A Tribute to a Wonderful Father

20150325_092624Today you were up before the sun. You kissed our five year little boy who was snuggled in bed beside you, kissed me goodbye, though I could barely open my eyes and headed outside into a howling gale to cycle the forty minute journey to a job that you don’t love.

You called me on your lunch-break.

You asked after the children and checked on how I was doing. You offered to buy something I needed from the supermarket so that I didn’t have to get the children there for one thing. You made time in that precious one hour break from your desk to talk to our son about what he had been doing during the morning.

You went back to the desk and you worked hard. I know this because you never do things by halves.

You emerged back into the wind and rain and made the forty minute cycle back home again.

Continue reading A Tribute to a Wonderful Father

The Best Way to Reduce The Chance of a Post-partum Haemorrhage

ID-100258227.jpgWhen I was planning an unassisted birth, my biggest concern was the possibility of post-partum haemorrhage. I knew my mother had experienced a very serious one with my youngest brother and it was something I wanted to be fully informed about and prepared for.

As it happens, late in my pregnancy I discovered that my mother’s haemorrhage was caused by a partially ruptured placenta in her third trimester, followed by a midwife pulling on the cord in a misguided attempt to assist its delivery after my brother was born.

This reassured me somewhat, as it had been an unfortunate sequence of events rather than a sudden natural occurrence, but I was still relieved to have discovered for myself the best ways to avoid a PPH.

This is what I found:

Continue reading The Best Way to Reduce The Chance of a Post-partum Haemorrhage

When The Walls Start Closing In…

12512619_1274466659235388_4088455213937508460_nThe walls are closing in around me. My five year old has been whining with neverending stamina from the moment he woke up. “I don’t want… Why can’t I? I don’t like… Can you… Can you… Can you?!”

The baby is overtired, resisting a nap and covered in shit for the third time in as many hours. I’ve only been awake four hours, and already I’ve reached my limit.

Tiredness, hunger, incessant noise and a feeling of intense monotony combine to make me feel weak, impatient and shackled, a prisoner inside unchanging walls.

I need freedom.

And so I tell my son we are going out. “No,” he says. “It’s too windy, I’m too tired.”
“Yes,” I told him. “We need this.”

I bundle the baby in the sling, putting her hat on. She calms immediately, sensing the promise of freedom close enough to touch. She needs this too.

We walk, the wind blowing against our cheeks, sweeping our stress away piece by piece. There is a world outside my four walls, something all too easy to forget from behind our closed door.

I sit, staring at the sea. The crashing waves remind me how tiny I am, how insignificant my problems in the grand scheme of things. There are people out there, across that dark swirling ocean who would literally saw off their arm to trade places with me. To have my problems. To have access to the medical care which enables my daughter to thrive.

I am lucky.

I remember what it means to be a mother. I am powerful. I am strong, I am capable of moving mountains for these little people, to them I am no ordinary human. I am a goddess.

The wind whips my face and I smile into it, the sound of my son’s laughter ringing in my ears. I won’t be beaten. I can do this.

We head home and the craziness resumes. But this time, I don’t break.

 

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Rediscovering YOU After a Trauma

4022c6e6840e027f11a0c6b6996fbf83I have been lost for a long time now. Last year was a blur of pendulum emotions, fear, joy, anger, love, guilt and determination. I spent a long time re evaluating everything I thought I knew. I was broken and rebuilt more times than I can count and I can quite honestly say that I have emerged a different person.

There are depths to my emotions I didn’t know I could reach, and I have learned that when it comes down to the crunch, my children can truly rely on me to fight their corner. I will go without food, without sleep, without seeing the outside world for days at a time to stand guard and protect my children from harm. I will make you dislike me, I will make you hate me, I will speak the truth and stand up for what I know in my heart is right for them and I won’t care.

I will make a scene.

I will tell you no.

I will fight.

But I have also learned that what I once thought was the ultimate truth, was wrong. I still have ideals and beliefs about how I want to raise my children, but it has taken a big dose of reality for me to see that my way is not always the right way. I don’t want to tell you how to raise your children any more. I don’t know you, I have no idea what you’ve been through and I have no right to tell you you’re wrong. I can only share our story and hope you take what inspires you and leave the rest. And maybe you’ll teach me something valuable along the way too. Continue reading Rediscovering YOU After a Trauma

The Ultimate Family Detox for New Year

ID-1008409If you are anything like my family, Christmas tends to be a time of year where unhealthy, heavy foods slip in and portions become much bigger than normal in the lead up to the festivities.

These eating habits can quickly become the new normal if a person isn’t mindful, and it can be late spring or even early summer before they finally realise they need a complete diet overhaul.

That’s why I love to get back to clean eating straight after the Christmas period.

I don’t actually start the detox new years day as I prefer to do it much closer to Christmas, but my main deciding factor is that the Christmas junk needs to be gone. Either eaten, donated or shared with friends, it doesn’t matter, but it MUST be out of the house so you are free from temptation. When all the sweets, cream, meat and other treats have gone, you are ready.

I have done many detoxes in the past, from juice fasts to raw food and I have come to realise one thing. The stricter and more regimented the detox, the less likely I am to complete it, the harder it will feel and the more likely it is that I will be found under a blanket with a family pack of cookies reduced to crumbs on my lap by 5pm on the first day. So I focus instead, not on extreme methods, but on gentle cleansing which can be continued long term.

Although you can choose to do this detox for two days, five days or a week, I personally put no end date on my own detox, instead, just slowly adding a few small extras from the restricted list for occasional use after I feel suitably cleansed. My goal is long term health and clean eating, not fad bursts of cleansing and binging. Because of this approach, we are able to do it as a family. No separate meals needed, the children can – and should – get the same healthy foods to help them grow and develop to the best of their abilities. A juice fast would be a real struggle for a five year old used to eating big meals, but on this gentle family detox there is no need for anyone to be left out.

So lets start with the rules. First the foods that need to be cut out completely:

Continue reading The Ultimate Family Detox for New Year

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