The featured blogger this week is Lisa of The Last Degree! Lisa is one of our many Australian bloggers and is the proud MoM of 2 1/2 year old girls Moana and Adelaide.
Your blog started as something that is quite the opposite of parenting, it was originally to journal an expedition to trek to the South Pole to raise awareness for bipolar disorder. Can you tell us a little about the origins of your blog and what made you decide to start blogging again?
I started this Blog in 2008 to raise awareness for Bipolar Disorder; “Ski with me to the last degree to raise awareness for Bipolar Disorder”. I was a member of an expedition to the South Pole. Over the eighteen months the blog was live I raised $5000 from friends, family and the local community. As a follow up the monies raised by the Bipolar Expedition was given to the Australian Rotary Health for distribution for further research. Unfortunately the expeditions did not go ahead due to the difficulty raising the capital required however the group was very successful in raising awareness in the community for mental health issues.
Over the past twelve month I debated on what to do with the domain name and blog. In April 2009, I attended a manifesting workshop. The goal of the workshop was to attract all the wants in your life by request to the universe. We did this by creating a collage of images or vision board using the Feng Shui Bagua map as a guide to the location. These sections relate to all aspects of live such as fame, relationship, children, helpful people, career, knowledge, health, family and wealth.
In April 2009 I was in a new relationship and no children but I did want children so in the Children right hand side I had pasted random pictures of children and pregnancy. What transpired in the next few months was a pregnancy but what makes this picture so special to me was I became pregnant with twin girls. You can see my two little girls in my Vision Board.
I re-started my blog around twins and the law of attraction. Unfortunately when I changed web hosting I lost all my original posts as I didn’t know how to back up my website (tip! If you change hosts learn how to back tup) so my new posts are only from July 2010.
When you found out you were pregnant, how surprised were you that you were having twins?
It was lovely news but I had been saying to everyone “it could be twins” for weeks as I was secretly hoping for twins. I was an older sister to identical twins sisters and during school I was obsessed with the Sweet Valley High book series with identical twin sisters. I had studied molecular biology at university and was always interested in genetics and twins. I was too impatient to wait for the 12 week scan and booked a scan at 9 weeks by myself. When the sonographer said there were 2 I was a little shocked it had come true but I was also so excited and couldn’t wait to tell everyone.
What advice do you have for fellow parents in regards to twin pregnancy?
My top advice is:
1. Connect with your local multiple birth association. The parent information night for expecting parents is great and for the first year I did my best to go the morning teas and meet other mums of multiples.
2. Book a professional maternity and newborn photo-shoot. We had some lovely photos taken when the girls were 3 weeks old which I will treasure forever as they grow up so quickly
3. Have your baby shower by 30 weeks. Twins usually come early. Mine were delivered at 36 weeks due to pre-eclampsia whereas my friend who had twins had them at 32 weeks so if you want to enjoy your baby shower before you get too big have it a little earlier.
4. You don’t need double of everything! I only bought one bouncer, and accepted lots of books, toys and clothes second hand and hired the newborn car seats.
You mentioned you’ve been a single mom for 12 months now, what challenges have you faced and how have you overcome them?
Being a single parent is tough. It is tough working, daycare, cooking, cleaning and the bed routine all your own. I have been on my own for the past twelve months and the only way I have got through this was the phenomenal support I had from family, work, daycare, babysitters and voluntary organizations. Some of the ways I have helped cope was
– I don’t always recommend bringing home problems to work but most workplaces have got a support program through their HR department if employees are having difficulty with anything in their lives. After a few confidential talks through HR I was given some flexibility, counselling and support during this difficult time.
– I used daycare three days a week and the staff at the daycare were also very supportive and undersanding and would give me any feedback if they had noticed any problems with the girls and fortunately there wasn’t.
– I hired a babysitter two nights a week to help collect the girls with daycare, feed and bath so I would not be so stressed rushing home after work. She was wonderful. Yes it was an expense but sometimes you have to weigh the benefits up over the cost and in this case it was worth every cent.
– My mother was very supportive with taking care of the girls as well.
– I was connected with another voluntary organization called ACT for KIDS who were wonderful. I wrote a thank you note here on my blog: http://thelastdegree.com/act-for-kids-special-thanks/
What advice and tips do you have for fellow single moms and dads out there?
You don’t have to do everything yourself. It is ok to ask for help because I was amazed on how many people, organizations and workplaces provide professional, friendship and free support services.
(Moana and Adelaide with their Aunts who are also twins)
If you could have one hour, kid free, in your day, what would you do?
I would love to enjoy one hour to go to a favourite café and leisurely order something on the menu, set up my laptop and write!
Or I would pick up one of the many books by my bed and lie down and read
Or I would book into a regular class and paint, or learn graphic design or some other creative pursuit.
Or I would go to the beach, dive in the ocean and lie on my towel undisturbed.
Or I would…..
What question, or questions, do you have for the other families in the community?
What would an extra $100 a week mean to you?
Be sure to leave your answer to Lisa’s question in the comment section and then head over to The Last Degree to leave some bloggy love!