Iris Grace’s Mother: On Autism, Natural Play Spaces and Child Led Home Education

unspecified1Iris Grace is a seven year old little girl with a massive talent for painting. Her work has been compared to Monet and has been bought and shared by the likes of Angelina Jolie and Daniel Radcliffe.

Iris also happens to have Autism.

Professionals were ready to give up on her, writing her off and offering outdated, one size fits all techniques, but Iris’s mother, Arabella Carter-Johnson knew that there was so much beneath the surface that wasn’t being seen. She knew that if she could find the right way to communicate with this beautiful little spirit, she would help Iris to escape her anxiety and reach her true potential.

She was a mother on a mission and she wouldn’t give up on her child.

I was lucky enough to get Arabella to agree to an interview for Love Parenting, in which she shares how she made the decision to walk away from her dream of sending Iris to school and choose interest based home education instead. She discusses the affect nature has on Iris’s behaviour, and her personal coping mechanisms that helped her survive the darkest days and long sleepless nights with a child who didn’t like to switch off.

Continue reading Iris Grace’s Mother: On Autism, Natural Play Spaces and Child Led Home Education

The Key to A Peaceful Home (And 3 Ways We Keep Ourselves Locked Out)

***This is a guest post written by Shannon Wasie***

First Night Akron 2015

We feel it deep. A craving, a desperate need for peace. Peace.

The violence, hatred, political, ecological and humanitarian distress in our world can be tremendously heavy.

And then, we read the studies and our intuition confirms: the peace we crave begins at home.

The violence of abusive parenting breeds violence in the hearts and bodies of the next generation. And what’s more, it seems the innate rejection experienced under hyper-critical, shame-based parenting does the same.

We need peace. Wild peace. Wholeness. Healing.

We need peaceful homes.

BUT HOW?

How, when the ten thousand demands on us are pulling us to shreds?

When our finances are in disarray, and our children are driving us mad?

When our relationships with our partners are full of conflict and pain?

How can we possibly find peace?

Continue reading The Key to A Peaceful Home (And 3 Ways We Keep Ourselves Locked Out)

Inside the Barbaric World of a Neonatal Unit

**** This article was first published on www.samvickery.com ****

20150401_154949Have you ever been to a neonatal unit?

I have.

Prior to being transferred to the children’s ward, we spent several gruelling weeks with my daughter in neonatal.

I felt like I had been transported to an alien world. Everyone kept saying how wonderful it was, how amazing the care was and I admit, the nurses were (mostly) kind and caring. But a wonderful place?

No.

I found it to be the most barbaric environment I have even been subjected to. A mother and her newborn are biologically programmed to need each other. Hormones are raging, the need to hold and touch your baby is all you can think of. And the last thing a sick baby needs is the stress of being separated from their mother. Kangaroo care works. Cuddles are truly healing.

Continue reading Inside the Barbaric World of a Neonatal Unit

A Little Teaser…

The Promise (full without textA little teaser from my new novel THE PROMISE, which went live on Amazon today. Get your copy for the launch price of just 99p/$0.99 (this week only!) via the links below.

EXCERPT:

“Tim, please. I need this. I need him. It’s too late to change my mind, I can’t give him up. Please, just understand, can’t you?”

“But how can you love him so soon and so strong? I don’t get it.”

Saraya ran her fingers through Flynn’s fine hair, a smile forming on her lips. “Love isn’t something you can control or explain. It emerges from your soul and takes over your heart. I felt it the moment I held him in my arms and it has grown stronger every day since. Even when I feel like I love him more than I can bare, it continues to grow.”

She leaned forward and brushed a kiss over the baby’s downy forehead. Then she lifted her face meeting Tim’s eyes with her own. “The love of a mother for her child has no limit. It expands farther than the reaches of the universe. It is the most dangerous and wonderful feeling I have ever known.”

“Dangerous?” Tim repeated, his voice cautious. “Dangerous how?”

“Because there is nothing I wouldn’t do to keep him from harm Tim. Nothing. I used to have the ability to reason, to water down my reactions for the sake of being polite or minding someone’s feelings. Not anymore. I can feel it, this new depth to my capabilities. It’s reckless but it’s undeniable. I mean it when I say I would do anything. It must be the oldest instinct in the world, that of a mother protecting her child. I feel as though a grizzly bear wouldn’t have a chance against me if he tried to take him from me.” She looked at Tim, a fierce glint in her eyes challenging him to make her prove it.

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Available worldwide. Paperback coming soon!

 

Early reviews:

“Beautiful, profound and from the heart. The Promise shows a depth of character development beyond that of standard ‘women’s fiction’, and offers readers a journey into what it means to love selflessly, completely, and what truly makes a mother – biological or otherwise.”

“I read this book in one sitting, I couldn’t put it down. There were points I could barely breathe due to the raw emotions I was feeling for the characters. I cried and I even found myself wanting another baby (!!) to relive the moments so beautifully written about in the promise. Well worth a read. Excellent.”

“This is a wonderfully written book, full of confronting emotions. It was an easy read, with a depth to the narrative that was enticing.”

“You cannot put this book down!”

“From the first chapter I was gripped. It is beautifully written and the characters are brought to life that you feel like you know them like your friends by the end of the novel.”

“I thoroughly enjoyed the book and it was definitely a page turner.”

 

 

 

Have I Gone Quite Mad?!

Have I gone quite mad?!

meme two the promiseYou could be forgiven for thinking so. This time eighteen months ago, I was making notes and drafting sections for a parenting book about babies. It is a book I hope I will one day complete, but not the book that I will be sharing with you all next Friday.

Instead, something happened that changed the course of everything. Life has many surprises in store for us, and what happened last year was a big one for our family.

As most of you know, our baby girl was born with chronic and completely unexpected health problems, which will always be a big part of our lives. Her condition is called chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction – intestinal failure to put it simply – and her bowel acts as if there is something blocking it, though there is nothing there. It is to do with the nerves or the muscles, we haven’t had the test to find out which, and is, as things stand, without cure. She is the most wonderful little person and we feel unbelievably fortunate to live in a time where there are medical interventions that have enabled her to not only survive, but to thrive.

But this post is not about the medical jargon.

It is about raw emotion. Last year, I discovered a level of darkness I had never known existed previously. I experienced the horrific reality of nearly losing her, not just once, but over and over again. Her last life threatening infection was just a month ago.

These wild emotions, the immense highs and devastating lows would have surely driven me mad if I hadn’t found a way to release them. I needed to express how it felt to love this child so much it hurt. And to face losing her on a daily basis. I had to get these overwhelming feelings out.

And so, the baby book was shelved, and instead, what emerged was a novel. It came together organically, from the heart, and though the story belongs to the characters, the emotions came from a place deep within my heart.

So, yes, parenting writer turned novelist may seem like a crazy and reckless move. It may be hard for you to come with me on this journey. But though this is in no way a how to book, it is about parenting. It is about the immeasurable and unconditional love we mothers have for our children. It is about the limits we will reach and go far beyond in our goal to keep them safe.

And yes, there is lots of continuum style parenting included, breastfeeding, baby-wearing and co-sleeping to name a few.

Over the coming few years, I plan to write several more novels, and perhaps even finish that baby book. Right now, I am simply going where the stories take me. I can’t guarantee where that will be, but what I can promise is that the messages I have always strived to put across with Love Parenting will always be present in all that I do.

The Promise will be released on Amazon Friday 15th July 2016.

The Promise (250 pages)

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