The awesomeness of the modern dad!

These days, dads are not what they used to be. Today dads are taking on a whole lot more than their predecessors and they are exhausted! Here’s why.

20th century dads are very different from the dads of the ‘60s. Forget about the guy who came home from work, patted his kids on the head and retired to the couch. Forget about provider of the family, head of the household, ultimate disciplinarian. Today’s dad spends three times the amount of hours every week with his kids as dads did back then. He’s more involved and more nurturing than ever. 

It’s an evolution of fatherhood. 

It starts from the very beginning where he actually stays in the room during labour. He sits by his partner’s side, holding her hand and enduring her abuse then resists passing out as he cuts the umbilical cord. When they take their tiny bundle home, he shares shifts as she wakes through the night, rocking her back to sleep and singing lullabies even though he has the tone of a deaf walrus. He reads parenting books, strolls the supermarket isles and stops to study the ingredients in baby food before he buys.

He helps around the house, cooks meals and shares cleaning duties. As the children grow, he covers for mum – packs lunches, does the school drop then continues to work where his boss berates him for being late. And when he returns, exhausted, longing for the couch and an ice-cold beer, he taxi’s to & from after school activities and helps with homework. 

When they test him to his wits end, gone are the days of easy discipline when a swift clip to the ear would put an to end to it. Today’s dad must summon all the patience in the world limited by means of confiscation and naughty corners.

Today’s dad is complex and multi-tasked: coach to his kid’s footy team, volunteer on the school committee, parent helper in class. He teaches his son how to be a man, how to change a tyre, how to defend himself against bullies in the school yard then rushes to dress wounds when he falls off his bike.

Times have changed. 

The heir to the English throne changes nappies. Celebrity dads are tattooing their kids’ names on their backs. There are now over one hundred thousand stay-at-home Australian dads.

We don’t mean to undermine mum’s role (she has her own juggling act to balance). But it doesn’t mean we can’t recognise the awesomeness of the modern dad. It’s a wonderful, liberated and tiring role… 

So this is why Dad needs super-spoiling this Father’s Day. And don’t worry if you’re feeling overwhelmed for ideas. Heres a few to ensure he re-coups his energy:

Mens Happy Socks
So much fun! What better way to sure he starts the day off on the right foot!!

The Art of Growing up by John Marsden
Have him put his feet up and delve into a fascinating insight to parenting – and the conundrum of what it means to grow up and be ‘happy’ in the 21st century.

Boxing Bag and Glove set
When all else fails, let him take his frustrations out with this boxing bag & glove set from Rebel. Could be just what the doctor ordered!

Grounding – foot therapy – Endota Spa
Why not introduce him to the world of day spas? This 60min foot treatment isn’t too invasive and sure to have him chilled in no time!

Sony Wireless Noise Cancelling Headphones
938 positive reviews can’t be wrong! Get him chilling to his fav beats with these wireless noise cancelling headphones!

Want more ideas? Download our iOS app and sign up to gain access to our ‘Quick Lists’. Click ‘Must haves for Men’ for over 50 more ideas! 

We’re more than confident you’ll find something just right for him 🙂

5 Sympathy Gift Ideas Instead of Flowers

When a friend or relative loses someone close, it’s not easy knowing how to ease their grief. You want to help, but how? With the best intentions in mind, most people send flowers. But flowers are temporary and one bouquet often blends into the next when they arrive in abundance. So, what can you give that will last, have meaning and offer support to someone who’s suffering?

These 5 touching and special gift ideas may help.

Rosemary tea.

We all know tea is a comfort drink. And rosemary symbolizes love and remembrance. Steeped in thousands of years of myth and tradition, it’s also known to have magic and healing virtues. Herbalists often use it as a tonic to help with fatigue and over-exertion and it’s loved all around the world for its uplifting aroma and unmistakable flavour.

A collection of memories.

When we lose people close to us, we like to take time to remember their lives, why we love them and what they mean to us. You may have photos or mementos your friend or relative hasn’t seen before. Ask around and see if you can collate some special memories to put together in an album or scrapbook. You could add a personal touch or theme that was special and relative to the person deceased.

Donate to the cause.

When someone is taken early because of illness or accident, there’s often a feeling of hopelessness. By donating to a relevant charity in the deceased’s name, you not only offer comfort to their family but you proactively support the cause which can alleviate feelings of despair. 

Adopt a bench.

When we’re grieving, it helps to visit a place that was special to the person we have lost to reflect and remember. Many parks and councils offer the opportunity to adopt a bench in their honour, which can be a touching communal or family gift that creates a lasting memory.

Name a star.

While naming a star doesn’t actually mean you own that star (it only registers the star within the database of the company you buy the certificate through), this can be a comforting gesture for grieving children. Children grieve differently to adults. And really young children find it hard to understand death. By naming a star, they have something physical to look at and seek comfort from which represents the person they are missing.

There’s no magic cure.

When a friend or relative loses someone they love, it’s painful. This type of grief can’t be fixed, repaired or solved and unfortunately you just can’t take the pain away. You can only love and support and be there.

People grieve in different ways. It’s a personal experience, one that belongs entirely to the person experiencing it. Sometimes, the people grieving feel awkward because friends don’t know what to say or how to behave, which only adds to their despair. Giving something you have truly put thought into reminds them you care and that you’re there for them if they need you.

Aside from your love and support, it is time that heals. In their own time, your friend or relative’s pain will become more bearable.

Have you ever received a gift that helped to sooth your pain in times of grief? We’d love to know about it. Tell us in the comments section.

Why Australian Charities are struggling

It’s not easy for charities in Australia today.

They face greater competition to raise funds than ever before. There are over 56,000 registered charities in Australia – that’s 1 charity for every 400 Australians. And many of them are competing for the same cause (over 2,000 organisations are seeking donations for breast cancer alone).

To add to the problem, Australians are tighter with their donation dollars, the government is slashing grants and the volunteer workforce is shrinking forcing charities to explore more innovative strategies through alliances, mergers and sharing resources.

The problem reached a cross roads late last year with sector leaders calling for charities to merge or shut down because too many are wasting valuable resources competing with each other.

How The Gift Register is getting around the problem.

The Gift Register is choosing to support charities that will benefit from our ‘wish list’ structure as we have everything in place to help them achieve their mission, including a broad range of gift items.

We want to support organisations we feel passionate about – charities that prove to make a difference locally with a philosophy that complements our dedication to giving. This way, the charities we support benefit through a fresh and innovative way of attracting public support.

Our first featured charity, Lighthouse Foundation, has a vision to end youth homelessness. And over the past 25 years they’ve made incredible headway helping more than 800 young people successfully break the homelessness cycle. Lighthouse does this by providing a safe and nurturing living environment and consistent parental role models, as well as clinical and practical support services. At present, they are welcoming gifts that will help create comfortable homes to resettle young people from homelessness. The process involves a dedicated level of support, not only providing practical necessities like homewares, bed linen and even Miki cards to get around – but also on a personal level involving emotional wellbeing.

All of Lighthouse foundation’s needs are featured via a public wish list, which can be accessed through The Gift Register’s charity page.  The beauty of this is that the items you choose to purchase are sent directly to Light House Foundation’s head office for them to distribute to young homeless people within their care.

You deserve to know exactly where your money is going.

With the competition so fierce in today’s climate, charities have to allocate a large proportion of their funding to marketing and administration costs, which means you have no idea whether your support is having a direct impact on the cause.

By donating through The Gift Register, you’re in control of the item you buy. You choose were your money is going. And you can feel reassured that your gift(s) will have a direct impact to young homeless people across Victoria.

Together, we can help make a difference.

Visit our charity page today to find out more about how you can help the charities we feature.

The Gift Register aims to rotate a number of charities over a calendar year. If you hold an interest in becoming one of these charities, please apply to [email protected].

6 Ideas To Give Mum The Mother’s Day She Deserves

If you’re truly honest, how much effort do you really put into Mother’s Day?   

Think of all those years your mum cooked for you, cleaned for you, packed your school lunches. Endless hours helping you with homework, being your taxi driver, tidying your room, washing your clothes…

And what does she get to show for it all?

A limp bunch of flowers each Mother’s Day? Some box of chocolates you grab from Coles just before you drop in to see her for afternoon tea? When you think about it, she deserves so much more – something super special to let her know how grateful you are for everything she’s done.

And we’ve put together 6 ideas that will show her just how much you care:

Finish that DIY project dad started but never gets around to finishing.

The water feature she’s always dreamed of, a herb garden or a fresh coat of paint for her drab walls. There will be one thing she’s always wanted for her home or garden that never seems to happen. You can make it happen. Gather your siblings and work like elves to get it finished. If you can, surprise her for Mother’s Day. You can bet she’ll appreciate your hard work and dedication over any gift you buy off the shelf.

A montage of family memories.

Hunt through your photo albums and pick a selection of family memories to create a photo montage, mobile or canvas that mum can hang on her wall. If she enjoys the modern touch, create an online slide show accompanied by one of her favourite songs using Smile Box, or buy her a digital photo frame and display a stream of precious photos she can place on her mantle piece.

A family picnic. 

Keep it a surprise and pick mum’s favourite place – the beach or that park she used to take you to when you were little. Pack a vintage picnic blanket, a wicker basket with her favourite foods and some good wine. Invite the whole family or keep it just the two of you.

One less for the bucket list.

Perhaps there’s something she’s always wanted to do like swim with the dolphins, wine tasting or a French cooking class.  Show her you’ve been listening all these years and make it happen for Mother’s Day. Book her in with dad, or accompany her yourself. Put in with your siblings and make it a gift from you all.

A week without chores.

Every mum dreams of a week with no cooking, washing, cleaning or ironing. Gather the troops and tally up a roster so that she gets the entire week off. Time she never has to catch up on episodes of The Good Wife she keeps missing, or to have a relaxing candlelit bath or read a book. Join together each night to prepare her favourite dinners and let her hear your banter and laughter in the kitchen as you work as a team. When the week is up, you’ll appreciate her all the more as you realise just how much time the house chores eat out of her day.

All it takes is a little time and thought…

It’s easy to get blasé as Mother’s Day rolls in each year, but it doesn’t take much to make your mum feel special. Why give the same old clichéd gifts, when all it takes is a little thought and consideration and you can give her something truly unique. You have a lot to thank her for after all the work she’s put in over the years!

So what will you do to make mum feel special this year?

8 Easter games the family will love!

Kids love Easter. When chocolate eggs, hot cross buns and sweet, warm muffins get devoured before the day has barely begun. It’s a time for fun, family & laughter, when happy memories are created that last a lifetime. 

And we’ve compiled some special Easter games that will make this the best Easter ever. So, resurrect your inner youth and prepare your family for some real fun.

8 games for your family this Easter:

eggbocceEgg bocce ball. All you need is two matching, dyed hardboiled eggs per player and one plain egg (this will be the target). Have one player roll the target egg several metres away then players take it in turn to roll their eggs as close as possible. All players get two turns. Once all the eggs have been rolled, the player with the egg closest to the target wins.

Autumn Easter hunt. Collect a pile of autumn leaves and place them in a box. Mix in a packet of mini Easter eggs and time how quickly the kids can find them; bonus prize if it’s under 30 seconds. If you live in a tropical climate, replace the leaves with hay.

For a different kind of hunt, take the family geocaching. Geocaching is a treasure hunt using a GPS enabled device. There are millions of geocaches hidden around the world and some of them will be near you right now. You get to keep what you find in the container, but you must replace it with something different. To spread some Easter joy, why not make chocolate eggs the items you leave behind? This is a real outdoor adventure for the whole family, but probably more suited to kids 7 years and older.

coloring-easter-eggs-crayonsFor a touch of Easter DIY, make some melted crayon Easter eggs. All you have to do is hard boil several eggs and roll them into a plate of crayon shavings, while they’re still hot, using plastic tongs so you don’t burn your fingers – be careful not to crack the shells. The heat from the eggs will melt the shavings to create a beautiful pattern. Add some glitter for extra sparkle!

Pass the egg – an old favourite and sure to make the family laugh. Gather in a circle and place the egg under the chin of player one. Using no hands, player one passes the egg to player two and so on around the circle. The first one to drop the egg is the first one out. Last player standing wins the game. For an extra level of tension, use raw eggs – the losers clean up the mess!

Eggstacle course. Set up a homemade obstacle course using whatever items you have on hand – get the kids to help. While balancing an egg on a spoon, walk the tightrope using your garden hose, jump through hula-hoops, lay a broomstick across two chairs and crawl under, weave through a line of plastic cups. The imagination has no limits!

easter pinataEaster piñata. Buy a premade piñata or make your own using a balloon, paper mache paste and an old newspaper.  Fill it with chocolate eggs and treats and decorate with an Easter theme. Use a large wooden spoon or stick to whack the balloon, blindfolding players for extra fun. When the balloon pops, you get to eat the treats!

Footprint game. This works best if you have tiled floors. Wet the soles of your shoes and stomp in some soil. Then walk through your home leaving a trail of footprints. When the kids wake, they have to follow the footprints to find the Easter treasure!

We wish you a fun and happy Easter and hope you enjoy these games. Don’t forget to check out our Easter gift ideas to shower your family with eggstra special treats this Easter.

6 Ways to Spice Up your Valentine’s Day!

Ahh Valentine’s Day, when restaurants become crammed with starry-eyed couples sharing chilled wine and platters of tiny, quaint foods.

A romantic dinner at home suddenly seems like a better option…

And if you’re looking to spice things up, we have just the solution. Maybe you’re planning a first date and you desperately want to impress the guy, or you’ve been in a relationship for what’s beginning to feel like centuries and it’s lacking that certain je ne sais quoi.

Well then. Valentine’s Day is the perfect excuse to crank things up.

Dinner2A romantic home-cooked dinner means you can manipulate the mood, show off your flair for cooking and make sure the lighting is complementary… Candles, oysters, fishnet stockings and Marvin Gaye spring to mind, but of course those are just clichés. We have some special, less obvious mood-enhancers in mind –


Yes, spices. Because, believe it or not, they are understated mood-setters, with the ability to stimulate your state of mind, subtly influencing how you feel and behave. So, for those of you wanting to turn up the heat this Valentine’s Day, we’ve concocted some spicy menu ideas to help set the mood and ensure your evening flows with a touch of passion and sensuality.

The Icebreaker…

star_aniseStar Anise is perfect for a first date or the beginning of a date when nerves are rattled and there’s a chill in the air. This pretty star-shaped spice has a strong, licorice flavour and scent known to relieve tension. Start the evening off with an elegant cocktail infused with star anise and feel yourself and your date slip into a more relaxed temper.

Our recommendation? Star anise and cinnamon cocktail

(Extra tip: Keep a bowl of star anise pods on the table and let their scent waft around the room.)


Encourage a light and happy vibe with cardamom because it’s known to possess anti-depressant properties. Subtly burn some cardamom-fragranced essential oil in the background while serving our recommended entrée:

Butternut squash and onion bhajis

For the main…

As the evening rolls on, fire things up with some hot and smokin’ cayenne pepper. This zesty spice gets its kick from capsaicin, which is proven to improve blood flow and increase body temperature. So if you’re really serious about turning up the heat, sprinkle more than a dash of cayenne pepper to your mains. Steady!

Our recommendation? Sweet potato & black bean quinoa chili


churrosOf course, it could only be cinnamon. Not only is this spice perfect for deserts because of its sweetness; it’s an effective deterrent for bad breath. Proven to kill off odor-causing bacteria, this warm and nurturing spice could be just what you need after all those onion bhajis!

Our suggestion? Cinnamon sugar churros with bittersweet chocolate sauce – Mmmm! 

A nightcap…

Ginseng and saffron are natural aphrodisiacs proven to improve sex drive. So, why not steer things towards the bedroom as dinner draws to a close and serve these tantalising little spices in some hot tea?

Our recommendation? Ginseng & Saffron tea 

Bonne nuit…

Valentine’s day doesn’t always happen according to plan. Emotions can lead to arguments. Nerves can stifle conversation. Sometimes, the vibe and atmosphere is plain flat – even Marvin Gaye may not be able to solve that problem. But if you have a crack at our Spicy Valentine’s Day Menu, the natural affects of these special spices may keep the atmosphere relaxed, add some sizzle between you and your date and steer the evening towards a more intimate closure.

ValentinesSquareLast but not least, why not give your partner an intimate Valentine’s Day gift because we’ve scrolled every corner of our virtual planet to create a special list of Valentine’s gift ideas – the final touch to spice up your date.

The cutest Santa letter … wins!

With Christmas almost upon us, children around the world are busily compiling their stocking wish lists. Strange and, sometimes, hilarious letters are written to Santa and cast away to the North Pole by various means; up chimneys, in helium balloons or simply posted in the mail. Each child secretly praying they’ll get there in time.

How did it all begin?

The story behind Christmas stockings is old and clouded over time. But it starts with a young man named Nicholas who was left a large inheritance when his parents died. A devote Christian, he became legendary for his generosity to the poor; most notoriously, when he helped a father of three daughters who had lost all their money. So poor, the man could barely put food on their table with no dowry to offer for his daughters to marry.

One night, so the story is told, Nicholas crept into their home and left a small gold ball in each of the daughter’s stockings, which they had hung out in front of the fire to dry – enough to pay for their dowry and save them from a life of slavery. 

And so the tradition of Santa stockings began.

Do you have a Santa letter? If so, submit to WIN!

Today, children’s letters to Santa vary in length, personality and imagination. They’re a beautiful insight into their innocent souls and dreams with all kinds of requests from trampolines to puppies to world peace. The requests can defy logic and bring tears to parent’s eyes. Which is why here at The Gift Register, we’ve decided to run a special competition to celebrate the most imaginative requests we can find.

So, if you think your child’s wish list is funny, outrageous, quirky or just darn cute – enter our competition to win a $100 Visa shopping voucher. We’ll pick the entry that makes us laugh the loudest or tugs our heart strings the strongest. All you have to do is take a picture of the letter and email it to us with your child’s first name, age and suburb to [email protected]. See our Facebook page for T&C’s.

The winner will be advised via email and announced on our Facebook page on Christmas night!

In Christmas spirit and to get the ball rolling, here are some letters we have already collected. We hope you enjoy them!

PS. If you are still stuck for gift ideas, check the gift tabs on our website for some inspiration!

Merry Christmas!

Jack Letter






Jess Santa




































Dear Graduate… 20 Life Skills for the Road Ahead

If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve graduated – or you’re close to.

It’s a major accomplishment. All those years spent hunched over a desk studying. Now, you can stand tall, walk proud and reach for your dreams. This is the next milestone in your life. Who knows what the future holds?

But before you hurl yourself into a world of possibilities, we’d like to set you off on the right foot. Because from this point forward, you’ll define who you are as a person and what type of life you will lead.

So, here’s some advice for the road ahead: 20 life skills (from those of us with a few more years under our belt). Print them out. Memorise them. Keep them close to your heart. They’re your salvation to a bright and successful future:

1/ Whatever you do for your first job, do it with pride. It might not be your dream role, but you’re working for a business that somebody feels passionate about. Someday, you may be the employer and you’ll expect your employees to do the same for you.

2/ On that note, if you ever have a job serving coffee – be polite and smile. For many people, coffee is the one small pleasure in their day.barista

3/ Look after your skin. You’ll thank the high heavens you did when you’re older.

4/ Embrace your failures. They will make you stronger and wiser.

5/ Say ‘yes’ as much as possible. Otherwise, you might just miss out on your biggest opportunity.

6/ Cans and Subway wrappers go in the bin – look after your planet. One day, your generation will be in charge of it and you don’t want to make the job any more difficult than it needs to be.

7/ Have patience. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Each small step you take, you’re a little closer to fulfilling your dreams.

8/ Colour outside of the lines. Those that dare to be different achieve great things.outside-the-lines

9/ Put the darn phone down – especially when in company. Life is slipping past you.

10/ Dance like nobody’s watching – and they probably all will.

11/ Be kind. Always. Including to yourself.

12/ You were fooled by your parents – you’re not entitled to anything. In the real world you have to work for it.

13/ Oh and btw, stop using acronyms. You are now a mature member of society (lol).

14/ When you think you’ve hit rock bottom, watch an episode of Dr Phil. You’ll quickly realise you have a long way to go.

15/ Never tell your parents how uncool they are. One day your children will feel exactly the same way about you.

16/ And have patience with elderly drivers. We all know they shouldn’t be driving, but no-one has the guts to tell them.elderlydriver

17/ Don’t point out the problem unless you’re willing to be part of the solution.

18/ Travel. Everywhere. Except, perhaps, to Brussels.

19/ Laugh, often. Even if you don’t feel like it. Laughing is infectious, so you’ll be creating a happier world.

20/ Listen, learn, inspire. The world is yours now, so put yourself out there.

If you can master these skills early, your journey through life will be smoother, richer and more rewarding. We wish you the best of luck, graduate. Don’t be afraid to reach for the stars – may your adventure begin!

Parents’ Guide for Surviving Primary School

Primary school is a wild, emotional, exciting and sometimes terrifying adventure – for our children also. There are so many changes from that first precious year when they begin as tiny, timid preppies; to the final year, matured and preteen, thinking they know it all.

The journey isn’t always smooth, with some set for a trickier passage than others. But if you’re prepared as parents, you’ll be able to support and guide your child through the tough times – with both of you coming out the other end stronger and wiser.

A strange new world.firstday2

When your child starts school, she leaves the peaceful familiarity of home for a new and daunting world. It’s a major step of independence. She learns some harsh truths; that the world isn’t flat, clouds aren’t made of candy floss and that learning to read can be really really hard. She’s mingled together with a mish mash of personalities and egos, each fighting to assert their place in the pecking order. She adopts habits and behaviours that are out of character and unseemly. When you rush to greet her for pick up, she may have turned into the devil child. At times, you question whether she is, in fact, your child at all.

Our tips:

Even though you’re tempted to call Missing Persons, remain calm and clear-headed. Your child is tired, hungry and dealing with a major adjustment. 

After a full day in the classroom, no child needs a Spanish Inquisition on the journey home. What she really needs is rest and food.

Fitting in.

By grade 2, your child is feeling more settled. He’s slotted into a routine and has learned some things about himself. He’s great at science and handball. He’s creative and strong (although, not quite as fast as he thought he was; there’s some serious talent out there).

The playground is separated into cliques of friends. Your child is nestled amongst the nerd group – and you’re okay with this (nerds, after all, make all the money when they grow up). There’s one child you can’t help feel concerned about. He’s mean and bosses your child about. You try to devise a scheme to separate them – but your son has none of it and you can’t help wonder what happened to your devoted, innocent child.

Our tips:

Don’t panic. It may feel as though you’re no longer the apple in your child’s eye, but you’ll be the first person he turns to when he’s out of his depth.

Try not to intervene too much – your child is learning to interact with all types of personalities. Instead, encourage him to be assertive and stand up to his bossy friend.

The playground can be a cruel, harsh place.

By grade 4, your child’s friends have banned together refusing to let her play with them. They say mean things and blurt out rude words, even though none of them actually know what they mean.

Your child learns about resilience. She seeks refuge in a quiet corner with the other victims of isolation (and soon learns they’re more interesting to be around anyway).

Our tips:

Help her understand that other people’s meanness isn’t about her, but about them and their own insecurities.

Give lots of cuddles.

Top of the food chain.year6

By grade 6, your child has climbed to the top. He’s ruler of the roost, king of his kingdom – and preparing to start all over again at the bottom in secondary school.  The odd pimple pops up on his chin, his voice is hitting notes you never knew existed and he’s in love with a girl named Josie. It’s the end of an era, goodbye to friends he’s known for years. He’s ready, excited and nauseous about high school…

Our tips:

Puberty is taking kids young these days, so make sure you’re both ready. If it hasn’t started to kick in, your child is probably praying for the day it does. Even though they’ll cringe and try to squirm their way out of it, make sure you talk to them about the changes happening to them (hint: when it’s just the two of you in the car, they have no way out…).

Be organised about high school. Make sure books and uniform are ordered in advance and keep an open dialogue with your child, talking through anxieties and concerns.

Above all, primary school is a wonderful experience in your child’s life – so embrace it. Involve yourself in the school community so that you know what’s happening and make an effort to get to know the parents of your child’s friends.

To make easy work of gift giving throughout this era, share lists via The Gift Register! Lost for ideas? A new list of top gifts for kids has just been released onto the app. Click here to install.

9 Survival Tips for New Mums

As a new mum, you’re probably wandering about in a fog of exhaustion and talcum powder. Gone the days of skipping around freely. Now you must navigate your life strapped to a tiny screaming person and a tent-sized nappy sack.

Nothing really prepares you for the reality of becoming a mum. You read parenting books, attend classes; recall the stories your own mum told about you as a baby. But none of it prepares you for the overnight transition from relatively composed human being to sleep-deprived, snappy madwoman. In the space of a day, you can swap between every emotion under the sun – joy, elation, devotion, desperation…

It’s not possible to see through the fog when you’re right in the thick of it, so here are our top tips to help you gain some clarity:

sleeping newborn baby, exhausted mother.The exhaustion will end. When you’re staggering about with your chin dragging along the floor, it’s impossible to imagine you’ll ever experience a good night’s sleep again. You will.

Trust your own judgment. You may feel bullied into parenting a certain way with so much ‘expert’ advice out there. ‘Breast is best,’ they’ll tell you. Or, ‘Let your baby cry to sleep.’ The truth is, every situation is different and only you can figure out what is logical and best for your child.

Fresh air and adult company. When you’re feeling exhausted and vulnerable, it’s natural to want to hide away in the darkest hollows of your home living off marshmallows and Doritos. And while we strongly recommend this on occasion, it’s equally important to step outdoors and converse with fully developed human beings from time to time.

feeding babyThe world won’t end if your baby has puke on his romper suit. It’s easy to get caught up being overly proud and wanting your child to look perfect. But when your laundry basket is already overflowing like a blocked sewer, you don’t need to add to it unnecessarily. Nobody is going to notice the odd bit of spew (just put a bib around it).

Time flies. It might not feel like it now, but ask any mum with older children and she’ll quickly tell you she wished she’d taken the time to cherish those precious baby years more. Make the most of the small things; cuddles, mat time, stories. Celebrate each stage of your baby’s development. Once the time passes, it’s lost forever.

The power of empathy. There’s nothing more healing than a bunch of women going through the same thing. This is where mum’s group is awesome. You probably won’t connect with all of the women in your group, but you’ll form a special friendship with one or two mums that will last a lifetime. With them, you’ll laugh, weep, swap intimate stories and emerge through the fog intact.

Go with the flow. At times, you’ll feel a desire to look your best. To blow-dry your hair, slap on lipstick and step out in leathers and heals. Other times, you’ll want to slouch about in UGG boots with sleep in your eyes, your hair hanging wild and mad Russell Brand-style. Either is fine.

You can only juggle so many balls. We’d like to think our lives will carry on as normal after our baby is born, but it’s not realistic. Let go of some responsibilities. Get your partner to cook dinner, your mother-in-law to do the laundry, pay a neighbour’s teenager to part with their iPad and walk your dog. A baby will impact your life.

Give yourself a break. It’s ok to feel miserable at times. To scream, weep and swear at the patronising old lady shaking her head as you bottle-feed your baby. Becoming a mum isn’t always easy. You’ll make mistakes along the way; the good news is you have years to make amends.

So if you feel a fog, it will always pass. Trust us.

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