Looking after Mum: Me Time

Looking after Mum: “Me-Time”

Many Mums are awesome at looking after their children – nurturing, feeding, loving, playing, educating, disciplining and laughing.

Many of those Mums are also great at looking after their partners – again, loving, caring & laughing.

Why then, when we are the ‘experts’ at looking after others, do we often do such a poor job of looking after ourselves?

This is a concern, on a few levels.

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Image by Patrick via Flickr

Courage Precedes Confidence

I heard a great phrase the other day…. “Courage precedes confidence”.

Think about it… before you were a successful driver, you needed to have the courage to give it a go, to practice, and to keep at it even when you made mistakes or couldn’t change gears without ‘crunching’ it.

Or when you went for the job interview for a position you really wanted – you may have had mock interviews with your friend’s support, and even practised in front of the mirror, to make sure you knew what to say and how you looked.

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Image by Karl Baron via Flickr

Moving House – Moving Community

So, you’ve made the decision to move, and now the day has arrived. The boxes are packed, the trucks loaded and it’s time to go to the new home.

What happens if the new place is interstate or overseas? If you’ve been at your previous home for a while, you forget how many connections you’ve made… you know where the shops are, and where to go for speciality items; you know which chemist stays open late and where the cheapest petrol is; you’ve joined playgroups or schools and have connections there, and as a result you know when dance classes are on and where the best parks are for children. We forget how much we know about our local community!

 

Now you are somewhere new and need to start from scratch. How do we help ourselves and our children to adapt to the new place and to start to feel part of it?

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Bright Shiny Things

I’m wondering what image these words evoke in your mind? For some it could be Christmas baubles on the tree, others might think of diamond jewellery, others the shimmer of the moonlight glistening on the water and others the magic of a sparkly rainbow.

 

For each of us, the words ‘bright, shiny things’ creates a different image in our minds, yet the words are the same for each of us. What it really means is something (an object) which attracts our attention and is something which we desire, and it also probably helps to create a smile on our faces!

 

I’m lucky enough to be having a mini-break for a few days. In Tasmania it’s winter, it’s cold and today has a grey sky. This morning I went for a walk on the beach, and as I walked my eyes were drawn to a small, beautiful piece of driftwood laying in the sand – pale in colour and well tumbled by the ocean. It was smooth to touch and for me was a ‘bright shiny thing’. It appealed to me and I bought it back, so I could continue to admire it. It definitely brings a smile to my face, and will continue to remind me of a few beautiful days here. Read more

Parent or Friend?

Parent or Friend?

Over the years of being a Parenting Consultant, I’ve spoken with may parents about what they see as their role, and what they want for their children. So many parents have said, that they want to be their child’s friend.

I believe that when you gave birth, you became a parent, and that is your role!

Over their lifetime, your children will (hopefully) have many friends – some short term, some long term, but they will only ever have you as parents – that is your role!

All children need parents to guide, teach and encourage them – and that is your role.

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Being a P.A.R.E.N.T.

Over 40 years the small European country of Denmark has consistently ranked as the having the world’s most happy people. Numerous studies have been done to ascertain why this is the case. Many believe it stems from their rich childhood, where children are valued, where they are ‘allowed’ to be children and ‘just play’, and where formal schooling doesn’t start till around age 7 years.

The Danes also have ‘hygge’. Hygge is a Danish word which can’t readily be translated in to English as there is no counterpart. The best explanation is around the cosy, warm and friendly feeling of their homes – they are very welcoming and you feel relaxed there. Hygge extends to how you treat others too – that you are welcoming to them.

 

I’ve been reading a book which I think many parents would enjoy, about how the Danes rear their children. It’s called : “The Danish Way of Parenting” by Jessica Alexander and Iben Sandahl. Read more

growing a parent

‘Growing’ a Parent

When we become pregnant, there is so much focus on the developing foetus – the size, the gender, the health etc. Health professionals and family members encourage the pregnant Mother to eat well, avoid toxins such as smoke, and to get enough rest. These factors (and others) can contribute to the birth of a healthy baby.

When the baby is born there are regular check-ins with community nurses to monitor the progress of the new child. There is a lot of attention on the well-being and growth of the child.

What about the growth of the parent?

What does it take to ‘grow’ a healthy happy parent? Read more

Whinging Child

Whinging Kids – What Do I With Them?

Nerida asked via our Facebook page:
What do I do with my whinge-y 2 year old son?

We’ve all had those days as parents where it’s seemed like a battle field at home, with tears and tantrums all around and that can be from the parents as well as the child – when it all gets too much and you want to run away!

The first thing – and this may seem blunt – is to remember that you are the adult here! If you are struggling to deal with this physically and emotionally, and you’re an adult – then imagine how hard it is to feel so overwrought and at 2 you don’t have the capacity to self regulate.

Self regulation is the ability to feel stressed emotionally, and yet be able to manage it rather than lash out, eg when a driver in front of you keeps cutting in, changing lanes without indicating, and is gesturing at you and other drivers. We may feel enraged by this, but generally we’ve learnt that the best thing is to give them space and let them get away. If we react, it may be detrimental! This is self-regulation.

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Finding GRATITUDE In Every Single Day! (And show your children how to do it too!)

 

Today is a special day for me – it’s my 8th anniversary of being cancer free. For those of you who’ve walked that path, or supported someone along that journey, you would know that there are no guarantees about whether you will make it or not. I lost a friend during my treatment time and have lost four friends since I went through it.

With good medical intervention, support from family and friends and my own personal attitude and strength I did make it successfully out the other side of cancer. I know others who possessed the same support and personal qualities and yet didn’t make it.

Someone said to me at towards the end of my treatment: ‘Sonja, you’ve been given a second chance at LIFE.’ And, that is true on many levels….

Firstly, I’m alive – and for that I’m very grateful!

Secondly, I stress a less…. Most annoyances are just that!

Thirdly, one of the biggest things for me is, that I notice more the beauty around me – the sunshine, laughter, a smile, a call from one of my children, my favourite cup, nature and so much more. When I notice these things I often smile and say a silent: ‘Thank you’ in gratitude.

I believe that in every day there are things to be grateful for,

and that it’s important to notice them. Read more

The Midnight Phone Call

Last night I got one of those midnight phone calls – you know the ones, the ones you dread! Now most people might go into panic mode – what’s wrong? Or who’s sick? Or who’s died?

Me… to be honest my first thought was: Who’s interrupting my sleep! – especially when it came up as an unknown number. I debated whether to answer it or not, thinking it was probably some person from overseas wanting to sell me something, or it might even be a wrong number. But, I decided to answer it, and, I am glad I did – it was a friend in need! She’d rung on a new phone and so it appeared as unknown number to me.

 

She was in tears with a situation at home and where she knew she was sinking further and further into depressive thoughts and misery – and the never-ending circle that sometimes comes with that. She was crying and apologising for calling me in the same breath. Without sharing any of her personal details, I thanked her for recognising that she wasn’t coping and said that I knew it took great courage to reach out for help.

 

How often do we think that if we admit that we are going through a rough time is an admission of failure? And rather than ask for help, we quietly ‘soldier on’ and often our ability to cope becomes more of an issue until finally we collapse – in sickness, in mental health etc. We all know life can be tough at times.

 

Having a friend to walk beside you makes all the difference. Read more