kids-fail

Dear Mama: You need to stop thinking you are responsible when your children “ fail ”.

I still remember the first time it happened to me: right after I received and read through my oldest son’s first school report card. Or as they call it here in Western Australia: “Student Achievement Report”. You might have seen this format yourself, where your child gets scored in various categories to be either excellent or not so excellent.

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cultivate-calm

Summer is here. Which means the birds are singing, the weather is warm, and kids no longer *need* shoes outside. But with this newfound freedom (you’re welcome, toes) comes the chaos of the season. Unstructured days bring unpredictability, frustrations, and a great need for a few minutes of calm.

So here are 4 ways to cultivate calm in your home this summer:

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motherhood-mission

There are so many words that I could use to describe my journey and the different aspects of motherhood: elation, joy, completeness, love, fulfilling, frustrating, tiring, demanding, life-giving, life sapping. But looking back on my journey so far, a phrase I would use to encapsulate all of these words is “a courageous mission”.

I believe that motherhood is my mission and I believe that there is a whole lot of courage needed every single day of this motherhood journey.

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motherhood-ready

I wasn’t sure I would ever be ready to be a mum.

I have always loved the idea of having children. I grew up with a sister and a small group of friends with big families. We went on a ton of vacations, visited extended family interstate often, celebrated every single birthday and, as I got older, family life only became deeper and more tight-knit as we worked through the throes of adulthood together. I knew I wanted to have my own children one day: two, and preferably girls (mainly so I could forcibly pass on all of my beautiful barbie dolls to them).

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becoming-mum-child

Responsible.

Reliable.

Strong.

These were the upgrades I signed up for when I became a mum, or so I imagined.

I like surprises. When we got married I let my husband plan our whole honeymoon and delighted in being whisked away without a clue where we’d end up or what we’d do. I really enjoy the injection of the unexpected into everyday life.

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heart-aches-infertility

Infertility was never a part of my plan.

I’ve always been slightly obsessed with babies. From an early age, you could have seen me wandering around my house and the neighborhood with a Bitty Baby, you know, the one from American Girl, strapped to my chest. My parents must have figured this was a sign that I needed siblings because they quickly had nine more children and until I left for college, my arms always had a baby to hold. When I got married at the ripe young age of twenty-one, I couldn’t wait to start a family of my own.

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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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rejecting-lies-pnda

Some days are not so good and I’m not the best mother on those days. Some days I don’t deserve to be your mother. But my prayer is that you won’t remember these days and you will never doubt how much I love you…

The above entry was added to my journal when my first baby was almost 3 and my second was 18 months of age. Soon afterwards I was diagnosed with PNDA, however I’d been struggling long before then.

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