Category Archives: parenting

The Empath Mum

As anyone who’s an Empath knows, it’s not always easy. Nor is being a parent; but when you combine the two, it can be mayhem! Of course, being both a Mum and an Empath has its rewards too. 

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the term Empath, here is a brief description (you may just find yourself reading this and having an ‘aha’ moment).

An Empath is someone who feels and takes on the emotions and energy of other people, situations and environments. This is not just empathy, but fully feeling these emotions and energy as if they were your very own. Empaths also have a ‘knowing’ that goes beyond gut feelings or intuition.  

So, you can probably imagine that in addition to the everyday challenges that being a parent entails, adding this gift to the mix certainly makes for an interesting experience day in, day out. 

Don’t get me wrong; being an Empath as a mother gives me some wonderful advantages. Having this ‘knowing’ means that I’m able to relate to my children on such a unique level, and the majority of the time, I needn’t even ask what’s wrong because I just ‘know’. Even if there’s not necessarily anything amiss with one of my children, I still know exactly what they need at any given time; whether it means they’re getting sick or just need to snuggle for a while. 

For example, my two year old who isn’t quite verbal as yet, can simply look at me and most of the time, I know exactly what he needs or wants without trying to figure it out by questioning him. Sometimes, I’m even onto it before he is! 

The difficult side to this gift is being able to feel my children’s emotions as my own  when it becomes overwhelming for me. As everyone does, we all have challenges in life to deal with, and emotions of our own to understand and process, but when you add three more little people’s emotions to this, it can become quite daunting and make you feel like you’re carrying around the weight of the world. For example, if my teenager is feeling all hormonal and confused about his world, I feel it too. If my baby girl feels genuinely heartbroken because Dad just left to go to work, I feel it too. You get the gist…  

At times, I’ve felt like just curling up in a ball and crying, and that’s okay, because it is a very overwhelming gift to have. But at the same time, I am extremely blessed to be able to share this wonderfully deep connection with my children. Once I was aware of what it means to be an Empath, and learnt more about it, things started to become much easier, and I now see this gift in a whole new light. 

There are likely many, many parents out there who can completely relate to what I’m describing, and I want you to know that you’re not alone; and you’re certainly not crazy (even though at times, it may feel that way)! Being an Empath can be challenging and painful at the best of times, but when you’re a parent as well, and don’t know how to manage this gift, your heart and mind can get quite messy indeed. 

But, once you have the awareness, and the tools to properly manage everything that being an Empath entails, you will quickly realise just how very special a gift it is, and why you’ve been blessed with it. It’s not always easy, but the rewards that come with this gift far outweigh the challenges. 

I am more than happy to connect with anyone who would like to chat about this further, or who would simply like to share their experiences of being an Empath parent. I can be contacted through either of my Facebook pages here:

White Light for the Soul
White Light Publishing House

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My family are my teachers 

My family are my teachers. 

After almost two weeks away from my husband and children, I am itching to get back to them and give them all a great big hug, and while I knew I would miss them like crazy, this time away has allowed me to really delve into my inner self, and put everything in my life into perspective.

All those little things; like being woken during the night because my daughter just wants to feel me close to her, or my eldest son talking my ear off when I’m trying to work, and even my husband having the TV so loud at night, he could very well wake up the neighbours three doors down… These are the things I miss the most; the small things, things that I have often taken for granted in the past. 

I am extremely grateful for having had the opportunity to go on this incredible trip with my Mum, and I will surely miss being able to sleep all night uninterrupted, and being able to just sit and read or have a shower in peace, but while it’s been a wonderful opportunity for me to recharge and have some ‘me time’, it has also reminded me just how much I love my life; in particular as a wife and mother. 

 I am so very blessed to have such a supportive husband, who has grown so much in the last twelve months, that I couldn’t be prouder of him if I tried. We have had our fair share of challenges over the years, and now, we have genuinely fallen in love with one another all over again. Our relationship has reached a whole new level recently, and I don’t know what I’d do without him. My husband is my best friend, and he has taught me the importance of patience and allowing life to flow naturally.

My children are so very different from one another, and yet, all share the same beautiful, deep emotional connection with me that I love so much. My (almost) teenage son is able to talk openly about his feelings, and has such a wonderfully kind heart, which I am so proud of him for. Even though he is my son, he is often my rock. He keeps me grounded, and reminds me to honour my feelings

My toddler has already overcome some amazing feats since being born, and he is just so full of energy and raw emotion most of the time, that he just amazes me. He is my little warrior, and reminds me that I can overcome anything with courage and determination. 

And my daughter; while she is not even yet a year old, is so full of pure love and joy, that she brings a smile to all of our faces, no matter what is going on. She is a mirror image of myself as a baby, and she reminds me to nurture my own inner child.

So, from now on, I am making a promise to myself, and to my family. I promise to embrace every single little moment, because every minute of every day, every challenge, every joyful moment, makes us who we are as a family, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

Why honesty is empowering 

I’ve realised something the last few days, and that is just how very empowering honesty is. 

Being honest with others, and most importantly, being honest with yourself

After posting my blog about my trip, and why Mum’s shouldn’t feel guilty about looking after themselves every once in a while, I received this message:

Honestly, you are amazing! I missed your first blog about your holiday and have only recently read it.

I cried whilst reading as I realised I’m one of this judgmental mums, I have always thought negatively about mums leaving their children to relax and have holidays. I have no problem with men doing it but always had issues with mums doing it.

I labelled them as selfish, uncaring and the list goes on.

UNTIL I read your blog.

I am embarrassed to say that these are my own issues and I am purely just jealous and envious and wish that I could do what you are doing.

You are doing such a selfless thing, by giving yourself the gift to recharge and heal you will be a better mum to your children than I am to mine purely because I am exhausted, cranky and unhappy most of the day.

So thank you for being so honest and sharing your story.

I will live this adventure through you until the day comes that I have worked through my own issues and take off on my own xox

This message was so inspiring to me, and I loved just how raw and honest it was. This Mum has not only been honest with me about my post, but she was also brutally honest with herself. This is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself, it truly is. 

So thank you to this amazing Mumma for sharing your thoughts and feelings with me. You probably don’t even realise just how strong and powerful you are as a woman (not just a Mum), but I believe the message you sent me may just be the beginning of a beautiful journey within, and I am so honoured to have been able to ignite a spark in you without even intending to. 

“Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It’s about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.” 

– Brene Brown

  

I’m a Mum. Does that mean I can’t have a holiday?

In a couple of days time, I am leaving for an overseas holiday with my Mum and I’ll be gone for two weeks. Nothing out of the ordinary really, except that I have three children, and they’re not coming with me.

I saw a post on social media recently where another Mum was in a similar situation, and I felt for her, I really did, because some of the comments she received were horrible. She was called selfish, a bad parent, and irresponsible, just to name a few. There were only a small handful of people (including myself) who actually supported her choice to go on a kid-free holiday, and I found that very sad indeed. Why people find it necessary to be so damn judgemental is beyond me. This poor woman was doing something very similar to me, and her children were of course, going to be in safe hands with their father while she was away. Yet still, in their eyes, going on a holiday without your children was a massive no-no.

I must admit, I still have a lingering feeling of guilt about my upcoming trip; after all, I am going to miss my children terribly, which is natural of course. BUT,  I’ve realised that the guilt I’ve been feeling is not so much coming from within, but externally, from people like those commenting on that woman’s post, who have this preconceived idea that it’s wrong for a mother to have a holiday without her children.

So, to those people who think that this is somehow ‘wrong’, I ask you the following:

If it were Dad taking this holiday, would this be viewed differently? (Mind you, in my case, Dad is taking his own holiday later this year)

If it was a business trip I was going on, would that make a difference? 

Do I not work hard enough, live each day on hardly no sleep, give my heart and soul 24 hours a day enough to deserve a break? 

I noticed one comment on that particular post where someone had said, “You’re a Mum. That’s your job. You don’t get to do things like that when you’re a parent.”

Well, I disagree. Yes, I am a Mum, and it’s the best job in the world. I love my children unconditionally. But I am also human too, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with honouring myself as a person as well as being a Mum. Being a Mum is not the only thing that defines me as a person; I am many other things as well. 

So, I am going on this once in a lifetime trip, and I am going to do so with no guilt, because there is nothing for me to be guilty about. I am going to relax, explore the culture of the places I’m visiting, and be grateful for this amazing opportunity. I am going to enjoy a much needed break, and quality time with my Mum. I am going to share my experiences with as many people as possible, without feeling as though I should somehow be ashamed of what I’m doing, because that’s what people do when they go on holiday. 

As for my children, they are going to spend some quality time with their Dad, and are of course, in great hands. I’m sure they will miss me just as much as I’ll miss them, but you know what? I am going to come back home in just two short weeks, getting right back into the swing of things, but there’ll be one difference. I’ll be relaxed and re-energised, ready to keep being the super awesome Mum and wife that I already know I am.

  

No Room for Comparison 

Enough is enough. I’ve decided to make a promise to myself. A promise that I should have made long ago, and one that every person would benefit from making for themselves.

I promise to stop comparing myself to others.

It seems quite a simple commitment to make in such a small sentence; one that many people will know, that in reality, isn’t quite that easy. On the contrary, you may be reading this thinking, “Oh, I don’t do that anyway”, but let me ask you this: Can you honestly say that you never, ever judge yourself based on what others think of you (whether real or perceived), or that you don’t question your decisions with someone else’s beliefs or way of life at the back of your mind?

Perhaps you can, and if so, that’s wonderful. But for those of us that do need a little reminder, it’s time we took back our personal power and lived authentically!

When was the last time you stopped yourself mid-thought; wondering whether “X” would make the same decision? What would they do in the same situation? Should you do what they would do, or go with your own instinct? What would they think of your choices? Would you feel as though you’re being judged? Better still, what would society think of your the choices you make?

These are all questions that we need to stop asking ourselves when it comes to making life choices; whether it’s a big decision like changing careers, or an everyday choice such as whether you can afford to buy yourself that new book you’ve had your eye on.

Comparison comes in many forms. You may be comparing:

– Your career and the success you have in the workplace

– The way you look 

– Your relationships with others (family, marriage, friendships)

– The amount of money you earn 

– How you should ‘behave’ in certain situations 

…and the list could go on…

Now, let this sentence sink in for a moment:

Each time you compare yourself to another, you are taking away your own power.

Personally, I’m not too fussed with material things, such as having fashionable clothes, or the latest hairstyle. Comparing myself to someone based on what I have or don’t have, is not an issue for me (thankfully). For example, I couldn’t care less about owning a big fancy house; that’s not what’s important to me. I am however, happy for anyone who is able to have this for themselves, if that’s what brings them joy.

For me, at this point in my life, comparing my parenting choices to those of others (as well as what is ‘expected’ from society in general), is my greatest challenge, and one that I intend to put a stop to right now. The choices I make daily as a parent, is what I struggle with the most; even though in reality, I shouldn’t. The fact that I’ve been a parent now for almost thirteen years, have three children, and several years of early childhood education training and experience up my sleeve, still doesn’t seem to stop me from questioning my choices at times; simply because I am comparing myself to others, or wondering whether or not my decisions are ‘the best thing to do’ in societies’ eyes.

So, for anyone who finds themselves guilty of comparing themselves to others (in any form- not just parents), I ask you this:

Why do you allow yourself to do this? What makes you think that you are not capable or knowledgeable enough to make the best possible choices for yourself (or your children) without comparing yourself to others? Why do you even think that others would be judging you anyway, and if they are, why does it matter so much?

 

In my situation, there is quite a simple answer to this question. It’s because as a parent, I want the absolute best for my children; that’s a given. The choices I make however, should not be based on whether I think others would agree with me, or how other people might think or feel about my decision. I am the parent of my children, and ultimately, I know what’s best for them, based on how I want them to be raised.

If I co-sleep with my children because it helps me to get some sleep at night (and I sometimes like the snuggles myself), that’s my choice. I own that choice.

If I take loved ones up on the offer to babysit my children for the night so my husband and I can go to the movies, that’s my choice. I own that choice.

If I enrol my children in daycare because I believe it is actually beneficial for their learning, that’s my choice. I own that choice.

And finally (this is a big one that I’ve been made to feel guilty about), if I want to go on a holiday and leave the kids at home with their Dad while I’m away, that’s my choice. I deserve a holiday and I own that choice.

It’s also important that I acknowledge the times where I don’t have the answers, or when I’m having a challenging time. 

When all I feel like doing is crawling up in bed and sleeping because the kids have kept me awake all night, that’s okay. I’m allowed to feel that way. 

When I sit my toddler in front of his favourite movie or give him the iPad to ‘keep him entertained’ so I can have a moment’s peace to fold the washing or heaven forbid, go to the toilet, that’s okay. I’m allowed to give myself some space.

When I’m so flustered from lack of sleep, trying to work from home, and having a nagging teenager, toddler and baby all wanting my attention at once, that I fall into a heap and have a good old cry, that’s okay. I’m human.

Obviously, these examples are based upon my personal situation, and are relating to parenting, however, this same concept can be adapted to any situation where you wish to take back your power and stop comparing or questioning your life choices. After all, who is in charge of your life? Is it society? Friends and family around you? Or you?

I promise to stop comparing myself to others. 

Do you?