Tag Archives: Mental Health

Autism and society- is this as good as it gets?

What does it say about our society when a little boy has to wear a tshirt that pronounces he is autistic and asks for strangers to be kind to him? What treatment has this small person endured from adults in his world that has driven his parents to dress him this way?

I was in the carpark of a shopping centre with my children when I saw a little boy standing next to my car. We said hello and he smiled back at us. His mother raced up to catch him with her arms full of parcels, obviously worried. We said smiled hello and greeted each other. The tension shifted from her and her shoulders visibly dropped. It wasn’t until I was reversing from my spot that I noticed his shirt.

On the front said in bold print “I’m autistic”. On the back said “I’m autistic. Please be kind to me”. I wanted to jump out of my car and hug this woman (alas, not appropriate).  How stressed must she feel leaving the house to enjoy the sunshine? We live in a modern age, full of opportunity and information. How could our society arrive here? Is this as good as it gets? Please no. Let this be a message and a journey of repair.

This might sound like common sense, but I will continue anyhow:

  • Everyone has their own path and their own story,
  • Judgement breeds insecurity, resentfulness and sadness,
  • Kindness is the basis of everything- when stripped bare, all we really want is kindness,
  • Children learn from modelled behaviour,
  • Words hurt,
  • Love heals,
  • It is our communal responsibility to care for the children in our area,
  • People who complain about the state of our society’s problems better back themselves with direct action,
  • Small acts of kindness on a regular basis make us better people,
  • Better people make better communities,
  • Better communities make better societies,
  • Better societies make a better world.

I pledge to this little boy and his family. I will be kind. Thanks for the reminder.

A Christmas message: love thy neighbours and their children.

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It takes a village to raise a mother

"How's your motherhood travelling?"
“How’s your motherhood travelling?”

Welcome to the Whistling Kite Collective’s Journey of Wellness series.

Motherhood has been an incredible journey. One thing I have learnt, it takes a village to raise a mother. Catching up with people face to face has helped me enormously, especially in the early days when I felt like I was running downhill in the dark. My transition from woman to mother was made so much easier by being surrounded by the collective wisdom and support of others. Yes I could have done it alone, but who would want to? Being surrounded by others’ life experiences has expanded who I am and surely improved how I parent. Being able to reach out and pat someone on the back, snort into my drink, giggle at the ridiculous and cry with exhaustion has been so valuable.

This past week has been one long lesson in relationships. Each of my roles as a person has been challenged in some way.  I have felt a wide range of human emotion in a short period of time; sadness, empathy, grief, sympathy, joy, nervousness, shame, anger, excitement, shock and delight. I attended a funeral of a young, lovely person who passed very suddenly. I ran into a friend who is almost ready to birth her first baby. I spent time in nature with an amazing person and her wonderful little boy. I was lucky to spend a few hours with two dear friends that I have hardly seen since my second baby was born. When my first friend arrived at my door, I was so incredibly happy to see her I could have jumped on her! I settle for a hug and kiss. When my second friend arrived unexpectedly, I opened the door and burst into tears. My people, my village, hooray!

This week has reminded me how lucky I am. I have everything I want and need. Sure there could be more; or much, much less. Do my friends really know how special they are? Does my family? What about my favourite man? Do I really show these people how fabulous they are?

My dear friends and family near and afar have inspired me to be a better mother, to seek help, ask advice, laugh at myself, to rest when I can, to be grateful for my time and to enjoy the company of others. So, to my village, I thank you. I am blessed to be a part of something bigger, wholesome and very, very real. I also thank you internet, for connecting me to my worldwide village, where I can plug in at any time, catch up with loved ones around the globe and feel a part of it something tangible.

My favourite lessons from my village:

  1. Surround myself with positive, nurturing people.
  2. Listen and filter out any unhelpful or confusing information.
  3. Value myself and my inner voice.
  4. Quoting a very clever someone “You don’t need a book to tell you how to love your babies”.
  5. Value my people.
  6. Keep in touch.
  7. Say thank you.

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