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Truth is, we are all just winging it.

“Four children,” people say to me. “Wow, you must be an expert on parenting!,”

Truthfully – I am totally not. Sure, four kids definitely brings some perspective to certain types of first-time parenting struggles, but honestly – most days I still feel like, ten years on in this journey – I have no fucking idea what I am doing.

I think for the most part; conscious parenting is a mix of calculated research with a fair amount of “well, let’s give this a shot!” thrown in.

Some problems come along and I may know how to tackle them, and do so with great efficiency, while I smugly think to myself what a pro I am at this whole parenting thing. Then other days those same problems come up again, so I do what I did before – to no avail. So I’m back right at the beginning where I started from: absolutely clueless, randomly trying a few different strategies here and there with a bunch of random attempts at managing thrown in.

Honestly there is no such thing as a perfect parent. We all have our ideals about the types of parent we wish to strive for, and the kind of upbringing that we want our children to have and what memories they can look back and draw upon. And that all sounds really lovely – except it isn’t real, or true. Because all of this stuff depends on our children and the individual daily circumstances we find ourselves in. It depends on the mood of our offspring, the weather, our health, the time of day, how much sleep we have had, our relationships with other people etc etc.

The “shoulds” don’t help. The “could haves” don’t help either. I think the best we all can aim for is to try better than we did the previous day, and allow ourselves grace and gentleness when shit doesn’t go to plan, because it often won’t.

So I’m writing this, mainly as a reassurance I guess – to other parents feeling like me.

When you feel like you should have all this shit sorted, and you don’t – it’s okay.

When you feel like you’re giving continually on an empty cup for absolutely no returns – it’s okay.

When you feel like you’re not the type of parent you wish you were able to be – it’s okay.

When you feel like you have absolutely no fucking idea how to overcome the next hurdle – it’s okay.

When you feel like things should be getting better or easier by now, and they aren’t – it’s okay.

I’m telling you it’s okay because I want you to know you are not alone. Feelings of exhaustion, overwhelm, confusion, frustration and complete and utter exasperation are all feelings that all parents have felt from time to time. Maybe I’m writing this for myself, to tell myself that even though the challenges seem endless – it is possible to get through it.

It’s okay to stop. Let some stuff slide. Have a big cry, eat a block of chocolate. Sit and dwell on the sheer hardness of it all, for a while. Allow yourself that time. Because then I know you can pick yourself up, and keep on keeping on. And I am, and I will.

Because honestly – none of us have any idea of what we are doing, really. We are all just winging it, and we are all in this together.



A letter into the ether.

I know I only just spoke to you before on the phone, but that doesn’t mean you’re really here. You haven’t been here for a long time now.

I’m struggling at the moment, and in truth I feel like I probably have been for a while. I called you up today because I was hoping to hear your comforting voice on the end of the phone line, like a big hug – but while I waited, it never came. Instead our conversation went around and around in circles with you asking me the same set of questions three times,  until I begged an excuse and got off the phone, and began crying in the car as I was driving to find a place to write you this.

Truth is, I don’t ever hear from you. You completely forget, unless I call – and then when I do, you’re endlessly apologetic. Your world fluctuates between you work, caring for your Mum and then getting sleep. And really, that’s all that you can manage.  I know you never intend to hurt me by purely forgetting that I exist, but my heart is fucking throbbing with the pain I feel for being abandoned. I know I hear you say every time on the phone that you’ll “try harder” to remember to call me but I’m realistic enough to know it won’t happen. It isn’t your fault. But that doesn’t stop it from hurting.

I know there are darker days to come. You’re already confusing your own granddaughters name’s up and I know there comes a time when you’ll probably not remember my own. I feel the sting of your mind beginning to phase me out of your recollection and memories and it is tearing my heart into two, because I could really use a Mum around now. Someone to hold me, after my daughter has screamed all morning and to tell me that it’ll be okay, and tomorrow’s another day. Someone to take me out for cake and shoot shit with me, because it’s fun and that’s just what we feel like doing.

I’m already grieving you now even though you’re still living, and I don’t know whether that’s easier or harder than the alternative. Having a memory of someone sharp in your mind with a perception of how things should be is a daily reminder of what isn’t.

You keep calling yourself an “idiot” and how you’re “stupid” but this isn’t the case. It isn’t your fault, or your choice. And I’m probably incredibly selfish for even making this about me, but I just had to get it out.

Being a mother to four girls myself provides me with a new chance every day to do things right and be present. But somedays I don’t want to be a mother, I just want to be a daughter. I see how you’re there for your own mother and dote on her compassionately, and I am desperate to have the same kind of attention from you. I don’t know whether it’s because you “let me go” sooner than you did with Oma, or not, and that’s why her memory has stuck around for you more than mine has.

Either way, I’m hurting. I know I’ll be okay but the pain of losing someone who is still living is intense and all-consuming at times. There are countless what-ifs and whys racing around my head that I know will eventually be set to rest, and I’m working on it, but I’m not there yet. You’re there but not. It’s like you’re in this in-between state of worlds from back then and now, and I can’t imagine how exhausting and confusing that feels for you. Others around you are working to help themselves make sense of your new reality, but you’re not at any level of acceptance yet.

I just miss you, Mama. So I’m sending this out into the ether with a hope it’s a little healing and I can let go of the wanting and accept the what is. You’re only fragments of who you used to be, but I’m still fully here.

And it’s okay. Because it is what it is.


Taking Stock: Summer, 2017.


I write a lot about my incredible family because they pretty much take up most of my life, and that’s okay. But today I thought I’d do something different and blog about me. Because I’m pretty awesome too, but I guess a lot of my individual personality gets somewhat lost in my blog posts about autism, because I’m not actually autistic myself.  So anyway, here’s a snapshot.

Making: Plans to yoga, menu-planning for this week’s dinners, gluten-free granola.
Cooking: So. Much. Food. Six months ago I’d go so far as to say I loved cooking but now it’s more like: WHAT? They have to eat AGAIN?!  Always with the food prep: buying (OK Cj does that, but still), washing, prepping, cooking… ughhhh.
Drinking: Cider. Apple & cinnamon tea, cold. Bulletproof coffee every morning. Lots and lots of water.
Reading: Living Dangerously.
Wanting: More art supplies, more books, new clothes that aren’t stretched and threadbare.
Looking forward to: Speaking at the Passage To Motherhood Conference this year (I’m doing a talk on breastfeeding after sexual abuse) and hopefully going away for a few nights with Cj solo for the first time since we became parents for my 30th in July. Also taking Raralilyo to the ballet for her birthday soon. Oh and Mexican for Cj’s birthday next weekend.
Considering: How many toys I can get away with donating so I don’t have to keep picking them up off the fucking floor.
Harvesting: My goals and intentions.
Wishing: We could afford new bunk beds for the girls NOW so I can finally get Beans out of our room and weaned completely (she’s down to 1 feed now).
Enjoying: Making time to hang out in nature. We live on the Sunshine Coast and are surrounded daily in beauty. I kinda think of nature as my own version of “God”, for what it’s worth, because even though I was raised Catholic I think the whole thing is a load of bollocks.
Waiting: For my next study semester to go back soon. I’m doing 3 subjects this semester and I’m simultaneously gleeful in anticipation and shitting my pants in apprehension.
Liking: The fact that I am in the final year of having a toddler home with me full-time… EVER.
Wondering: If I have the guts to apply as a model for a Body Painting Festival in a few months.
Loving: Hanging out with women.
Pondering: Whether we should sell the cot & old beds, or just donate them.
Listening to: Florence & the machine, Ed Sheeran & The Goo Goo Dolls, always.
Deciding: Not to buy into narcissistic behaviour. Breathe. Let go. It’s not about me it’s about them.
Buying: New undies. Thunderpants are the best!
Watching: Will & Grace re-runs.
Hoping: Cj remembers to fill out all the paperwork tonight.
Marvelling: At all the fucking laundry (which I won’t be folding).
Cringing: At the ever-evolving ignorance of small-minded dipshits.
Needing: New  vegan nail varnish.
Learning: That I matter, and I cannot give on an empty cup.
Questioning: What stuff we could leave behind if we packed up and moved away tomorrow.
Smelling: Lemon myrtle in the diffuser.
Wearing: No pants because it’s too hot.
Noticing: That Autumn is coming, my favourite season (maybe that’s why 3 of my four babies were born then hey?). I love the cooler change and I adore jean-and-boot weather.
Thinking: That I’m excited to find out who I am as I enter this next phase in my life, knowing there will be no more babies and almost over the shitty toddler stage (once we get through threenager-hood.)
Knowing: That her stuff isn’t my stuff.
Admiring: People who make time to look after their own needs despite the chaos going on around them. Getting: Some immune system building remedies ready. All the garlic.
Bookmarking: HIIT workouts, GF chocolate cake recipes and books I want.
Closing: Off the guilt and internal “I am not worthy” internal dialogue.
Feeling: Like I’m looking forward to bedtime.
Celebrating: That today wasn’t shit.
Embracing: The way I feel after I do scary stuff.



Surrounded by Colour

I had a super long pregnancy with Beans. Like.. a 44 week long one, in fact. She was born beautifully at home in the end and I have no doubt that “dragging the chain” and pushing time limits to their absolute extreme will be a common theme over her life as she grows up.


When I was 43 weeks pregnant with her, I bought this incredible hand woven Chindi rug from a store nearby. It’s often featured in photos of our family over on our instagram feed, because our house is pretty tiny and it’s beautiful and colourful.



I love to be surrounded by colour, I’m not into matching and this rug compliments so much of the mishmash of stuff that we own. It’s stood up beautifully to over 2.5 years of constant treading by happy little feet, too.

I often get asked where we bought it from, you can find it here. The company also sell beautiful mats useable for outdoors and picnics, made from recycled plastic. I love that they’re made ethically and sustainably, sourcing the creative expertise of local Australian and New Zealand artists. The mats are unique, soft and wonderfully made. I think it’s awesome how the patterns honour different cultures, too.


Go check them out!

*This is a sponsored post. The opinions, photos an views however are entirely my own.*

Recipe: Remineralising Toothpaste.

Annnnd to post about a seemingly random topic, I am going to share a recipe for toothpaste.
Yep. Because if you’re like me and you’ve got fairly crap teeth due to fairly crap genetics but then you’ve been told by your Dentist to push more fluoride into your mouth.. yeah no. It doesn’t sit well. So I began researching ingredients that go into conventional toothpaste (sorbitol, glycerine & manitol to name a few – yuck!) , and then researched what teeth actually need to be strong and healthy and it didn’t mesh. I’m a huge believer in the motto “don’t put anything on your skin you wouldn’t put into your mouth” and I think the same applies with oral hygiene and care, too.

After all, I oil-cleanse my skin and dry brush and my skin is beautiful and healthy so I don’t see why the same approach shouldn’t be taken to my teeth to improve their health and hopefully reduce dental costs long-term. So I spoke to a holistic dentist for advice, experimented with a few recipes and came up with one myself that I really liked. I will also add here that I am taking other supplements to boost the remineralisation of my teeth (like cod liver oil & magnesium) and I rinse with colloidal silver, also.

This toothpaste has bicarb for cleaning and whitening, coconut oil for antibacterial, calcium carbonate for strengthening, xylitol for sweetening and it’s plethora of health benefits such as blocking plaque-causing acids & halting production of acid-producing bacteria and finally peppermint oil for taste and freshness. It has a lovely smooth and creamy texture.

{*Oh and it should be noted that I buy my ingredients from iHerb but this is a strictly non-sponsored post, I just buy from there because the service & prices are fantastic.* }


Remineralising Toothpaste.

  • 3 tbsp xylitol powder (I buy granules and blitz it in my high-powered machine).
  • 5 tbsp calcium carbonate powder
  • 2 tbsp baking soda/bicarb
  • 4 tbsp coconut oil (I use the Nutiva brand), melted.
  • 12 drops of organic Peppermint essential oil


  1. Add all dry ingredients into a food processor.
  2. Blitz on a high speed for about 1 min. Scrape down sides, repeat. Add wet ingredients and combine thoroughly. 
  3. Store in an air-tight container.

This recipe can be doubled or tripled easily. I store in a small jar and apply my toothpaste with a small spoon directly to my brush. Do not allow any water to get into the jar as this can then allow mould to grow. If it re-solidifies, that’s okay. It can be softened easily by running the jar under some hot water. You can experiment with flavours, too. Cinnamon oil and orange oil would be nice. I store the jar on my windowsill in my bathroom. My girls use this now with no complaints, although it did take a little for them to get used to the non-foaming aspect of the toothpaste. In cooler months I would recommend making sure you run some hot water in the sink after you spit to ensure the drain doesn’t clog.

I’d love to know what you think, please let me know.



Change Is Best Taken With A Giveaway!

After some time away ironing out the creases I am so excited to be back into regular blogging and launch my brand new website with some wonderful sponsors;  beautifully designed and put together by my patient friend Kristie with an incredible give away from Hammock Heaven! We were lucky enough to use some of our Autism HCWA funding to purchase our two double-base stands and hammock chairs from Hammock Heaven and they have been well loved.


hammock giveaway


All four of our daughters enjoy sitting in them and the lovely gentle movement they provide, as well as the subtle pressure means that these hammock chairs are a sensory delight both for vestibular and proprioceptive pathways.

But you don’t have to only be autistic to enjoy these chairs! Because they are so large, even an adult can sit and lean back in them comfortably. The chairs provide a great place to wind-down and a super cosy reading nook and they’re high up enough that if you bend your legs in them your small children won’t be able to reach you or steal any of the chocolate you’re eating whilst hiding in there. Speaking from personal experience….Ahem.

Anyway. Onto the details of the exciting giveaway!
“Using the hashtags #thisisreal tell us in 50 words or less something humorous and funny and totally real about parenting that has happened to you. The most creative answer will score themselves an awesome woven hammock chair from Hammock Heaven.”

a GirlTribe launch giveaway!

Conditions for the give away are as follows:
Participants must
3) Comment the GirlTribe blog with their answer.
Open to Australian residents only. This prize cannot be exchanged for cash. This giveaway is not open to direct family members of GirlTribe or Hammock Heaven. The result is final. Facebook does not endorse this giveaway.  All steps of the giveaway must be completed in order to participate.

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