’re on called parenting, we are doing just fine. We aren’t perfect parents. But then again, no-one is. But the way our little family is developing is just perfect.

So the next time you and your partner get into a fight about how you’re raising your kids… just remember that you’re probably not the first and you definitely won’t be the last parents to fight about exactly the same thing.

And just remember to forgive each other, so you can one day look back on those arguments and laugh. I know I sure will.

A very special day!

It’s a special day in the NSSLOU household today.

“So what’s so special about today?” I hear you ask.

Well, today just so happens to be Renee’s birthday. That’s right… The old wifey for lifey is one more year older today. Which also makes her one more year wiser. And when we think back on what’s happened over the last year… wow.

Renee, or ‘Mummy’ as she has now become affectionately known as throughout our household, is one amazing woman. And without her, everything would well and truly be falling apart!

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Photography by Renee Trubai

Renee is very much the pillar of our household. Largely due the fact that she has taken on the very big and important responsibility of being a full-time stay-at-home mum to our beautiful boy, Jesse. BUT… Not being content with just being a full-time mum, Renee has also started and is currently building her Kangatraining business on the side. And while being a Kanga Trainer has it’s perks (like being able to take bubby to work), it adds to the already overflowing plate that is Renee’s daily schedule.

But while there certainly are exhausting days here and there, for the most part, you very rarely hear even a single complaint about it. Why? Because like I said, she is amazing!

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Photography by Renee Trubai

Renee continues to surprise me with everything she does and everything she takes on. I am forever thankful and lucky to have her in my life. As is Jesse.

Now, as the sun sets on today’s festivities, I cannot wait to celebrate many more birthdays in the years to come with one of my favourite people in the whole wide world. I can’t wait to share more laughs and more fun with you. I can’t wait to grow our family even more with you. I can’t wait to travel with you and experience more and more new things with you. I can’t wait to grow old with you.

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Photography by Kaine Barton

But for now, let me just say this…

Happy Birthday babe!

You are amazing and you deserve all the happiness in the world!

All our love,
Kaine and Jesse.

Parenting: The Ultimate Test In Team Work

After kind of a rough morning, it is now Jesse’s nap time and all is quiet in the house.

For a moment I think about how I’d love to just flop on the couch, switch on some Netflix and just mentally recharge before round two. And then I look over to the kitchen and notice the bottles that need washing up. I then remember that load of baby clothes that’s still in the machine that need hanging up to dry. And my thoughts then turn to my next blog post which unfortunately isn’t going to write itself.

Nap time then becomes a mission to get as much done as humanly possible before he wakes up and the cycle starts again.

I tell you what… they are right when they say that being a mum is the most rewarding yet most difficult job in the world! But I wouldn’t have it any other way. As hard as it is on some days for the stay-at-home parent, it is equally as challenging for the one who’s at work all day.

On mornings like we had today, when Jesse is upset and crying for reasons that I can’t quite figure out, I not only have to soothe him, but I also find myself reassuring Kaine that everything is OK. This is partly my own fault, because he wouldn’t even know  if it weren’t for the fact I keep him up to date via text messages and Snapchats throughout the day.

It is mostly good news and cute pics. But when its not, I know that his natural ‘worry wart’ tendencies are even more exacerbated due to him not being able to be here to see or help Jesse first hand.

The plus side of having a partner to navigate this whole parenting maze with is that we balance each other out. If Kaine’s freaking out over something then I try to stay calm so that I can talk him down and be the voice of reason and positivity. And goodness knows he has had to talk me off a ledge a time or two as well. That said, it doesn’t always work out that way and there are occasions when we disagree or simply not know the right action to take.

Being married is one thing but raising a human with another person is the ultimate test in team work. Its no longer just about where the toothpaste tube gets squeezed from, which way the toilet paper goes on the holder or who hogs the sheets at night. We now have to work together to take care of a baby.

Suddenly we’re needing to make all these decisions and we both are desperately trying to get it right and take care of our little man the best we can. I swear every time I run the bath for Jesse, Kaine will ask if the temperature is okay before putting him in. And, probably equally annoying for Kaine is when I come swooping in to console a tired, cranky bub even though he is doing a great job of it himself.

Of course it is not that we are judging each other or that we don’t trust each other’s decisions. We just so badly want to do an exceptional job at raising our little human, and any future little humans that my join our family, that sometimes it all get’s just a little overwhelming.

That said, even though it can be really hard and overwhelming at times, we know its only because we care so much. For our boy. For each other. And about being the best and most exceptional parent we can be.

But at the end of the day, when it comes to our values and our desire to be peaceful, positive parents… We are 100% on the same page. And that is what makes us work!

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Photo: Renee Trubai | Teething Jewellery: Nature Bubz

Photo Friday: Documenting A Love Story

The first time we worked with our photographer (and great friend) Renee Trubai was last year when she asked us to be a part of her project ‘A Love Manifesto’. The project is all about documenting love in all its forms through photographs and conversations. We immediately fell in love with the idea and couldn’t wait to be apart of it.

We chose a location that was very special to us, the beach where our wedding photos were taken. As we shared stories with Renee about our relationship and vision of the future, and the kind of parents we dreamed of being someday. I distinctly remember telling her that if we were not able to have children we would be OK because we had each other. What we didn’t say is that we had been trying for a baby for quite some time.

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Deep beneath those words we spoke to Renee was actually a lot of heartache, frustration and disappointment. And by that stage I had actually begun coming to terms with the notion that it may not happen for us.

Little did we know that there were actually three of us in those photographs. We were in the very early days of pregnancy.

So needless to say, these pictures are incredibly special to us.

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Close To My Heart

If your news feed is anything like mine this past week it has been filled with pride rainbows and celebrations of the US’ decision to legalise same sex marriage. Though I haven’t updated my profile photo with a rainbow, marriage equality is very close to my heart. I am absolutely an ally and 100% support the right for same-sex marriage.

I hold marriage in the highest esteem and it is something that is of the utmost importance to me. One of my most cherished roles is being a wife. And calling Kaine ‘my husband’ brings me such pride and happiness. I don’t believe that anyone should be denied that opportunity.

To me, marriage is so much more than a piece of paper or a wedding day (although weddings are awesome and everyone should have the opportunity to have their dream day!). It is a deep commitment and an exclusive promise to love and share your life with another human. It is having that one person, a partner in life, that you can truly be yourself with, grow with and share this crazy adventure we call life with.

It actually baffles me that this is even an issue in this day and age. Its pathetic!

From a young age I have had many gay people in my life, some of whom are my closest friends. And it breaks my heart that they are denied a basic human right like marrying the person they love. I was reminded of this recently when attending a friend’s wedding. It was such a beautiful, special occasion but as I looked around the room I became very aware that many people there were witness to an experience that they themselves can’t have… because its illegal… how ridiculous!

I don’t write this to spark some sort of debate as I honestly don’t believe there is one.

The simple fact is, there is no excuse for this stupidity any more. It’s time.

#LOVEWINS

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