Raising a child with ADHD

Being a mum and a Paediatric Occupational Therapist at the same time is an interesting journey. I daily work with parents who come to me looking for help with their children, many of whom have ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). I am raising a child with ADHD myself.  Many of my close friends also have at least one child in their family who is diagnosed with ADHD. Continue reading “Raising a child with ADHD”

Around the family table

I grew up in a large family of 6 children. One of the highlights of each day was our evening meal around the very long table. It wasn’t the food that made it special (although always tasty and made with love); it was the simple act of being all together around the family table. Continue reading “Around the family table”

Caring Conversation with Your Children

When my son was young, he wanted me to lie with him at bedtime for “two minutes” every night. Of course, he would drag these two minutes out as long as possible. Sometimes he was just delaying going to sleep. Though this was often a time when he would share with me, ask the harder questions and our conversations would go deeper. So, in a way I didn’t mind that this practice lasted into my son’s high school years.  I knew that this time was not going to last forever. It’s so important to value and create caring conversation with your children. Continue reading “Caring Conversation with Your Children”

Imperfect

When I was pregnant with my first child, I spent hours reading books on pregnancy and about the first year of a baby’s life. I wanted to ensure that I knew how to get everything ‘right’. I even read books about parenting boys and girls into their teenage years, to make sure that I didn’t miss anything important along the way. However, it only took a very short time for me to face the reality that parenting, and life with children in general, is imperfect. It is wonderful but also messy, chaotic, unpredictable and rich with learning opportunities (aka mistakes).

Imperfect People

I have three children, my eldest is in high school now, and I still find myself floundering as each new age and stage brings with it new challenges to navigate. I’m someone who is not afraid to admit when I’m wrong and the greatest lesson that being a mother has shown me is that I am flawed, my husband is flawed, and my children are flawed. We are all imperfect; it’s just a fact-  and that is ok.

Learning Opportunities

When my children were younger and I’d mess up (as we all do), I would lie awake at night feeling immensely guilty. Sometimes even crying myself to sleep, feeling like I was failing and doing “damage” to my children. As they’ve gotten older, and I’ve matured, I have come to realise that sometimes it is through our imperfections that our children learn the best lessons. They see us fail, they see us apologise, and they see us trying again.

As parents we aren’t able to be everything for our children. It’s an impossible ambition and one that is not expected of us. What we are called to do is to parent each day to the best of our ability. We don’t expect our children to be perfect; all we ask is that they try their best.  So why then do we expect ourselves to be perfect? We need to do our best and let God be our source of strength and comfort each day as we grow and learn and become better mums. Life isn’t perfect and it’s ok for our homes and families to have imperfection in them too.

“It’s actually our ability to embrace imperfection that will help us teach our children to have the courage to be authentic, the compassion to love themselves and others…”- Dr.Brené Brown, parenting author and researcher.

Be kind to yourself

The greatest advice anyone has ever given to me (at a time when my young Type A personality was crushing me), was to be kind to myself. And it’s something that I remind myself of daily. So be kind to yourself and encourage your mum friends as we walk this motherhood road together. You’re not perfect and that’s completely ok. Sometimes, it’s even a good thing.

Catherine Begley

Travelling with Children

With state borders opening once again, and flights between capital cities resuming, many of us are looking to travel again.  Maybe it’s for a  well-deserved holiday, or to visit family and friends that you could not see during 2020. For some, the mere thought of travelling with children long distances can be enough to make us groan. Continue reading “Travelling with Children”

‘Who am I?’- Why this children’s book matters

I have always loved reading. My Dad’s bedtime stories transported me to faraway places (I’m looking at you Britain), and faraway trees. And thanks to a persistent set of siblings, we always squeezed in “one more chapter”. Once I could read myself, I’d stay in bed on weekend mornings, discovering stories from around the world in the pages of my books. I remember books about boarding schools and circuses, rainbow fish, and the place where the forest meets the sea. What I don’t remember was ever reading books that were set in Africa. I knew nothing of the stories there. This didn’t matter to me at the time, but it does now.

My first memory of learning about Africa was rice day at school.  We all ate rice to raise money for children in Africa. I also learnt a little about Africa from my family having sponsor children, and from the charity ads on TV.

Continue reading “‘Who am I?’- Why this children’s book matters”