We are quite blessed in Darwin to have many seaside walkways and bike paths which are often overlooked. Exploring Darwin has never been a perfect time with our beautiful dry season now here. Exercising and exploring with your family is a perfect option to have some quality family time. We have rounded up the best walks and bike rides with kids in Darwin which if your kids are anything like mine they are constantly needing to burn their endless energy.
Every parent has been through it – or will go through it sometime. Some more often than others.
Tantrums for children are a normal part of growing up, and are one of the ways they communicate when they don’t know what else to do. Most will have them between the ages of one and three, but this can vary from child to child. Some children will throw tantrums more than others. Read on for our strategies and advice on how to handle tanturms.
Christmas in Darwin 2019, is well and truly coming alive! There is so much festive fun happening around the place over the next few weeks! It is hard to sometimes find and locate all the different events and Christmas happenings so we have rounded them all up for you in one place. Where to get your Santa photos, Christmas Carols, Christmas light displays and much more! Also don’t forget to stay tuned for our much anticipated School holidays blog which will have some events and places doing Christmas crafts and other activities for the kids!
Having a relationship with your partner after kids. Challenging to say the least. We always seem to be looking for hacks, don’t we? We are forever searching the internet for hacks to get our kids to eat their veggies or somehow make that laundry pile smaller. But with the most important relationship of your adult life, you probably shouldn’t be ‘hacking’ at it.
Relationships with kids is hard for many, many reasons. Having children takes away our sleep, robs us of personal hygiene, and steals all of our money, our time, our sexual desire and our ability to have fun. It is very hard to recognise yourself after you become a parent, let alone connect with that person that you married or have been in a relationship with for awhile.
But because parenting is so hard, we need to do it as a team. And the best way to stay a team is to make sure that you set aside time to work on your relationship with your partner. Here are some great relationship tips for parents to help strengthen that relationship and make parenthood a little bit easier.
Relationship tips for parents
Try not to play the ‘Who works harder?’ game
No one ever wins this game. You are both working as hard as you possibly can and you are both exhausted. You need to ride this train together so don’t start fights with the other passengers that will probably serve no purpose except to make you both unhappy.
If you feel like you are doing too much and you need more help from them, then tell them. But don’t have this argument because nothing productive ever really comes from this.
For all the Mums out there having an overwhelming sh*t week – read this blog!
Schedule date night – but make them achievable
Another important relationship tips for parents is time together. Time together as a couple is the greatest step towards strengthening your relationship and one of the most important things for a successful partnership with kids. You don’t need to go out on long or expensive dates (but you certainly can if you want).
You just need to schedule time face to face, without screens or distractions, and open up the opportunity for talking, looking at each other, kissing and hugs and even possibly sex if you can manage it.
Get takeaway food at home and use candles, or play a board game or do a puzzle together. Even just sit down together a couple of times a week with a coffee and catch-up.
Schedule it in, but don’t make it so complicated that you never stick to the schedule. Find your own things that work for you and your partner. When you see this person every day you forget how little actual time you spend focused on each other, so make a point of making this happen.
Talk to each other and mix the topics up a bit
One of our key relationship tips for parents is communication. Communication is important, but there are a few ways you can take advantage of this:
- Keep your partner in the loop about any milestones your children achieve during the day, no matter how small.
- Discuss options and make decisions as a team.
- Listen to the things that your partner finds interesting or hear about their work and their day
- Talk about other things apart from children and work
- Ask each other bizarre questions that you’ve never talked about before. What is your partner’s favourite dinosaur? If you could banish one food from the earth forever what would it be? What superhero power would you like to have?
- Be honest about how you are travelling and what you need from him/her, and make sure that they get a chance to let you know this too.
- Take small opportunities to connect like leaving notes for each around the house or sending a cute text during the day. If something makes you smile, share it with them.
Let things slide
This means not getting upset about the little things that your partner does that really don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. As long as your baby is safe and you agree on the big parenting decisions like co-sleeping or breastfeeding then let it go when he leaves dishes in the sink or dirty nappies on the change table.
This also means choosing the other things in your life that you can let slide a little. Your house does not have to be spotless (or even tidy) and your laundry doesn’t need to be folded and put away; washed and thrown in a giant heap somewhere works just as well as drawers.
Use this mantra daily; ‘the people who love me will keep loving me no matter what my house looks like, and anyone who doesn’t isn’t worth worrying about.’ This isn’t a TV sitcom from the 50’s where your husband is bringing the boss and his wife around for dinner in order to get that big promotion; let the less important housekeeping stuff slide.
For some natural cleaning tips – check out our blog here
Right now, the minimum is just fine. That would also make a good mantra.
Back each other up
As soon as your kids can independently think they will start trying to get around the rules. As soon as you say something they don’t like they will go to the other parent for a more favourable answer. Practice saying this; ‘Whatever Daddy says, Mummy is going to say too (and vice versa), because we are a team.’
Support each other when external criticism comes in as well – if your parents have critical things to say about your partner then give him your support and the benefit of the doubt. If you are having serious doubts about anything aspect of your relationship seek advice from a trusted friend or better still a professional counsellor – don’t just bitch about your partner behind their back.
Ask for outside help
Stop being so proud, or stubborn. Stop trying to be supermum or keeping the grandparents away from babysitting because they only hype your kids up on sugar.
Ask friends or family to babysit so you can go out with your partner, or to cook a couple of meals for you so you can use that extra half an hour to go for a walk as a family.
You may not notice how often the people around you offer to help – start noticing and then take them up on this offer. And if they don’t offer, then just ask.
If you can afford it get a cleaner or meal service arranged for a short period, so you can reclaim some of the time saved for your relationship.
Children are marvellous at draining parents of everything good they have to give, leaving them exhausted grumpy shells by the end of the day, but don’t let this be the only side of you that your partner ever sees.
Take back small amounts of time and tiny moments of joy just for the two of you; it doesn’t have to be much. Sprinkle them throughout your day and you will start to see and feel a real difference.
When you are need to grab a coffee, catch up with your Mum’s group or even just head out with the family on the weekend for a bite to eat and a coffee it is great to know which are the best child friendly cafes around town. Well Darwin Family Life has done the work for you and rounded up the our top child friendly cafes in Darwin.
You might think that a Mother’s Group is a dated idea from pre-social media times when mums had no roles outside the home or wider support network to connect with, but joining a Mother’s Group can offer incredible benefits.
For many new mums, even those who went in skeptically, joining their Mother’s Group ended up being one of the best decisions they made, and a place to form lifelong friendships. I know I went along to Early birds with my first born and joined a Mother’s group from there. 8 years on we are still friends!
Travelling with kids isn’t a break for Mums or Dads, right – it can be so stressful, intense and overwhelming, with a bit of fun along the way (sometimes!!) One way of looking at it is a “family adventure!” My friend once said this too me. Don’t think of it as a holiday as you get disappointed…..what was once a “holiday” before kids is not the same with kids! Shift our mindsets and it can be a bit more enjoyable. It’s still doing all of the same chores and duties but in a foreign place and in front of strangers – who needs the stress, right?
Travelling with kids doesn’t have to be painful, and with a few tips from us, you might actually have a fun and relaxing holiday with your family.
Darwin Easter and School holidays break is fast approaching! We will have a one week break for Darwin public schools. Starting Saturday 13th of April (Private and Independent school holidays may be slightly different – please check with your school). Good Friday falls on 19th April and Easter Monday is 22nd April. Students will return to school on Tuesday 23rd of April for start of Term 2.
Darwin Family Life has rounded up some of the fantastic options that are free (or affordable) activities to do with your kids these Darwin School holidays and over the Easter break!
Rainy day fun doesn’t have to be boring or expensive, and you don’t have to give in to screens either. Check out these wet weather ideas for rainy day fun in Darwin, when the weather just won’t play fair.
Darwin public schools are back to school on Tuesday 29th of January.* We only have a few weeks left of school holidays! A few more weeks left to entertain the kids (I can see a lot of parents awaiting this eagerly as the 6 long weeks of holidays have taken their toll on most people’s sanity.) I will miss the late morning starts and break from routine…..not looking forward to the first day and getting everyone sorted and back to the regular lunch box packing! Darwin Family Life has put together our Back to School Tips for 2019