Let’s ‘Decide to Rise’ for 2021

We have come to the end of another MOPS year, and what a year it has been! It can be easy to pull back from life in the midst of the turmoil, loss and uncertainty that seemed to fill this year. The lessons of this year’s theme ‘To The Full’ were needed more than ever. Continue reading “Let’s ‘Decide to Rise’ for 2021”

‘Tis the season of tiredness.

I’ve come to realise that there is a certain type of tiredness that overtakes us as we near the end of the year. I’ve decided to name this season of tiredness ‘Term 4 fatigue’.

A special kind of tiredness

It’s a special kind of tiredness. One that doesn’t seem to be cured with more sleep or lying on the couch watching Christmas movies. (I just consulted IMDB- the Grinch was released in 2000 and I’ve watched it every Christmas since then, which means that we are currently celebrating our 20th year together!). It also isn’t helped by eating endless amounts of sugar in the form of candy canes or gifted chocolates (believe me, I’ve tried). It’s a season of tiredness which is felt and shared by all – parents, children, teachers, and really anyone working in any industry. 

We’re all in this together

It’s a special kind of solidarity we share, as we greet each other at the school gate, attempting to cheer each other on to the finish line, while at the same time wanting to lie down and take a well earned nap. I had a 5-year-old client in a session the other day lie down on the rug when I asked him to do a puzzle with me. As he stared up at me he simply said “I don’t want to”. It was a calm and polite statement, one which resonated within me. I understood. I felt it too. And I respected him for it. He has worked hard this year, and he has reached the point of being finished. 

Time for reflection

What if, instead of seeing our current season of tiredness as a negative thing, we look at the positive? What if we use it as a prompt to look at the year that has been, at the things we have done, the things we have overcome and the things we have learnt. My daughter looked at me the other day and asked whether I was ok (I’m not looking particularly refreshed or inspired at the moment). My response to her was that I’m ok; I’m just tired because I’ve been working hard. I didn’t say it to attract sympathy. I said it to acknowledge to her that I am tired and it’s simply because I’ve worked hard. 

There have been challenges this year- parenting is hard, work is hard, life can be hard. But I am sure that on reflection we can all look back on 2020 and see the good, the things we and our children have accomplished, the blessings. And I think it’s important to celebrate them and take our tiredness as a signal to start to slow down, to rest and to take care of ourselves. To have grace with ourselves and our children during this busy season. 

There is a time for everything under the sun. A time to work and a time to rest. And the busyness of this season can be both a blessing and a chore. Whichever it is for you, be kind to yourself and others. Choose what to keep and what to get rid of in your schedule so that you have time to pause, reflect and hope for the future. We are almost there, and then a New Year will begin. 

Keep pressing on

For now, I will keep pressing on to the end of the term. And then I plan to sleep, watch more Christmas movies on the couch and eat a lot more sugar. And if you are someone who is not tired, who is bounding towards the finish line with full energy – please give me a call and let me know how you did it. 

Wishing you all a very blessed Christmas, and joy filled 2021.

Catherine Begley

How do you “mum” during seasons of pressure?

Ever felt your body was so full you thought it would pop? Has your head ever had so many thoughts you felt dizzy? Has your heart ever been so broken you thought it would never beat again? The experiences of seasons of pressure.

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these, keep reading. Continue reading “How do you “mum” during seasons of pressure?”

Stop checking your phone and be present

We can all Google the research and statistics around parental phone/device use and the impact on children. If you’re anything like me, this usually just increases the shame and guilt I’m already feeling without bringing change. You already know you want to stop checking your phone and be more present. You just need some ways to make the change possible. Continue reading “Stop checking your phone and be present”

Mother bird

We have a pair of magpies at our place that have become quite friendly. They visit us and, in return, we give them bird-friendly treats*. Sometimes they sing to us. A month or two ago, they changed their visiting pattern and came one at a time. Instead of eating what we gave them, they would accumulate the food in their beaks, and fly off over the house roofs to a distant tree. It was clear they had a young one in the nest. They were now a mother bird and father bird.

Continue reading “Mother bird”

Handling the transition to work-at-home mum

“I feel like I have no time for fun anymore,” I said to my husband in a moment of bleak honesty. “All I do is work after the kids are asleep, then go to bed.”
I had recently started working from home. While I was thankful to be bringing in some money, I was finding the transition to work-at-home mum a bit bumpy. Continue reading “Handling the transition to work-at-home mum”

“I’m sorry, but you have breast cancer.”

I’m so sorry Mrs James, but you have breast cancer …..

Never ever did I ever expect to hear those words being spoken to me. Let alone at the age of 40.

But here I was on 1st March 2019, sitting with my husband in the doctor’s office in the Breast Clinic at Royal Perth Hospital, experiencing this almost out of body experience.  Continue reading ““I’m sorry, but you have breast cancer.””

Talking to children so they actually listen

‘Listen to me!’ A familiar cry that we overhear from a frustrated parent in a busy shopping centre. We want our children to listen to us when we speak to them. We don’t want to have to repeat ourselves. Ideally, we want our kids to get what we ask them to do right – the first time. We want our kids to hear our instructions so they don’t get hurt. 

So, how can we help our kids listen to us? Here are a few suggestions to help your children to listen: Continue reading “Talking to children so they actually listen”