Never Be Late for School Again: 8 Steps to Getting Your Children out the Door on Time

I have never been a morning person. My genes just simply don’t allow for it. Yet now, as a mother of three, I find myself in the challenging position of getting the four of us organised and out the door by 8:00am each week day.

But when we realise that our mornings mentally set us up for the day, why not aim to keep them as stress-free as possible?

I found I could ease my morning struggles by employing one of my strengths: organisation. More specifically, using a triple approach that helps me with many parenting hurdles; setting a clear plan, consistency, and encouraging autonomy.

So if you’re also looking for a stress-free method to get your children out the door on time, Continue reading

What I Would Say to My Pregnant Self

I saw myself today. And at first, I didn’t even realise it was me.

She was huddled against the cold of winter in thick folds of grey and black, stepping carefully out of the car. Her husband – one hand closing the door, the other instinctively, lovingly, resting on the small of her back – said something in her ear that brought a brief smile to her tired face. He guided her slowly towards the brightly-lit supermarket, past the rows of trolleys, past the other parked cars, past me in another time.

Her belly swelled out from her woollen layers, tightly hugging the baby it still sheltered. But for how much longer? A week, two at the most? So sweet that he came along to help with the pushing, the lifting, and the carrying that her heavily pregnant body was struggling to manage. People were always calling her husband sweet.

I watched her. A woman today, but a mother one tomorrow very soon. She was, of course, completely unaware of what that would actually mean, Continue reading

Answering the Raw Truths of PTSD

It was meant to be a good day. A day full of positive distractions. A day of moving forward with new ambitions. The type of day when we least expect PTSD triggers to strike. The type of day that we both happily let our guard down. Though maybe it was because of that, when the intrusions unexpectedly began to flood his mind I saw they had hit him that bit harder, and for that bit longer.

But that’s not what upset me the most that day.

He came home and let me know right away that his day had been a particularly bad one. No, he didn’t know what he felt. No, he didn’t know what he needed. There’s no easy way for him to escape the memories, and no possible way for him to normalise them. In his torment, he craved space, but I could also sense he still desperately needed to stay close to our love and support.

It’s always upsetting to see him like this, but that’s not what upset me the most that day. Continue reading

5 Treatments You Need to Stop Giving Your Children

After more than fifteen years working as a pharmacist, it still surprises me how often I find myself encouraging people not to take medications.

Whist striving to do the best for themselves and their loved ones, I discover that many people are unnecessarily taking and giving treatments that may actually do more harm than good. And the biggest offenders are parents.

In an effort to reduce unnecessary harm and potential side-effects, I regularly encourage parents to stop giving their children certain medications and treatments. Unless otherwise directed by a medical professional, these are the top 5 treatments I encourage you NOT to give your children.* Continue reading

Why Ignoring My Son Was the Best Thing I Did Today

The best thing I did today was ignore my son.

Yes, it’s true that he’s unable to fix his own meals, true that he can’t manage to dress himself, and true that he can’t even go to the toilet on his own. Yes, it’s also true that I am my son’s main carer, but today I still chose to ignore him.

My method may surprise you, but my reasons hopefully won’t.

Now before you label me as a terrible person, an indolent carer, or a neglectful mother, the first thing I need to point out is that my son has only had Continue reading

What I Tell My Children About Their Father’s PTSD

“Mummy, why is Daddy so angry?”

I feel my throat tighten as familiar tears prick at the corner of my eyes. My daughter sobs into her pillow, she doesn’t see me trying to empty my face of the distress that rattles me. The turbulence of my husband’s anger still hangs in the air, even though he left the bedroom – and the house – a while ago. “He really frightened me, Mummy.”

My children do not deserve this, and neither do I. But this is their father, the only one they’ll ever have. And this is my husband, who I vowed to love and support. PTSD is part of our lives now, and we live with it as best we can. No more playing it down. I need to be honest in admitting that these rages affect us all. And no more making excuses for him. It’s true that he didn’t ask for PTSD, but Continue reading