School holidays – like it or loathe it, they happen every term. In Australia, it’s that time of year and even though my kids are not at school, it means a break from all activities including kinder, music, playgroup and ballet. So, now I get it – the feeling shared amongst mothers across the globe – ‘How on earth am I going to entertain my kids all day long without assistance?!’
There is a saying exchanged amongst married men that goes something like this: Happy wife, happy life! The chances are you have heard it. And perhaps there is some truth to it -the men obviously think so. But what happens when kids come along? Does the code change?
I believe that happy kids = happy mum; and happy mum = happy hubby; and happy hubby = happy family; and happy family = happy life. Sounds simple enough right? But there’s something wrong with this order. The evidence strongly suggests that kids respond positively to happy parents. If they sense frustration, conflict or despondence, this can have a knock-on effect to their self-esteem as well as their behaviour. We need to be happy within ourselves first. So, how to be a happier mum?…
Recently, smack bang in the middle of witching hour, my phone rang. Naturally I ignored it. No parent would ever make a call during that time so I figured it was hubby ringing to say he was leaving work. When I checked my voicemail I got the surprise of my life. It was a producer from Today Tonight calling to see if I would be prepared to talk about my feelings on praise for an upcoming show. It sounded intriguing so I called back but got voice mail. And I thought these reporters worked around the clock!
The next morning the producer called me back and said they would like to send out a crew to interview with me, in 2 hours time!! It was Friday morning, my house resembled a war zone and I needed to do a kinder and ballet run and I had a sick, teething baby on my hands. But I was interested in talking about praise, as it’s something I have written about here on my blog. I am in favour of positive reinforcement so I felt like I had something to contribute….
It’s the moment every parent anticipates – the first glimpse of your unborn baby during an ultrasound. It should be an exciting and memorable experience as you witness the life growing inside you. But it isn’t always good news. For Laura Bione, it was frightening news. She was told that her unborn baby had the life threatening condition, Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH).
About halfway through the scan, the sonographer suddenly went quiet. The silence seemed to go on forever. “I don’t want to scare you but I’ve found something,” she said. “It looks like a hernia or a tumour on your baby’s lungs.” Nothing can prepare you for hearing news like that. I couldn’t speak. I just lay on the table crying in shock.
Instead of falling apart, Laura channelled her fear into optimism. I had the great privilege of listening to Laura’s story and the remarkable survival of her baby, Edie. It is a story of the power of hope. It is a story of courage, and of survival. This article was published in Mother & Baby magazine. If there’s one article you read today, make it this one. And please share this story to give hope to other parents who may be going through a similar situation. This is Laura’s story, as told to me.
I remember when I first mentioned the “B” word to my husband (then boyfriend). I wasn’t sure if he actually wanted children. One day, when I was feeling confident that our relationship had reached the right time for a grown up conversation, I asked him if he wanted a baby. His answer was brief. “The jury’s still out,” he said. Having come from a family of five children, I longed to create a big family and I hoped it would be with him.
Fortunately as time went by the jury came back in favour of children – or rather – a (singular) child. “Let’s just start with one and see what happens,” he suggested. I was happy with this – he was a logical guy and it was a step in the right direction.
How do I know I’m doing a good job as a parent? It’s the question many parents want to know the answer to. You don’t get a lot of feedback as a parent but Warren Cann, psychologist and a director of the Raising Children Network, says there isn’t an objective measure of what a good parent actually is. He shares some insights for parents in my latest article on Essential Kids. I hope you will take a look at the article – it includes some very reassuring messages.
Do you constantly ask yourself if you’re doing a good job? Please comment below and share the article. Thank you.
Here’s a little Sunday night viewing for you. Not long ago, an article of mine ‘Adequate: the new excellent for mums’ was published on Daily Life and the next day it was discussed on Channel 9’s Today show. It has taken me three months and about 30 emails to the network to track down this footage, only to discover that the host of the show, Karl Stefanovic, got my name wrong! Click here to view the footage and see Michelle Fox’s article discussed on “Girls on the Grill.”
Is it just me or is this so called “mummy wars” subject getting tired and boring. I can’t help but think that every time an article is printed and mentions “mummy wars” that it just perpetuates the notion that mums are in battle with one another over their choices.
Yesterday this article by Alex Carlton fired up a lot of people. It paints a picture that “around the country, tertiary-educated women who grew up steeped in girl power and feminism have turned their backs on a career.” The article suggests that educated, intelligent women are ditching the boardroom in masses to stay at home and raise children in between quilting, baking and blogging….
Oscar-winning actress Halle Berry recently announced she is pregnant at the age of 46. It’s a trend we are seeing around the world and it’s not just high profile women who are delaying motherhood. More Australian women than ever before are having babies past the age of 40.
For reasons that include a desire to establish successful careers, financial independence or difficulty finding the right partner, the number of women getting pregnant in their 40’s has nearly doubled in the past decade. In my latest article, published on Essential Baby, two mother’s share their experiences and an obstetrician and a parenting expert offer some great insights.
How old were you when you became a mother? Have you had a baby after the age of 40? Do you feel like you had your children at the ‘right’ time?
When I was pregnant with my first child, like many expectant mothers, I enjoyed the process of selecting names. I had a special book in which I’d write down each potential name three times; once on it’s own, once with my husband’s surname (more on why they took his name later) and once with a middle name too. I liked looking at the names in every form but my strongest reaction was when it was written singularly, without the distraction of other names….