The best way to escape on Mother's Day

Culburra beach. Photo: Daniel Guerra

Culburra beach. Photo: Daniel Guerra

What is it you wanted most on Mother's Day? A sleep in? A massage? Perhaps all you wanted was to go to the toilet on your own. Mother's Day, in the end, is about thanking Mums for all they do, and perhaps giving them an “escape” for what can sometimes be a relentless and thankless job. Ok, so it’s a job that we love… but we could do with a break sometimes!

This Mother's Day, my escape involved heading down the South Coast of NSW for a festival, called Burradise in Culburra, Shoalhaven.

Read the full article at Out and About With Kids

what it's really like to pop "happy pills"

Anxiety can be a lonely illness. Photo: Daniel Guerra

Anxiety can be a lonely illness. Photo: Daniel Guerra

I've had anxiety since my mid 20s. I've lived with the constant fear of a panic attack, an invisible line of tension across my neck and shoulders. I couldn't relax, and I had a recurring terror that I was going to go mad.

Why is there such persistent stigma around medicating anxiety and depression? 

I'm 40 now, so that's 15 years of living with an irrational fear that I just couldn't kick.

The recurring nature of anxiety means I've gone through periods where it has been a dull hum, and others where it is like a swarm of bees hovering around my head.

Read the full article at Daily Life

the "Mummy Wars" are real and I've got the scars to prove it

We all parent differently, but not everyone's ok with that. Photo: Daniel Guerra

We all parent differently, but not everyone's ok with that. Photo: Daniel Guerra

Before I had children the “Mummy wars” were a fable I had heard about.

Something distant, improbable and also something I thought I would never experience, even if I became a mother.

Now that I’ve been a parent for five years, I know that the Mummy wars are real, and I have the battle scars to prove it.

Read the full article at RendezView

we want to teach our kids resilience, but what about us?

We all need to be able to get back up when we fall down

We all need to be able to get back up when we fall down

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from adversity. It's a mindset many parents are grappling with as they try to cultivate this in their children. It's definitely something I want my kids to have, and it's a fundamental life skill, but lately I've been thinking 'am I resilient?'.

It seems to me that parents have their own special set of challenges to face. We need to have the ability to get through the early months and years, the relentless march of dirty nappies, laundry, broken sleep, sultanas in car seats and tantrums.

But we need a more subtle resilience, too - one that allows us to be the adult in the relationship when our child comes home from school after being bullied, when they have their first broken heart, or yell that they hate us before slamming the door in our face.

Read the full article at Essential Kids

what does being a good mum really mean?

A standard ferry ride in Sydney

A standard ferry ride in Sydney

Are you a 'good' mum? I've never asked myself this question, though lately I've been thinking it's an important question to ask.

I'm pretty good at thinking about what I should be doing better. Like getting my daughter to eat a wider range of food other than pasta, white rice or udon noodles. Or worrying that I don't spend enough time with both children, that they eat too much sugar and watch too much TV.

But what does being a 'good' mum really mean?

Read the full article at Essential Kids

the way we talk to girls is different to the way we talk to boys

It surprised me when I realised I spoke differently to my son. Photo: Daniel Guerra

It surprised me when I realised I spoke differently to my son. Photo: Daniel Guerra

When I found out I was having a boy, after first having a girl, I was delighted.

I had a few insecurities about raising a boy, given I knew so little about them, but I was happy to have a gender balance in our house.

Fast forward to today when that little baby has become a very adorable, cheeky little boy and I'm learning a whole lot more about how difficult "gender balance" really is.

I'm not talking about buying gender-neutral toys and being cool when he wants to wear a princess dress.

Read the full article at Daily Life

when loving your partner is a choice

Shevonne with her husband Daniel

Shevonne with her husband Daniel

Having children inevitably involves surprises. There are a lot of things you can’t possibly know before you have children. No matter how prepared you are, how many books you read, how many birthing stories you listen to, having babies will inevitably lead to some kind of surprise.

You may, like a good friend of mine, be surprised that labour hurt more than breastfeeding. It may be that you’re surprised at just how sleep deprived one small human can make you feel. And of course, there’s all the good stuff too. Like how at peace you can feel holding a sleeping baby nestled under your chin, or cry just because you love them so much.

Read the full story at Kidspot