Self-care within the margins.

The beginning of motherhood is busy. Busy days that feel like you’ve done nothing at all. Moments that crawl by while all at once you blink and the day has gone. Barely moving from the sofa, yet feeling as though you hadn’t stopped all day. And so it continues, as we leave the house we should be at baby rhyme time and baby massage, graduating to toddler groups and singing groups and dance groups and play groups, to after-school activities and weekend clubs and…

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Abi SmissenComment
Diverging from your childhood; co-parenting with your parents.

When I speak to parents that I’ve met, my friends in groups and those that I’ve met over in online spaces, I find that most of us are parenting in ways that differ to how they themselves were parented. And I’m almost certain that many of our own parents would say the same thing.

No parent is perfect. We make mistakes and we wish we’d done that certain thing different. We regret that word that came out sharper than intended. I think we all look introspectively and find things inside ourselves that we’d prefer not to pass onto our…

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Celebrating a solstice.

The 21st approaches, and with it comes midsummer or midwinter depending on your side of the hemisphere. The last solstice we celebrated in December was winter, but come the 21st June we will be celebrating midwinter once again as we spend our first month in Australia. 

Whichever way the solstice falls…

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You don't always come second, and nor should you have to.

I remember crying, big wracking sobs, because all I wanted was a bath. Eilish was seven weeks old, I was seven weeks postpartum unsure as to whether or not she would wake up. A ten minute soak in some warm water was all I wanted. Just five minutes, even, would do. It was a small lifeline to before, the smallest indulgence that had become an impossible task. I didn’t have one…

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Creating pockets of home; for the times you are stuck in an in-between.

We are currently on a precipice, dangling, dangling, dangling, waiting to jump (or is it fall? I guess that depends on which moment you ask me). It’s a mixture between precipice and limbo, an anticipation of what’s beyond the door while standing in a waiting room of all that is familiar yet displaced.

We’re staying for weeks at my in-laws, a house

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On life, lately.

You may have seen it, but maybe you didn’t. We’re moving. To halfway across the world, to Australia, to a place where it feels like everything is upside down, the wrong way and inside out. We leave the start of summer to arrive in the beginning of a new winter. It’s all different, the seasons are different, the food is a little different, the lifestyle is different, even the air smells different. I’m sitting here writing this in a house that is slowly emptying out and existing within boxes more and more each day. We are excited. And nervous. And tired. But mainly…

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Celebrating Easter.

The bright mornings. The dawn chorus waking us gently from our slumber (yes, a little earlier than I’d hope for). Drawing the curtains back to see a slow explosion of green, small snatches of blue and purple as the wisteria in our garden begins to open. Our drives into town are now peppered with big and small white and woolly friends, sheep and their small lambs appearing, and we said hello to some small ducklings yesterday as they bobbed down the river with their mama.

While we are very much a secular family, we celebrate Easter…

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Power to the Mother: Leata-Mae d'Avoine

Power to the Mother is a series of interviews on the transformative, diverse and empowering experience of motherhood.

Over the past couple of weeks I have had the pleasure of speaking to Leata-Mae D’Avoine, a birth worker, doula, and mother to one about her experiences of motherhood. I’ve loved following Leata-Mae for a while, she has an incredibly open and honest approach to sharing her motherhood, and is a huge advocate for birthing women’s rights. Read on to find out more about her path to becoming a doula, her mindful approach to the simple things in life, and some important words on being a birthing mother of colour in the UK…

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