What makes a good mother?

j7nit11467984225An alien from outer space who read our headlines and dipped into a lot of the literature on raising a child would be forgiven for thinking that good parenting is about fulfilling certain tasks in certain ways (be it breastfeeding, home-cooking) or mastering particular techniques. While there is nothing wrong with deciding what tasks are important and what techniques we might want to use with our children, the amount of attention placed on these things can easily lead us to forget that what is important is the underlying relationship that we have with our child. How we connect with our children, and they with us, is of prime importance, more so than any technique. We all know this, but it is good to remind ourselves of it every now and then. Continue reading

The Mixed Feelings Of Pregnancy

K5TwNo1467902804Finding ourselves pregnant is a momentous occasion. It is a time when we realise that our lives are going to change radically but we can’t know exactly how, particularly with our first child. Even when we planned our pregnancy, it can still take us by surprise. It is exciting to know that we will have a baby. Knowing that we will meet our own child in less than nine months time can be both wonderful and surreal. We have a hope and an investment in the future was not there before. Continue reading

When Does Motherhood Start? (And Why Is It Important?)

4ixkh1479313377Well the answer to the first question is obvious isn’t it?

But maybe not. When I asked this question to the women I interviewed for my book, the majority felt that it was once they had given birth, while for others it was on becoming pregnant. Either way, for all mothers, there is a point at which we feel like a mum. It normally comes hand-in-hand with the feeling of being responsible for another life; it is that moment when we understand that we are inextricably linked to our child. However, if we consider motherhood with all it entails then we can see that our whole lives have an impact on how we approach being a mother. Continue reading

To All Mothers with Young Children

exhaustionIt has been a bad week for sleep. I have had to be really mindful of being kind to myself because I know that I am tired. In those disturbed nights and even more in the lethargic days afterwards I have been reminded of how exhausted I was most of the time when my boys were younger.

But back then, with babies/toddlers there were times when I couldn’t recognise that I was tired, purely because I always was. My confidence in myself came under question because I never felt on top of anything. So I am dedicating this week to all you mothers with young children and the inevitable disturbed sleep. Continue reading

Learning About Ourselves Through Motherhood

3sHurh1467901548I recently spoke to a mother who had was finding it difficult after a 3 year break from her career to get back into her old line of work. She felt confused by the knock backs because she knew that, compared to before having a child, she had learned so much of value. She knew more, could manage more. She felt better able to deal with demands and the complexities of working relationships. She explained to me that it would only take her a matter of weeks to get back up to speed and that she had so much more to offer an employer because of her experience of motherhood. Continue reading

Valuing Our Role As Parents

kMaDAd1468330196Raising a child is an amazing thing to do, yet it is so easy to undervalue it at times.

As parents we know how important a role it is. We love our children so much and want the very best for them. But for many of us there can be those times when we lose touch with this fact. There are moments when the competing pressures of life get on top of us, maybe we are not achieving as much as we would like (or think we should) in the other realms of our lives because we are busy raising our children. Or we feel so stuck in the never ending tasks of family life that it feels we are not accomplishing much at all. It is these times that it is worth reminding ourselves how important being a parent is. Continue reading

Have Fun Highlighting Your Children’s Strengths

jsPMeC1450093279Teaching our children about themselves is something that we do every day. As parents we would like them to be able to see all their own strengths in the same way that we can, but it is not as simple as it sounds.

Children at three find it easy to believe that they are strong/clever/funny but as they get older this changes. Gradually, whilst they are in the early part of their school life they develop a good idea of who is ‘best’ in their class. Whether it be at reading or sport or something else, they begin to compare themselves to others. Continue reading

How To Trust Yourself As A Mother

rD4ORa1468320317Raising our children is so important to us. We love them and want to do the best we can for them. Yet as mothers we find ourselves contending with so many pressures. Right from pregnancy through to having our babies, we are met with a barrage of information on what to do and even how to feel. It can seem like there is an endless set of requirements to meet in order to be a good mother. If we were to attempt to adhere to all the things that we ‘should’ do with our babies, we would go mad or collapse trying. Continue reading