Monday, 30 March 2015

{Guest Post} We're Owen to the Zoo

How I survived the first six months
Thank you so much Leanne for asking me to be a guest on your fabulous blog. I am very flattered! This is me, Melissa, and my son Owen.

When this picture was taken, I had no idea how great being a parent was going to be. Of course I was looking forward to it, but from the first moment I shared the news that I was pregnant many people felt the need to tell me how hard and awful having a child could be. You can imagine what they said. It baffles me that other parents like to freak out expectant ones! Yes, the labour part wasn’t the most fun I’ve ever had, and poo is not enjoyable to clean off the floor, but I like to focus on all of the cool things I’ve discovered about having a child.

There are the obvious ones like seeing their face for the first time and hearing them say, “mama”, but it’s the unanswerable questions that constantly intrigue me like, “how is his skin SO soft?” and “how can he sleep through the lawn being mown but he wakes up when I creep into his room?” Being a parent is definitely the most difficult thing I’ve ever tried to do, but I’m finding that if I take it one day at a time, things get easier and more exciting as he grows.

I have always been passionate about keeping things simple. But as a new parent this has been my biggest challenge. The world of baby products is insane and I am constantly asking myself, “Do we really need this?” Stamp the word ‘baby’ on it and up goes the price. Yes, there are some awesome baby products I love that aren’t cheap, but I think that if you can navigate yourself through the craziness and keep things simple, you’ll find you have everything you need. And as an added bonus you’ll have more time to spend with your new family.

So today I thought I’d share a few simple and inexpensive ways my husband and I survived the first six months with our new baby.

Cook up a storm (before your baby is born)
I went a little crazy making frozen meals while I was waiting during those final weeks. We were lucky and had a portable freezer we could use to store the food, but if you don’t have a big enough freezer, I think it’s definitely worth borrowing one. If you hate cooking, you could subscribe to a meal delivery service. Eating properly is SO important, especially if you are breastfeeding. I had made so many meals we didn’t have to cook for six weeks! And as an added bonus we only had to do minimal dishes and grocery shopping. Win Win Win!

If you are a friend of a new parent, bringing them a meal is honestly the best present you could EVER give. Plus, doesn’t food always taste better when someone else makes it?

Online shopping
When the frozen meals ran out, (after I had a little cry), I started ordering my groceries online. Nothing is more stressful than when your baby starts crying in the supermarket and you’re only half way through your list. Help!

For $89 I signed up for one-year unlimited delivery with Woolworths. Now, once a week, I can sit down and order my groceries and it’s delivered the next day. SO easy! I know Coles offers free delivery on Wednesdays so you can shop around for a deal that suits you.

Looking fab
Just because you’re a new mum doesn’t mean you have to look like a disaster.
When all of your visitors come out of the woodwork after you have a baby (and they will) you need to have a few products on hand to spruce yourself up. I swear by these three little beauties.

Dry Shampoo (Bastiste rrp. 9.99)

This guy is great when you need to get an extra day out of your wash. Spray it on at the roots give it a zjoosh and you’re ready. Just don’t go too crazy or you’ll use up the whole can. Don’t ask how I know this.

Lip Balm (Go-to Lips! rrp. 14.95)
This sassy balm smells good and keeps your lips hydrated. Trust me, no baby wants their cute little toosh kissed by dry lips.

BB cream (La-Roche Posay rrp. 32.99)

I like how this cream feels on my skin and it’s paraben-free. It’s a moisturiser, 50+ sunscreen, and it’s tinted, so on days where I only have time to put one thing on my skin, this is it.

Snug Jugs
Breastfeeding is hard enough without having to dodge straps and prevent yourself from flashing the whole world with your (now gigantic) boobs. These great dresses have a built in feeding bra and are meant to be nighties, but I don’t think anyone would ever guess that because they are so lovely. A perfect excuse to stay in your pj’s all day!

Parent’s Group
No one can offer you support like another new parent. I’ve found that ten people who have no idea what they’re doing is better than one.

After your baby is born you can contact your local government health clinic and they will hook you up with a group that has babies of a similar age. I went along when my baby was six weeks old. Eight months later we still see each other once a week.

If you’re in Queensland and are interested in booking into a Parent’s Group through Community Child Health you can call 1300 366 039.

I’ve recently started my own blog where I write about my experiences and other simple ideas that have helped me so far as a new parent. If you’d like to follow along you can find me at

@wereowentothezoo (on Instagram)

We’re Owen to the Zoo (on facebook) \\



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