Building Resilience In Our Kids

If I could build a bomb shelter to protect my kids from getting hurt in this big, bad world – I want to say that I would throw them in there and not let anyone in near them.

But even if I had that option I think I would still throw them to the wolves.

Because by protecting them, or should I say vastly overprotecting them, as a lot of us tend to do – we are providing them with less and less opportunities for independence, less opportunities to problem solve, less opportunities for learning.

In life there are consequences to actions and you get a real sense of achievement in tackling a huge problem and getting to the other side.

We worry too much about their education and bullies and too little about providing them with growth opportunities and time on their own to figure stuff out.

I had a conversation with a Mum yesterday who was annoyed the teacher gave too little homework. I said I was thrilled, and she gave me a look until I explained.

Our children should have free time for things other than education. They need to learn so much,  if academics takes up too much of their time they are going to miss out on learning how to socialise, strike up conversations, use their imagination, get creative, learn what things make them “lose time”or really get in the flow of life.

Successful adults need to do all of this.

Plus the brain needs time to digest and understand what they have learned during the day. If there is just more learning, eating and bed then there will be no time for the brain to do that.

If you don’t believe me look up Finland’s education system, which is number 1 in the world, they have NO homework. None. Ever.

There are perspectives for everything and different children need different things but this is mine. Maybe I changed her mind and maybe I didn’t but I know I gave her food for thought and the knowledge that there are other ways of looking at a situation.

I want to give you an example of building resilience in my kids.

I used the wolves analogy before but I truly think I might be bringing up a pack of animals. Or it just might be a boy thing, I don’t know.

Last night my oldest dared my youngest to pee on the rug. Like really, go to the toilet on the rug. I’m not sure how much cajoling it took (not much I bet) but the deed was done, hysterical laughter ensued and then Julian came running to tell me what Leo did.

Seemingly innocent Julian is like some kind of evil genius I’ve discovered. He works out how to get Leo into trouble and Leo goes along with it.

After interrogation Leo admitted to peeing because of Julian’s plan.

In the last two days the boys had cleaned up the playroom four times and their bedrooms twice in hopes of some good pocket money this week. Sunday is the day.

But I’m no fool. Kids around all day equals continued mess so I either give it our Monday before school or bedtime on Sunday night depending on how spotless the house is.

So they thought they got off pretty lightly last night with some light telling off from Mum and Dad.

This morning I told them they would be paying for the carpet cleaner to come and clean it up.

I say this practically with my arm over my face to shield me from the inevitable whining but it doesn’t come.

Evil genius’s mind ticks over.

I go for a shower.

In comes Leo to tell me he’d “äccidentally peed” and it wasn’t Julian’s plan after all, just an accident.

Julian had figured this was the best way to get them out of having to pay for it and obviously was listening in his bedroom hoping for the best.

Shot down Leo goes back to report to Julian. Julian has done the math and knows that it is going to take over six weeks of both their pocket money to pay for it.

He is heartbroken.

I let him take it all in. Rejoicing that his problem skills are working as are his maths skills.

We don’t get strong by always winning. We don’t get smarter by constantly being told we are great and never disappointing anyone.

We don’t build resilience by always making our kids happy.

We should be rejoicing in their failures because this is a learning opportunity (I will rejoice when my carpet is cleaned and the room no longer smells like pee)

How do they move forward?

What skills will they use to pick themselves up?

We are right to show them that there are consequences for everything, because for every action there is a reaction.

Even if it’s hard to see them disappointed. Even if you just want to scoop them up and make it all better.

When I get too tired and can’t deal with their whining I give in.

In this moment I know that I am failing them by not putting the right structures in place.

I know that to truly parent them I need to be firm in my boundaries.

Lovingly strict for the important stuff but letting unimportant things go.

Knowing when to admonish and when to cuddle.

Because we can’t always protect our kids, they won’t stay in that bomb shelter forever, even if we tell them its for their own good.

It’s our job as parents to give them the skills to get out of that bomb shelter and into the world and know that they don’t need protection.

Because if they fall, they know how to get up.

 

 

Parenting is…..

 

I thought about this question and whether I had the courage to truly answer it. Whether I was brave enough to write it down. If my wins were outweighing my sense that I am just never quite the parent I want to be.

 

Parenting is:

scary

wanting to be perfect 

never feeling quite good enough. 

effort that’s hard to measure with immediate reward

obliterating who you thought you were and realising you don’t have a clue

hope that tomorrow is a new day

soul destroying tiredness with a willingness to go on

guilt that you don’t want to play with them

unhappiness with your performance

a head fuck of eating regimes and screen time allowance and unreasonable expectations put on you from schools 

laughter and giggles and letting go

unimaginable love 

touch and soft skin and big breaths

delight as you get to know your little people

a willingness to always be better than who you were the day before

showing up

being in that moment

obligation and responsibility and duty

is the act of always thinking we should be better. More even-tempered. More playful. Less scatty. More grown-up. 

never measuring up to our own standards of what it should look like

failing everyday but getting up to do it all over again, for love 

never saying what we truly feel … to anyone…because then we’d feel  shame – shame that we don’t love every minute. Shame that we’re not handling everything quite so well as we think others are. 

the need to parent ourselves, care for ourselves, give love to ourselves

pure joy

seeing your child forgive your faults so easily and wishing you too had that ability

becoming defunct in the world and everything at home 

 

The truth hurts but it sets you free. Looking at this list reminds me that it is only my own expectations that are truly getting in the way of being the Mum I want to be. To my kids I already am that Mum. To everyone else I’m doing a kick-ass job because the results speak for themselves.

Kids who are safe. Kids who are healthy. Kids who are happy.

You have to be aware of it to know. You have to be aware to change.

If you don’t put that label on things. “This feeling is good. I’m not supposed to think this way, feel this way because it’s bad.” 

If everything just is.

If parenting just is.

Then we can sit back and watch the feelings come and go with ease.

As the Sufi poet Rumi says, “Out beyond ideas of right and wrong, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.”

He also said, “Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”

We don’t need to know anything really. All our analysis, judgment and comparison has got us nowhere but confused.

The only thing I really do know, without a doubt, is that the love I have for my kids will lead me where I need to go.

 

 

What is parenting to you? Add to my list if you feel the need.

 

How To Deepen Your Meditation

I was at a yoga workshop yesterday on pranayama, the work of controlling or restricting your breath, or life-force in yoga.

The beautiful teacher was talking about the breathe, the mechanics, the different types of breath work we can do in our practice and then she said something that struck me as profound.

I knew there were the 8 limbs of yoga, each one supporting one another. They are:

Yama – Rules of morality

Niyama – Personal observances

Asana – Physical practice of postures

Pranayama – Breath work

Pratyahara – Sense restriction

Dharana – One pointed focus

Dhyana – Meditation

Samadhi – Universal oneness

But then what she said was,

If you are not getting to Samadhi, a state of being so deep that it dissolves all lines of separation in this world and you are at one with the divine,  then you need to meditate more.

If you are not getting into a meditative state where there are periods of stillness, nothingness of the mind, then you need to do more work on one-pointed focus, concentration, bringing your mind back to meditation and concentrating on that one thing, may it be mantra, a spot in the body, a sound etc.

If you are not able to concentrate then practice more sense restriction, practice ignoring sounds, make sure your eyes are closed, that you are warm and comfortable.

If you can’t do that then do more Pranayama, more breath work.  

If that seems hard then do more Asana.

If that is difficult then you need to work on your lifestyle, the way you are being in the world. The Niyamas and Yamas. 

They are not exactly linear – but if you are not where you want to be, if your meditation is less universal oneness and deep peace then you do more yoga. More of everything that encompasses yoga that I have mentioned here.

Do the work and reap the rewards.

It was suddenly so clear and bright for me, this path of yoga, why there are 8 limbs, why everything on that list supports the other.

As if stars had lit up to lead me.

Real understanding opening the doors towards the Universe.

I didn’t dissolve into the Universe, today, but my meditation was deeper. I felt different. It felt easier, lighter and I felt more inside my body than out of it.

I felt the real difference between doing something for the sake of doing it and doing something because you know why. 

 

 

Travelling With Your Tribe (Part 2)

How do you manage the long-haul flights with children?

How do you take three kids under the age of 7 and make them sit nicely and sleep?

As I discussed in Travelling With Your Tribe (Part 1) it’s all about managing your expectations. Or, in essence, setting them aside.

They might scream. They might get fed up. They might wake you up multiple times to take them to the toilet. They might fight and push themselves up against the poor guy that got the window seat next to a seven year old and a four year old.

It’s all ok. You’ll get through it.

Even if your two year old poos as the plane lands. Even if you have to stand in line with people waiting to get off the plane, with a stinky baby. Even if the toilets before customs do not have a baby change area and you have to wait in line, in extremely close proximity, to many, many people with a stink emanating off your two year old that is hard to ignore. Even if when you get outside to wait for your baggage there is still no baby change so you have to change his nappy on the floor of the airport.

Even then you will get through it. I promise.

But it’s best to plan ahead. I would recommend giving the kids a back pack each filled with an exciting new colouring book or activity book and fresh pens or textas, some favourite snacks (keep some aside in your bag for emergencies), and something they choose that they think would be fun to have on the plane. My oldest brought a reading book, my four year old a spiderman toy and I packed my two year old’s favourite teddy.

We had the ipads ready for emergencies but didn’t bring them out until after they had all had a good sleep. They have movies, games and shows on the plane as well, all ready to entertain your child. Most flights will give your kids a kid pack full of things to do as well.

I brought my carry on filled with a spare clothes set for me and the kids – in case of spills or any other incident plus extra nappies. It’s also good to have a spare set of clothes handy to feel “freshened” up half way through if you need it or it’s especially handy if your luggage gets lost.

I had to wait five days once for a suitcase when we landed in Botswana, not a place I could easily restock my wardrobe! Twice on this trip we had to wait for a piece of luggage so it’s always good to be aware that these things happen.

Our secret weapon though – for all tough situations – was a lollipop. My kids don’t get lollipops so this was an absolute delight for them. It would stop screaming, crying, over-exuberance in the wrong places and just about anything you could think of. It was like magic.

You might ask – why would you do this to yourself? Go through all this hassle and potential extra-suffering in parenting.

Because travel changes you.

It changes your kids.

They might be too young to remember where they went, what they ate or who they spoke to but they retain feelings. The feeling of awe, the feeling that the world is a bigger place than they thought, the realisation of why it is good to know another language and a really, really important one, spending excellent quality time with both parents who are (relatively) relaxed.

For me, this trip, which was nearly four weeks was the longest I had been on holiday since having kids. Despite the mishaps, the whining, the plane trips, the road trips, flight delays, meltdowns and my two year old’s habit of colouring in bed sheets and carpets…. I feel as if two years of stress has been lifted.

Everything seems simpler when you get a birds eye view of your life – when you are not bogged down in the everyday of it all. 

I didn’t even have to give it any thought. It just happens.

Travel has a wonderful way of taking you out of yourself and giving you a replenishment of joy, laughter, love and wonderment.

The memories of everything that went wrong fade and you remember the amazing parts.

Holding little hands. The excitement of being at Disneyland for the first time. The chats around the tables for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Sleeping in late with the whole family. Seeing the first glimpse of the Eiffel tower. The refreshing pool water on a hot day.

The whole holiday is wrapped up in a little heart-shaped memory cloud for me and it’s full to the brim with laughter, friends, family, coffee, wine, kisses, hand-holding, sunshine, awe, wonder, new experiences and love.

 

Travelling With Your Tribe (Part 1)

You need the normal to appreciate the extraordinary.

The extraordinary to appreciate the normal.

Travel takes you out of your routine.

Out of your zone.

Puts you in learning situations.

Puts life in your face.

When I list the things I love about life. My life. I would say my family, my kids, being a Mum, yoga, meditation, my awesome friends, reading, wine, coffee and writing.

My love list.

Things to ensure that my life is a happy one. I hope you have one and I hope you know what is on there.

When I had my first child something dropped off my priority list. The love that I have for Julian eclipsed every other joy in my life and I couldn’t imagine not sacrificing everything for this little bundle.

So we stopped travelling.

Before Julian my husband and I had lived in London for a couple of years and traveled as much as our budgets (and credit card limits) would allow. All over Europe and we made it to New York as well.

When we got back to Perth we made trips to Africa and back to Europe and we honeymooned in Tahiti.

Travel was everything.

I felt trapped in my corporate job and it was the blip of happiness on my radar to allow me to escape from the mundane, from that day-to-day feeling of being unfulfilled.

But things get harder when you have kids.

Money gets tighter.

Opportunities to travel can be restricted.

Thoughts of screaming children on airplanes can turn your thoughts from wistful to frightened in a second.

We dipped our toe into the travel waters again when we took Julian to Broome and then to Melbourne.

Travel did not look the same.

He was fine on the plane but no longer could we lounge about on sun loungers all day or pound the streets of Melbourne for a shopping bargain. But my God did we try.

We got frustrated. Travel wasn’t giving us the same high. The same escape. My new job, my very precious one, came right along with us.

So there were nap times to fit in, over-heated babies to consider and tired little lungs complaining that we had done way to much shopping for an eight month old to contend with.

But there were sparks of magic.

He sat with us through an entire Australian Open tennis match that started at 7pm and finished after 10. The compliments on how good he was made us glow with parental pride.

Taking a billion snaps of him in the Cable Beach Pool for the first time as he squealed with laughter.

His excellence whilst travelling on planes, trains and automobiles ensured that we were willing to do it all over again.

Small trips. Short flights. Big expectations for low returns.

Because it’s not the same. Again and again we would try to make the holidays about us. We would try and make the holidays the way they were before….

and it doesn’t work.

That’s why everyone laughs when I ask for tips on how to travel with kids and says, “Don’t take them.”

Because travel as we know it has changed and until we get our heads around that we will not be fully open to the experience. We will not take the joy as it happens because we are expecting something else.

Expectations kill relationships but expectations also cancel out joy.

Fast forward seven years.

I have three children, the youngest is two and we decide to take them on a massive trip involving two across the world flights and two smaller ones.

Did we think about it too hard?

No. We booked it and knew we could handle it.

We have learnt to have no expectations going in and therefore we have no major apprehension or fear.

Things will look different. Things will go wrong. There will be disasters. Meltdowns. Tears.

But if you are open, if you let your eyes see really clearly, there will be joy.

Lots of it.

 

Is Everyone Laughing At Me?

I had a beautiful spa treatment yesterday. Along with my facial I had a Chakra cleansing massage.

An intricate dance of meditation techniques, energy assessments, massage, oils and crystals placed at the energy centres, our seven chakras along the body.

Her original assesment was that my solar plexus chakra,  throat chakra and third eye chakra were unbalanced and that’s what she would focus on.

She asked if I felt restricted in my personal power in anyway, unable to speak my thoughts and opinions and if I felt restricted in my ability to be intuitive about my own life.

I’m a bit of a thinker and I don’t react particularly fast to assessments like these. So I just hmmmed and slightly nodded my head. She probably just thought that I thought this was all a bit crazy and woo-woo but I was searching in my mind and heart for links to these things she was saying.

I was so relaxed and grounded afterwards, it was a beautiful treatment. I tried to concentrate on being in the moment instead of floating away with my thoughts and I was somewhat successful.

Afterwards during tea she came over to me and said that she felt something that she needed to say during the treatment.

She said, “I felt like you feel like everyone is laughing at you.” I hmmmed and nodded slightly and gave her a quizzical look. She then said, “I just like to tell clients if I do feel anything in case it resonates.”

As I do, I thought, reflected, meditated and now am writing on this thought.

Do I think that everyone is laughing at me? Is this some crazy psuedo-psychic message that she tells everyone or does this feel  true for me.

You know what?

I think she’s right. And I’m feeling this in my solar plexus area right now as I write this. It kind of hurts.

I don’t want to feel this way. I want to be light and free and not care what anyone thinks.

But I think it’s true.

I think that each step out of my own boxed in way of seeing the world that I may be laughed at.

I hid my meditation for a while, even in my own home. I didn’t want to be laughed at.

I read three entire books on the weekend about feminine vs masculine energy and I didn’t say a word to anyone about it even though I’m fascinated with the topic.

Sometimes I write posts where I feel so exposed that I am just waiting for a comment saying, “C’mon, do you really believe that?That’s not true.” Except it hasn’t happened.

Each step further out of my own boxed in life has led to me feeling more and more like myself and people accepting me unconditionally.

But that fear. That deep feeling that I will be laughed at persists each time I step my toe over the line of “normal”.

I am different. I am unique.

I wouldn’t want to be anything else. But it’s scary putting yourself out there isn’t it?

It’s scary trying to forge your own path instead of following everyone else’s.

I literally finished a video on how to sharpen your intuition and really tune into yourself the morning of the treatment. I went to a speech coach to ask for help on a presentation I’ve got coming up because even though I am confident in writing what I am feeling, I don’t seem to say what I want to say.

But this fear that is hampering my intuitive thoughts and constricting my ability to speak my truth is coming from lower down. It’s coming from the restriction (that I have put on myself) in my own personal power. Because of fear. Because of fear that I could be laughed at.

I love uncovering this stuff because once its come to light at least I can work on it. Be more conscious of the fact that this is all a little ridiculous and so what? It shouldn’t affect me that people think I’m different. It shouldn’t stop me from being my true self and doing the things I want to do.

So I’ve got work to do.

I’m writing this because maybe it will also resonate with you. Maybe you have had situations in your life where you just didn’t do what you want. Out of fear.

Fear of failure.

But ultimately fear of failure is scary because you fear if you fail you will be laughed it.

That wouldn’t be nice, but in the majority of cases it wouldn’t even be true!

We need to be brave. We need to be in the arena.

As far as I know I don’t even have any critics. I have these phantom critics I have made up in my own head to stop me from personal growth.

I’ll leave you with a quote from one of my favourite author’s Brene Brown.

Image result for brene brown quotes arena

 

How To Practice Extreme Self-Care As A Mother

As an avid blog-reader, webinar follower, podcast enthusiast I used to practically salivate over the opportunities that the younger generation have at getting to do things for themselves.

These beautiful morning routines, setting up their own internet business and working from home or the beach, going to yoga every morning, travelling to amazing places by themselves, going to spa retreats. Travelling to the farmers markets on a vintage bike without millions of children in tow…..

Totally. Green. With. Envy.

Am I right?

What us Mother’s would give to go back in time and take our butt to an exercise class, get work we enjoyed before we were tied down with a mortgage, start our day with beautiful rituals that nourished our body, minds and souls.

Where were our inspirational role models in our 20’s??

Anyway…enough of the complaining, reflecting, and wishing our lives away.

We can do all these things.

Now.

Without leaving our children.

Without leaving our lives.

How do I know?

Because after spending a few years wishing I could turn back time I decided to be pretty damn grateful about where I am now.

With my sexy husband. My trio of boys. My wonderful home. The holidays we get to go on. My family. My crazy social life. My deep friendships. The champagne I get to drink, the yoga classes I attend, the conversations I have….everything brings me deep joy but it’s hard to remember that when you are yearning for something else. When you are distracted by someone else’s instagram and not your own.

I wished I could meditate every morning.

One day I just stopped wishing and took action.

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I mean sometimes my morning meditation looks like this……

But other times it is silent and beautiful. It doesn’t matter. Each day I get out of bed, make myself a coffee, pop the kids in the playroom with some food and hit the meditation cushion. Whether its 5am or 7:15 when I roll out of bed, the meditation gets done and so do the lunches. Somehow. You have to believe that it can happen and it will.

So I could do that….but I really wished I could start my day with some yoga too…because the rest of the day seemed to run away from me or my energy would wane…..so I started practicing at home with some cool music.

 

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And you know what?

Whether I get up at 5am or 7:30 everything still gets done and you know what? When we are a couple of minutes late to school….the world doesn’t end. Funnily enough it’s usually the days I get up at 5am that we are the latest! I overstretch and get the house clean and think I have tonnes of time.

The morning routine sets me up for my day. I feel accomplished already. I feel centred. I feel taken care of.

I also leave the house showered, with make-up on, hair done. My three boys (mostly) looking somewhat respectable. We walk to school and the dogs get exercised.

We have started pocket money in our household and now my six year old unstacks the dishwasher, feeds the dogs and he and my four year old clean their rooms and are supposed to make their beds. They can also make their own breaky (quality bread with organic peanut butter), take and wash fruit from the fridge, brush their own teeth and be in charge of getting their hair done. I’m about to show them how to use the washing machine – wish me luck!

When we teach our kids these things then we are giving them independence, a chance to earn and respect money (my son definitely knows how much footy cards cost now and how hard he must work to pay for them!) and a bit of resilience. Their pocket money amount is determined by me and how many tasks they completed that week as some weeks they will refuse to do things and I have to pick up the slack. They are always regretting their actions on pocket money day!!

My two year old obviously is still very much in need of me to dress him, help him with his teeth and breaky but he is getting to a beautiful independent age and I need to take advantage of that to start setting my life up the way I want it to be.

The way I have been yearning it to be yet it felt out of reach.

I’ve started training as a yoga teacher so that my dream of having a fulfilling, inspirational career can be realised.

No more “have to’s” in my life.

I truly believe that what you focus on expands. So all those times I was focusing on others it all felt out of reach.

But now that I am focusing on me, on what I want…it’s all unfolding.

What about those beautiful trips that was envious of??

We leave for Europe in two weeks. The trip that we are doing we did with the same two couples 14 years ago and this time around we are doing it with our families, all 14 of us.

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I think round 2 is going to be so much better. I think our appreciation for all that we have and the sheer magnitude of this undertaking will make us so grateful for every moment we have together.

If the children scream – well it’s a French restaurant they are screaming in – how lucky are we!

If my two year old has a sugar-based tantrum and is face-down on a disneyland floor … we are still in Disneyland!

If the Club Med really is the worst in the world – then we will still be in France, still be poolside and still have our children having fun in kids club!

And if high tea at the Ritz in Paris or my spa treatment in Provence is interrupted with a children-based question then there are much much worse places I could be interrupted in.

So Mother’s out there – what are you waiting for? Your life, the one you really, truly want, is waiting for you to go and get it.

Be grateful. 

Focus on you. 

Prioritise what is important. 

Live your dreams. 

 

 

The Parent I Want To Be

I am always learning.

Sometimes it gets a little uncomfortable when you realise the chasm between who you are now and where you want to go.

I’m reading a book called Conscious Parenting by Dr Shefali Tsabary at the moment.

I don’t read parenting books that tell me when my children should go to bed or what routine they should follow but I do read anything that can point the way to growth of who I am as a person and who I am as a Mother.

Conscious parenting is about parenting from love not fear. About a month before reading this book I wrote this post called F**K We Are Parenting Wrong which pretty much sums it up.

That was the moment I realised I was parenting out of fear of who they would become if I failed them. 

I was parenting out of fear of how they would behave if I didn’t pull them into line

I was parenting out of fear that they would not represent who I was as a parent 

I was parenting out of fear that they would show the world my mistakes

Instead of fully loving them for who they are now.

Instead of finding solutions together.

Instead of giving them respect and asking them questions about things I would bend them to my will, right or wrong.

And then I’d feel guilt. For the parent I knew I could be but wasn’t. That makes me feel helpless and fearful and the opposite of that is control.

So the next minute I’d try to control – helplessly failing as doors slammed and tears poured out, mine and theirs.

Conscious parenting is about giving children boundaries and freedom. Asking them opinions on rules that are not so important and making sure that you are following through on rules that keep them safe and function as a respectable member of our culture.

Being the authority when you need to be and being consistent.

God I’m not consistent. I constantly go back on my word, throw out bribes and throw up my hands in despair shouting, “Fine just have your way!”.

I am tired. This motherhood thing can pull you under some days. My husband and I laughed last night and suggested we needed a live in psychologist – what do we do now? In this situation? For this particular child? What worked in the past is no longer working!

I accept where I am. I am grateful for all Motherhood has taught me but I want to work smarter not harder.

The parent I want to be has more respect and in turn respects my children more.

The parent I want to be encourages my children to pitch into the family more. To determine solutions to the problems we are having. to let them have a say. Because then they are invested. Then they are valued.

The hierarchical model of parenting works great if you want rebellious teens or well-behaved kids that feel like they can make no decisions for themselves.

I want my children to have boundaries that allow them freedom to be themselves. A respectful, peaceful household full of fun and laughter and sharing of the workload.

I am writing my wish list to the Universe and hope for the grace and growth necessary to make it happen.

 

My Heart Hurts

I made a mistake today.

I looked away from my children at the park today for 30 seconds and my little one was gone.

In the ten seconds it took to ascertain he wasn’t close to where we were, real fear set in. A coldness spreading throughout my body and my heart was jumping out of my chest. I started shaking and god-awful scenarios ran through my brain.

We found him within 30 seconds, at another playground, but I honestly didn’t think his little legs could get him there that fast, which is why I overlooked going there first.

I don’t know about you but I have a terrets-like tick that makes me look up every 30 seconds to find everyone of my children whenever we are out and about. I am constantly making sure they are safe and close by.

My child got away from me today but I don’t doubt for one second the love I have for him or question my ability to be the best parent I possibly can be for him.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you ever made a mistake that thankfully did not turn out the way it could have?

It’s not the first time I’ve made a mistake. It probably won’t be the last.

Which is why this Gorilla thing is hurting my heart so much. When an outpouring of love and compassion is needed for these poor people and this gorgeous animal for this awful mistake, a mob-like hatred has set in on keyboards across the globe.

I don’t watch or read the news but I couldn’t miss the sharing on my feed and or miss the comments I could glimpse before looking away.

Last week a good blogger friend of mine, one of the kindest, biggest-hearted person out there had a group of keyboard warriors attack her. Her person, her business, her children, nothing was off-limits.

They were sent over to her site by a site that has over 80,000 followers, just waiting to hear the latest sarcastic slant on something done by a business or someone online.

I know that the world does not always consist of goodness and light – but is it getting worse?

I do my best to promote kindness, compassion and love but things like this hurt. We are not doing enough to change humanity. By jumping on board our computers and making a horrible comment we are hurting real people.

We are so full of fear. We jump on every person’s mistake like we make none of our own because I guess we are just so thankful it wasn’t us, that we remove ourselves from even imagining how it would feel to be that person. Because that person would be so full of hurt and pain that it is incomprehensible to us. We run away from that pain and by throwing these stones away from ourselves we believe our glass houses cannot be touched.

We are so scared of different because it means that our values and opinions are under threat  and could possibly be perceived as wrong. Because our ego is so huge that we couldn’t deal with the pain of wrong. We couldn’t possibly admit that another person has a right to a different view point because we are scared of what that would mean to let doubt in. To question our righteousness. To let understanding and compassion in.

Because then you suffer.

And your heart might hurt like mine.

But love is always the answer.

And fear is always something you deal with.  Fear is not something you put forth into the world.

 

 

 

Mums Just Want To Be Appreciated

Did you read that hilarious post by Brad Kearns about being Mum for the day? It was so well written, hilarious and right on the money, but you know what I, and probably most of the Mums out there, loved the most about it?

The perspective it gave him to appreciate how hard his wife works.

When your life revolves around the washing that never ends, two – three dishwasher loads a day, endless toys to clean up, cherubs to bath, bums to wipe, food to give out, night waking, kids to put down for naps and beds to make…. well there’s just not a lot of fun in there. But you wouldn’t have it any other way. 

So if you get the “lucky you”  eyebrow raise when you say you went out for coffee (with screaming children!) well….I mean… you just want to hit them over the head with the frying pan.

So why is there such a lack of appreciation in homes around the world regarding a Mother’s work? When we would just like some thanks, some gratitude, some “I see how hard you work honey” comments, – why don’t we get it?

  1. A lot of it goes unseen – I don’t know about you but I work like a banshee to get things done so I can relax. This does not always work as seemingly the work never ends but a lot of the time my husband can miss the vast amounts of work that is done because I get it done so bloody fast and efficiently.
  2. Maybe a bit of jealousy – there is a bit of FOMO going on in parenthood. We would all love to be there for the milestones, for the cuddles, for the kisses and long to be “the favourite”, it’s just when the hard stuff comes round some parties are quick to beg off duty…
  3. Perceived freedom – There is a certain freedom in being able to structure your day the way you want but the reality with children is that plans change, things can seem just out of reach (ie yoga class) and you haven’t had a minute alone since number one came along
  4. It’s not a habit – gratitude for what we have in our lives is not a practice in a lot of households and even if it is, it’s probably not detailed enough. Saying you are grateful for you husband or wife is great – but what exactly are you grateful for? How many different things can you list that really make your life so beautiful?
  5. Sometimes when we hear it – we won’t accept it – and that’s about you. Maybe your tired, fed-up, have let everything get to you and now that you are getting what you want – well it’s just not good enough.

But in their defense when we scream, “You do nothing around here!” it’s not always true. My husband works hard, is there for the times that count and if asked directly will do anything I ask.

Sometimes you just need to speak up.

So when your feeling under-appreciated you need to do two things – start sending out some appreciation first (lets be adults here) and speak  up about what you are feeling resentful for.

Just remember to appreciate what you have. Appreciate the now. Appreciate the special people in your life.

Send out more love and you will get it right back.

xx

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