👣October 15 – Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day 💔

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Image courtesy of october15.ca

For all the families out there that have lost a baby, October 15th is a day dedicated to you and remembering the babies that we have lost. 💔

It is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Remembrance Day. It was founded in America but every year it is growing and is fast becoming an international day of remembrance. This is because the pain of losing a baby is universal.

Too many families suffer their grief in private because our culture does not provide a forum for the grief that comes with a miscarriage, still born child or infancy loss. It is too terrible to talk about, more than any other type of grieving, this is shunned. It is extremely isolating and sadly, friends and families remaining silent compound that isolation. [Read more…]

10 Ways to Banish the Overwhelm

I drew this when I was feeling emotionally overwhelmed. It soothed.

I drew this when I was feeling emotionally overwhelmed. It helped me escape and soothed my pain.

 

Never before have we lived such comfortable and affluent lives. Australia has the third highest average wealth in the world, behind Switzerland and Norway.  We make up 0.36% of the world’s adult population but account for 3.78% of the world’s top 1% of wealthiest people. (source)

But this comes at a cost, on many levels. The African proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ still remains, yet the village has gone. Everyone is out working, or taking their kids to gymnastics, swimming, athletics, scouts, karate, football, cricket. Or volunteering in the class room, on the sports pitch or up at the school. Or preparing for dinner guests, kids parties family get togethers…it never ends.

There’s no doubt we have very full lives. Often too full. So full, in fact that many of us feel that our day to day lives have become an avalanche of events and we are like a pack of hounds chasing our tails in a frenzy of FOMO confusion. (FOMO, for those who don’t know, is an acronym for Fear Of Missing Out). [Read more…]

The Art of Disconnecting and Reconnecting

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Trentham to Lyonsville walk

This week we’ve been away at a friend’s farm in Trentham, Victoria. There is nothing quite like the feeling of the crisp frosty morning and the glow of the fire that has been burning all night, keeping the living room toasty for when you get up to make your morning cuppa. I love the smell of the air in the country; crisp and clean but punctuated with the smell of log fires and home baking.

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For us city-dwellers, the novelty never wears off. Every time I come to this part of the world, I feel revived and inspired. Our kids also get the benefits. They love that we do things as a family that we don’t do at home. Not out of choice, but because our day-to-day lives are so full of activity that we are constantly in the throes of football, netball, gymnastics, soccer, school, work… you get the idea. [Read more…]

The most important lesson my Mum’s absence has taught me

It is a tortured life, the life of a writer. Or so the cliches will have us believe. Ernest Hemmingway said ‘Writing is easy. You just sit down at a typewriter and bleed’. I have identified with this a little; it’s a perfect alibi for procrastination and avoiding the hard stuff. There are many untruths around doing something you are passionate about. From my experience it doesn’t involve pain. It’s more about truly living. Living with your whole being.

Unfortunately, there are too many stories where people wake up and realise that time is running out. We all consciously know that our time on earth is limited and we only get one go at this, but do we really understand the essence of this? [Read more…]

The One Thing No One Tells You About Parenting

I recently read an article written by Joanne Fedler, a mother of teenagers. It actually brought tears to my eyes.The opening sentence left me a bit confused: “Now that my two children are teenagers, the years of claustrophobic motherhood that left me feeling exhausted have been replaced with this: me feeling a bit silly.”

My children are 8, 6 and 2, so I’m in the exhausting, claustrophobic phase that she speaks of. It seems to be lasting forever, but I know it will ease. I’m hoping it’s not replaced with me feeling silly. She goes on to say that she’s just not impressive to her children any more. I found the article really sad, you can read the full article here if you want to. I’d suggest you do read it, one day. At least you’ll be prepared.

I spoke to two of my sisters that day, both mothers to teenagers, and suggested that they have a read of this article. I thought it might make them feel better, less alone in parenting teens. Somehow I thought that the articulation of the universal experience might make their children’s grunted greetings or eye rollings a little easier to bear, knowing it was happening to other parents of teens, everywhere.

Then my son, who is six, asked me not to kiss him good bye at the school gates any more. I was a bit surprised, but had heard that this happens with little boys. He said some kids had teased him. He did say I could kiss him at home, and a hug outside the school gates was ok.

So, a compromise. Although I did think that as a mother of a six year old, it should be me setting the rules, not him. But for the sake of a quiet life, I agreed to not kiss him at the school gates any more. Although, I confess, I did (and do) feel a bit sad about it.

Then, not a week later, my daughter thought I was out of ear shot, and talking to her Dad and brother about their day off school the next day, said she wished that Daddy was staying home instead of Mummy. Ouch! Ouch again.

That really stung. I called out from the next room to her and asked her what she said. Her brother started to respond on her behalf, but she shut him down, leapt of her chair and desperately tried to re-say what she’s said. But it was too late, and she knew it. She promptly burst in to tears.

And here’s the one thing no one told me – there is a defining moment when you realise they don’t like you, as much as you like them.

All my smugness of believing that I had years ahead, of my children still wanting me around, that I’d be hangin’ with the posse for sometime yet, evaporated at that very moment. I couldn’t quite believe it! Can’t quite believe it. And yes, I feel a bit silly. They aren’t yet at the stage where they’re dissing me, or snickering at me because I can’t work my phone, like Fedler’s are, but now I’m much more prepared for when it does come. At least for now I’m taller than them, so retain some semblance of authority when trying to achieve order in the house. But I also know this is not for long.

I don’t want to sound precious but both the experiences left me feeling rather fragile. I then went through the self-congratulating phase, thinking how glad I was that I kept working and had other interests outside my children. I imagined how ‘extra’ wounded I would be if I had nothing else. But actually, the real truth of it is that none of that mattered. Career woman, stay at home Mum, extreme socialite, what ever your life is filled with, I’m sure every mother would have been as wounded as I was when I realised my kids aren’t as keen on me, as I am on them.

There’s not really any salve for that.

And that’s probably why I was so pained by Joanne Pedler’s article. It doesn’t really matter how old they are when it starts to happen. My daughter was devastated that I heard her, she felt terrible that she’s hurt my feelings, and I made sure to tell her that she did. I guess part of being a mother is teaching sensitivity to your children and this was certainly an opportunity for that. (Trying to see the positives in this one, people!)

But it’s not all bad, because a week later I found this.

So I think I’m nearly recovered.

Featured image courtesy of Pinterest.