5 things I said I would never do as a parent, and then some

sniperIt is a truth universally acknowledged that the best parents in the world are those without children. There are certainly many idealistic parenting philosophies I once grasped onto as a non-parent that have rapidly slipped away in the years since, as the realities of parenthood made themselves known to my naive, hopeful little soul. Furthermore, there are a great many things I have promised myself I would never do even since becoming a parent, in some cases as recently as this year, that have subsequently been delegated to the dumping ground of Stuff That Didn’t Work Out And Other Crap. Continue reading

Empathic parenting and the fear of tears

empathic parentYou cannot read many parenting articles before you will inevitably encounter a confusing array of jargon. Attachment parenting, free-range parenting, gentle parenting, continuum parenting, natural parenting, mainstream parenting; these are just a few of the terms you may stumble upon when exploring the cavernous world of child-rearing. You would be forgiven for wondering what it all means and where the heck on this entirely subjective spectrum you sit. I therefore want to open this by assuring you there is no need to go away and read a catalogue of finger-wagging advice guides about ‘empathic parenting’ in order to understand this post or to figure out if you are one.

There are many pages on the web talking about empathic parenting, and whether my definition of the term matches up with theirs is beyond my scope of giving a crap. When I personally use this expression, it is a ‘what it says on the tin’ job. Parenting with empathy; that is all. I believe that can manifest itself in many different forms. No two empathic parents will necessarily look or behave the same. Continue reading

When it all just gets a bit too much

You know you’re having a bad one when you find yourself getting back out of bed an hour after first climbing into it, more awake and stressed out than ever, and opening up WordPress in order to bleakly offload your thoughts.

I had two blog posts etch themselves into my mind tonight when I was putting the kids to bed (always when I’m putting my kids to bed), neither of which were this one, and when I eventually get around to writing them up they will be well thought out and at least in part coherent. I cannot make the same promise for tonight. This one is straight from the heart to the screen and bypassing all of the usual internal filters. Continue reading

“Your son is displaying signs of Asperger Syndrome”

As anyone who regularly reads this blog will know, I have three babies (and a fourth en route). They are all very special in their own wonderful and individual ways, as is every child. However my eldest, six years old, is special in a different kind of a way. He is quirky. Atypical.

autismWhen he was younger he was very noticeably different to other children. This first became obvious to me when he was 15 months old (no, I don’t believe vaccinations changed him, no, this doesn’t make me a sheep, and yes, I have done the research), but looking back, especially now I can compare to my younger two, even as a baby he was different. Continue reading

Emigrating: First anniversary reflections

departure gateJust over a year ago we wept a pained goodbye to our family before boarding a plane destined for Los Angeles, where we experienced a whirlwind few hours with a wonderful friend. Later that same day (and it was a very, very long day) we stepped aboard our second and final flight. After years of dreaming, months of planning and weeks of panicking, we were Aotearoa bound. Continue reading

The first of many lasts, but by no means the last of the firsts

Upside down view of the baby's head. The mouth was open and appeared to be smiling in this still, and the hands are clenched and raised either side of its head, as if it's jumping for joy.

Upside down view of the baby’s head. The dark area is the brain, the little pointy but at the top is its itty bitty chin. The mouth was open and appeared to be smiling in this still, and the hands are clenched and raised either side of its head, as if it’s jumping for joy.

Twenty four hours ago I was sinking into a comfortable recliner, absorbing the sights and sounds of my surroundings as the sonographer massaged my abdomen with that familiar, warm jelly.

No healthcare system is perfect, and I think Britain’s NHS – which supported me through my first three pregnancies – is admirable in many ways. Continue reading

Diary of an Embittered Misanthropist, pt. 1

stupidityI hate people. Those are some words I hear myself saying too often. I try to love people because I think super positive people are awesome and I want to be one of them. I strive to see the good in everybody whilst acknowledging the fact that every one of us has our very own range of huge, throbbing faults lurking beneath our glistening veneers. I attempt to convince myself we are all really the same. And I’m getting quite good at it in some ways, or that is what I tell myself. Continue reading

The attack on Emma Watson illustrates precisely why feminism is still so important

Emma WatsonI go back and forth on whether I am a feminist or not. I often find myself passionately expressing staunch feminist opinions, but on the other hand I sometimes hear arguments in the name of feminism that I could not disagree with more. Perhaps I would be classed as Feminist Lite. Of course it is not really necessary to categorise our views on life and stick a restrictive label on them, but in day-to-day life it can sometimes make it easier to be able to quickly explain where you stand in conversation. Continue reading