Klara Donovan

Klara is the founder of She the Fierce. She lives in Perth, Western Australia and is married to a Californian IT-nerd/carpentry dabbler/handyman extreme, Chris. They have one gorgeous, long-lashed little boy, Jackson, and their fur-babies include two dogs and one fat black cat. Klara is a (mostly) stay-at-home Mum with a background in finance and admin. She’s a Christian who loves singing, cooking, cups of tea, grey rainy days, scrapbooking and suggesting spectacular renovation and handyman projects to Chris!

breaking-routine

Recently, I have implemented a daily routine, and not to be dramatic or anything, but it has changed my life.

My routine keeps the day moving, it carves out time I never took advantage of for household chores, and it blesses me with a to-do list I can reliably tick off every 1-2 hours throughout the day. I go to bed feeling satisfied. I awaken refreshed, ready to rinse, wash, repeat my fabulous new routine.

Recently though, things got a little out of hand.

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mother-didnt-breastfeed

A lot of things failed to go to plan in the weeks surrounding my son Jackson’s entry into the world.

I hoped to go into labour at 41 weeks. Yes, I actually hoped to go past term, purely because we needed that time for our nursery renovation.

I hoped for a birth story like all my friends’: the requisite number of hours of labour, an epidural at just the right moment, and a modest amount of pushing, with little to no tearing, thank you very much.

I hoped to shed a few tears. I hoped for immediate skin-to-skin contact, for a photo of our new family of 3 mere seconds after baby’s first breath of air.

I hoped to breastfeed.

What I got was far beyond what I ever could have predicted.

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banishing-bitterness

I never need to look far for bitterness to come calling.

Something will happen, or someone will rub me the wrong way, and without thinking I snap my fingers and bitterness comes running over, wrapping me in a bear hug and covering every bit of me.

But bitterness is not my friend. Bitterness doesn’t comfort me; she doesn’t make me feel better. She doesn’t serve me at all. She clouds my brain. She taints my colour. Bitterness actually grasps hold of my heart and twists it, forcing me to respond to things in ways that I usually wouldn’t. She takes my tongue and pushes words from me that I don’t usually find myself saying. She even invites her friends Jealousy, Offense and Righteous Indignation in, chuckling “Come on guys, it’s party time!” So what kind of self-destructive person am I, that I would cry out “Bitterness! Come to me! Let’s wallow together!” – knowing that she’s going to make me feel worse, not better?

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grandfatherhood

The feature image used above is a stock photo, and not a photo of my actual Dad. Photo by Lindy Baker on Unsplash

There are few things in life that are as precious to a child as their Dad. The appeal is effortless – one tickle fight and they’re in for life. When I was a kid, all my Dad had to do to make my day was get home from work and play duplo with me and my sisters, or tell us a story that started with “When I was a little boy.” When we got our first jobs, Dad was the one who helped us get tax file numbers and open superannuation accounts. When we got our learners permits, Dad was the one who took us car shopping and arranged our insurance. For as long as we lived under his roof, we were looked after.

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fierce-battle

I have seen mothers at their best, and I have seen mothers at their worst.

At our best, mothers unite. We fight for each others’ rights, each others’ kids, each others’ protection, each others’ security. When a fellow mother is worried, we soothe. When a fellow mother is uncertain, we guide. When a fellow mother is about to break from the pressure of it all, we support.

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water-hands-control

Recently my son Jackson and I were taking advantage of an unseasonally warm Sunday afternoon with one of his favourite activities; water play in the backyard. I watched, bemused, as he entertained himself with endless pouring from cup to bucket to water table, then back up into the cup to continue the cycle. The water mesmerizes him. He can play with water for hours, soaking himself from head to toe until he begins to shiver violently, and even then he screams in protest when I bundle him up in a soft towel and carry him inside to recover in a warm bath.

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welcome-motherhood-collective

Have you ever questioned a major decision you’ve made on your child’s behalf, wondering whether it was the wrong one?

You are not alone.

Have you ever helped your child in a way that made you feel proud, and privately thought to yourself, “I’m a good mother”?

You are not alone.

Have you ever proudly watched your child achieve a new milestone ahead of the curve, and thought “My child is brilliant”?

You are not alone.

Have you ever watched your child struggle to pick up a new skill that other children his age seem to have mastered, and found yourself wondering “Is there something wrong here?”

You are not alone.

Have you ever caught your breath at the passing of time, certain that your child was only a newborn just yesterday, when in fact that time was months or even years ago?

You are not alone.

Have you ever endured a difficult afternoon with your child that was so long, you were certain the day would never end?

You are not alone.

Has your role as a mother invoked feelings of joy, heartache, frustration, relief, wonder, fear and pride, sometimes all within the space of a couple of hours?

Mama, you are not alone.

Our ideas about parenting might be wildly different, each of us bringing our own experiences, concerns and passions to the table.

Our children might be totally unique, each presenting their own set of joys and challenges.

But our hearts are essentially the same. We love our children, we want the best for them, and we will move heaven and earth to make that happen. This is what empowers us to be a community, a collective of mothers who choose to believe that above all else, our hearts unite us. Motherhood isn’t about seeing eye to eye on the little things, or even the big things. Motherhood is a mutual understanding that we’re all doing the best that we can, that our love for our children is fierce, and that this is a brave and vulnerable time for us all. I believe we are so much bigger and bolder than our differences, than the mummy-wars that plague us everywhere we turn. We deserve better. Our fellow mothers deserve better.

So mothers, you are welcome here. With all of your ideas, all of your decisions, all of your hopes, and all of your dreams. You are so welcome here. May we grow and connect and laugh and cry together. May we unite.

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
1 Peter 3:8

Myself and my team are extremely excited to be writing for and building a community with you. We hope that our words and stories will encourage you, inspire you and challenge you. Please click around and get to know the site a little (you might want to start here)!

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You are so welcome here

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early-pregnancy-loss

This post originally appeared on Her Happy Heart.

I read Post Secret every week. I have since I was in my early 20s. Back then, I was dealing with a few things and I found I related to a lot of the secrets, so reading them gave me a connection to the people who sent them in. These days I don’t relate to a lot of them, but I still read, intrigued by the idea that the people we know actually carry more secrets than we can ever possibly know.

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self-care-tips-first-day-home-newborn

Bringing home a newborn baby for the very first time is an experience like no other. It’s wonderful – your home is now a family home, where millions of memories, big and small, are about to unfold. It’s scary – you’ve never in your life had such a vulnerable little person be so dependent on you. It’s beautiful – you’re learning to love in a new, fierce way. And it’s exhausting – nothing can prepare you for it.

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time-sent-home-newborn

This post originally appeared on Her Happy Heart.

My son, Jackson, is a week and a half out from his first birthday. To me, that is insane. I won’t bore you with the cliched comments of “Time passes so quickly” (though it does) or “Please stop growing up, baby boy!” (but seriously…) Maybe it’s the fact that I’m spending all my time on Pinterest for 1st birthday party inspo, maybe it’s because my bestie has just brought her own tiny man into the world, maybe it’s a combination of the two and goodness knows what else.

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