Winnicott once wrote the percursor of the mirror to be our mothers face. It's a quote that feels me with love and hope, because it reminds me how simple our role is, in essence. That's my wish for this new year! Good reflections to our children as well as all the other around the world. One day love will will prevail. War and hunger will cease to exist. We are not there yet and although we may seem powerless at times, as parents we hold the key to the future of humanity. Let us teach our children to love and be the change we want in the world. Happy 2017 and much love to all
Christmas day in the countryside
The one present that truly matters at 🎄 Christmas- L O V E
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Christmas is the most wonderful time of year. It's often the only chance for many families to come together and we definitely made the most of that! We travelled far and crossed a few counties but our little troopers gave us an easy journey. It's been a lovely few days and we're feeling thankful and blessed for all the union and love that Christmas brings with it.
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Thinking back to Christmas during my childhood I remember fondly a big emphasis on finding the ideal ensemble as opposed to the perfect presents. I remember running store after store to find matching socks and cardigans and shoes. I remember the excitement and magic. The tartan prints and red shoes!It's no wonder then that whilst everyone else is shopping for Christmas trees I'm focused on what I feel as a bit of a tradition, matching the shoe colours with the socks and finding boy girl matches in great anticipation.
Below are some of my personal choices and acquisitions for this year. You will see yellow is prominent in these choices and it isn't always a given choice for my children's wardrobe but I couldn't resist these yellow shoes by Coolis and the twist they bring to the traditional tartan prints. I have to mention Pukatuka, they have long been one of my all time faves but they have outdone themselves with this red embroidered shirt.
Happy shopping 🤗
There was a time when I thought that flying with my husband and our newborn baby was a mission. It wasn’t until our son was a toddler and our daughter a newborn that I understood the concept of said mission! But, living abroad and returning home often left us with little chance other than to find practical ways of flying without huge stress. Soon enough we picked up a whole ritual around flying, that assures our flight is stress free for us and the children.Read More
The most relaxing family holiday we could have wished for at Pine Cliffs resort, AlgarveRead More
To add to our usual homesickness, we are over half way through the Summer season in this corner of the world , and the sun has scarcely made itself known. A visit home was thus of great need. We visited the Algarve and were greeted late at night with loving familiar faces, warm hugs, a welcoming 30 degrees and the lovely smell of rock-rose that is so typical of the Algarve.
Our days were filled with joy and laughter (and as evident above, all the usual child shenanigans). Which reminds me of a statement I read in a book by the great Portuguese Paediatrician, Mario Cordeiro:
"Tantrums should be a constitutional right".
And so they are, and we try to make little of them :)
We made the most of every hour of every day, the children played, napped and ate on these sandy beaches, never returning home before 8pm.
For the whole of our stay, they wore little else than their bathing suits. They explored the wonderful gardens of the resort until bathing time at which point they collapsed asleep. The nights were just as warm and pleasant as the days, resonating with the melodic sound of the cicadas which lulled us to sleep.
A perfect mini break for the whole family which has left us feeling refreshed and energized!
Matching swimsuits https://www.facebook.com/babywearbubble/?fref=ts
In this household babies came prior to wedlock, mum is as fatherly as dad is, and dad is as motherly as mum is. Our duties as parents cross over. Intentionally, as we lead by example, there is no role division, no line between what dad does and mum does.
I'd like my children to grow up knowing that men and women are capable of the same things, as opposed to limited by their genders.
Society bombards us with messages of father's financial obligations of supporting the family and mothers's devoir's to childcare and household related matters. Messages that clearly diferentiate between the roles of the mother and the father, discouraging amalgamation of the two. Messages that create barriers for us all.
Many men would seldomly admit their wish to spend less time at work, and more time with their children. This comes as no great surprise given the ridicule they often face.
We refer to a father's involvement in a child's rearing as "babysitting" and "helping". Would we dream of defining a mother's time with her child this same way?
The words we use to describe a dad's input are demeaning and dispiriting. In my own professional encounters, I am often faced with father's who are quite simply not given a chance to parent given their partner's beliefs and anxieties, of their inadequacies to parent.
From a woman's experience, delving into the working world and leaving the home isn't met with any more or less disaproval than it is for a dad to parent.
In this day and age, I am often met with questions from prying eyes such as "Aren't you missing your children?", "Aren't you worried about them?" And the winner "So will you be going home to cook for the family now?"
This last question ocurred in a professional training event. A pastor attending was bewildered by the fact that I would be at work whilst my husband looked after our children. He appeared genuinely concerned for my kids wellbeing, questioning my decisions critically.
As a trainee Psychologist, such attitudes immediately told me more of his confidence in his own parenting than of a concern for my husband's capacities.
Later that day I came to learn that he had, in the past, been a "successful" career driven family man. He had come to attempt suicide, and in time left his profession.
He had thus succeeded fulfilling the role society dictates, achieving financial and professional stability for the family, but at what cost?
Suicide is actually the BIGGEST cause of death for men under 45, and I wonder-what percentage of this statistic is caused in part by the insurmountable pressures of gender inequality, forcing us to live lives we cannot adapt to?
Sexual equality is not an invention of our time; despite omission, early women actually played a role in hunting and gathering groups.
We often say it is a man's world out there, but in all actual honesty, I believe until we return to our egalitarian past we are all losers in this game.
Whilst we, as women, create feminist movements for reforms on issues such as equal pay and reproductive rights, I see men hushedly alienated from their children with no regards for the impact this has both on them and the offspring.
And so I suspect men to be worse off, given that we have deemed it unacceptable for them to speak out and they, unlike us, are compliant.
For more on this topic, look out for our next article.
Are made of these!
Reminiscing of Summer 2015 as I prepare to return home (Portugal) for a short break. This little flower's first bathing suit was only just bigger than my hand. She slept peacefully in the cool shade of a palm tree most days, wearing little more than her nappy. When she woke she would coo in happyness at the blue sky above her. Happy times, happy places.
It would appear that summer has been and gone in this part of the world.
The tans will fade but these lovely memories will stand.
My daughters first summer as a little walking being with her own wishes and will, surprising me every day with her newly acquired tricks and skills. The summer of her first word: Daisy, which represents both her favourite doll, cartoon and her favourite discovery-flowers!
May you always spare time to stop to smell the flowers along your paths and admire their beauty, little one.