Tag Archives: Parent

A hard heart makes for a hard life

Squishy heart image

My babies are both crying. One is having a meltdown and one is crying in sympathy and hunger.

It seems trivial to me that coming inside from the deck could cause such a stir but here we are living the disappointment and emotion of it. My natural instinct would be to tell my toddler to calm down and just do as I ask while I go pick up my infant for a calming cuddle.

What I actually do is crouch down and offer my arms to my toddler. My embrace is refused. Okay then. I stay down and empathise, “Yes I know it’s hard to come inside with me when you want to be on the deck. It makes you upset hey”. I look into her eyes and see a little child having a big problem. “I love you bubba”. All attempts at nose wiping would be futile at this point so I stay still and wait. She runs around the kitchen. I wait, while offering words of reassurance. I go back onto the deck and retrieve three toys and deliver them. No? Alright then. After a fair bit of hoo ha, there is an opportunity for connection. I pick up my toddler and give a cuddle. There is a fair bit of wriggling involved, then my darling comes good. The little face is wiped. I put some music on, cuddle and breastfeed my infant. The storm is over and we are back on track. Phew.

If I had gone with my first reaction, I could have ended up rousing on an upset toddler who has to calm down by herself while she watches her mother rock and nurse her sibling. She would receive no understanding for her big feelings or problems. They would essentially be dismissed, even though they are big issues in her world. She would then be taken to play school where she has a big day, most likely without any sleep. She would come home tired, needing connection at a time when infants are renowned for needing a fair amount of mummy time and physical affection. You can picture the rest. Sure, my infant would have had her immediate needs met, but there are two babies in my house.

A soft heart creates a safety net for the people around me, especially the little ones. Being a gentle place to fall, having a ready embrace and offering tenderness is my key to a happy life. Oh, it’s not all beach balls and sunshine all the time at our place, but practice makes perfect. The more moments where we choose a soft heart builds a better way of being. A hard heart makes for a hard life, for everyone.

So this is my commitment to myself. Offer myself a soft heart. Then everyone else  in this crazy web of life with me will feel the love and be better off for it.

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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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