It’s Easy to be a Peaceful Parent… When Nothing Stressful Happens!

newborn-1506248_1920Stress. It’s something we all experience at some point or another. For mothers of young children, teens, multiples, home educating families or families parenting children with medical issues, to name just a few, the stress levels can increase exponentially.

When there is nothing more challenging than choosing which bagel topping to have for lunch or what film to watch on Netflix, it is easy to be calm. But the more balls thrown into our ever juggling arms, the more our stress levels can rise.

Our children are like sponges, soaking up our moods, be they calm or fraught. And when it is the latter, their own stress levels rise to match our own. They reflect it right back at you, no matter how hard you try to hide what you are feeling. You cannot mask your true mood from them.

They know.

They know you so deeply, they see through the false smile. And when they mirror that stress, absorbing all that tension, their behaviour descends into mayhem. They have to release it. A calm, serene child has little need to lash out and be destructive. They have no urge to argue or shout furiously in response to your requests. But when their insides are pulsing with pent up tension, mounting stress, they have to let it out.

They have to explode.

And it is the worst possible thing for us weary, drained parents. We are balancing on the edge of patience at all times. We are so close to reaching our absolute limit. We can’t manage a single extra challenge. And we are suddenly faced with a child who neither knows nor cares that we are hovering at breaking point, who is lashing out, needing support we can’t summon up the reserves to give.

This is parenting at its hardest. This is when things fall apart and we react in ways we later regret. When we ignore feelings, when we say harsh words or forget how scary it can feel to be lost in such big emotions when you are so very small. It all becomes just a step too far for us to manage.

It’s so easy to talk about the merits of peaceful parenting. It’s all so wonderful in theory. But is it really possible to be the parent you so desperately want to be in these times of undeniable stress?

Fortunately, the answer is yes. But it’s not easy. It’s not going to come without hard work. But it is worth it. Let me share how with you now.

Continue reading It’s Easy to be a Peaceful Parent… When Nothing Stressful Happens!

When Losing Things Takes Over Your Life. Beets BLU Product Review

“Where are your shoes? We’re going to be late… again!” I said to my five year old as I bustled through the living room.

“I’m wearing them,” he replied, concentrating on the castle he was building out of wooden blocks.

“Oh, good. Now where are your sister’s?” I muttered, lifting things up, searching. Finally I managed to find them, one behind the shoe rack, one under the sofa. The bag was packed, lunch, drinks and spare clothes for the baby all ready and waiting by the door.

“OK, all set, let’s go,” I announced in relief. I glanced at the clock to see we would only be fifteen minutes late to their home education group. Two children came running over, eager to go outside into the fresh air. I moved to open the door and saw the keys were not where I had left them.


Little Miss Marmoset, at eighteen months old, has recently developed a fascination with keys, loving nothing better than to take them off to play and then store them somewhere secret and impossible to find. The previous week we had lost them for two days.

Since I was a little girl, one thing has always been guaranteed to reduce me to stressed out tears of utter frustration: losing something important and having to search for it. It all stems from one occasion when I worked incredibly hard on a piece of homework for school, only to lose it.

I can still remember searching through the whole house at midnight, hours before the deadline, the feeling of absolute anxiety and the need to uncover its whereabouts turning me into a sobbing wreck. To this day, I don’t remember if I ever found the work, but I do remember how it felt to search fruitlessly for it.

Continue reading When Losing Things Takes Over Your Life. Beets BLU Product Review

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.

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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.


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 ****

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?


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

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