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Beautiful Maternal Mental Health ❤️

Hello Beautiful People,

This week on May the 3rd it was International Maternal Mental Health Day. Also around the globe May 1st-7th is recognised as Maternal Mental Health Awareness Week. This is a fairly new awareness program set up in the last few years to recognise and put in place much needed supports for women and their families.
Maternal Mental Health is a topic very close to my heart, for several reasons. So I value this week and the awareness and support it’s raising very much.
Maternal Mental Health (MMH) addresses women and their mental health throughout the perinatal period. That is the time from which they get pregnant, give birth and up until the baby is a year or so old. 

The reasons I feel so strongly about raising awareness and promoting support around perinatal mental health are motivated by personal experiences. 

I have been through the perinatal period quite a few times in my life and sometimes it’s not been smooth sailing.

I’ve witnessed close family members struggle alone and suffer tremendously throughout the perinatal period.

I’ve supported friends who’ve felt like they were drowning throughout their perinatal  period……

I’m currently still just in the perinatal period….

Am I ok? Maybe……

The few heartbreaking things that myself, my family member and my friends all said we experienced throughout our perinatal period that we didn’t expect were:

• feelings of being overwhelmed with pregnancy; body changes; fear of baby not growing healthily; fear of no longer being attractive to partner; fear of birth; fear of birth complications; fear of not being heard by care providers; fear of not being able to breastfeed; fear of not bonding with baby; fear of not waking to baby; fear of not feeding baby enough; fear of not being able to settle baby; fear of not knowing why baby is crying; fear of baby crying because something serious is wrong; fear of something bad happening to baby; fear of body not going back to pre-baby state; fear of no time for partner; fear of no time for other children; fear of no time for self; feeling isolated; feeling overwhelmed; feeling exhausted; feeling unsupported; feeling unprepared; feeling pressure to be the perfect mum; feeling unhappy with self; feeling like a failure….. and sadly the list goes on…… All these fears experienced and shared by a group of wonderful, intelligent otherwise incredibly healthy women throughout their perinatal period… And all of them treated in completely different ways by their care providers.

Yes we all got asked the routine antenatal questions and only two out of five of us got flagged and followed up…. There are so many potential triggers for perinatal depression and anxiety coupled with massive hormone changes, it’s so hard to know who will be ok and who won’t. I was not one of the ones to be followed up despite knowing I met a lot of the criteria for high risk post natal depression….. I did however seek support on my own from my GP and Karitane a good six months after my last baby was born because after the adrenaline of running on no sleep at all for the first six months of my baby’s life wore off I realised how anxious I was and that I needed support. One friend was immediately commenced on antidepressants by her doctor because her anxiety was all time consuming and she was already exhibiting signs of depression. She said she felt like a new woman and immediately bonded with her baby and could finally function without her fears controlling her. I didn’t feel I needed medication and utilised other methods to help with my anxiety. My family member who also met the criteria for high risk for post natal depression due to a previous mental health history, history of domestic violence and being a single mother was not so lucky with her support network. She fell through the cracks so to speak and although she was already on low dose antidepressants she was alone, exhausted, completely drowning in her fears and level of responsibility as a new and single mother. She suffered from a severe postpartum psychosis and her baby was removed from her care, permanently…… But that is her story to tell completely…. All I can say to that is that as a witness to her experience and whilst going through the perinatal period myself at the same time as her, my heart completely and utterly broke for her….. And I questioned why her and not me and years and pregnancies later I still remain hyper vigilant around my mental health throughout the perinatal period.

And it’s because of all these beautiful women with all their varied experiences and yet similar feelings and thoughts around the time of their pregnancies, births and new babies, that I think this week, Maternal Mental Health Week is so important! It needs to be recognised as a topic that needs to be discussed openly so that assessments are done routinely and universally. So that support networks and programs are implemented properly and in a timely manner. So that women can avoid getting acutely unwell. So that families can feel supported and stay together! 

As for me…. despite writing a post over six months ago around R U OK day and saying I was not ok, I think it’s time to say…. I’m doing ok…. Slowly….

I’m still mildly suffering from anxiety and severe fatigue but I’m happy. 

I have a great support network and I know that’s what gets me through. Also my baby is one now and although I’ve only ever felt this anxious once before with all my perinatal periods I’m glad that I know it won’t last, like it didn’t before. I don’t let the small stuff consume me. The house can stay messy (despite my cleaning OCD). We can have take away a few times a week if Hubby and I are too exhausted to cook. All my children are healthy and loved. I practice mindfulness. I have a psychologist. I vent to my hubby and eldest daughter/bestie. I walk. I write. I read. I sing. All things I do for me to ensure relaxation and peace. And slowly but surely everyday gets the teeny tiniest bit easier…… 😌❤️ 

To all those beautiful women out there struggling alone in silence with your overwhelming thoughts, whether you’re a first time mum or a millionth time mummy like me, please, speak up, speak out, talk to absolutely anybody you feel comfortable talking to! Sometimes getting those thoughts out of your head is the first steps to feeling better! 

And know this! 

You are not alone!

I am right here with you!

You are a wonderful mummy!

You are amazing!

You’re doing great!

You’re a beautiful human!

And your baby loves and needs you ❤️
(If you need to talk to someone or are concerned about someone please contact one of the links below)

http://www.panda.org.au/practical-information/382-signs-and-symptoms-of-postnatal-depression
https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/what-is-mental-health?&gclid=COqamZXo1dMCFcYsvQodHL0GBQ

http://www.beatbabyblues.com.au/What_is_perinatal_mental_health.aspx



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Beautiful Mild Mannered Middle Son, Marley Kai ❤️

Hello beautiful people,

Well it was bound to happen this week…. The eyes leaked a little 😌 Valid reason of course! This day 13 Years ago I gave birth to my third child, my second son, my biggest baby, my second easiest birth resulting in my calmest, most relaxed easy going, always happy baby boy!
And yes our, now teenager and our littlest warrior princess’s birthday’s are only one day apart. Things like this happen in large families like ours. The beautiful part is I remember a year ago Marley saying to me “mum can’t you keep the baby in your stomach one more day because I’d love to share a birthday with my little sibling” He makes me laugh because he is such a kind hearted, gentle soul and yet really cheeky funny too. And he genuinely would have loved for his little sister to be born on his birthday! He would have thought it was the coolest gift ever! 

You see what people don’t realise about our Marley Kai is that for ten years he was our baby. He was always happy as a baby but as he got older he showed signs of being an empath early. He was always sensitive to the emotions of others around him, he seemed gentle, soft and vulnerable. And so as a family, and him being the baby, we all tended to do most things for him. And despite my best efforts for over ten years to get him some support, I was continually told there was nothing wrong with him and I should stop feeling concerned and comparing him to my older kids……. So thanks to all those specialists who told me to ignore my mothers instincts, I did stop pursuing assessments and support for my son. Satisfied that any ‘quirks’ I had concerns about were nothing to worry about. And besides, I knew nothing was ‘wrong’ with my son I just wanted to make sure he was getting the right support he needed to navigate his way through life and learning,  safely, comfortably and to the best of his ability. 

My concerns alleviated when he was ten were like a weight of my shoulders and so we decided we would continue to grow our family. Marley was overjoyed when he found out he was finally going to be a big brother and no longer be the baby. Having William was one of the best decisions we ever made!! From the day he was born despite the ten year age difference the obvious bond between Marley and William has been so heartwarming to watch. William is so highly energetic and quite clever and Marley is so very kind, loving and patient with him, even when he’s being incredibly annoying. Marley is also studious and bright and has taught his little brother so much. 

My baby boy has grown so much through the responsibilities of being a big brother and it’s been beautiful to watch!

The hard times came when he encountered some nasty comments from his peers in high school, such as taunts about being ‘weird’….. I guess I thought it was because he has a love of reading and online games and I was going to think nothing of it until we had to revisit the old chest nut that was the problem of his attention span…..

So exactly one month after his little sister Florence was born he had an assessment again at age 12 that confirmed ADD and High Functioning Autism (which back in the day when there was no Autism Spectrum, the diagnosis would have been Aspergers). 

I was shocked because I’d been told so many times before that I was looking for something that wasn’t there…. But none of this makes a difference to us, we still do what we’ve always done. No medication, regular OT, address sensory issues, extra time for tasks, appropriate use of technology, eye contact with good clear communication and of course my favourite lots and lots of love and hugs!!

Tonight I got teary because we were hesitant to have more babies despite wanting them. I worried about money, time and responsibilities towards Marley being my baby and needing me. Tonight I suddenly realised how absolutely perfect it has been for him to have his little brother and sister. Tonight I clearly saw the lovely brilliant minded, cheeky funny, quirky young man my beautiful son Marley Kai has grown into!

A kind, caring, intelligent soul, who is an amazing big brother, a cheeky little brother, a wonderfully loving son and a very much loved grandson! And if he’s seen as weird then that’s ok because in this family being weird means you’re cool 😎 Because who wants to be the boring same as everyone else anyway! I bet you people called Bill Gates weird or different back in the day 😜

So here’s to you my sweet mild mannered  brilliant beautiful minded son Marley Kai! You my son, you melt my heart, don’t overthink that or take it too literally, I mean you reduce my heart to tears of joy because I’m so blessed to have you in my life! Happy 13th Birthday my love! Me, dad and your brothers and sisters will always love you more than you ever say you love us and I know you know what I mean! Show the world how amazingly awesome we know you are! We love you more than all the universe and more than all the stars ❤️

https://www.autismspectrum.org.au/

http://www.autismawareness.com.au/





Posted in All The Bits In Between, Attachment parenting, Babies, Baby's, Birth, Body image, Careers, Family, Friends, Fun, Happiness, Health, Mental Health, Mom life, Mum life, Nursing, Parenting, Parenting Styles, Pregnancy, Queens, Relationships, Sadness, Self love, Society, Spiritual, Toddlers

Beautiful Last Baby’s 1st Birthday 💖

Hello beautiful people,

Once again it’s been a little while (too long perhaps) between posts. There are a few reasons behind this. I was very busy over the holiday season with my family, I was busy with school going back for my older children, that, came with some challenges, I was busy turning forty but mostly I was busy living each day in the moment! 
I had made a conscious decision that if I was going to get control over my sadness and anxiety that had snuck in and was holding on tightly to me from the moment I brought my beautiful last baby home from the hospital that I needed to focus on the present only. To live in each day and experience only that day for what it truly was instead of dwelling on the past and causing more depression or worrying about the future therefore increasing my anxiety.

I’m happy to report that this way of living has worked really well for me and in turn my family. I’ve felt so much more positive and in control of my thoughts, actions and life in general these last couple of months. In fact I’ve returned to the old me that completely and utterly loved the beautiful chaos that my life becomes when I’m a stay at home mum on maternity leave! I love how lucky and blessed I am and have been, to be able to have a whole year off work to stay at home and spend all my time nurturing, bonding, loving and mothering my last little miracle baby 💖 And even better still is that I’ve been able to keep my toddler who is now two and a half years old at home with us too. 

Sure at times it’s been really challenging, exhausting, overwhelming and isolating. However most of the time it’s been wonderful, full of many firsts and many lasts. First words, first giggles, first kisses, first steps but all these firsts will also be our last firsts because our little princess warrior turns one today! 

This is our last baby so it’s bitter sweet, I’ve reminded myself through all the tough times, the sleepless nights, the sleep deprivation, the anxiety, the marathon feeding sessions, the teething, fevers, separation anxiety that I will never be this needed again….. It’s so exciting and heartwarming that our baby girl is one but at the same time it’s the first time in a while that I’ve felt close to tears and thought slow down years I need more time. I need to hold my last baby a little longer. I’ll pick her up whenever she cries, feed her whenever she wants, co-sleep as long as she wants, give her all of my attention and unconditional love as often as I can and as long as she needs me to… And this I have offered to her older siblings too because time goes so fast and I chose to have all these beautiful little humans so I will love protect and guide them with all my heart for as long as they need me to. 

I am fortunate enough that I can stay at home and care for my children as much as I want for as long as I want, however I will return to work on reduced hours soon.

But for now to stay in my happy place that I’ve built for myself,  out of the ashes of the ocean that I was drowning in late last year, I will live right now in this moment of my beautiful last baby’s first birthday! I will rejoice in her existence, revel in her love and bask in her light filled company. I will forever feel grateful and blessed that this day last year I gave birth to my last beautiful baby, a girl, a little sister to her big sister and four older brothers!

Happy 1st Birthday to our little warrior princess Florence Rey 💖 You are loved more than words ever could convey ❤️

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Children: Nature versus Nurture

kiddies

Hello Beautiful people,

As most of you followers would know I have been a parent for nearly half my life, I have grown up whilst raising my own children. At times this has been difficult, however, difficult in ways different to what people often assume. Let me explain how. Most people say to me ‘oh you were so young when you had your children, that must have been so hard, you must have missed out on a lot in your life and how did you know what you were doing?” To this I always say “I’m educated, I work, I party, I have lived my life like all my friends and family have, just with a little more responsibility than most therefore I certainly don’t feel like I have missed out on anything!” As for knowing what I was doing, why do people assume that age impacts on your parenting, yes I have seen some young mothers that are clearly struggling emotionally and financially having a family but I have also seen many, many older first time mothers struggle drastically with the transition to motherhood!  It can be argued that the transition for older mothers can sometimes be harder because they have become so accustomed to being the centre of their own lives and then suddenly they are not.

So how did I know what I was doing with my babies when I was a young mum? Firstly I had a very supportive mother who shared all her parenting skills and knowledge with me. Secondly I armed myself with information from various books, pamphlets and journal articles on birth and parenting. I read as much as I could about becoming a parent and how to be a good parent. I wanted to be the best mother I could be and I wasn’t sure if I subscribed to the theory that being a mother was a natural instinct in women. Perhaps in some it is but at such a young age I wasn’t sure if I was one of those women that would just naturally know what to do, so I read. I read everything I could and deciphered through all the information and decided which tips, techniques and theories on parenting suited me and undertook to apply these skills in my parenting. Thirdly a wise beautiful Aboriginal woman I know, upon the birth of my daughter wrote on a card saying “congratulations on the birth of your beautiful daughter” “always remember these words, UNCONDITIONAL LOVE”……….. I thought long and hard about these words and often they ring true in my head and heart to this day. Unconditional love, what did it mean? My interpretation was that it meant that my love for this child and all my children should be a love given freely and without conditions…….That thought, that notion rang so true to my heart, it not only referred to my children’s behaviours but to everything about them. I would love them regardless of any disabilities, ailments, behavioural problems, developmental issues or personality traits that were challenging! I would love, protect and nurture them for as long as I could with unconditional love. A mothers love that would not set limits or expectations. That is to say the love I gave would always remain the same regardless of the situation. A mother doesn’t love her children any less if they misbehave or choose a different career path to what the mother hoped for them.

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Luckily for me it seems, it turned out I was a bit of a ‘natural’ born mother, I took to mothering like a duck to water! I handled years of sleepless nights, childhood illnesses and temper tantrums with a surprising element of ease. What I found hard unlike the assumptions of others was the attitude of others towards me. People are ageist and automatically assume that if you have had children at a young age that you must be uneducated and have missed out on so much in life. Incorrect in all my spare time at home with kiddies I have ALWAYS studied! The other few challenges have been financial, starting young doesn’t give you the time to set yourself up financially before the added expense of kids comes along. But even that hasn’t bothered me too much because I have seen older parents with tonnes of money wait so long to have children that they then have complications with getting pregnant or babies with health complications or remain career focused after they have children and the child gets little time with its parents, so each argument has its pros and cons.

At the end of the day I have lovely, healthy, happy well-adjusted children that have been and will be nurtured by me! My children know that I love them unconditionally and that under even the most stressful situations or temper tantrums that I will remain calm (as possible lol) and will listen to them and support them.

So the age-old debate of nature versus nurture always pops in to my mind when I reflect on how lucky I have been with being blessed with such lovely children. To me nature dictates genetic traits that my children possess such as their musical ability or their preference for sleeping over sport or more so the colour of their hair or eyes. However my preference for the belief that children are more of a product of how they are nurtured as opposed to what is natural/innate to them could also be refuted. Nurturing can also influence the same aspects of their lives, if I nurture them and allow them to sleep over encouraging them to get up and be active then its their environment and life routine that is shaping who they are and not some innate predisposition behind their preference to sleep!! I don’t believe that as a general rule children are ever born bad……with the exception of a very very small few! Children learn right from wrong from their care givers and their environment. It is not instinctive for them to behave badly however it is instinctive for them to explore every aspect of life and this often tests the boundaries. What is the point of getting angry at a child for wetting his pants if he is only learning how to toilet train. Children learn through POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT AND REPETITION!! I’m not going to lie to you when I say if you don’t like the sound of your own voice and you don’t want to have to hear yourself say the same thing over and over and over again for the next twenty odd years then DON’T have kids!! I say “stop picking your nose” so frequently it has become a catch phrase in my house that I say with utter disdain!! Other than repetition the other tool I have found incredibly useful is positive reinforcement, not bribes, if the child is old enough explain the rewards and benefits of their good behaviour, if not simple age appropriate gestures such as clapping, smiling and best of all kind words and hugs!! All interactions with children should be age appropriate, yelling at a toddler for putting a fork in a power point is redundant!! They have no understanding why you are yelling and may even do it again just to get a reaction out of you. Solution, to protect your child and save your energy from stressing and freaking out is cover the accessible power point! All these parents that say don’t change your environment and/or lifestyle to suit your children give me the shits!! Ok don’t modify anything in your home and watch the accidents happen or don’t stop having regular house parties and see how you have unruly over-tired kids! Having children requires a lot of effort and planning and responsibility. And I’m certainly not saying wrap them in cotton wool because believe me my kids have been to the Emergency Department a lot more than some but never with accidents in the home. All the typical viral things and broken boys that happen with scooter and bike riding. Children deserve to have fun, healthy, active childhoods in which they feel safe and loved.

From all my time as a parent and a nurse at various, playgroups, daycare centres, preschools, primary schools, high schools and hospitals I have observed and interacted with lots of children and their parents.

Some of these children have such natural kind, placid personalities that you instantly connect with. Some are more unruly and its difficult to engage them. I am not unrealistic that parenting is not without its difficulties but I can honestly say that sadly too often the children that are more difficult in their behaviour are experiencing some sort of rejection or misunderstanding of their behaviour or emotions by their parents. The child acts out, over and over again to gain the parents attention, whether it be good or bad because what many parents seem to forget is that any attention is good attention to a child that is not getting their needs met. Example, I know a lady with twins beautiful girls who are lovely and well-behaved, their mother is aware that her life is not without challenges having two babies at the same time and yet for the most part she remains patient, loving and kind towards her children because she wanted them so much that she will love them unconditionally and protect them forever. This love and understanding of her children helps her to stay calm when they misbehave from time to time and although she will teach them right from wrong, she will never criticise or belittle them. This calm loving parenting is reflected in how well-behaved her twins are. Contrary to this lovely mother I knew another mother with two boys very close together in age, she too was a young mother like myself, and struggled to adjust to the transition of motherhood. I witnessed her out of frustration scream at her boys, slap them, put them in time out and on occasion belittle them. I felt terrible for her boys who just continued to misbehave. They would do everything to push her buttons, draw on walls, pee in corners, hit each other and for every action they undertook there was her reaction swiftly behind them. I tried as a peer parent, friend and nurse to talk to this mother that was struggling about using different strategies with her boys to try to break the cycle of stress and unhappiness in the household. She just cried and said nothing works and despite putting supports in place like playgroup and parenting groups she became dis-engaged and put the children in full-time childcare and spent less and less time with them. Years later I saw them as primary school aged children and noted sadly that none of their behaviour was any better, kids or mothers! It was the mixed messages that this mother was giving to her children that struck a chord with me the most. She would say to the older one “don’t hit your brother’ whilst giving him a massive slap on the backside, sure enough five minutes later he would walk over and hit his brother again! I joke with my children and say to them “do as I say not as I do” especially when it comes to my use of colourful language. However I am not unrealistic and know that children are sponges and admire and respect their primary caregivers no matter how they are behaving. So I may tell them not to do something but if I’m doing it myself then chances are eventually they will do it themselves too and I will have no-one to blame but myself. We can all live in a fairy tale world were we all have the total control of our kids and the final say in all their behaviours but that’s just unrealistic isn’t it! If I get embarrassed by my kids swearing  in public then I have no-one to blame but myself. I can explain to them why I feel the need to swear, how it’s generally frowned upon by society and how I wished they wouldn’t do it but if its something they are hearing all the time its going to be like second nature to them isn’t it! It’s all learnt behaviour!! I’m  pretty sure kids don’t just think, ‘I’m going to behave like a feral unruly animal today and fuck stuff up until my parents crack and lose it at me’. Their behaviour is often a product of their environment and age appropriate development!! Yes girls will be bitchy for a few years but if you ride with it don’t bother fighting back because what’s the point it’s probably a redundant argument about why can’t they shave their legs at the age of eleven?! And boys will be obsessed with body parts from now until forever, firstly their own and then other people’s as they get older. So it really isn’t worth sweating the small stuff because before you know it they are grown!

I get bewildered by these poor women who have these children that are just emulating behaviours that they see everyday and question why their kids are acting out. Recently in the Paediatric Emergency Department I looked after a young chap that had presented because he wasn’t feeling well. His mother had brought him in and it was decided he needed to stay for a few hours observation. It can be boring for a young child to sit in a hospital for hours so I let them sit in the play area, where he had access to lots of toys, books and television. I watched this child for several hours trash the playroom, throwing toys around with no regard for whether they got broken or not or whether he hurt someone with his missile projected toy. He spoke to his mother so rudely for a child his age I was astounded. His mother remained patient, quietly spoken, loving and kind and it bothered me so much that this child was so naughty for her for no apparent reason. I felt for the woman so I offered her a tea and she said “I’m fine thank you, my husband is on his way”. The boy continued to be defiant and obnoxious and refused to let me provide him with any nursing care, which isn’t unusual for frightened small children. He wasn’t frightened though he was angry and naughty and then his father arrived! Wow the old saying of ‘apple doesn’t fall far from the tree’! The dad was immediately abrupt about what the ‘hold up’ was at the hospital, question directed towards me and his wife. Obviously brushed his son aside when the child ran to him for a hug out of excitement upon seeing his dad. Ignored all the child’s attempts at gaining his father’s attention, sat impatiently taping his foot whispering hurriedly to his wife and then got up and brushed the child aside again when the child elected to sit on his father’s lap while I assessed him. This left the child distraught and completely unapproachable followed by a rampage of toy throwing. Toy throwing to which dad returned by chastising the child……. thus perpetuating the cycle of bad behaviour for attention…..and reinforcing any attention is good attention to a child not getting his needs met… All the while my heart bled for the mother who was trying her hardest to parent her child with obvious unconditional love and close to tears.

Parents, primary care givers, whoever they may be need to self reflect regularly on how their family is going. If things aren’t working then it may be time to reflect on why not, take some time out and try new techniques. Most often parents aren’t coping because they are at breaking point from exhaustion. A little time out and reflection on why they have children is useful and how can they get help if they need it! Children need to be wanted they need to have boundaries, routines, rules that make them feel safe and above all they need UNCONDITIONAL LOVE!! A true parent does not love their child any less if they display bad behaviour. Furthermore rewarding their bad behaviour with negative attention is superfluous!! Children need to be praised, encouraged and rewarded for positive behaviours and attitudes!! Positive reinforcement and education started from a young age instil a sense of self-pride and an ability to develop critical thinking skills. Skills that enable kids to differentiate between right and wrong and analyse actions and consequences!! Self pride promotes self-confidence and self-awareness and it is my experience that children with these qualities are often more in tune with other people’s self perceptions!! Teach your children to know who they are and to feel love and respect for themselves and this will in turn reflect in how they treat others!! A school bully once analysed will often confess immense self loathing….. And no child should feel like that… If the bully didn’t feel like that in the first place then they would not lash out and hurt others.

I recently read an article (which out of protest I will NOT post a link to) that stated that we are creating a generation of arrogant children that don,t believe that they can fail at anything…WTF… From what I see in society we are seeing generations of children too scared to aspire to anything, too afraid to be who they want to be!! With the pressures of social media sites, media itself and the fast paced modern technological world, children are finding it more difficult to be who they really are!! The incident rates of youth suicide, binge drinking, drug use, mental health issues from eating disorders to major depression has significantly risen over the last few decades……. So why should I not tell my children how amazing they are? If society and media keeps sending them the message that they are not good enough and that setting their goals and dreams too high may set them up for failure that they may not be equipped to deal with, I say to hell with that theory!!!! In life there will be ups and downs and they know that, they’ve got enough peers criticising them, enough teachers criticising them and enough media leading them to believe they are not good enough, then why should I not shower them with praise!! I chose to have them, they are my favourite people in the world I reserve the right to tell them how fabulous I think they are everyday!!!!

Unconditional love and nurturing children may just be enough to overcome the bad behaviours that parents, who are pushed to their limits, blame on the child’s nature or genetic pre-disposition……

Anyway at the end of the day, all I’m trying to say is, don’t have children if all you’re going to do is complain about them, belittle or ignore them!! There are so many wonderful loving people out there that would give anything to have children but can’t for whatever sad and frustrating reason so cherish and appreciate what you’ve got!! And realise that if your kid is a little bit of a prick it’s probably because you’re being a bit of a shit parent!! Often the traits people find challenging in their children are the traits they struggle to recognise or handle within themselves, like stubbornness……

It is not in a child’s nature to be deliberately naughty and so it is up to us to nurture them so they can learn right from wrong.

TO MY CHILDREN

I will love you

Because you deserve it

Protect you

Because you are vulnerable

Guide you

Because without guidance you may get lost

Inspire you

Because you deserve to have big dreams

Support you

Because even the strongest human will need support sometime

But most of all I will love you!!

With unconditional love, because, I chose you!!

And somewhere, somehow your tiny soul chose me too…..

Peace, Love and Happiness xoxoxoxox 🙂

Posted in All The Bits In Between, Birth, Family, Fun, Health, Hospitals, Houses, Nursing, Pregnancy, Sea change, Society, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Birth to Please Clean Your Room!

Nine months pregnant, second pregnancy, I was huge, my mum and sister nicknamed me little Buddha.......
Nine months pregnant, second pregnancy, I was huge, my mum and sister nicknamed me little Buddha…….

Hello beautiful people,

So it seems that I feel the need to return to the topic of birth, I think there has been enough talk of controversial topics of late. Today I’m on my day off work and instead of relaxing or pottering around the house I’m sitting in the lounge room with master (nearly) twelve listening to him, through snotty nasally snorts explain to me how to find out my pirate name, cause that’s actually really funny, apparently. Today I kept him home from school because he has been fighting the flu and although he rarely gets sick its been a pretty bad flu this time and so I thought he better stay home and recuperate. Also I’ve never been one of those parents that doses their kids up with Panadol, Nurofen and cough  medicine and sends them off to school to infect other poor children!! That actually drives me crazy!!!! I used to hate it when my kids were little and I took them to play group and another parent would say “oh we’ve been up all night with vomiting or fevers”, I would look at them horrified and say “well what are you doing here then” thinking to myself are you deliberately trying to spread your germs and make the rest of us sick?!!! Anyway, Marshall( master 12) is home so he can rest and get better quickly and not share his snotty germs with other people’s kiddies.

Marshall has been a healthy chap since he was born, as I said very rarely sick, we often joke that he has a cast iron stomach cause that kid could eat just about anything without getting sick!! Marshall was born seven years after our daughter, because of how young I was when I had her and the difficulties I encountered when I had her as told in Birth To Where Is My Courtesy Phone Call, I decided to wait until I had my second child.

Birth sometimes seems a taboo topic to discuss unless you’re sitting in a playgroup full of mums who want to share birth stories and even then it’s often the horror stories that get shared more frequently. I’m always surprised and saddened by how many women think birth is scary and disgusting!! My first birth was, I guess you could say, emotionally traumatic but physically, my baby and I were fine so that is the best outcome one could hope for. My second birth was AMAZING!!!! I love talking about it and love reminiscing about it!! However the response I’ve had from some women when I recount my birth story includes comments such as “are you crazy, why do it naturally when you can have drugs?” or “yeah but your one of the lucky ones, it rarely goes that good” I feel irritated by responses like this because its unnecessary to take away from the joy and pride I feel about my birth experience!! Especially because I don’t do pregnancy well, not very well at all!! With each of my pregnancies I have gotten huge!!!! I’m only five foot three and with each pregnancy I’ve roughly put on between twenty and thirty kilograms!!! Mostly in my tummy and arse……. I have babies weighing between 3.3kgs and 4.5kgs. I get morning sickness the whole nine months and the only thing that stops me vomiting is eating!! I get headaches, heartburn, nosebleeds, nocturia and insomnia….. I’ve also had miscarriages and ectopic pregnancies so I usually don’t tell anyone Im pregnant till well after three months….. Oh the joys of being pregnant!! So if I’ve been *lucky* enough to have good births, I say yay, go me!!!

My pregnancy with Marshall was probably one of my easiest ones, except the time I feel over when I was merely trying to walk or the time I vomited on my daughters back and into her school bag as we were leaving the house for school one morning….Sorry baby girl :}

Throughout my pregnancy I was calm, happy and stress free. My husband worked, my daughter was at school so I had alot of free me time once I went on early maternity leave. I attended creative birth classes run by a gorgeous woman, who created a safe space for women only. In the classes we did meditation, visualisation, yoga and creative arts. In one of our visualisation sessions I visualised my baby and drew a water-colour picture of baby which actually turned out to look just like him.

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I felt so well prepared for this baby that when the day came to head to the hospital, with my birth plan in place, to give birth, I felt like I could take on the world.

The day before I went into labour I said to my husband, Sniper, I feel a bit tired and I have a back ache, I think I’ll go to be early. I called my mum and told her to be on standby because I wasn’t feeling great. She was straight over with my sister and they stayed the night to watch my daughter just in case. I went to bed and slept quite well and woke around 5am. Everyone else was still asleep. I went to the bathroom and had a ‘show’ , which in technical terms is a thick bloody mucous plug that covers the cervix and is shed from the body before labour, yep gross! I also noticed that I had a back ache and slight tightening in my stomach. I went back to bed to read for an hour until the pains started getting stronger. I woke Sniper and said “I’m pretty sure I’m having contractions so I’ll just call the hospital and see what they say”, the hospital said “we’re not to busy so come in if you like and see how you’re going” So I quietly told my mum and off Sniper and I went to the Birth Centre at Royal Hospital for Women, Randwick. Upon arrival we were met by a beautiful midwife named Tai, she took my history did a quick set of vital signs and asked if I wanted and internal examination. At this stage I said I didn’t mind and she did an examination and told me I was only two to three centimetres dilated, so there was action but it could still take hours, days even. She told us we could stay for a bit and monitor the contractions to see if they were getting stronger and if not then we could go home. It was roughly 7am. The birth centre room was big and had a double bed in the middle of the room, a beautiful cane crib, a wooden dining table with two chairs, a bean bag, a wooden rocking chair and a huge bathroom, with bath tub and double shower. We put on some relaxing music and burnt some essential oils and a walked around the room for a while and sat rocking in the rocking chair. We talked, my husband and I, we played cards and felt so relaxed with just the two of us in the room like we were on holidays in a nice hotel. Around mid morning I told Tai that the contractions were getting stronger and I wouldn’t mind if she examined me, she did and told me that I was nearly nine centimetres dilated and she couldn’t believe how calm and relaxed I seemed. I did internalize my pain a bit and finally spoke up and said I wouldn’t mind trying something to help with the pain, perhaps a bath or something? My husband was anxious about water births so he looked at me nervously and the midwife suggested it might be too late for that so we settled on a shower instead. I sat on a shower chair holding one shower nozzle on my tummy and Sniper holding one on my back and the pain was coming in waves getting stronger and stronger and closer together and sometimes I had to remind myself to breathe! The relaxation techniques and pelvic rocking I learned in creative birth class were coming in handy!! The more I tensed up with each contraction the worse the pain got!! So I had to remember to relax!! I stared at my husband who was smoothing my hair out of my eyes and said ‘I love you” and I squeezed his hand, he said “I love you too and you’re doing great baby”, “I don’t think I can do this much longer” “Ok honey, let me get the midwife and we’ll get you out of the shower and see how we can help with the pain”. With that he walked out of the bathroom to find Tai, as he did I stood up…….alone……kind of a bad idea lol I heard, I kid you not, a pop sound and even though I had put the shower nozzles down I felt an almighty gush of warm water running down my legs….. “I need to push right NOW!!’ I screamed and he came running back in and I felt the centre of my gravity shift as something forceful and beyond my control was pushing straight down through my pelvis. The regular rhythmical contractions had stopped and it was like one long tight cramping and burning sensation around my perineum. Sniper put his arm around my waist and said “its ok baby I got you, let me walk you to the bed” as he did he pressed the assistance button on the wall and in came our midwife! I didn’t make it to the bed and was gently lowered onto the bean bag on the floor. A few really good pushes, going with the overwhelming feeling that my body no longer had control of itself and out came this absolutely gorgeous squishy baby!! Tai caught him and placed him straight in my arms on my tummy. I was still naked and wet from the shower and I felt her place a blanket around us. I looked down at my gorgeous baby and thought how beautiful, not caring or even thinking to ask if it was a boy or girl. I looked up at Sniper and he was crying “he said good work honey look” and was pointing at our baby and I looked to see and realised he was pointing at a little willy!!! We just had our first son!!!! Marshall Stone was born at 12:oopm midday 🙂

One minute old, I was wasted and high on endorphines :)
One minute old, I was wasted and high on endorphins 🙂

Both of us coming from families with all sisters, we always thought we’d only have girls!! We were crying but Marshall didn’t cry when he came out, the first time he cried was about half an hour later when I handed him to his daddy because I wanted to get up and have another shower and get dressed!! I felt like I had more adrenaline and endorphins running through me than any athlete!! I felt invincible!! I had my shower got dressed and then we called everybody to tell them of Marshall’s arrival. Of course the first person we phoned was our princess Magenta (big sister) and that was when I was handing Marshall to his daddy and he cried because he didn’t like his sleep being disturbed (he still doesn’t like his sleep being disturbed to this day!) and his big sissy heard him cry for the first time over the phone which made her cry! There were a lot of tears of joy that day!!! We stayed one night in the birth centre and went home the next day on the early discharge program. The midwives came and did home visits for a few days, it was all very calm uncomplicated and lovely. All the midwives we had were kind compassionate and helpful, it was a completely opposite experience to my first birth.

Three months old and always smiling, except when crying for food!! :)
Three months old and always smiling, except when crying for food!! 🙂

I sometimes wonder if this relaxed, laid back birth contributed to my sons personality today. He is kind, compassionate, artistic, a great singer, good with technology, good with little kiddies and animals and yet not that interested in sport and somewhat hard to get motivated. Always just wanting to chill….lol….

Six months old with daddy being silly :)
Six months old with daddy being silly 🙂

Marshall is the coolest (nearly) twelve-year-old boy I know!! He makes me laugh and makes me proud of him every day! He is the perfect mix of me and his dad, he has his dads talent for music and technology and my outgoing personality and passion for reading!

Marshall, you are a great little brother to your big sister and a great big brother to your little brothers! You’ve spent countless hours playing, growing and learning together and I’m sure you’ll all be great friends as you get older!

Ahhh whats sissy doing to me!
Ahhh whats sissy doing to me!

The day you were born my beautiful boy

Was a day filled with tears of joy

You make us proud everyday

And make us laugh in so may ways

Whenever you’re around no day is filled with gloom

But please oh please son don’t make me ask you again to please CLEAN YOUR ROOM!!

Birth stories are sometimes confronting I guess because people are grossed out about how we humans enter the world. I know my boy will read this story and squirm but he knows I’m a nurse and even the sweetest stories are tainted with gross technical terms!!

Love you so much Marshall Stone you’ll always be awesome cool to me 🙂

Peace, Love and Happiness xoxoxoxoxoxox

Posted in All The Bits In Between, Family, Fun, Health, Hospitals, Houses, Income, Moving, Music, Nursing, schools, Society, Spiritual, Uncategorized

Trial By Society

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Hello Beautiful People,

Well as I said in my last post it has been a very busy couple of months, both for me personally and for our country!!

Lets see how our country has been busy. Some of you, for starters may be wondering why the cute and cuddly image of a pink care bear above has been tainted by the bomb in its hand and the giant ‘A’ for ‘Anarchy’ on its belly?! Well I thought it was a fitting analogy for what some of the events that have recently taken place in our country can be likened too!!

Firstly, our Government, currently the Labor Party are in *power* being led by the infamous Julia Gillard. Is it just me or did this party recently become more of a circus side-show act than they have ever been?! Watching the news reports over and over again about the party experiencing internal discord and leadership challenges was for me, incredibly embarrassing!! It was like watching a group of little kids arguing and saying “no, everybody likes me better, so we should play my game” Hhhmmm shame shame shame all the Politicians need to grow up and set a better example to the members of society, that they are leading, not squabbling!!! So back to the bear, Julia reminds me of the bear, feminine, slightly, strangely adorable, (perhaps because she’s the first female Prime Minister we’ve ever had or perhaps cause she’s a ranga, yep I secretly love them too!) and so like the bear, cute, yet somehow exuding the energy of someone who potentially is (whether it be directly or indirectly) in sighting some sort of disharmony or anarchy even within her own party!! Interestingly enough despite our governments constant bickering within the parties and between the parties it is satisfying to reflect and note that our country comparative to the rest of the world has seen great economic stability whilst others have come crashing down!! And yet we as a nation watch our leaders fight and berate each other with predictions of doom and gloom if they themselves are not in power!! Maybe the politicians will only be happy if the country falls into a nation of Anarchy…… 😉

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On the notion of a nation of anarchy we shall move on from our politicians and address the recent issue of societies response (and mine) towards an incident involving a police officer and a civilian at the Mardi Gras parade in Sydney………

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The above YouTube Video was uploaded and circulated around two days after the Mardi Gras when this incident took place, it went viral almost immediately. Watching it made me feel sick and disappointed in this particular Police Officer and I was genuinely disgusted, at what I perceived to be, as an obvious use of excessive force!! I made my opinions strongly known on my Facebook page despite several people I care about being in the Police Force. I didn’t care if I offended anyone because I hate violence, I’m a hippie at heart and any form of violence reduces me to tears. Yet this clip made me angry, it made me so angry I wanted the world to know that I supported this poor little whimpering kid in his gold sparkly shorts and that the Police Officer should be severely reprimanded!! I too, like Julia, had good intentions at heart but had become the *A* for Anarchy care bear!!!! I’m cuddly and sweet and love everybody, everybody that is except this horrible aggressive Policeman! I was not alone, a lot of my peers, who I perceive as peace-loving people, kind, intelligent, compassionate people were also shouting ‘hate crime’ from their rooftops and demanding justice for this ‘poor innocent’ boy who was brutalised at the hands of this Policeman!! Only two people challenged my very public opinion on the matter and I was confronted by these challenges publicly and unexpectedly……. those two people, Anne and Sean, I’ll always respect you both and be in awe of  the strengths of your personalities. It seemed like everyone I knew agreed with me and that this man was the victim of excessive Police force and there was a trial by society brewing that this Policeman should be dealt with and discharged immediately.

http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/nsw/youll-make-it-worse-for-yourself-new-footage-shows-mardi-gras-teen-kicking-at-officers-20130308-2fp79.html

The above link shows a snippet more of the full picture of the circumstances surrounding the incident in which this young chap was arrested and thrown to the ground. Its interesting of course that this footage is incredibly hard to find and has had nowhere near the million or so hits that the previous footage that was first put on YouTube had as it went viral….. Turns out, after this boy agreed to do some media interviews,  that he knew he wasn’t behaving appropriately but he did think the Policeman was heavy-handed with him….. Further investigation and some not so widely spread news reports have confirmed that the boy was acting unruly and behaving like a public menace. One eye-witness later came forward to say that the boy was seen obstructing the path of an ambulance trying to get to a patient, that he was touching people on the backside that he didn’t know and then very publicly resisted arrest and tried to fight off several Police Officers while he was hand cuffed….. As I said, very limited footage showing this but there is some around!! And yet the general consensus of society was *FTP*……… Maybe we all secretly want anarchy so we can all go around assaulting each other and fending for ourselves……

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I want to make it clear that I still think that the footage of the Policeman taking that guy down does look bad and in a perfect peaceful world (that I have created in my head) he would have gently lowered him to the ground and carefully restrained him (perhaps with a cuddle thrown in). The extra footage shown to me, the news reports displaying the boys behaviour and some cool people I know calmly explaining to me how it feels in those situations and the training they are given to deal with people resisting arrest has made me (very very red-faced!!) come full circle to say, I don’t want Anarchy…. Perhaps I want to be the care bear with the heart on its tummy……

Perhaps, for me to be able to live in a world where the idiots on the streets creating chaos and anarchy need to be dealt with appropriately, there may need to be care bears that are braver than me who can handle having to use a little force when necessary…….

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Everyone in our country has their opinion on how things should be run and how law breakers should be dealt with, myself included. However if we are not going to actively involve ourselves in being the changes we want to see in our society then we have no right to sit back and create a trial by couch sitting critics…… If you don’t have the political knowledge to run the country and you don’t vote, then don’t complain about the leaders screwing it up!! If you don’t know the law and don’t/cant (because of your criminal history) work as a Police Officer then don’t judge unless you can show you can do it better!!

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I espoused my opinion on the Government and the Police as though my opinion was the best and most accurate and then was forced again to reflect on my pompous opinions…….. Self reflection is often hard because none of us ever like to admit that we are wrong or look at aspects of ourselves that we might need to change, cause lets face it we all think we’re pretty awesome huh? I reflected on my opinions of the government and how the country is being run and my very public opinion on this incident with the boy and the Police Officer because of a few recent incidences I experienced myself whilst at work. I was in some situations that required me to use my own critical thinking on my feet and fast, decisions were made outcomes were good and yet opinions and judgements were flying left right and centre. My pride was hurt and I couldn’t understand why people weren’t just telling me how awesome I was……….

Upon reflection………..WE ARE NOT CARE BEARS!!!! WE ARE  HUMAN!!!! 🙂

Which means we do the best that we can, we make rash decisions in the heat of the moment with the best intentions, at least most of us do, and sometimes those decisions will leave people judging us. Criticising or critiquing our actions if you will and we can choose to react emotionally and hold onto that judgement or opinion and become resentful towards society or we can choose to use that information as a learning lesson. Arm yourself with the knowledge that others are trying to impart on you, learn from your mistakes or choices and move forward in strength.

KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!!!! Knowing all the facts and all your options will set you free and make you a better person (not care bear) 🙂

We truly live in a lucky country, Liberal, Labor or Greens, NSW, VIC, or QLD Police, I still feel lucky that we do not live in a war-torn country with Militia and Guerilla armies or corrupt Governments (for the most part)!!!

Happy judging, Society!!!

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Peace, Love and Happiness 🙂 xoxoxoxoxoxox