A Mother’s Day Poem I have written for you…

A mother has a unique gift
One that is unsurpassed, unrequited and unrepeatable by another.
Your role, your privilege,
Your strengths, your learnings,
Those moments when you rise and fall…

How to Yell Less and Be Calmer as a Parent

My neighbour said to me last week, I can’t imagine you to be anything other than calm, when I shared with her I was a shouter. I would shout so much to get the kids to do things, to try to get mine and the family needs met. When things didn’t get done, the shouting would get progressively louder. Back then I didn’t know what I know now.I shared a post on our Facebook page the other day  – to be a calm parent “Create a space between you and your child ‘s reaction”Then I had a client yesterday, she said Dina, I have read so many self help books, read so many mantras, followed so many philosophies of people that I admire and I still do not have the ability to create this space between myself and a reaction – I’m better, but I still haven’t nailed it! By the end of the session, she understood WHY this was the case. Creating space to respond is a life skill that enables you to thrive… This is not the first time I have had clients come to me and say that they have been to meditation, alternative therapies, parenting courses and they still haven’t mastered creating the space where you stop before you respond so the whole situation doesn’t blow up in your face and spiral out of control. What I understand now, what the client understood by the end of yesterday’s session and what all my clients now know, is that it is how you filter an event in your mind will determine how you experience that event....

Teaching Kids About Love

  Do you ever think about how to create little Valentines out of your children? What is it that will allow them to create a thriving loving relationship that enables them to go the very depths of their being and be vulnerable enough to share that with another person? After being divorced and remarried, there was one thing that I wanted more than anything else – I wanted my children to be born into a happy marriage. A marriage where parents could communicate, problems were dealt with, love was displayed openly and comfortably and there was chemistry between the parents!  I feel so grateful to have these things with my husband today. When my husband and I first got married, I didn’t fully comprehend how much our behaviour and actions would influence our children. I understand that now and over time I also realised that it was my relationship-based decisions that enabled my current relationships to be happy and more importantly, set my children up to experience similar happy relationships. My work as a coach has allowed me to connect with many mums so they too have a better understanding when it comes to the degree of influence a parent’s behaviour can have on their children.  I have coached countless mums who have changed their own behaviour and gone on to influence their husband or partner to adjust their behavior, which has had a remarkable effect on the children. As an example, Kate* and her husband would continuously argue about discipline until they got so frustrated with each other, one of them would walk away and the conflict would not...

The Ultimate Christmas Gift For Your Child

I’ve been sitting here thinking about what I can share with you at this time of year as we approach Christmas. What could I share with you that would be so important that in your heart of hearts you will already know it?  What is it that I need to remind you of at this crazy time of year? Now I know what I need to share with you and it is about the gift of our fun spirit as parents. Our fun spirit which is supposed to be so alive at this time of year can be squashed under the weight of pre-Christmas organisation. There are parties to go to or organise, end of school year events, holiday organisation, shopping, present buying, cooking…  The list goes on. The good news is that even if you can’t see or feel your spirit of fun, your child can. When your children look up at you, they see it.  When they come running to you at school pick up time on the last school day of the year, they see it. Your child sees through your busyness and all the holiday preparations, straight through to the heart of you – the true essence of you. She sees the fun parent inside.  Yes, she’s still there underneath it all. When you see yourself through your child’s eyes you will rediscover yourself and remember that fun is an essential part of life.  It’s an especially important part of your child’s life and you have the chance to share in it. Some of you already know how to show your fun side, while others are...

Sex Post Kids

As I write this I am on a short flight between Sydney and Melbourne, sitting on a row of three seats in between two males I don’t know.
I guess my fears are around a fear of judgement and a fear of vulnerability that comes with talking openly about sex.

Your Physical Ailments Are Linked to Your Emotional Wellbeing

For years I have known that our emotional wellbeing affects our physical wellbeing. There has been so much evidence throughout my life and in my family, yet still what I experienced first hand in the last few weeks has blown me away! I’m not saying that there is an emotional component in each and every physical symptom but often there is. For example, my uncle married someone whose opinion of his family overrode his own to the point where he stopped seeing his own parents and siblings. He tried to speak up to his wife but eventually he gave up.  Soon after, he developed mouth cancer and a section of his tongue had to be removed.  His ability to speak has been physically impaired. Sometimes our bodies can be manifestations of our emotional self. Recently I won the opportunity to work alongside one of the leaders in the field of coaching. I was honoured to be picked from hundreds of applicants. My husband and I spoke at great length. We agreed that we could make the weekly commitment and the 10 working weekends a year fit with our family. We would still be able to support the kids in the way we wanted to. So I accepted the job. I fell incredibly sick two days before I started my job and for one of those days I was bed ridden. Fortunately I utilised my resources of GPs, homeopaths, naturopaths and ancient Indian remedies and made a quick recovery by the second day of my new job. Then just two weeks into the job, I fell sick again, this time...

Dealing with your worst moments as a parent

Have you had a moment when your whole world falls apart and you question whether you should be allowed to be a parent? A friend of mine knocked on my door this morning distraught and in tears. She had gone into work and had a niggling feeling she had forgotten something. Then as manager, she was told someone had left a baby in their car. She was astounded that this had happened and wondered how someone could do such a thing. She went down to the car park and as she neared the car she realised…it was her car. She had left her baby in the car and it had been 20 minutes. Fortunately, the baby was safe and well. Now, we could be quick to judge here. “How could she leave her baby in the car and forget?” “What kind of mother is she…?” In fact, as she sat with me she kept saying, “I can’t believe I did this” “What kind of mother does this?” “How could I do this?” “I love my baby girl more than anything…” The reality is she is a wonderful mother. In fact, she is one of the most wonderful mothers I know. Here’s what happened in the nine days prior: On Wednesday, Thursday and Friday her baby was sick. Despite numerous trips to the doctor, she still could not find out what was wrong. Baby screamed day and night. On Saturday and Sunday the screaming continued so this wonderful mother decided she would go to a different doctor. Although her baby improved a little, she was still worried and stayed close...

You can improve your relationship with your child

I went to kiss my little champ goodnight tonight. My hubby was reading to him when I went in and the most amazing and bizarre thing happened. My little man said, “I want mummy to read me a story. I love her the best.” Now whilst I don’t encourage favourites and loving people “the best,”  this was a marked moment in history for me as a mum. Firstly my little man LOVES spending time with daddy.  He has very little time with him during the week and so they both cherish every moment when they are home together. Secondly, I realised just how far I have come as a mum… About 3 years ago, I had what I call an emotional breakdown.  We immigrated back to Australia from overseas and moved straight into our home. 10 days after we arrived our house was burgled and my mum-in-law, who was in the house looking after my then 2 year old, was brutally attacked.  Fortunately, she made a near full recovery. The house was in less than optimal condition and coupled with the blood and forensic dust, we made a quick decision to move out temporarily. This prompted a series of unplanned moves.  For various reasons we ended up moving 5 times in 18 months for us, and my mum in law was with us for 2 of those moves. The last move was the move that broke the camel’s back for me and found I was unable to cope.  Thankfully counselling helped me to make a full recovery. Needless to say, it was stressful time for all of us and...

Celebrating Your Body as a Mum

This morning was an interesting morning. I dropped the boys off to pre-school and school and came home. In my mind I had a list of things that I wanted to do today but my focus shifted to a conversation with my personal trainer that morning. It’s been about 4 months since I commenced personal training following losing my mobility in both my pregnancies from severe Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction. That’s a whole other story! I made a decision just before Christmas 2012 to be healthier with food and exercise. I am now a size 14 and have a couple of dress sizes to go for my best body.  Anyway getting back to this conversation… My trainer reminded me about celebrating my achievements with exercise. I know that celebrating achievements is really important and I do this well as a mum but hadn’t realised how little I was doing it in the context of my health. I decided I would allow myself to read for an hour as a reward for the training session I had this morning. Something made me pick up a book I was gifted for my birthday almost three months ago – Michelle Bridge’s “Your Best Body.”  Little did I know of what would occur in the next hour… I devoured the introduction and the chapter on “best mind.”  I got to the part where she said, “Acceptance is the conduit for change…it is the first step in moving forward” and I burst into tears.  Acceptance is a key area on which I coach mums and I understand how critical it is to achieve success in any...

A Special Mother’s Day Message For You

This is a special mother’s day article for all the mums out there.  This article is in celebration of each of you and for all that you do.  And that’s A LOT!!! Do you give yourself enough credit for all that you do as a mum? I think many of us deserve to give ourselves much more credit. One of the biggest things that I have done recently in my own personal development is to give myself more credit, especially in my role as mum. Do you rely on your partner or the kids to let you know you’re doing a good a job? I did until recently and sometimes when they didn’t, I would be disappointed. I would think, “They don’t appreciate me.  Do they know how hard I have worked today to prepare this meal” or “Do they even care I haven’t stopped for a second to get off the treadmill and take a break?” I began to feel resentful would often express this to them in my language and actions. My hubby would give me credit.  He would come home from work and tell me I’m doing the most important job in the world, raising our two boys.  I would feel great for a few hours then I’d soon forget his words and the resentment would seep back in; that is until the next credit came along. Then I discovered the power of giving MYSELF credit. The secret principle is that the more we give ourselves, the less we require from others. The more credit we give ourselves, the less credit we require from others. “Require”...