Saturday, 8 October 2016

Educate The World

I'm currently reading "Half the Sky - Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide" by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.

"Half The Sky" is such an interesting but quite a sad book, I never realised how badly women are treated worldwide - I knew it was bad but didn't know it was that bad. Sex trafficking, rape as a weapon of war, disallowed medical treatment, forced marriages, forced pregnancies, refused education, beaten, infanticide for just being a girl, the list goes on and on. I want to scream, cry, rant and rave all at once, I feel so powerless to help and feel so privileged to live in Australia. Why are we treated so differently just because we have different genitalia, it's complete madness.

If you educate a woman, you educate a nation is so true. By educating women, they then have more say and more knowledge. They can delay children, delay marriage, earn money and create change. Are countries so scared of what women are capable of? Imagine what the world would be life if there really was gender equality? Some of the poor nations might just not be so poor and the changes that could occur would be life changing - world changing even. Is this why there is so much oppression against women because of the potential changes that would occur?

We are so blessed to be allowed to gain an education in this country and be given chances to study whatever and wherever we want, some girls overseas never see the inside of a classroom and if they do get a chance it's only for a few years and then they're forced to leave so that money can be spent on the boys education or medicine or food. It breaks my heart to know that girls would love the education that I got even though it wasn't really the best by Australain standards and I was your average grade C student that got told she'd never amount to anything.

We need to start valuing education for the worth that it is, by educating ourselves with knowledge so we can then get behind education for the world. Supporting and donating to worthy charities and raising awareness so that more and more people can start to value education too and give woman a voice.

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Monday, 12 September 2016

Happy Birthday Milhouse

Happy Birthday dear Milhouse, you would have been 2 today.

I still hold you in my heart and think of you plenty.

I wonder what you would have looked like and if you were a boy or a girl.

I think about your smile and what colour your eyes may have been.

I try to imagine the sound of your voice and how your laughter may have sounded.

I think about you often and still wipe tears from my eyes, even though you were only a part of me for such a little while.

You made me grow up a little more and see the world from a different point of view.

I know you're looking down on me and smiling upon your new sibling, I think you would approve of him.

I know one day we'll meet again when my time on this earth is done and I'll finally get to throw my arms around you like I've wanted to all along. But until that special day arrive I'll keep you in safely tucked inside my heart.

I'm grateful for your lessons and what you've shown I'm capable of. I shower your little brother in love every single day, and today together we wish you a happy birthday.

Love Mumma

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Thursday, 18 August 2016

Book Review: “21 Days to a Happier Family” by Dr Justin Coulson

I’ve been hearing some buzz about Dr Justin Coulson’s newest book “21 Days to a Happier Family” so I decided to give it a read for myself. I found it quite an interesting read, it’s always fascinating to hear people’s opinions on raising children as everyone comes at it from a different angle and perspective.

I’ve taken away a few good pointers and tips for when it comes to raising Star Boy as he ages. The discussion around discipline was quite good it talks about discipline as being teaching and instruction not punishment, our aim should be not to punish but to teach our children good ways to act. Punishment and rewards ignore the root of the problem and focus only on short-term results. Instead, seek collaboration, perspective, understanding and problem-solving.

Children emotions can become quite contagious, we can and do catch our children emotions and they can catch ours. So to effectively discipline – that is, effective teaching and instruction – we cannot do this when emotions are high so we need to wait till the heat is out of the situation before we tackle that side of things.

One point that really struck me was young children are prevented from doing something they want to do every few minutes – of course this is understandable for safety – but the most common reason we say ‘No’ is what is convenient for us as parents rather than our children’s protection. I know I’ve done this with my niece and nephews at some points, I’ve said no to them doing things because I was tired or just couldn’t really be bothered with what they wanted to do.

I don’t feel all the points in this book would work for every family as everyone is different and have different circumstances in life but I do feel it gives you a good insight and tips into what could help your family become happier. If there is only one point from the book to take away it’s this: “If you can only do one thing as a parent, be emotionally available”, because really that’s all that our children really want/need is us, they just want our love and attention.

What parenting tips have you found helpful with your family?

This post isn't sponsored or anything, I just wanted to share my thoughts.

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Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Dust off and try again

I struggle when meeting new people. I need to psych myself up, I prepare myself by thinking of questions to ask, topics to discuss, how will I present myself etc. Once I'm there and talking I'm okay and I can be myself but the lead up can be extremely painful and full of anxiety.

The other week Star Boy and I went to our first playgroup day at church so we could be meet some other mum and babies. I'd been preparing for several weeks and was as prepped as I could be. The day arrived and first up we were late getting out the door then got stuck in traffic (why do people feel the need to slow down and stare at car accidents). We arrived about 40 minutes late, which I thought that's ok it ends at 12pm and it's only 10:40am so there's still time. Once inside we ended up in the wrong room with a music group and we got directed to the right group thankfully. There were 3 other parents in there, I felt terrible I couldn't understand 2 of them when they spoke, I tired really hard but struggled. The lady I could understand was more interested in her phone than anything else but we did try which is good. Then at 11:10am the organiser goes let's pack up and go home. I'm thinking "what - I've only been here 30 minutes". I asked "what time does it normally finish?" "Oh 12pm but some days we finish early". It was so much effort to get there for only 30 minutes of awkwardness - I cannot do that every week, if it was only up the street fine but not a 20 minute drive away.

I felt so disappointed and discouraged afterwards as I had been prepping for so long and it just fell to the floor on me, I may have even teared up a bit - okay a bit more than a bit - but I let myself feel that emotion, I didn't push it away, I let it happen (once I was home of course). Then afterwards instead of my usual "that's it never trying this again" attitude I can have, I took a deep breath and started looking for another group. Which I did, there's one just 5 minutes away from home, so I rung up and got the details and we'll be going next week to see what that one is like.

Yes I've been prepping myself again for this new meeting but I'm willing to put myself through this fear again and again, to get up and dust off and try again. I need to show Star Boy that not everything goes well and yes you can have fears and worries but you can push through and keep going. We never know what might happen at this next group, it could be great or not great but we'll only know if we try and turn up. Star Boy needs to learn how to interact with people and the only way he can do that is if I teach myself how to interact with others and show him what confidence is. It's a tough gig being a mum when you have such fears yourself that you don't really know how to handle but I'm willing to learn and teach myself so that I can pass on these lessons to him and he doesn't need to teach himself at the age of 31.

Fingers crossed for next week, wish me luck.

What fears or challenges have you had to teach yourself to face as an adult?

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Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Where's the compassion?

Since the invention of the Internet troll I've noticed compassion is falling to the wayside. You only need to read the news websites to see that half the articles now are Twitter comments of people demeaning each other in 140 characters or less - it's become a competition of who can slander the fiercest.

A child is hurt - "where were the parents?" "how could the parents be so dumb" "why were they watching them?"

A girl is assaulted - "why was she walking there?" "what did she say to them?" "what was she wearing?"

A car accident - "I bet it was a P-plater"

A TV personality is struggling - "That's what you get for being famous, serves you right"

We are all so ready to tear each other down at the click of a keyboard. Would you say those things to the person face-to-face? Would it be so easy to tell someone to kill themselves while looking them in the eye? You can so easily type horrible messages to a woman who has lost her child to a crocodile attack but could you say it to her in her lounge room while watching her mourn? Why do we think we can say these things via a message and they not cause harm? Or do we know they cause harm but just don't care?

Growing up we were told "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" - where did that disappear to? Is it left in the past with our dignity?

We all have different opinions but why is it when one differs from another there's an explosion of hatred and words like bigot and racist get thrown around like confetti. Let's debate but at the end of the day we all need to agree to disagree. We are not all going to think the same but express your opinion with consideration not bitterness.

Are we all just so hurt in our own lives that we need to spit that hurt onto others? Spread the bitterness around so we not the only ones bitter?

I stand here today ready to start a compassion revolution. I want to help reverse the cycle of hate and start a cycle of light instead. So who's with me? Who's ready to start spreading some more compassion today?

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