Postpartum Week 7 by Teresa Palmer
How big is baby
What’s something new this week
We got a stroller for the first time this week in the US, we ended up choosing the Uppa Baby Vista stroller and we have been taking the boys for walks up the hill, Bodhi loves his little skateboard attachment and Forest enjoys looking out at the trees in the fresh air, he really loves going on walks. Forest typically likes to be on my body but having the movement of the stroller and the trees to look up at, has meant daily walks have become our relaxing time together. Its also great because our car seat can click straight in to the pram so I’m not lugging it around everywhere.
Most challenging moment
Having Mark and I time has been really hard to find this week! He had some great news a few days ago (more in the Vlog!) but it means he has been working a lot more. We have also had Isaac this week (we have him week on/week off) so juggling the 3 of them on my own plus trying to blog or do the housework has been a balancing act indeed! it’s taken me over a week to purge some of mine and the kids clothes and I’m still not done yet as I get these 15 minute windows where Bodhi is occupied, Forest is happy in his rocker and Izy is reading and then quickly one, both or all of them will need me. But I’d much prefer to be attentive to them rather than get stuff done around the house, anything I actually get to complete is a bonus at this stage!
Mark and I’s me-time is SO important because we don’t use a nanny, we just have never needed to or have desired to use one because either him or I are home with the kids. For me, being a stay-at-home Mum when I’m not working is my favorite thing to do, it’s always been my dream since I was a little girl. We made the decision very early on in our relationship that if we were having children together we wanted to balance our workload to mean that one of us would always be with the children. So we have a rule where if I’m working he travels with us and only does work from the road and I do the same when he works and travels. In LA I’m the primary care-taker and stay-at-home parent so that he can work on his writing and in Adelaide we both are stay-at-home parents which is why Adelaide always feels likes such a recharge and super cruisy for us! It’s meant we keep our family together always and then we are a traveling tribe when it comes time to work again. We have made this set-up a main priority for us. We recognize and acknowledge just how rare it is to be able to choose to work only when the other parent isn’t and for that we are truly grateful. For us other challenges arise, like when do we actually get to be alone together? haha! it just means that we have to be on point with communication and scheduling around each other’s commitments and work and that we have to make sure we work extra hard as teammates to ensure that family life is running smoothly and no one is burning out. To have that kind of communication we need US time and not just when the kids are in bed! So we have been actively working on carving that out, synchronizing naps and school hours so that we can look in to each other’s eyes, hold hands and have a real check in.
Something you loved this week
Bodhi and Forest are getting closer and closer, it’s really sweet to see how happy Bodhi makes Forest with big grins and giggles. In the mornings I’ve been taking Forest up to “wake up” Isaac in bed and I let the oldest and youngest snuggle together for ten minutes while I make Bodhi breakfast, it’s their social time. It was also so nice taking Forest to Isaacs parent share the other day, me and Isaacs Mum Frankie went along and got to see all the great things Isaacs been doing at school, he was also really excited to show Forest off. I love being one of his two “Moms”.
I had the nicest bath the other day when I managed to get Bodhi and Forest sleeping at the same time! I watched an episode of “The Affair” in the bath and it felt soooo great and indulgent!
I also went on a “girls date” one night this week with 4 of my friends. They didn’t know each other and I just chose a few of my friends with whom I knew would connect. I brought Forest with me who slept the whole girls evening (we just stared at him a lot!) and we all really enjoyed some incredible chats and just got deep real quick. It was so special and inspiring and we are making it a monthly thing. Exactly what I love to do, bring like-minded people together and then get deep, raw and vulnerable. What a recharging night!
Oh and I also got my hair dyed and cut after realizing it was turning in to a birds nest! I did it right before the SAG awards. It was a 5 hour trip to the hairdressers and it was a Forest and Mummy date so not really solo Mama time as I had him with me but he is just such a little sweet snuggle pot who sleeps so much that just cuddling in to him at the hairdressers was definitely still classed as Mama time for me!
What am I eating?
Vegan goodies, avocado smashed sandwiches, veggie pasta- tons of carbs and high calories to keep weight on so that I’m still producing a good amount of milk! We also have been downing green juices this week.
Going with the flow! I’m so happy to just be relaxed and to have slowed down. We have 3 boys! So it’s chaotic at times but it’s not stressful when I don’t put stock in how things need to look or be or how it should be scheduled, I just try to be very present and just enjoy each of them and meet them where they are at. I actually like feeling frazzled with unruly hair, sleepless nights, a noisy house and bed full of kids. The beauty in the chaos is my favorite thing and I wouldn’t change the messiness of it at all. Sometimes I look in the mirror and can’t believe that I’m a mother to two boys and a stepmother to another one, it feels pretty surreal some days!
We also made an exception to our “no media on a school night” rule last Sunday as we played some much needed family Mariokart!!! I even roped my best friend Annabelle in to it, she was there to get me ready for the SAG awards later that afternoon but we carved out some time to get competitive playing Mariokart. Mark, Izy and I LOVE to do this, so being flexible with some of our “rules” definitely worked this week, just being in flow yo!
Everything is very soft! My first gym day is this Sunday so I’ll be happy to get some muscle tone back, my body shape has changed so much, not in a bad way, it’s just so different. Anyone relate? My clothes fit but they hug in different areas than they did previously and then are looser in areas that I used to be able to fill out!? None of my old bras fit BUT I’ve found the best maternity bras from Cake Maternity which have been making breastfeeding a lot easier, they also are super comfortable, cute looking, work for boobs all shapes and sizes! and they look great under t-shirts (its the bra I’m wearing in the Vlog!)
I’ve been reflecting a lot on my Nanna lately and how she had 8 kids and did it all on her own alongside her community of friends and their kids, I remember being a little girl of 8 or 9 with my dollies firmly on my lap and listening to her stories of her house in disarray, kids running around, mess everywhere, magical sleepovers in each other’s beds and how it was the happiest time of her life raising her 8 children! I remember asking her to retell stories of being a mum to so many kids over and over and it was in those moments that the seed was planted so deeply in me that I HAD to be a mother and experience all that chaos, excitement, adventure, love and REALNESS that comes with it. Right before my Nanna died, which was a fair few years in to my career as an actor, I decided to film her and she said to me “Teresa what I really wish for you is to find the right husband and to have so many children because that’s what you really want in life and that’s who you are in your heart” she always would tell me “acting was always your second dream behind motherhood” she just knew me so well.
It’s the reason why I enjoy the hard days, the busy-ness of it, the “I love you so much I fear my heart might explode” moments and yes, it’s why we both want a big family as tiring as that seems 7 Weeks Postpartum and with 3 boys!! I was determined to be able to be both a working mum and a stay at home mum, to somehow connect my two greatest dreams and not have to choose one but to be able to choose to do both. My manager David, still tells the story about when I was 18 (and brand new to America, with only one film under my belt and refreshingly naive) how as I was being introduced to the “very important” partners at my new management firm, I bodly announced that I would be “a mother first and foremost and that acting would be second to that” and how I just wanted to be “clear with my intentions” He still laughs about it but he does so because he knows that I was just afraid that people wouldn’t really understand me, that I was desperate for my real voice to be heard as I stood staring down the barrel of this very new and overwhelming adventure that ultimately became my career. I have a sneaking suspicion that Nanna was probably behind that moment of assertion!