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Book Review – Mother Love by Dr Melanie Strang

mother-loveI have had the pleasure of getting to know Dr Melanie Strang when we both volunteered at PANDA (Postnatal and antenatal Depression Association) so it is even more of a pleasure to be able to review her wonderful book.

What I love about Mother Love – Embracing the Ups and Downs of Being a New Parent is that it is full of stories from mums about their journey into parenthood.

This book is a must for all new parents as well as professionals as not only may it help normalise how you might be feeling and let you know that you are not alone.  It will also give professionals more understanding of what mums and dads go through after having their first baby.

Definitely a must read in my opinion.

We Only Talk About The Children

How often do we hear that when you have time with your partner you only talk about the children.  For Steve and I we make time for children talk as that is always essential that both parents are on the same page in regards to the girls.

But when we are just spending time together we try our very best not to talk about the girls.  I do remember our first date night and we went out for dinner not far from home as it was our first time leaving them.  But we made the rule that we were not allowed to talk about the girls.  My goodness let me tell you it was like a first date because we were so used talking about the girls, we became out of practice about talking about other things.

It is a great time to touch base with each other and see how both individuals are travelling and talking openly to each other.

Listen to your Gut As Parents Know Their Child Best | Talking Thursday

Fourth April 2013 talking topic is:

When have you as a parent listened to your gut about something with your child and found out your gut was right?

I recent example for my own family is that Em has only been fully toilet since January and over the last couple of months we noticed that she was having trouble urinating.  It came to head with a case of acute fluid retention and we were about to be rushed to an emergency department but thank god Em managed to urinate to ease the pain.  The GP ran tests and no infection was found.  So The GP did another follow up test to make sure it was still clear.

But the trouble did not finish there and she gave us a lot of behavioural issues of not wanting to go to the toilet and also looking very strained when trying to urinate.  I brought the issue up with the OT and she felt there was an issue.  I ended up making another appointment with the GP and he ran an ultrasound because I was concerned and just wanted to make sure that it was not behavioural issues (Emma has autism and severe sensory processing disorder).  The did find something mild and we are in the process of follow up appointments.

As a parent you know your child best and if something is not right especially over time it is important to get the right help.  It is really hard because Drs can make you feel like an idiot but honestly when you get the right one you might get the right answers.  Just do not give up!

I would love you to share your examples of when your gut instinct has been right when it comes to your children.

Motivational Monday

Every Monday I am going to put up a motivational picture that will resonate with mums and dads and how to develop their bond as a family, give you confidence as a parent and how to build a fantastic strong and loving family.


The “Pros and Cons” About Becoming a Parent

I can hear people right now stomping their feet to my front door and coming with pitch forks screaming “You are lucky to be able to have children”, “You chose to have children” and all the rest of it.  I am hoping that some of you might actually read the rest of this article and may find this activity really beneficial.

Once you have little one in your arms, have you ever told your partner what you love about being a parent and what you do not look about becoming a parent?

Research shows that simply acknowledging the good and bad things about becoming a parent is actually a very healthy activity for parent’s to do.  By being able to talk about our thoughts in a constructive and safe environment, mums and dads can feel that they are being heard in regards to their thoughts of becoming a parent.

I remember thinking I was prepared for the change and that I will not be able to simply go out and catch up with friends and accepting the new journey I was about to embark on.  But honestly and I would love to hear from other mums and dads if they were truly prepared as much as you thought you were.  But be acknowledging the differences can be extremely therapeutic as you can let it out of your head and also let it go.

Is it a crime to do this?  Hell no.  If every parent did this activity, we might see a trend of people transitioning to parenthood a lot easier than what a lot of parent’s are at this stage.

I did not do this activity until I did volunteer training at PANDA and it really stuck with me that it is OK to say what we love and may be what we are still learning to adjust to. On my list were:

What I love:

  • That they were created out of love
  • Their little hands and toes
  • That we got through the birth process
  • Their little noises

What I Did Not Like:

  • PND (Postnatal depression)
  • My older child’s constant crying (boy does she have a set of lungs)
  • Breastfeeding (I had trouble with supply but was not confident who to call for help and Grace never attached)
  • Not being able to work
  • Not catching up with people as much as I used to.

Maybe my next post should be a follow up to the pros and cons and see how much things have changed.  I have attached below a sheet that mums and dads can use to do this activity at home.  Do not judge or analyse what people put on their list as it needs to be done in a safe environment so those thoughts can be acknowledged and then put aside.

Good and Bad stuff chart (Printable)