The Smallest Things…

There’s no doubt that parenting can be lonely business and often the days can seem long and repetitive. But the dichotomy is that I also never want these days to end… Why? Because there is SO much magic in the seemingly mundane, enough to turn even the longest and loneliest of days into my greatest source of joy.

For me, it’s in my morning conversations with Kole; it’s gazing into his eyes and seeing the future in them; it’s studying his ever changing expressions and realising an hour has passed by; it’s feeling his tiny breaths kissing my skin; it’s noticing his crying soften and his tense body relax the moment I hold him close to my heart… If it wasn’t for these moments of magic in our day, parenting would undoubtedly turn us all insane.

But thankfully, ‘sometimes the smallest moments take up the most room in your heart.’ Today, look for the magic. It’s there.

What are the small moments that take up the most room in your heart?

Love always,

Hayley xx

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The Folds And Creases

I am slowly beginning to accept the folds and creases as a normal part of motherhood; whoever says parenting is easy is bullshitting you. Motherhood is magical, but it’s also DEMANDING.

There are days I’m lucky to take a shower before midday, brush my hair or take a pee. Eating is limited to fruit and toast, and I’m often seen sporting two round wet patches where my milk has leaked through my nipple pads. Leaving the house looking like a scarecrow no longer bothers me – I couldn’t give two shits because I’m just grateful I left the house!

I’m in awe of mums who manage to look presentable and hold their shit together, I’m wondering when that day will arrive for me? But I’m also secretly wondering what’s really beneath the Mummy mask… because surely I’m not alone in this?

Today, let us acknowledge our deep, unwavering, profoundly passionate love for our children, but let us also acknowledge the grit it takes to live with the folds and the creases.

This squishy face makes all the sleepless nights worthwhile…

Love always,

Hayley xx

The Problem Is Not The Problem

As a Mummy who’s nursing a growing baby boy, I see firsthand how constant feeding rapidly increases growth. The same is true of our troubles – the more we feed them, the bigger they grow. ‘Energy flows where attention goes.’ – Michael Beckwith

The more attention we pay to our problems, the bigger our problems become.

This week, as our little one heads into his first growth spurt, we’ve been faced with the challenge of an unsettled baby each night.

In life, and as parents, it’s important to avoid getting too hung up on our troubles and to try to adopt a solution focussed mindset. Even the simple act of ‘letting go’ is far more freeing than trying to ‘fix’ everything and everyone.

Parenting is demanding business and the more we can pull together as a team the more energy we have to share our love and joy with one another.

Difficulties in life are inevitable. If we can learn to welcome adversity, we can trust in our learning and growth.

Today, when faced with a challenging situation, remember: It’s not the problem that’s the problem, but your response and attitude towards the problem.

Love always,

Hayley xx

Mothers Milk

Nobody said breastfeeding would be easy… So far my baby and I have experienced the initial breaking in period of cracked nipples, early onset of mastitis, and we are currently navigating an overactive let down which means I drown my son in milk each time we feed! Queue choking, frustrated baby who chomps down on my breasts to slow the flow…

There are times when I feel like giving up, but I know this breastfeeding journey will get easier with time. It’s worth me persevering to provide the best nourishment for my child.

‘Breastfeeding is a Mother’s gift to herself, her baby and the earth’ – Pamela K. Wiggins.

In some ways, breastfeeding prepares us for Motherhood. It is to place another’s needs before our own.

I understand breastfeeding isn’t for everyone, and I have no judgement towards women who choose alternative ways to feed their baby. As a bottle fed baby myself, I respect every woman’s decision as a choice.

For me, that choice has been to nourish my child with what Mother Nature provided. Not simply ‘because it’s free’ (…anyone who says that clearly doesn’t know the time and effort that goes into breastfeeding!) I choose the breast because this is the food that was intended for my baby to help him grow and thrive.

What sacrifices/difficulties/adversities have you experienced on your baby feeding journey? Did you reach a point when it all began to get a little easier?

Love always,

(One curious breastfeeding Mumma)

xx

Tag Team

Raising children isn’t easy – it brings a whole new dynamic to your relationship. As much as we love our little ones, there’s no doubt that when a baby arrives there are parts of your old self and your old relationship you will grieve; the freedom, the spontaneity, the flexibility, the long lazy lay ins together, uninterrupted dinners…

Despite the changes children inevitably bring, the success of your relationship will come down to how committed you are at ‘working together.’

Last night, after a four hour tag team struggle to wind our little one down for his bed time routine, I sobbed into my cold dinner.

Thankfully, my man was there for me reminding me that I’m doing a great job and the best I can.

Who do you have working together with you? Raising little ones requires us to work as a team. If you don’t have your partner around, assemble your team of friends, family, neighbors.

You needn’t do this alone.

But for those of you who ARE working together as a couple, remember that it is precisely this ‘working together’ that will lead to the ongoing success of your relationship and your growing family.

What are your top tips for ‘working together’ for a successful parenting relationship?

Love always,

Hayley xx

Soulful Sunday #60: The Other Side Of Fear

The other side of fear

Welcome to my fifty-sixth instalment of ‘Soulful Sundays’; a weekly share where I post a roundup of soulful reflections, each including recipes, songs, quotes, blogs I have read and/or any other inspirational discoveries to sooth the soul.

For me, Sunday’s have become a day of quiet contemplation and simple pleasures. A time to reflect on the week gone by and to consider my dreams and intentions for the week ahead.

My hope is to extend some love outward and to share some simple pleasures with anyone who cares to receive them.

Soul Reflections

Fear is debilitating. It can literally leave us paralysed with anxiety.

There is a famous quote (and book for that matter) by Susan Jeffers who reminds us:

Feel the fear and do it anyway.

My biggest work over the last few months has been to face my fears around labour, particularly around the ‘normal’ practice of hospitals whose medical interventions often result in unnecessary trauma for both Mum and baby. Don’t get me wrong, in a medical emergency these procedures can save lives; but in a normal, safe, healthy pregnancy and birth, such interventions often cause more harm than good.  Is it any wonder then, that we hear so many horror stories about birth?

Once my fears were acknowledged, I could then begin to dissolve them. I turned to natural birthing books and absorbed myself in the thousands of positive birth stories (yes – they exist!!!) each contained. The more I read, the more I began to meet women who had birthed naturally, and with less complications (if any) than those who had birthed at the hands of doctors and drugs.

We also decided on Hypno-birthing classes to prepare ourselves for a calm birth using breath work, relaxations, visualisations, strengthening affirmations and natures own pain relief; oxytocin – all of which helped to deepen our confidence and trust in a natural birth.

Whilst our preparations do not guarantee us a smooth, uninterrupted birth with little to no complication or medical intervention; what they do provide us with are the innate tools to birth in love and trust, rather than shrouded in fear.

Of course, there are always some residue fears of the unknown and lingering What if’s? But since the only way out of my birth is through, I must ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’

The only way out is through.

– Robert Frost

And through we shall go, in love and trust.

Soul Strolls

With three weeks to go until we meet our baby, strolling has become somewhat of a waddle! The pelvic pressure is real haha And so, after finishing my last week of work last Friday, I decided to put my feet up and rest this pregnant body.

I booked in for a pregnancy massage at Endota Spa (which was the best massage I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot!) and soaked up the healing vibes. I plan to spend the next three weeks resting and nourishing myself and our baby, and enjoying our last few weeks as a ‘two.’

HAYLEY_28(LowRes)

‘Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.’ – Marcel Proust

Soul Recipes

This recipe is an oldy but a goody of mine. I love using my slow cooker, and this dish lends itself perfectly to one. It’s hearty, it’s comforting, it’s delicious and it’s even healthy My Hearty Lentil Curry gets a thumbs up every time. Let me know what you think!

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Yummy lentil curry!

Soul Music

On the other side of fear lies freedom and peace. So today I would love to share this delightfully peaceful track by Ashana titled Deep Peace. Put you feet up, take a deep breath in and receive the deep peace flowing to you. Now sigh and release. You are free. You are safe. You are secure and loved.

Soul Sisters

Today I would love to share this beautifully nourishing poem titled Bliss by Aroused. A timely reminder for us to connect with our intuition within and to trust.

Wrapping you all in a warm loving hug on this soulful Sunday.

Love always,

Hayley xx

Believe You Can

Think you can or can't
You can do all of the preparation in the world to ensure you achieve your end result; you can cover all your bases with prevention methods and tools for success – but if you are lacking that one vital element, all of your carefully laid out plans may well be in vain.

So what is the vital ingredient? SELF-BELIEF.

Belief in oneself, your capabilities and your worth is key for the success of any personal venture. If you have lingering self-doubts or lack trust in your abilities then you are already setting yourself up for failure. That’s not a bad thing. No doubt you will gain some wisdom for the next time…

But if you’d like to avoid there having to be a next time, begin with your mindset today.

Believe YOU CAN. Believe YOU ARE WORTHY and TRUST in yourself.

As I near closer to my birthing and my intentions for a natural, instinctive birth – my mindset matters now more than ever. Because whether I believe I can, or believe I can’t – I am right.

Today, believe you can.

Love Always,
Hayley xx