• Sanity Savers for Surviving the Silly Season


    Less than two weeks from Christmas…

    Have you completed all your Christmas shopping  and lovingly wrapped your gifts in delightful eco friendly paper and matching ribbon?
    Have you RSVP’d to the Christmas drinks at the neighbours/the local sports club/Aunty Beryl’s house?
    Have you bought those $10 Kris Kringle gifts that are witty, fun, and not too cheap looking?
    Have you lovingly made the organic Christmas Pudding by hand (and don’t forget you have to buy a Gluten Free one for Aunty Beryl)?
    Have you hand written beautiful messages on gorgeous Christmas cards for your closest friends/relatives/Facebook acquaintances and put then in an actual postbox?

    Have you dreamt about hiding under your doona until December 26 with a large box of Christmas Lindor balls and a Ryan Gosling DVD marathon in the hopes that no one will ever find you?

    If you answered yes to only one question on that list (and I’m pretty sure it was the last one if you are like me) then welcome to the Silly Season: a crazy construct of society that forces us to eat with, drink with, and buy presents for just about every single person we have ever met. conversed with, or walked by on the street in the past 5 years.

    Now before you go and call me out as a scrooge (I say ‘bah humbug’ to that), I’ll have you know that I really do enjoy socialising: I love a drink or two or three with friends, I enjoy eating home made rum balls, and I will even happily sing along to “All I want for Christmas is You (and you, and you, and you)”. But why oh why does it always have to be all crammed into 2 weeks when the kids are still at school and exhausted, work is winding up but still busy, and there is a godforsaken concert of some sort every second night!

    However, even at this late hour I truly believe there are some sanity savers that can help you cross the line on December 25 feeling (mostly) in control and ready to put your feet up, relax and enjoy the dregs of a champagne bottle and some of the kids leftover mince pies (because as any Aussie kid will tell you, ‘yuck, there is fruit not meat in these pies mum!’)

    So without further ado here are my top Sanity Savers for Surviving the Silly Season (saying it with a lisp is optional!)

    Take One Day at a time

    It is very easy to let overwhelm sink in at this time of the year, so for me I focus on simply taking one day at a time. I plan my weeks like a mother (literally!) and have everything I need to do written in my daily planner which is my bible (amen). I don’t sweat the small stuff at this time of year (clean laundry lives in laundry baskets in December) and takeaway comes a little more often than usual. Most importantly, at the end of each day when I roll into bed, I let the day go: no going over incomplete to do lists in my mind: my positive affirmation is ‘I am doing the best that I can’ shortly followed by ‘There are gin & tonics by the pool in my near future: keep on going girlfriend.”

    Just Say No

    This holiday season say goodbye to FOMO and hello to JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). You do not need to go to every single event you are invited to, and nor should you feel guilty for simply saying, sorry I won’t be able to make it. Put your mother guilt out with the reindeer’s carrots this Christmas, you do not need that sack of drama in your life!

    Schedule some Me Time

    It will come as no surprise to hear me say get your self care on this silly season. If you are super busy then schedule looking after yourself like you would anything else: block out an hour in your diary to have a bath and read a book, or go for a 20 minute walk listening to some uplifting music before you hit the shops to get those last minute purchases. You are just as important as anyone else at this time of the year so look after number one first, the rest will follow.

    Lower Your Expectations

    This one is easy actually. I want you to repeat something out loud after me…ready?

    “Christmas does not have to be perfect.”

    Ah, doesn’t that feel better! No one expects you to be Nigella Lawson, so focus on being in the moment and the blessings you have in your life rather than all that you could have done better if only you had more time/money/patience/helper elves…

    Finally, if all else fails, I leave you with these wise and immortal words…


    I wish you and yours a joy filled Christmas and a safe and relaxing start to 2016


    If you would like to start 2016 getting clear on your goals and what you want to achieve, then don’t just make a new year’s resolution, make a booking to see me! I am opening up some limited times in January for some one hour goal power sessions, so email me at to find out more x


  • How to move on when you get it wrong as a parent


    I recently did something that I am not proud of: I lost my temper at one of my children. Big Time. I screamed at my teenage son when he wouldn’t do what was asked of him. Not only that, I followed him upstairs continuing to yell at him as I sent him to his room. Inexplicably, I even kept it up as he complied with me and went to his bed in a flurry of tears. It is not easy for me to sit and write these words, and acknowledging my uncontrolled anger makes my stomach feel sick and tears spring to my eyes.

    It doesn’t really matter what it was about. Like most 13 year olds, my son is certainly good at pushing my buttons and viewing the world as solely revolving around him. He was in the wrong, and wasn’t doing what was repeatedly asked of him, but really there are many other ways to deal with this sort of (admittedly common) behaviour.

    Because I am the grown up. I am the mother. I aim to live every day in alignment with my core beliefs of connection, joy and love. I even did a Masters in Child Psychology for the love of God! I certainly know better than this. I know yelling doesn’t work. I know that all I proved to my son on that fateful afternoon was that I can yell louder than him and make him cry.

    Maybe you have been here too. Maybe like me, you have walked away from an altercation with your child with your heart hammering in your chest, tears streaming down your face, and thought to yourself, ‘I am a terrible mother, this is so hard, I have no idea what the hell I am doing. Why on earth did I just do that?’

    So how do you move on when you get it wrong?

    First up is space. My son needed space from me, not more words, and I certainly needed space from him. We both needed time to calm down and process what had happened before we talked about it. I also needed to have a good cry in private, make a cup of tea, and quietly reflect on my own behaviour.

    I acknowledged to myself that I make mistakes. I am an emotional person. I can be hot headed. I am less tolerant when I am tired. I am less tolerant when there has been lots of bickering going on in my household. I know these things about myself. I am definitely not perfect: as a mother, a wife, a friend, or as a life coach. I am only human.

    But you know what I didn’t do? I didn’t beat myself up. Well, maybe I did a tiny bit, but then I quickly moved on. Does one parenting fail negate all the times I am a good mother, or dare I toot my own horn and say, a freaking awesome mum most of the time? Of course not, yet this is often what we focus on: the one bad story, instead of the myriad of good experiences we have with our children.  We are so quick to point out our own flaws and fixate on them, instead of congratulating ourselves when we get it right, and giving ourselves a pat on the back for doing a damn good job nine times out of ten.

    So what did I do that afternoon after I wiped my eyes, drank my tea, and took a few deep cleansing breaths? I treated myself like I would my best friend in the same situation. I forgave myself. I thought of some strategies for how to better deal with frustrating teenage situations (of which no doubt there are many more to come!) I gave myself love. I gave my family my love. I hugged my daughters, and told them how much I love them. I explained that mum had made a mistake, but like any mistake, you learn from it and you move on. I upped the self care, and treated myself to an early night to bed with a good book.

    And to my teenage son? I wrote him a heartfelt letter, and left it on his nightstand to read when he first woke up. I acknowledged what had happened, apologised for it, and emphasised that we are both always learning, and when we get it wrong, we forgive each other and come back to our core truth: that we love each other, and no matter what happens in his life, I will always have his back.

    How did he respond? No words, just a lanky body that woke me up early the next morning by slipping into bed next to me and wrapping his long arms around me and burying his head in my neck. I know I am a good mum doing the best I can, and the proof was lying right next to me squeezing me tight.


    This post was hard for me to write, but I know I am not the only one to get it wrong as a parent on occasion. How do you move on after you get it wrong?

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  • The F-word on the mind of my almost teen


    The other day I added a new parenting first to my repertoire. I dropped my nearly 13 year old son to the airport for his first unaccompanied flight to go and visit his grandparents in Brisbane. As he walked down the tunnel to the plane by himself and turned back and waved and grinned at me, all I could see was the cute curly haired little toddler that he was, I don’t know… about 5 minutes ago. All he could see, stretched out before him was what he wants more than anything at the moment: FREEDOM.

    Honestly, I know it is a cliche and you hear it all the time, but man those years have gone super fast. In so many ways, life is easier now than those early days eternally filled with stinky nappies, wrangling into car seats, and temper tantrums, yet in many ways it is still pretty much the same (filled with stinky sports bags, taxi driving, and the odd temper tantrum!)

    Certainly for me the biggest challenge of having an almost teenager is balancing the amount of freedom that is wanted with an amount that I am comfortable with, whilst maintaining consistent and safe boundaries.

    I am by no means a helicopter parent, yet I am aware that we live in very different times than when I was the same age, and I took off with my friends for most of the day with no one caring two hoots what we were up to (except maybe the guy at the local milk bar who had to put up with the agonising over which mixed lollies you were going to buy with your 50 cents…ahhh, good times!)

    The thing is, I really like the idea of my son having some freedom, we live in a relatively safe area and I would far rather he took off for a bike ride around our suburb, than sit and play a violent video game. Yet letting him out the front gate is a risk, especially given that his still developing brain does not comprehend that racing your friend down the road on your bike is an incredibly unsafe thing to do. So what do you do as a parent who understands that freedom and risk are essential to development, yet you want to keep your child as safe as possible?

    I know I can’t be the only one going through these sort of parenting struggles, so I thought I would provide 5 tips for how I balance freedom and responsibility for my almost teenager (most of the time- I don’t pretend to be perfect!)


    • Know where they are, who they are with, and when they are expected home. Being super clear on these 3 points, means that any deviation from the expectations you have set can be dealt with.


    •  Most kids have a phone these days, and my rule is if I call it, you answer it. If I text you to ask you a question, you reply within a reasonable time. If not, then guess what my answer is next time you want to go to Subway with your mates?


    • Get to know your kid’s friends, so that you know who they are hanging out with. Make your home a place that your kids are happy to bring friends back to (e.g. setting up a chill out zone for them to hang out in).


    • Is your kid on Instagram? Snapchat? Kik? No idea? Social media is a massive part of our kid’s lives now (just as it is for many of us, myself included). But to bury your head in the sand about all this stuff, serves no one well. Keep the lines of communication open, and know what they are on and using. In our house the rules are I pay for your phone, I know the passcode to your phone. I know what social media apps my son uses, and we are Instagram friends (as long as I don’t post any comments he is fine with this).


    • The 3 C’s that are my main parenting go to’s are: Communication, Consistency, and Consequences. If I clearly communicate my expectations, and you don’t abide by them, then I am consistent (I mean what I say and I follow through) and there will be a consequence. Obviously consequences depend on the age of your kid and the rule that they broke (the naughty step may no longer cut it, but taking away the devices sure does!)


    Kids will always want freedom as they grow older, and parents will always want to them to be responsible and keep them safe from harm. When you reframe it as a compromise rather than a battle (You might not be as responsible as I would like, but you will be ok with less freedom than you might like) then hopefully life gets a whole lot less painful (well at least until puberty hits, that’s a whole other F-word story!)


    What are your thoughts on this? Do have any tips on balancing responsibility and freedom with kids? I’d love to hear your thoughts…