Self-care: Practice what you Preach

As a Midwife and Child and Family Health Nurse, advocating for self-care is one of my top priorities when working with parents. As a matter of fact, I’m am a great advocate of self-care also to my friends and family. I know how it can make a difference to your mood, relationships, health and wellbeing. It then filters down to the children and has an amazing positive impact on their health and development.

Self-care = happiness = good health

It makes sense that if you do things you enjoy, you feel happier. If you are happier, then the people around you are happier, less stressed and healthier as time goes on. Life progresses in a positive direction (although we know its like a rollercoaster ride). The more we care for ourselves, the easier it is to deal with the difficult times.

 

Self-care is a fundamental aspect of good enough parenting.

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Sook: do you call your child this? What does it really mean? We need to examine our language

The word sook is an interesting one. It is used at times when a child is upset in countries such as Australia and New Zealand. We hear it in different ways but some common ones are:

‘Don’t be a sook’

‘You’re a sooky la la’

’If you sook, you won’t be able to …. ‘

’Stop sooking’

What does this word really mean? A similar word you may also hear is ‘crybaby’, We often think of these types of words as harmless. The definition of ‘sook’ as defined by dictionary.com, is “a timid, cowardly person, especially a young child; crybaby”. Timid? Cowardly? Are these words we can use to actually describe a young child?

Let’s break it down. Timid is defined as “showing a lack of courage or confidence; easily frightened” (dictionary.com). Are children meant to be courageous? Are they meant to be confident in what they do? They are kids! They are learning about the world… they need love and guidance. We are their teachers! Of course, they are frightened more often than adults because the world can be scary place to a little person.

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Proud to be a mother to my boys

I’m very proud to be a mother. Even though parenting is hard work and l feel like a failure at times, l try to tell myself multiple times a day that I’m doing a good job. I’m proud of that even though sometimes I’m a bit harsh on myself, but l try and remember that I’m so lucky to have two beautiful children. It depends on the day, time, mood, place, children, season…. to how l manage these thoughts. One minute you think you are the world’s best mother and the next you are thinking, ‘how could l have done that?’

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Guilt in Motherhood: a mother’s perspective

Mummy guilt…. We have all been there in some way or another. For some mothers, the wearing down guilty feeling is a constant presence.  It’s like a dirty stain that you can’t get out in the wash. For others, it may just pop up occasionally on its own or may be triggered by an event or emotion. It’s a terrible feeling when you are thinking you might be screwing up your kids. It can be a massive burden which can take a toll on your mental health and set you on a downward spiral.

I am experiencing mummy guilt right now. I’m writing this post while my kids are playing with each other and I’m thinking, ‘should l be spending my time with them? Does this make me a terrible mother?’ Self-doubt is toxic.  It creeps up on you like a mosquito in the bedroom when you are asleep. You just want to squash it but no matter how hard you try in the dark, you just can’t do it!

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Motherhood – Journey of the Unknown

Never in my wildest dreams did l think that my journey to motherhood  was going to look like this. Saying to self ‘but you are a midwife and child and family health nurse’ (again).  I can tell you it’s a lot different when you are the mother and they are your children. Of course the knowledge and experience has helped in a lot of ways but at times l know l set my expectations really high. Being a professional in the industry does not make me immune from the mummy guilt, self-doubt and fear of not being a good mum.

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It takes a Village to parent

I’m sure you have all heard the saying it takes a village to raise a child?

Well it’s true. As a parent you can do it by yourself but it is damn hard. Support from others is the fundamental underpinning of your parenting. Without it your physical, emotional and psychological well being are at risk. We need others help.

Parenting is fulfilling yet emotionally and physically stressful. We need to know that there are others out there who will have our back if needed.

It doesn’t have to be just family. It can be family and friends and other professionals. Your village can expand all over the world but the people closest to you will be your best source of help, guidance and support.

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As a parent l am grateful

As l write this l am having a glass of wine and shedding a tear. You feel a hole in your stomach. 

When others that are close to you going through a hard time it grabs at your heart. When they are a parent with young kids you can relate more.

You remember just how lucky you are. 

You have your life, your health, beautiful children. What more could you ask for?

Life can be tough and as l write this the tears are welling.  But I’m thankful l have had all the experiences in my life. Good and bad. Without them l would not be where l am today and have my 2 beautiful children. To any parent, they are your life, your world. 

I am actually stuck for words tonight. Ok that could be the wine.

Empathy; don’t underestimate its value. Empathising with others is such a valuable tool and it validates the way others are feeling. 

You can put on a brave face, smile, laugh but your heart can be aching inside and your mind racing at a million miles a minute. As a mum l think l can experience 100 emotions a minute. My kids drive me crazy but keep my sanity. They wear me out but give me energy. 

I don’t want to seem as though I’m negative but life is bloody hard. Love the life you have. If it’s not working for you though change it. You only get one chance. I know that’s easier said than done but it’s true. Some things are out of your control. Work with your supporters, set goals, don’t let the negatives win.

You will get through it, you give it your best and it works out or it may not turn out like you wanted but you tried your best. 

Mums this is like parenting. Give it your all, give it your best. That’s all you can do. Look after yourself because you are worth it.
Inspired by my mummy friend Leah 💙💚❤️💜

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Holiday at the Supermarket 

Well ok the holiday was only an hour but it felt like a day to me. Time out from the sick clingy 1 year old because if l didn’t I’m sure my nipples were about to fall off. (I’m not kidding). They are his best source of comfort but they are certainly not mine. Don’t get me wrong l love breastfeeding and support any woman in how she chooses to feed her child, but when it’s nearly continuous, you ask yourself how much more can you & your boobs take?

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The look of Love

When l look into my children’s eyes, l see love

 

When they are giving me a cuddle, l feel love

 

Listening to them say l love you, l hear love

 

When l cuddle them back, l do love

 

Watching them play, l see love

 

Knowing that they are forever mine, l feel love

 

Talking like there is no tomorrow, l hear love

 

Reading to them in bed at night, l do love

 

Wiping the snot from their noses, l see love

 

Catching poo in the bath, l feel love

 

Hearing ‘mum’ 954 times a day, l hear love 

 

When you share your ice-cream, l do love

 

Crying in the corner because l can’t ‘mum’ just now, l feel love

 

Knowing my life will never be the same again, l feel love

 

Giving them my all, l DO love

 

Fiona Chapman

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