HOW MUCH PLASTIC DO WE WASTE AS PARENTS?

Throughout life, we are sometimes oblivious to the amount of plastic that we use on a daily basis and as parents, thoughts about plastic waste seem to escape us too. As mummy’s and daddy’s, we all want easy, cost effective, and convenience at our fingertips – but is this always best?

Sadly, we are all aware that our planet is suffering, but are we actually trying to contribute towards saving Mother Nature?  Simple gestures such as being more aware of our household waste, and to be aware of the waste that we leave behind as parents can go a long way. To be honest, I didn’t even know about half of the things contributing towards plastic waste that I used to use every day for my daughter, but since finding out the facts, I of course just had to share it with you!

Image credit : Eco by Naty

Did you know that only 5% of plastics are actually recycled properly? FIVE PERCENT, according to The Guardian. Statistics show that one refuse trucks worth of plastic is dumped into the ocean every minute. YES, every MINUTE! There are 1,440 minutes in one day, 10,080 minutes a week, and 40,320 minutes per month, roughly. With statistics like this, one wonders why we aren’t doing more to help our planet and reduce our waste.

For some reason, plastic is in almost EVERYTHING that we use on a daily basis. Because plastic is relatively cheap to produce, it is of course the number 1 option for the packaging of products. Currently, it is estimated that plastic production will increase 400% by 2050. FOUR HUNDRED PERCENT!

As parents, we tend to opt for convenience and cost effective solutions to many things. We might see a fabulous deal on a 10 pack of wipes, and naturally we think “BARGAIN!”, and in the trolley it goes. Is this really best though?

Did you know that there is plastic in baby wipes? Many of us do not realise this, but many wet wipes are actually made up of plastic resins, like polyester and polypropylene. These materials make it impossible for a wet wipe to biodegrade. Instead, they break up into tiny pieces over time, and release endless amounts of microscopic fibres into our environment.

Image credit: Eco by Naty

Every year, over 8.8 million tons of plastic from all sorts of products are released into our oceans. It is estimated that there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans by 2050. If this isn’t enough to make you want to help mother nature, then I’m not sure what is.

Plastic waste is of course a result of MANY things. I’ve put together a list of products that we use as parents that are contributing to the worlds plastic waste crisis as well as eco-friendly alternatives.

Plastic toothbrush

Did you know that 1 single plastic toothbrush takes 1,000 years to decompose? Try switching to a bamboo toothbrush. They’re super easy to find online. 

Plastic toys

This one’s a no brainer. Try and opt for wooden toys rather than the plastic ones, as it is far more sustainable and more gentle on our planet.

Bottled toiletries

This goes for kids and adults. Have you ever considered how many bottled toiletries we go through in one year, per person? Switch to solid soaps rather than bottled products, unless they’re eco-friendly bottles.

Shiny gift wrapping paper

We use these for our kids birthdays, normally. Try a plain, more sophisticated look with brown paper, and a non-plastic ribbon, or gift wrap that is made out of actual paper.

Wipes

As I explained earlier, many wipes have plastic in them. Try opt for eco-friendly wipes (Eco by Naty are fab!) or a damp cloth. Damp cloths are also super easy to take out with you in your kids bags, so that they are easy to reach.

Nappies

Did you know that just as wipes have plastic in them, so do nappies? Yes, strange, isn’t it? A fabulous plastic free eco-friendly nappy alternative is Eco by Naty nappies.

Nappy sacks

I honestly find nappy sacks to be the biggest waste of single use plastic. It’s as if you’re putting a nappy into a mini shopping bag only to put it into the bin?

Another eco-friendly choice of nappy sacks in biodegradable sacks are Eco by Naty.

Juice boxes with straws

It’s so easy to just reach for a boxed juice for your child, but have you ever thought about the plastic straw that comes with it (normally glued to the back of the box?).

We all know straws wreak havoc on our environment, so why would a kids juice box be any different? Try and prepare juice at home and decant it into a waste free bottle for your kids.

Take away coffee cups

This doesn’t necessarily relate directly with our kids, but as parents, we tend to be very tired. And very tired people tend to opt for take away coffee on the go to keep ourselves going. The take away cups that we have our coffee is made up of plastics. Try and opt for an eco-friendly coffee cup instead. Some coffee shops have actually started selling these in the shop too – which is fab

Kids lunch snacks

Pretty much all of our kids snacks are wrapped in some form of plastic. Be aware of this next time you are shopping for delicious snacks for them by opting for a “homemade” alternative. A prime example is kids string cheese. These cheese sticks are individually wrapped in plastic, only to be placed in another plastic bag all together – I mean, seriously? All the plastic! A home-made option would be to buy a big block of cheese, and cut individual slices for your kids lunch boxes.

 As you can see, there’s plastic in pretty much everything that we use for our kids. The list goes on and on. Sometimes, we simply cannot escape the use of plastic with some items, but for the most part, we can try eliminate the unnecessary ones.  What I have also found is that people seem to confuse being eco-friendly with being SUPER expensive too, which isn’t the case at all.

If you find that eco-friendly brands are going to cost you more, there’s no harm in doing a “homemade” version – like damp cloths, rather than buying eco-friendly wipes.

I really feel that as parents, we should educate our kids and make them aware of single use plastics. We should get them involved. Let’s all get creative and help save our planet.

You never know, our little humans might come up with fabulous ways to keep the plastic at bay! After all, they are our future!

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade

xxx

(Image credit for featured image is http://www.dw.com/en/un-resolves-to-end-ocean-plastic-waste/a-41690999)

Sources:

https://www.naty.com/uk/why-we-should-stop-using-oil-based-plastics.html

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/jan/19/more-plastic-than-fish-in-the-sea-by-2050-warns-ellen-macarthur

 

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BEING A STAY AT HOME MUM

There is a common misconception when it comes to being a stay at home mum. For some reason, there seem to be people who confuse being a stay at home mum with having an “easy” or “stress free” life. We are often put into the category of “not needing to work because we can afford it”, and we are often undervalued by society.

Thought patterns about being a stay at home mum seem to go along the lines of being able to sleep in, relax all day and pretty much just fart arse around to our hearts’ content. People often categorise being a stay at home mum as easy, because, well, we’re at home, right?

I couldn’t be more proud of my baby girl! I love being a stay at home mum for now, even though there are many tough days. It’s all worth it and I am so grateful to be able to spend every day with her!

Generally speaking, a day in the life of a stay at home mum goes something along the lines of professional flapping about like a headless chicken when baby sleeps, while trying to get the house in order after the last 2 hours of trying to entertain and stimulate an 8-month-old. You’d be surprised just how messy things can get. Crumbs on the floor, broccoli under the couch, spew on the blanket, toys scattered everywhere for tummy time/play time.

In between dodging certain obstacles, namely play chairs, high chairs, bouncing chairs, and play mats, comes the daily adventures of trying to teach baby how to crawl, stand and play. While doing this, come the tasks of making fresh food from scratch, dealing with tantrums, soothing a screaming teething baby, trying to remain level headed when your house is upside down with an occasional trip to Turkey (tripping over things) because you didn’t have enough time to pick up the damn sippie cup, before a certain pair of eyes resurfaced after a 10-minute nap.

Certain objects that one tends to trip over/dodge on a daily basis. Generally during times of panic and rushing around LOL!

As exhausting as this may sound, the majority of this happens before 9am because our day starts at 6am. Oh yes, bright eyed and bushy tailed! And heaven forbid you’ve had a “sleepless” night before all of this, waking up every hour because of your little one’s sleep regression. Tough luck pal! You’re in for a real treat today!

Along with being a stay at home mum, comes a sense of essentially running the household. This means doing chores that you once thought you’d escaped when you were 16 years old. Balancing the laundry, a clean home, dinner, happy baby, and my absolute favourite – “popping” out for the weekly shopping trip. Yes, this is all part of adulating, BUT when you have a little one, doing these become a priority every day, otherwise you would be kicking yourself in the foot, being in an unorganized house. Basically, it is essential that you have your shit together. Survival is key, my friends.

Potentially speaking, all of this resembles feelings similar to the ones when you realise that you’re possibly lactating in public – a moment which could be somewhat soul destroying or soul building. Very similar feels to motherhood, yes. There are fabulous days where everything runs as smoothly as your favourite peanut butter, or where things go absolutely balls to the walls and gives the term “tits up” a whole new meaning.

Those ongoing chores. At least i’m doing them with a smile in this picture though LOL!

This all comes before doing anything for yourself, might I add. My personal favourite is trying to balance daily exercising to lose my baby weight, because let’s be honest, a few kg’s lighter could possibly make one a little more aerodynamic for mentioned household chores and moments of wild flapping, trying to get things done.

And just when you finally thought that your little one had nodded off comes the horror of hearing a squeak subtly loud enough to let you know that “I’M STILL AWAKE” or the long winded nap time tantrums. These are always fun when you’re at your wits end on a tough day.

Oh, the daily nap tantrums that go down – as pictured here. These are always fun.

When I do very rarely have a moment of silence, I try my best to blog and study for my final year of university. I absolutely LOVE being a stay at home mum for now. I have no idea how I’m going to feel when I have to put Harper in day-care when I return back to work.

Being a stay at home mum teaches you so much about yourself. You get to know the exact amount of coffee it takes to get yourself feeling like a Fabulous Fred, ready to take on the world, a baby and a household. You learn that it’s okay to be in your pyjamas for most of the day while sprinting around the house to get shit done. You understand that it’s okay to answer the door in one sock, child on your hip and hair funky enough to hold chopsticks in place when mail arrives.

The truth about being a stay at home mum is that it is the furthest thing from easy. As with any day job, it tests your patience. It can be tiring, and it is challenging. We often don’t get a break during the day and we generally walk around like zombies, but my oh my, do we get to experience and take in all of the new things that our little ones learn and do in a day.

We get to be there to experience many firsts!

A loving moment of sharing a cuddle with your bub or making them smile is so valuable. Being there at hand for their first-time experiences are indescribably rewarding in so many ways. There are days where running around seem endless, and the feeling of accomplishing nothing can sometimes get you down, but our purpose of being stay at home mums for the stage of life that we are in is enriching and precious. And to the mums who are doing this with more than 1 kid or who are single working mums and working mums, you are such bloody heroes.

We are all doing our best. We are all warriors. And our kids love us. They look forward to seeing our faces, first thing in the morning and they know hard to push our buttons.

But most importantly, they love us hard. And we are appreciated.

Well done, mamma! Keep doing an amazing job!

Until next time,

Mycaila – Jade
xxx

A LETTER TO MY DAUGHTER …

To my gorgeous baby girl,

You have touched our lives with so much happiness, so much laughter, countless memories and irreplaceable moments over the last 7 months.

When you were born, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I knew that we already had a connection because I guessed that you were going to be a girl – and I was right (mummy’s always right). You have been the best thing that has happened to me. You are my reason. My reason for everything. For every smile. Every laugh. For every night of interrupted sleep. For every burst of love. For every goal that I want to achieve. For why I want to be successful.

You, my gorgeous girl, are my motivation. My devotion. My dedication.

At the moment, your favourite thing to do is pull my hair, get sick on me, wake up countless times during the night, and keep mummy and daddy on our toes. You fart continuously, burp in my face, throw your toys everywhere and you love your morning cuddles. You’re my biggest challenge, but my favourite reward, over and over again.

My favourite part of every day is waking up to your infectious gummy smile and to hear you gurgle and try talk throughout the day.

I love watching you grow. I love the way you never give up on what you want. Whether it be a bottle, a toy that you’re trying to reach, or your dummy that you so lovingly throw across the room. I love being able to get you dressed every day, watching you chew your big toe and listening to your endless conversations with yourself.

I wake up, looking forward to what each day might bring with you.

Best friends!

I will be there every time you need a best friend and whenever you are feeling down. I will be there for every smile. For every laugh. For every moment. I will always support you, tell you when you are out of line and watch out for you. I will always lend a helping hand when you need it. I will always be there to catch you. I will always try my best to make you feel better. To comfort you. To guide you. I will always want the best for you, and always try my best to give you just that. I will never give you less than you deserve, and I will always make sure that you are loved like no other.

I will always treasure every cuddle together, every time someone compliments you to tell me just how gorgeous you are. I always treasure whenever you need me to help you fall asleep or when you need a hand on your chest for reassurance. I treasure every smile you share my way. I treasure all the love that I see in your eyes, and I will always treasure the unbreakable bond that we have.

You have shown me what it’s like to have a love like no other and to feel unconditional compassion, patience and indescribable amounts of pride for such a tiny human being. You might be the smallest thing around, but you certainly do control an awful lot of everything.

You are already such a gorgeous, kind hearted being. You are gentle. You are loving, and you are extremely clever. You don’t fear anything. You trust absolutely everyone and you are already so determined. This, I wish for you to carry with you throughout your life as you grow up and flourish into a strong but delicate little girl. Someone who is so colourful, but has the presence of an angel.

I want you to never settle. I want you to always compare every boy that you meet to Daddy. I want you to never settle for anything less than how daddy treats you – like a princess. A worthy, beautiful little darling. A gift. A blessing. An absolute angel!

You are exquisite.

You are loved.

You are the definition of joy.

You are my biggest achievement.

You are special.

You are the brightest colour in my life.

And you always come first. Everytime.

I love you unconditionally. I love you forever.

Love Mummy xxx

Happiness is being with you!

5 THINGS THAT I HAVE LEARNED SINCE BECOMING A MUM

What? I’m a mum?

YES! This still doesn’t feel real. I have a TINY human. A little baby. My own darling angel.

Before becoming a mum, I had my own idea of what I thought motherhood would possibly be like. In reality, my ideas were not far off. Not far off from 5 cups of coffee a day, explosive nappies and the appreciative ogre burps in my face after a bottle that has been gobbled.

In the short 6 months that I have been a mum, I already feel like I have learned so much. At my baby shower, I received so many presents which resulted in constant babble of “what’s this for?”, “How do you use this?”, “Where does this go?

Along with that went the thought pattern of “Am I actually about to birth an offspring?”

It seems I’ve come a long way since then. My daughter is 6 months old and going strong. Mummy is also going strong, thanks to Nespresso in the mornings and wine at night! (just kidding – I’m still trying to lose the baby weight!)

Motherhood is an adjustment. More of an adjustment than my jean size since giving birth, but hey, that’s one of life’s curve balls – literally.

Here is what I’ve learned since becoming a mum:

Multitasking

Becoming a multitasking queen should be a skilled point on your CV after becoming a mum. Bottle in one hand, coffee in the other. Coffee because we have to keep ourselves going. Bottle because screaming hungry baby. Either way, I’d consider this an almost win-win sitch.

Patience

If ever you considered becoming a meditating Buda, now is the time. Without patience, you aren’t getting anywhere, pal. Those screams and cries of not knowing what our kid wants can be enough to drive us up the wall. Especially when we have tried every method to calm the poor buggas. It’s a total moment of “OMG, am I a bad mum? Does this little human even like me? All it does is cry. What do I do with it?”

 Motherhood comes with chores

If you thought your chores were over since being a teen, you’re wrong. I’m talking about sterilising bottles, measuring formula portions, nappies, packing baby’s bag, the copious amounts of extra baggage required to pack and unpack in the car when going out – the list is never ending. We have a whole extra human to look after besides ourselves. It’s funny how a baby requires more than an adult to just pop down to the shops. Thank heavens for dads and other helping hands us mums have.

 Sky rocketing stress level

Those moments featuring your screaming child in the back of the car on the highway, like is she going to die or explode from screaming that loudly? Because my head sure is! My favourite is when feral moments like these happen on highways, and you can do NOTHING about it!

You can never take enough photos – of the same thing.

Buying extra cloud storage is a must with our offspring. Don’t you find it weird how we all take photos of the SAME THING. We want to capture every moment, every second, every memory. It’s human nature. It’s also human nature to have a complete wobbly when deleting “the same” pictures to free up some space.

Realising that there’s no instruction manual when it comes to parenting is a scary revelation. But at the same time, it’s not. It means you can parent however you want. I definitely have so much more to learn through motherhood. These are only a few highlights that have stuck out to me.

The best thing, amongst all of these is the rewards of smiles, gurgles, cuddles and affection we get from our little ones. All the joy in the world is reflected through those little gummy smiles from our babies.

To all the mums reading this, you’re doing a frikkin fabulous job!

Until next time,

Mycaila Jade

xxx