ADIÓS. IT’S BEEN REAL.

Life

The Merge Journal was the creation of four Australian mamas who found each other through Instagram. A collection of interviews, birth stories, musings on health, interiors, lifestyle and fashion, and reflections on the journey of parenthood.

Over the past 18 months we have absolutely loved getting to know all of the wonderful parent folk who make up the TMJ community. We’ve loved hearing your birth stories, sharing our #tmjmamacrushes, our motherhood musings and brands that we genuinely love. But like all the great sitcoms before us … all good things must come to an end. We know, nobody ever likes the series finale.

We hope The Merge Journal, as it remains here, will continue to inspire, help and encourage you – sometimes make you laugh, and perhaps make you cry (in a good way). So, pour yourself a cuppa and settle in for a read.

Us mamas couldn’t be more proud of what we have achieved with The Merge Journal, but it is time to love you and leave you. It’s time to say goodbye. As our lives get busier with the daily school runs, new businesses, returning to work, new ventures and new babies, we’ve decided to take a step back from TMJ.

As our tribe has grown, so too has our village and we have made soul sisters for life.

Much Love from all of us TMJ Mamas,

Deanna, Emmy, LizCandice xx

Seven Tips To Toilet Train Your Toddler

Life

by Deanna

So we officially started toilet training our recently-turned two year old on the weekend. Being our second child we thought we would remember everything. We didn’t.

We’re on day six and things are going well! Here’s what we did (and some tips for those prepping and wondering where to start).

5 things I never knew about toilet training

Life

by Emmy

1. Number one is a doozy. When all of my mum friends were sharing how they were toilet training or how their children were ‘toilet trained’ I thought that meant they were toilet trained. As in every wee and every poo successfully landed in the toilet. Upon experience it actually just means they are not wearing nappies and they probably still do have accidents. Ok there are a few children who, once commenced toilet training, never had any accidents (pretty sure this was me; did I mention I was a genius albeit tantrum throwing baby?) but for the vast majority when they say toilet trained/training, it means yes there are accidents, it is a process. It is just that talking about scraping poo from your kids undies isn’t really a latte sipping mama conversation starter. Go figure.

I’m so good at sleeping I can do it with my eyes closed

Life

by Deanna

But not really. This headline had me laughing out loud. For most people the struggle is in the falling asleep part, less than the staying asleep. There are countless obstacles (especially in this social media fuelled world) that can disrupt our circadian rhythms, and prevent an easy get-to-sleep-quick regime. But fear not. After countless years of dealing with this problem, I have found my top five solutions. And they probably aren’t things you’ve read elsewhere. Ok, some of them are standard, but some might just surprise you. 8pm is my ‘turn off’ time. It’s not my go to bed time, but it’s the time I like to start thinking about bed … and how I can help myself get to sleep sooner. Here are my five non negotiables when it comes to snooze o’clock.

Self care what?

Life

by Emmy

Everything in the room was styled to perfection. Hanging foliage from the ceiling. Candles and flowers on the low table; which was surrounded by the softest sheep-skin mats and crisp white walls (I’m a sucker for white walls). It was literally like I had walked into a pinterest board. I was in love.

A little more kindness, a little less judgement

Life

by Deanna

I’m not religious. I never have been, and probably never will be. If there is one religion I’m close to it’s Buddhism. But I’m not devout. Buddhism has many facets, but one that has stuck with me, and seems simple in all forms of life – is kindness. Kindness is my religion.

Egg Donor Diary: Logistics

Life

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To read part one of my Egg Donor Diary series click here.

by Deanna

The first thing you need to know about being an egg donor, are the logistics. Because there is so much info; to read, to understand, to approve. So i’m going to do a basic rundown of a timeline in this post, and focus mainly on the logistics. The emotional side of egg donation is huge, and not to be underestimated, however the legal / practical side is just as big. So far, this is what we have been through.

Egg Donor Diary: Baby Steps

Life

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by Deanna

I remember the phone call. I was sitting in the car next to my husband – my cousin had called to tell me that her recent round of IVF was unsuccessful; they had retrieved only one healthy egg, and it hadn’t taken. This was after a very sad miscarriage a few months prior, after naturally conceiving. She told me her and her fiance were going for ‘third time lucky’, but weren’t overly optimistic, as their doctor had informed them the chances were slim. Before I knew it, I had uttered the words ‘Honey, if it doesn’t work this time – you can have my eggs!’, to which she replied jokingly ‘I might just take you up on that’. And we laughed. We finished our conversation, I hung up the phone, and realised I wanted to talk to my husband about it seriously. I turned to him and said ‘I know that sounded like a joke, but I would totally do that for her – what do you think?’ He was on board immediately, he’d built up a beautiful relationship with my cousin (a woman ten years my senior – who I had literally grown up admiring), so was pro egg donation from the beginning. I called her back about 10 minutes after we’d ended the previous conversation to tell her I was serious. She cried. I cried. And we left it at that.

TMJ’s Mothers Day Picks

Life

With Mother’s Day only a few sleeps away we’ve decided to bash out a list of our must haves. (Hint hint to our husbands!) Actually we would really just be happy with breakfast in bed … but if you feel like spoiling us here’s our go to, and it doesn’t even matter if it’s late. Worst case scenario, print out one of these pics and place it in a beautifully written card letting us know how much you love us, and what superhero mamas we are.

The do’s and don’ts of visiting a newborn

Life

The Merge Journal Do's and Don'ts of visiting a newborn

by Liz

I have a couple of friends due to give birth soon and it’s got me thinking about the do’s and don’ts of visiting new parents and their bubs. When to visit, what to bring, how long to stay, bringing children along … This is certainly a time when you want to tread lightly and be the perfect guest so I’ve put together my list of do’s and don’ts for visiting a new baby.