Do you hide in the bathroom, too?

This is part of a collection of short stories depicting and detailing true events and personal experiences in my life, with a few tweaks for the privacy of all involved.

If you said yes to that question, either out loud or silently to yourself, you are not alone. Somedays, it may be in the bathroom and other days it’s out in the shed or even in the car. We all have times where we need to disappear, to the safety of silence, among the loudness and never ending demands of parenting. And there is nothing wrong with having a moment to yourself! (As long as you haven’t left a baby unattended or the stovetop on…)

I am struggling with my 6 month old and 6 year old daughters. (Image: Becca Smith)

These days, thanks to COVID-19, those moments of much needed peace are hard to find as many people are struggling through the new level of life closeness that is lockdown. To put it simply: you may not be coping with the prospect of just that- you are not coping. You are struggling with the everyday routine roles you take on as a parent, like spending time with your children. Never have we as parents been forced to spend days on end with our children, without school or that personal space we would usually have. Now that we have been given no other option, parenting doesn’t seem as simple and I’ll just go ahead and say it, enjoyable, as it once was. That’s not an easy pill for us mums, who have always had all the answers, to swallow.

As a parent, you have one main objective that shadows everything you do and that is making sure your child is okay. That’s parenting in a nutshell. Sure, there are a million little bits and pieces that make up that nutshell but at the end of the day, your only concern is them. Are they safe? Are they happy? Is their head in the right place? And if at anytime the answer to one of those questions is no – you find the solution. You always find the solution and if not the solution, you find the pathway to the solution… but what if that’s not possible?

As I watch my 6 year old daughter struggle with the isolation, repetitiveness and uncertainty of lockdowns, it’s hard to not feel like a failure as a mother. I am not a failure at all, but it is hard to see that when you are in a situation you a) cannot control, b) cannot change and c) are struggling to cope with yourself.

My 6 year old, who has always been hyperactive and needs stimulation, is going crazy at home. (Image: Becca Smith)

The massive changes in the role a parent plays have been sudden and damaging to many families. The once uplifting role a mother would play has become a much harder task to take on as the negativity of the world takes a toll on everyone’s mood and children are more dependent on their parents for social interaction. This extra weight may be causing you to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, anxious and tired putting an unnecessary but unavoidable strain on your relationships within your family, including with your children. This is common among many parents as we all try to comprehend the changes in our daily lives and limit on our daily activities.

Parents who work from home or families who have extended family members living with them may be feeling cramped and smothered by the lack of space and privacy available in their homes. And with many areas in Victoria and New South Wales under a 5km rule and only 2 hours of exercise allowed, finding time to get out and have a breather is a little harder than it once was.

I’m not going to try and sugar coat a piece of shit because in all honesty, I am struggling with my mental health as much as the next person. I am constantly worrying about my daughters mental health and her early development and what kind of permanent damage is being done by isolating her for so long. I am sitting here, always questioning why our government is only worried about the handful of deaths from COVID-19 but ignoring the hundreds of deaths caused by suicide during lockdowns.

(Image: Becca Smith)

All I have for the parents out there that resonate with what I’m saying is you are not alone. We are all amazing parents. What we are going through wasn’t in the job description, it’s not something you were ever going to be prepared for because we never pictured a scenario like this. Stop beating yourself up, as hard as it is. You are struggling to adapt as much as your kids are, no parents were expected to get their children across the line through an 18+ month cycle of isolation and face masks. But you are here and you doing the best you can. That’s all we can do until this nightmare is over.

So go and have a cry in the toilet, a naughty smoke in the shed or a wine in the closet because this shit is really hard. And if it happens that you see or know of a mama having a tough time during lockdown, share this with her to let her know she isn’t supposed to know what to do – none of us do. 🤎

Photography: Wolfie Kids Lightroom Presets

Wolfie Kids sell beautiful aesthetically curated children’s clothes online. Tones of brown, cream and beige fill their Instagram feed and the photographs of cute tiny people dressed in knitted play suits are breathtaking. Wolfie has so kindly designed a set of Adobe Lightroom Preset Filters so your photos can look just as amazing as theirs do!

I was skeptical about buying filters at first because Instagram filters have always worked just fine for me. I was wrong. Very wrong. I purchased one of Wolfie Kids’ Preset Packs and I wasn’t and still am not disappointed. I don’t know how but it doesn’t matter what kind of dull photo I send it, one of the six filters in the pack will always be perfect. After a neutral, aesthetic Instagram feed? Check out my before and afters – all using Wolfie Kids Presets. The first image is the edited version and the second photo is the original.

Go to to get your Adobe Lightroom Preset Packs today and save yourself hours of editing.

Melbourne’s Lockdown 6.0

This is part of a collection of short stories depicting and detailing true events and personal experiences in my life, with a few tweaks for the privacy of all involved.

On the 7th of July 2020, Victorians everywhere woke up to a familiar routine. Get out of bed, make a coffee, wait for the daily Dan Andrews press conference where the premier would go through the COVID-19 cases and if there had been any losses of life, he would send his condolences to their families. On this day, the 7th of July, Melbourne was plunged into a hard lockdown which would last almost four months.

Over those four months, the new daily cases rose to nearly triple digits and around 800 Victorians died. Businesses closed as restrictions meant a shutdown of nearly every industry leaving people unable to pay their rent. Schools were closed the entire time and children were forced into remote learning, losing months of critical and valuable early development. The mental health and well-being of Victorians was pushed to the brink but we came out of it and months later, things felt a little more normal.

Fast forward to February, Victoria entered a snap lockdown which lasted a week and then another one again in June.

By the time it had reached the 14th of July, Melbourne again entered into a snap lockdown. The restrictions were lifted on the 27th of July which allowed everyone to go back to work and children to attend school again. The relief and normalcy was short lived as, for the 6th time, the state was thrown into a 7-day lockdown once again on the 4th of August. Unfortunately, this lockdown and set of restrictions is still in place as I am writing this – on the 19th of August, 2021 – and will be for an unknown amount of time.

After witnessing my eldest daughters’ mental health deteriorate last year, I am filled with anxiety and a feeling of helplessness as we sit in lockdown again and history repeats itself. The closure of schools and all but essential services, only being allowed to leave your home for 5 reasons, the closure of playgrounds and parks… As a Melbournian, these are hard memories from not even 12 months ago. What’s even harder is seeing it happen all over again due to the current COVID-19 outbreak.

Today, I took my two daughters for a walk and as we came closer to the playground I decided to let my 6 year old have a quick play wearing a face mask and gloves. After not even 5 minutes, a man with a dog approached me and reminded me the playgrounds were off limits. I told him I was aware and he then flashed his police badge at me threatening me with a fine.

Let me break that one down for you:

I live in Australia. I am the mother of a 6 year old. I took my 6 year old to the playground and a police officer” threatened to fine me for letting her play.

Let’s go back two years, to before the pandemic, when life was normal. If I had kept my daughter from school and attempted to home school her, I would have been told that was a terrible idea. If I had kept her home, without social interaction, I would have been called cruel. If I only allowed her to get 2 hours out of the house a day for months on end, someone would have called DHHS and I would have had a knock at the door because it’s bad for their development to keep them trapped at home without socialising. Now, in 2021, we are being forced to do all of those things that would be considered bad parenting.

When will this madness stop? When will we realise our children are going to be irreversibly damaged by these lockdowns? And when will we begin to prioritise their mental health?

Kids: Matchy Matchy with your mini

In our house, we love matchy-matchy outfits. Hats, dresses, pants… mumma likes to match! Have a look below at some of our favourite brands to get something for you and your mini!


Hands-down, PatPat is the cheapest place to get matching outfits for your whole family… even Dad! The quality isn’t crash-hot but it will last long enough to spend a few outings looking cuter than ever!


I purchased a matching romper and dress for my girls and they looked amazing! (Image: Bec Smith)


Danielle in her toddler SnapBack and Annaleigh in her Kids SnapBack. (Image: Bec Smith)

Hukiru make personalised SnapBack hats for the whole family and they are fantastic – a huge hit with my kids! The quality is great, the price is great and what’s better than seeing the kids matching with Dad?



Okay, hear me out! If you are willing to spend some extra dollars, a matching tracksuit from Nike is perfect. The trackies, the tee, the jumper and the shoes – and look gorgeous matching side by side with your mini. This is an expensive one though so expect to spend some hard cash.


Cubs and Co Australia

Cubs and Co also make hats but for me, it’s the beanies! Not only can you have your initials sewn on, they are the comfiest beanies I have ever worn! My daughter and I have matching pink beanies and she claims the Pom Pom on top is the softest thing she’s ever felt! Great quality, great price!

Anna in her super soft beanie. (Image: Bec Smith)


La Sienna Couture

If you are looking for some cute jumpers or tees for you, your mini and your mini mini, then La Sienna has what you are after! The cutest crew necks, quirky tees and tops for you and your girls of all sizes! This one is a fave of mine because I can buy something for me, my 6 year old and my 6 month old at a great price.


Midnight Mischief Sleepwear

Think silk, think comfortable, think personalised! Midnight Mischief Sleepwear have you covered in the bedroom with their adult and children’s sizes and you can even add you name on the front pocket like Annaleigh and I did! With a great and reasonably priced range with a selection of colours, the choice between summer and winter pyjamas and the softest silk I have ever felt – you can’t go wrong.


Anna and I in the cutest matching pyjamas ever! (Image: Bec Smith)

Kids: The A to Z of Lockdown Activities (for 5-6 year olds)

As a Melbournian, I have become quite familiar with the walls of my house and the sound of Daniel Andrews’ voice echoing the words “lockdown”. I don’t disagree that lockdowns protect the community and you will never catch me at an anti-mask protest. I am, however, completely fed up with lockdowns. My six year old daughter is, too. I could get into a huge rant about the pros and cons of lockdown but I’ve already had my emotional breakdown for today so instead, I’m going to hit you with my ABC of Lockdown Activities to keep your little rascals entertained… as much as they can be without social interaction.

A is for Art Show

Get the kids drawing, painting, making pictures outside with flowers and sticks…. And then let them give you a presentation of all their work once they finish. They’ll love it!

B is for Bowling

Homemade bowling- using anything you can! Think bottles, toilet rolls, wickets… get creative or let the kids decide!

C is for Cooking

D is for Dino Dig (backyard)

Grab some little toys, bury them around the backyard and draw a map for the kids to find them! This one is a big hit in my house…

E is for Egg and Spoon Race

Simple but effective! If you want to change it up, why not try a sack race using a sleeping bag or a three legged race.

F is for Find The Flower

Make a list of colours and go for a stroll, see if you can find flowers of every colour on the list.

G is for Gardening

H is for Homemade Cards + Handwritten Letters

I is for Icey Treasure Hunt

I love doing this for my 6 year old, it’s probably one of her favourite rainy day activities! Gather some little toys together, place them into a large container (that will fit in your freezer) and fill it with water. Put it in the freezer overnight and in the morning, you’ll have a frozen treasure hunt for the kids!

J is for Jumping Jacks + aerobics!

K is for Kareoke

You don’t need a karaoke machine or a microphone, a hairbrush and the radio will do. Remember, all of this can be one big playful adventure for the kids.

L is for Lunch on the Lawn

M is for Mousetrap

If you have empty toilet rolls or kitchen rolls or old wrapping paper rolls, why not make your own DIY mousetrap! You can use anything you can find… just make sure you don’t have a cat!

N is for Neighbours

Do you know your neighbours? How about the nice lady up the street? Whether you do or you are yet to introduce yourself, a great lockdown activity is sending letters to and from your neighbours. Kids love to send letters, and people love to receive letters from kids! Why not send drawings back and forth?

O is for “Old Shoe” Garden

Gather your old shoes, some soil, some seeds and you have a little old shoe garden! I have done this with my daughter and we both enjoyed it. We especially enjoyed seeing our beautiful flowers sprout!

P is for Play Outside

Q is for Queens and Kings

Queens and kings, cops and robbers, Kath & Kim…. Get creative! Dress the kids up in your clothes and makeup, let them have fun!

R is for Rainbow Road (Footpath but road sounded better!)

This is an oldie but chalk and footpaths is always a winner!

S is for Secret Spy

Tell your minis they have to watch you very closely throughout the day because you are going to do three very strange things. Whatever those things may be is all up to you but this one will keep them quiet and on the ball all day!

T is for TikTok Dances

U is for Ultra Mini Golf Championships

How many awesome mini golf shots can you set up in your house? All you need is some mugs, something to hit and something to hit with. After all, nobody is expecting you to go out and purchase a set of clubs for lockdown.

V is for Video Games and Movies

Everyone needs a day off…

W is for Walks

X is for… nothing. Spend a day finding an activity that begins with X that’s appropriate for kids

Y is for Yarn

I used to use yarn, string and wool for so many different things as a kid. Setting up obstacles, attempting to knit…. Kids are imaginative, they’ll figure it out.

Z is for Zzzzzz

And today, we rest.

Photography: DIY Photoshoot Tips

Get a professional result for nowhere near the price with these hacks.

My preferred backdrop is a white sheet – simple and effective! (Image: Becca Smith)

1. You don’t need to spend $100 on a quilt with tassels

Yes, they are beautiful and the quality is unbeatable… but when it comes to setting up your photoshoot, you don’t need to spend hundreds of dollars! You can find macrame tassels at any $2 shop or Kmart, you can also use sheets or blankets… even scarves. The best part about taking a photograph, is you can hide imperfections you don’t like.

This textured blanket is a basic $30 quilt cover from Kmart. (Image: Becca Smith)

2. Have you got the Adobe Lightroom app yet?

Adobe Lightroom includes tips from creators and some of the best features for editing. (Images: Adobe Lightroom)

I cannot rate this app enough! It has settings and features that allow you to change and alter almost every level of your picture: contrast, detail, colour, light… but that’s not the best part. When you have Lightroom installed, you can actually purchase Preset Filters online from stores on Etsy and the likes. And some of the filters you can purchase are AMAZING. Just see for yourself…

Only available on iPhone.

3. Natural light is unbeatable!

This one speaks for itself. A sunny, beautiful day beats a shadowy, grey one. In saying that, a beautiful, natural light from a window is always better than a orange, hospital-like glow you get from ceiling lights or a flash. Aim for natural and the more natural your light is, the better!

This photo was also edited using Lightroom and a purchased preset. (Image: Becca Smith)

4. A wooden chair + a white sheet…

Simplicity at its best! And simplicity always seems to work best, too. Try to cut the noise out of your picture, especially in the background. You want to keep the focus on whoever or whatever your shooting, so having a clear background and minimal noise will accentuate that.

More is less. (Image: Becca Smith)

5. Surprise!

Like all of my tips and ideas, this may not be for everyone but I love a natural, unplanned looking photo. I am always trying to get my daughter to giggle or just talk about something while I am trying to take photos of her because she has a habit of either posing (I secretly love her crazy poses… but sometimes, I need just one nice photo) standing up straight with her arms stiff by her side and smiling blankly like she’s playing a game of musical statues. I love getting a snap of her laughing or a sneaky side shot of her where she doesn’t realise I’m watching her and she just looks so natural and beautiful…. I am getting carried away but my point is natural photos are the best photos. Try telling a few jokes before you hit the button.

My daughter, Anna, mid-laugh. (Image: Becca Smith)

6. Overediting is real

Less is more 9 out of 10 times. This is relevant to editing, too. Don’t over do it. It’s so easy to get carried away and sometimes, you can edit a photo too much. I find this seems to happen a lot with sharpening and structuring. Keep it to a minimum, so don’t lose the beauty of the original colour.