Tag Archives: love

The almost 4 year old and her tantrums.

My dear daughter is 4 in a couple of months. We are deep in throwing tantrums over to most, what would seem like ‘nothing important’.

To her, she has all these ‘BIG’ feelings and is struggling to express herself with words.

Tantrums can be exhausting and frustrating to any parent. But ask yourself, how would you explain your feelings if your vocabulary was limited and your brain was overcome and overwhelmed with different feelings and thoughts?

This is a typical day for a developing child. They have limited vocabulary. Struggle with day to day feelings and the smallest things to them can feel like it’s the biggest thing in their world.

Welcome to 3-4 year olds.

For example, yesterday my almost 4 year old had 2 tantrums within perhaps 20 minutes of each other. The first was because her 6yo brother was watching something that she didn’t want to, and instead of her watching it in another room. Miss decided to scream, stamp her feet and yell all kinds of things because ABC kids was not playing.

After we dealt with that in a calming manner, explaining to her that there is another TV that we could put that channel on for her to watch, she decided to calm her ‘Big’ and ‘important’ feelings.

The second tantrum was because she wanted avocado toast just as we were about to leave for her brothers martial arts class. As I explained to her that she can have it once we get back, that was not a good enough answer for her and she proceeded to sit in the pantry and pull out all boxed items, creating a ‘wall’ so that I could not see her. All whilst screaming at me to stop talking to her.

With this I walked away and let her calm down and within a few minutes it’s, she came over to apologise.

These are only a few examples of what we have been experiencing over the past few months. Prior to this, my little miss almost 4, has been quite well behaved and mannered.

I don’t remember my 6 year old boy behaving this way at her age.
Is it a girl thing?
Is it a second child thing?
Or is it simply because my two children are different people?
It could very well be a combination of all of the above, but in any case, I’m hoping that these tantrums start to dissolve soon.

Below is a link that I have found quite helpful.
Hopefully you will also.

Just remember, breathe and know, this is just a phase. You will survive, and you will both thrive from these ‘adventures’.

http://www.essentialkids.com.au/development-advice/development/four-challenges-of-parenting-a-fouryearold-20130402-2h5t9

Family Disconnect.

Family disconnect.

There is an interesting saying, ‘you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family’.

I was chatting with a close friend of mine last week about family and how some are just so different from ours. We were both saying how we feel ‘disconnected‘ from our families as we are so different in personalities and beliefs.

It’s interesting to me how people from the same blood line can be so different in many ways.

My friend was saying that when she had her children, she thought that her bond with her mother would become better and would bring them closer, but in actual fact it has become worse, almost like her mother is jealous of her?

The grandmother (her mother) doesn’t really see her children often, given that they don’t live close to each other, however the grandmother doesn’t even call the ask how they are. Which is sad and heartbreaking because even if you have differences with your child, shouldn’t you still want to be an active part in your grandchildren’s lives?

When I grew up, I was seeing my grandparents often. Weekly if not every few days. Now I can’t remember if this was because both my parents worked and we stayed with them whilst my parents worked, or if we were there on visits? Anyway, I have very fond memories of spending time with my grandparents. Doing nice things together and it brings back great memories and warmth within my heart.

I guess everyone is different and people have their own lives and agendas. It was sad to hear the pain in her voice though, feeling that because she and her mother don’t really get along, that her kids don’t have active grandparents within their lives.

I know society is different nowadays and some grandparents are still actively working full time and have their own social lives, but should the grandchildren be punished or miss out on having their grandparents in their lives because of family differences?

My little guy is off to kindergarten this year, however at the wonderful preschool that he attended, they would go visit a retirement village monthly so that the kids would have a ‘grandparent’ experience and also, so that the elderly would have interactions with young children. I thought this was great as my little guy loved it.

My two little ones don’t see their grandparents very often, so this was also great for my little man who relished in reading books with the elderly within that retirement village. They also played games of snap, hide and seek and did gardening and artworks. I personally think that it’s great for the elderly also, as sometimes they don’t have family visit or they don’t actually have any living family close by.

I think that there is a certain amount of happiness given in both behalves. The young ones receiving knowledge and time from their peers and the elderly receiving smiles, laughter, innocence and happiness from the kids. My little man would come home with such excitement in his voice telling me about all the amazing things he did with these caring and thoughtful people.

When I was about 14 years old, my best friend in high schools mother, used to work in a retirement village in our local town. After school we used to go past her mothers workplace and visit the elderly. We would read with them, listen to their stories, watch them play piano and play card games together. I remember some of the stories that I was being told by These retirees about getting a horse and cart to school as there were not busses, and only the very wealthy had cars. Looking around their rooms and seeing a very different lifestyle but all the same a very happy life that they had lead. Such fond memories that I still hold.

We are extremely fortunate to have the most wonderful neighbours. They adore our two little ones and are often popping over to see them and chat with them. My two also adore them. They have their own children and grandchildren, however they make the time and put in the effort for my two. Which I personally find special.

We have quite a long driveway to get to our mailbox, so even on the walk up my little girl will often ask if we can go visit Ken and Robyn. Which melts my heart because it shows she enjoys their interactions. We often bake for Ken and Robyn and take them treats when we visit.

In this day and age, why do people hold grudges within their families?

Why can’t differences be put aside for the sake of innocent children?

In the long run, it’s the children that suffer by not having active grandparents within their lives. I suppose the grandparents also will suffer in some ways as they are missing out on watching these gorgeous and innocent young children grow up?

I know that I can be stubborn and hold a grudge, but I don’t allow that to affect my children.

My heart breaks for my friend and her children. It’s a difficult situation. I guess that’s why the saying goes ‘you can choose your Friends but not family’.

What are your thoughts on this?

Are you disconnected from your family or parents?

Does it affect your children?

I’d love to hear from you. Drop me an email noordinarymummy@gmail.com

💕

Suicide.

Suicide.

– yes such a confronting word, however more confronting is the statistics associated with this word.

Did you know, In 2016, the suicide rate in Australia was 11.7 deaths per 100,000 people, up from 10.6 per 100,000 people in 2007. … In 2016, the standardised death rate for males was 17.8 deaths per 100,000 people, while for females it was 5.8 deaths per 100,000 people.

That’s more than eight people every single day. One person every three hours.
That’s quite a large number wouldn’t you agree?

So why is the suicide rate rising?

Suicide is a prominent concern. Over a five year period from 2012 to 2016, the average number of suicide deaths per year was 2,795.

Suicide rates reduced across many age groups, including a moderate reduction in suicide rates for males in the high risk age groups of 35-49 years. There were modest increases from 2015 to 2016 in suicide rates for other age groups however, including males 15-24 years and females 20-34 years.

For males: The highest age-specific suicide number in 2016 was observed in the 85+ age group (34.0 per 100,000) with 61 deaths. This number was considerably higher than the age-specific suicides observed in all other age groups, with the next highest age-specific suicide rates being in the 30-34, 40-44 and 35-39 year age groups (27.5, 27.2 and 24.8 per 100,000 respectively). Those of a younger age were associated with the lowest age-specific rates (0-14 year age group: 0.4per 100,000; 15-19 year age group: 13.4 per 100,000).

For females: The highest age-specific suicide in 2016 was observed in the 50-54 age group with 82 deaths (10.4 per 100,000), followed by the 40-44, 45-49 and 30-34 age groups (8.5, 8.3 and 8.3 per 100,000 respectively).

The lowest age-specific suicide for females was observed in the 0-14 age group with 7 deaths (0.3 per 100,000) followed by those aged between 65-69 and then 15-19 age group (4.1 and 5.0 100,000 respectively).

Social media can have either negative or positive effects, Tom Simon, an author of the report and associate director for science in the division of violence protection at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported.

Cyberbullying and harmful content might push a vulnerable teen toward self-harm, yet “social media can help increase connections between people, and it’s an opportunity to correct myths about suicide and to allow people to access prevention resources and materials.”
Dorian A. Lamis, an assistant professor in the department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Emory University School of Medicine/Grady Health System, theorized that use of social media and cyberbullying may affect teenage girls more than boys, resulting in rising suicide deaths among older teen girls.

“Some research has suggested that the timing of puberty in girls is a contributing factor for the increased suicide rate,” has also been reported. Puberty starts as early as 8 in some girls. The psychosocial and physical changes may leave girls “vulnerable to depression, anxiety and other psychiatric disorders earlier on in life.” These known risk factors for suicide may catch up with a girl as she grows older.

There is not one factor that is a cause for suicide. It is not a weakness nor is it because of mental health.

Suicide affects many people and it is sometimes seen as selfish but no one should be judging because it has many repercussions.

Sometimes suicide is a result of bullying or seen as a way for the person committing suicide to get away from a certain situation an escape if you may like to think of it that way. They may be feeling isolated, scared, weak, alone, unhappy, stressed, fearful or overwhelmed. There are no exact reasons as to why someone may contemplate suicide. It’s their decision and we unfortunately on most occasions cannot change it.

No one should ‘chime in’ on negativity about suicide, no one knows what the person has been though, is experiencing or dealing with.

What we do know is that the rate in which suicide is rising, is concerning. Unfortunately the above statistics are not current, and suicide is not often spoken about. There should be no embarrassment associated with the word. We should be more aware of circumstances and situations where our friends, family and loved ones may need us.

In today’s society, we all seem quite wrapped up in our own worlds. Disconnected some may say or selfish to our surroundings. I believe that we need to be more aware and connected with those closest to us. Take not of Friends and family behaviour. Offer to listen to those whom may need to talk. Often people will bottle up their thoughts and feelings in fear of judgment.

Who are we to judge?

One persons situation may change, just by having a listening ear. Or a hand to hold, or comfort in knowing that they are valued and not alone.

There is help if you need it.

Lifeline within Australia 13 11 14
https://www.lifeline.org.au/about-lifeline/contact-us

Wesley Mission Australia
https://www.wesleymission.org.au/find-a-service/mental-health-and-hospitals/counselling/lifeline-sydney-and-sutherland/

Or if you would like to email me confidentially, my email is – noordinarymummy@gmail.com

Remember ‘Every Life Matters’.

It doesn’t take much to ask ‘Are you ok?’
Or
‘How are you?’ These 2 questions may just change someone’s feelings and life.

Terrible twos!

The terrible twos!

Well let me just start with OMG….

My precious little girl has recently entered the ‘terrible twos’. Now I’m not one to ‘label’ people or stereotype, but after hearing stories about the ‘terrible twos’, I’m pretty certain that my little miss, has decided to join that club.

Let me start by saying that although I’ve had some questionable days with my 4 year old, nothing he ever said or did is even close to what my little miss does.

Maybe it’s a second child thing?
Maybe it’s a girl thing?

I’ve heard that girls can be more ‘bossy’ and also the second child learns from the first? My first isn’t badly behaved, although he can push boundaries, he is no where near as brave to push me to limits where my miss thinks it’s funny.

I really know when it started, but most days (of late) we have a tantrum of some sort and over petty things? – well things that seem petty to me.

We can have tantrums because I got her shoes that she didn’t want to wear.

She can throw a tantrum because she wanted to do her own hair.

Sometimes tantrums are because she wanted to sit on a particular part of the couch.

Or a tantrum can be caused when I open her snack when she wanted too.

Oh and let’s not forget when I get her the wrong colour cutlery for meal times, and the list goes on…

Anyway, each day is different and I’ve learnt not to expect 100% perfect behaviour all day long. Now I know that kids can’t be perfect, I definitely let things slide, but picking my battles is becoming more of a lifestyle choice.

I understand that tantrums are often sparked by a child’s frustration at their inability to complete a task or voice and explain themselves correctly. The child thinks that they should be able to do on their own things and their own way and when they don’t succeed, it seems like they have failed themselves and in return they throw a ‘doosey’.

On top of this frustration, toddlers quite often get frazzled doing simple things because they do not have the language skills to express their feelings which equates to their temper being shown, therefore throwing a ‘temper tantrum’.

I’ve learnt that tantrums are normal for the development of every child. Each child goes through this (maybe some not as bad as others) however These tantrums will decrease around age 4, once motor and language skills are better developed.

When it comes disciplining my little miss, during one of her many tantrums, I’ve learnt it’s important for me to remain calm and avoid inadvertently reinforcing the behaviour. If I don’t, it makes her worse. Sometimes I feel like laughing of throwing a tantrum myself (merely from frustration) but I keep it together. I am the adult. 😉

If I keep my emotions in check, I find she generally calms down sooner. If my emotions escalate or I yell or get cranky at her, her temper is 10 fold.

I remember laughing at her once and it was like adding fuel to a fire. She laid on the ground kicking and screaming and yelling “I no likey you, go away me now”.

I try not to confront her. Instead, I walk away and do something else, basically I ignore her. I don’t make eye contact or speak to her, I simply wait for her to calm down. This has helped with ensuring her that I am not reinforcing her bad behavior.

After the tantrum finishes I go and provide her with reassurance and guidance. Speaking to her in a relaxed and calm tone and telling her what she has said or done is not appreciated or nice. Sometimes she is receptive, others she just sobs and ignores me. I guess I can’t expect too much, she is only 2.

With each tantrum I’m trying to teach her how to express her feelings through words instead of throwing herself around and screaming.

Reassuring her that I still love her, but not her tantrums then we move on to the next activity.

I thought that having a very stubborn boy was tough, honestly my little miss is so defiant, stubborn, head strong and loves to assert herself. I know it’s only a phase and will soon pass, maybe I will miss it (possibly not) but I know it’s all a learning process for us both.

Have you a strong willed child?

What are your experiences with tantrums and the terrible twos?

I’d love to hear from you. Xx

Growing up.

Growing up.

Today was a tough day for me. Emotionally.

Today I took my almost 5 year old to ‘transition day’ at his soon to be, ‘big School’. Yes my little man is off to kindergarten next year. (2018)

It was a big day for us both. I was emotional because I know he is growing up, and too fast for me. I was nervous for him as we walked into the unknown. The front gates of ‘big school’ that is possibly 10 times bigger than his current preschool. Not to mention the transition that he will discover from going to preschool 3 days per week, to going to kindergarten 5 days per week.

It feels like only yesterday that I held my 3.53kg bundle of love in my arms. Looking down at him longingly and adoring everything about him. From his teeny tiny nose, to his beautiful little fingers and toes and big brown eyes that still to this day, have me mesmerised.

Today showed me just how much my little man has grown up. He may only be 4 (almost 5, November) but, he showed me so much maturity that I was super proud. Im always proud of him, but today I was gleaming.

He took everything in his stride. He was not nervous, he was not scared, he was not sad. He was excited for the path that lay ahead. The smile on his face and his inquisitive eyes showed me just how ready he is for this next chapter.

My heart was bursting with pride for this little man that I am raising. He was such a gentleman when meeting his new teachers and peers and showed me that all the little things that I have been instilling in him, he has in fact taken on board.

Little things like looking at someone’s eyes when they are speaking to you, smiling politely and answering politely when spoken too, raising his hand when he wants to speak in a group setting and allowing his peers through doorways etc rather than pushing and shoving to get somewhere first, being respectful, thoughtful and courteous etc.

Today we bought ‘Big School’ uniforms and his school bag. Seeing him try on his new uniform definitely gave me a lump in my throat, holding back the tears as I didn’t want him to see me cry.

If ever I get a tear in my eye, he is straight away comforting me, asking me if I’m ok, hugging me and holding my hand tight. For such a rough and tumble robust boy, he is such a beautiful soul.

As he stood there examining himself in the mirror and asked me if he looked ‘Smart’. I told him yes and very handsome. He replied “handsome is good mum, but you always say that. I want to look Smart like I know stuff”. I quietly knew that, so confirmed to him, that yes, he most definitely looks “Smart”.

The emotions of being his mum fill me with happiness each and every day. I am not one to struggle with words, but words can’t describe my love and how proud I am of my boy.

I can not believe that my eldest and only boy (who will always be my little boy) is off to kindergarten. His kind soul and caring ways will hopefully see him succeed in whatever he chooses in his path.

Next year I’m sure I will have butterflies swarming in my tummy and tears rolling down my face as I bid him farewell as he walks through the front gate of his ‘big school’.

I know that within all my heart he is ready. He is eager to learn and is excited for his new chapter.

Although he is growing up, I’m very much enjoying watching my little boy grow and turn into such a sweet, humble, caring and loving person.

As his preschool chapter is coming to an end, his big school journey is beginning and I will always have memories.

Where, oh where, have the past 5 years gone? ❤️

The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You

My two are not yet teens. They may act like teenagers on occasion, but they are only 2 and 4… I have the terrible two’s and the fournaudo…. 😉 love them dearly and would not change them for the world 🌎 but they do sometimes test boundaries. As do most kids.

I have many friends and also family members with teenagers and pre teens. This is such a lovely write up that is an insight as to how they may be feeling.

Teenage years can be tough. For both parents and the children. There is a lot of discovery happening of emotions, feelings, personal growth etc.

Luca Lavigne wrote a beautiful post not so long ago about his feeling through his teenage years. Well worth the read. As is the below.

June 23, 2015
The Letter Your Teenager Can’t Write You

Gretchen Schmelzer

Dear Parent:

This is the letter I wish I could write.

This fight we are in right now. I need it. I need this fight. I can’t tell you this because I don’t have the language for it and it wouldn’t make sense anyway. But I need this fight. Badly. I need to hate you right now and I need you to survive it. I need you to survive my hating you and you hating me. I need this fight even though I hate it too. It doesn’t matter what this fight is even about: curfew, homework, laundry, my messy room, going out, staying in, leaving, not leaving, boyfriend, girlfriend, no friends, bad friends. It doesn’t matter. I need to fight you on it and I need you to fight me back.

I desperately need you to hold the other end of the rope. To hang on tightly while I thrash on the other end—while I find the handholds and footholds in this new world I feel like I am in. I used to know who I was, who you were, who we were. But right now I don’t. Right now I am looking for my edges and I can sometimes only find them when I am pulling on you. When I push everything I used to know to its edge. Then I feel like I exist and for a minute I can breathe. I know you long for the sweeter kid that I was. I know this because I long for that kid too, and some of that longing is what is so painful for me right now.

I need this fight and I need to see that no matter how bad or big my feelings are—they won’t destroy you or me. I need you to love me even at my worst, even when it looks like I don’t love you. I need you to love yourself and me for the both of us right now. I know it sucks to be disliked and labeled the bad guy. I feel the same way on the inside, but I need you to tolerate it and get other grownups to help you. Because I can’t right now. If you want to get all of your grown up friends together and have a ‘surviving-your-teenager-support-group-rage-fest’ that’s fine with me. Or talk about me behind my back–I don’t care. Just don’t give up on me. Don’t give up on this fight. I need it.

This is the fight that will teach me that my shadow is not bigger than my light. This is the fight that will teach me that bad feelings don’t mean the end of a relationship. This is the fight that will teach me how to listen to myself, even when it might disappoint others.

And this particular fight will end. Like any storm, it will blow over. And I will forget and you will forget. And then it will come back. And I will need you to hang on to the rope again. I will need this over and over for years.

I know there is nothing inherently satisfying in this job for you. I know I will likely never thank you for it or even acknowledge your side of it. In fact I will probably criticize you for all this hard work. It will seem like nothing you do will be enough. And yet, I am relying entirely on your ability to stay in this fight. No matter how much I argue. No matter how much I sulk. No matter how silent I get.

Please hang on to the other end of the rope. And know that you are doing the most important job that anyone could possibly be doing for me right now.

Love, Your Teenager

© 2015 Gretchen L Schmelzer Ph

6 STYLING TIPS:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

As a qualified interior designer myself, I’m often looking at other designers work. I find inspiration and ideas that I may not have seen or thought of myself.

Design is constantly changing and evolving.

One thing I always tell clients is that your space reflects your personality and the way you live. Your space should be comfortable and suit your needs.

Sometimes we all get a bit lost in wanting our homes to look like something from a magazine shoot, however what we need to consider is the variables that are in our lives. Do we have children that we need to cater for? I mean, my kids are allowed to lay on the lounge, no shoes of course, they often throw the pillows at each other and I don’t mind.

I want them to be comfortable in their own home and enjoy being children. I don’t want the picture perfect home where they can’t touch anything. After all, I believe childhood is about experience, exploration, learning and growing.

I also want my visitors to feel welcome and comfortable, there is nothing g worse than going somewhere and panicking that your children will break or put something out of place in another’s home. I don’t want my visitors to feel that.

A home to me, should emit happy and welcoming feelings.

The below article is a great write up on how we can design our homes in simple and effective yet liveable spaces. I’ve also added the images for sone Wednesday inspiration. 💕🏠

Bungalow5

6 STYLING TIPS: GET YOUR HOME TO LOOK LIKE THE HOME OF AN INTERIOR BLOGGER

Posted on June 22, 2017

You like when I do lists and you also like it when I show gorgeous stylish homes, so today I am going to combine the two. So if you are looking to give your home a quick makeover – and make it look just like the interior blogger’s home, then just follow these easy tips for great impact.

Group Your Picture Frames
You do not always need to hang your pictures for optimal exposure. Group on the floor or on a sideboard, and do as Norwegian blogger Katerina from Only Deco Love, add a few empty frames for a more delicate arrangement. Do not overdo it though, add just one or two, as it quickly can look over styled.

Simple Book & Art Display
Displaying books and favorite pics can be tricky, often the books just collects dust in the bookshelf, while some might end in a pile on the coffee table. With simple ledges from Ikea, which can be painted in any color to match the wall color, you can easily make any corner into a gallery, which would make any gallery owner envious. Norwegian blogger Nina from Stylizimo is the one to copy.

Keep It Simple
Danish blogger Caroline from September Edit do simple like no other. Simple doesn’t need to be dool and boring, far from it. Choose a few colors that you like and stick with them. Do not deviate for any means, unless you change the entire color palatte of course.

Style That Couch
A super easy and cheap way to update your living room is to change the pillows on you couch with the season. Choose different sizes and freshen up the style with different prints and textures. And by all means, do not just fold the throw over the side of the couch … NO! Learn from The Design Chaser Michelle and make it look like you just threw it there recklessly.

Show Them Your Chairs
Stools and chairs are the new status symbols, rather you spend some serious cash on them or not, there is no reason to hide them under the table. Showing them all the way in tends to look to neat. Pull them out like Norwegian blogger Elisabeth Heier just a few inches to underline their beauty.

Style The Bookshelves
Make it into a habit of rearranging your bookshelves at least once a month. You don’t have to go all in taking everything out and then replace everything. Simply remove all your accessories and find a new spot for them. Take note from Kasia from My Full House, she knows how to style a set of shelves like a pro.

Real friendships.

Absolutely!

For the past 6 or so months, I’d been beating myself up about some friendships that I thought meant a lot to me.

I feel like I had been a good, honest, reliable and trustworthy friend to these people. Turns out the friendship hasn’t been reciprocated.

As a friend I go above and beyond to make the effort to see my ‘friends’. I drive over and hour sometimes to see them and have time with them. Over the past few months no matter how much I try to organise a catch up, I’m being either ignored or pushed aside. Deliberately or not, it has hurt my feelings and made me question if these people are actually true friends?

My husband tells me to ‘let it go’ that they clearly don’t ‘respect my friendship’ but it’s hurt me. True friends make an effort and time for those who are important in their lives, or who they value in their lives.

Why can’t people just be honest?

If our friendship has found it’s ‘use by date’ please be honest. Dont let me feel like a fool when I extend an invitation to see you. You say a ‘yes’ but it never comes into fruition. Please, tell me that you would rather not. Don’t ignore me or cancel last minute or ‘forget’ to respond for months on end. That’s shitty behaviour and not fair.

I was taught to treat others the way that you wish to be treated.

It may take me an hour or perhaps a day to respond to communications. BUT I always will. I dont make excuses. If I don’t want to see you or spend time with you. You will know in the most polite way that I can deliver the answer. I won’t ‘fake’ the friendship.

I don’t have time or the energy to be hurt or hurt others.

The Kind Of Friends Moms Need

Embrace.

Embrace

I just wanted arched the most amazing, informing and touching documentary called Embrace.

It’s so interesting to me what other people, women especially think about their bodies. I have in the past been on a journey of self hate. I thought I needed bigger breasts, smaller thoughts, smaller nose, needed to be taller, needed a perlite bottom, you name it, I possibly wanted it.

Over the years I’ve learned to embrace and love my body. It has served me well. I’m a 37 year old mother of 2 beautiful children. A 4 year old boy and 2 year old girl. My body housed and fed these little people inside me whilst they grew and were nourished by me until they were ready and able to enter this world.

I’m blessed that I am healthy, sure I get the occasional ache and pain, possibly self caused? But I’m healthy.

I understand the mind set with body dismorphia. I am a qualified personal trainer (not practicing) I’m also a qualified counsellor, so I get it. I also have many friends and family who have some sort of unloving relationship with their bodies.

When I was in my teens I had an eating disorder. I was scared of being ‘fat’. I remember really clearly when I was 15 years old shopping with my mother and older sister for shorts for myself. We were in a shop and I was trying some on, I remember distinctly I tried on a size 8 and my mum suggested I get a size 10 as she thought they needed to be bigger. I remember having a ‘melt down’ crying and being really upset because in my mind, a size 10 was ‘fat’ and I never wanted to be ‘double digits’. I refused to buy them and remember being so set on ‘loosing weight’ and being ‘skinny’. My mum has dieted all of her life and she struggled with her weight most of her adult life and I remember her doing many different ‘diets’ whilst I was young. Some worked and some didn’t, this stuck with me and instead of having a healthy loving relationship with food, I began monitoring everything that I ate. I got so bad that if I was served a steak or sausage I would get paper towel and basically get all the ‘moisture’ which I thought was getting the ‘fat’ out of it. I never ate fried food and banned butter or margarine from my menu and cut out most carbs. If I are a carb it would be ‘brown’ because in my head, white was the evil. I was really miserable because I would ‘starve’ myself of a cookie or an icecream because I thought it would make me ‘fat’.

I’m my older teenage years I was a personal trainer. I was a PT for about 4 years and my mindset went from the need to be ‘super skinny’ to the need to be ‘strong’ and muscular. Which possibly wasn’t a bad mindset, but with most things that I did as a teenager, I did full throttle. I became really quite muscular and lost my breasts, (or what there was of them) and from behind I was often mistaken for a male. This was pretty tough on my self esteem so from that I would be extremely strict on my diet, and yes you guessed it, I became super skinny again weighing about 40kg. I’m 162cm tall and quite a petite build, but with protruding hips and collar bones, it was not a healthy look.

Throughout my years I’ve learned to love my body no matter what shape or size it is. Our bodies are basically our motors. They keep us ‘running’ and keep us alive.

It took me a good 10-15 years to love and appreciate what I have and how I treat my body, but I can finally say I’m in a ‘good mindset’ with my body. Sure I have cellulite and stretch marks. I have 2 beautiful and healthy children and I have my health. I still go through phases where I do want to change things about my appearance, but all in all I’m pretty happy.

This documentary, really resonated with me. Being comfortable in your own body and loving it for what it is and can do for you is the most important thing I think we should remember.

Please do yourself a favour, watch it.

Being a ‘walking skeleton’ is not admirable by most. This documentary speaks with many women from all walks of life. Inspiring and brave. Speaking about their body love and how they have had challenges yet overcome and now value and appreciate their bodies.

Love your body for what it can do for you. Not for what shape it is. Different shapes make us unique. We are all individuals.

Body shakers should be exactly that, ashamed that they feel they can belittle someone because of their appearance.

Thank you Renee Airya and Jade Beall for making this film.

Embrace the Documentary

These dark circles and wrinkles? Yep—that’s my motherhood showing.

I love this.

Such an honest, relatable, open and beautiful read. 💕

These dark circles and wrinkles? Yep—that’s my motherhood showing.

by Beth Clark

Jumping into my car the other day, I caught sight of myself in the rear view mirror. Both kids were buckled into their overpriced car seats and we were heading somewhere distracting during a cold Canadian day.

I stopped a few seconds longer to study the woman I had become.

Familiar blue eyes still looked back, but they were cuddled by dark shadows and tickled with both heavy and delicate lines extending from every angle. I realized I truly looked as tired as I felt that morning and sunk deeply into my seat with a sigh that mourned the shadow-less face I once knew.

These thoughts of exhaustion shining through kept nudging my mind that day, and I caught myself intentionally trying to look in windows and mirrors to see if my appearance magically transformed to one of refreshment and not one that proved I hadn’t slept through the night in over four years.

No such luck…I looked like someone working hard. I looked like a mother.

That evening, I closed my eyes while sipping my wine and reflected on the daily actions that deepen these lines for parents everywhere.

Getting up every night to the calls of “Mama” or “Dada” to feed, cuddle, comfort and soothe our children back to sleep. It’s really a precious treasure to be the one who meets our little ones’ needs in the darkest hours.

Frowning as we watch our children practice a skill that could easily be expedited with our help, but understanding their need for independence and autonomy to become their own person…especially a stubborn 2-year-old!

Laying in bed, unable to doze off, thinking about our children’s current challenges. Trying to think of ways we can change as we are often the ones with a problem that they have sadly started to model.
Smiling at our kiddos, or smiling when thinking about them…because man! We do this a lot, don’t we?

Laughing along with our little one’s nonsensical jokes and their sweet sayings.

As the list grew, my mind reached a verdict.
I am a mother.

I sacrifice. I love. I laugh. I cry…sometimes a lot. I think. I hardly sleep. I worry. And I smile…once again, a lot.

Motherhood influences me from the inside out. My heart is showing on my face and my heart looks worn, it looks tired, it looks weathered and like it puts in a mega-load of hours…because it does. Hours of care, hours of concern and hours of cuddles.

I am OK with my heart being visible. I am OK with fine lines showing my love. And I am OK with shadows declaring that my nights are spent nursing and nurturing. I may try to drink more water and use a better moisturizer, but next time I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror I want to remember my motherhood first and foremost. I want to appreciate the proof of my full heart displayed around my eyes.

So Moms—be encouraged! Your motherhood is showing…and it is beautiful!

Love in wrinkles and in lines,
This Mum
*Hashtag no filter*