The village takes vulnerability

“What’s wrong with the baby?” a child asked at a music event when my youngest was a few weeks old. The question innocently reminded me that the intense rash all over her face and body was unmissable. I kept telling myself it would go on its own. I hoped it would. I also hoped her bubbly poo would settle down. It was the right colour so I was confused about what it could be and I wondered whether the two symptoms might be connected, along with the colicky evenings. By then, I’d been a breastfeeding peer supporter for four and…

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Prising free of my own perfectionism

My very nearly eight-year-old played Flounder in an amateur kids’ production of The Little Mermaid musical this weekend. I expected to be emotional (lots of welling up and wiping away tears: check!), proud (heart wildly drumming seeing her so confident and happy on stage: check!) and tired (check: it’s been months leading up to this, four performances in one weekend and I wasn’t even the one that involved!). What I didn’t expect was to be revisited by my lifelong frenemy, perfectionism. Perfectionism snuck up on me as I found myself assessing her and weighing up whether I felt this was…

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How do we share our faith with our children respectfully?

Here at the grand crescendo of the Christian calendar, Easter, I thought I’d talk about how we communicate our spiritual beliefs, and perhaps our religious traditions, in ways that respect our children’s autonomy. In the past, when I’ve mentioned that we read Bible stories or that we go to church, I’ve been asked by various people whether I was worried about indoctrination. If you’re one of those people, this post truly isn’t aimed at you and there have been quite of few of you. If I bristled when you asked, it was because you touched a nerve. I’ve been on…

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Creating meaningful birthday traditions for children

Last month we celebrated Ophelia’s fifth birthday. I am in no way used to her being 5 yet. She just yesterday started saying the “L” sound instead of replacing it with the “Y” sound. I’m going to miss all those “yions” and “yetters”, and I may not be able to quite cope with her being able to accurately pronounce all the names in our family. How have I noticed we have a theme of L’s in our names now that she can say them? In the lead up to her birthday, I began making her birthday crown, sharing the progress…

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What I learned from Instagramming my menstrual cycle

Last month Lucy from Lulastic and the Hippyshake documented her daily menstrual cycle experiences on her Instagram and encouraged others to do the same. I’ve charted my cycle for heading towards a decade now (minus a few years period-free thanks to breastfeeding), mainly for natural family planning. But I began to notice trends in the way I felt and the things I thought about, accompanying the physical changes I was recording month after month. When my period returned after Talitha, I didn’t give it much thought. I was completely focused on having another baby. All my period signalled to me…

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A cat welcome home

Sometimes I forget we are cat people. Back when I was pregnant with Talitha I was absolutely desperate to get a kitten. I was living in a new city, working from home and struggling with my mobility due to SPD brought on by the pregnancy, and I think all my hormones were crying out for a pet. So I talked us into believing it wouldn’t add much work to the responsibility of the first baby we were about to have. So we walked out of that friend of a friend’s house with not only the tabby cat we’d agreed on…

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For our children, for us all – making more noise on gendering

“Is your husband a sports fan?” my phone provider’s rep asks nonchalantly. Distracted, I reply, “Yes he is but he doesn’t need his phone to…” The penny drops. “Hang on,” I flounder, “Isn’t that kind of sexist? Shouldn’t you ask if I’m a sports fan?” They sound amused, “Well, are you?” I’m flustered. That kind of isn’t the point and I tell them so. I tell them they should not be asking that question, that it reflects badly on their company. Then I move the conversation along quickly because I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable, even though I feel…

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