Bubs2Bikinis Instagrammer Anna Strode – and her husband Rhett – are parents to three gorgeous kids, and a recent encounter with an elderly couple has provided some welcome perspective on their “hands-full” life.
“The best days of our lives”
If you have kids, you can probably relate to Anna’s overwhelmed feels. Every day with little people throws up challenges, and it’s an amazing person indeed who can get through 24 hours of parenting feeling peachy all the time.
With this in mind, a knackered but enthusiastic Anna eagerly tapped in to something she overheard in a cafe. She was keen to share her learnings.
“They were the best days of our lives” I heard an old man who looked in his late eighties whisper to his wife, while I leaned over and picked up a spilt babyccino off the cafe floor,” Anna wrote in an Instagram post detailing this lovely chance meeting.
View this post on Instagram
"They were the best days of our lives" I heard an old man who looked in his late 80's whisper to his wife while I leaned over and picked up a spilt baby chino off the cafe floor. My initial thoughts when I saw the cup leave Lachies hands and smash onto the floor was "far out, not again!" I was on my own and had Madi strapped to me in the carrier grizzling because she was tired, Lachie crying over his spilt baby chino and Sammy racing behind the cafe counter into the kitchen. Part of me wanted to laugh but the other half of me wanted to sit down on the ground and cry while screaming 'Help me, I'm exhausted and I just can't MUM today!!!' Then I heard it, those 8 words that changed everything… "They were the best days of our lives." I turned and smiled "REALLY?!" And the little old man and lady both nodded at me as mrs old lady said "The best by far" The chaos around me suddenly didn't feel painful or frustrating anymore. I wanted to bottle it up and STOP time because I realised in that moment that one day my babies will be all grown up with their own babies and they won't need me anymore 😭😭 It suddenly dawned on me that one day that will be Rhett and I sitting at a cafe watching young mums and dads with their babies and wishing our babies hadn't grown up so quickly 😭😭 Those 8 words have been on replay in my head since I heard them 2 days ago. It really struck a cord with me. Because you know what – it's SO TRUE! The catnapping, the tantrums, the getting up 100 times a night, the co-sleeping, the messy house, the endless washing, the constant exhaustion. One day we're going to miss all this…! Sure, these days can be hard, they can be testing, they can be down right challenging but I bet you a MILLION bucks, they will be the BEST DAMN DAYS OF OUR LIVES 💕✨💙 #mumlife #momlife #mummyblogger #mommyblogger #motherhood #parenting
“I just can’t mum today!”
At this point in time, on this crazy day, things had turned a little pear-shaped for Anna. She was on a solo cafe visit with her kids and those playing at home will realise this is the very definition of difficult.
“I was on my own and had Madi strapped to me in the carrier grizzling because she was tired, Lachie crying over his spilt babycchino and Sammy racing behind the cafe counter into the kitchen.”
“Part of me wanted to laugh but the other half of me wanted to sit down on the ground and cry while screaming ‘Help me, I’m exhausted and I just can’t MUM today!!!'”
We feel you, Anna. You are NOT alone.
“Eight words changed everything”
The things is, what the wise old gent said actually stopped her in her tracks – and made her feel much better – because she realised his comment was attention-grabbing because it might just be TRUE!
“Those 8 words that changed everything… ‘They were the best days of our lives.’ I turned and smiled ‘REALLY?!’And the little old man and lady both nodded at me as Mrs Old Lady said ‘The best by far.'”
Anyone who’s parented through those chaotic early years, and come out the other end with children who have left home, knows just how much you miss those busy and bonkers days. Not gonna lie, this elderly man is a certified truth-teller.
View this post on Instagram
3 months ago when Madi was 2 weeks old I honestly had NO IDEA how I was going to cope. Rhett was heading back to work and it was just going to be me with our three bubs. I was PETRIFIED of how I would manage and my anxiety was at an all time high. I remember crying for days, scared of how I could possibly juggle a newborn and 2 year old twins all on my own. I honestly was so incredibly scared..! But sure enough, it all came together. I stopped doubting myself and we found our groove. Yea – we've had some shitty days but we've had loads of awesome ones too ✨ We've got outside and explored everyday, we go to cafes, shops, parks, the beach – I don't let fear stop me. Everyday is a juggle but it's not one that I can't handle ❤️ This ones for all the mamas who have recently welcomed or soon to welcome a new bub and are wondering how on earth they will adjust. You WILL find your groove, give it time – I PROMISE you, YOU got this ✨😘 #mumlife #postpartum #motherhood #inspirepregnancy
Anna agrees, and was clever enough to tap into what this couple were telling – and reframe where she was at.
“The chaos around me suddenly didn’t feel painful or frustrating anymore. I wanted to bottle it up and STOP time because I realised in that moment that one day my babies will be all grown up with their own babies and they won’t need me anymore.”
Anna also couldn’t help but fast-forward a few decades, and realised that one day, she’d be the one pining for those special, exhausting, early years.
“It suddenly dawned on me that one day that will be Rhett and I sitting at a cafe watching young mums and dads with their babies and wishing our babies hadn’t grown up so quickly.”
The days are long, but the years are short
The mum-of-three shared her story as a bolstering reminder to other exhausted parents.
“Sure, these days can be hard, they can be testing, they can be down right challenging but I bet you a MILLION bucks, they will be the BEST DAMN DAYS OF OUR LIVES!”
Best days of our lives, indeed! Huge thanks to Anna for sharing this great story.
Follow Anna Strode at Bubs2Bikinis
View this post on Instagram
One of the most common questions I receive is, am I breastfeeding Madi and if so, does exercise affect my supply… 💕💦 The answer is YES. I am breastfeeding Madi. I also breastfed the twins until they were 14 months (swipe 👉 to see pic of how I tandem feed them 💙💙) Has exercise ever affected my milk supply?! Absolutely NOT. BUT – the reason I believe my supply is not affected in any way is I do NOT restrict or count calories. I listen to my body and when I'm hungry – I EAT! 80% of the time I try to make healthy choices but the truth is I have a VERY sweet tooth and I find it hard to say no to a treat in the evening after a long day. I have days too where all i want to do is destroy the cookie jar 🙈I'm all about balance… I have sooooo many mamas contacting me saying they're too scared to exercise because they worry it will affect their milk supply but if you fuel your body with plenty of wholesome foods and water, you can most certainly exercise and enjoy the benefits of it! Did you know that exercise is actually PROVEN to promote energy. So even if you've had a sleepless night with a baby on the boob – a little exercise can help give you the energy boost you need to tackle your day ✨😊 We also need to TRUST and LISTEN to our bodies – they are so INCREDIBLY smart – remember, they grow HUMANS, they know what they are doing and if making more milk to help ensure your bubs is fed because you exercise is something that it needs to do – it will find a way! If you're constantly reaching for the fridge or looking in the cupboard all day because you're starving due to breastfeeding – EAT, just make healthy choices as often as you can 😉 but remember putting your hand in the cookie jar every now and then it ok too 😀 I've said it before and I'll say it again… there is NO WAY I could have managed motherhood without exercise! It's such a saviour for me 🙌💕 Some of my fave snacks I try to have handy to help keep me making the good 🍼 are oats topped with banana and chia seeds, rice cakes topped with avocado and a boiled egg and home made sweet potato fries – YUM 👅 #mumlife #motherhood #postpartum #breastfeeding #normalisebreastfeeding